Nellie"s Needles

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The "Bearfoot" Shoe

The theme for this shoe is based on a personal experience I had with a black bear a few summers ago.

The Bear Facts
There was great excitement when we saw a black bear 25 feet from our cabin early one morning. Also, it was thrilling to discover a cub's paw prints in the mud on another morning. But it was downright bone chilling to chase a bear out of our cabin.

That unforgettable day my husband had gone horseback riding while I stayed at our cabin to leisurely do some stitching and reading. I had been quilting out by the river all morning until it clouded over and turned chilly. So, I went into the bedroom to read, while waiting for Lee to return.

About 1:00, I thought I heard him on the porch, and he was obviously having a problem with the screendoor. I finished my paragraph and got up to help him. As I came into the livng room, the bear, walking upright, came through the door! We were 6 feet apart, and eye to eye. Without hesitation, I raised both arms and yelled, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN HERE? GET OUT!" He turned and stumbled out of the door. Just then two young women drove across the bridge, and saw the bear on the porch with the screen door wide open. They drove up honking the horn to scare the bear up the mountain.

Lee arrived 20 minutes later. He wanted to take me out for lunch and BIG glass of wine to calm me down, but I was okay about it all. However, I didn't sleep too well the next couple of nights imagining alternate scenarios. What if I'd walked in on that hungry bear tearing up the kitchen? What if I were still in the bedroom when he entered? What if ...? I became well-known in Estes Park, and am now called the "Bear Lady". (Lee says if I had just stepped out of the shower, I'd be famous as the "Bare Bear Lady.")

Thankfully, I've not had another personal encounter since, even though bears have been spotted in the area every summer since then. Needless to say, I no longer keep a fruit bowl on the table just inside the door. That screen door gets latched when we're inside and the door gets pulled shut when we're not.

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Anonymous said...

OMG, that story gave me chills. I can't even imagine! How cool of you to put that memory to work for you in the form of a shoe. :-)

Elle said...

What a story!!!

Heart's Journey said...

Growing up in Alaska, seeing bears was common. They frequently wandered down from the mountains in search of a 'picnic' from our garbage cans or the local dump..which was in prime berry picking territory, as well. But the one bear that I remember the most is the one at Yellowstone National Park that tried to climb into our car through a semi-open window as we toured the park. I can still remember how at first we were all as curious as he was, but then the curiousity turned into something else as he tried to claw his way in to join us! No doubt, we had snacks in the car...our fear was that the snack that he had in mind might have been us! I am not sure I would have been inspired to design a shoe for a quilt block... but what a creative way, none the less, to take a memory and change it into something delightful and as interesting as this!