Labor Day weekend is about to arrive giving most Americans a day off. It is an opportunity to have one last "warm weather" long weekend for the people who enjoy being outside. It is also a great time for family gatherings. As a rule it is not too hot and not too cold.
The celebration of Labor Day has been around for a long time. I read where the first Labor Day was celebrated Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City.
I think about the differences in labor 100 years ago and now. Most people today have an eight hour workday, unless they have 12 hours working four days a week.
Many industries and other jobs including hospitals, retail, restaurants, and emergency offices work every day of the year. Some 24 hours a day. Employees have to work on holidays unless they are fortunate enough to have their off days coincide with the holidays. There is no way around it in some circumstances. If I am in the hospital on Labor Day or Christmas I would like to have at least a few nurses on duty.
Labor Day is a day set aside to recognize the working people. I am afraid there may be less people working each year that passes by as jobs leave our country and technology allows one person to do what once took a team.
Just look at agriculture. The equipment we see in the fields today can do three or four times the work of the equipment used during my growing up years. I am sure industry is the same.
We still need workers to keep everything going. Technology makes it easier but it still takes a person to program those computers and keep an eye on everything to make sure all of those machines are working properly.
Modernization is here and not just in the workforce. Look at our homes. Homemakers once had to do everything by hand from making their own clothes, to biscuits from scratch. Talk about the real laborers.
When our grandfathers were out trying to clear land or plow with mules, our grandmothers were cooking on wood stoves, washing clothes in tubs, pumping and carrying water, making clothes by hand, chopping wood to cook with and heat the homes, raising a garden, canning, cooking, patching, washing and hanging out cloth diapers.
I am looking back at the world from the rural area we come from. I am sure the people who grew up in the cities had their different stories to share. The industries were probably not as safe as today, the hours were longer, and they faced their own type of hardships.
At least the country folks could grow their own food and have cows, pigs and chickens.
We can thank our ancestors for being so determined to make things easier. I am not all that young but I never had to live without electricity. I never had to wash clothes on a rub board, or cook on a wood stove.
I can remember not having air conditioning, only three channels, a party-line telephone, and only one car per family. Yes, we roughed it and we survived.
People talk about the Good Ole Days but I would not want to go back. I don't think I would be up to the task of being self-sufficient.
I hope everyone has a safe holiday weekend if they choose to spend it on the road or relax at home.
Labor Day is a reminder that fall is just around the corner. I don't know about you, but I am ready for it.