Cinnamon Buns

We have been having a pretty big adventure here at my house. My neighbor took this picture, but I didn’t know about it until after the bear was at my house.  This bear is standing on the driveway leading to my house.  She named this bear Cinnamon Buns. At first I was telling people that I had a brown bear at my house and they looked at me rather strangely. Of course a brown bear is also know as a Grizzly Bear, and we don’t have those where I live. What I didn’t know is that Black Bears come in many colors, and one of them is cinnamon brown. When the sun was on his back you could definitely see the cinnamon color.

A few days after the driveway picture was taken, I had just come out of the shower and was heading for my closet. I looked out my bedroom window and saw a bear climbing up onto the picnic table in my backyard.  I really didn’t think I was really seeing a bear! How could that be? He laid down and started licking his paws.  Then started getting down.

Cinnamon Buns in the tree

A few days later I saw this.  Cinnamon Buns was up in the tree eating the apricots that hadn’t fallen yet.  Not only did he sit in the tree eating apricots, he also stood up and shook the branches to make the apricots fall. From where I was watching I could have literally reached out and touched him if I had opened the window. I confess I really wanted to touch him and see what that fur felt like, but caution prevailed and I didn’t do it.

Cinnamon Buns was exploring my yard and eating all the apricots that were on the ground around the trees.  There were probably close to 1000 apricots on the ground.  That’s a lot. I probably got 2-3 gallons of them picked before the bear showed up. I have 3 apricot trees and he cleaned them all out. We always thought it was the birds that were eating the apricots before I was able to pick them. Now we are not so sure about that.

Curious Bear

He seems to be a very curious bear. It was fun to watch him checking out the garden. He was a good boy and didn’t eat any of my tomatoes or herbs.

My dog Seamus was outside on Thursday when Cinnamon Buns came to the house and scared the bear and made it run up a tree.  It was difficult to get Seamus to come back in the house.  Silly me, I went outside to get the dog! Just a few steps….. but when I got back into the house I couldn’t believe I had done that. The bear stayed up in the pine tree for a long time and was panting from the quick climb up the tree.  This picture shows Cinnamon Buns walking on my garden wall back toward the apricot tree.

I haven’t seen him since then.  All of the apricots are gone from the trees and the ground. While it is better for all involved – the bear, my dogs, and me – I really miss him. I bet he will be back next year.


Marion's Piazza

Nostalgia is a really funny thing. I was driving down I-40 the other day with my windows down. There was this smell, no, aroma. I know my brain was playing tricks on me, but I was sure that what I was smelling was Marion’s Piazza pizza. In fact I was certain that it was pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and green olives.

Not only was this one of my top two favorite pizzas, it was a part of some really great musical memories for me when I was growing up. One of the things I really enjoyed was attending shows at Memorial Hall staged by the Kenley Players. They would often have some really big names come through. After the show my mom and I would go to Marion’s Piazza, eat that amazing thin crust pizza, and the stars would sign my autograph book or program.

I don’t know for sure how many summers we went to these shows. It feels like there were probably a lot of them. I’m not sure where those programs and the autograph book are now. The autograph book must be somewhere in my stash of memorabilia.

I also went to Marion’s at other times too, with family, with friends, and after some sports events. I don’t have a single bad memory of the place, the people, or the food.

The word nostalgia (Oxford Languages) is defined as a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. That really is the right word for what happened when I was driving on I-40. I remembered the happy personal association of the events that surrounded eating at Marion’s. Perhaps even more importantly, I remembered what feels like a simpler time. There were fewer decisions to make. And, there was a feeling that my future was stretched out ahead with endless possibilities

Doesn’t that sound nice? I do wish I had appreciated it more at the time.