Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

Labor Day is always an interesting time for me. When I was in school, it was that awkward three day weekend that followed the first week of school when my family didn't go anywhere because school had already started and summer was, for all intents and purposes, over. (That didn't stop other kids from being pulled out of class early to go off to fun and exotic locations with their families, though.) In college, a lot of people skipped the first week of classes just to take fuller advantage of of this last mini vacation time before the semester was in full swing. (Nowadays, in Michigan at least, school starts after Labor Day, probably because of the aforementioned truancy.)

In colder climates like Michigan, where we have to do things like winter our pools (yes, that's a thing), Labor Day weekend is also the traditional end of swimming season. Most public beaches are open from Memorial weekend to Labor Day, and these were also often the end-caps to my grandparents' pool. Swimming is precisely how I spent today, at some friends' pool, and one of the only times I took advantage of this this summer. With the constant hovering of the Polar Vortex, things have been on the cool side. I wore a sweater in August! That's just sick. (Unless I'm in San Francisco. Then it's just practical.) I had hoped to go swimming in Lake Michigan on our trip to St. Joe in July, but the water felt like ice melt. I have been told by a few different people that the Lakes will be warmer up north for our trip to Mackinac in a couple of weeks, though considering the air will probably be approaching Fall status at that point, I'm not sure I will be too interested.

Labor Day also always falls around, sometimes on, my father's birthday, September 2nd, making it an oddly emotional holiday for me since his passing on the day after my birthday in 2010. The passing from Summer to Fall is a very marked point in the land of Four Seasons, and when it is coupled with such a remembrance, it is hard not to look inwardly and contemplate my own mortality, which I face more and more, after every passing anniversary, with increasing indifference. 

On a more positive (?) note, I worked on writing with my free time this weekend. I sent off two interviews for one of my columns, wrote a couple of paragraphs for the same, and submitted a short story to another anthology. Writing is my legacy, and the only thing, to me, worth continuing. Some people have family, children, and I have my stories. I will probably never get what I have always wanted out of my personal life (marriage, children), but no one can take my characters from me, or my craft.

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