Part of the great adventure of writing my first book is the things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met. At least for me, it seems like usually when I admit that I don’t know something (which is quite often), people who do know something about it are more than happy to help. As a civil engineer, I got paid to know stuff (or at least figure it out) and solve problems. Through hard work, investment of my time, I was often one of the more experienced hands in the room; at least when I had my own company, and when I headed up Land Development Engineering as the City Engineer. Then when I was promoted to director, suddenly I knew less than everyone who reported to me, which was a new experience for me. Even the new city engineer, working with engineering issues every day, quickly became more expert at those than I was. It was a humbling experience, but good training for new ventures, like writing a book.

This past week I was searching through ‘author photos’ to be used in a press kit for promotion of my book take less. do more. Looking at the photos reminded me of how sometimes in life we are the giver, and sometimes we are the receiver, and how both are valuable.  

When I realized many months ago that I would need some legitimate, professional ‘author photos’ at some point, I contacted a local friend, I’ll call him Matt, who seems to know everyone in Bend. He referred me to a professional photographer friend of his, I’ll call him Bruce. Bruce agreed to meet me for coffee at Sparrow Bakery, and we talked about what I needed over Ocean Rolls and coffee. While Bruce does stunning work, the vast majority of his photos are landscapes, not profile photos. He referred me to a photographer friend of his, who I’ll call Greg, who he thought would be good for that.  Since there’s no HIPAA among friends, he shared, in vague terms, that Greg had recently received a terminal diagnosis, so I shouldn’t wait too long to get in touch.

As I walked home, I realized that I already had a friend, Terri ‘Splash’ Steele, a thru-hiker and photographer, who could take the needed photos.  I called her and set up a visit, but decided to meet with Greg anyway.  Greg and I met the following week, again at Sparrow Bakery, and spent some enjoyable time chatting.  Greg told me since he had limited time left, he had quit his job, and was working on checking off some bucket list items.  One of those was a trip to Patagonia, which he wasn’t sure how it was going to happen with his new, more constrained, financial situation.  Since Francie and I keep a separate bank account for just such opportunities, we were able to help in making that trip happen.

Originally when Greg came into my life, I was thinking I would be getting something from him, some headshot photos I needed.  As it turned out, Greg came into my life instead so that I could do something for him. Now I’m always intrigued when someone new comes into my life, is it so that they can help me with a problem, or am I supposed to help them in some way?  Sometimes, I end up finding out, it’s a little of both.

Either way, whether it’s for giving or receiving, I hope you welcome a few new people into your life when they cross your path.  You just never know where it will lead!

Similar Posts


  1. You and Francie have been a great example of giving so freely. After taking my brother backpacking for the first time (I’ll call him Dan because that’s what my parents named him) he said he really loved it and would do it again. 2 days later, a Gossamer Gear Mariposa landed on his front door, gifted from me (I call myself Diane because that is what my parents named me.)
    Fast forward a year or so, my friend took me on my first big trip into the Sierra (I’ll call her Kit because that’s her name). There she drooled over my Gossamer Gear The One tent. She has 6 kids and was working crazy hours and couldn’t justify buying the tent, as she said her current tent “does the job”. This Christmas The One was delivered to her front door. It felt so good to bless her with the tent and note saying, “Thanks for introducing me to the Sierra all those years ago.” And of course a big thank you Glen for taking me on my first backpacking trip ever, into Buckskin Gulch.

    1. Diane, you set a great example to us and everyone! It’s no accident that you’re so involved with Make-A-Wish! You are always working in life to make people’s wishes come true!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *