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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Marketplace, Memories, and Madness.

Yesterday my wife and I went to the Columbus Marketplace. She gets free tickets from one of her coworkers, a gentlemanly, polite man with one of the most perfectly groomed mustaches I have seen in years. He works there with his wife, son and granddaughter.

The building was huge. Still, though, it was crowded, every inch, except the narrow, crowded aisles, filled with vendor booths. Each booth stuffed with art, crafts, trinkets, gift items, almost everything. Clothing, rugs, pillows, everywhere. It was a world apart from what the average person experiences. And it was fantastic.

Colors ran from bright and gaudy, to tan, subdued, and cream in one step. People hurried from display to fixture to shelf, pulling 2 wheeled carts, the attached baskets filled with coffee cups, shot glasses, gloves, jewelry, candles, handbags, sundries only to be guessed. Treasures were everywhere, depending on how you define treasure. People were buying, people were shopping, it was a celebration of commerce and capitalism.

There was a peaceful feeling in the midst of the madness. A pleasant solace in the joyful noise. In the midst of this terrible campaign, filled with division, slander, and venom here was a sound of normalcy. From the bustling, inconsiderate shoppers, to the apathetic callous vendors I saw America.

In what was just a short trip, a spur of the moment decision, really just one of those things we do because it is new and different, w e were delighted to find our country was alive, and kicking. Despite the wailing and lamentations of political cadres this country, and its citizens, are moving forward, and the election is not really going to make much of a difference.

Our country is a machine unto itself, and it will churn on, turning out Marketplaces, craft shows, street fairs, all sorts of community festivals, bringing people together, selling products (many of them made somewhere else), food, and generating conversations, right in the middle of the cramped aisles. Causing other shoppers to rush through one of the claustrophobic booths, in a mad dash to the next knot of glorious merchandise.

One thing apparent, in every aisle, and almost every booth, patriotism and Christianity are alive and well. People were lining up to buy the symbols so dear to both beliefs. You could not miss the immense on display, rows and rows of Christmas trees, angel necklaces, bracelets, Crucifixes made from, and into, almost every imaginable medium, shirts, and signs adorned with the flag, sometimes the original flag, showing a star for each of the 13 colonies. People find comfort in symbolism, and I find comfort in that. As long as we can find something to rally around, and some common message to share there is still hope, and that is a scarce commodity.

We left there with a few gifts, sore feet, a new wristband sporting the skull and crossbones, for only $2.00. Plus, a small belief that there is a future. And that didn’t cost anything.Peace