Sheila Burns Biography

Born the 4th child in a Catholic family in Grand Junction, Sheila made her first move at the tender age of 3 weeks to a 2 acre spread in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. She has young and fond memories of their life close to the land, raising chickens, cows, goats, making butter in a churn, growing vegetables, having a little brother added to the family, attending church and participating in processions. She also had wicked memories of her father's violent temper. His inability to support his family adequately enough selling insurance in that small community caused her family to move to Kansas City, Mo., when she was 4 yrs old. Some of her mother's family lived there and Sheila was put in the care of her Great Aunt & Uncle, while the rest of the family lived in a basement apartment of one of her mother's cousins family home. After about 1 year Sheila moved back in with her family when they moved into a home of their own in Kansas City, Kansas, but they again soon moved back to Colorado and into the home of her paternal grandmother. When Sheila was in 3rd grade her parents bought a home of their own. It was in that home and as early as 4th grade that Sheila was told she had a talent for writing. However, she recieved her one and only F grade in journalism in high school.A tragic and consciousness-changing event occured when Sheila was 14. Her little sister, the 6th child of the family, died at age 3. Although everyone hoped and prayed this would be the event that stopped her father's alcoholism it did not. Sheila moved out after high school graduation. She attended Mesa Jr. College one year, then at 19 met and married her first husbad. They lived in Santa Fe, St.Louis, Denver, Santa and El Rito, having 3 children along the way and as many do she divorced her husband, and met the first real love of her life Joseph at a Native American Church meeting in El Rito. After a short time she moved back to Santa Fe again, where she worked for architects and builders. She and Josephs had a child.3 of her 4 children were born at home w/midwives and when her 3 older children went to Hawaii to live with their father, she moved to Las Cruces, NM to study midwifery. After 5 months she decided this was not the right profession for her and she moved back to Santa Fe. By this time her older chilren were also living in NM again. She raised her 4 children, as a single parent, continuing to work for building contractors, attended more college but never graduated. She is now grandmother to 3, works for a custom builder, and as she has done all her life writes sporadically.