My friend and I stopped in for a carryout lunch yesterday at the Hills City Grill in Troy, Michigan. Familiar faces greeted us at the door. This is the famous old “Ram’s Horn” of Troy, where for decades everyone in the neighborhood met, and all of the customers knew each other. The name of the restaurant may have changed, but the atmosphere never did – thank God!
You know those people in your life who, you can go a year without seeing, and when you do see each other it’s as if it were just yesterday? That’s Lisa, and Debbie, and the others…..
These days, I’m a Registered Nurse in a busy ICU. But had it not been for those waitressing years during high school, goofing around with Lisa and Donna when we weren’t busy waiting tables, I wouldn’t have the skills I do now to carry three carryout water containers in one hand, two in the other, and use my foot to open the door. I also wouldn’t know how to manage my time during a busy shift, or how to personalize my care for each member of a family seated at a table (or surrounding a loved one in an ICU).
“I knew my Ram’s Horn waitressing skills would come in handy again some day!” I always tell people as I leave the kitchen of the ICU I work at.
Pandemics have a way of making you go back in time and appreciate things like – Debbie, Lisa, Suzy, Donna, and Chin. They have a way of making you remember where you started, who was by your side, the memories you share of those seasons in life with parents dying, the birth of new babies, and just the ups and downs as we were all trying to find our ways in life. That’s what we’re still doing – and sometimes, we get to catch up over burgers and lemonade.
Even my brother cherishes the days we worked together at the Palace Restaurant in Livonia, when we looked forward to the regular counter customers coming in for “the usual,” the Friday night fish fries, the lady who always wanted her eggs cooked separately, and her coffee microwaved extra hot, and the “oatmeal man” who liked two packets, double brown sugar, cream (not milk), and a cup of coffee – he was the kindest customer of every shift. I remember.
Those were some really good days. I learned a lot about life and friendship working at Ram’s Horn, and as I was reminded this week a few times – I made lifelong friends there that I’ll cherish forever.
This week, I’m thankful for the years I spent waitressing, and learning life’s most basic but necessary skills! More than just carrying multiple styrofoam cups – I learned the art of friendship, laughter, and servanthood. Ya can’t really get through life very well without those skills so, thank you, Ram’s Horn!
I love you Lisa, Suzy, Debbie, & Chin…..
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:25