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Today I made my last trip to Pop’s for my lemon curd scone and coffee. I decided to buy one of their sweatshirts as a memento of this trip. The Oregon Coast is filled with stores shlepping souvenirs – but I chose Pop’s. It cost $45.00 for a hoody. But I gladly paid it.

Rather than just taking my order and my money, on the first day they asked me where I was from – and I shared my trip with them. By my second visit, I was a regular. I got introduced to “Bob” their favorite customer and his dog.  I took pictures of their restaurant and placed them on Trip Advisor until they get their own website. I blogged about them. Their lemon curd scones will literally change your life.

As I was crossing the street to my cottage it hit me. I just did what my first book predicted. When you are truly branded, you create an experience so intimate that people will tattoo your logo to their body – or in this case, plunk down 45 clams to advertise for you.

The ladies at Pop’s are truly tattoo-worthy.  Is your company?

That’s how many I’ve written this week. Combined with what I already have – ladies and gentleman – we have a draft.

Now the painful editing process begins. I have my ideal readers on standby. I trust they will be honest. It’s what I need at this stage.

But I do wish my Nana was still alive. She loved everything I did. I would go stay with her at the beach and she’d have canvas and oil paints waiting for me. I painted her this large pictures of a big orange cat.  She hung it in the living room! I even remember thinking it didn’t really match her decor. I was 12 – so it was not that great.  Years later I would buy a t-shirt that summed up the way my Nana felt about art – it simply said – “Good Art Won’t Match Your Sofa.”

I dedicated my first book to Nana. She gave me the confidence as a child to try things. She saw beauty in everything – and sadly died of a brain tumor that robbed her of her vision in her final year. But even to the end, she made me laugh and smile and could kick my ass at cribbage with her Braille playing cards.

I dedicate this second book to the credit union movement. This year I celebrate my 30th year as an evangelist. On June 16, 1980, I stepped into the lobby of Pacific NW Federal Credit Union in a light blue, white pin striped cotton skirt that buttoned down the side with giant buttons, and a white blouse. I remember that outfit because when I took a break to go to the bathroom, I had to unbutton it and promptly dropped the back of it in the toilet.

It was that kind of pure cotton that absorbed like a sponge and light blue turned to navy on contact. I contemplated quitting and running out the back door. But then I decided to face my fears, and make a joke about it. Everyone laughed with me – no one laughed at me. I was home.

Credit Unions have been my family. A big loud dysfunctional family with inbreeding and scandals and love and forgiveness. But I couldn’t ask for a better one.

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March 2010