From Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck, 1962:
Driving the big highway near Toledo I had a conversation with Charley on the subject of roots. He listened but didn’t reply. In the pattern-thinking about roots I and most other people have left two things out of consideration. Could it be that Americans are a restless people, a mobile people, never satisfied with where they are as a matter of selection? The pioneers, the immigrants who peopled the continent, were the restless ones in Europe. The steady rooted ones stayed home and are still there. But every one of us, except the Negroes forced here as slaves, are descended from restless ones, the wayward ones who were not content to stay at home. Wouldn’t it be unusual if we had not inherited this tendency?
What do you think? Are we a restless nation? Personally, I feel pretty rooted. I live in a farmhouse built in the mid-1800s by an ancestor of my husband’s. I don’t feel like my family is going anywhere soon.