The Bear In The Woods

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. There are warnings about a lot of things when you travel. Watch out for rattlesnakes in the desert.

Don’t turn your back to the ocean in California.

Don’t jump in a lake with the alligators in Florida.

Also. Don’t go outside at all in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee because apparently a bear will be waiting to get you.

He may try to drive your car. Or steal your campchair. He might make you take him to the grocery store. Yes. Yes. Don’t mess with the bears. Be afraid. That’s a warning.

At least, that’s how we felt. So many persons told us to be aware of bears. And well. We kinda didn’t take them very seriously. We knew not to go on the hiking trails in the National Park because they tell you that dogs can only go on two trails. So we were being good about that. I’m the Sheriff. I have to follow the rules, you know.

So we decided to walk on a nice, pretty road in the National Park. Dogs are allowed on roads and picnic areas. So we were really enjoying our day.

Boy Person was at home doing work stuff. Supposedly.

And Girl Person decided we were going to walk extra far.

You see, we wanted to eat more for breakfast. We walked and we walked and we walked. The river was flowing, the sun was out and the birds were singing. Oh, it was a glorious day for all. Even the bears.

As we were walking, I saw him first. A happy lad of a bear. Frolicking and being a bear on a beautiful day. Digby had his nose to the ground and I knew not to alert him. We didn’t need for his howling to startle the bear. I was also hoping that Girl Person wouldn’t see him and get scared. But it was too late for it all. Girl Person saw the bear. The bear saw us.

Now. You may think that Girl Person would have wanted to take a picture of the bear before we started running. But let me ask you this. Have you ever went to someone’s home, scared them, took a picture and ran? I doubt it. And if you have, you. Are. Arrested.

You see, the woods is where bears call home. We are visitors. And so the best thing to do is not run. If you are a person, talk to the bear and identify yourself as a human. Stand your ground. Wave your arms. Do not run. Bears can outrun and out climb everyone reading this.

What happened when the bear saw us? Girl Person realized it was a baby bear. Which meant there was a momma bear close by too. The bear looked at us and took off up the hill. We kept walking. Slowly. Sideways. That’s how you do it.

Were we scared? We were. But it was a respectful feeling. Yes. There are animals and things we have to be careful of. We have to be prepared and realize we are in their home. It is not ours. We are not better than they are. Or more important. We don’t have a “right” to do what we want where we want when we are guests.

We may have only known the bear in the woods for a little while. But what he left us was a lasting impression. You never know what’s out there…be prepared.

And when you do see someone as beautiful and precious as a bear, or a rattlesnake or an alligator, remember them for who they are. An individual that makes our earth a mosaic of diversity and strength and mystery. Like me.

Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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The Barn Quilt

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. I don’t know how to sew. And neither can anyone else in this house on wheels except Boy Person.

Girl Person hates sewing so much that she won’t even learn how to sew a button back on her pants. I know. It’s shocking. She also doesn’t fold laundry. But that’s a different story. Digby says if he did wear pants, his would have tape on them so he could get them off easier. He. Hates. Pants.

When we went hiking yesterday at a place called Seven Islands State Birding Park, the good news is that because it was warmer, we wore no pants. Well, the persons did. But I was expecting to see birds in a place called Seven Islands Birding State Park.

I mean, what else would be at a birding park? You don’t go to a pizza place and expect a baked potato.

But it seems like all the birds had taken a day off.

I was ok with that. Because it was still a beautiful place. Even though no birds were to be found.

There was plenty to see. Although Digby sure didn’t like that old house we found in the woods. I guess there’s a reason why we love our house on wheels so much. Maybe we don’t want to feel trapped!

As we walked around the park and we were looking for birds, we also found an old barn.

Isn’t it beautiful? We see many old barns on our travels. Ones that are still being used. Ones that have been long forgotten about. And this one had a pretty picture on the side. Girl Person told us they are called barn quilts. You see, in 2001, a nice lady person decided to honor the memory of her mother and her Appalachian heritage by having a painted quilt block hung on her barn in Adams County, Ohio.

Now, there are barn quilt trails in almost all of the United States.  Persons go far and wide to see these beautiful works of art on the sides of barns.

I never knew about barn quilts. But it’s good that you don’t have to actually sew something that big.  I like that each one means something different to the person who made it.

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I also like that art stuff persons do like barn quilts when they make something with their own hands. They don’t know it, but that is pretty neat that they can do that.  To express yourself by creating something that others can enjoy is beautiful.  Even if they are just passing by a barn, and only see it for a moment, it added beauty to their day.

What do you do that adds beauty to someone else’s day?  Just like a bird in the sky, every part of our earth adds a touch of beautiful glitter.  Your part may be painting a barn quilt. Maybe it’s making someone cookies.  Hint.  Maybe it’s simply appreciating someone else’s work of art by telling them so.  We all create something every day.  Whether it is positivity or negativity. You produce art, a painting, a song.

Just like one barn quilt started a trend all across the United States and other countries, you can start a trend too! Do something everyday to make someone else’s day brighter. Beautiful.  Colorful.

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Don’t think that your art isn’t good enough. That’s the great thing about art.  Every piece is a true masterpiece to someone.  Unless it’s Digby’s tape pants.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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