Sunday, September 4, 2016

If We Were Having Coffee... (Vol. 8 Labor Day Memories)

If we were having coffee on this Labor Day morning, I’d suggest sitting outside on my deck. The heat wave that the majority of the Ohio Valley  experienced during the month of August has finally let up, so sitting outside will be nice.  It might even be a little bit chilly this morning. “This is the kind of weather I love the most,” I’d share with you. “Cool, crisp mornings with warm afternoons. It makes dressing a pain in the keister, but I love it just the same."

You'd ask if I did anything special over the long weekend and I'd say no.  Other than accomplishing some stuff around the house and spending as much time outside with Rascal, I did very little.  "Since I started back to work last month, I've not spent much time with her.  I'm sure she's felt neglected."

Rascal would no doubt hear us out on the deck and she'd come up to the gate, begging to join us.  She'd peer at us through the slats, her tail wagging excitedly, and give us her best 'please let me come up' look.  I'd ask if you minded, but I'd make sure to warn you that she stinks. "I definitely need to give her a bath today," I'd say.  "That should be fun," I'd add sarcastically and then laugh.  Looking down on my four legged buddy as I opened the gate, I'd say, "Rascal absolutely despises baths.  Don't ya, girl?"

After giving you a good sniff or two and eliciting your attention, for Rascal loves visitors, she'd settle next to me as I sat in my red adirondack chair.  I'd take a sip of my soda as I stroked the top of her head, eventually taking one of her velvety ears between my fingers and rubbing it gently.  "On Friday night," I'd say, breaking the silence, "I contemplated driving in to West Virginia for the long weekend, but decided against it."  The drive, which is about 340 miles one way, is doable over long weekend, but it still eats up a lot of precious time.

"I've been in Kentucky for sixteen years and I still get a little homesick around Labor Day weekend," I'd say.  You'd turn, look at me and ask why.  "Well, my little hometown, for as long as I can remember, has always held an annual Labor Day celebration.  For a kid growing up in a little community so small that it didn't even have a traffic light, the celebration was kind of a big deal.  It was a big part of my childhood."

Rascal would inevitably spot something in her kingdom that needed her attention and she would leave the deck to go inspect.  I'd take another drink of my soda and continue.  "When I was a kid, it was a much bigger production than it is now.  A carnival would come to town, bringing with it all kinds of rides and community, church, and school groups would set up game and food booths at the park in town."  

"For three days," I'd continue, "you could eat cotton candy, funnel cakes, and snow cones that dyed your mouth and teeth any color of the rainbow, ride amusement rides until you threw up, and win anything from dinner plates to stuffed animals to live goldfish.  I've had one goldfish my entire life and I won it playing ring toss at the festival," I'd add.  Over the long holiday weekend, there would be a classic car show as well as concerts, pageants, a parade, and a fireworks display late Monday night.  "It really signaled the end of summer in people's minds.  Once the last of the fireworks faded into the night sky that Labor Day night, you knew that summer was really over."

I'd go on and share with you that my fondest memories of the festival were of the parade.  Once upon a time, it would have included at least three high school marching bands, every Pee Wee and Senior League football team and cheering squad, at least three varsity high school football teams riding in the back of pickup trucks, high school cheerleaders, various community and civic groups, classic cars, all the pageant contestants, a group of equine enthusiasts on horseback, several fire engines, and during election years - politicians.  "I've watched many a parade from the sidewalk and I rode in two parades when I was a cheerleader," I'd say.  You'd turn your head quickly in my direction.  "Yes," I'd admit sheepishly, "I was a Pee Wee cheerleader for two years.  I quickly discovered that it wasn't my thing, though."

"But, what I always wanted to do more than anything was ride on the top of one of the fire engines."  Only kids or relatives of the volunteer firefighters were allow to ride on them.  "So, I guess no one in your family was a volunteer firefighter?" you'd ask.  "Actually, yes," I'd respond, "my uncle was.  I begged him to let me ride with the other kids for years, but for some strange reason or another, he was very opposed to the idea," I'd say with a chuckle.  Seriously, he acted like I was going to fall off the top or something.  I'd have a good little laugh, recalling the memory.

"I guess," I'd continue, "there will always be little part of me that feels like summer isn't complete without the Labor Day celebration and that's why I get a little homesick this time of year."  Sad thing is, it's not what it used to be, not even close.  So, I'm kind of glad I didn't go in, for I would've felt compelled to go down and I know that I would've been extremely disappointed.  This is probably one of those  things that is truly best left as a memory.


Thank you for stopping by and reading my latest installment of IWWHC.  

Are there any festivals or celebrations that are unique to your hometown that you are nostalgic about?

Linking up with Diana @ Part Time Monster 



  1. oh memories! We watched some old family videos on the weekend and gosh how we laughed. Seeing yourself at thirteen is hilarious. Beautifully written as always, thank you so much for sharing this xoxo #mg

  2. Ahh I love looking back at old memories! I'm always grateful that my parents didn't have a camcorder until I was quite a lot older so there are no cringey videos hanging about of me in my teens with my perm and dodgy dress sense! lovely post. #mg

  3. That Labor Day celebration from your childhood sounds like great fun. If I lived near you I would join you on your deck for coffee and give Rascal lots of attention.

  4. That sounds like such a celebration from when you were little. We have just travelled back from New York and I am a bit sad to have missed Labour Day, I hope yours went well xx #mg

  5. It's a shame when traditions become just a shadow of themselves. I remember times like you described. I think things like that have changed because of the digital age. People would be too busy looking at their phones.

    Rascal sounds like a sweetheart.

  6. I know what you mean about that hometown feeling. Even though I only ventured about 15 miles from my hometown, whenever I pass through or visit family there I get such a warm nostalgic feeling. There is no place like home.

  7. This is so lovely! I really enjoyed hearing about your memories, such good times. I very much loved the little bit with Rascal too, ahhh those velvety beagle ears truly are the greatest ever!


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