Monday, March 21, 2005

Death of a Bakery

Another monday morning. Its my job today, as usual, to take the five-year old son Jorgen to kindergarten. This is a task that I enjoy because its my opportunity to focus all of my attention on my "big boy."

Today Jorgen wanted to go out for a speacial treat. He was referring to our past ritual of stopping by Quality Bakery (mentioned earlier in this post and also here) for a donut on the way to kindergarten. Sadly, this came to end on February 14. After some thirty five years, the bakery closed.

We learned from the paper that the bakery would be closing, and Jorgen was very sad. He decided to draw a picture of himself opening the door to Quality Bakery with red hearts surrounding the door. In the picture, he was was crying. That morning we took the picture to the bakery and showed the ladies behind the counter, who had come to know us from our frequent visits. It brought tears to their eyes, and for the next two weeks that picture hung prominently on the wall over the cash register.

On Valentine's day of this year, the last day the store was open, my wife and I took the whole family to the bakery for a good-bye doughnut. The usual crowd was gathered: the well dressed church ladies having their the bible study, an elderly amputee wearing his usual overalls and "monsanto" farmer hat, and a middle aged daughter treating her mother to morning out: people we had come to recognize from our frequent visits, but whose names we had never tried to learn.

We sat at his favorite table near the window from which we could see any trains approaching from the east. Jorgen asked a lot of questions about why the bakery was closing, where the people who worked their would go.

Then he asked, "Dad, now where will we go in the mornings for our special treats?" At that moment it was clear to me that he enjoyed our time together in the mornings. It's not just about the donuts. I told him I didn't know where we would go, but that we would try lots of places until we found a new favorite place.

Since then, we've been to several coffee shops, but no place has yet replaced the old bakery in our hearts. There are no other donut shops in our town, and the closest one is in another town miles our of our way. We can buy Krispy Cremes at the BP gas station, but that's obviously not the experience we're after.

The search continues for our new early morning "special place." Tomorrow we'll get organized a little earlier and we'll try another coffee shop or restaurant. Maybe we'll find what we're searching for.

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