We were eating brunch outside at a restaurant near Ralphs. I looked
over at the market, and nothing looked different on the outside. After
brunch, we walked over and things did look decidedly different on the
inside. There was still food on the shelves, but it was noticeably less.
I talked to Monica, one of the checkers I've known there for years.
Monica has always been friendly and cheerful, even during holiday crunch
times. She filled me in on the details of the market, and I told her I'd
see her in a few hours when I came back with my marketing list.
While walking out of the store, I overheard one woman say to her
checker, "I can't believe it. This is such a loss to me, my family, my
neighborhood. I've come here for 25 years. I practically raised my
children in this market. Now what am I going to do?"
I didn't hear the checker's response, but I know that like all of us,
the woman will have to go to another market. We have a Gelsons nearby and
there are things I shop for there that I can't get at Ralphs and vice
versa. I know some of the checkers by name there as well, and I've had
plenty of food for columns come from both markets.
During the day I thought back to the woman's comment about the loss of
the market. It will be a loss to many. But then I thought about the
different ways God can use loss in our lives, to bring something we
didn't have before. Many years ago, we needed to move from a house that
we all loved, and it was a real loss to us. But God worked through the
situation so creatively and we gained a neighborhood filled with great
friends and neighbors.
When I went back late that afternoon to Ralphs, I was surprised at how
empty the shelves were. There is a brand of tortillas that I've only
found there, but there were no tortillas of any kind left.
Two days later I went to the other nearest Ralphs where Monica and
many others were transferred. I asked Monica how she was.
"I was pretty emotional the first day and could hardly talk," she
said. "I'm OK today. I actually like it here and familiar faces are
I saw familiar faces, too, and I enjoyed seeing some friends I
wouldn't have seen if I hadn't had to drive to their neighborhood to
shop. I also found the brand of tortillas I wanted.
I'm sure I'll shop at many markets that undergo many changes over many
years. But wherever I go and whatever I do, I'll always be accompanied by
an ever-loving but never-changing God. Unlike any market, any thing or
any body, God never needs remodeling, moves away, or goes out of date.
And you can quote me on that.
CINDY TRANE CHRISTESON is a Newport Beach resident who speaks
frequently to parenting groups. Her column runs on Fridays. She may be
reached via e-mail at o7 firstname.lastname@example.org or through the mail at
P.O. Box 6140-No. 505, Newport Beach, CA 92658.