|The following writing by Don K in Oregon mirrors in some respects all that we hold dear to us as members of the human race. Don and Joan celebrated a 49th wedding anniversary. It was a quiet event. A walk along the Oregon shore line. An impromptu song from total strangers and a rest on white washed logs brought in from the sea. How simple is that? How poignant.
Happy Anniversary you two and thank you. You've given us a very simple lesson ... a reminder that it's the little things in life that really count.
God bless you both and thank you for allowing me to share this with the family.
|Our Anniversary Gift|
|by Don Kleczynski|
June 21, 1958, the most wonderful day of Joan and my lives. A terribly hot (102*) first day of summer that year. Wedding ceremony at St. Louis Catholic Church four miles West of Gervais, Oregon at 9:00 am. to which relatives and nearly all neighbors of surrounding farming area helped celebrate this joyous occasion with us. A luncheon was served to all, in the Church Hall. Joan and I finally departed at 4:00 pm. so to get on with our lives together and to let the neighbors get home and about their evening chores. Small farms were still common in 1958 where everyone had a few cows, hogs, chickens to tend morning and evenings, plus the berries about to ripen this year of an earlier than normal season. Joan’s folks gave us their cherry tree crop to harvest that year. The early season allowed having those picked and sold to a Woodburn cannery between the end of my first year in college and our wedding day.
Today is June 21, 2007, forty nine years later and just about ten years into retirement. During those recent years, we each found “hobbies” that take up our time and have restricted leisure days. This year those hobbies have slowed to allow split second decisions for get-aways. I say split second because never have we been able to plan in advance for any trip other than our annual Colorado trip to visit our daughter and family there. So if a free moment shows up, we grab the chance and run with it.
Run we did this day of June 21 when hobbies cleared, on this a special day to us! Not an early start as it’s 9:45 am. since I had a second coat of paint to spray on the boards of our deck that I was re-finishing, so to dry before the predicted rain. That finished and sprayer cleaned by 9:15 am. Showered to rid myself of not having had one, for a couple sweaty days. Can’t let a good shower go to waste so we jumped into the car and sped the 80 miles to the Coast. Found our great beach by Shilo Inn in Lincoln City for a walk on vast expanse since the tide is way, way out. There were miles of beach in each direction. The sun is shining, no wind, warm enough for no coat, no sweaters. It was just a beautiful day to spite the weathermen having predicted showers and cool and breezy. We walked and walked the beach south. Strolled on the outgoing (Joan checking for … rocks!) but brisked it on the return as best we could with Joan’s weighted treasures. A really out-going tide exposed lots of huge rocks and rock out-crops seldom seen. The sea looking relatively calm without waves pounding the rocks in great splurges of jetted waves. Along our walk we stopped often to watch the water ebb and flow in around this rocky part of the shore line. Often times we have located a log to sit and contemplate about our lives and the Blessings we have been granted. This walk, the few logs and the shore-line cliffs are far up land.
So we continue on back along the firm sand recently exposed from the sea for the easier walk, and the nearness to the ocean that such brings with it … the wonders of walking a sandy beach with the lapping of the waves at our feet and the soothing sound of the surf!! A group of elderly looking ladies are along our return. One of them asked us to take their group picture. Yeah, I’d be glad to. These 15 to 20 “girls” have been making a get-together each year since their high school graduation in 1961. They are now from Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. While I talked to a couple of them, Joan told some others that this our 49 th Anniversary day. Suddenly the whole group was singing us “Happy Anniversary” to the Happy Birthday tune. Embarrassed? Just a bit, but mostly wondered and thrilled that such coincidence should happen for us on this day. I was overjoyed and tried to express my appreciation to them of the timeliness of this meeting. We left their company with gratefulness to them, and I think they left with a special remembrance in their day. How much more rewarding could such a simple and innocent encounter bring!!
And so we do as we must, continue our walk back to our beach entrance, back to the actuality of life. Back, but with a lighter step. A step filled with the graciousness bestowed on such an exciting, wonderful day for us!!