Friday, July 15, 2011

A refreshing, friendly, happy place

9:22 p.m. Today's project was to visit Kraemer's Koffee Bistro to meet the owner and staff, drop off fliers, and thank them for hosting a book signing for Galatians: An Exploration of Faith & Freedom on July 30.

I have lived in Riverside for decades, but had never ventured into this part of the Brockton Arcade, despite having eaten at the Green Onion, had my hair done at nearby salons, checked out snowboards at the sporting goods shop, had my wedding diamond replaced at the jeweler, and gotten massages at a chiropractor there on Brockton, as well as taken 3 of my four kids to the orthodontist catercorner from the shop. It's truly a hidden gem!

Kraemer's has been run by the family since the 1960's and sits on one side of a shady breezeway with covered patio tables. Since I parked in the back, that's the direction I entered from. At 1 p.m., it didn't smell like coffee, because they serve lunch and breakfast too. The lady in front of me was paying for her panini sandwich, and the counter guy was taking care of her, making sure it was just right, extolling the virtues of the panini, and generally keeping up friendly chatter. I felt my body instantly relax, forgot about the fact that I didn't look like an "author," or even a "Mary Kay lady," but was comfy in a long blouse and some nice Bermuda shorts my son-in-law gave away a few years ago. I truly enjoyed standing in the short line, smiling at the busy--but not too busy to be having fun-- staff, and the patron sitting at the counter inside. You just start smiling there at Kraemer's! I knew from talking with Jake the owner a week or two ago that he is a Christian, and is delighted to offer the book signing opportunity my Tate marketing rep Jeff Fisher set up.

Where has this place been all my life? God knew I needed to decompress today, and He provided an oasis of cheer for my soul!

I had time to look at their extensive list of ice-blended coffees and pick one I'd never seen anywhere before--Chocolate malted. Wow, couldn't wait. When it was my turn, I introduced myself and my fliers, so the counter guy called over his shoulder to the lunch maker, "Jake, it's Dana from the book signing!" Jake wasn't more than 7 feet away in the kitchen, so I think he had gathered who I was, so I started laughing, "Yes it's me!"

Jake reiterated that he was honored to host the signing, "and I hope there's a line out the door!" Incredible. I told them my daughter would be photographer for the day. I pray he'll have lots of drinks and food flying out of his kitchen and over the counter for his generosity. My drink was beyond delicious, after the counter server and I agreed wholeheartedly that yes, I definitely should have the whipped cream on top! Talk about someone perfect for his job!

I slipped out to the nearby patio table with my drink to fulfill the other part of my errand: to get out of the house to a coffee shop and make business phone calls to drum up sales to help finance my hotel costs at the Mary Kay Seminar next week in Dallas. But first, I excitedly texted my daughter Heather, to invite her and Nick to have lunch on us at Kraemer's before the signing starts. "Bring plenty of business cards, " I told her.

Now I wonder if I'll have enough books on hand, may have to borrow some and quickly order a few more. I could get all worked up over this, but my marketing rep told me to print up some Tate order blanks, and do it that way if I run out. Then of course I'll take or send the books to the purchasers. What do authors say at public events? I try to picture the signings I've seen on tv, but those were famous people like Laura Bush, so lines were indeed out the door, even people waiting overnight at major chain bookstores, so I still don't have a clue for the modest event that will be taking place on the 30th.

I do know this, that God hasn't carried me this far, through so many trials, to drop me suddenly! Right now there's a video playing on the Gospel Music Channel by "The Afters," whose chorus says,

"You light up the sky to show me You are with me;

No, I can't deny that You are right here with me."

My phone calls were surprisingly easy and flowed, probably from the tasty good mood I was in with my chocolate malted! Best of all, I continued calling back at home in a good frame of mind, making connections with lots of gals, and offering them bargains and good service on a wonderful line of products. There's potentially a lot at stake right now for my business, but as my sales director emailed me last night, "This is God's battle!" (II Chronicles 20:15)

Yes, all of a believer's battles are the Lord's, so as we do our best, we can trust Him for a righteous outcome!

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