R. got the lights on and I got the remaining ornaments (yesterday's acquisitions and those from an earlier run to The Paper Store) up and it is Beautiful.
I probably should be doing holiday present shopping, but instead, I've been surfing VRBO in search of a place for us to spend some time at in August. The first place was non-responsive, but the second place got right back to me and a deposit is going out in the mail this afternoon or possibly tomorrow. Turns out I'm not the only person who moved up their plan-a-summer-vacation activities up to December from August. The woman I talked to has several places and she says they are already half booked for the season.
There are other indications the local economy is going really well. There's a strip mall (Staples, Trader Joe's, Pier One are probably the anchors; smaller stores include Gymboree, EMS, Talbot's, Chico -- it's a pretty nice strip mall) near where I live which had a fair sized store (the one in the corner) that went out of business recently. Today, when I went to TJ's and Gymboree, I noticed that the space was already rented -- I don't think it was empty more than two months altho it's possible it was three. There's a Jos. A. Banks store in the spot.
Which leaves the one obviously unoccupied space in town the former gas/service station which was briefly a cafe/market. (Okay, to be fair, there's a strip mall over near Nagog, where Rugged Bear is no longer and Scupperjack's closed as well. There's a new chocolate shop that just opened, The Happy Chocolatier, and there are other restaurant in the plaza, including Crossroad's Cafe, Daniela's, Il Forno and Bickford's. Now that I think about it, it's mostly restaurants and other food purveyors over there now, with a kid's hair place and a couple other things. Altho a little surfing suggests possibly the kid's hair place moved from Nagog Park to the old Stride Rite location on Great Rd. Hmmm.)
I didn't get a look at the former Stride Rite location. I think they finally went under and that there's not a kid's hair salon there, but I'm not certain because I only saw it in passing a few weeks ago.
ETA: Okay, I just decided to do the available-space assessment a little more formally (went over to LoopNet to see what's listed). (1) There's a pizza place for sale in town, but I'm not certain which one it is. (2) That McDonald's has been empty since long before we moved into town. (3) Wow, there seems to be a [ETA further: small] chunk of office space open in Nagog and on Powdermill Road. (4) Is that the building with Vanash in it, or is that Vanash's neighbor? I'm developing a real affection for LoopNet.