A quick inspection of our kitchen reveals a home where many meals have been prepared. The upper cabinet doors hang like piano keys, some higher than others, as they have been reattached over the years. The hinges scream with horror as they are asked to open and close over and over again by hundreds of hands in the 92 seasons this kitchen has fed others. The lower cabinets sag from years of butt cheeks mounting them to have conversation and wait for a morsel from one of Cassaundra’s famous meals. To the right of the stove sits a spice rack with countless stories of meals gone wrong by some of the staff still learning to make a tasty meal for a teen.
The hood vent coughs during meal prep from congestion of fried foods, saucy dishes, and those that resulted in use of the fire extinguisher. The pans look as if they were recovered from a house fire with partially melted handles, charred sides, and cuts in the bottom of Teflon skillets resembling scars from a failed surgery. Two poles stand proudly in the center of the floor to serve as a reminder that at one time, cars parked here. Eminent domain claimed the room years ago when the home converted the garage to a kitchen. If the poles could talk, they would say they have observed thousands of meals, birthday parties, quinceanera’s, fights, family meetings, and life skills. They’ve been climbed, assaulted, painted, and punched more than a crime scene in a bad novel.
The sound of the large three door commercial refrigerator hiccups and then begins to purr from it’s newly charged Freon knowing it’s belly “hold the treasures that few have ever seen.” The food lives in captivity until meal prep begins knowing it will be plundered leaving only partial ingredients for what would have been a tasty meal. But despite the look of this failing kitchen, there is a feeling of warmth found beneath the drop ceiling with hundreds of blemishes from mop bucket handles over the years.
This kitchen has been a place of conversation, celebrations, stern admonishments, teaching young minds that a serving size is not the size of car tire and so many other occasions. On Monday, we open a new kitchen courtesy of HomeAid, Miss Georgia, and so many of our friends and neighbors. We will begin making new memories in a fully functional kitchen that so many have made possible. Today as the sun sets in the North Georgia Angel House kitchen, only the appliances know what the kitchen will look like on Monday. They are tucked away pridefully observing so much love and investment in what we do. We are humbled and so fortunate to have the support of so many who invest in what we do. It is through the goodness in others that we are able to care for so many.
If you wonder why some of us continue to work with children who often do not realize the difference in value and worth, it is because we do. We so appreciate your investment in us. It is priceless.