Friday, November 06, 2009

Shepard Family Update November 6, 2009

One touch of nature 
makes the whole world kin.
(Troilus and Cressida) 

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you wherever you may be on this first weekend of November. Cindy and I have just moved into a new home here in San Diego, not far from where our last residence was. Our email addresses and phone numbers remain the same, which is the most important thing, of course.

This Sunday is the 113th anniversary of the birthday of Bura (Davis) Shepard. She has been gone now for 23 years but her influence is still strongly felt by those of us who called her mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, or simply friend. She and her husband Will and their descendants are the reason for this family blog. The picture on the right was taken in June, 1915 when she got married at 18 years old. The white of her dress speaks of the way that she was a plain, unassuming person who never called undo attention to herself. The unexpressive look on her face was not only typical of early 20th century photographs, it also speaks of the down to earth quality she gained from her Indiana roots. And the overall softness of the picture suggests her tender heart that characterized her throughout her life.

Happy Birthday TODAY to Havilah Colgain! She is the daughter of Joan Shepard, the granddaughter of Elmer Shepard, and one of the great granddaughters of Will and Bura Shepard. The second picture I am including today shows Havilah and her boyfriend Kevin Wardle, taken earlier this year. She emailed me recently with the following.

Greetings from Salt Lake City! I attend school at Salt Lake Community College and plan on getting my associates degree and then transfer to one of the universities in the Salt Lake Valley for my bachelors. I enjoy school immensely and am open to where my educational path leads me. After school I work for the Boys and Girls Club at a local elementary school and help with an after school program for inner city youth. It is a very rewarding job.

Kevin is extremely supportive of all I want to do. We continue to rock hound and spend time with family on our days off, which can be few and far between. Kevin works nights as an Echocardiographer (ultrasound of the heart) at the hospital. On our last adventure we traveled to the Henry's Mountain area of Utah, and found saginite, petrified wood, agate, and coprolite (dinosaur poo!).
Art Colgain, my dad, just had a birthday two weeks ago. We cooked dinner for him and had a great visit. He feels good most days, and has a really good attitude about life. We still have our crying times, but they grow fewer and farther between. He works on projects around the house he and Jill built, doing all the things Jill had on her wish list.  It's a real tribute to both of them to see what he has done in her memory. He has an incredibly strong spirit.
His focus is now Thanksgiving, which is quite the family tradition for the Colgains.  We refer to it as "The Holiday of Meats".  Baked turkey, smoked turkey, deep fried turkey, ham, ribs, brisket, sushi, various smoked fishes, and this year in Kevin's honor, a Tofurkey - or tofu turkey. Thanksgiving is truly amazing at his house, and there is an open invitation to everyone to join us. The more the merrier! So to all the family reading this: anytime you are in the Salt Lake area we'd be happy to show you around and feed you.
Joan Shepard, my amazing mother, and I have had many conversations about how feeding family has always been our family's way of expressing love.  Gram gave my dad her homemade bread recipe well over twenty years ago, and you can bet he will be serving her bread at Thanksgiving. It's a powerful reminder that there are beautiful, creative, life giving ways to connect people and families even after death, divorce, and tragedy. As you prepare Thanksgiving dinner this year, take a moment and contemplate the story behind the food. You may find out some amazing things about yourself and your family!
The next couple of weeks I have asked a couple of family members to send out the weekly email while Cindy and I will be out of town. Cousin Dane Shepard will be sending out a family email the next two Fridays, and then my brother Darrell Shepard will send out a family email the week after that. Thanks so much to both of them for their willingness to share their family thoughts with us. 
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