Monday, November 8, 2021

Celebration Weekend


Most of my blog and Facebook family know that Tom and his twin sister Jan celebrated their 80th birthday in early October. But our family has another newly minted octogenarian, their cousin Dean, whose birthday is in mid November. Dean wanted a big family celebration. 

Dean and Jan got their heads together to make a plan. Because of the times we are in, some options were off the table. They selected a few, and then commissioned a couple of our capable kids to coordinate to make it happen. Jill and Scott did the necessary research and selected Fort Worden, located on a point of land where the Straight of Juan de Fuca joins Puget Sound. We seen to be a salt water loving family. 

On Saturday two generations of Fosters and Reeders converged on Port Townsend and the fort. Some came by ferry boat, some by cars and bridges. 

Tom and I made a day of it, stopping for Starbucks in Gig Harbor, shopping and lunch in Poulsbo, and then over the Hood Canal floating bridge to the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula. 

Poulsbo and lunch

The Hood Canal Floating Bridge

Puget Sound from right by our lodgings at Fort Worden.
We were surprisingly upgraded to the Commanders Housing!
As family members were arriving we took advantage of a bit of time to have a short walkabout. 
The Parade Ground.
This sign explains reason for the fort and its companion forts. We are just across  the sound from our cabin on Whidbey Island. The Fosters and the Reeders share our family compound there. 

The dock and light house in the distance.

As everyone arrived we gathered in the living room of the Commander's House. 

Tom had some information to share. From his archives he produced this photo of his dad, Bud Reeder,  as a 17 year old in 1927, sitting on a bunker above the lighthouse spit. He had joined the Coast Artillery Division of the WA National Guard and was stationed for a short time at Fort Worden. None us us knew that. 

We all selected rooms in one of three houses, with rooms to spare. This was ours.

We eventually corralled everyone and went to dinner at a Thai restaurant in Port Townsend.

Jill did a great job of being party hostess. 
I managed to squeeze Dean in this photo, front right. As the actual host of the whole weekend, he is a VIP.

Tom, Jan, and younger brother Dave.

Of course there was cake! Returning to our lodgings, the party continued.  There were speeches and shared gratitude for the bonds that continue to hold these families together. 

Talking and sharing went on well into the evening
The next morning we had breakfast together at the fort commons.

The weather was cold and blustery, with rain squalls passing through all weekend, but we managed to do some exploring and not get wet, just windblown. We drove down to the lighthouse and checked out a beach, thinking we might just have to come back here on a summer day. 

There was one more group photo for those who were still available as we all began to go our separate ways again. 

The warm feelings of family love linger, and our octogenarians were well celebrated. 


  1. I'll bet there was a lot of laughter at this gathering. Sounds like there was some great family fun.

  2. Looks like a lot of food and fun was had by all. Great pictures.

  3. In far years to come your younger ones will treasure these photos seeing you all happy in days past.

  4. Looks like all had a great time and none of the 80 year olds look their age. It is so great that you all have these frequent family gatherings. Treasures money can't buy.

  5. WOW. You all know how to honor the elderly. Now I have to plan something for my 80th..a few years away.

  6. What an interesting place to celebrate! Looks like all the elders were celebrated properly!

  7. Definitely a great family celebration! Isn't that neat that Tom's Dad was stationed at the Fort those many years ago.

  8. What a great gathering of family, with elders taking center stage. Happy birthdays to all of them! Thanks for sharing such great photos. :-)

  9. Your family sure knows how to celebrate! And so great that your kids get involved.

  10. what a lovely family gathering to celebrate 80th birthdays...beautiful surroundings!

  11. What a splendid birthday celebration for all three. I just love these photos, Linda. Thanks so much for sharing them with all of us. Happy birthday and Aloha from Hawaii.

  12. How much more perfect can a birthday celebration be? You are all blessed to have such a close, loving family. Absolutely gorgeous cakes too and the hats and sashes just add to the fun. Thank you for sharing these lovely photos, Linda. You look great too, by the way. 😃


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