Friday, February 27, 2009

Shepard Family Update, February 27, 2009

Some family trees
bear an enormous crop of nuts.

- Wayne H.

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings from home in San Diego where we have returned, after our time away in the snow of Northern California and the cold of Washington.

I saw this cartoon and wanted to share it with you. It reminds me of the quote I sent some months ago: "Families are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts." The fact of the matter is every family has its share of nuts. The only question is who among us are the nuts and who are not? It is not always obvious, you know. Each of us has our own nomination, and they are not all the same.

I think my Grandad, Will Shepard, was something of a nut. As a grandfather he could be a very funny person and quite a tease. But he wasn't always that way, of course. Just a few weeks ago Kim Clark sent me a picture of a Sheriff's badge that belonged to Grandad, suggesting that he was some sort of authorized law enforcement official for a period of time in Baca County, Colorado back in the 1930s. (She is doing some research to find the full story.)

I don't know how the word "nut" came to mean a crazy or eccentric person anyway. I like nuts. They're sweet. They're tasty. They make great snacks. People sometimes call my state, California, "the land of fruits and nuts," as if that were a derogatory comment. In reality it is a point of pride. Be that as it may, our family does have its nuts, and I am glad it does. As I said, I like nuts.

After all, what would our family be if we didn't have a few nuts in it? They are what spice up our family life. They are what keeps our family life from being boring. They are the stuff of great family stories. And they are our reminders that, like the rest of the world, our family has great variety in our ranks. Some of us are straight as an arrow, others are wild and crazy; some have chosen a life that follows familiar patterns, others are very unique; some are definitely old school, others are paving new ground; some are very religious, others haven't seen the inside of a church in a long time. But all of us belong to the same family nonetheless.

So I think the squirrels have it right. When I look around at our family, I find myself saying the same thing they are saying, because the nuts among us seem to be everywhere. And to that I say... Thank God for the wonderful family we have been and are becoming!

Happy Birthday today to Darrell Shepard! The fact that today is Darrell's birthday has nothing to do with this discussion about nuts. Honest. It was simply coincidental.

Although when I think about it, Darrell is one of the more likable nuts among us. I know of no one who is more "nuts" about his family than Darrell. He is the 7th Grandchild of Will and Bura Shepard and lives in Kenmore, Washington with his wife Mary and their three children, Chris, Rachel and Patrick. After being a devoted father and husband, he somehow finds time for his job, his church, and to play guitar in his band! Congratulations to Darrell on this special, milestone birthday! Interestingly, Darrell, (Gary's) Cindy Shepard, and Joan Shepard were all born within just a few weeks of each other, back in early 1954.

The first picture I am including today is a picture from 1964 and shows Darrell and his younger brother and sister, Russell and Barbara Shepard. (Did mom know how to dress her kids, or what!) The three of them form the second triad born to Maida and Eugene Shepard.

The second picture I am including today was taken last summer in Anacortes, Washington and shows Darrell with two of the loveliest women in our family -- his daughter Rachel on the left and his niece Kelly Sauvage on the right. This picture was taken at the 2008 Shepard Family reunion.

The 2009 family reunion will be at the Newcastle Community Center in Newcastle, Oklahoma, this coming July 18. That is less than 5 months away. Are you making your plans?
One of the nuts in the family tree

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