Reub's journey

05 September 2011

Looking back at Labor Day

It was Labor Day today, and I don't even know what that means anymore. I am a die-hard member of a labor union (the "terrorist group" known as the National Education Association...please watch this funny clip...).

 My father was a union member before me.  He was an Iron Worker, back in the day when you could lean right and still be an avid union member, and I remember him going to union meetings when I was a little girl.

But times are different now. I find it interesting in this age of technology that our most recent poet laureate, Philip Levine, is rooted in the idea of labor, of work. Hear Mr. Levine reading his poem "What Work Is," and it will recall a classic image of grinding blue collar labor. But this isn't my life, nor John's.

We spent the weekend at Odell Lake Lodge in the Oregon Cascades, bartering his jazz band's performance for a free night's lodging (plus dinner for the band).

Labor Day in the old sense? No. Do we work hard? Yes. Although the idea of "what work is" has changed through the decades, I still appreciate this holiday. Even if it only means for most people  a long weekend, a last gasp of freedom before classes kick in, a chance to hit the big sales at the shopping mall. I still like it.


  1. that last dock photo is lovely. i was thinking about what this holiday means now too and it really just means end of summer for lots of folks...

  2. We are on the same wavelength, Kerry.

    You and your husband have worked hard and earned the day to rest and enjoy life for a while.

    Your bartering idea is genius. I hope you had a great time at that lovely spot.

  3. Labor Day is the last day of summer these days, no longer directly related to all those people who fought for the 40 hour week.

    Your pictures are truly fabulous.

  4. It is the end of summer I suppose. A funny time to celebrate the work ethic.

  5. It seems it's like that for most holidays though, doesn't it? They've all lost their meaning....


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