I have fallen into sentimental maple syrup and I can’t get up (someone help me please!). As I write this, I’m remembering my sister. Her name was Wendy.

I have fallen into sentimental maple syrup and I can’t get up (someone help me please!). As I write this, I’m remembering my sister. Her name was Wendy. Before she passed away in 1997 I was always sentimental about Wendy’s fast food restaurant, simply because it had her name, not to mention the square burgers – and what about that fantastic salad bar they used to have back in the ’80s? Now, that was a vegetarian’s dream.

 As I have become even more sentimental these days, you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon a local restaurant with her name. It’s called Wendy’s Corner Café. It’s just the kind of local joint I’d recommend any day of the week.

It all began one Saturday morning when I called my dad and asked him if he would go with me to run errands. I picked him up, and we headed toward Blue Springs because the closest shoe repair shop at the time was located there. The repairman said he would have my shoes fixed in about an hour. As we left the shoe shop and back to Missouri 7, we drove south just past the Wendy’s fast food restaurant at Vesper, and I saw a sign with green lettering that said “Wendy’s Corner Café.”  It was calling me to the corner of Walnut and 7 as I stared at the sign from my driver’s seat. “Why hadn’t I seen this place before?” I thought. 

I asked – or more like told my dad – we should stop there.

“We could get breakfast,” I said.

We pulled in. Inside I was smiling. My sister loved hometown restaurants. You know, the kind that only the locals know about. We walked in and were seated near the door. The décor was American. Like my dad and me, the people were ordinary, hard-working families. This is the kind of place my gramps, who was a farmer, fisherman and hunter, would have liked too. I couldn’t help but reminisce, thinking about all of the good times with my sister and grandpa, and that this place with her name somehow felt like home.

The pancakes, eggs and toast were comforting. But more than that, the atmosphere was homey, and sharing it with my dad made it even more special. I could wear my Royals cap and jeans and see my sister sitting across from me chatting about her dreams and how we’d open a business of our own someday, just like this place.

Do you ever go to a particular restaurant just because it feels good? Pause for a moment this weekend. Stop by Wendy’s Corner Café, not only for home-style cooking but for local food with hotcakes and sentimental syrup that warms the heart.