Illustration: Luciano Lozano/Moment/Getty Images

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Look for "Meant to Be's"
Things happen in your life that may not make sense at the time, but when you look back on them, you can say, "Oh, that was meant to be!" Like my friendship with Eve, which began when I used to travel to Portland, Oregon for work. I called on Eve, who, at the time, was the supervisor of facilities planning for PGE (Portland General Electric). We became friends over the course of many sales calls and lunches, to the point where I became a regular at Eve's home for dinner when I traveled to Portland. One day Eve's mom, Ardis, asked Eve if she knew any artists, because she was looking for someone to paint a cover for the book she was self-publishing, Facing Age: Finding Answers. Ardis had an idea of what she wanted: something botanical. Eve knew I had a talent for painting flowers. It just so happened that I was in town that day, so Eve invited me to dinner to meet her mom. As Ardis and I talked, we kept laughing because it all seemed so "meant to be." Ardis had been a journalist, among many other types of professionals, and still wrote a weekly column for the local paper, the Lake Oswego Review. I was honored that she considered my art for the cover. I selected climbing clematis as the subject for the painting. Not long after, I quit my job and began painting greeting cards and calendars full time. Looking for things that seemed meant to be became a practice for me; and though it's years later, my and Eve's friendship has remained intact. Who knew how our respective lives would shift and change as time passed? But we've been there to watch and support each other—and it's always felt meant to be.