Those most deserving of our gratitude this Labor Day include health care workers who had a brief reprieve only to be swept back onto the front lines of Covid redux. We’re also keeping law-enforcement officials, firefighters, educators and volunteers in our thoughts this Labor Day.
Many of us hoped we’d have pre-Covid “normal” vacations and Labor Day celebrations this year. But the Delta variant scotched many travel plans, particularly those that involved long distance flights. Out of caution, our family is happy to be home in Easton at the height of the harvest. For my part, the heirloom tomatoes are reason enough to stay put.
Phone calls and Ichats with far away family and friends have been a reminder of Labor Days past when many of them were weekend houseguests. Back then our son would come home from camp, freckled and full of funny stories.
Those images took me back to what seems now like another life. Just a few days before the end of our vacation on the east end of Long Island some 25 years ago, our son, 9 or so at the time, announced that he hadn’t read his assigned summer book, “The Perfect Storm.” This wasn’t a surprise. When I unpacked his camp trunk I noted the rings and crinkles on the front cover. He had used the book as a coaster, but the interior was untouched.
We did what any hovering parents would do: we bought the book on tape and popped it into the car tape deck for the drive home to New York City. We hoped it would jump start his reading in the last day or two before the start of school. Or worst case, he’d do a book report based on what he’d heard.
In the front seat, Larry and I acknowledged that this short cut was a little sketchy, but we were rapt as the reading brought the story to life. That is until we checked the back seat and saw our son in a deep contented sleep.
More has changed than the improvement in technology from those prehistoric cassettes. Life has gotten more complicated, or so it seems when we recall our lives through the gently tinted glow of memory. Though Labor Days traditionally bring a bittersweet farewell to shorts and sandals and carefree coatless evenings, the holiday also presages new fears about the future around the globe, in the U.S. and right here in Easton.
But if we can keep the Covid variants at bay, kids will be together again in classrooms and on playing fields, and fall friendships will renew and blossom. Soon we’ll celebrate our town birthday party and watch the EMS fireworks all together under the stars.
All of us at the Courier wish you and your families a peaceful and happy Labor Day holiday, and to those who continue to keep us safe, our deepest thanks.