'meet you at the depot'
This sentence has been said and texted a zillion times in our family.
The depot is the social core of our Northern California town, a former train station and then greyhound bus station tucked at the base of Mount Tamalpais. Now it is a red brick plaza anchored by the Depot Cafe and Bookstore, edged with wooden benches, permanent chess tables and mature trees skirted with concrete benches that house musicians and parents and dog walkers on any typical day. The bus stops across the street now.
In the twenty years that I have lived here, I have sat on those benches with coffee while my baby slept in a stroller; I have watched my kids climb the trees, make chalk drawings, play hop scotch, ride scooters, skateboards and bicycles. I have brought my kids coffee while they played guitars, banjos and mandolins, busking (very successfully)for money. Sometimes I'd see them there playing when I drove by.
I meet up with my kids there now, in town from college or traveling; it's our central meeting place to hang out or go for a meal. Recently I ran into my son there unexpectedly, not even knowing he was in town; Little kids were climbing trees, riding scooters (with helmets now), the hacky-sack kids, moms in lulu lemons pushing sleeping babies in strollers, and an old guy playing a sitar under the tree.
Mary Allison Tierney's essay The Gingerdreadman is included in the anthology Mamas Write, available at Amazon, or your local independent bookshop.