“Weed ’em and Reap!”

This week, we have returned to Market.
Many of you have never had the opportunity to experience this, so I will just try to paint the picture for you.

It’s energizing. It’s exhilerating. It’s inspiring. It’s EXHAUSTING!

We started out Wednesday, and continued on every day until today, Sunday… Day of REST… AMEN! I needed that! We have gotten there every day by 10:00 am and have gotten home every evening about 10:00 PM. Long days. But, it’s not so much just the time spent there. It’s how you spend your time there.

First of all, though, I must back up and start with the time spent just getting there. Sally picks me up and we head to the city. Not too bad a ride, considering we’re just, what 45 minutes out? And, thankfully, we miss most of the morning traffic going in. And, then, thankfully, Sally knows the best and quickest way to get to the closest parking garage in that area. Of course, it’s $20.00 a day to park there, but Louis is kind enough to pick up that check.

Then, with lovely badge around neck and walking shoes set on the pavement, we head for the Gift Mart.

No sooner do you hit the revolving door at the entrance and IMMEDIATELY you are inundated with throngs of anxious and excited buyers. And, up you go. Up two rounds of escalators, and then, down the first hallway of MANY, across the bridge to building 2 (unless you want to do about 10 or 14 rounds on the escalator, which we opted for by the last day).

In the lobby of building 2, you meet up with about FIFTY MILLION other people, waiting for at least one of the six elevator doors to open, to get to the floor you’re needing to get to. And with there being people getting off on pretty much every floor all the way up to the 18th floor… needless to say, it takes a good dose of patience and cooperation.

… finally *DING*! An open door, for all to smoosh in quite intimately with one another, just holding your breath, waiting for your floor. And then… finally *Ahhhhhh*, you get off on your floor and can breathe once again. Much better. Okay, now… where to?

On any given floor (of the 18 just in building 2 alone) there are anywhere from 20 up to 50 showrooms… PER FLOOR. It’s crazy. Check out the map at: http://www.americasmart.com/buyers/planvisit/campus_map/

It doesn’t do it justice, but will give you a rough idea of the quantity I’m talking… 2,000 showrooms and over 4,000 booths in 4.2 million square feet of exhibit space . I mean, Mall of Georgia has NOTHING on this place.

But, with directory in hand and blurred memories from the day before, you find the showroom you’re looking for. WHEW! A break from the crowds… WRONG!! It seems they all had the same idea you had! … the nerve.

So, you go through the crowd to finally find a familiar face in the crowd (your friendly sales rep.) They then kindly take your bags and offer you something cold to drink and if you’re lucky (or, like us, have learned which showrooms to hit at the right times) something good to eat!.

From there, they walk you through their respective showrooms, showing you new things and reviewing over the same old things. And with every item, your mind is recalculating… how much have we spent? how much more should we really spend? what have we already gotten? what else do we need? and where will it all go when we’re done here??

In about 2 hours, you’re done with that rep and it’s on to the next. And the next. And the next. Like I say, you’re doing good if one offers some good food along the way and REALLY blessed if you can find a place to sit down while you eat it! That’s a good day when that happens. You know the ole adage: “WILL WORK FOR FOOD” … yeah, that’s us. We’re shameless. But, that’s okay. Trust me… we have purchased plenty enough to justify a meal or two ‘on the house’.

BUT, if you’re REALLY shameless, starving and broke, you can always head over to the gourmet food section of temporaries in building 3 for all the samples you can handle (if you don’t mind a terrible upset stomach afterward! And if you’ve actually allowed enough time to do so.) Cookies, crackers, soup, drinks, dressings, jellies… you name it, they’ve got it. And are ready and willing to cram it down your throat, at the off-chance you’ll then buy some from them in return.

By about 6:00 pm, they’re all starting to shut down (along with our feeble minds) and you’re then rounded back up like a bunch of cattle onto the elevators. Unless you’re really brave and ambitious… in which case you get onto the escalator – which by the end of the day and 18 floors later, tends to get pretty log-jammed and nerve-racking.

Finally, you step off the last escalator, step out the door and you’re free. Free from the crowds. Free from the constant calculating. Free from the hustle and bustle. You find your car in the parking deck, throw your bags in, drag yourself into the seat, sit down, sigh a huge sigh of relief, and head home, vowing to get enough rest to get through the following day.

You get home, COMPLETELY wiped out. The thinking, the walking, the fighting the crowds… but mostly the thinking. Because once you get home, you can sit down. You don’t have to bump into anyone to get from one room to the next. And you’d think your brain would just quit by the end of the day, too. But, no.

It seems the more your brain gets stimulated throughout the day (and I can’t think of a more stimulating place than the Gift Mart) the more it wants to keep going strong. As tired as you are by the end of the day, your mind just goes into overdrive. Reviewing the day. What you saw. What you bought. Who you saw. What you spent. What you intend to do with all the merchandise purchased. Who’s on the agenda for tomorrow… what they might have. Will they have something better than what we just got today? If they do, will we have to go back and cancel with ________? Will they at least have better food? šŸ™‚ If not, where will we find food? … I mean, on and on and on and on………..

The other night I lay there, totally spent, wanting SO badly to get to sleep but could not get the wheels to stop turning. And as my wheels were spinning out of control, I thought back to a plaque I saw at Amscan ? (I think…) It said “Weed ’em and Reap”. Of course, it was a cute little sign for your garden, referring to your weeds and plants you actually want to grow. But, this night, it held a new and different meaning for me.
I thought back to a sermon Pastor Scott had done a while back. He had said he was having trouble sleeping because his mind had gripped so tightly on something. So, he decided to start consciously counting his blessings to himself. So, I tried it. And you know, it worked. Before I knew it, I was sleeping like a baby.

Now, in this case, it may be more appropriately said “Weed ’em and Sleep” but it’s funny. If you just weed out all the anxious thoughts and focus on the blessings you already have at your hands, before long, you forget what it was that even had you all stressed out.

Oddly enough, just today Scott again made special note of Philippians 4:8-9 ~
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise… then the God of peace will be with you.”

Pretty much says it all in a nutshell, I would say!

That, and, of course “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” ~Mark 6:34.

Which reminds me, I’ve got plenty of laundry and housekeeping yet to get done for today, so I better wrap this up. But, I hope this has helped you all better understand what Market time is all about! And after tomorrow, I should be back into the regular swing of things. Thank goodness! … that, is… until JULY!

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Published in: on January 14, 2007 at 7:22 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You ‘splained that perfectly! Sounds like the Builders Show. I think the only thing it has on the Mart is that it’s in sunny Orlando! And being out of town means getting to do fun vacation-type things in the evenings, all paid for by the bossman! Yay! Oh wait…that’s us!

  2. Well, I’m exhausted just reading about it. Now I’d better go lie down — and count my blessings. šŸ™‚


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