It's a six foot IKEA bookshelf hauled from the dumpster, abandoned from a student who clearly has more than enough.
The neatly organized jars of beans and rice and grains sing to me, promising me that no one who walks though this door will go hungry. No matter what.
It reminds me of the metal shelves my grandfather brought home from work, still smelling faintly of grease and gasoline. He washed them down and dragged them in the house, wedging them into our tiny little kitchen. "Well, Frances, you got your pantry now. Go to town."
We went to box sales. To the Kroger when they did sales on cans of carrots and corn and green beans (but not peas. Never peas. The only thing my family has ever agreed on is that canned peas are gross). To the scratch and dent place for cereal and oatmeal and crackers.
I was always a bit nervous to have friends over. Will they think they're staying for supper? Do we have enough? Sometimes we went without, and I wanted no one to see that.
The pantry, those shelves, were magic. Even during the lean times, the times of no work and paying off my father's latest DUI and only washing my school uniform once a week because there just aren't enough quarters to go to the laundromat, there was enough.
"There's always enough to serve another seat at the table."
I didn't understand it as a young, embarassed child. How could there be enough?
I get it now. Where there is food, and love...there is always enough.
And now, with my fancy scrounged bookshelf pantry...if anyone walks through my door, you will not go hungry. There is enough.