Joe’s Diner


I’ve mentioned before that my family and I live in an area of the mid-Atlantic where the median income is $116,000. Yeah…we’re way out of our league. And we’re incredibly blessed to be able to live here.

We come from an area of California where the median income is $76,000. So it’s been a big change.

Everyone we know in our new area has AT LEAST a Master’s degree. My husband and I joke that we’re “bringing down the neighborhood.”

In life, our standards and wants for our family and kids are the same, but on paper it’s a whole different story.

Some of the things that have been hard for me to adjust to have been not having any thrift shops (I love thrift shopping), having only six (I counted) bookstores in our entire county, and not having any ‘mom and pop’ diners (especially Mexican food – oh, how we miss the Mexican food).

Today, after almost 4 years of living here, we finally tried the diner a few miles from our house. It’s appropriately named Joe’s Diner (you can’t make this stuff up). We haven’t ever gone because it’s always an after thought. Either we’re driving past when it’s packed (on Sundays), or we remember too late (it’s only open until 3pm).

But today we finally made the move.

It was SO GOOD. My kids loved it. They even finished their food, which doesn’t happen very often. For once, it felt like I was getting my money’s worth.

It actually felt like “home.” The place wasn’t fancy, but the people were super friendly. Even the owner was circulating and stopping by tables, and most people seemed to know him, and were glad to see him.

Nobody had on designer clothes, none of the women looked like they had just stepped out of the salon (including me), the men had on t-shirts with funny pictures or slogans on them…we fit right it.

Since we moved here, I’ve been looking for my “peeps” Don’t get me wrong, the people we’ve met are wonderful people, and we’ve formed some great friendships. But I always feel just a little on the outside.

It’s hard moving and starting over, especially when you don’t quite “feel it.” That’s when places like Joe’s Diner bring you back home to where everyone knows your name. If only for the moment, really save you.

So thanks to all the “mom and pop” business out there. That personal touch isn’t going to waste. You’re what keeps some of us going.


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