How deeply a container ship cuts through the water just off of a port. A priest's homilies invoking the unemployed. The line at Starbucks.
Even a casual reader of The Upswing knows that we are fairly obsessed with uncommon  economic indicators. So imagine how psyched  we were to come across this piece about just that, which aired on the Seattle and Tacoma NPR affiliate KPLU yesterday.
The story begins with a reporter asking 1,200 residents of Oregon, Washington and Idaho to complete the same sentence: Indicators for me that the economy is getting better or worse is when I see or hear ____ (blank).
Happily, it sounds as if most of those polled saw signs of a healthier economy of late. Or, at least, most of those who made it on the air. My favorite answer comes from a woman who lives near the Columbia River and can watch container ships coming and going. In the piece she "deduces how many of the containers on deck are empty or full by how low a ship rides in the water."
These days she is seeing less ship, more water.