Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Old Friends


This lazy or completely comfy, (depends on your point of view,) fellow is P.B. Biorn. Or, Peeb for short. Sometimes, Mr. Peeb. Often, simply Bear. Yes, that's a recent photo of him. Yes, that's my bed. Which begs the question, "Are you kidding me? A woman over 50 sleeps with a bear in her bed every night?! What's up with that?!"

To that I counter with this observation: A great many women sleep each night with a bear in her bed...only it's shaped like a cranky, monosyllabic man. And, tell me, does that seem better to you? More usual perhaps, but certainly not better.

But, I digress...

Michael does not mind that Peeb is there. He didn't even comment about it when we first started sleeping together. I'm not certain we even had much talk about it. And, that was probably one of those invisible threads that began to bind us together as a couple. Another reason why he is My Beloved...he understands these things.

What I do know is this...Peeb has traveled everywhere with me. I may forsake an extra pair of shoes when I go on a trip to make space for him in my luggage. Shoes I can do without, but I find it hard to sleep without him there. I'll explain in a bit.

Peeb is better traveled than Paddington Bear. Really. He's an international jet-setter. He's gone to England, Russia, Bermuda, Los Cabos, Arizona, Seattle, Ocean City, (being a very uncomplicated sort, he likes it there very much and has returned several times,) Duck, Topsail Island, Naples (not Italy sadly,) Philly, Chicago, Kiawah Island, Negril, San Antonio, and shortly he will be on a cruise through the Caribbean Islands.

Peeb, is a product of a huge marketing campaign in 1979. That was the year that Pot Bellied Bears hit the toy market. They were a hit; like Cabbage Patch Dolls, these came with an adoption certificate. You named your bear and it had a birth date...all that clever little stuff that's supposed to anneal a toy to your side.

Doog and I were married in 1979. In October. And, it was his goal to make our first Christmas together, echo the kinds of Christmas extravaganzas he was used to from him mother and father. Doog's mother used to make it look as though Macy's had blown up in their house on Christmas morning; I mean gifts EVERYWHERE. And, I'm not talking little things, either, we're talking major gifts.

At my home, Christmas morning was about one, maybe two in a good year, big gifts. Always a book or two of my choosing. And, some underwear, (Yippee,) and a stocking. The bulk of the stocking since Nanny, the world's meanest woman was from the Old Country, had an orange in the toe, and lots of nuts, (Yippee Again,) and some candy... a few things from Reed's Drug Store. For a kid, this was not the stuff to rush to your friend's house to show off.

But, Doog? Oh my, what a fan fare his Christmas mornings were. And, our first one together, he wanted to give that experience to his Bride. At the time, I was beginning to collect bears. Why a 24 year old woman wanted to start a stuffed animal collection, is beyond me now. One day, I'll show you the outcome of that notion, but for now just go with it...

In Stewart's Department Store there was a huge display of these Pot Bellied Bears simply begging to go home. He and I had great fun examining all their faces and seeing how each was different although they were mass manufactured. What I didn't know is that when we were out on these trips, he was secretly making notes of those things that really trapped my fancy.

On Christmas morning, for the first time in my life, there was a ton of gifts for me. Most turning out to be treasures I really thought wonderful. The last box I opened was Peeb stuffed down in tissue waiting to be liberated. I adored him and spent the day picking him up for a squeeze. I placed him on the bed, not in the bed, (please note the distinction here,) and there he sat as part of our-made-every morning-by-Doog bed. I love a man who will make a bed, don't you?! Just the best.

Fast forward a few years, and I'm having breast surgery. The doc suggested that I bring a small comfortable pillow from home. A pillow that I could tuck under my breasts when laying on my side which would be required throughout the healing process to keep tension off the massive amount of stitches. Something to keep my sore girls tucked quietly. Doog and I looked around and the only thing that seemed to fit the bill was Peeb. So that was the first trip he took with me. That's what started it all.

I don't remember much about the post op hours, but I do remember being rolled back to my room to see Peeb waiting, tucked in under the sheet. Someone on the nursing staff with a kind heart must have known that would bring a smile to start the healing. It worked. So did the bear. He's endured countless nights since tucked in under me so I can sleep. Which explains his squished appearance.

Now, it's a habit...not a requirement. But without him, I'm facing a night of tossing and turning.

When Doog was here a few weeks ago for a visit, he was delighted to see his old pal, Peeb. We were talking about the notion that sometimes we're caught off-guard in terms of how much time we've traveled in this life of ours. I still can't get my head around the notion that I'm past 50. Don't get me wrong- I'm delighted to still be here and expecting many more years of craziness, but I'm just surprised at how much has slipped past me.

Nothing brings that fact into focus more clearly than when you look around at stuff and realize how long you've had some of it. Like, when I consider that I've been sleeping with that bear for 30 years! Good God, how is that possible??? I was already an adult when that toy came into my life and I've been sleeping with it for decades?! Wow.

So, here's what I'd like to do....based on some of the heartfelt comments I got from my post the other day about Leo, both on and off the blog, I'd like to do a future post that contains pictures of all of our dear old friends.

If you have a treasure from your childhood, even if it is only a lunchbox, (Ms. Cam,) send me a picture. Give me a blurb about why this item is so very valuable in your eyes and I'll post them all for us to share in the love of old friends. Even you, Toni, I know how your bear is about autographs and photos, but maybe you could get him to acquiesce this one time. And, if you'd like to include your children or spouses in this mayhem, feel free!

Use the email address that I have posted on my profile. I'll give us all two weeks so as many as possible can participate. Come on, even if you weren't the sentimental sort, no matter how old you are, you know you have something from your younger days that you still treasure. Something that you won't part with...

Leo, Peeb, and I hope you'll participate in the fun. They're a little chagrined about being outed in public so they'll feel better when they see others that resemble them in the "loved too hard" department!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly

15 comments:

melissa said...

The picture I sent you earlier this week has some footnotes, prompted by this post.

My version of Leo and Peeb (the best name I ever read...love the way that looks) was a Christmas gift, too. My mother found him in a toy store while doing the annual holiday hunt & gather routine ('cause our Christmas' were like Doog's, it seems). She put him in the cart, but found that as she traveled through the store, she had to pick him up and hug him...when she reached the registers, he was still in her arms. She figured he wanted to go home.

He has traveled with me ever since, and yes, even as an adult, he is squashed into suitcases and smuggled onto airplanes. He has attended Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Air Force graduation in Texas, and Penn State University. I even made a friend's parents drive BACK to Ocean City, MD, to retrieve my pup, who was hidden in the bedclothes in our hotel.

He has been sleeping in my bed since before my fabulous man was born. Which makes me laugh. And cry. But that fabulous man makes my bed every day, too, and carefully puts the dog on watch- right next to my USAF bear that reminds me of my other important men.

I'm addicted to my stuffed animals, even at 31. Maybe because my dad always called them my "friends"- and they are.

Love you too, WSM.

Toni said...

No, Theodore Old-School Bear isn't going for it. He's NEVER been photographed, not once in 43 years. He's in the closet, nestled into my old quilt, cuz Double BB won't let him stay in/on/near the bed without chucking him to the floor or punching him or otherwise behaving BADLY!, which of course wreaks havoc on Teddy's upholstery (not to mention his AND my good natures!) ...

but I do have something that goes back ALMOST as far as Bear, though it's not a 'stuffy'. I've had it ... well, I was 7 when I acquired it, so almost 41 years now.

Holly said...

Silly Bear. Oh, all right then, Toni, Theodore can be a lurker. It's not like most blogs don't have a ton of those! Leo says to tell him he's a whussy...

Life With Dogs said...

Oh I am so on board, and wishing I was a packrat so I could pull out something fun like a thirty year old pair of Underoos.

I'm sure there is some interesting/odd old piece of something around that I can dig up, but it's tough to compete with a breast lifting bear...

cinner said...

Holly a great idea. I sleep with my bear but he is only a few years old... a gift from my husband...I will see what I have packed away. Thanking you again for this am. You brought me back into reality.

Kavindra said...

How delightful! I am the type to throw everything away (an ardent Thoreauvian unfortunately) but I look forward to seeing how this unfolds.

beth said...

are you kidding me....this bear will always be in your heart considering he held up your breasts...friends like that stay a lifetime !!...so I think he'll be in your bed for another 50 years at this rate !

clairedulalune said...

Lovely idea Holly! It is thought provoking, as this is a new one for me. I have lots of things I treasure, but never thought of my oldest, closest treasure. Thinking cap offically on! Thanks!

jan said...

I have a panda bear dating back to the time I was seven or eight. My dad won him on a punch board, which no one has heard of today. I don't sleep with him but he has always been in my bedroom.

pink sky said...

what a sweet story :) thanks for stopping by my space and for your kind words.

Genie Sea said...

How absolutely touching and adorable! What a fantastic life you and Peeb have lead and are leading :)

Mel said...

Now Holly, I have a picture of my darling Rabbit, just waiting to wing its way through cyber-space, but I can't find the email address on your profile. Do I need a secret decoder ring? *grin* Some direction, please....

~love~

Donna said...

Holly,
I swear, like I said before, reading a book and what a nice chapter that was....even made me cry.
As for sending a picture, I don't think I have anything, my mom would donate everything once we stopped playing with it...as a mother, I tried to keep everything but on our last move, somehow (I actually think the were stolen), all the toys from my sons' childhood were missing, never found them. So now, as a grandmother, anything "special" is wrapped and packed and put away for future grandchildren or, should I say, great-grandchildren.
But, I'll look...

soulbrush said...

oh holly what a touching post. i don't have and have never had a peeb bear, i think it is time i did!!! i will send you a picture that is very important to me... i want to thank you so much for the loving words you write on my 'soulcollageblog'... i really really value them. hugs from london.

Journey Wildly said...

I am sorry for not saying this yesterday...

Me & Strawberry Shortcake are IN!!

She's just cool like that...

And, when I tell you WHEN I found her, after WHAT had happened, and WHAT I found inside...you are going to flip out.

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