Can you believe it's the first of September already? Actually, I'm very weary of the hot weather and I'm looking forward to the cooler breezes of fall. Though I'm sure September weather will also be hot, the month will probably seem to pass as quickly as the others have.
This is a photo of my brother, sisters, and me (in the glasses) on the first day of school in 1960.
Perhaps I'm old fashioned (ok, I AM old fashioned) and maybe I don't deal with change as well as I should, but I wish we'd return to the days when Labor Day was the last carefree day before school re-started.
In the "olden days", when the first Monday in September arrived, there was no doubt the new school year was approaching. We always returned to school the day after Labor Day and that was that. Back-to-school shopping had been done and new school supplies purchased. Remember the sweet aroma of those brand new (unbroken) crayons? We kids each had one pair of new shoes and a new outfit or two waiting to be worn and we were anxious to greet school friends we hadn't seen during the summer.
My family celebrated Labor Day in style - at least we kids thought so. Some might have called it low-key, and maybe it was, but we looked forward to the last cookout of the summer and the last time during the year when Dad would don the chef apron and hat we'd bought him for Father's Day.
On Labor Day, Dad was usually busy puttering in (I mean, cleaning out) the garage, while we kids played in the yard. Mom would pick a beautiful bundle from the Peony bush, which grew at the end of our driveway, and our family would make a trip to the cemetery to pay respects to our departed relatives and place flowers on their graves. We'd return home and prepare for a backyard picnic.
Mom would have hamburger patties and hot dogs ready for the grill and the makings for homemade custard ice cream simmering on the stove. We kids would be in the backyard and sometimes a few of our neighbor friends would be invited to come over and celebrate with us. Mom baked Dad's favorite raspberry pie and fixed baked beans and potato salad, and we ate outside on the picnic table in the backyard. That was such a treat!
Labor Day usually ended with all of us taking turns cranking the ice cream freezer. Dad always had to finish it because it would become too hard for us to manage. Those last tastes of homemade ice cream signaled the end of summer and Mom re-instituted our school-night bedtime. We set out the clothes we wanted to wear on the first day of school and we girls set our hair in curlers before going to bed. I remember it as an exciting time, though I admit after we'd been back in school for a couple weeks, we often longed for a bit more summer.