Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Celebrations, Fireworks and Friends

Well our rain has continued throughout this summer, but last night the last official day of summer our collective prayers were answered and we had a clear evening sky to view the fireworks over Lake Lanier. Gainesville postponed their 4th of July Fireworks due to rain until Labor Day this year.  It may have been the good friends and yummy food or the pleasant night air, but last night the fireworks felt very magical, as we all sat across the lake from the launch point at Laurel Park, with just the perfect view. Our friends’ house just happens to be in the ideal location.  We had finished a wonderful barbeque with all the traditional foods, of grilled chicken, pulled pork, grilled corn on the cob,  beans, cold slaw, potato salad, with home made deserts of mud pie, banana cream pie and chocolate cake. We enjoyed interesting conversation and  had a glass of wine, ice tea or home made lemonade, what a perfect celebration for summers end.  I decided to check out the history of Labor Day and according to the U.S. Department of Labor website:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. 

For me Labor Day has always just meant that summer was over and I would be going back to school, as a child it usually meant a new school because we moved during the summer, then as an adult back to teaching. I have never really thought about the true beginnings or meaning of this holiday. Reflecting now on it, it is really should be one of our most notable holidays…it is the celebration of all of us and collectively what we have accomplish, how perfect  to celebrate with fireworks.

For our family another celebration came with the birth of Martina Lucia to my nephew and niece in-law. She was born August 25th a healthy 8 lbs 15 oz. They live in Portland, OR, so for now we have to enjoy hearing about her and seeing photos. It is often said what we hope before the baby is born that they just turn out healthy, but really our hopes are for so much more. We hope the child will have a brilliant life and grow up to make exceptional contributions to the larger society, but maybe that is what we mean when we say we just hope that the baby is healthy. For even in some small ways our live is brilliant and meaningful at least that is the way it feels to us, our family and friends.
Martina, a couple of days old
So, I’m really starting to feel rooted in my community which is kind of a new feeling for me. I spent most of my life moving to various parts of the county. But now I’m been around here at least part time for over a decade and have come to participate in annual community events, which is starting to feel very special to have a history with a community. The other day we had the 9th Annual Adult Spelling Bee, which my church sponsored a team, as we have done every year. Some years I have had to be back to work in Florida so couldn’t go to it, but since I retired I have gone every year.  It is the main fund raiser for The Lumpkin County Literacy Coalition and a very festive event with the participants in costumes to reflect their team names, which are meant to be fun and silly. Each team starts out doing a couple minute skit and then is given a word to spell. Our team had a really fun performance with a song about words that sound the same, but are spelled differently.  With each round the words get much harder, words you have never heard of, so our team did really well, coming in third.
Spelling Bee
 My final thought is just how grateful I’m feeling for family, friends and community. As they say life is good.

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