The Beauty of my Day of Birth

Every year is so much sweeter than the last. My day of birth is more than just getting older. With each new day, I become richer with every breath that I take. I celebrated with my sister earlier today over a beautiful lunch. So precious is our time with family!!


Traveling Solo…



For the most part, I think it’s safe to say that many people travel with someone;  friends,companions,family,etc. However, I just celebrated my birthday by taking a mini-excursion to a beautiful place about 45 minutes from where I live. Understandably, you may be wondering, why my trip was so close by? Well, considering where I live, 45 minutes can take you surprisingly far enough to feel like you’ve actually gone some place. You see, my whole objective was to do something different; something I’ve never done before in commemoration of my very special day. Thankfully, God blessed me with another year to explore and enjoy. For this, I am forever grateful!

Mind you, I’ve gone to catch a movie by myself, gone to breakfast by myself, even attended a concert by myself in the past. I can almost see you, the reader, scratching your head in puzzlement as to why I’ve done all these things solo. Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of people to call on at the drop of a hat when I want to do something. Everyone is always busy with other things. I’ve concluded that if I wait for any one of these people to be available, I may never go anywhere. So, I took the plunge and went on a solo ‘get-away! Can I tell you? I had the best time! Of course, it would have been nice to have someone along to laugh with, dine with, and help me snap photos to capture all the surrounding beauty, but in my case, this was not an option. And it’s not a bad thing! Being alone, forced me to reach out and assert myself with perfect strangers.

Upon my arrival at this lavish hotel, I was checked in by the same wonderful customer service person by the name of Will, who made my reservation by phone. It was nice to put a face to the voice. The most refreshing thing was that Will was just as pleasant, helpful and professional in person, as he was when he initially took my reservation. He allowed me to get settled in my room. Once I re-emerged, Will was kind enough to show me around the grounds and took several photos of me out by the water and in the beautiful hotel lobby. He may not know it, but he helped me break the ice as far as asserting myself on this solo journey. As a result, I felt welcome, comfortable and special. If only this kind of outstanding customer service existed everywhere!

I had dinner in the lovely dining area of the hotel where I immediately observed a group of ladies across the room. I could tell they were definitely celebrating a special occasion as they were festively audible while doing so. From my cozy, quiet table for one, I was able to glean that it was definitely someone’s birthday in this group, but I couldn’t decipher which one. I made a promise to myself right then and there, that I was going to go over an introduce myself and find out who’s birthday it was. I braved the voice in my head telling me to sit back down and not embarrass myself. I confidently walked over, introduced myself, and inquired as to who the ‘birthday girl’ was. The lady of the hour was a beautiful mature woman that was celebrating her 76th year. She looked absolutely fantastic and I told her so! She quickly and fun-lovingly stated that she obviously had many more years on her than I did. I playfully returned that it was also my birthday and that the years were coming on much more quickly than I would like! We all just laughed and laughed. This group of ladies thought it was so awesome that I would walk over and do that! Inside my head I was thinking, “mission accomplished.” I had successfully asserted myself!

I was pleasantly surprised by the graciousness of others who had also chosen to escape to this paradise-like place in celebration of something. The next morning, I stepped out onto the private patio of my room and looked to my right. There was a sweet woman 2 doors down sitting on her patio absorbing the bright morning sun and listening to the latest tune that the birds were more than happy to sing her. We briefly introduced ourselves and shared the purpose of our stay at this marvelous place. She was there celebrating her 46th wedding anniversary with her husband. I congratulated her and disclosed that I was there celebrating my birthday. She asked me which birthday I was celebrating? I felt no invasive nature intention behind the question; only genuine interest and sincerity. So, I couldn’t help but concede my age to her. I also asked her if she would mind snapping a photo of me on the patio being that I was alone. This woman was so wonderful and was more than happy to do so. We chatted briefly about the beauty of the day, then said our goodbyes as I set off to take a walk around the grounds.

Honestly, I have no regrets about this adventure….well, except for one. I just wish I would’ve planned better and scheduled my celebration for more than just 1 day and one night. I left there definitely needing more of the peace and tranquility that surrounds that lovely place. I’m already thinking of where my next excursion will be. I think I will definitely venture further out. Maybe I’ll fly some place, now that I’ve conquered the sometimes daunting task of ‘traveling solo’. Any suggestions? What are some places you think would be great to travel to? Where would you suggest for someone traveling alone? Or maybe you don’t recommend traveling alone? Aside from the obvious, do you, the reader, feel there are any advantages/disadvantages of traveling alone? If so, what are they? Please share your thoughts, whether you are in favor of traveling ‘solo’ or not.


By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Images: Free Google Images/The Inn on the Lake Photo Gallery


In Good Company



Have you ever come across someone you just seem to click with? You say something first, then the other person chimes in and says that they were just thinking the exact same thing. How about when you are pondering whether or not to give a friend a call and the next thing you know, your phone is ringing and who is on the other end? That friend who was so heavy on your mind. It’s like the two of you have some kind of telepathic connection. You are kindred spirits. This kind of connection doesn’t come in droves, and that’s probably a good thing. Can you imagine having a strong link like this with many? Somehow, I don’t know if the connections would be as sacred as that with that one key person who seems to understand you no matter what is going on in your life. Please correct me if I’m wrong. The uniqueness of the bond is what helps to create that special relationship where you can commit your undivided attention.You can share your deepest thoughts with the ease of knowing that your secrets are safe with this person.


On Sunday June 1st, I got an early start on the celebration of “me”. Yes, my birthday is quickly approaching…this Sunday June 8th to be exact. I share the exact same birth date with a mutual friend of mine and my sister. Normally, we all celebrate over dinner together almost every year. However, my sister canceled due to a conflicting schedule. I thought to myself, it sure would be nice if the party could still go on. After all, it was our birthday. I didn’t want to present the idea because I just felt it might be overstepping my bounds. You see, my sister and this person were friends first. Yet, her and I have always clicked and found that we have a lot in common and think the same way about a lot of things. Nonetheless, I opted to leave the envelope where it was and not push it.


A couple days after my sister canceled our gathering, I got an instant message from our friend. She wanted to know how I felt about keeping the plan to get together for a pre-birthday celebration in the name of us. I quickly accepted and was pleasantly surprised that once again, we were on the same page. We met for dinner at LongHorn’s Steak House. At first, we were a little taken aback because the place was almost empty. We wondered where everyone was. We stood out in the lobby and debated where we would go next if we did leave. Finally, we decided to stay there and give the place a chance since it was where we had already agreed to go. It certainly was beautiful inside and out and had an inviting ambiance that could not be ignored, even though the place was scarce at the moment.


I’m thrilled to say that the evening was a huge success. But was that any surprise? Hardly. We ate great food, we laughed, we sipped lovely berry filled Sangria wine. We brought our like-minds successfully to the table….literally. We must have sat there talking for hours, but the greatest thing was that neither of us had to rush off to be some place else. We had no curfew and had no other place to be accept right there where we were, enjoying great food, outstanding service, but most importantly, we were in good company.


By Sylvia Porter-Hall


September 2020

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