Hello everyone! I know it’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post, and I apologize! We’ve been so busy renovating The Bear Cave that I’ve not had time to focus on anything else. But I’m here now, ready to post some thoughts that are very dear to my furry little heart: Furiends around the world!
Thanks to technology, a simple little Bear like me has made wonderful furiends all over the world. I get to have interesting and uplifting conversations with people in Europe, Australia, other parts of America, and small scattered places everywhere! I have gotten to know other bears, cats, dogs, zebras, tigers, elephants, humans, and all sorts of other curious creatures! We share our daily lives, funny stories, and sad experiences, and bond over everything from shared sports teams to saving those less fortunate. I’ve learned that, despite our differences or our distances, we are all the same inside! We all love our friends and family, we all have hobbies and interests that are important to us, and we all are interested in the bigger world out there! We are modern day pen pals!
A lot of my furiends are on Twitter (you can follow me at at @IamDieselBear), but I’m also connected to the world via Instagram (iamdieselbear), Facebook (Diesel Bear), and of course here on WordPress (iamdieselbear.wordpress.com)! At times, it seems overwhelming keeping up with all these sites, and I must admit that a LOT of the posts are cross-shared, resulting in my seeing the same thing three times on three pages. But, it’s still worth it…and it makes me feel less silly (or annoying) to be sharing my own thoughts four times!
We become family to each other, my online furiends and me. When someone has not posted for a few days, words of worry go around! Has anyone heard from so and so? Does anyone know if they were going on vacation or having computer problems? Who has their email to check on them? When there are health problems or losses in a furiend’s life, grief is shared and support is offered worldwide. Some might say that some stranger in another country saying they’re ‘sorry for your loss’ really doesn’t mean anything…but I think it does! I think having a large, diverse, wide-spread network of support and advice is a wonderful thing! I hope all my furiends would agree!
Traditional pen pals began with snail mail, of course! Often, school teachers would assign students pen pals as a writing exercise, for practicing spelling or penmanship. Small, envelope-fitting tokens were often exchanged, including stickers, photos, stamps, and cards. During World War II, letters were a prized thing on the front. Knowing that someone, anyone back home was taking time to write to you was very moral-boosting. Nowadays, snail-mail pen pals are mainly a prisoner thing. Because many incarcerated people are not allowed internet access, they have actual pen-and-paper correspondence.
In the vein of pen pals past, my furiends and I often exchange tokens of our homes! Postcards are always circling the world, sharing vacations and hometowns. Local delicacies, like chocolates and candies, are often shared (and critiqued!) between different countries because what’s sold in Australia may not be available in England! Many of my furiends have fabulous creative talents, and clothes and crafts are always passing through the post! I even have pins on my travel vest from furiends around the world!
It really is ‘a small world’, with many of us finding we know cousins and relatives of our furiends. Here at The Bear Cave Refuge for Unloved Bears, several of our bears are related to my online furiends! Not a week goes by that I don’t notice resemblances between my roommates and my furiends’ pictures!
I truly enjoy my techno-pen pals, or keyboard pals, or whatever we’re called nowadays, and I wouldn’t trade them for all the real-life bears in the world. I’ve learned so much about their homelands, their personal stories, and their families. And I see myself in all of them…my dreams are their dreams, my fears are their fears, and my life is their life!