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A Baker’s Dozen

A Baker’s Dozen

Susan Henderson

A baker’s dozen

Against all odds, 13 has always been my lucky number.

As a child, you are always asked your favorite color and number. I chose sky blue and 13.

Did you know buildings often do not have a 13th floor? Owners have trouble renting on the 13th floor as residents are afraid they are inviting bad luck if they live there.

Liking the much-dreaded number 13, is all part of other qualities I have: I often root for the underdog, I love odd numbers in design and I am drawn to the quirky odd-ball in the room.

I even recall my mother proudly telling us we were traveling on a very lucky day: Friday the 13th. In retrospect, maybe no one wants to fly on that day so there is more flight availability?

But, last week I found a letter dated 1979 from my long-passed Grandfather. It sheds light on why maybe 13 is lucky for me.

I am the 13th grandchild on my mother's side of the family. And so, my Grandfather wrote this on the eve of my 13th year:

"My dear 'Black-Eyed' Susan,

...The number 13, the number of the year you will start on your birthday is supposed to an unlucky number, but not so in our family.

It was in 1914, the 13th day of the month, and the 13th week of the year and a number of other thirteens mixed in that, that your great grandfather (my father) then in command of the first Empress of Britain won what was called the ‘Blue Ribbon of the Atlantic’ for making the fastest crossing of the north Atlantic Ocean from England to Canada.

Something else about thirteen: As you well know, a dozen of anything is 12, but when somebody says they are giving you a ‘baker’s dozen’ they give you 13 of whatever it is.I don’t know how this started, but I once asked, “why 13?”

The reply: “just a little extra”.

Susie, that is why you and your sister, Kathy, the little girls of my little girl, are to me.

'Just something extra' and always will be.

Much love to you all at 614 Belmont.

G’dad."

So, with this discovery, I am going to stamp 13 on my next pendant...to bring me luck, to celebrate my family history and to remember my grandfather who thought of me as “his baker’s dozen.”



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