My cousin, Don Kleczynski is beyond doubt a wonderful writer. His missives have appeared in email "in boxes" for a number of years. We read them all with pleasure. His recent Colorado trip to visit with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren is a tribute to the man, his lovely wife Joan and the entire Kleczynski/Zembal clan.
Don's love of family and all things connected shines through on this first letter to "the rest of us." He is an example to be admired and followed. The example is of a father as head of the home. His writing has proved it time and again. It actually brought tears to my eyes. It's a letter for posterity in a broken world. Kathy Gurrad Russell
Hi Oregon, Colorado, Michigan, Friends and Relatives
Sunday evening August 24th, 2014
Yes, we are reluctantly homebound this afternoon. We had a tremendously great get-together with all of the Colorado families today at Jon and Patricia’s and a chicken lunch before the time forced us to leave great people behind while we continued with our lives, and they with their‘s. Hard to leave, but the long Hugs from everyone was greatly appreciated and will have to carry us through another year. Grandma and I had packed a lot of Hugs before we left from home back on August 4th. Any we did not use this trip will be thoughtfully used during the coming long year ahead!!
We are out and away about 2:00 from the intersection of Delta and the Hwy to Hotchkiss, to take us to Grand Junction to catch I-70 West. Traffic is light throughout the trip to Green River where monstrous rain and thunder clouds had congregated to greet us at 4:30!! No problem of a camp site at the State CG where we got an easy pull-thru #36. With threatening rain clouds all around we opted to sit at the campsite picnic table to reminisce of out great trip and the visiting with family there!
No way to describe the feelings of everyone within Jon and Patricia’s house except to say, so much Love and Joy of sharing the day, sharing the time, sharing remembrances with each other while we are there, is just too overwhelming to try expressing!! How Blessed Grandma and I are to have this family, and each of our other families, to share in this, our lives on earth!!! May God Bless each of you as He has Blessed us!!
It is now 6:40 this evening and the boomers are still at it as the heavy clouds continue their battles in the sky. They are not as angry as we have heard in different years in Colorado, and no rain has fallen during these two hours while we are here. In fact, hardly any boomers of any size, nor continuous rain fall has hampered our visit to these mountainous terrains of Colorado. As the boomers persist, will all of this change tonight??
And so we continue our journey home with the feeling of loneliness, but also with a feeling of how wonderful it is to have grandchildren with a sense of pride and a sense of determination to accomplish whatever they are destined to be in this life, in this world. Not all of this generation can be as fortunate. We sorrow for those but know not how to help! Everyone is not so fortunate nor gifted as others in this world. Compassion for them!
What did I say about the boomers about finished and that there is no rain with this? Back up Grandpa, what is to be is coming your way. Time to shut this down so not to anger the “who so evers“!! did you hear those last boomers, Grandpa?? Yeah, no problem, and I did not even have my hearing aides tuned in!!!!!!
Much Love to each and everyone in our many families!!! Grandma and Grandpa K.
Homebound --- Day 2 Monday August 25, 2014
The first long day of driving coming up this morning. We are up at 6:00 am. as we want to get to Heyburn, Idaho by this evening. That is 385 miles distance from Green River, Utah where we were Sunday night. No problem waking up in time although it is still dark outside … and inside the trailer too!! A quick breakfast, prepare the trailer for moving, and we are out and away by 7:00 am. for the long haul! The weather was pretty decent without any rain until reaching the Idaho border where a drizzle washed our rig for the next 20 miles. Sun is shining between broken cloud cover in Heyburn where we arrived at the campground by 2:00 pm. The traffic through most of the Salt Lake City corridor was kinda nasty but we made it through without a hitch. We even got to pass one rusty old pickup while all other traffic sped by us in ghostly fashion! Now you see it, now you don’t!! The longest stretch of driving seemed to be between Tremonton and Snowville, although it was just 40 miles. Too anxious to get there and get past this forlorn outpost, I guess!
We were surprised to find the Heyburn campground nearly full of campers on this day. We are there in plenty of time, so not a worry. Tomorrow our schedule is to camp at Farewell Bend north of Ontario, Oregon again, some 235 miles away. This is our favorite campground along the route, as we can sit along the Snake River and thrill in the beauty of this scenic area of river, the tall, but barren hills across the way, and the various bird species that rest on an island within the river. So peaceful and relaxing!! Both the Farewell Bend and the Green River campground areas are the hottest temperature places during the day and into the evenings, that one has to wonder if a different, cooler campsite within a reasonable distance exists. Maybe, but none as peaceful and scenic to our eyes, could possibly be found anywhere else!
Our trip today took us through many miles of desert country but even that is picturesque to see the many odd shapes and contours of the surrounding hills of rim rock tops and the eroded hills that stand so gracefully near to us and those off in the distance. The changing vistas keep us alert and entertained through otherwise dull country to other travelers. Unexpected farms are just around the next hill with us to wonder how they came to be and how those people can maintain in such isolated conditions. Where do they get the irrigation water to grow these crops in these drought appearing conditions? Then too, do they go to town more than once a month?
Tomorrow we are considering a detour trip through the countryside between Heyburn and Twin Falls as we will have extra time, and also to see and do something besides freeway driving. This side trip would only be an extra ½ hour of driving and about 15 miles farther, according to our Trips and Streets computer program. This route would also take us over a high bridge across the Snake River Gorge at Twin Falls, Idaho. Hopefully I can take some pictures along through there. At least the camera is in the front seat of the pickup and not in the trailer as tonight when we walked over to the river from our campgrounds. No pictures!! Maybe I will have to make a special walk in the morning to get those pictures missed today. The sun, if it does shine tomorrow will be in a better position than it was this evening! Something to be thankful for?? Stretch the imagination! Something good comes from any remote, un-thought-of idea!!
Enough blather tonight???!!!
Love and good cheer to each of you, Grandma and Grandpa K
Colorado Homebound Day 3 Tuesday, August 26, 2014
It dos not look like I have Internet reception this evening at Farewell Bend State CG located north of Ontario, Oregon, but it does not keep me from writing this email to you anyway. Sometime tomorrow I will get it sent, if not tonight!!
A real eventful day today! This was the first day of this trip we could sleep-in since we are only 235 miles from Farewell Bend CG where we were scheduled to stay this night. So of course we woke at 4:00 am. and could not get back to sleep again. Get up at 6:30 and get on around. This gave time to take pictures of the CG and the Snake River that wanders through this area. I took the camera with us down to the river this morning and the batteries too low to operate the camera. Other years I forgot to take the camera along so no pictures then either. Not to come up empty again this year, we returned to the trailer, loaded new batteries and returned. I got them, I got them!! How thrilled!! We got on the road by 8:00 after fueling the pickup and with the sun shining brightly at this time, whereas rain overnight left numerous puddles around for me to slosh in like a little kid! No! Grandma says that I have out-grown those temptations. Really??
We hade thought about a side trip around Twin Falls, Idaho to see the country along Hwy 30. That would have added considerable time to our driving, so that option discarded. By mid-morning we stopped at a rest area and found an item on the ground to add to our financial situation! Grandma says that is only a penny, how is that going to help anything? Oh, but the fact of finding money is surely to help, and maybe bring good luck! As we drove on through Mountain Home, Boise and Caldwell, I am not sure just how much luck that penny had brought us! Some 5 miles beyond Caldwell a driver passing us honked and pointed. What is that about? Then I saw shreds of something flying away from our trailer. No smoke as when other tires exploded for us in years past. So we slowed down, put on the flashing lights, pulled to the side of the highway. A ¼ mile ahead is a pull-out place to get out of the way of these drivers in a hurry. Limp along! Hey, we have paid AAA for such emergencies, call them! The lad is out in 15 minutes, had the spare tire mounted in 5 minutes and we are on our way again without me having to stress and strain, nor to have a heart attack like the husband of the Box Lady had a couple years back in a similar situation. He was younger than me! He died. I have too many things to accomplish yet, so, why take that chance! Jeff … this was the right front trailer tire and not the left rear tire as I thought might be a problem and had you look at. Really shredded the tire!! No hint of any problem when driving with it before stopping.
We are off and running again with 25 miles to the Oregon border, 25 more miles to Farewell Bend CG where the beautiful scenic beauty of the Brownlee Reservoir on this part of the Snake River is so overwhelmingly relaxing and enjoyable!! To sit and enjoy, plus reminiscence of the trip and the wonderful time we had with family in Colorado and with our son Bill that came to visit while we are there, and of all the help in projects the Colorado family gave me, was just unimaginably precious to me, to us!! The scheduled projects were accomplished in good form, in good time!! The scenic drives, and especially, the great times of just visiting with the family each day, each night, was more gracious and enjoyable than anything else that could be thought about!!
Readers of these emails may come to think I am exaggerating the wonderful time we have with family. Think not like that! Every word spoken/written is not over stated! Each of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are remarkably exceptional. We are so proud of each and everyone of them for what they have accomplished so far in life and of what their potential would and could bring!!
Until another day along this trip of ours, take care and enjoy the days we have, Don and Joan
p.s. One last night on the road this trip. Next email tomorrow (Aug 28) from home. 98* and too hot this afternoon (Aug 27) in Boardman, Oregon!
Colorado Trip 2014 Homebound Day 5 Thursday August 28, 2014
We are Home!! We are Home!! Home without incident other than a flat trailer tire that got itself blown to bits and pieces. Five days to make a 1170 mile trip back to home? Well we told the pickup before we left for Colorado on August 3rd that we were going to take it easy this trip. Guess it took us to heart! We took 5 days getting over to Hotchkiss and our daughter and families back there, so only reasonable to take that long getting home. Homebound we only had one day of 385 miles while the rest were 235 or just 200 miles a day. We get into our campground by noon on two of those days and figure we are too tired to tour the town or to tour the surroundings. Yes, short days of driving are just as tiring as longer days. All depends on what you set your sights on for the day!
The 100 mile Salt Lake City corridor is the most challenging for traffic; however, Boise is trying to out compete that! Lot of traffic, lot of road construction through Boise again this year with changes of traffic patterns to add to the confusion! Naturally, Idaho is known for miles and miles of single lane freeway roads because of construction areas. This year we went through nearly 30 miles on single lane while they worked an area of 20 feet in one spot but maybe 200 feet in another!! So it goes yearly. Get used to it!!
So we went 190 miles the first day, afternoon, to Green River, Utah, the second day 385 miles to Heyburn, Idaho. From there it is all down hill of 235 miles to Farewell Bend in Oregon, 200 miles to Boardman on the Columbia River and then just 200 miles to home on the 5th day. Home today really tired so left all the un-hitching and un-loading for tomorrow!
The peace and solitude of our backyard greatly appreciated this afternoon and evening. Would we make such a trip to Colorado another year? Yes, at just a drop of the eye-lash!! Such great people back there! We have 5 married and 4 left at home of Laurie’s children. Each as precious as the next! Plus we have 5 of our 10 great grandchildren there to add to the joy of it all!! Our trips to visit them reaches back to 1992 when we bought our first ever, new pickup and a camper. That was not much more than a 7 to 10 days for the complete roundtrip! That has been extended to nearly a month since my retirement in 1997. We have only missed a couple years since then! Know the road, the gas stops, the rest stops, the best campgrounds? For sure!! Also know the campgrounds that have the most unbearable traffic noise all night long!! The Boardman Marina Campground was a first for us (last night). A train track within a few hundred feet that has traffic all night not the best place, but surely not the worst. Campgrounds at Willard Bay in Utah along the Salt Lake City corridor, and Umatilla in Oregon near the bridge across the Columbia River to Kennewick, Washington, rank number one and two for that!! Freeway traffic I hear at night but the trains at Boardman? … only one last evening! Joan records all these noises, but my gifted hearing? I hear n-o-t-h-i-n-g!! What did you say, Joan?? Lot of times I do not hear what she says, and a lot of other times what I hear is not what she said! Good we can laugh about those times!!
Anyway, enough for tonight. Nearly time for supper. I probably should eat before I fall asleep at this … computer wheel!!
Love, Don and Joan