I have a few remaining duties at Kitchen Kettle Village. One is greeting the thousands of wonderful visitors who come into the Jam & Relish Kitchen to stock their pantries with Pickled Beets, Chow Chow and other Lancaster County goodies. Last week one of those guests rushed back into the room after making her purchase with wide eyes and said, “Aren’t you the face in the express wagon outside?”
Those express wagons are used by our loyal customers who buy many boxes of products and use the wagons to deliver them to their bus or car in the parking lot. My picture has been pasted on the seat of the wagon kindly asking them to return the wagons to the canning kitchen. Truth be told, children also use the wagons to take a ride when they’re close at hand. When I explained to this particular woman that yes, I am the face of the woman whose picture is in the wagon – and all kinds of other places around the Village for that matter – she anxiously told me how long she and her family have been coming to Lancaster County and to Kitchen Kettle in particular. It seems she brought her children years ago and now her grandchildren are some of those who enjoy riding in the wagons when they’re not in use otherwise.
People wonder why I still show up for work. If you’ve ever made something of your own, were lucky enough to have people buy it and enjoy it enough to come back and buy some more, you can appreciate how good it still feels when anyone buys a gallon of Chow Chow here at Kitchen Kettle. Is it any wonder that I continue to show up for work?
Best of all, day after day, dear ladies say “Thank you for starting this Village.” And I look up and quietly say to my belated and beloved husband, “Did you hear that one, Bob?” as I nod and give a very big, welcoming smile. Bob started this backyard jelly business after he saw my mother and me preserving food from our garden 60 years ago. Fortunately three children and two grandchildren have chosen to follow in our footsteps. I hope someday when they’re in their 80′s they too can say, “Is it any wonder I continue to show up for work?”