A tribute to Libby


My grandmother Elizabeth, Libby for short, enjoyed traveling—even if it was just a Sunday drive sitting next to the love of her life, my Grandpa Paul. After they retired, the drives turned into longer RV versions.

I have a memory of a letter from her that she wrote while staying in Grand Tetons National Park. She described the feeling of standing among the jagged mountain peaks that climb doggedly to the sky over 7,000 feet from the valley floor.

I’m pleased to say that I relived that feeling today. And I’m even happier to say she was right. The Grand Tetons are beyond breathtaking. But it wasn’t enough to drive right up to the base of mountains like she and grandpa did; we had to get into them. So with bear spray and plenty of water, we hiked up to an emerald oval named Lake Phelps.

Once we arrived, our daughter claimed she had to put her feet in the icy water. So it was with utter surprise and a shriek (from me) when a wild brown thing splashed by, giving us all a scare. A fish the size of my arm? Not exactly. It was an otter—one who, we later joked, kissed her toes.