The Road Home

The Road Home
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Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Isn't About Labor Anymore

With all the things that are happening in these days and times, I got to thinking about Labor Day. What is it really? Why was it ever started? In honor of labor? Working? 

According to Wikipedia: Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September, that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. It also goes on to say that this holiday came about as a result of a union strike, and became nationally recognized in 1894. Now it has become a day of barbeques and marks the end of traditional summer vacations.

How Stuff Works says: For a lot of people, Labor Day means two things: a day off and the end of summer. But why is it called Labor Day? Labor Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women. It has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States and Canada since 1894.

A day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women? Do you know anyone that treats Labor Day as a day for tribute to those who work? I don't. Workers usually use it as another day that they can labor. Maybe not at their 'paid' job, but there is always work to be done. We have plans to get as much accomplished as we can today so we don't have to squeeze it in during the evenings when I get home from work.

There are many people these days that have been laid off and can't find a job. There are many more that are under-employed and are really struggling to make ends meet. 

There are others that just don't work and some that never have. This number appears to be increasing every year. There are those that have worked very hard so that mom can stay home and raise the children. That is very hard work in and of itself, and is the most important job of all. There are those who are unable to work due to accident or disability that would give anything to be able to do so. And there are others that do what they can to get around working and let those that do work pay their way. This group also appears to be growing larger every year.

Labor Day. It obviously doesn't mean the same thing it did when it was first conceived and instituted as a national holiday. It saddens me to think of the diminishing number of people that do  work, having to support those that won't. Isn't there a name for that? What will happen when there aren't enough workers left? What will happen when the workers just get tired of working hard every day for everything they have when the folks down the street are living a higher standard of living and never work a day in their lives? What will really happen then?


Labor Day. It has really given me more to ponder this year. Now more than ever. I pray for this country and all of it's inhabitants. 

The time will soon come when we all will have to labor for every meal we eat. For by the sweat of our brow shall we eat bread. Because if we don't labor, we won't eat. I am truly grateful we have been given this time to increase the effectiveness of our labors. 

Blessings to you all, 



  1. Near as I can tell the 40 hr week, the 8 hr day & the Labor Day holiday are all things the unions forced on our society.
    I'd say more but I have to get going, it's a work day!

  2. Hey Fern! We took the opportunity of a day with only a couple hours of office work to spend the rest of the day gardening. Two and a half five-gallon buckets of okra, two five-gallon buckets of green tomatoes (for slicing and freezing), one five-gallon bucket of Henderson lima beans, and two and a half five gallon buckets of crowder peas. You know what I will be doing in the evenings this week after work! We also collected all of the seed pods off the greasy cut shorts, which I then shelled last night to start the drying process. Lots of time in the garden with my husband talking about all kinds of things. That's what I call a wonderful Labor Day!

    1. Hi Stephany,

      It sounds like you had a great Labor Day and now have more labor to do. I have to ask a couple of questions. What do you do with frozen green tomatoes? What are greasy cut shorts? And since you are growing lima beans, what is the secret? I have tried to grow lima beans for three years in a row. I get beautiful vines with lots of blooms, and few flat, curled pods with no beans. I have grown them in three different locations in the garden and used three different varieties. Any ideas?

      Time with Frank is always the best time I ever spend, no matter what we are doing.

      Take care,


    2. I'm wondering if the flowers on your lima beans weren't pollinated. If you're planting in a warm sunny spot, trellising as needed/if needed by your type of lima, and if you're choosing a bean that grows well in your area, then my guess would be lack of pollination by honey bees or other pollinators. Greasy cut shorts are a wonderful Appalachian bean with a tender pod and large shelly beans. You can find good information on greasy cut shorts at the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center web site: We make a version of fried green tomatoes with the frozen sliced green tomatoes. I've never deep fat fried anything, but with the tomatoes, I dip them in beaten egg and then a seasoned flour mixture or seasoned cornmeal/flour mixture and then fry them in a large cast iron skillet with about one tablespoon at most of oil. We're having a summer of lots of rain and very little sun. As a result, lots of green tomatoes that will never turn red on the vine. That makes it a great summer to stock up on sliced green tomatoes in the freezer!

    3. The lima bean have plenty of opportunity for pollinators. The pole beans, pepper, squash and okra growing within about 4-12 feet of them are doing great. I have just about concluded that they don't grow well here.

      Thanks for the information on the greasy cut shorts. I enjoy learning about new things, especially food!