Monday was a bit of an anomaly, in so far as weather goes.  The morning was thick and heavy akin to a sauna where the atmosphere kindly fueled the humidity by liberally ladling water upon the baked earth.  The clouds and atmosphere clashed, so they were no longer independent of one another but rather a heavy haze that hung just above the tree line.  It was immediately miserable with the worst predicted yet to come.  Late morning, the low slung haze darkened, and the air became charged.  Muffled rumblings of thunder and flashes of lightning were inching in from every direction.  The wind began to whip, and within minutes, the temperature had dropped or perhaps the humidity had thinned.  I’m not sure.  Reports of rain were coming in from just about everywhere, but here.  We were heartily threatened, and storms seemed imminent, but alas, it was not to be.  The anticipation and sheer anxiety of a 93 degree day with a heat index threatening triple digits was not to be, and I am grateful for it.  The strange day and broken promise of unrelenting heat spawned some unique skies, like this strange portal to the heavens:

Sky Pic 8-25-14

Weather tends to get tumultuous when seasons clash on the brink of change.  For the Midwest, it seems to be a perpetual cycle.

Can you believe we’ll be celebrating Labor Day on Monday?  Where has the year gone?  Where has summer gone?  If you’re anything like me, I’ve tired of summer.  I was tired of it the moment it began.  Luckily, Labor Day is the symbolic ending of Summer, and I’m looking forward to welcoming Fall in all its glory and beauty.  Make no mistake, Fall is no time to rest on our laurels.  We must harvest, protect, prepare, plan, and plant for the impending Winter and eventual Spring.  If you haven’t done so already, plant, transplant, seed, re-seed, or sod.  The window of opportunity will soon be closed, so please reach out to Sweeney’s now for all your planting and preparation needs, but for this weekend, let’s all take a break.  After all, it’s Labor Day Weekend!

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day is, “…a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”   The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in New York City, organized in accordance with the Central Labor Union.  Two years later in 1884, it was decided that Labor Day would be celebrated on the first Monday in September.  Finally, in 1894, Grover Cleveland established Labor Day as a national holiday.  Here are some fun facts to kick around as you enjoy your much deserved day off:

  • Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day an official holiday.
  • The first official NFL game is always played the first Thursday after Labor Day.
  • In 1926, Henry Ford created the modern-day weekend by closing his factories on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The average commute for U.S. workers is 25.5 minutes.
  • Wearing white after Labor Day used to be considered a fashion faux pas.
  • As of May 2013, the U.S. had 155.7 million workers over the age of 16.
  • Nearly 10.3 million workers are self-employed.
  • After July 4th and Memorial Day, Labor Day is the third most popular holiday for barbecuing.

“A mind always employed is always happy.  This is the true secret, the grand recipe for felicity.”

-Thomas Jefferson

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney