Posted by: morrowsl | September 5, 2015

Little Bears in the Big House

People kind of look at you weird when you walk by carrying an 18″ Build-A-Bear in your arms like a toddler.  They smile that smile that’s reserved for small children and people with dementia.  And they’ll back way the hell up if you start talking to said bear as if it could hear and understand you.
I know this.  I know how it looks for a full-grown woman of middling years to appear in public with a stuffed animal dressed like a person.  I’ve seen the eye-rolls and heard the snickers.  I know they all think I’m a cuckoobrain when I pose him for photos, adjusting his sunglasses and arms.

But I seriously don’t care.  I have a great time creating adventures for Harry and he’s a lot easier to travel with than any of my real kids ever were!

I decided for Harry several years ago after meeting my best friend’s BAB, Norcross.  I spent a weekend with “Norky” and found so many ways to include him in our trip that I simply had to have one of my own.  So, on a trip with my husband to Wisconsin, I had an afternoon to myself with the rental car and a bit of “vacation” cash and I made a bee line for the mall.  I came back to the hotel with Fox River’s J Harrison Bear, aka Houdini, but I just call him “Harry”.

Last month, Harry went with us to Ohio to visit the farm and, more importantly, be reunited with his best friend, Norcross.  This is how Harry recorded the trip in his diary.

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Dear Diary,
Today me and Mom drove up to Oklahoma to pick up Dad and head for “the farm”, whatever that is, in Ohio, wherever that is.  Mom says it’s a long way and will take two days, especially since we got a late start all because of Holly and Dillon having to go somewhere called a Dammitsonofabitch, from what I could tell when Mom was telling Sheli about it.  For a woman that just got rid of her dogs and is going on vacation, she sure didn’t seem too happy.
Neither was I ’cause she made me wear this stupid uniform!

Fox River’s J Harrison Bear, USMC

When we got to Oklahoma, Dad was ready to go.  We loaded the car and made it to Missouri before we finally stopped for the night.  Mom was right, it was a long day!

Friday, July 31, 2015
Dear Diary,
Why does it take SO LONG for women to get ready to go somewhere?  Sheesh!!


Waiting on Mom and Dad to get ready to leave. I sure wish I coulda climbed that tree.

Watching ESPN at the hotel. Dad said that’s a “morning ritual”, whatever that means.

At least Dad turned on ESPN and me and him can watch Mike and Mike talk about sports and all the silly stuff they make each other do, like pose nekked with a big bow on your butt!!  That one really cracked me up!

Mom made me wear my uniform again.  But at least she didn’t make me wear the hat.We had breakfast in the hotel and then hit the road again.  I think I could get used to this.


Friday evening:
We are in Ohio.  It’s pretty here, but there are cats and a couple of dogs I don’t know.  And little kids.  I think maybe I’ll stay in the car for now.
We’re staying with our friend, Ramona.  She’s really nice and didn’t give Mom the crazy eye when she introduced me.  Mom and Dad sure are drinking a lot of coffee with Ramona.  I guess they’re sleepy from all that driving.
We have to wait a few days to go to the farm ’cause Dad has a family reunion and Mom says they are going to that all weekend.  BORING!!!  And I heard them talking to Ramona about gambling, so I guess they’re doing that too.  This isn’t exactly a bear-friendly vacation.  I was hoping for a lot more adventures.
I’ve never been to a farm before…

Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Dear Diary,
I FINALLY got to go to the farm!  It is huge and really open and green.  There are “crops” that just look like plants to me, but Dad says it’s how the farm pays for itself.  I never knew a farm had to have a job.
Mom and Dad spent most of the day mowing and whacking the big weeds that were growing up around the trees and light poles.  Mom let me sit on the mower, but my feet didn’t reach the pedal so she said I couldn’t help mow.  I did get to wear a really cool work hat.

This is a mower. It’s big and LOUD, but it’s fun! My feet didn’t touch so Mom wouldn’t let me help. But I did get to wear a cool hat.


This is a tractor. Dad said we didn’t need it today so he didn’t start it. But he said, “maybe next time”, so that means I’m coming back!

All around the outside edges of the farm there are really big trees and they were full of birds.  I saw a Woodpecker on one.  And there were Mockingbirds just like at home.  When we first got here, a deer was crossing the “lane” (why don’t they just call it a driveway?) and it stopped and stared at us, then ran off through the cornfield.  Later, Mom showed me places where the deer have been sleeping up next to the house.  It would take five or six of me to fill up that spot!
I had so much fun today.  I can’t wait to come back.


Thursday, August , 2015
Dear Diary,
We were supposed to go out and work at the farm again today but it was raining.  Farms aren’t as much fun in the rain.

This is me, sitting on a big stack of firewood in the pole barn, watching it rain. I really wanted to go exploring in the woods. But, of course, Mom said “No!” She’s not much fun sometimes.

So, I climbed out on this long piece of wood and balanced with no hands!

I was hoping it would stop raining so we could do some more work.  I wanted to ride in the truck down to the woods ’cause there was a house down there that I could have pretended was mine.  Mom said it was a “sugar house” and I thought she meant like the witch’s house in Hansel and Gretel, but it sure didn’t look like it was covered in candy.
Mom told me it was used to cook sap from maple trees that turned into pancake syrup.  I’m not sure she’s telling the truth on that one.  Maybe when I come back to the farm again, it won’t be raining and I can go take a look.  She said it’s not a safe place anymore, but I just want to look in the windows anyway.  Tomorrow we leave and go to a place called Canal Winchester to meet up with my best friend, Norcross and his folks.  Maybe then this adventure can really start!

Friday, August 7, 2015
Dear Diary,
We’re HERE!!  Aunt Elle and Uncle Jack and Norcross didn’t get here yet.  I was so excited to see them.  I hope they get here before it gets too dark, I wanna see if Norky wants to check out some of this place with me.
But Mom says we have to go to town and eat now.  S’getti.  I guess if it has meatballs I could eat some.

Friday night:
Finally!!  Norcross and his folks were already here when we got back from dinner.  I knew we should have waited.  It was late and we didn’t get to explore much.
But we did get to have a sleepover in Norky’s room!

Saturday, August 8, 2015
Dear Diary,
All the adults have to go to a stupid wedding today, so all the fun is cancelled.

Uncle Jack, Harry, Uncle Mike, Norcross Waiting on the women.

Sunday, August 9, 2015
Dear Diary,
Today was great!  Me and Norky had so much fun.  We got to go outside and explore all around the house.  There’s a lot of trees but Mom said no climbing.  That’s ok.  I tried to climb trees in Newhamsure and got stuck, so I don’t think I’m really good at it yet.



We got to climb up on this really cool wood statue of a eagle and a bear.  I’m taller than Norcross, so I could reach higher and made it to the top.  He really liked the bear and stopped to “commune” with it.  Mom says that was just his “hippy” coming out.  Whatever that means.

SONY DSCThere was a dog house that looked just like the big cabin and we got to climb up it.  The Norcross said he was Snoopy!  He is so silly sometimes!


SONY DSCWe climbed the rock wall that leads to the meadow.  It is hard to climb when your legs are so short!  And it was really hot and sticky and my fur got so wet.  Mom says that’s humiditee.


SONY DSCWe made it over, finally and got to go down below the rocks where there was a flower garden.  Mom made us sit in the flowers and take a picture.  For a woman, sometimes she’s such a girl.

After we’d been outside in the heat, Mom and Aunt Elle made us come inside and cool off.  There was a top floor, like where the attic is, and it had beds and stuff like you’re supposed to sleep up there.  We climbed up the stairs for a look around.  It was way too hot!

SONY DSCWe had to stop half way up to rest!

SONY DSCThen we had to take a bath!  I really hate baths, but it was fun with my friend.  We pretended we were pirates sailing a big black pirate ship, like The Black Pearl!  I wish we could have more days like today.
Tomorrow is our last day together.  Then I don’t know when we’ll ever get to spend more time having fun like this.  It makes me sad.

After our bath we went back downstairs and hung out.  Since it’s our last night, we got to stay up later than usual.  Dad wanted to see how the big fireplace worked so he found a remote control and just started pushing buttons.  He’d skin me if I did that!!  The fire was kinda fun even if it was way to warm to have one in summer.

We played cards til we got too sleepy and had to stop for the night.
Then it was time to go to bed.  We leave early in the morning.



Monday, August 10, 2015
Dear Diary,
I’m trying not to think about today being my last day with my friend, but it’s so hard!  Why do we have to live so far away from each other?

Later, while Mom and Aunt Elle were getting ready to leave and Dad and Uncle Jack were packing the cars, I found a book full of pictures about how the house was torn down and moved and rebuilt.  That old guy Dad was talking to the first day is the guy that did it.  He musta been really strong and smart to do something like move a whole three story house!


And now my friend is gone…

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Dear Diary,
We drove all day Monday and ended up at the same exact hotel where we stayed on our way to Ohio!  Not the same room though.  We ate breakfast in the hotel again, but it was kinda the same as what we had before and not nearly as good as the food we had at that log house.  That lady was a great cook!

When we got to Oklahoma, we unloaded all of Dad’s stuff at his partment and then went to this really cool place to eat burgers.  Mom let me bring the rest of my fries with me to eat on the road home.















  1. I love this so much. You’re such a goofball!! This is exactly the reason I love middle-grade books: seeing the world from a kid’s point of view, not understanding everything but all of it somehow also completely making sense. Great stuff, Mamba!! Has anyone pressured you to write a book lately? You could have the pen pal bears series–collaborate with Elle. My see if Auntie B would do simple, beautiful line drawing renderings of the photos you’ve taken on the trip….

    • Thanks!! Your opinion always counts so much more because I know you know what bad writing looks like and you’re honest with me.

      And I do get those kinds of suggestions quite a lot. You’d think I’d have taken the hint by now.

      Let’s talk. I need to talk more seriously with Elle. But I do think we could do a series with Norcross and Harry.

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