Patrick Shelby

Patrick Shelby

Thursday is Thanksgiving and I know we’re all supposed to be especially grateful this time of the year. I have been unseasonably slow to get into the “Holiday Spirit” and am not sure why – perhaps, that is what bothers me most.

After receiving my first lower valley invite to be included as part of a family’s festivities a week ago, the nostalgia of turkey day memories which I carry in my back pocket, reminded me of treasured moments which should never be taken for granted.

For most people, giving thanks is more than just an annual gesture where friends and families come together in sharing a bounty of food, appetizing conversation, watching football or marathon movie binging.

I genuinely believe the Pilgrim traditions, along with the Native American spirit, encompasses an inherent level of thankfulness. This humble appreciation can be recognized as a colorful fabric uniting us to share in the warmth of giving.

And, part of that down-home hospitality is the ability to receive one’s kindhearted thoughtfulness as a gift. Acknowledging a sincere appreciation for the timely present is usually the immediate focus and then being able to recognize the true significance shortly, thereafter, could be deemed as a blessing.

For me, it resembled a borrowed, red and black checkered heated blanket which can plug into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter and be counted on as a first aid of traveling comfort when the time to pull over and rest weary eyes is required.

On Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. with clear road conditions, I drove our news van to cover Prosser High School’s state quarter final football game in Tacoma. About four-and one-half hours later, I arrived at Mount Tahoma Stadium.

It was about 11:30 p.m. when I finally departed the stadium for Sunnyside. Gas and a fast food bite were on the agenda while I warmed up with the heater running full blast and driving north on I-5. By 12:45 a.m., I was on the 18 east and able to feel my toes.

Ellensburg is where my gratefulness for that heated blanket came into play as I located an area where big rig trucks were parked and pulled off the road to rest my eyes. It was after 3:30 a.m. when I plugged the power adapter in, eased the seat back, covered up and fell asleep.

Waking up about 90-minutes later, I felt blessed to be back safely on the road with a freshly brewed cup of coffee and heading east toward Saturday’s sunrise.

As mile markers passed by on the roadside and my musing thoughts keeping pace, I was thankful for the upcoming turkey day awakening – looking forward to returning the borrowed offering and celebrating around the Thanksgiving Day table.

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email

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