Wednesday, January 07, 2015

A Family Is What You Make It, January 7, 2015

A family is what you make it.
It is made strong,
not by the number of heads
counted at the dinner table,
but by the rituals
you help family members create,
and by the memories you share.
~Marge Kennedy

This week three birthdays occur in our larger family, all of which are for people who are descended from William and Bura Davis Shepard, or have married into that family.

Happy Birthday Carsyn Slaughter! Monday of this week, January 5, was the second birthday of Carsyn Slaughter, the great granddaughter of Thelma Shepard Boyd. Carsyn is the daughter of Courtney Boyd and Cody Slaughter of San Diego, and the granddaughter of Darren Boyd of Coronado, California.

The first picture shows little Carsyn being held by her mother Courtney Boyd, with her great grandmother Thelma on the left and aunt Kim Boyd Clark on the right. This picture was taken last month when Thelma's family was all together in San Diego for Christmas.

Happy Birthday Cindy Shepard! Today, January 7, is the birthday of my wife Cindy Harris Shepard, with whom I have the great privilege of living, here in San Diego. Cindy was born in the San Joaquin Valley town of Visalia, California but came as a young child with her family to San Diego where she was raised.

This second picture is one of my favorites and shows Cindy as a child with her father Joe Harris (1922-1999). It was taken about 1950 when she was 2 or 3 years old, possibly in the San Joaquin Valley near where the Harrises lived.

Cindy and I actually met 50 years ago this year (no, that can't be right; I need a fact checker!). At the time we were in our senior year in High School -- hers was Hoover High and mine was Kearny High. We got acquainted through our involvement in our Church youth groups -- hers was the Allied Gardens Church of Christ, and mine was the Linda Vista Church of Christ. Our youth groups co-mingled often for outings, Bible studies, and numerous other activities. 

The result was a few marriages (like ours), and many friendships that have endured through the decades. Several of our friends from all those years ago are Facebook friends even today, including Mel Storm, Frank Hankins, Ron Storm, Connie Shaw Cleland, Linda Cranford Elliot, Jennifer Daniels McGoldrick, Tom Skinner, and Jane Saxton Harris.

These days Cindy enjoys the retired life and relishes being an active grandmother of 3 little ones. She also finds time to be of assistance to her mother and aunt, nonagenarians who live in Allied Gardens not far from where we live here in the San Carlos Community of San Diego.

This third picture shows Cindy with her granddaughter Preslea, who is the oldest of the three rug rats. This picture was taken a few months ago at the home of Preslea's parents Nathan and Chenda Sou Shepard.

Happy Birthday, Mary Shepard! This Saturday, January 10 is the birthday of Mary Medina Shepard, wife of my brother Darrell Shepard. She and Darrell live in Kirkland, Washington and are the parents of 3 grown kids and the grandparents of 3 little ones, all of whom live in the Seattle area. Mary is originally from Chicago but met Darrell at Abilene Christian in Abilene, Texas. They have lived in the Great Northwest now for most of their lives.

The fourth picture is one I snatched off of Facebook recently and shows proud mom and grandmother Mary on the right with daughter Rachel and Rachel's son Kellan Shepard, grandson #2 of Mary and Darrell.

Best wishes to these three for memorable and joyful birthdays!
- - -
Steve Shepard

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