Greetings Loyal Airmen, two nights ago Valerie and the Air Chief returned to our home here in Fort Collins, Colorado, after a whirlwind two weeks vacation back east. In the first half our trip, we visited with our families and took some pictures we want to share with you this week.
So first up, Val and the Air Chief happy to be back in New Hampshire, were we both grew up. First event on the agenda, get the Fortier clan together. So plans were made for all of us to meet at a well known local seafood eatery. Really, you can’t go to New England without having delicious seafood. The gathering was so much fun and the first time Mom (Gabrielle Fortier) had all her four children together in 15 long years. Seated is the baby of the crew, our sister Ann Marie Cormier, then of course Mom at a spry 94. Upper left, Ye Old Air Chief. Then brother Paul Fortier, the youngest brother and lastly second brother, George Fortier Jr. named for our Dad, George Fortier.
Of course you can’t have a family gathering without the respective significant others. So after the first group moved away, Mom was then surrounded by the Outlaws. Going left to right, David (Paul’s partner) Anne (George’s wife) Norm (Ann Marie’s husband) and of course Valerie (the Air Chief’s better half.) A nice surprise to this wonderful reunion was having George and Anne’s two grown up children join us, so here’s Mom with niece Emily Robinson and nephew Justin Fortier. As you can see Mom was in her glory.
And here’s a great shot of all of us together. Was a day we won’t soon forget.
We certainly kept the wait staff busy. The Air Chief chowed down on clams and haddock nuggets.
We had so much fun being all together again. The next day, Ann Marie and Norm were flying back to Florida, their home, George and Anne to Mass. and Paul and David to Vermont. Have to wonder when, if ever, we’ll be able to do this again. Val and the Air Chief then headed off to hook up with her family before the second half of trip.
After a few more days in New Hampshire we were off to Conn. to attended our granddaughter Taryn’s high school graduation. Happily our daughter Heather, and her mother Donna flew in from Chicago to join the festivities. Above left is the Air Chief with Heather and son Scott. Sadly our second son, Kevin, was unable to get away from work to join us. To right is the Air Chief, Ms. Taryn Fortier and Val. She’s holding one of four parakeets they have.
More pix, Taryn and proud Dad, and then Mom Katie joined in. Katie was a such a great hostess to all of us while we were there. She had a great deal to juggle and did it so graciously. We can’t thank her enough.
Heather, Taryn and her grandmother, Donna Simard, and Scott. Begin to feel the old age thing creeping up on us when our little grand kids are suddenly becoming adults. Taryn will be going to the University of New Hampshire come Sept. We are all so proud of her.
One of the coolest gifts Taryn received was this amazing quilt her mother had made for her. During her four years at Bethel High, Taryn belonged to the marching band, a talented group that won many awards while she was there. Every year they would do up a new tee-shirt for the members. So Katie took all of them that she had kept to a local seamstress and had them turned into this magnificent quilt. A special gift Taryn will always cherish.
When our children were growing up, my ex-wife’s father was still a conductor on the Boston & Maine Railroad. He would retired after 45 years of service. Still the children got to know and love him. He was a really good man. In fact oldest son Scott got the railroading bug from his grandfather. Well, way back when, the Air Chief thought he’d try his hand at painting. As many of you Loyal Airmen know, our mother is a very talented artist. So as a subject, we did a winter station with the old steamer pulling in. When finished and framed, we gave it to Scott’s grandad and he loved it. After he passed away many years ago, the painting was taken down and put away. Recently our daughter Michelle, while cleaning out her attic, uncovered it. She then gave it to us to bring down and give to Scott, knowing their grandfather would have wanted him to have it. As it turned out, he’s recently finished touching up his own office, as he works from home, and was thrilled when we gave it to him.
And you guys thought the Air Chief could only write.
And there you have it, Loyal Airmen. The trip is over, we’re home, exhausted but happy. Family is the greatest gift in the world. We treasure all of them.
Ron – Over & Out!