My father used to say, “A birthday is a celebration of your life.”

And he meant it.

I fondly remember dad letting me choose the restaurant for dinner on my tenth birthday. Those kinds of decisions were typically left to the adults. But since I had made it to double digits, that honor was bestowed upon me.

Now, most people pick fancy-schmancy restaurants to celebrate the day of their birth, but not me.

My birthday meal would be enjoyed at a truck stop in West Vienna.

That humble brick building at the junction of 146 and 37 was home to the Bob White Café.

I ordered a T-bone steak, French fries, and a chocolate shake. No, scratch that, it was a chocolate malt. And, yes, there is a difference.

Now let me tell you somethin’... a T-bone steak was a rare thing. And I’m not referring to the temperature of the meat (I actually enjoy my steak medium rare). We were not poor, but we also didn't live an extravagant lifestyle. So that steak wasn’t just supper... it was also my birthday gift.

And I savored every mouthwatering bite.

From that day forward, I've always made a point to remind my children and grandchildren that their birthdays are momentous occasions and should be celebrated accordingly.

How will you celebrate your life this year?

Better yet, what can you do to celebrate someone special on their big day?

Maybe I can meet you for dinner. The Bob White Café isn’t open anymore, but there’s gotta be another truck stop somewhere cookin’ up T-bones.

Be well. Stay well. Thanks for reading.

Francis Pass

PS – This month, I commemorate my 76th trip around the sun. Happy birthday to my fellow February babies.