This week I ate lunch (which for me was really breakfast) at Rosy’s Diner. The restaurant can best be described as a “dive” in Upper Peninsula town of Escanaba. Rosy’s diner is the #1 rated restaurant on YELP for Escanaba (by the way, Krystal Jo’s on Fenton Road is #1 in Flint). Once I took Karla to Krystal Jo’s (did I mention we only went there once?), Karla wasn’t a fan. She would have rated Rosy’s similarly. Not me. I loved it.
Rosy, I learned, has owned the diner for 19 years. How did I acquire such news? Rosy talked nonstop. From the time we entered until the time we left, she shared her opinions in a loud booming voice. The entire restaurant (which seats probably 25 people, including those at the counter) also heard her various comments and life commentary. She was better than any late-night TV host. I learned that her feet hurt, the help was slow (from my vantage point I thought the other lady was working hard), and the guy eating at the counter, his wife and her “old man” are planning to go “side by siding” this weekend (which is some type of off road adventuring and has nothing to do with home repairs or having matching refrigerators). When a family with a couple teenagers came into the diner she said, “Where you been? You’ve only been here four times this year.” (There are a few people I’d like to say that to at my church, but I digress). She then turned to one of the teenagers and said, “Are you going to get a hot dog again? You know I can cook other things than dogs.” I learned plenty of other things in the time it took me to eat the eggs and biscuits and gravy that she prepared like “mama used to make.” When it was time for us to leave, we were told, “You ain’t been here if you haven’t signed my guestbook.” (Have you ever been to a restaurant where you signed a guestbook like you were at a wedding or funeral? Me neither.) I signed it.
Rosy has to be the reason her diner is #1 on YELP. It wasn’t for the décor. I doubt anything has changed in her 19 years of ownership. It wasn’t for the biscuits and gravy (her mama should have used a different recipe). But Rosy’s love for her diner and the people who entered through her door was evident. We were treated like long lost friends. Even though this troll lives below the Mackinaw bridge and had never been to Escanaba, I felt like Rosy was family. I would go back again and again just to see Rosy and her boisterous personality in action.
The church needs to be more like Rosy’s Diner and less like some fine dining establishment with table cloths and fancy dinner music. Warm is better than cool. Our love should be evident and contagious just like at Rosy’s place. Some of the things we get bent out of shape over (décor, worship style, and proper decorum), are not nearly as important as newcomers feeling less like visitors and more like long lost family returning home. It the church were more like Rosy’s Diner even strangers would feel like family; we’d tell our stories and want to hear theirs; we’d know each other and we’d be known; we’d be honest and say things like “Hey, where have you been” if you’ve had less than frequent attendance, and we’d probably all leave smelling like grease. But I don’t think anyone would mind.