Muchas Gracias, Mi Amiga de Barcelona

It was about 1:45 when I landed in Atlanta this past Sunday afternoon, and as soon as I got off the plane, I came up with a plan. I had a little over an hour until my flight to Birmingham, so I wanted to get to my gate, grab a sandwich, eat some lunch, and hopefully have time for a round or two of Candy Crush while I sipped on a pre-flight two-pump pumpkin spice latte’.

Listen. Sometimes a mental to-do list is the only thing that gets me through the day. And also caffeine.

So I hopped on the subway / tram thing for a ride to the next terminal, found my gate, stopped at Atlanta Bread Company for a sandwich, then tried to gauge whether or not there was time for a PSL. Since the line at Starbucks was surprisingly short, I decided that time was in fact on my side. I ran in the restroom, washed my hands, dashed over to Starbucks, and within about five minutes, I had a PSL in my possession. The only thing missing was the actual crushing of the candies, and I planned to remedy that ASAP.

I found a seat at my gate with enough room around it for all my paraphernalia, and after a few sips of coffee, I was more than ready to tackle the quests after level 50. It was time to make some stripes, make some wrappers, and make the long-awaited transition to level 51. Hallelujah. Amen.

Unfortunately, there was just one tiny little problem: I couldn’t seem to find my phone.

And as I mentally retraced my steps, I realized that the last time I had my phone in my hands, I was walking in the restroom. Ten minutes ago.

Needless to say, this memory neither comforted nor encouraged me.

As quickly as I could, I gathered up my purse, my coffee, and my big ole tote bag, and I ran back to the restroom. I looked on the floor, on the countertop next to the sink, in the open stalls, but that phone was nowhere to be found.

Oh, y’all. I was just sick about it. Because I don’t know if you know this or not, but if you lose your phone in the Atlanta airport, odds are that it is Gone Forever.

I may have also been having a crisis of conscience about a few gossip-y text messages that were most definitely not written as unto the Lord.

A very sweet restroom attendant told me that I should probably go to lost and found on the first floor, but I was worried that if I tried to get to another part of the terminal, I might miss my flight. So for about thirty seconds, I just stood there in the restroom, wondering what in the world to do, wondering how in the world I could have done something so careless, wondering why in the world I had not PUT MY PHONE BACK IN MY PURSE INSTEAD OF ON A SHELF IN THE RESTROOM.

Somehow, in the midst of all my panic, my brain realized that there was some kind of announcement coming out of the speaker above my head, so I tuned in. What I heard turned out to be the nine most favorite words of my day: “Shopie Hudson, please report to the Delta courtesy desk.” And then again: “Shopie Hudson, please report to the Delta courtesy desk.”

Neveryoumind that he didn’t pronounce my name correctly. I’ll answer to “Shopie” all the livelong day if there’s a possibility that someone may have found my phone. I’ll answer to “Gertrude,” for that matter. “Horace.” TAKE YOUR PICK.

So. After I checked at my gate to make sure that my plane was not about to leave, I asked where I could find the Delta courtesy desk. I then proceeded to run in that direction LIKE MY HAIR WAS ON FIRE. Fortunately I didn’t have to run very far, and as I turned the corner, I saw the face of the sweetest girl – maybe 17 or 18 years old – standing in front of me.

“Shopie!” she said, with the most beautiful Spanish accent. “You lost your phone!”

I couldn’t figure out how in the world she knew the phone belonged to me, but then she held out my phone and turned it around to show me. She’d opened my Facebook app, seen my name – and then she had me paged.

Suffice it to say that I’ve never been happier that I don’t use the passcode option.

My new forever friend and I struggled to communicate a little bit since I’m sort of dependent on English and she’s sort of dependent on Spanish, but I did manage to find out that she lives in Barcelona, Spain. She was traveling with three other members of her family, and I must have thanked all of them 19 or 45 times over the course of about four minutes. At one point I tried to give the girl some money as a reward – I was so grateful and didn’t know what else to do – but she wouldn’t take it. So we said our good-byes and I hugged her neck and I was about to walk away when I remembered that I had five or six copies of my book in my tote bag.

And y’all, I don’t know what came over me, but I dug down in my bag, pulled out a book, and handed it to her.

“Here!” I said. “I wrote a book. I’d like for you to have one. As a thank you. Since you found my phone.”

Because SURE. OF COURSE. I mean, you know what’s all the rage with teenagers in Barcelona these days? SOUTHERN NON-FICTION.

Oh, I can BRING IT with the awkward, can’t I?

So there you have it. I lost my phone. Someone found my phone. Someone returned my phone. And I “rewarded” her with a book that’s written in a language that she more than likely has no interest in reading.


I have to say, though, that I’ve learned some good lessons as a result of the Great iPhone Scare of 2013. I’ve been watching my phone a little more closely, holding it a little more tightly, updating my apps a little more frequently. I’m very thankful that we’re together again.

As a matter of fact, I think I’ll crush some candies right now. Just to celebrate, you understand.

It seems like the right thing to do.

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  1. I LOVE THIS STORY. (Not so much the phone losing portion, but the phone finding portion, definitely.) Oh, you make me laugh!

    The very very very best part is that you gave her your book. How awesome is that!! You know she went back home and told all her friends that she found the phone of a world-famous author at the airport and got to talk to her and everything. Oh, you should have signed it for it. Signed it “Shopie Hudson” of course… :)

  2. I love it! You made me giggle! So happy hap you found your phone! You go girlie girl!

  3. This made me laugh out loud! I love that you gave her a copy of your book! Perfect!! :)

  4. Dear sweet goodness, that made me laugh! I especially loved the texts that were not “written as unto the Lord.” Thanks for the day brightener. From way up here in Minnesota, it’s a true gift to get a little taste of the South now and then. Thanks, Shopie, for bringing the awkward and sharing tale. So often I bring it, but then just curl up into a little wad of crusty ugliness, like that stuff that’s left after your backyard fireworks burn out. Loving your approach much, much more.

  5. This is *exactly* why I don’t passcode my phone!

  6. Oh Shopie! What a great story. I’m glad it all worked out – it wouldn’t be nearly as funny if it had not.

  7. Emily Massey says:

    O.M.G. This made me LOL. Thanks sweet sister Shopie!!! xoxo

  8. Hey! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?

    My blog addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!

  9. I could actually HEAR you saying those words! I would live in sheer FEAR if someone recovered my phone…because the PICTURES. I have all manner of shots my children have taken. Oh that was great for a laugh and I am so happy for your acquisition of the 2 pump PSL but I must inform you I am 45 mins + from the nearest Starbucks. So I’m sort of coveting ya’ll with your two pump PSL’s!

    Love and Bacon anyway!

  10. Thanks Sophie! Glad to hear you found your phone and thanks for the a great story that made me snort while eating my corn flakes! My kids always know that it’s you or Melanie that make me laugh that hard so early in the morning. Crush some candies!

  11. I about spit my sausage and biscuit all over the computer at your gossipy texts that were “Not unto the Lord!” Bahahahahaha!! And, I think losing your phone, that sweet girl finding it, and you giving them your book was probably something very devine. She and her family may even be ministered to by that great book of yours!! Thanks for making my morning and my day!!!!

  12. What a sweet story! Faith in humanity restored. :)

  13.…..laughing out loud…..just precious…..what a way you have!!!!!….have a wonderful Friday, Shopie!!!

  14. Oh this was TOO funny!!! I left my phone at the nail salon overnight once and nearly beat down their door the next morning to get it…. Thanks for the laugh :)

  15. Que bueno! So glad you got your phone! And I KNOW that girl loved your book. How could she not??!?

  16. You are so funny! What a great way to start my morning, with laughter from “Shopie Hudson”. hahahaha! Thank you, Sophie! Have a blessed day! :-)

  17. Michelle Washington says:

    Oh my gosh! You make me smile and also regret the fact that I HAVE to passcode my phone for work. Maybe I should place a “If lost, please return to…” sticker on it?!

  18. I just LOVE a happy ending! I think giving her the book is awesome. I bet she does read it, and I for one, am thrilled that she’ll see a real slice of Americana and not the hyped up Miley Cyrus version. You go girl! And hang on to that phone!

  19. Danielle Parker says:

    I seriously just laughed out loud. You are a riot! Thanks for brightening my morning, “Shopie”!!

  20. LOL!!! I mean that literally “laughing out loud” and not the way teen girls mean it when they put it on everything – , “I’m drinking a milkshake” LOL; “I have a foot fungus” LOL, “My cat died” LOL. No, I am REALLY laughing out loud. You made my morning!

  21. Oh My Lord! I laughed and laughed at this post! I laughed so long and loud my co-workers had to come and check on me. All I could do was laugh and point at my screen. HA! Thanks for making my morning!

  22. Laughed and loved this post!

  23. This is the best! How great that you got your phone back and I LOVE that you rewarded her with the book! Even if she never reads it she’ll have a great story to tell. :)

  24. Julie in Michigan says:

    OMG you had me laughing from start to finish! Great job on a Friday!!!

  25. I love this story SO much! Thank you for being you and thanks to the lovely dona who returned your phone to you!

  26. Melissa in Idaho says:

    Hi Miss Sophie!
    I just wanted to share that I chose your book for our “Literary Club” to review this month. There are 16 ladies in our group and we met yesterday for the review. We loved your book and had a great time discussing our favorite stories. Thank you for sharing your family and faith with us. You might like to know that I gave the ladies Land O’ Lakes butter for a door prize! I am hoping at least one of them bakes me a treat! :)
    Happy you got your phone back… great post!

  27. This post just made me all sorts of happy. I don’t know if it was the fact that you gave her a book in a language she doesn’t quite understand? Or the fact that you are hugging your phone a little more tightly? Or that you were going to go crush some candies to celebrate. Thank you for brightening my day, Sophie Hudson.

  28. LOVE IT SHOPIE!!!!!

  29. Oh, Horace. i just love you. And, while I never thought I’d say this…thank God for Facebook, right? Who knows, maybe your book will be her English primer. Who needs Rosetta Stone when you have A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet?! I can’t think of a better introduction to the English language.

  30. Oh, you DO make me laugh. Thank God for you wit! In fact, I was giggling so hard my co-worker had to check whether I was laughing or crying and I have to say a little of both…

    Thanks for sharing your life in such a humorous way that we all get a big kick out of it. And I am so glad it had a most happy ending.

    Candy crush away!

  31. I am so glad you are bridging the gap between America and Spain. Miss Spain my never have read any of the Bible but she now has a wonderful story of a southern girl with a love for Christ. I hope you autographed it for her!

  32. Another reason NOT to get the new iPhone with the fingerprint security system.
    I know that sick to your stomach feeling when you cannot find your phone…..glad you got yours back

  33. Hehe. “Crush the candies” is what my 2-year-old calls it.

    I love that you gave her your book. Maybe you’ll become an international phenomenon all due to an almost-lost iPhone.

  34. I can’t wait to hear the rest of this story! I know that God will have a part two for you to share with us! Thank you dearest Shopie for the hilarious tale!

  35. I’m so glad! You’d better crush those candies….cause they ain’t gonna crush themselves. (our family motto)

  36. This is a classic! So many levels of funny…drama with a happy ending. Thank you :)

  37. Sophie, you definitely have a gift!

  38. Excellent! I love this! And books in English are prob a hot commodity in a land where they’re hard to find. maybe she’ll pass it on to her English teacher or something.

    This is one of the few times not having a passcode comes in handy ;) usually we hear stories about the horrors of not having one.

  39. Oh my word, that made my day! Sadly, I have a three year old and a five year old. If I didn’t passcode my phone, there’s no telling what all they would purchase for me. And worse, the five year old would use up all my Candy Crush lives!

  40. Since I just finished your book I can say without a doubt that sweet girl received a precious gift! Just think what a witnessing tool that will be, halfway around the world!

  41. Horace. That’s my grandpa’s name. Made me smile, Shopie!

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  43. Girl that is moo-E Bway-no that she got your phone back to you! And I think your book is a treasure greater than an iPhone. Imagine her learning English plus also the added bonus of Southern jargon while bent over your book with a sombrero-sporting tutor. Quite the scene.

    This summer I found a lady’s engagement ring. She cried & asked for my name but that was it. Besides a very cool story–which is what I wanted the most anyway!

    Here’s the shortlink if you are so inclined