Thursday, October 10, 2019

Teddy Bears Hold Memories

by Karen Rose Smith

Do you still have your favorite childhood stuffed animal?  As I looked around the house, I focused on the numerous teddy bears I have accumulated through the years.  Each bear brings back specific memories of times past, whether it be from my son's younger years or from other life events.

I consulted Wikipedia to learn more on the history of the Teddy Bear.  First developed in the early 1900s, this favorite children's toy was named after President Teddy RooseveltStories, songs and films have focused on "teddies" which today greatly vary in form, style, color, and material.  Steiff bears, Boyd's Bears and Ty Beanie Bears, to name a few, have become collector's items.  Teddy bears are popular gifts for children and are often given to adults to convey love or other sentiments.

The white bear pictured above was made to commemorate the publication of one of my romances--A PRECIOUS GIFT.  We visited the Boyd's Bear Barn in nearby Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and had the opportunity to choose a bear and his sweater which would be embroidered with a special name or phrase.  I choose my book's title and the little fellow still sits on a special miniature chair in my bedroom.  And, of course, when I look at his sweater, I appreciate all the precious gifts I've been given through the years. 
I found this rather large specimen in my son's room.  He received him as a gift when he was young.  One day, he decided his fur needed oiled so he promptly applied Vaseline to his head.  To this day, the fur is matted on the bear's head.  But whenever I ask if we can dispose of the dilapidated fellow, my son always wants to keep him.  Obviously the childhood memories he evokes are more important to my son than some crusty matted fur on the bear's head.  

When my husband's father passed away, I heard of a local artist who created stuffed bears from the clothing of deceased loved ones.  So I selected one of my father-in-law's flannel shirts and had it made into a stuffed bear which holds precious memories.    

One of my favorite Ty Beanie Babies was the Peace Bear.  It was created in three sizes and in two different pastel variations.  It brought back memories of my teen years, tie-dyed clothes and hippies.

Two weeks ago, I participated in the Pennsylvania Tea Festival in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.  The literary corner at the festival featured authors of cozy mysteries.  After my presentation and chat with readers, I signed copies of my cozy mysteries.  But I couldn't leave the festival without enjoying tea service on the outdoor patio.  I also roamed around the inside of the tea room and spotted an adorable bear couple enjoying tea in a basket on the dining room wall. 

Teddy bears are adorable.  Teddy bears are expressions of our emotions.  Teddy bears hold precious memories.  All of the new technologically innovative toys for children stimulate their senses and help with physical development.  But hugging a special cuddly teddy bear offers comfort, companionship and security.  Nothing can beat the image of a child snuggling with his/her favorite childhood stuffed animal while in a deep peaceful sleep.

What was your favorite childhood stuffed animal?  Do you still have it today?


Coming in December!


In Pennsylvania’s Amish country, Daisy Swanson has a tea shop to run, a daughter to marry off—and a murder to solve . . .

Daisy’s worried one of her employees at Daisy’s Tea Garden may be in a spot of trouble. Lately Karina’s been loading up on soup and second-day baked goods at the end of her shift—and while the shop’s scrumptious treats may be hard to resist, Daisy suspects there’s more going on, especially since Karina has been seen hanging out in a rundown part of Willow Creek.

Planning her own daughter’s wedding is enough to keep her busy, but Daisy can’t help feeling a protective maternal instinct—and an instinct to investigate. It turns out Karina has been helping a down-on-his luck single dad who’s been making ends meet—barely—by selling antiques at a place called Pirated Treasures.

But when an employee at the antiques store is bludgeoned to death with a marble rolling pin, Karina’s new friend is suspect number one. Though the motives are muddy and steeped in intrigue, Daisy is more than determined to flush the real killer out.


Chèli said...

I have collected teddy bears for over 25 years after my husband sent me a 3 foot bear for my birthday one year. He was so big that when I was taking him home (he was sent to my office) I had to hook the seatbelt for him because the car kept beeping. I've all types of bears, small 3 inches to extra large 4½ feet. Each one that I've received from my husband does hold special memories, others that friends have given me, always remind me of them. But that first bear still has the most special place in my heart and now my grandkids love him too! As for a childhood stuffed animal, my father was away on business once and brought me back a stuffed cocker spaniel with a music box inside. He sits in my home office and on those days when I really miss my dad, I play the music and cuddle with him. His fur is a bit matted but I still get that warm feeling of love.

Michelle F. said...

I like bears and other stuffed animals. My dad bought one of those Vermont Teddy Bears. It's an American Legion bear and has a little hat. I have quite a few birds such as a flamingo, Canada goose (bought in Toronto), a mallard, penguins, a puffin, an eagle, and maybe more. Lots of Beanie babies, including a dragon.