Labor Day: A day NOT to Labor.

September is the ninth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar and one of four Gregorian months with 30 days. September is my favorite month of the year. For me, September is the beginning of Fall.  Actually, in Wisconsin, Fall is well underway by the beginning of September and by the middle of September the leaves will soon start changing.  You can already see splotches of color here and there and the Sumac is bright red in places.  Technically Fall does not begin until September 21st, but we all know that the real end of summer is on Labor Day.

In many parts of the world, summer ends when students head back to school (They are already back in Wisconsin and in Minnesota they will head back tomorrow). The Fall weather and temperatures are perfect (for me anyway) and I love the changing colors of the landscapes.  I love the cool crisp air and the beauty of the trees, shrubs and falling leaves. I love the many Fall flowers and the aforementioned shiny red Sumac bushes. The flowers and Sumac bushes will soon be complimented by the Oaks, Maples and Poplar trees which will contribute bright yellows, oranges and reds to the smorgasbord of colors. The leaves have an almost ethereal quality as they float to the ground and cover it in a rich collage of hues and fading tones. However, when the leaves start gently falling, the end of Fall comes all too soon for me.

I was born in September and of course my birthday will bring some treats.  However, I would still love the Fall with or without my birthday.  Many people do not feel the same way that I do about the Fall, particularly in Minnesota.  Karen does not enjoy September and seems almost pained by the changing temperatures and climate.  She does not like getting up in the morning when it is 47 degrees or less and she regrets the acorns that are already starting to scatter on the ground.   I love to tease her by bringing some of the first acorns I find on my trail runs home to her.   You can find them scattered on the ground as early as middle August up here.   Karen tells me that she can only think that when Fall comes, Winter will soon be here.  Winter means snow and ice to Karen which is why we now own a home in Arizona.  After enduring “Northern” weather for 60 some years, Karen had enough cold, frost, snow, frozen fingers, frozen toes and slippery roads to have no nostalgia at all for a Minnesota Winter.

In many parts of the globe, Fall lasts somewhat longer than in Wisconsin.  Weather-wise, we have a two month Fall that covers September and October. Never mind that the calendar says Fall ends on December 20, up “North” it really ends right after Halloween.  By then the colors are over and the leaves need to be raked up.  Not to mention, we may have snow long before the “end” of Fall.  If you are lucky enough to live in New England, your Fall will last at least a month or so longer than ours.  I remember in China visiting the famous “Tea House of the August Moon” or in China, it was called “Tea House of the Autumn Moon.”   I still remember thinking how funny that in China, August was the beginning of Fall, at least in Hangzhou where we visited this famous local temple on the lake.   I am sure it is not the same one as in the Brando movie but it was historic and interesting anyway.

Well, in four weeks, Winter will not matter much to us.  We will be headed to Arizona to escape the Winter.  However, I am hopeful that we will catch most of the Fall before we leave.  I want to get to as many church “harvest” dinners as I can and perhaps even have a bit of Lutefisk before heading West.  If you do not know what Lutefisk is, you are missing one of the few culinary delights that the Swedes and Norwegians up here have bestowed on America.  Well, Karen would add Leftse and Krumkake and Swedish pancakes to the list and perhaps a few other dishes as well. Who can forego the famous Jello salads which are ubiquitous at church dinners?

Time for Questions: 

What is your favorite month of the year? Why? What is your favorite season of the year? Do you enjoy each season or do you have a special season you look forward to?  What does Labor Day mean to you?  Do you know what it commemorates?  Do you care?  🙂

Life is just beginning. 

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Greg Gorman
    Sep 04, 2013 @ 02:33:44

    Immigration 2

    1. Can you help this happen?
    I assume that you’re asking about “fair immigration”. I guess that depends on what you mean by “fair”. Our government has a fair immigration policy. There are quotas which permit various numbers of people to apply for residency. Certain countries are allocated different amounts of candidates. Those applying are further separated by skill set. If these regulations were followed there wouldn’t be the difficulties that we presently face. Our country has these problems because our borders are not secure, nor do we have a proper tracking mechanism to identify people who overstay there their visas.
    The issue at hand is that we cannot control our borders, and those who arrive are given jobs in spite of its illegality. So we must deal with the situation that exists and simultaneously take action that will prevent a reoccurrence of this very troubling situation.
    As a member of Organization for Action, a progressive 501 4c, we interface with our congressmen to advance the cause of justice as we see it. In this situation we seek fairness for those illegal workers who now find themselves identified as criminals. Deportation is impossible. What’s needed is path to citizenship for these folks, and a fast track to citizenship for the “Dreamers”. The news we get from congress indicates that we will soon find a consensus which will include securing the borders and providing a clear and obtainable path to citizenship.
    2. Can you fight against the prejudice of others to keep our shores open to those in need?
    I hope that when you ask that our borders be open to those in need that you’re not asking that any and all people who are in need should be invited to live here. I would question what criteria you would apply to qualify for this invitation? I would guess that most of the peoples of Africa are in need. If invitations were sent to China to allow their bottom 10% that would create an additional 250 million individuals thereby doubling the population. The reservation of some citizens to restrict the number of arrivals isn’t prejudice, it’s common sense to protect this nation from the ramifications of over population.
    3. Can you add your voice to those who want a fair immigration policy?
    I have added my voice to advocate for fair treatment of all persons who live in this great nation. I have contacted not only my representatives but their leadership. I’ m sure that you have as well. Perhaps you could include the text of your communication as part of your 3rd installment, and thereby showing others how this can be done.
    4. Can you help quell the anger and rhetoric that fuels much of the “anti-immigration” debate?
    The anger and rhetoric will end when a workable immigration policy becomes law. Rest assured it will address both sides of the issue. The most difficult part will be to monitor and prosecute those businesses who unlawfully hire those who have not or refuse to be part of the path to citizenship that this legislation will finally offer.
    5. Can you speak out and support those who want to make America a home as much as your ancestors did?
    As I mentioned earlier, I have done this; I am doing this; and I will continue make my voice heard. However, I do feel that our ancestors left their homes with a great deal of apprehension. I find it difficult to believe that one would their native land if they could see a bright future for themselves at home.
    For this reason, I believe that everyone would be much happier if our foreign policy included money and methods to improve their existing economy and thus remove the necessity of leaving relatives, friends, and culture. This nation and its priorities have change greatly since the 19th century. Our doors are still open, but they are open in measured, fair, and prudent fashion.
    Finally, I want you to know that I have been getting myself educated on this issue and many others, and it’s my goal to someday, if I try real hard, I’ll be as educated as you.

    Reply

    • johnpersico
      Sep 04, 2013 @ 14:27:13

      Greg, sounds like you are doing something to help create a fair immigration policy. My point is that is what we need and if you look at history the benefits of immigration are indisputable. Of course, times change, but we should not be basing a new policy on fear and xenophobia. This has always existed and it takes away from a rational policy that can be a win win for us and for our nation. In part three, I lay out some other ideas and complete my Immigration Trilogy. It is not one part but three. As far as 1 hour per week, I say you have to start someplace. I am not in favor of letting our politicians make all of our decisions while the majority of Americans sit and watch sports. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      Reply

  2. Greg Gorman
    Sep 13, 2013 @ 13:42:43

    1. What is your favorite month of the year? Why?
    My favorite month is June. June is the month when the season transitions from spring to summer. The blossoms that we so beautiful in spring now start to bear fruit. Metaphorically, the promises of the past start to show fulfillment in the present which give concrete evidence that all your hard work will yield your desired results.
    June brings a summer sun during the day and cool breezes at night. The air has yet to accept the humidity that often accompanies the heat of summer. In that cool evening breeze you can still smell he remnants of spring with the freshness of fast growing life.
    Optimism for the future is the true gift of June.
    2. What is your favorite season of the year?
    If I had to pick just one, it would be summer. I believe summer to be the most life-supportive of the seasons. During summer, you won’t freeze. Water is more accessible when it’s not frozen. The summer sun always fills me with an obligation to be active.
    When I was living in the Marshall Islands, every day was just beautiful. True, it might seem hot and humid to the new arrival, but the body adjusts.
    After work, I was compelled to play golf, or tennis. On the weekends, I would go diving, cook steaks on the grill, and rest in my hammock listening to island music. As I previously alluded, the single draw back was the self-inflicted obligation to take advantage of the day. Upon my return to New Jersey, its diverse weather allowed me the rest I needed.
    3. Do you enjoy each season or do you have a special season you look forward to?
    I enjoy each season and strive to take advantage of that which each season offers. All writers, poets, farmers, and the average person cannot avoid identifying the parallels between the seasons and life in general. We are all born in spring, grow strong in summer, produce our fruits in autumn, and withdraw to the ground to allow a new generation to begin. For us, the harvest of autumn is expected to sustain through winter. Winter itself provides a time to slow down. A time to reflect on the activities of the year and create the dreams that will motivate us for the coming year.
    The harsh winds of winter provide the contrast and excitement for the mild weather of the coming spring. The coolness of spring yields to warming of the earth and its waters which provides easy access to summer activities. The cooler weather of autumn brings welcome relief to those who weary from the heat. Each season with its unique colors and smells provide a unique pleasure to all the senses, which elevates the importance to always live in the present.
    4. What does Labor Day mean to you?
    The way most people labor today is not the way people labored when this holiday was first declared. In my youth, I labored in hard part-time jobs with no vacation and at the pleasure of my employer. At that time Labor Day was a holiday and a celebration for getting a day off.
    Today I enjoy Labor Day as a chance to share a meal with my family. I recognize however, that the state of labor is in decline. There are still too many people who must labor too hard and too long just to make ends meet. What adds insult to this injury is that the working poor have lost the respect of much of the middle class who have been led to believe that people are in their current situation because they lack initiative or intelligence. I believe people hold on to this idea because it can be used to explain their successes. This is one area where I really don’t know what can be done to correct it.
    5. Do you know what it commemorates?
    Yes, I do. Although this action seems outrageous, the insertion of the army to restore order during labor disputes has continued to this day. Although the majority of these interventions are now done with state or local police, evidence of the government’s desire to squash legitimate civil strife was evidenced last year in the over reaction of police to members of Occupy Wall street. The message being that even after our economic leaders have taken everything we own, we still don’t have a right to complain about it in any meaningful way.
    6. Do you care? 🙂
    We all better care before our nation is controlled by an oligarchy.

    Reply

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