Monday, June 11, 2012


A year or two ago one of my best friends gave me a necklace for my birthday or Christmas. The pendant had a little girl with the word "Play" on it.  She said it was to remind me to take time and play.  I cherish that pendant and the sentiment that goes with it.  When I received it, my life was full of work and very little play.  This move has been good at helping me to learn the balance of work and play.

The town I live in is large enough to have everything I could possibly want or need, but small enough that people wave when they pass you on the street and  your neighbors come out and try to get to know you.  We have festivals, farmer's markets, free Friday night concerts, and a sock hop on Main Street on Saturday nights.  We have a lovely old courthouse that has been made into a museum and a downtown that is something you might see in a magazine of a nice southern it is. 

About a month ago the town was invaded by bears...not the furry wild animal, but the beautiful artwork.  Every year a group of artists paint stone bears and then sell them at an auction in the fall.  The money from the auction goes to local charities and the person that bid the highest on each bear gets the privilege of taking the bear home.    Occasionally, when driving through town, you can see bears of auctions past sitting on lawns of the lucky winners.

One Saturday evening, the day after the bears made their debut on Main Street, I took my beloved camera and went to town to snap some photos.  I tried to capture a little bit of their personalities with the lens.  There are too many photos to put them all here. 
The bears all represent something within the community from agriculture to Girl Scouts.  There are bears for the Humane Society and many other wonderful charities.  My very favorite bear is Amelia Bearheart.  Amelia Bearheart is going to be auctioned off to benefit Mainstay - a local Domestic Violence Shelter.    I believe in the organization for which she will be auctioned, but I also think it is just sweet the way the mama bear is holding her baby.  I could just see this beautiful bear sitting in my yard!
 Although the bears are for good causes they are still whimsical and fun - as you can see with this bear adorned in her jewelry and lipstick.  The bears bring playfulness to Main Street.  As I walk or drive down the street the site of these bears make me smile. Bears with books, bears with lipstick, and bears with animals and sayings painted on them.  Each bear has a story to tell and each invites the people looking to stop, take a look, and grab a photo or  two. 
Incidentally I still have that necklace and wear it - especially when I need a reminder to "Play."   

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