I’m going to call my dad and wish him a happy Labor Day. Not that he was a big labor union man. He certainly wasn’t. It’s because I can’t go through a Labor Day without thinking about him.
My dad took Labor Day seriously. To him, Labor meant work, and Day meant “get to it.” So every year on Labor Day my dad rousted all us kids out of bed early in the morning, and as soon as breakfast was over, he started us on a long day of… well, of labor.
One year we thoroughly cleaned out the garage. Another year we cleaned and weeded the backyard. Another year we cleaned up all our pet areas. (We had a possum we caught and a raccoon that was given to us, two geese that had wandered away from the cemetery pond–we called them Cuddles and Puddles, a goat someone gifted to my youngest sister, a dog named Whiskers and several cats whose names changed as they changed hands between my older sister and me (I liked the name Twinkle-the-Star-that-Came-Down-From-Heaven-Marshall. My sister preferred Sir Lancelot and Beautiful Eyes.) Oh, and a turtle that wandered in and decided to stay. A surprisingly large menagerie for a South San Francisco home, as our neighbors frequently noted. Another year we spent the day filling in a sprawling mud hole in the backyard where my brother and I has been working on digging a swimming pool for a family Christmas present.
I keep thinking I ought to be at my dad’s house cleaning today. It needs it because he is a true pack rat. And, really, at the age of 98 he couldn’t clean up even if he wanted to. But I have my own pantry to clean out, and the freezer, too. Oh, and my office needs a good going over. And…
Never mind. Dan’s grilling hamburgers, so I’d better slice tomatoes and pickles and such.
Happy Labor Day!
Don’t work too hard.
Labor Day is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race or nation.