One thing I have always wanted to do in my decades of adulthood is return to places of my youth that bring me joy. This evening, as I drove four hours from my hometown across I-64 and down I-81, I couldn’t wait to arrive at my final destination: southwestern Virginia.
Although I was here to present at a conference, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to travel down memory lane. I spent four years in this part of the state, learning and growing, earning my Bachelor of Science degree. During that time, I met the most amazing people – many of whom I still consider close friends to this day! I was flooded with memories as I drove the long corridor in between valleys and hills; this felt like coming home.
As I approached my final destination, the name of a local restaurant caught my eye. Macado’s! I immediately pulled over and went inside.
Just entering the restaurant made me smile, thinking of my Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sisters and all the good times we had, sharing a meal and catching up. So much laughter would ring in the air when I was with my sisters! We wore our letters with pride and made our way to Macado’s quite often.
Macado’s makes everyone smile. 🙂
I sat in my booth alone, but never once felt lonely, surrounded by memories that filled my heart with joy. My waiter was friendly, advising me to order the fish tacos when I asked for a suggestion. He was young, much younger than I, and I pondered what his life was like working as a waiter on a Sunday night in a college town.
When it came time to pay my bill, the words of my sorority’s creed came to mind:
“To realize that within our grasp, in Zeta Tau Alpha, lies the opportunity to learn those things which will ever enrich and ennoble our lives; to be true to ourselves, and to those within and without our circle; to think in terms of all mankind and our service in the world…”
It was in the spirit of my sisterhood that I left the waiter this note and tip:
The note says:
“Thanks for being an awesome waiter! 21 years ago, I would enjoy meals at Macado’s with my ZTA sorority sisters – this visit brought back memories and made my heart smile. 🙂 I know waiters don’t make much money (esp. on a Sunday night!) So please enjoy this tip of 100% for the 100% joy you shared with me tonight.”
I left the restaurant with a smile on my face for the rest of the evening. I also caught up with two of my sorority sisters on Facebook later that night, working out details on how we could see each other on the journey back.
When I joined ZTA decades ago, I couldn’t imagine that a group of girls who were essentially strangers would become some of my closest friends. It’s true what they say – Sisterhood is Forever. I’m so happy I could reflect on all the happy times I shared with these ladies and take an opportunity to pay-it-forward to another college student in return!