An Unwelcomed Holiday

Well, Labor Day, which seems to be a strange name for a holiday when so many people are off, has come and gone. At any rate, folks were busy holding cookouts, sun burning themselves one last time, and attempting to set off fireworks without igniting parched yards or blowing off body parts. For lots of reasons, Labor Day isn’t my favorite special day of they year.

The first Monday in September marks the end of too many things. In fashion, women are supposed to stop wearing white shoes or sandals. I never understood that rule. If a pair of shoes is comfortable, why shouldn’t a female wear them? Is Mother Nature going to pitch a fit or injure the offending party? No, it’s more that some group sits around a table and dictates what is deemed as appropriate clothing for folks.

For some reason, Labor Day is the last day public pools are opened. The explanation used to be that the Tuesday after the holiday was the first day of the school year. I get that, but plenty of adults aren’t sitting in classes. September still has plenty of days with temperatures in the upper 80’s and even 90’s. So, wouldn’t it make sense to leave the pools open at least for another couple of weeks? Of course, that would be going against the long standing traditions.

Labor Day marks the official end of fun for kids. Life returns to the normal grind. School takes back students and swamps them with homework, projects, and evening programs. Children cope with that and the dozens of activities in which they are involved. Parents work all day and then spend the evening ferrying the kids to practices and finding time to fit in an evening meal. Just thinking about the routine makes folks tired.

I have my own reasons for not being fond of Labor Day. For one thing, summer is my favorite season. Bring on the heat like the southeast has experienced this year. I like working outside in sweltering temperatures and a broiling sun. Previous generations worked in those conditions and thrived in them. Pouring sweat has to be good for the body; it removes impurities, and hard work in hot weather probably kept parents and grandparents healthier than present-day folks.

The arrival of Labor Day always points out that falling leaves are on the way. Now, as much as I enjoy mowing the yard, I hate mowing leaves. It’s a job that begins in September and ends in January. I work grinding up the leaves in my yard and then labor in the neighbors’ yards before their bushels of reds and yellows blow across the street. For all the effort I’m rewarded with a sinus infection from the dust and leaf mold.

As much as anything, this fall holiday signals the dwindling daylight and cooler temperatures. I’m a person who suffers from sunlight deprivation, and the shorter days keep me hunting for the light that is so welcomed during the summer months. Too, I get cold and stay cold during the fall and winter months. Knowing before long I’ll be bundled up in layers of clothes is depressing. Sometimes bedtime comes early and is the only remedy to cold feet. YUK!

At times, I just worry that I won’t see another summer. Life is a fragile thing, and none of us is guaranteed a single moment. I’m not sure I lived each day to its fullest this warm weather season, and I’d hate to think there’d be no chance to make amends the following summer. Mother used to dread the onset of cold, shorter days. She wanted to see plants bloom and the sun warm the earth. I guess I’m my mother’s son.

Labor Day is a day off for millions, and they celebrate the free time. However, when they think about the changes that are coming, the holiday isn’t necessarily one toward which we should look forward.

No comments: