BY WYNNE CROMBIE
It began over 45 years ago when our own children were little and a stuffed bear, named Freddie Pflumacher (FOO-macher), became a participating member of our family.
Fast forward to the next generation, our three grandchildren: Regan, Amy, and Harry are on the scene, but live over a thousand miles away, so Freddie’s participation had to be tweaked a bit. He writes to them, such as when they are sick and (somehow) Freddie is sick too. This note was from Freddie’s friend, Paddington Bear.
Dear Regan and Amy,
I am eating my sandwich.
Freddie can’t write today because he has the flu. He feels
Terrible! He runs to the bathroom a lot too. He says he will be better soon.
Melvin Mouse has the flu too.
In keeping with the times, Bear Bucks came into being. Every once in awhile, the girls will receive an envelope with a Bear Buck inside. This is a one dollar bill attached to a picture of Freddie with their name and the words, “A BEAR BUCK for you” and Freddie’s signature. Now, we are talking about a Freddie Five, (but that has yet to come).
Or, Freddie just sends a note for no particular reason:
Dear Regan, Amy, and Harry,
This is my friend, Charlie Bear. He is all dressed up. He helps me make BEAR BUCKS.
When the grandkids come to visit they are invited to visit Freddie’s home…the entrance is an alcove in our headboard. The inside (which of course they never see) is Freddie’s swimming pool, movie room, and gourmet kitchen. Freddie’s friends Melvin Mouse and Charlie Bear live there too.
One of my favorite things when we are visiting the grandkids is to put my hand (aka a phone receiver) up to my ear, while making ringing noises. Freddie is calling to tell about some mishap back at home. Jake the cat won’t eat his food, and so on.
Throughout the years Freddie has worn various costumes, such as togas, flashy jackets, and lately, his beach attire: sunglasses and a towel around his neck
Oh yes, Freddie even has his own Facebook page, but somehow I knew the time would come (and it did) when our oldest granddaughter (now eight) scoffed, “Oh, Gramma, Freddie is just a stuffed bear.”
But, now there is three-year-old Harry. His Freddie adventures are just beginning.
Wynne Crombie and her husband of almost 50 years met in Berlin. Kent was with USAF Security and Wynne was teaching fifth grade at the USAF Base School. They have four grown daughters and three grandchildren.