This sign is in front of a small-business auto-exhaust shop in town, and it speaks of the times. Many more people shop now at the no-frills grocery: all three checkout lanes are busy. People carry their groceries home -- walking.
There are more new employees at Wal-Mart, working very strictly, as if they have master's degrees from Wal-Mart University. Rummage sales, church suppers, food drives, fundraisers, foreclosures. Fewer doctor visits, less travel and dining out. Higher bills for everything. With gasoline $3.68/gallon (today -- who knows about tomorrow?) every soul feels pinched. (Thanks to a certain P------t of the United States whose name we don't mention.)
All the same, there's an atmosphere: everyone making an effort to hold their heads up, hide their worries, keep their dignity and put on a smile, and think to themselves, "There's some that's got it a lot harder than I do."