La­bor Day does it right

The Covington News - - Opinion -

I had a per­fectly won­der­ful La­bor Day. In fact, I told my hus­band’s brother and his son as they were leav­ing that I be­lieved La­bor Day might be my fa­vorite hol­i­day.

We went to what I call my hus­band’s cabin. It is a small place off the beaten path and on a pond. My hus­band loves it there. It’s peace­ful and quiet. All my chil­dren and grand­chil­dren were there, and I got to en­joy be­ing with just my fam­ily with­out the other dis­trac­tions that of­ten go with other hol­i­days.

My hus­band did most of the cook­ing and us­ing dis­pos­able plates and such made cleanup not the usual long- drawnout af­fair it can of­ten be. It was an ab­so­lutely lazy day. The only chore was de­cid­ing whose turn it was to ride in the golf cart while my grand­chil­dren, with dreams of driv­ing some­thing larger and faster, drove that cart in­ces­santly up and down the dirt drive­way.

Other hol­i­days re­quire too much ef­fort. Valen­tine’s Day means find­ing out ad­dresses and choos­ing cards that are not too mushy and too risqué for my tastes. It also re­quires some fancy cook­ing on my part. (I am gen­er­ally not a fancy cook.)

The Fourth of July not only re­quires cook­ing but also de­cid­ing how or when or where to at­tend the parade and fire­works. I have to ad­mit, I am oh so happy that the city of Cov­ing­ton has, for the last two years, had fire­works and brought them back down­town. They were just beau­ti­ful this year. While The Church at Cov­ing­ton has been gen­er­ous in host­ing pre­vi­ous fire­works, the event be­longs near the square.

Hal­loween is get­ting to be as much of a com­mer­cial event as Christ­mas. I saw jack- o- lanterns for sale be­fore La­bor Day. You can pur­chase door hang­ings, yard dec­o­ra­tions and even skele­ton and pump­kin lights to dec­o­rate for the oc­ca­sion. No longer do chil­dren put on old clothes and trick- or- treat as ho­bos or gyp­sies. I once decked my older daugh­ter out as Princess Leia, com­plete with buns over her ears, with a sheet and a big fancy belt bor­rowed from my moth­erin- law. Now chil­dren, or rather their par­ents, need to pur­chase cos­tumes de­pict­ing the lat­est su­per hero or a char­ac­ter from the lat­est chil­dren’s movie. They also have to carry a spe­cial bucket to pile their candy in. This is all be­fore pur­chas­ing the candy to go in those buck­ets.

Thanks­giv­ing re­quires, I don’t know why, get­ting out spe­cial china and sil­ver and linens. The amount of cook­ing re­quired and the plan­ning and shop­ping for all the ac­cou­trements can be ex­haust­ing. I know it doesn’t have to be. But tell that to my hus­band.

I don’t even need to re­mind you of the trauma of Christ­mas. Christ­mas cards, just the right presents and dec­o­rat­ing. I feel like I have climbed the Mat­ter­horn when I fi­nally get that tree dec­o­rated. I keep threat­en­ing not to put one up, but I do. And Christ­mas sales and dec­o­ra­tions are in the stores be­fore Hal­loween. Then comes all the same up­roar about the Christ­mas meal that went with Thanks­giv­ing. When all that is over, you ( I am any­way) are left with the quiet and dreary chore to tak­ing ev­ery­thing down and putting it away for an­other year.

New Year’s Eve is qui- et hol­i­day for my hus­band and me, and one with­out chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. We have a tradition of stay­ing home with a bot­tle of good wine and a steak. I like that just fine, and we are usu­ally asleep when it is time to sing “Auld Lang Syne.”

My daugh­ter says when you take food to some­one in a pan that does not have to be re­turned, it is a no- obli­ga­tion gift be­cause no one has to re­mem­ber to re­turn a pan. I guess you could call La­bor Day a no- obli­ga­tion hol­i­day.

You are able to en­joy fam­ily and food and be lazy all at the same time. No pres­sure to set a per­fect ta­ble or dec­o­rate to the nines.

An added bonus for La­bor Day is that it is a prom­ise that fall is near. The sti­fling weather is about over and we will be able to en­joy out­door pas­times for the glo­ri­ous sea­son of fall. The beauty of fall in Ge­or­gia makes up for the dol­drums of Au­gust and early Septem­ber.

I hope you had a won­der­ful La­bor Day too.

Paula Travis is a re­tired teacher from the New­ton County School Sys­tem. She can be reached at ptravis@cov­


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