OUT OF THE BLUE
Anybody who knows me well also knows my sister Libby. And anyone who knows Lib knows this: EVERYBODY NEEDS A LIBBY! Libby has been my pretending partner, my confidant, my fellow mischief maker, my tender-care giver for all my mortal life. All but one year. She was born 16 months after me. She is my kids’ other-mother and my husband’s fishing buddy. We spend some portion of just about every day together and if I don’t see or talk to her I go to bed feeling like something is missing.
Growing up, Libby and I, along with our older sister Ann Marie, pretended all sorts of things. We whispered our hopes and dreams between the scenes. I recall one humid night in Pittsburgh, when we were young teenagers. We each had a swing at the park by the Pleasant Hills Municipal Building. We pumped the soles of our feet up toward the stars as we pondered our futures, each of us announcing the description of our husbands-to-be and what we would name our children. Lib was going to have 12 children. Or maybe that was me. Could have been either at the time. Libby was going to name one of her sons Levi George, the middle name after the grandfather we never met (and our brother, of course). We had our futures roughly defined.
And then the future came.
I was going to be a psychologist or an advertising mogul and I was not going to get married until I was at least 26.
At 26 I was pregnant with my 4th child. I had happened, by the fates of Heaven, to marry the man of my dreams a few months after my 19th birthday and everything shifted.
Libby was going to be mother to a passel of kids. She might do something like teach History, but mostly she would snuggle those babies.
Instead, by the time she was 26 she was the youngest regional sales manager TWA had ever had and she won the Alfred E Packer award for “eating the competition alive.” (Alfred E Packer cannibalized traveling companions in a blizzard…another story). And she was still single. Being single and an un-interruptedly faithful Latter-day Saint, she also had no children. But mine. She snuggled mine like they were her own. No wonder they love her so.
Anyway, while I changed diapers, Libby climbed the corporate ladder. She ended up moving to Boston as Director of Marketing and Reservations for Sheraton International. She oversaw 17 regional offices all over the world. She had the world, quite literally, in the palm of her hand. Then they transferred her to Chicago. She had the dream job, and a free pass to anywhere in the world. What she longed for…was home.
With the help of the Lord and to the delight of her family, Libby left the clutches of the corporate world and came home. “They’ll grow up with or without me,” she determined. “I would rather them do it with me.” So she left the daily life of Dana Buchman suits and Sesto Meucci shoes; of Hors D’oeuvres and unlimited room service and came home to baseball games and chicken noodle soup. She found, again, the girl who sat in the swing next to me on a long ago summer night.
OUT OF THE BLUE was written for Libby, and for everyone who prioritizes and sacrifices for the sake of family.
Again, this song is autobiographical in principal but not in detail.
OUT OF THE BLUE
Growing up green in the hills of Kentucky
She thought she’d be lucky to leave there one day
So fresh out of school she moved on to the city
Cut from her past like the tractor cuts hay
But her roots held the ground and they’re there to this day
Life in the fast lane was driving her crazy
Caught on a fast train that fought with the wind
There’s a little old house where the sunsets are blazing
And sunflowers are growing, they’re gold and they bend
That’s where she’s going to find her again
Out of the blue gray haze
That covered her nights and days
Out of the steel blue walls of Fifth Avenue
She took her spring bouquet out of that cobalt vase
Tossed to the wind
She found her again
Out of the Blue
There’s a closet of blue two-piece suits she is leaving
Deposits and blue chips she sold at a loss
Yes there are tears, but the reason she’s grieving
She just now discovered what fortune had cost
And she cannot recover the time that was lost
On another summer night, under an Idaho sky, with her nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters and her beloved mother circled around her, we gave Libby a cobalt blue vase full of Idaho wildflowers. She was with us at our annual Sun Valley Bar Meetings trip. We stood at the side of a hill, where she lifted the flowers out of their vase and tossed them into the Idaho Wind. She was home.
To hear OUT OF THE BLUE Scroll down to the entry called THE BUILDER and look for OUT OF THE BLUE on the red music player.