Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day

A lady on the local news this evening remarked that Labor Day is a family day.

I decided to take some time off starting on Friday.  That day I spent mostly in bed catching up on sleep and resting.  I joined my father for lunch and a trip to Menards where he needed to purchase wood pellets for the stove at home on the ranch.  I went to a high school soccer game that evening, and then went to spend the night with my next younger brother in Custer.*  The next morning, we left (relatively) early for a day of fishing, between the two of us, we caught enough trout and perch to feed the family. but we threw them all back.  One needn't eat too many fish in a summer.

After collecting an ice cream cake with an image of the Grim Reaper to celebrate Mom's birthday, we met the rest of the family at the ranch.  My sister-in-law had gone to Wasta to collect wild plums.  Sunday afternoon was spent turing them into jelly.  My grandmother came out from Sturgis to join the fun.  All in all, in there were five adults, two kids, two cats, and two dogs in the house as well as a guest living in the unheated, unlit small shed with a bed we refer to as the granny shack.**

As always, time with my brothers and nephews (and a niece in utero) reminds me that, though I love them all, there are many benefits to celibacy.  Among them is the experience of silence.  In truth, I was not entirely disappointed when, shortly after lunch today, the grandkids, the grandma, and my brother and sister-in-law headed back to town.  They had things to finish before returning to work and school tomorrow.

I, on the other hand, will be remaining one more day.  On Wednesday, I will return to the real world, and will hit the ground running.  Middle School formation begins that evening.  It won't be long before I begin wondering if it isn't time to take a vacation again.  Luckily, the ranch is close to Rapid City and I can come here often.

I have never given much consideration to labor day or its meaning.  Most often it has been just one more day when I have to work while the rest of the country rests.  Perhaps the lady interviewed for the news is correct, though.  For us, this year anyway, Labor Day was a day for family.

* All of this very nearly came to nought when Fr, Mike's plane was delayed on the way back from Spokane.  It appeared that i would have to take a wedding for him as well as several other things.  It was a blessed surprise when he called me Friday night to tell me that he was taxiing to the gate in Rapid City.

** The granny shack is so named because my parents have mutually threatened, since the building's creation, to require their respective mothers-in-law to live in the shack whenever visiting the ranch.

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