Baker’s Dozen !

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Mother hen with her brood of ducklings at one of Kansas City’s iconic locations, Loose Park. Watching ducklings or goslings (baby geese) follow their moms around a pond or lake is pure joy!

The babies don’t stray far from mom, but if one gets the idea to lag behind a bit too far, the parental command is given to get back in the group and pronto.

I named this post after what used to be common in the donut world. Years ago when you went to fetch a dozen donuts for the office or family, many shops would include a thirteenth donut which is how the term Baker’s Dozen became known in America. I don’t buy donuts very often, but in talking with people who do they only get twelve and are usually surprised to learn about some baker’s generosity. It was a really smart marketing idea as the shops which gave out an extra donut were usually the busiest.

Actually, there are several theories as to how this term and and extra donut came about and it didn’t involve donuts at all. Do some research and learn when and where this practice was born. Too bad it isn’t done very much today…not that folks need donuts in the first place. However, it’s always fun to get a little extra for no additional cost. As for mom and her ducklings, thirteen is pretty common. I wonder where dad (called a drake) flew off to! He’s probably looking for the generous donut shop!

Porches

B & W Porches

If you could see the farthest porch, it is about twelve houses away from the vantage point where I took this image. These bungalow style ranch houses were built in the late 1920s to early 1930s. Aside from the exact arrangement of each porch in-line with the next for an entire block, the sizes and shapes of these homes were all very similar; the main differences being exterior accents. Each house had a shared driveway between the next home to get to the single car detached garages.

Life was quite a bit simpler in those days and incomes were modest, but comparable. These houses were considered the newest thing in home building as urban began its spread to suburban…hardly by today’s standards. There have been many changes over the years in neighborhoods such as this one. Once considered up and coming, they have been demoted to the lower income class.

The one thing that hasn’t changed are the porches. Back in the days when air conditioning wasn’t invented, people took to the porches to relax in the evenings and weekends, and there was a great deal of waving, swing rocking and talking with one another. Today, these porches still become places of fellowship, even with interior air conditioning. Sometimes the closeness can be disturbing depending on the neighbors, but for the most part these ninety year old porches serve the same purpose.

They create space for human interaction. The separation so prevalent today with suburban houses built further apart, where the vehicles are garaged and the cars pull in and out with the push of a button, neighbors may not be seen for weeks!

Perhaps we need more porches closer together. Grab a cold glass of iced tea, rock on the swing with a friend or family member and relax. Summer is just around the corner.