Echoes – Gifts of Love

OK, I’m the first to admit it. I’m just a big kid at heart!

This week I want to share with you some very special things

that live in my home with me.

Echoes of Love 1 - posted

Meet Mustakuono (Black nose). He’s the cute little bear on the top right. He came into my life a very long time ago. In fact, it was not long after I had started dating TRH (The Retired Husband). Mustakuono was my first gift from him. He arrived with his provenance neatly scribed on notepaper which since has been misplaced somewhere. But his story is well known. When out strolling back in Finland TRH had come across him, lonely, wet, abandoned on a stretch of beach. Mustakuono travelled to Australia with his new friend. Then he moved in with me and spent several years keeping vigil in my bedroom. Eventually, after we married, Mustakuono too found a mate. That’s her on the top right – Mrs Mustakuono. They are very happy together. As our family grew so did theirs. The bottom left thumb sucking lil’ fella is a very old bear gifted to me by a friend. He needed a bit of surgery to keep his innards in. The Mustakuonos adopted him, and the other little one.

Echoes of Love 3 - posted

Then there’s Goofy who travelled all the way to Adelaide in a friend’s suitcase from Disneyland. He’s a jolly fellow. Next to him in the red dress is – you guessed it – Little Red Riding Hood. She joined our family at the same time as Christopher  in Manila. She’s a dazzling trio who hides Grandma and the Wolf all in one.  The handsome prince in white is an Indian Bridegroom who travelled to Adelaide from Calcutta with our son, Marc. Next to him is a doorstop angel I call Metatron because he’s big and quite unique with buttons in his hair. He sits on TRH’s bedside table ‘cos that’s where they both want him to be.

Echoes of Love 2 - posted

The elegant vision in white with gold wings is my bedside angel. She’s called Grace. Next to her is the POL (Prisoner of Love) wearing ball and chain permanently strapped to his ankle. A willing prisoner, I am told. TRH gifted him to me one Valentine’s day. Although he has lost a few toes following some stumbles and falls over the years, he remains happily imprisoned. Michael is the patchwork angel next to POL. He was made for me by my clever quilting sister-in-law. He keeps a star in his pocket.  The southern Belle is one of the few remaining items of my foray into ceramics many long years ago. I handcrafted her, clothes and all. For many a year I’m ashamed to say she was -*blush*- knickerless. That’s her showing off her ankle length lace decorated tea dyed knickers. She likes them.

Echoes of Love 4 - posted

Grandpa on the left hangs around on the doorknob to my office. His partner is somewhere in my sister’s home. Mum gave them to us. They don’t mind being split up ‘cos they’re still in the family. Now we come to a pair of Tertiary Educated Bears. Testament to my academic career and various bits of parchment, I was gifted them when I graduated with my Masters in Mental Health Nursing. The Wise Owl is another of my sister-in-law’s creations. You can’t see it here, but he is holding a parchment in his hand – oops, wing.

Echoes of Love 5 - posted

And last but not least, allow me to introduce  you to the last few characters. Top left is Matron. She’s a paper weight bear with lead shot in her butt. I made her under the patient tutoring of my neighbour who back then specialised in crafting unique bears.   I never knew that an itty bitty little bear the size of Matron (no more than 15cm in height) could take SO  MUCH wadding, stuffing and sewing. Matron of course is a nurse like her owner, and proudly wears the nurse’s cape, flying nun cap and various badges of honour.  Below Matron is a mini Yoda (‘cos I like Yoda) and a collection of mini minions (‘c0s I like minions). And very last but not least, meet Henry. He’s a Pilot Bear – the dashing one. This is what he has to say: I’m Henry. Thank you for adopting me. I’ve been a careflight pilot for over 20 years now. They say I’m the Life of the party when the Bear family gets together. But there’s nothing I like better than flying, especially when it’s to the rescue.” It’s kinda cute now ‘cos Marc is in the Air Force. TRH bought this one as a fundraising bear.

I hope you enjoyed meeting these  special critturs. With them they brought a lot of love and happiness to our home.

© Raili Tanska


28 thoughts on “Echoes – Gifts of Love

  1. I collect Bears all the Traditional Bears but some are dressed – Uniforms/dresses etc, I even have a “Princess Diana Bear” but I prefer all the Traditional Bears. You have a great Collection.

  2. I also have bears, my grandmother had the tradition to buy a bear for every grandchild on there first christmas, i have mine and my boys also plus a few extras Paddington being one of them there is something very special about bears, I love them !

  3. My goodness! That’s quite the family they have there! It reminds me of our manger scene. Drollery built me a stable the first year we were married and we bought the figures for it. But over the years we’ve added a few pieces as they’ve found their way to us on floors in stores, in doctors’ offices, etc. We have an elephant, a lion, deer, an alligator, chickens, ducks, Esther (from the Bible), Santa Claus… I can’t remember what all is there. We just figured they were all welcome at the manger. 🙂

  4. ANOTHER reason we’re connected and I love you. Because I really like toys and I feel more trusting of people who like toys (the furry kinds!). I should take some pictures of mine. Aah I’m so glad you do (like toys) it just makes me smile a lot.

      1. I’m just sorry it takes me so long, for some reason your blog NEVER makes it to my feed EVER which is totally unacceptable. So what I do is I try to go there deliberately but I don’t get there as often as I would like and that’s very wrong. I’m sorry for my errant absences but it is not a sign of not enjoying reading you as I really love to read what you write and I must admit to a little envy at how well you spin stories my friend, you are a natural and make it look easy which I know it is not. xo

    1. I never knew that bear was a Monchichi. It’s a rescue bear 🙂 The friend who gave it to me was going to chuck it out! He’s very old, bless him. My collection has been added to since this post 🙂

      1. The hillarious thing is in street spanish mon chi chi sort of means ‘your tit/boob’ which is so funny. I LOVED my monchichi so much it got all grubby and destroyed eventually I always missed him though I’m glad you saved one, I think saved toys are like saved animals they are more grateful and it’s good karma too

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