You learn a lot, working in a public place.
Today, for example, I've had conversations about everything - from the cafeteria is making more wraps for lunch to the weather and isn't-it-a-shame-the-park-grass-will-be-all-ripped-up when the semis hauling the carnival rides sink into the soft ground and the latest potluck get-together news. There's a timelessness to it all, to the time-worn queries and sighings over the weather and the concerns that small-town life bring - and a sweetness I never found in other places I've lived.
There's a comfort in living here, in knowing not only my son will be safe as he rides his bike to his friend's house*, but neighbors along the way will note that he goes by and remark upon it as they drink their tea or hang out their wash or flip on their computers (we're not quite as 50's-ish as immediately appears) and Bear will get queried about it by tomorrow afternoon.
Because my young'uns are part of this community now. Assimilated into the great patch-work of it all, of births and deaths and heartbreaks and tradition, of other people watching my kids grow up, remembering in the back of their minds what my husband was like as a child.
Some of them remember when B rode his bike by himself for the first time too.
*For the first time! All by himself! How did he get so big so fast?