From time to time I am asked about my love for Winnie The Pooh and my signature, "Gitty Up."
Winnie the Pooh and I became friends in those years when as a young boy I'd been locked in a room for 3 years, before they put me out on the farm and I found the spirit of the horse.
Horrible things happened in that room, things that continue to haunt me today. But at some time in those room-years I somehow got a Winnie The Pooh book. I used to pretend that room, with its solitary window painted black, was the 100 Acre Wood. Like Pooh, Piglett, Tigger, Kanga, Roo, Eyore and Christopher Robin, my adventures in the 100 Wood were imaginary, but Pooh was a terrific imaginary guide.
Pooh Bear has been a steady and loyal friend throughout life, always ready with a funny story or song, and advice. I credit him with my love of honey. And butterflies.
My email signature comes from Pooh Bear. Our daughter, the sweet and terrific Abbie, had a Winnie the Pooh desk calendar a few years ago and on July 17 of that year Pooh was dressed as a cowboy and the caption was, "Gitty Up Pooh Bear." She sent it to me with this note, "Thought you would like this."
That little picture and her note resides on the table under glass by my chair ever since. About that time I was just beginning to find my way around the keyboard, and emails. I noticed folks had clever and heartfelt sign offs at their siggys. So I latched on to "Gitty Up, Dutch Henry," and except for the most formal emails that's what I use.
I often wonder what folks think about that. But just as the spirit of the horse has in fact saved my life, so too did a tiny yellowish brown inquisitive, funny and heroic bear hold my hand in the darkest moments.
I think I'll shovel an extra spoon of honey on my oatmeal this morning.
Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry