Hi Mom!

Happy Sunday:) What a joy to see you through your window yesterday— Smiling!

Sue from the front desk unlocked the gate into your courtyard so I could stand outside the window and chat with you LIVE for the first time since the middle of March. That’s when the Coronavirus swept across our part of the world and locked me out of your facility. Do you realize we just endured the longest time apart from each other (over 50 days) since I went to college? We’ve been blessed to live in the same town/Chicagoland area since I finished my education.

If you look out your living room window today, you can see the planter that I delivered, a May Day blast of colorful pansies, carnations, cineraria, euonymous all surrounding a mini-spruce tree. Please make sure it gets watered once a week if it doesn’t rain. I noticed the giant crabapple tree in your courtyard is about to bloom and that will bring more living color your way:) I always loved how you would hide a May Day basket of flowers somewhere around my house, either hanging on the front doorknob or resting on a windowsill.

In my last letter I thanked you for your thoughtful care in picking out the toys that you bought for us and our children. That letter contained a big photo of the Show ’n Tell record player that I listened to as a pee-wee. Most of those toys are long gone to landfills, but a few reside in the corners of our adult lives. One of those eternal toys is Ted D. Bear. 

Back in December, I published a letter from Ted and the sound of his voice jarred many happy memories for those who knew him, especially my college friends. I think you know that Ted lives up north, at High Pines in Door County. His life up there is solitary, but fulfilling since he serves as caretaker while we’re away. All his stuffer friends live in the loft and honestly, I think they’re a bit resentful of Ted’s leadership over the house. One of our neighbors read the letter from Ted last December and he wrote back expressing a desire to come and meet Ted D. Bear. So on Easter Sunday he came to join us for Easter dinner! Sadly, because of the Coronavirus you could not enjoy Easter with us, but Ted-bear made a new friend that day and he wants to tell you all about it.

Dear Nana,

I hope you’re feeling healthy and strong. Old people tend to get the Coronavirus, but elderly stuffed animals don’t so I’m feeling well up here in the Northwoods. Since my mom (Margaret) could not enjoy her usual Easter celebrations with you and her children this year, I felt a little sorry about that. I organized (with the help of my new friend) a “beary” happy Easter dinner with some other bears. Please don’t think this is strange, these are “unprecedented times” in the world so we bears must unite and bring an even deeper level of happiness to our owners.

My new friend Jerry wrote my mother saying that his bears would like to meet me! Mother decided that since Jerry is a widower, God rest the blessed soul of his dearly beloved wife Karen, who I didn’t know but I know that I would have adored her — she had a large collection of stuffers and other cozy knick-knacks, we invited them all for Easter dinner. Bears do not do social distancing. Jerry came “bearing” a nice bottle of Rhone (I think that’s red wine?) which thrilled the Big Man, (Mr. Philbrick) and his beloved friends Randolph and Patchy Packer (this bear is a Green Bay Packer fan that Jerry irresistibly pulled from the garbage dump still looking fresh in his Green Bay Packer vest.) I delighted in the fact that I’m much bigger than these two, they could be my children — and not even having had children it made the Easter dinner extra special. I felt like their father sitting at the table, they actually sat on the table because they didn’t fit in a chair, poor little feltlings – the Packer vest was made out of green and yellow felt.

As you might expect we all enjoyed ham, potatoes, asparagus and even a few sips of cherry bounce. It’s okay if you don’t remember what that is, I’m happy to remind you that it’s a homemade cocktail that mother and the Big Man make out of summer cherries and it sits in the basement for months while I watch over it and make sure that all the other stuffers in the house stay away from it. They are not of age to drink alcohol unless they are accompanied by moi, that’s french for me!

After dinner we sat by the fire and listened to my pal Jerry wax on about his younger days which I actually found somewhat interesting. He asked his beloved, nearly and dearly departed wife Karen to marry him by inviting her to go on a trip to England with him. Isn’t he an brave bear when it comes to the ladies? 

I miss you dear Nana. You have not been to High Pines since Christmas when you looked most fetching in your cheesehead hat. I look forward to your return this summer when I will introduce you to Jerry, Randolph and Patchy Packer. Since I’m allowed to sit at the table like a grown up, perhaps Mother will take me to the 4th of July parade?

All my beloved stay well wishes, bear hugs and love, 

Ted D. Bear 

(transcribed by my mother Margaret since my paws do not allow me to type.)