“UGH. LABOUR DAY” was my son's lament when the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) opened in mid-August in Toronto. This event yearly signified the reminder that Labour Day spelled, not only the closing day of the CNE ~ but more horribly, the fact that the first day following Labour Day was the first day of school (whether elementary or high school)...to him, although a good student, was tremendously foreboding. Playful summer days were gone...and summer jobs ended.
The Spectator's Steve Buist, whose views and opinions,
are both informative and interestingly humourous, I share with you.
Even the name is depressing! What kind of a holiday has a term for work built right into the title? Talk about a mixed message! Good Friday, Easter Thanksgiving, Victoria Day ~ now those sound appealing. Labour Day? Sheesh. Might as well just make it, Summer's Over, Get Back to Work Day!
“We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer's wreckage.
We will welcome summer's ghost,” stated Henry Rollins.
Truth be told, this is the holiday that should be called New Year's Day. Of all the seasonal transitions, Labour Day is the one holiday that seems to mark the sharpest division between the end of one thing and the start of something new. From a technical standpoint, Labour Day marks the psychological. beginning of fall for many of us. You can see it in the trees; here and there, you'll find a precocious specimen already speckled in yellows and oranges and reds. It's a bit like finding your first grey hair.
Of course, there's the occasional retailer: we're looking at you, Costco, that seems to think Labour Day also marks the beginning of the Yuletide season. Honestly, artificial Christmas trees on sale? Really?
It's the start of a new school year and the orderly routine that brings with it.
The NFL season starts in a few days, so the Bills can begin preparing for either a Super Bowl loss, or not making the playoffs at all...which seem to be the only two miserable outcomes available in Buffalo.
Hamilton's new junior hockey Bulldogs play their first-ever exhibition game Saturday night and in a couple weeks the Toronto Maple Leafs open training camp as they attempt to keep alive their streak of breaking fans' hearts for the 49th straight year.
But the new beginnings somehow seemed overshadowed by bittersweet endings.
Do we feel a sense of loss? Maybe that's too strong.
But, there is a sense that something has slipped through our fingers
when Labour Day arrives.
Summers gone, no matter what the thermometer says.
No more carnival barkers will be guessing ages at the CNE for another year.
No more sticky fingers will be licked at Burlington's Ribfest.
Soon, cottages and pools will be closed up for another year.
You can see it in the sky. Summer's pastel sunsets ~ the product of warm, humid evenings, begin to give way to angrier skies, great clumps of billowy clouds crowding together and stained charcoal and grey.
Our clothing begins to change, not only in colour, but in thickness. The occasional day offers a reminder of summer's warmth, but it's just as inevitable that in the next couple weeks, either early morning or late one night when the car heater will get turned on for the first time in months.
Economic Changes: Historically, September is the month with the poorest performance when it comes to North American stock markets. It's also the second worst month for weight gain (average 1 kilo).
Perhaps there's a 'cause and effect' relationship going on there. Hey, my stock portfolio keeps shrinking...another Snickers bar should solve that.
Weather Changes: Daylight declines at its fastest rate for the year. Each day this month, we lose nearly 3 minutes of light. On the first day of the month, sunset in Hamilton was 7:55 p.m. By September 30, sunset will take place at 7:03 p.m. Yuck!
Medical Changes: Dr. Janis Anderson is a psychology professor at Harvard Medical School and an expert in the study of seasonal affective disorders. She's well aware of the impact that 'diminishing light' can have on a person's well-being. By this time of the year, she's already seeing patients in her clinic who are showing signs of anxiety. “It's not that they have symptoms of depression, but it's imaging forward to the winter. They're already starting to freak out. For some people, it becomes harder to get up in the morning at the same time they were getting up easily in the summer.”
There is one thing about Labour Day that does not get old,
and that's watching the Argos skulk back down the QEW
with their tails between their legs after another loss to the Ticats.
“Oskee wee wee”!
Did You Know?
Hamilton can take some credit for the creation of Labour Day. Workers in the city were at the forefront of the 'Nine-Hour Movement'...a drive to get 12-hour work days shortened to 9. The movement spread to Toronto and led to annual parades during the 1870's and 80's. In 1882, an American labour leader watched one of the labour festivals in Toronto and organized a Labour Day in New York for Sept. 5.
The steady reduction in daylight is the most important trigger for the changing colours of leaves, not the temperature. As the tree scavenges nutrients by breaking down the chlorophyll pigments in leaves that make them appear green, enzymes in the leaves then feed on sugars that have built up over the summer to create new pigments of different colours. Carotene is the pigment that produces an orange colour, and browny-orange can come from a compound called quercetin.
Golf balls don't travel as far as the temperature decreases. The transfer of energy between the club and the ball isn't as efficient and colder air is more dense, which causes more drag on the ball. For every drop of 10 C, you can expect to loose about four to five yards of carry.
The Weather Network is forecasting above-average temperatures for southern Ontario throughout the month of September. Indian Summer approaches and Daylight Saving Time ends October 31st.
When told the reason for daylight saving time, the Old Indian said,
“Only the Government would believe
that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket
and sew it to the bottom...and then have a longer blanket.”
Merle Baird-Kerr...written September 11, 2015
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