Labor Day weekend has arrived once again. It's an interesting, non-religious holiday that originally was designed to honor the nation's workers. It still does that, but it has grown into a huge family weekend designed, in most states at least, to say "Good-bye" to summer. True, summer will continue for another couple or three weeks, but with the kids back in school after the long break, most families are now settling in for normalcy.
Lots of interesting things do take place this weekend. Many families will have their end of season get-togethers; camps that weren't shut down for Irene last weekend will be emptied for the season; some vacationers will take short trips, although travel experts predict less than normal travel will take place; and Old Orchard Beach all but ends its season.
Labor Day ends that season we call summer that began on Memorial Day weekend last May. "Summer" in Maine does not mirror the astrological summer.
Schools will be in full force beginning Tuesday, although most actually began on a limited basis this past week. It seemed a little strange seeing the yellow school buses on their childrens' routes. We were reminded that some very excited children were out on the street corners waiting for the arrival of their trip to learning.
Most of those corners also have parents patiently waiting with the children to be sure they don't do anything foolish. Children, you know, sometimes forget where they are and just run out into streets. We are also reminded that we must stop for school buses with their red lights flashing.
Growing up I didn't have to take a bus as my family lived in the Deering area of Portland. All the schools were within just a short couple blocks walk from home. And great schools they were: Leland (I'll bet many of you either have forgotten Leland or never heard of it), Longfellow, Lincoln Junior, and Deering High were all within walking distance for me. For you still scratching your head, the old Longfellow and the old Leland elementary schools, across a street from each other, one with grades 1 to 3 and the other with grades from K and 4 to 6, were replaced with the now Longfellow School in Deering Center.
We didn't have to be accompanied by our parents, either. Wow, how times have changed!
Conflicting weather reports for this weekend make it a sort of "play it by the day" type. The Gator Clan will have its annual cookout sometime this weekend, but we're flexible. We have no trips, long or short, planned.
I hope you have a super Labor Day Weekend and have the opportunity to spend some happy time with your own clan.