I had been hearing all weekend how busy retail areas were. Yesterday I heard that a farmer’s market and a mall were both crowded. I saw the same thing when I went out myself this morning. The expressway exit for the mall was backed up the length of the ramp, creating a six-minute delay for anyone using that route to get to the mall. It’s all a jarring disconnect from the more gloomy economic statistics of the year so far. My hunch is that some of the shoppers who completely skipped the winter fashion season because of mild weather are now tired of their fall clothes and are getting an early start on spring.