Respecting Jobs Well Done

Welcome to another week! As of this writing I don’t have the final pie tally from the Crawford County Fair, but I will give you a full report next week.

Summer is winding down. The fair’s over. Kids in Conneaut School District go back to school on Wednesday. But we have one last hurrah: Labor Day weekend.

Labor Day is a strange holiday. Nobody seems to really understand what we’re celebrating. Like the other summer holidays -- Memorial Day and Independence Day, we celebrate by grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. Some people go boating on Conneaut Lake or Pymatuning. Others will visit grandmas or friends. Me? I’ll try to swim a few times over Labor Day weekend before my parents close their pool.

I’ve never really thought much about the significance of Labor Day. According to the United States Department of Labor’s website, Labor Day honors the role American workers play in the success and security of our country.

I admire people who work hard and are good at their jobs, whatever their profession. Since it’s back-to-school time, I’ll start with teaching.

Teaching has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world. Some kids like school and love to learn. They make teaching a joy. Others despise school and fight teachers tooth and nail. Thinking about the pressure of the job makes me cringe.

Despite the stress, good teachers inspire their students. They stay cool when kids argue with them. They leave their problems at the door and start each day fresh. I admire dedicated teachers.

Now let’s consider a totally different career: tree service professionals. Four years ago I had to have a 150-year-old red oak cut down. I hated to see it go. But all the limbs on the right side of the tree died. After it was cut it down, we discovered it was almost completely hollow. Beetles had been devouring it for 50 years or more.

As much as I hated to see our oak cut down, I was mesmerized by the way the tree trimmers worked together to cut the limbs. They never came close to hitting my house with the limbs, some of which stretched 80 feet into the sky. It was almost artistic.

Whatever your job, I hope you can rest from your labor this weekend. It always makes me feel bad when I see people working on Labor Day. It’s so ironic. I’ve often thought that stores wouldn’t open on Sundays and holidays if no one bought anything on those days.

I avoid shopping and buying gas on Sundays whenever possible. But I fail in one area: dining out on Sundays. I’m making someone else work so that I can rest. Man, it’s hard to get it right all the time. But I can at least avoid eating out and shopping on Labor Day, right?

Have a wonderful week. Blessings!