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. 

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