Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Celebrating 300! June 13, 2012

In the midst of the chaos
When the wind is howling I hear
the ancient song
Of the ones who went before
And know that peace will come
-Susan Stauter

Hello Family and Friends,

Father's Day. This coming Sunday is Father's Day, a day to remember and honor our fathers. The first picture I am including today shows the three fathers who have been most influential in my life: my grandfathers Leroy Gower (1899-1974) and William Shepard (1888-1976), and my father Eugene Shepard (1921-2003).

Happy Birthday Scott Ortiz. Today is the 27th birthday of Scott Ortiz, the son of Kim Boyd Clark. Scott is also the grandson of Terry and Thelma Shepard Boyd. The second picture (below), taken last Christmas, shows Scott on the left with his brother Jeremy and their Ortiz grandfather Gabe, Sr.

Celebrating 300! Today marks a major milestone in the life of The Shepard's Crook: the 300th blog post. When I first began this adventure 299 entries ago, I had no idea that it would continue this long. But I should not have been surprised. Researching our family, celebrating our family's life, and sharing pictures is a never ending enterprise.

Thanks to all of you who read this blog. More and more family members are added to my mailing list all the time. Some are close family while others are distant relatives -- kissin' cousins or shirttail relatives. Some are kinfolk I have never met but who are related to people I am related to, and who share an interest in our family. I appreciate the feedback, questions and insights that I have received from many of you, and the interest you have shown in learning about our common ancestors.

I don't know what the future will bring or how long this blog will continue, but for now I will keep telling the stories and sharing the pictures of our family. They are worth telling and sharing because they are about us: you and me, the new family members, as well as the relatives long gone. They are all people whose lives and loves, whose courage and mishaps need to be told and retold, because their stories are our stories. And because in the retelling we "hear the ancient song of the ones who went before and know that peace will come."

Arrival Day. Today is the anniversary of "arrival day" in our family. It was on this day 3 years ago that Chenda Sou arrived in California from Cambodia. A week later she and our son Nathan were married, and within a year they became parents when Preslea was born. The following year they became parents again when Logan was born, and today they are within weeks of yet a third child.

This means, of course, that Cindy and I are now grandparents, something that is changing our lives and touching our hearts in ways we never imagined. The third picture shows Nathan and Chenda (in the middle), with Cindy and me on either side, and their two children Logan and Preslea (the Khmerican Cowgirl).

We celebrate with Chenda as she looks back on her first 3 years in America and as she continues her adjustment to a new family, a new culture and a new language. The learning curve has been steep, and the road has not always been easy, but we are very grateful for her and for the change she has brought to our family.
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