Snow, a beautiful moon, and a hell of a bruise

I thought the snow might be gone before I had a chance to blog about it.

It’s not.

I did post a Facebook status update about my inelegant fall down the concrete stairs at the back of my house.  I must say that I’m quite touched at how many people commented with their concern.

It was a hell of a fall, and one of those lucky moments in life.

Where I fell -- the whole way!
where I fell (the whole way)

I didn’t hurt my back or crack my head.  The only damage is a bruise that might keep me from sleeping on my left side for a couple of weeks — but it could  just as easily have been an occasion for an ambulance.

I was taking out the garbage.  We had had grouper for dinner on Saturday night, and there were fish bones in there.  It needed to go out.

I should have put the bag on the porch and shoveled the snow first.  Instead, I fell down the stairs first — landing on the ground, on my back — and then shoveled the snow.

When I was a kid, and when I was a teacher (for 24 years), I lived for snow days.  I even liked ice days, as long as we didn’t lose power.  Anything for a day off school.

I wanted time to write.  If there was a forecast for snow, I would try to predict how much and how long we’d be out of school– and I’d start planning a project and watching the sky.  Nothing was more joyful than getting up on a snowy day and taking a cup of coffee into my office, seeing the beautiful white coating outside my windows, knowing I had time to work on my own work.

Now that I’m self-employed as a Coffee News publisher, and largely make my own schedule, it seems like work never stops. I still love the snow, but don’t get the same thrill of vacation.

Last night, I had lots of recycling to take to the curb.  Today is our pick-up day.  I didn’t know if the city would pick-up today or not (they didn’t).  My neighbors didn’t have any garbage, trash, or recycling in front of their houses.

But I missed last week, and we have a lot of recycling.  We print about 12,000 papers each week, and a couple thousand come back.  These add up, and I usually carry them out with a hand truck.  Not possible in the snow.

So I made several trips to the curb last night, trudging through snow in my tennis shoes.

I’m glad I did.

It was quite cold, extremely clear, with a full moon.  The street was spectacularly beautiful — bright enough catch with an iPhone.

The street in front of my house. The top light is the moon.
the big light on top is the moon

This morning, I took a little more recycling out — and took a few pictures in the morning sun.

And tonight, there’s still plenty of snow on the ground — a pretty good run for this part of the world.

I never took Economics

full moon
full moon

This morning I watched some business news on TV. There was a good bit of talk about the recession ending.

I went to a lunch meeting. More talk of the recession ending.

Problem was, nobody was doing much business.

This afternoon, I called on a few retail businesses. A furniture store was calling it quits at the end of the week. A few others were hanging on by a thread.

This evening, on the way home, I listened to Ivy League economists talk about the recession. People are really hurting, they say. People are losing everything — but it’s almost over.

Even when it is over, they said, there are serious problems that have nothing to do with this recession. Health care. A huge shift of wealth to the top. The real problems began in 1980.

One guy called in to the radio and said his father was a librarian who earned enough to own two cars, take vacations, and send several children to college — while his wife stayed home and worked as a full-time mom.

It probably won’t be like that again.

A woman called. She just graduated from college and got a job that pays 30k per year. She lives at home and feels pretty trapped. She owes 40k for her education. Not that much, compared to many.

Here’s what I gather from all of this. It may be almost over. In fact, it may be over. But things won’t get better until consumers resume consuming. And — they won’t start buying stuff if they are afraid they will lose their jobs.

People are still losing jobs, but not as many.

When people feel safe about their jobs, they’ll start buying, and business will improve for everybody.

The stock market is great, but Main Street is all about jobs, fear, and hope.

Still, when it gets better, it won’t be that great.

That said — my wife fixed a really nice dinner and I took a pleasant, late-night walk with my dog.

I listened to some spiritual stuff — rather uplifting — under a very bright, almost full moon. Walked for an hour. Not as hot and humid as it was a couple of days ago. Pretty nice for early August in North Carolina.

full moon tonight
full moon tonight