Monday, September 04, 2017

Labor Day

I don't think many of us who take time off from work on the first Monday of September think much about the essence of this holiday. First proposed by a leader of a machinists' labor union in New York, Labor Day eventually was recognized as a holiday honoring workers and labor unions. Parades, speeches, time off from work. Over the decades the parades fizzled, the speeches dwindled and we are left with a day to close off summer, to roast a few more things on the grill and enjoy one last meal outdoors on a day off from work.

I'm no different. I think grill thoughts today and set the table for dinner on the porch. In my mind, May 1st feels more like a time to celebrate workers. Labor Day feels more like a late summer extra free day in your pocket.

Luck would have it that weather wise, it's a pretty decent day. So that in fact, we begin with breakfast on the porch. I'm not sure how long this lovely warm weather habit will continue, but today we're still happy to eat outside.

farmette life-2.jpg

I should have then taken to heart the directive to take time off from all work, but, the garden still beckons...

farmette life-4.jpg

... and so I do some pruning, because things always look so much nicer when the flower beds are more or less well tended...

farmette life-5.jpg

... but, I twist too hard and cramp some back muscle and as a result, everything is just that much harder to do for the rest of the day.

But not so hard that we can't go on a bike ride in the afternoon. I suggest we check out the new segment of a bike trail that plows through our beloved local county park (just a couple of miles up the road from us) and then traverses over the segment of the Yahara River that joins Lake Waubesa with Lake Monona. The newly opened bike bridge is nearly a mile long and it is an easy way to zip now straight into the town of McFarland on the other side of our lakes.

It is, in fact, a lovely ride -- initially on the bike path that weaves its way right past tall prairie fields...

farmette life-6.jpg

But when we veer off to join this new segment (appropriately called the Lower Yahara bike trail), we see that we are definitely not the only ones checking out the new path. It is crowded today! Our quiet little corner of woodland and prairie and lakeshore has been discovered!

Well, so be it. The bridge itself is lovely and you have to be pleased that so many will get recreational use out of it.

(There was this one second where it wasn't too full of people... This is it!)

farmette life-12.jpg

We easily reach McFraland and we note that there are three burger-bars right by the path and they are doing a whopping business today. But downtown McFarland is a bit of a pedal still and the local residents remind us that it is a holiday and everything there is closed today.

I stretch my back on a bit of grass and we turn around to make our way home.

In the evening, it's time for that dinner out on the porch and we have the young family joining us tonight!

But first I want to ride my bicycle!

farmette life-1.jpg

Grilled chicken brats, the last of the corn.

Salads, sauerkraut, tomatoes, avocado.
Is that real avocado? (Snowdrop has a toy one in her play kitchen.)
Yes it is. We like it.
I like it too.

farmette life-8.jpg

When she is done, she wants us to play. But we linger. How many more dinners will have outside this year?

She comes back for dessert. And now we all linger...

farmette life-9.jpg

But not for too long. Labor Day ends with the setting sun (which for us is 7:25 pm). And at least one little person needs to get to bed right at that time. Tomorrow the new school year begins.