Black Bear, Black Bear, What Do You See?
Surely he sees us forming a new summer memory.
We’d go there to a small town called Inlet as a family every August for a week or two, renting a cabin on Limekiln Lake from a guy my dad worked with, and those were some of the best days I can remember from my childhood. It was like the rest of the year just paled by comparison. I loved everything about it, how the power always went out at least once, how sand always followed us into the cabin, making Jiffy Pop in the rustic fireplace, how the wild blueberries have spoiled me for anything you can buy in the store. And, of course, the bears.
Black bears were fairly common sites up there in the 1980s of my youth, though I’m not sure how things stand for them now. Back then, they were known for inviting themselves into cabins at night, simply walking through screen doors and checking out your pantry, or digging into garbage cans outside. This never happened to us, but we did seek out plenty of close encounters by loading the family into our yellow Ford Pinto station wagon and driving to the local dump.
The dump was where the bears would gamely gather at dusk to shamble into the pits and craters in the sand there and pick through whatever it is they didn’t steal directly from area campers. Clearly this was a universal family vacation activity because we were always one foursome in crowd of vacationers just like us, eager to watch to big bears fight over some ears of corn or watermelon rinds or pizza boxes. I only remember one or two moments when the bears would scuffle with each other and we’d all turn tail and head for home.
I have a hunch that 21st century dump rules don’t permit family bear-ogling, and we’d all be smart to abide by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources telling us to give our new neighbor a wide berth if we see him and to secure our garbage cans and bird feeders so we don’t have to worry about him dropping by our decks. But I do think it would be cool for my kids to get a glimpse of this guy, from a safe distance of course, so I could build my own bear-based memory with them.
What about you? Have you seen the bear, and if not, are you hoping to catch a glimpse? Do you have a favorite childhood summertime memory you are hoping to recreate with your kids this season? Share the details in the comments or drop me a line on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Parenthood21030.