September 4, 2000 On Labor Day John and I went out to eat in the middle of the day. I knew we couldn’t go far, because John was slated for the late shift at Borders. We both wished to avoid the tourist crowds in Port Jeff, and neither of us wanted to spend a mint on lunch. We ended up at a diner. It was surprisingly busy, with people constantly coming and going. You know the old game of “what’s wrong with this picture” where you look at a drawing and pick out an incongruous item? It dawned on me that I was looking at one of those. In a booth close to us were three Chinese people. Now I know they have to eat like all normal humans, but I can’t remember ever seeing any Chinese people in a diner before. I hope they enjoyed their hearty meal as much as we did.
My dad and I laughed about Labor Day being a holiday where half the people work extra hard serving those who have the day off. John fit in the first category, I in the second. I began the day with newspaper in bed. Forget having breakfast in bed. That’s nasty! I can’t abide crumbs in bed, and that’s what breakfast is all about. No, I’d take a newspaper any day. I showered, dressed, fetched the paper from the road and lolled on the bed reading it and working the crossword puzzle. What a way to start the day! Of course, it helps that it was Monday, and I can usually work the easiest puzzle of the week with a pen. I finished reading a book, streamlined the start-up routine of the computer, went out to eat with John and resumed reading. Meanwhile, John was serving stressed-out people at Borders. The day was stacked against book sellers. First, it was Monday which is Senior Citizen’s day. Checking proof of age adds to the check out procedure. Second, it was an overcast day. Bad weather seems to herd people into the store in droves. Third, it was a holiday and fourth, it was the day before teachers return to school. John was working the late shift, so he dealt with teachers whining that the books they wanted were sold out. He felt free to criticize them, because all the teachers we know are much more organized than that.
Grampy (brother-in-law Thom’s dad) wrote about their Labor Day:
“About Labor Day. While others take a holiday, we just keep doing what we do every day during the year. Wake up, get up, wash up, eat up, dress up, try to think what day it is and then get our get up and go started. Then it’s time for a break. And when you don’t do anything it is very hard to take a break.”