By Margot Griffiths
With roots in Point Roberts seven generations deep, Alex Peltier is unique to our community. It was in the mid-19th century that her great-great-great-great-grandfather arrived here to work as a mason on the monument at the border.
From that beginning, succeeding generations have lived continuously in Point Roberts – farming the land, fishing the oceans and building lives. Alex’s grandparents, Hank and Doreen Peltier, founded Hank’s Backhoe, and now Alex’s parents, Jeff and Fern, continue that legacy, building homes – and lives – for others.
But back to the most recent legacy, to whom congratulations are due. Alex graduated in May from California State University, Fresno, with a Bachelor of Science in health science. Her future plans include furthering her education at the University of Washington’s School of Nursing, with the ultimate goal of specializing in
Alex chose Fresno because of her lifelong passion for horses. On full athletic scholarship in the equestrian program, her discipline was hunt seat which includes jumping and flat (dressage). A highly awarded horsewoman, Alex makes clearing a 4-foot jump on a horse 18.2 hands tall (that’s over 6 feet at the withers) look smooth as silk. It’s exhilarating to watch this fearless equestrian ride in perfect unity with her horse.
“You can’t be timid, especially when jumping. I’m honestly never afraid and my greatest joy is being in the show ring giving it my all,” Alex said.
Alex’s first mount was much smaller. She was two when her mother, Fern, put her on a horse at the Baker property on Benson Road and from then on, she loved horses. A spirited little kid, she also loved volleyball, and was bright and vivacious from the start. My salient memory of Alex as a young girl was watching her perform in a local pageant. Her smile was impish, her style mischievous. So I said to her father, “She’s you, Jeff.”Alex’s early love of horses has become a passion shared by the entire family.
“When I started riding my parents knew nothing about horses. They have learned with me and love it as much as I do,” Alex said.
Only 13 years old at the time, Alex vividly remembers the day her first horse joined the family.
“One day my dad came home and said we were the proud owners of 5 acres and we were going to have a farm. We thought because we now owned a horse, we needed a farm for it to live on.”
Owning a horse is having a very large family member who hangs around longer than the children do. When you love a horse, you love it for life. The Peltiers now love three horses who could not wish for more beautiful quarters.
When I comment about the disparity between horses and a nursing career, Alex begs to differ. For her they go together well. “I’ve known how to care for and communicate with something much larger and stronger than myself for almost 20 years. I will take those skills and bring them into my nursing career – with the added advantage that most patients can speak.”
And the greatest appeal of nursing? “Not only do I assist people in getting better, I get to be their first line of defense,” Alex said.
She watched her grandfather, Hank, deal with health issues in later life and she was drawn to help him.
Growing up in Point Roberts gave Alex freedom. “I didn’t realize till I left home that going on walks to my grandma’s house wasn’t normal in the ‘real world.’” Living in California, she missed the trees. She missed what greenery adds to a community. When asked what she missed about her family, she simply answered, “everything.”
Point Roberts will remain unique for Alex. A place of 100-year-old trees under which the horses graze. A place of freedom – walking in the footsteps of seven generations of family. For Alex, Point Roberts means you really can go home again.