Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Romance Can Blossom Any Old Time", January 21, 2015

Love knows no season, love knows no clime
Romance can blossom any old time.
~Robert L. May

In my last blog post, I celebrated the 150th wedding anniversary of my Great Great Grandparents Bill and Maggie Spear who were married on Jan 15. In that post I asked why anyone would choose to marry in January, especially in Indiana where the winters can be so harsh. In response I heard from a long time reader of the The Shepard's Crook, my 3rd cousin Roberta Owens Brooks, a fellow family researcher who said,

"I have another reason William and Maggie may have married in January. Life on a farm in the Midwest in the 1860’s was difficult and extremely busy most of the year. But in January after their tools were cleaned and repaired and the animals taken care of, there was little to do and people had more leisure time. Time to socialize with friends and neighbors—and to marry. Who wouldn't like to have such an event to attend in the dead of winter? It would be the highlight of the season!"

Thanks to Roberta for these thoughtful comments. This got me to thinking: historically, what months of the year have we and our ancestors chosen to get married? Thanks to having my family history records on computer, I can answer that question fairly easily. In my records of all our family members and ancestors, I have dates for 342 marriages. Some of those marriages were very recent, others go back to the 19th century or even earlier. 

Here is what I discovered: August has been the most popular month to get married, followed by December, then June, then January. That August and June were popular marrying months is not too surprising. But I did not expect December and January to be among the most popular months. Almost 25% of all marriages in our families over the years occurred in those two winter months. Equally surprising is the fact that July was the least popular month to get married. Of those 342 marriage dates, only 9 (2.6%!) were in the month of July. 

I don't want to make too much of all this. Although those of us who did get married in winter can feel a little more mainstream than we might have thought. Perhaps it just goes to show you the truth of the words in the song Winter Wonderland: "Love knows no season, love knows no clime, Romance can blossom any old time."

Happy 5th Anniversary to Havilah and Kevin. Speaking of blossoming romance -- and winter weddings! -- this Friday, January 23, is the 5th wedding anniversary of Kevin and Havilah Colgain Wardle. Havilah and Kevin have been living in South Texas, but just recently returned to Utah, their long time home.

Havilah is a Great Great Great Granddaughter of Bill and Maggie Spear. Here's her lineage: Bill and Maggie Williams Spear / James and Callie Spear Davis / Will and Bura Davis Shepard / Elmer and Beryl Swinney Shepard / Art and Joan Shepard Colgain / Havilah Colgain Wardle.

In my last post I mentioned that the January 1865 wedding of Bill and Maggie was an act that defied the elements. But Kevin and Havilah took defiance to a whole different level! They were married in the winter of 2010, and not in some warm, cozy church. They defied the elements and were married in the snow of the backcountry of Utah! The first picture (above) shows Kevin and Havilah on their wedding day 5 years ago. The second picture (left) shows the two of them in more recent times.

Whether in the 19th century or the 21st century, genuine love is something that has made couples in our family raise their fists to all opposition -- whether the elements, convention, or the spirit of the times -- and say "We will not be denied!" It's a family story that has repeated itself many times and I am sure will be played out many more times in years to come.

Havilah: Yes, we are back in Utah! After living apart for 6 months, we are thrilled to be together in our new home, in Utah. The property in Texas is officially sold to a wonderful family, and we are loving setting up the new house in Utah. Shocker here, but the new house is in excellent condition, and we were able to move in the day we bought it. Getting to decorate rooms vs demoing rooms- feels luxurious! As for the animals, we brought the majority with us. At the buyer's request, I left a few hens in Texas, otherwise, we have a backyard full of furry and feathered "kids." Egg season just started for Quackers The Goose, and the 130 pound puppy, Henry, has discovered, and fallen in love with snow.
 We plan on sticking close to home for our anniversary, and honestly, that feels like the best celebration I can imagine!

Happy Birthday today to Dane and Nathan Shepard. Havilah's uncle Dane Shepard and Dane's son Nathan Shepard share a birthday today, January 21. Dane, who lives with his family in New Castle, Oklahoma, is the son of the late Elmer and Beryl Swinney Shepard and one of the Grandsons of Will and Bura Shepard. This third picture is a recent photo of Dane.

Dane: I'm grateful for the opportunities and the health to stay as busy as ever.  I'm thankful to "wear various hats" as an elder, claims adjuster, and song worship leader and trainer, as well as continuing in hymn writing, recording, and publishing.  And most of all, I like being a husband and father.  At the end of the month we will be headed to Texas for a song worship event and on to Florida to attend lectures there and see Nathan.  He continues to enjoy his second year at Florida College pursuing a business degree.  He manages to stay very involved with music as a percussionist with the jazz ensemble and the touring Friends band.  Being near water and waves, Nathan has also taken up skim boarding in his spare time.

19 year old Nathan Ross Shepard is a second year student at Florida College, a Church of Christ school in Tampa, Florida. Best wishes to Nathan and Dane for a wonderful birthday celebration. This final picture shows college student Nathan with his sister Kaylan, taken at Christmas.
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Steve Shepard

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