Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series by Patricia Yarberry Allen, WVFC’s publisher, as she drives south on an unexpected  journey home for Thanksgiving.


Road trips across the American landscape are an important part of the 21st century romance of Thanksgiving as fragmented families sacrifice to make the family whole for at least one day a year.

The husband and I left New York City this morning at 3:40am for a long drive South and West to Kentucky.  We will drive 810 miles today across New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia and then into and across Kentucky down to the South Central part of the state.

Dawn is trying to penetrate the depression gray skies as we move onto Highway 70 West at 6:30am, still in Maryland. There is a blue pick-up truck of ancient vintage in front of us with two German Shepherds in the back along with a rifle visible through the rear cab window.  Yup. We are heading home.

Gas is down to 1.89 a gallon at our first pit stop and that makes the husband quite jolly…. that along with the sticky cinnamon roll and two coffees.

I owe the husband big time for this trip.  Funny how marriages often offer a spouse the chance to be a hero.  We were to spend Thanksgiving with his family in Michigan until Mommie became very ill weeks ago. She is now in a nursing home for the last 7 days.  She needed us for this time and this holiday and my Ulysses gave me this gift of Thanksgiving Day with Mommie instead of being with his family at this time.

I did not choose to call the husband, Ulysses by accident.  We will arrive home late this Wednesday afternoon.  There is some last minute shopping to do then my sons and daughter in law arrive in early evening.  Tomorrow we will prepare dinner for Mommie and family.  On Friday morning we leave at the crack of dawn for the second leg of the Odyssey.  We will drive 8 hours north to Michigan, 470 miles to reconnect for a day with our Michigan family.  We leave Michigan for New York on Saturday for another 12 hour drive.  Four days, 32 hours on the road, 1,900 miles.

We leave home to return home.  The arc of this great epic never changes.  Only the details.

Dr. Pat Allen

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