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Journal Writing Project Part of the family at Judy's

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in Journal Student Writing Project

Beeeep! The cash register angrily tells me that I hit the wrong button.

Riiing! "Lenora, can you grab the phone for me?" I ask.

"Can we have some more water?" a customer at table three asks.

The shuffling of chairs, frying of fish on a Friday night, and the running of water complete the scene at Judy's Country Kitchen on any given Friday night. This is my place of employment since the beginning of my tenth grade year. I have moved from dishwasher to waitress, acquiring a certificate in "toast coordinator" and "shake/malt creator" somewhere along the way.

However, there is something about this place that makes it more than just an eating establishment. It is not just a restaurant in Peterson that has the same retired people coming in to eat breakfast everyday. And to the average person, it may appear to be only this. Just a small place to get lunch when you peddle through Peterson. The smallness and intimateness convinces many that it is "quaint." But for me, it is not "quaint." It is a large, motley family. People from all walks of life congregating here, sharing life's stories, sorrows, and silly situations. Not unlike the theme song from the TV show "Cheers," it is a place where everybody knows your name.

And while small town restaurants do not offer all the variety that can be found in larger cities, the fancy establishments which are recommended in culinary journals do not offer what is found here. The waitresses ask about your family, your morning, and your weekend plans. If you don't come, we notice, and if you have stories, we listen. There are few things I enjoy more than having Donald Boyum say hello or have Annika Ekern, 6, ask me if I had seen the Rushford-Peterson One-Act Play yet. There is an indescribable friendliness and comfortableness that creates this unique atmosphere.

In a few months, I will be graduating and, once summer finishes, going to Bethel University in St. Paul. The Twin Cities will give me the chance to experience things I have never seen in SE Minnesota. I want to thank everyone at Judy's for becoming part of my family over the last couple years. What I have here can be found no where else.

Samantha Stocker is a student at Lanesboro High School. She is one of 8 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its thirteenth year.

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