Labor Day weekend is just ahead and hopefully all of the hard-working people will have a day to rest or a weekend to enjoy a mini vacation.
The holiday has been around since the late 1800s as a tribute to the hard working men and women.
I know our “labor” can't compare to the work our great-grandparents and even what our grandparents had to endure to get us where we are today.
It is difficult to imagine life in the early factories or plowing behind mules. I am sure it was not an easy day's work.
A few years ago I read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle." It is a story about the hardships endured by immigrants working in the Chicago stockyards. After reading the book, I decided chopping cotton was not so bad.
Have you ever noticed in the really old pictures people are seldom smiling. I think they worked so hard they just didn't have the energy or the desire to smile.
Chopping cotton would come under the hardest work I have done. We only had to work eight hours a day. If it was really hot, we would take off an extra hour during the hottest part of the afternoon. I was young and had not experienced the luxury of air conditioning so I did not realize it was way too hot to be out in the fields.
In the "good old days" of labor, workers would work from sunup to sundown.
Even housewives had to wash clothes by hand, hang the laundry to dry, cook from scratch, raise and can the food for the family, pump the water, and take care of the chickens and cows. Now, that would be hard labor.
We now have automatic washing machines and dryers, box mixes, running water (cold and hot), and eight hour work days. It seems we still run out of time and energy before we get done.
Back to Labor Day weekend. I am looking forward to spending time on Saturday at Leachville's Harvest Festival. Committee members have worked hard and there will be something for all ages to enjoy. Successful festivals do not just happen, it takes a lot of work and a lot of time. Wonderful entertainment and activities are lined up for the day.
Then we can rest on Monday, gather for family reunions, or travel home to be ready to return to work on Tuesday.
Most of the time Labor Day weekend is the last “warm” holiday of the year. If you are going to the lake or river enjoy and be careful. There will be a lot of traffic on the highways.
As we celebrate Labor Day, let's not forget to be thankful we have a job. In most cases the job we do has been made easier by the labor of others who came before us.