And today I walked to the bank. Exercise! Again, I went by way of the park across the street. It used to be a vacant lot the canal and walking path ran through, with a widened "pond" area and a fountain-like spray to keep the water aerated and flowing. A few years ago they turned it into a butterfly park, planting the kinds of plants that would attract butterflies, adding an additional path and some trees to the other side of the water and making the fountain something that seems ornamental as well as functional. The plants are still filling in, but the ones that have reached some degree of maturity, especially the roses, are now glorious. It's become one of those soul-restoring places. I can happily sit and look at the flowers and listen to the fountain.
It was a little unnerving when the teller at the bank called me by name, even before I handed her my check and deposit slip, but then I remembered that she had me coach her on pronouncing it on my last visit. Apparently, Norwegian names don't roll off the tongue for Indians. It's funny, I spent my teen years desperate to get away from small-town life, and I end up in a neighborhood that functions a lot like a small town even though it's part of a big city in a major metropolitan area -- in fact, even more like the idealized small town than the small town I'm from, in that I can walk just about everywhere and there really are neighborhood services like the bank, library, post office and coffee shop where the people recognize you and often know your name. My home town is very spread out and you'd be taking your life in your hands to walk anywhere. And then everything I don't do in my neighborhood I do in the neighboring small town where I can seldom go to the grocery store without running into someone I know. I think "part of a major metropolitan area" is the key part that keeps this from being the kind of small town I'd want to escape. Not only can I walk to a movie theater and library, but just about anything else I could possibly need is a short drive away. My home town was about 14 miles from the nearest "city" that still wasn't entirely civilized, and we lived on a farm outside the town, so there was no way to walk anywhere. This is more like the towns and villages you read about in books.
I don't really have any new book 5 -- Much Ado About Magic -- news, other than that things are in progress. The cover is almost complete, the copy editor is at work, and an author whose books I love has read it and given a quote for the cover. All of that will be revealed soon.
I spent yesterday working through the tutorial for the new version of my web design software because they've added features and I've forgotten a lot. I started playing around with a test site. Before I purchase the upgrade after playing with the trial, I may also try a test site using the software that came with my computer, since I'm starting from scratch anyway. I'd forgotten how tedious this process can be.