Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Screaming Stitcher

Holiday weekends are always very busy in my neighborhood.  About half of the houses here are vacation homes, and over the summer holidays almost everyone returns to their houses by the lake, so our little community’s population more than doubles in size.  And since the road in front of my house takes people to the little beach and playground, there are lots of people walking and biking by.  I look forward to these weekends.  Peace and quiet is lovely, but watching people have fun and seeing the families and kids and bikes and strollers makes me really happy, too. 

But anyway, amid all of this you will remember that I spent a lot of time on my porch this weekend.  The weather was picture-perfect and I had almost all of Sunday to myself.  So I was happily stitching away, looking up every now and then to pause and give my eyes a rest.  Also, when I look up I see the field across the road and the lake glittering just beyond it.  It’s really very pretty.  And I like to people watch, too, so when I hear people I always glance up for a bit.

So Sunday afternoon my little neighbor boy, Chris, was standing in his driveway by his car, waiting for his dad and sister to come out of the house.  He was just fiddling the way that a 5 year old fiddles.  Kind of amusing himself and daydreaming while he waited.  And while he was fiddling around and I was enjoying Lo, I glanced up from my stitching to see a good-sized bear come barreling out of the tree line in the field across the road.  See in the picture below where I wrote “Right Here”?  That’s where I first saw him.  And he was running at a fast clip across the field and directly at my little neighbor boy.  (That’s me and my mom in 2008, by the way)

BEAR

So I stood up and started screaming, “Christopher!  Run into your house!  Get into your house right now!”  But he stood stock still, probably wondering why his crazy neighbor lady was yelling at him and wondering what on earth he had done wrong.  I shouted again, but he didn’t move, and the bear kept coming.  Finally I screamed, “Chris, get into your car NOW!”  And I think that then he saw that the bear running towards him and he jumped through an open window and into his car, and the bear passed his car and just kept going.

At that point his dad came running out of the house and of course his first thought was that Chris was in trouble.  While the dad, Jim, was running out, he had seen a black blur going past the car and had thought it was a big dog.  But Chris was in the car and shouting, “Dad, a bear!  A bear!  I saw the bear!”  And I tried to explain, but I was kind of shaken and scared and at a loss for words.  Right then, Chris was actually making more sense about it than I was! 

In retrospect, I realize that with so many more people around for the holiday, somebody must’ve been hiking behind the woods and probably scared up the bear, who was sleeping the day away behind the trees.  No doubt the startled bear was running away from a person or a dog or whatever, and not at my little neighbor.  So I didn’t think that the bear was out to attack Chris, but I was afraid that the startled bear wouldn’t see the little boy standing near the car and who knows what a frightened animal will do when it encounters something that startles it even more?

Well anyway, everyone knows how loud I can scream now.  Those kids don’t know it, because they’re too young, but when my kids were younger and swimming in the lake and fooling around or doing something dangerous, I was the LOUDEST mother on the dock.  People in boats down the lake could hear me yell (my command of choice was, “Hey!  Knock it off!”) I’d see boaters look up startled from their canoe paddles and fishing rods…I could sound pretty commanding.  But poor little Chris, who only knows me as the lady who sits on the porch and sews and buys his Cub Scout popcorn, boy – was he ever surprised!

Meanwhile, his family is treating me like I’m some kind of hero.  And that’s really totally crazy because I didn’t actually do anything and it was just lucky that I happened to sitting on my porch, enjoying the day and stitching.  And it was lucky that I happened to glance up at that moment.  It wasn’t like I catapulted out of my chair and over the deck rail, covered the 50 feet faster then the bear, flew over their retaining wall and flung my body in the bear’s path.  I just yelled like a maniac. 

Or maybe I did all of that and I’m just not telling you about my superpowers…Or maybe Lo has some kind of supernatural thing going that senses bears and that made me look up.  Yeah.  That’s it.  And now whenever I look at Lo, I’ll think about that bear.  And when I’m really old and someone asks me about the Lo sampler, I’ll be able to say, “Funny story about that sampler….”

24 comments:

  1. OMG! coming from a place where the only and biggest wild life you will see is a fox i am amazed that you can look up and see a bear almost in your garden!! Having a big voice has it's advantages sometimes, lol. Glad the bear went running on by the other option dosen't bear (sorry!!) thinking about.

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  2. You sure had a exciting Day !!! A Bear !!! I love the LO Sampler. Who is the designer? I love the colors.

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  3. Glad you were there to warn the boy. By the way beautiful picture of the lake.

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  4. Sometimes having a commanding voice is a blessing in disguise. You just never know with bears and kids. Adults are typically frightened but is sounds like it was a true adventure for Christopher. lol
    Your sampler is very pretty.
    Be always in stitches.

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  5. Holy cow!!!! We have lots of vacation summer people....but no bears. LOL

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  6. Funny, sweet story to go with the sampler! And very glad Christopher is okay, I think you are a heroine :-).

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  7. Great story! I trust that the little neighbour boy won't have a lifelong fear of you now. You are a hero! Frightened bears are not to be messed with! I am blessed with the loudest voice among all the moms I know and my favorite was always 'cut it out!'... it's a mom thing I guess. You should write out this story and include it in a pocket on the back of Lo.

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  8. You live where there are bears!

    Good thing it's a funny story about that sampler! Bears are surprising scaredy cats--just ask the dude. Well, he did have bearanoia when we were in Alaska.

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  9. Impressive. I may have stood frozen, unable to speak.... or maybe not. After all, I can be mighty commanding in front of a court room. When I need 'that' voice people pay attention! (Not my kids, though! Why does that happen?) Hopefully I'll never need it in a situation like yours. Anyhow.... good work.
    Love, love, love the colors in the sampler.

    Pam

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  10. Great story and one you have to tell every time someone asks about the sampler. Heck, I'd tell it even when they don't ask about the sampler.

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  11. OMG I think I would have stood there frozen. Glad the bear didn't stop.

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  12. Glad you were there with your "teacher" voice and that Christopher finally got moving.

    Hopefully, THAT is the biggest excitement of the summer.

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  13. I agree with you, there is no way you could know what the bear would have done. You did the right thing. I think I would have been completely frozen.

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  14. Wow - what a story! And one you'll always remember with your sampler. Glad the little boy is safe!
    PS - great picture of your Mom and you!

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  15. I'm glad everything turned out okay. And now both Christopher and you have a pretty cool tale to tell :-)
    My command of choice is "Hey! That's enough!" DH says I have an attention grabbing voice when I use full force. Not sure if that's a compliment or not!
    I hope that someone does ask you about the piece (I am sure many will) so you can recount your tale. about the bear.

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  16. You know, when I saw the picture the other day, I was wishing I had a such a nice place to stitch, and that I could be there.

    Perhaps not now - at least in the UK, the biggest mammal we have are badgers, and if the farmers and Government get their way, not even those :o( Glad everything turned out okay, and what a great story to be able to tell!

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  17. You ARE a hero!

    You live in a beautiful area, bears and all.

    I love your blog. I also have adult children, so I relate to a lot of what you write.

    Your stitching is gorgeous, as always.

    Susan in CA

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  18. Yikes! I'm glad this story has a happy ending.

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  19. Holy moly! I'm glad everyone is okay, and enjoy being treated like a hero for a while. If you had done that for one of my kids, I'd be doing the same thing.

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  20. What a story!! Perhaps you should stitch a pastel bear somewhere into Lo to remember the occassion by!

    My parents live in the Poconos and last week they saw the biggest bear they have seen yet - they estimate at least 500 pounds!

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  21. Well, you did GOOD, Lee! I wish I had a really loud voice instead of a squeak! Lucky that everything worked out and no one was hurt!

    Lo is looking beautiful and now you do have a story to go with it!

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  22. Holy Crap Woman! I would have yelled and maybe passed out. You did good.

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  23. I've been hearing about more and more bears in people's back yards lately. I'll bet your heart was just about beating right out of your chest, Lee. You're a heroine :)

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  24. Oh my gosh!!! What a story. You ARE a hero--if you hadn't shouted and told Chris what to do, who knows what would have happened. Thank God you were where you needed to be right then! See, stitching is community service. ;) Love the pic of you & your mom!

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