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Out of the Blue

Have you ever heard the saying “out of the blue”? According to Wikipedia, ‘Out of the blue’ is an informal English language idiom that describes an event that occurs unexpectedly, without any warning or preparation.

The saying often referenced a thunderstorm that appeared suddenly, when moments before there was a clear, blue sky. Every time I hear that saying, however, I think of something different. I remember a special time I heard those words.

The time was in the 1970s. I was a young teacher, and the person who said the words was my elderly landlady. I rented the upstairs of her house, and over the ten years I rented from her, I grew very fond of her. She was one of the most interesting women I’d ever met.

She was one of eleven children, if I remember the number correctly, and she’d emigrated from Germany in the mid-1930s. It was the time when Hitler was waging his reign of terror throughout Europe. She was the youngest of her brothers and sisters, and the only one in her family not yet married. She was alone, unprotected.

When word came that the boy to whom she was engaged to marry had been killed--he was a German soldier--her brothers and sisters provided the necessary money to pay for her passage to America to join her brother, who was already in the U.S. He was a Catholic priest here in the Midwest.

She had such interesting stories to tell, although I had to listen closely when she talked because her English was heavily laced with German words and a lyrical accent. I especially enjoyed her telling of the day she docked at Ellis Island and first set foot on American soil.

She spoke no English when she arrived, and was quite alone. Someone there gave all the passengers an orange when they stepped off the ship. She’d never seen an orange before and thought it was such a wonderful gift. She loved the pretty color. Unfortunately, no one told her you had to peel an orange before eating it. She thought the person who’d given her the orange had played a horrible trick on her – until someone showed her how to peel it.

She told another story I’ll always remember. It was an event that happened some forty years after she’d come to America.

One day, her doorbell rang, and out of the blue, the man standing on the other side of the screen was the German soldier to whom she’d been engaged when she was eighteen years old. The boy she thought had been killed in the war. He was older now, as was she, but had come from Germany to see her.

There were tears in her eyes when she spoke of that day. Having him appear on her doorstep was a surprising event that had occurred unexpectedly, without any warning or preparation. An event that happened out of the blue.

Although I hadn’t thought of my friend’s out of the blue experience while I was writing my soon-to-be-released book BETRAYED BY YOUR KISS, my heroine also has a similar out of the blue experience.

The man she loved with all her heart dies because of her actions. But four years later, he arrives out of the blue. Except the man standing on my heroine’s doorstep hasn’t come to rekindle the love he thought he’d lost, but to exact revenge for my heroine’s betrayal.

If only he can keep his heart from betraying him.

Any of you who have experienced a bolt out of the blue know exactly what my heroine is feeling!

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