Singin’ the blues

There are two things my children will always remember about their mom: The songs I sang when I tucked them in at night and that I’m a blue girl. Not the sad and depressed blue, but the best of all colors blue.

I sang a variety of songs to my children at bedtime. Gary sang the WVU fight song. Trust me, our kids can “Hail West Virginia” with the best of ‘em.

From me, they heard “Tora-lora-lora,” “McNamara’s Band,” “Paper Doll,” and “A Bushel and a Peck”—the songs my parents sang.

I added, “One Tin Soldier,” “American Pie,” and two John Denver hits, “Country Roads” and “Annie’s Song.”

We also took requests. Trey always asked for “Holly Jolly Christmas.” It mattered not that it was a steamy hot July day.

A few weeks ago, our daughter Kristen called.

“‘Annie’s Song’ just randomly came up on the radio. I cried,” she said.

Last week, we heard from our Korean child who is not Korean. We call her “Jordan.”

“I was just ordering some bánh mì at the Vietnamese sandwich shop next door. Suddenly, John Denver’s ‘Annie’s Song’ started playing. So funny to hear here,” she texted.

I told her I was glad she found it amusing and that the same song had made her sister cry.

“I believed that’s happened to me before,” said Jordan. “But not today, I guess.”

“It’s not a crying song,” I wrote.

“It’s a memory song,” said my daughter. “You used to sing it to us.”

“I still can. I’m not dead, yet,” I said.

“I knoooowwwwww…goodness, Mom.”

Jordan changed the subject.

“I just got home and am reading your letter!” She likes my letters, I think.

The one in her hands was written on a card that forced me to write in black ink. For some reason, the card-stock rejected my customary blue.

When I want to write in blue and cannot write in blue, it drives me crazy. I texted this to my daughter.

“I know, Mom. You wrote that in the letter, too.”

At least I’m honest. I’m a blue girl—blue jeans, blue sweaters, blue tops, blue sweatshirts.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. OK. Maybe it is.

At times, I have had to consciously steer myself away from blue in clothing stores, which is why there is a bit of black, grey, green, brown, and red to tame my closet of blue.

But, if a girl is going to choose a favorite color, at least mine comes in countless shades—turquoise and navy and royal and sky.

Cars were my one exception (note the use of past tense). I drove white or bronze vehicles—paint colors that looked clean when they were actually dirty.

We once owned a midnight blue van. It showed every minuscule piece of dust and dirt and sand and salt it rolled over.

Goodbye, midnight blue. Hello, bronze, then white—until now. 

My current vehicle is Shoreline Blue. It’s just not a part of my genetic make-up to pass on a car that reflects both the sky and the sea.

I feel the same way about pens. A few years ago, a friend gifted me a set of Pentels, medium point, medium blue—BL77-C to be specific.

They’ve been my go-to color, but I just discovered BL77-S—Sky Blue. Do you feel my heart pounding?

I’m the girl who, on every clear, sunny day points to the sky and says, “Look! There it is. My favorite color!”

Without a doubt, my bedtime song catalog is more diverse than my personal color swatch. But if my children give me a choice between singing the blues and writing letters, I’m going to write and write and write—in Sky Blue.


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