Around the Bluhmin’ Town

Labor Day: Enjoy the fruits of your labor

By JUDY BLUHM

Finally, a holiday that honors, we, the hard-working American people… gotta’ love Labor Day. Let’s face it, we need to rest and relax. And if you are retired, you can feel proud of all those hours you logged in and celebrate by doing nothing.

I love this holiday. Originated over 100 years ago, it is one of the few federal holidays that was created for no man, war or religion, but for the common working stiff – you and me.

What do Americans do best? We work hard! Other countries take longer vacations, have shorter work weeks and see nothing wrong with closing shops for months at a time.

Germany has invoked a law that an employer cannot contact an employee about any job-related issues after 6 p.m. and never on weekends. I am not making this up. Some people in foreign countries are actually pampered.

Feeling stressed? In France, you might get to go to a 10-day spa in order to rejuvenate. Tax dollars pay for this. Hmm, so very un-American.

Many folks think that Labor Day has lost its true meaning. It has become just another three-day weekend and an excuse for shopping So what? Let’s enjoy!

Labor Day represents end of summer, the start of football, beginning of school and one last barbecue. Gone are the days of large parades honoring the “working people,” who would march around town squares proudly displaying banners of their respective jobs and trades.

When Labor Day originated it was to recognize the backbreaking work, long hours and measly wages that many Americans put up with just to survive. The working conditions were rough for the labor force who were out there digging ditches, building bridges, railways, schools and roads.

Labor Day was created in honor of the American workforce who built this country’s infrastructure. It basically says “thanks” for the difficult, boring, mundane, thrilling and/or important work that we all do or have done.  

The holiday also signified the absolute cutoff for wearing white shoes or pants. Of course, fashion has changed and now it doesn’t seem to matter. Well, maybe it does if you live back East. Come to think of it, I don’t see many people wearing white shoes unless they are tennis shoes.

The real pleasure of Labor Day is it ushers in autumn, with the promise of cooler days, longer nights, fewer weeds to cut and pumpkin spiced lattes. Bring on fall!

Have a fun time this Labor Day! Relax! Psychologists claim that a “good, long weekend” can have lingering positive health benefits for about a month or two. Perhaps until the next long weekend we can all feel refreshed.

Oh, and go ahead, keep wearing white and dare to do nothing every now and then. It is good for the body and soul. But please don’t think about all the hours you have toiled in your life since that could be upsetting.

Dear Readers, hopefully you can enjoy the “fruits of your labor” all year long.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a comment or a story? You can email Judy at: judy@judybluhm.com.