It seems that for much of my life, Labor Day meant cleaning up the yard and fixing things up outside to prepare for what was sure to be another winner of a winter here in NEOH. Periodically, my parents would actually have a picnic or some such thing we'd attend, but alas it was always preceded by hours of laboring on the day that was set aside to celebrate laborers. I used to say that things would be different when I grew up. Yes, there are those who would say that I've never grown up but alas the rapid pace at which the flaming candles are growing on the birthday cake would hint otherwise. Okay, they sing it out loudly, very loudly, but we won't go there. It is enough to say that even though I used to think differently, I realize that a day devoted to the achievements of the American workers is ripe for laboring.
This year the laboring took place at my mother-in-laws house. She can no longer care for her yard much and generally has a service come in and do it. However, she asked if we could do it one last time before the season came to an end so we packed up the brood, laid down the "You're going to be happy or else" law (Yeah Dad, NOW I get that one!), packed a picnic lunch and headed up the road. Despite knowing where we were going from the very beginning, we answered the question "Where are we going?" from Laura umpteen times, reviewed what day it was ad nauseum, and prayed that we'd get there sooner rather than later.
Upon arrival, we set right to work. Matthew trimmed the front row of hedges all by himself. I was so proud of him. He's learned a lot this summer. He was a bit frustrated that the battery on the trimmer went out rather early in the process but when I assured him his muscles would benefit from the hand trimming, I didn't hear one more word of complaint. :)
Don and I headed for the back hedges and began the bulk of the trimming. True to form, his Mom came out numerous times to tell us we didn't have to trim them so straight, that we were working too hard and needed to rest (we'd only been at it for about 10 minutes the first time that occurred - it is a regular thing, trust me) and that we shouldn't worry about finishing it up today. When Matthew got wind of that comment he looked at me and said "OH, we're finishing today. I plan to jump in to Auntie Diane's pool for a reason knowing I'm done and don't have to come back!" That's my boy!!!
The laboring crew was blessed with what I like to call the 'Entertainer'. This individual, or periodically group of individuals, is assigned to 'keep Laura occupied'. Jonathan is a pro at this. He helped her rack, played tag and hide and seek, and went pinecone hunting with her. He also showed tremendous interest in helping her collect her 'fwowers' from the hedge to share with Grandma Jan. He's quite the Entertainer. He gets my vote every time.
Can you see Jonathan hiding in the bushes? :)
Laura LOVES flowers. She HATES bees...
After laboring, tracking down a repairman for Jan's broken frig, finding a place for her frozen food at the neighbors, and cleaning up our tools, we headed to Auntie Diane's for a good swim and a picnic dinner. It was a great day! I'm glad we all got to labor together. It's so much more fun that way!
Laura entering the pool for the first time. This was her favorite spot of the day.
Jonathan diving in!
Jonathan attempting to hit the boogie board.
Daddy watering Laura. I guess whatever works to help her grow, eh? :)
Laura and Auntie Diane go out for a spin.
Matthew hits the boogie board...