Mrs. Mosley and I decided on Chinese take-out for dinner on Saturday night, so I drove out to make the order and bring it home. While waiting for my order, I wandered outside the restaurant and walked along the other shops in the strip mall. One of these was an independent hardware store that I had gone to several times since we moved into the neighborhood last year. Becoming a first-time homeowner forces you to become much more familiar with hardware stores. It was a nice place, and far more convenient for me than Lowes and Home Depot, which were much farther from my house.
Well, the place went out of business about a month ago, a fact which bummed both of us out when we saw the sign taken down. Of course, I get depressed when I see any business go belly up, but particularly so for something like a hardware store, which fights the good fight against the big boys. I peered through the window and saw all the rows of shelves completely cleaned out. Cardboard boxes that displayed sprinkler heads and PVC pipe fittings were all emptied. Every single piece of merchandise that could be resold was cleared out. Then, I peered over to the register at the front and saw one item that wasn't taken by the previous owners.
A glass jar filled with miniature American flags on cheap wooden poles.
There's something about that I'm sure that is poetic or ironic or symbolic or some damn thing. I'll leave the imagery for you to figure out.