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Monday, 9.5.05:  Labor Day

Today is Labor Day. My mother reminds me that Labor Day was always Ewald's holiday. His birthday was September 2 and so the long last official weekend of summer out at Castlewood* would be for him.

Appropriate, too, because he was a lifelong labor union member -- a printer. And even in his retirement continued to teach at the union's graphic arts school. Ewald rarely rested -- he was always figuring and fixing -- never afraid to tackle a job redirecting waterlines, tackling the power grid, or pouring lots of homemade concrete.

Appropriate that I remember him today as we embark on our own fix-it project. Our contractor is self-employed and says no one is paying him to take a day off, so he'll be here in a couple hours to start ripping our kitchen apart. Hmm, I guess "we" is used not in the old Ewald sense of rolling up your sleeves but in the modern no-skills, no-extended- family-in-sight sense of writing a check.

Actually, Jim and I did our labor already. The bossy first-born and the bossy only child managed to team up to clean everything out of the kitchen. It all went well as long as each of us could manage to say, It was only a suggestion! without copping a 'tude.

I also did a major cleaning of our 12-year-old refrigerator, pulling out all the shelves and scrubbing it down -- including toothbrushing the crevices. I figured a big sloppy job like that was better done over the crappy old linoleum floor rather than the new wood floor. With all the crud I cleaned out, it's a wonder we're alive at all. Now I can rest for another 12 years.

Out kitchen today, with the plan:


*where my grandparents had a summer clubhouse.



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