• Rachel Anne Baer


My tired and very well loved old bear who has enjoyed as many birthdays as I have was the subject of a major decision in one of my decluttering sessions last year, as was the even older chair he is sitting on in this picture.

His name is Musical, not very inventive, his namesake coming from the little key on his back belonging to a tiny musical box inside him. I remember snuggling down with him in bed for many nights listening to his lullaby as I went to sleep as a young child. I even remember my parents turning the key in his back, playing his tune and placing the bear under my arms to help me get to sleep. Occasionally I would need to rewind him, mostly it only took one turn of the key to lull me into a deep sleep, perhaps I should try that again now?

He was now looking extremely unloved, a large rip in his back, his key would no longer turn, he no longer had a "voice". Should I search for a teddy bear hospital or just discard him? After many weeks of searching for a suitable person to work on my bear and getting several quotes for the repairs needed I decided to go ahead and give him a new lease of life.

I found a wonderful lady who repairs only bears as a hobby to make some extra money doing what she loves, other larger companies would make him look like a new bear which was not what I was looking for, I wanted to keep his rugged much loved look which she achieved, even replacing his music box with the same lullaby he always played as well as replacing his paw pads and restitching his mouth and nose. I am so glad that I choose to go ahead, he brings back so many fond memories when I see him each day as I walk past our front door.

The chair has a similar story, it belonged to my husband's aunts who passed it on to us at least eighteen years ago. It has traveled around to many different homes with us. In the last few years it had become my favorite reading chair in front of the fire during the winter. Sadly it had become so worn the whole seat was collapsing. No I had not put on that much weight!

We did a couple of basic unskilled repairs but the time had come to decide whether to invest in professional help or was it time for the poor chair to go to the big dumpster in the sky? This seemed a rather sad option after all the time spent enjoying this chair, especially as we had brought it with us from the UK and it had come from family. I went through the same repetition of calling for quotes to see if repairs were feasible. Again I went with the small business even though that meant waiting awhile to reach my turn in the long line of jobs to be done, generally a good sign for a repair business.

I am so happy with the results, most people that come into our home comment on the old bear in our "reading" room and how lovely he looks. Even my son on his return home commented on how awesome he was. Musical the bear and the chair live on to bring years more enjoyment to our family.

Do you have a soft toy or piece of furniture that has special memories? What memories does it bring back? Did you go as far as to repair it or pass it on? Do you have a really old piece that you know the history of? What stories does it tell?

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