The economic condition of the United States of America has not dramatically improved, but there are signs that the icy stares and groans of those in our region are easing --- and in WINTER, no less!
It's a brief entry today, but only because of an observation from keeping an eye on the local media in the RiverBend. I've noticed that we don't seem to be hibernating much in Alton and the surrounding communities. "We" being the humans who reside and work in the area, not the animals which normally go into hiding --- and even some of the animals are already back raiding the trash cans after a brief three-week quiet time as the frigid cold of late December and early January came and left. Back to the simple observation: we didn't let the cold of winter slow us down very much. If the small crowds at the mall, the stores, the streets and highways and the church congregations are any indication, the people who live here were busy any moment they felt they could get out and go into the icy conditions and meet up with others.
When going out in the slick and slippery snow, the many persons I watched were mostly being cautious, but had a plan and were sticking to it: get to their destination and perform their tasks. Yes, it seems that businesses were opening - largely on-time - and not closing early, people were almost friendlier than in several years, and notes in the news were more positive about --- people.
This is not a business observation just yet. Just a happy thing to see. People were interacting in a light-hearted manner again in December 2009 and early January 2010.
Perhaps we just don't want to stay in bed all day long, or maybe we're not the kinds of people who can sit still and be bumps on a log for a prolonged period. Whatever the case, it has been nice to be able to just smile and receive a smile in return...in a public place.
Mid-January brings about plenty of new things and a great continuation of those things which have been in our lives. I invite anyone in the RiverBend to find out what it is that makes them meet up with strangers --- and go ahead and try something new. It could be the local Alton-Godfrey Kiwanis Club, a book club which interests you, the though of the Madison County Geneological Society which would spur you into digging into your maternal or paternal roots, or the long-since-past-days when you performed music and felt compelled to join hundreds of others who - when they got the impetus to do so - wanted to get back out and play music again for the first time in 20 to 40 years. Now is a good time to explore. Take a drive up the Great River Road and do some eagle watching, or just go visit with someone you've not seen in a decade.
My bet is you have some smiles you'd like to share, and even more you'd like to see. Make some plans to go out and enjoy life soon.