Befriending the Unfriended

45 days ago I was unfriended.  Not by choice, but by death, by lung cancer. After Julie’s death, I pretty much quit facebook; taking it off my phone and only replying to notifications. If Julie’s gone, who else cares to see my story and images – why post and why engage when my most encouraging yet objective critic isn’t online? She’s the only one outside of my immediate family who’d never actually unfriend me. Doesn’t everyone else use this platform to stalk and to scrutinize each other, why provide the material? Boy did I needed a kick toward positivity: do it for hope – do it for all those you love who remain – do it for your faith!

Last night when letting my dog out, I looked up to see two doves on a telephone wire with an incredible cloud show in the background. Two “old” birds just hanging out, enjoying each other’s company for no real reason. Not worrying about what everyone else is up to or posting selfies at the latest and greatest location, but truly together, taking in nature and feeling content. Julie called this goal, “a relaxed joyfulness.”  The wave of grief, my annoying sidekick these days, knocked me for a loop. It hits so randomly, ugh.



Yet, today, less than 24 hours later, an envelope arrived on my doorstep from my dear high school-befriended-again-via-Facebook friend, Jon, and his wife who live across the country in AL. What on earth could this be!? Inside, a handwritten letter (side-note: Jon, the fit I find with my camera, you most definitely find with your pen!)  explained why I’d been given a hand-crafted work of art by Jon’s friend, Nizhoni Thompson.

Through your kindness, Jon and Wanda, I’m inspired to resume –

“wandering the world, seeking the sublime, capturing creation, glorifying God”

befriending the unfriended; restoring power when the Lights have seemingly gone out for good.



We only get one shot – let’s make it beautiful

for us and for others.



In a Snap!

My daughter didn’t go to the beach for Spring Break – she came home and built NeckGrace’s website.  As a token of my appreciation, I gave her a mini-photo shoot on the way to the airport. We pretty much had 20 minutes to make some sort of magic happen.

Phoenix’s late afternoon traffic caused some delays, so we did the best we could in the little time we had – shooting in a snap! Finished, we jumped in the car. I drove, and per usual, SKP asked if she could preview the images on the camera.

“Mama, where’s your lens cap?”

I had no idea – I remembered it being in my back pocket when I gave the camera to SKP to take photos of me, but who knew where it’d disappeared in the hurried way we’d snapped those shots.

Ugh, we didn’t have time to go back and search, so continuing to the airport, in stop ‘n go, bumper-to-bumper traffic, we drove.  During the drive, SKP found a favorite image and texted the image # to my phone.

“Do you think you could send me this picture before my flight takes off?”

Of course, when you’re a mama and you’re appreciative of your child’s hard work, you do what you’re asked, at pretty much any cost –

I dropped SKP at the airport and went to my office and began uploading images – I singled out SKP’s requested image and set it via iMessage. She responded, “thank you, but could you send me the one that’s not a closeup?” I searched the 70 image gallery for the image that she may have been referring, and what do you know, while I hunted,


I found my lens cap.


This morning, fighting little or no traffic, I picked up my lens cap which was sitting in this exact spot, in the gravel. It hadn’t been snapped up by anyone.

Life lessons in a snap –

when we find the good in situations, magic happens.



Customer Service

Alone in my office,

I opened my computer and pressed a random key.

As always, my default screen, Google search, stared at me.

Can computer screens stare?

I searched, “dainty necklace.”

I found one I liked.

I approved it price, $28.

I clicked, “add to cart.”

The server added my selection.

No one said, “I like it” or “keep looking…”

Can servers grimace if a selection is not quite right?

I filled out my credit card information.

The website accepted the information that I provided. It must have liked it.

Can web sites like?

I clicked, “confirm.”

Instantaneously, an email notification popped up on my screen.


Now deliver.

I went out of town for 5 days.


Upon my return, three packages waited for me on my desk.

I opened the first package, ‘oh, those hair ties I bought…” the second, “Oh, that shirt in a larger size…” and then the third, “oh, the dainty necklace…”

Wrapped in a tiny box with a business card taped to its lid, the dainty necklace had arrived. I opened the box and found the dainty necklace hanging from a pretty piece of decorative paper. I could tell the paper had been perfectly cut to fit the box. Taped to the decorative paper was a note – a handwritten note from the dainty necklace’s maker, who had randomly entered my life via a Google search.


Her note, written in her red- ink cursive handwriting and beginning with my name, was a bonus gift with purchase. This woman had delivered to me, a stranger, a piece of her craft and a piece of her.

Herein lies the answer to my questioning our computers’ human capacities –

Human interaction doesn’t have to be lost in a computer transaction, but it’s up to us to infuse our computers’ inputs and outputs with professionalism, goodness and warmth.

The human job, customer service, is in our hands.

As Chantale Escobar wrote, “let your inner beauty ‘shine’ in all you do! ❤ “

Chantale Escobar, Accessory Designer