Our New Home Makes Us Yearn for the Old One

There is a commercial for Target Stores that’s running on TV lately which captures the zeitgeist of today’s tough times with an appealing zeal. The catchy tune with the words “this is a brand new day,” contrasts the old and the new in our time. “The new bakery” turns out to be mom’s oven; the new nightclub is revealed as a couple’s wild gyrations holding a Wii controller; the new tropical vacation is a do-it-yourself tan. What I love is the way this ad accepts what’s happening, and embraces the positive.

I approach life like that–refusing to knuckle under to despair and doubt, but taking what we have and making it work. This ad always brightens my day because it espouses my sensibilities. As Don says, “I’m not participating in this recession.”

Every week I read Peggy Noonan’s column in the WSJ, and almost always, it is spot on and full of clarity and wisdom. She wrote a pretty depressing column this week that tried to pin a label on the uncertainty and scariness of today’s recessionary feeling. I read it to Cindy, it was so telling and seemed to really have a handle on how it feels in 2009. She compares this to America moving from the old into the new homes–the old being prosperity, high stock values and wealth, and the new, well that’s where we live now.

Noonan cites figures that show people are scared, they are buying a lot more guns, and now it’s hard to find gold Eagle coins, production has been suspended due to unprecedented demand for gold bullion. People are looking for things on the web, like places they can move, houses in small towns, looking for the olden days. The more practical advice comes not from Noonan but from the people who say we ought to plant more gardens, and try to grow more of our own food.

My old pal Bill Hewitt has been at that for some time…and I bet that there will be more gardens planted this year full of vegetables than ever before.