Written by Terry L. Sumerlin

Generally, when it comes to long distance travel, air is preferred to ground because it gets a person there and back quicker and with less wasted time. However, since my travel took me to Malvern, Arkansas and Lancaster, Texas for two weeks of speaking, I decided to drive. It providedrepparttar familiarity of my own car rather than someone’s rental, and gave merepparttar 136919 leisure time to enjoyrepparttar 136920 landscape andrepparttar 136921 roadside stops. It was a nice 1100 mile trip.

Duringrepparttar 136922 time away I had opportunity, thanks to many very thoughtful friends, to experience all types of eateries – fine dining, family dining, home cooking, fast food and mom-and-pop. Because I ate so much, Sherry thinks it was probably a ten-pound trip; and that I came home a much bigger speaker than when I left.

The most interesting mom-and-pop restaurant was in Malvern. I entered a fifty-year-old grocery, intent on buying a cheap camera. Inrepparttar 136923 back was a small café. I couldn’t resist taking a seat, ordering a country breakfast and listening to small town conversation. It was vintage main street America.

Lancaster gets my vote, though, forrepparttar 136924 most amusing dining experience ofrepparttar 136925 trip. I walked into a Whataburger, determined to get something light for lunch. I had been eating very heavy evening meals, and had another dinner engagement that evening. “I’ll have a Whataburger, Jr. Meal,” I toldrepparttar 136926 young lady. I felt real good aboutrepparttar 136927 “Jr.” part. “Would you like to Whatasize that?” she asked. I couldn’t help it. I laughed out loud.

Mindfulness and Birthdays: Surprising Moments

Written by Maya Talisman Frost

The first week of May is a big birthday time for my family. My husband's birthday is May 3rd, and my oldest daughter's is May 6th.

This convergence seemed almost too good to be truerepparttar week that Taeko was born. We were living in rural Japan, and it was Golden Week, a period of several national holidays that generally coincides withrepparttar 136918 magnificent display of cherry trees in bloom.

Back in 1986, on May 3rd we celebrated Tom's 23rd birthday. May 5th is Children's Day in Japan, with colorful koi nobori (fish flags) flying from posts in every neighborhood and children participating in greatly anticipated festivities. How perfect that I went into labor on that day of celebration ofrepparttar 136919 joy of childhood.

Taeko was born at 1:00 am on May 6th, and as she settled into my arms and gazed out towardrepparttar 136920 open window on her first sunny morning, a gentle breeze picked up a few pink cherry petals fromrepparttar 136921 tree right outside and scattered them over her beautiful rosy face.

I will never forget it as long as I live.

As we get older, our birthdays seem to lose their luster. I know many people who prefer to ignore their birthdays altogether.

I understand and respectrepparttar 136922 shift toward fewer gifts and less hoopla, but I think it is a shame to ignorerepparttar 136923 opportunity for mindful reflection. We should view birthdays as prized reminders to connect and celebrate.

Sharing your birthday with others becomes less about unwrapping presents and murmuring "You shouldn't have!" and more about laughing with your loved ones aboutrepparttar 136924 milestones you've all navigated overrepparttar 136925 years.

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