A day ago a really good friend of mine quit her job of the past five years - for perfectly good reasons, too. Not in the heat of the moment.

She's going home to be a full-time mom for her two daughters. Her husband - despite the fact I gave him a copy of NBA Jam when it released - just finished his dissertation and has a job already lined up. They bought their first house this year; it's not opulent, but they've put a ton of work into it and have really made their home something special.

I'm as envious as I am amazed. Married in much better times, they rented some really tiny places but lived smartly and stayed within their means. Now when every couple is supposed to be dual-income, with someone working two jobs just to save a giant house they couldn't afford, my friends kick it old-school like Ward and June Cleaver.

We're not out of this, and I don't mean to suggest the good old days are coming back for everyone. But I'm happy they're here for people I care about.

Some less cheerful news: