Bear With Me

Before my big reveal of our "before & after" kitchen project, I wanted to bring up something that made me both laugh and feel a little sad at the same time from last weekend.

Eric and I were leaving the house on our way to play tennis when a man walking by took a look at our front yard and said "You got rid of the bear? That thing was a landmark around here!"

"The bear" he was referring to is this:

Immediately after closing, when we went to "our" house for the first time, I'd noticed the previous owners had left this bear behind. It sat right in the front of the house, directly to the right of the front door, welcoming everyone with its non-threatening smile. I laughed and snarked, "Oh good... they left the bear." It's not that I hate the bear, it's just that it's not really my style, and I didn't really want it to be the first thing people saw when walking up to our house (you know, besides the two gigantic pine trees in the front yard.... but that's a whole separate post in itself).

We both agreed we shouldn't throw out the bear, but Eric did remove it and resituated it in the backyard, where it is currently enjoying spending its days gazing at some beautiful hot-pink peonies (and not scaring bunnies out of the garden).

So, about the man who made the landmark comment: He was smiling as he made the remark, so obviously he wasn't sincerely aghast that we had moved the bear. But he'd cared enough to make note of it, and maybe, over time, he sincerely enjoyed seeing its reassuring smile as he walked to the corner market. "It's going to be OK," the bear let him know. "There's going to be a sale on apples."

Anyway, back to the question at hand: Should we have kept the bear outside? Maybe the previous owners (the husband was - and probably still is - Native American and, one would gather by the sticker describing his sect on a window in our kitchen, a member of the "Bear Clan" of the Menominee) knew how much the neighbors enjoyed the friendly bear out front, so they passed it on to us. Have Eric and I messed with tradition? Have we unintentionally thrown off the natural ebb and flow of our neighborhood? Has the removal of this bear from our front yard stamped us as the official pariahs of Bay View? 

Or maybe the guy was just making a joke.

What would you have done? Would you have taken down the bear or left it up, beaming proudly?


  1. You were totally in the right to remove the bear from what is now YOUR front yard if you didn't prefer it.

    Yuppie. ;)

  2. Sorry, but I would have kept the bear. I guess I enjoy thinking about the "other lives" our houses have had before we arrived on the scene, and the bear would provide -- for me -- a sense of history and continuity. That said, it's obviously your right to do whatever you want with it, though I might have made a different decision.

  3. Thanks for your input, Pamela! I agree with your point on thinking about the "other lives" our houses had before - that's why we chose to keep the bear rather than just throwing it out or giving it away. Though it's in a different area, it's still a part of the property!


Gimme your two cents or your whole dollar's worth. I wanna know your thoughts!



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