Our hearts are filled with gratitude for all of the blessings we share with those we love

SPOKESMAN FILE PHOTO - We give thanks this holiday season for the bounty we are blessed withWe count family and friends among our most precious gifts, delighting in the simple pleasures of laughter and love, of quiet acts of kindness, of smiles and handshakes and greetings happily shared.

We are in awe of the bounty and beauty of the seasons. And we are overcome by the pure joy of a walk in the woods, a chance to row on the river or run through Memorial Park.

As we gather in the spirit of Thanksgiving this week, our hearts are filled with gratitude for all of the blessings of lives lived in this beautiful and wondrous place called Wilsonville.

— The Spokesman

Kay JewettThanksgiving is always a good time to stop and reflect on things we should be thankful for. Having lived in another country for a while, I realize how very fortunate I am to live in this one. We are blessed with electricity, running water, food, and technology. We have the freedom to choose what kind of life we will strive for. In addition, we have the everyday conveniences of washing machines, air conditioners, furnaces, cars and an abundance of other things that are easy to take for granted. My family and I have access to modern medicine and the freedom to attend the church of our choice without being persecuted. In some ways, we are not as safe as we once were, but we can be grateful that we are not caught in the vise of war and starvation that afflict so many people around the world.

We are indeed blessed.

— Kay Jewett

Clara HowellWe all know what it's like: the ritual, the routine. Rising with the sun and grabbing a large, piping hot Americano (pick your poison) before heading to work. While I love my job and the community I work and live in, I am thankful for the opportunity to travel. I believe in the importance of a mental reset. It's my goal to breathe in nature's scent, slow down, explore our world's beauty and experience cultures other than my own. So this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the legs that carry me, the heart that guides me and the people who accompany me.

— Clara Howell is a reporter for the West Linn Tidings and the Wilsonville Spokesman

I try to live my life in gratitude. I'm thankful for a job I enjoy, and for energetic, committed co-workers. I'm grateful for good health and my recent recovery from a partially detached retina. I'm thankful for a loving family that supports me, where each member has exciting new purposes of their own. I'm grateful for an active church life that involves and engages all my family members. And I'm thankful to live in an era of prosperity, a time of peace and in a country that gives people the opportunity to pursue happiness."

— Miles Vance is the sports editor for the West Linn Tidings and Lake Oswego Review and Prep Sports Editor for Pamplin Media Group

This year I'm thankful for the opportunity to positively change the lives of our community through education.  As a native of Clackamas County and the first person in my family to complete college, I am grateful for the opportunities this community provided me.  As the new President of Clackamas Community College, I know the work we do has a positive impact on our students, our businesses and the Wilsonville community."

— Dr. Tim Cook, Clackamas Community

College President 

Gratitude, like grief, comes in waves. I recall grieving the loss of a job, but am grateful that what followed was a new direction leading to a rewarding professional career, sustained for a period of over 30 years. I am saddened by a difficult situation, but am grateful for the insight and wisdom born of that challenge. My greatest teachers have been the most difficult people in my life. I have learned, over a long lifetime, to value all of it ... everything that makes up the slaw of life. It is through contrast that full appreciation for our blessings is achieved."

— Rosalyn Kliot,


Tanner RussI want convey my gratitude for being able to write about sports for various communities. Before taking on the sports reporter positions for the Wilsonville Spokesman, the Molalla Pioneer, and the Canby Herald, I worked in a job that deadened me inside. To do what I do now, talk to the kids, coaches, and people that support them, and write about them is a true pleasure.  To my coworkers, my readers, and the people I've spoken with over the past year, I'm sincerely grateful for this opportunity.

— Tanner Russ, Wilsonville Spokesman

sports editor

David HawbeckerSince I just turned 80 a few months ago I am most thankful that I am still alive, my physical and mental health still good. I view life as an ongoing drama. I look forward to what is ahead and, at least in my lifetime, experiencing how this drama continues to unfold. I grew up in an idyllic, post WWII setting, one in which most around me looked the same, one needn't lock their doors and my friends saw the future as hopeful and positive. Definitely times have changed, but I continue to be thankful for those young people around me who work to make the world a better place.

— David Hawbecker

Betty ReynoldsI remain grateful for collective support of public education and kids in West Linn and Wilsonville.  From educators, to families and students, to the extended community — it truly is a group effort and is deeply appreciated.

— Betty Reynolds,

West Linn-Wilsonville

School Board

Leslie Pugmire HoleThis holiday season I am thankful for dumb luck and good choices. As my children inch their way into adulthood I am increasingly struck by what great human beings they are. And while I'd like to think this is largely because of wise parenting choices I made while raising them, I am well aware it is equally due to some lucky breaks and inherent personality traits my children possess. Nonetheless, as they grow older - and wiser - they seek me out more and more for my company and wisdom and for that I am eternally grateful (and perhaps undeserving).

— Leslie Pugmire Hole is editor of the Wilsonville Spokesman

Steve Van WechelI'm thankful that I live in a great country. Since 1776 we've made lot of laws for improvement - and we still have problems - but that can't negate the greatness for which we are responsible. Considering the foreign aid we've given other countries, combined with our own changes, what other country can compete with the good that we do in the world. Why are foreign nationals still flocking to come to this country — that some think is so 'bad'? Add great friends, natural beauty, and a strong religious belief — I can't think of a better place to live!

— Steve Van Wechel,

Wilsonville-Boones Ferry

Historical Society President

Laurie LaJoie BishopThe Rotary Club of Wilsonville is thankful to the people of our generous city for helping to save the lives of almost 6,000 children around the world with your donations at the Summer Concert Series. By dropping a few dollars in the collection buckets during the July and August concerts, each of you has played a role in ending polio worldwide. Thank you Wilsonville, and see you next summer!

— Laura LaJoie Bishop,

Rotary Club of

Wilsonville President

Patrick MaleeThis year, along with the usual staples like family, friends and good health, I find myself feeling thankful for silver linings.

2018 has been a strange and at times difficult year for me, both personally and professionally. I covered some stories that I wanted to forget as soon as I wrote them (how crime reporters do it, I don't know), and felt helpless as some close family members and friends battled illnesses. In January, it felt as though the sky was literally falling on me when a maintenance worker plunged through my bedroom ceiling.

But let's get back to those silver linings. No matter what turmoil was going on at work (it's a difficult time to be a journalist, for many reasons), I could always count on support, inspiration and good humor from my amazing colleagues. Similarly, I'm thankful every day for the wonderful family and friends who bolster me through good times and bad. And let's admit it: now that my ceiling is (mostly) fixed, it's hard not to laugh at the memory.

Time doesn't heal wounds, but with a healthy dose of perspective you can find those silver linings that make life's pitfalls easier to deal with. So I'm thankful for all of the silver linings in my life, and for better days ahead.

— Patrick Malee, Wilsonville Spokesman assistant editor

I'm thankful to Wilsonville resident and Rotarian Jake McMichael, who pulled out all the stops to support in so many ways our fellow Rotarian Danny with his major health challenge this year. Jake is the true definition of a neighbor, friend and colleague.

Diane Saunders,

Wilsonville Rotarian and staff member at Oregon Tech

Robert WurpesLike many of us, I am thankful for my family and for a supportive wife. Being a mom and police wife is no easy task.  As chief I am thankful for the support of the PD staff, city government and the community — it wouldn't work without you all. Lastly I'm thankful for running water. During my tour in the Middle East, we went without for months — still amazed by it. Happy Holidays!

Robert Wurpes,

Wilsonville police chief

Erica BehlerI am a big believer in the little things, and how they add up to create a life. After all, it is not always grand vacations and we certainly cannot lead a grateful or examined life if we are always just waiting around for the light at the end of the tunnel. This year I am grateful for the little treasures; long hikes with friends, sleepy Sunday mornings with my dog, an excellent cup of coffee, phone conversations with my parents who live in New York, watching the seasons change... okay, okay, and maybe a trip or two to the mountain.

Erica Behler,

Wilsonville Parks and

Recreation Coordinator

Warren EasleyThe air is crisp and cool, my brown lawn is suddenly emerald green, and the maples are in their russet, gold, and yellow glory. Twenty-three years ago our family motored through Oregon on an epic West Coast vacation, and my wife and I made a mental note that this area would be a great place to live if the fates allowed. Well, they did, with a job offer that came out of the blue! We quickly found that love of place runs deep here. No wonder. Where else on this planet can you hike in the high desert, ski on a volcano, raft a river, and traverse the coast, all within a day's drive? So, enjoy the holidays my fellow Oregonians and savor the fact that you live in a very special place.

Warren Easley,

Wilsonville resident

and author

It seems that as we age, pining for the "good 'ole days" is as unavoidable a symptom of the human experience as death and taxes.

If it's a time in history or moment we hold dear, we often wish we could relive the best times and forget the worst. For me, my college years is that blissful time capsule and I spent a few post-college years wishing I could go back while my life stagnated.

Over the last year or so, I've switched focus from the past to the future. And, after a whirlwind of change, I'm happy with where I'm at.

So, I'm thankful for the good 'ole days, but just as much, I'm thankful for the future that change can coalesce.

Corey Buchanan,

Wilsonville Spokesman reporter

Kristin AkervallI am thankful for an engaged and caring community and for the many thoughtful people that give their time, energy, and knowledge to serving our community. Their leadership takes many forms, but the impact felt because of their collective investment is significant.

I am thankful for a beautiful environment that continually amazes and inspires me.

And this Thanksgiving I am also thankful for opportunities to learn. I am thankful for my friends, family, and colleagues whose gracious patience give space for this inquiry, and encouragement and support spurs continued growth.

Kristin Akervall,

city councilor

Jack RocheI am grateful to live in Wilsonville, where so many people are kind and thoughtful and invested in our community. I am thankful to go to a school like Wilsonville High School, where the teachers are nothing short of amazing and the overall experience has been awesome. I am thankful for my family, even my parents... and for still being able to give all of my grandparents a hug this holiday season... that is a true blessing! At the same time, I am excited for what I hope will be another white winter, filled with snow, ice, rain and sleet, Christmas music, and lots of holiday traditions along with some goodies to eat too. I am thankful for all of my friends, and for everything they do to add so many fun moments to my life. I look forward to everything ahead! Mostly, I am thankful to be alive and healthy and happy, with so much to look forward to this season and in the years ahead. Go Cats!

— Jack Roche,

Wilsonville High

School senior

TarmyTo me, the holidays represent a time for family, love and the spirit of giving to those in need. The holidays are a great time to tell those dear to your heart how much they truly mean to you. But it is also a time of realization, often times it has many of us thinking, 'Why do we not treat each other with the same amount of love and respect during the other times of the year?'

Nonetheless, in my eyes, it is a time of happiness and joy, so go out and have some fun with the people you love!

Patrick Tarmy,

Wilsonville High School senior

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