Labor Day—Summer’s Final Fling

By Bonnie Brown | Guest Columnist

Each year the first Monday of September is designated as Labor Day. It’s a day to honor the American work force, to recognize our contribution to society. Labor Day celebrates the “do-ers”—the trades, the service workers, the truck drivers, the essential workers. It is also identified as the end of summer even though there’s nearly three weeks of summer left according to the calendar.

We manage to stretch this “day” into a long weekend of picnics, cookouts, and grilling. Booze meets BBQ. It’s unlikely that any of us stop to think about America’s workers and their contributions. However, this year might be a little different when we take into account the unbelievable circumstances we have found ourselves in during this pandemic. You remember the days of empty shelves, limited supplies across the board—all of which left us wondering when, or even if, necessities would again be available. Thankfully, the American workers came through. They rose to the occasion. Local company Blue Delta Jeans switched from making designer jeans to making face masks. Distilleries switched to making hand sanitizer. Car manufacturers switched to making medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). And the truckers worked ‘round the clock to get these products to the suppliers. Our labor work force is innovative and just jumps in and rolls up their sleeves to get the job done. That’s American ingenuity!

September is here and as we all know, it is the month of change welcoming a new season. The temperatures moderate. We start to change our wardrobe, our daily schedules, and begin planning for the holiday season. How many of you adhere to the rule that you can’t wear white after Labor Day? Coco Chanel was a famous French fashion designer who defied that rule by wearing white outfits year-round. But unlike Coco Chanel, I’m more traditional and don’t usually wear white again until May.

As we reflect on this summer, it was very different in many ways. There were very few summer camps, there were few summer vacations and more staycations, there were fewer picnics with smaller gatherings. There were no concerts, carnivals, and sadly no Neshoba County Fair. No Disney trips. But there was still time for family. Lockdown was hard but we’ve discovered ways to move on. We’re strong that way. Some of us tried making bread. Many of us caught up on our reading list. And there was Netflix. How many of us are already planning next summer’s activities? I know I am! I want to host the grandchildren for lots of visits. I can’t wait to do a road trip out west with my husband. I want to go to the Gulf Coast and visit the new aquarium. I look forward to watching my husband as he hits the links again. I want to go to the library. I’m planning to enjoy lunch/dinner with friends out in a restaurant.

Whatever way you observe Labor Day, please take care to avoid situations where you could contract the virus. Savor these last days of summer weather. Enjoy the transition to the new season and start planning for the future. Better days are ahead!