Wednesday, December 04, 2013

It's the Holiday Season, December 4, 2013

Let us be grateful
to the people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.
~Marcel Proust

The Holiday Season. When growing up in San Diego with the other members of our Shepard and Gower family, the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, was a special time, especially for the children. 

The Shepard part of our family was careful not to celebrate Christmas as an overtly religious holiday, which may seem a little strange to some. But as devout "church of Christ" people we were following a strong church and family tradition that questioned the claim that Dec. 25 was Jesus' actual birth date. To treat it as a religious holiday seemed somewhat "papist" (pardon the expression).

Nevertheless, we made the holidays special times. Christmas and Thanksgiving were filled with holiday celebrations and family gatherings, modest gift giving, seasonal music and usually a Christmas tree. It was how we lived out our very meaningful holiday traditions that continue to be passed on from generation to generation.
The first picture is one that I shared a few years ago in this blog. It is one of the oldest pictures I have of a holiday gathering of our family in San Diego. Taken at Elmer and Beryl Shepard's home on Thanksgiving Day 53 years ago, it shows nearly the entire clan of Will and Bura Davis Shepard. It includes their children Pauline Shepard Russell, Elmer Shepard, Eugene Shepard, and Thelma Shepard Boyd, and their spouses, as well as 8 of the 9 grandchildren in the clan at that time.  

Happy Birthday Patrick. Tomorrow is the birthday of one of Will and Bura's great grandchildren, Patrick Shepard. His father Darrell is the little boy in the picture above, next to the little girl (Joan Shepard) front and center. 

Pat and his wife Nicole live in Bothell, Washington with their infant son Logan Joseph Shepard, a great great grandchild of both Leroy and Nola Gower, and Will and Bura Shepard. Pat is a native of the Great Northwest and lives with his family not far from his dad and mom, the newest and proudest grandparents among us, Darrell and Mary Shepard.

The second picture shows 5 generations in our family. From left to right are Logan Joseph Shepard (2013), his father Patrick Shepard (1992), grandfather Darrell Shepard (1958), great grandfather Eugene Shepard (about 1935), and great great grandfather William Shepard (about 1930).
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Steve Shepard

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