The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Food

August 30, 2011

Celebrating our hard work on Labor Day

Do you celebrate your work on Labor Day? Think about it.

We are getting ready to celebrate a last fling of summer with a holiday in honor of working people. We hope it will mean cooler weather, rain and autumn in the air.

Labor Day, as a national holiday, came into existence in 1894 at the urging of labor organizations, with a bill signed by Grover Cleveland. In the United States the summer vacations begin with Memorial Day and end with Labor Day. The first Monday in September was selected because it was halfway between July 4 and Thanksgiving and this gave working people a day off for one last day of celebration before winter set in. When I was a kid it simply meant we started to school the next day, so I loved that holiday.

We all approach work in different ways and for different reasons. Some work only for money. Others work as a service to people and some only for the gratification of working and the joy of accomplishing something worthwhile. Whatever our real reason, I would hope we derive some pleasure from the works that we do. Daddy used to say if a person did work they loved, they never had to go to “work” a day in their lives. Every day was a pleasure and a joy.

That sounds great, but I feel sure there were days during the Great Depression Daddy went to work without joy. Whether the work brought him joy or not, working with his team of mules, Joe and Jude, brought him a measure of satisfaction and accomplishment and he was providing for his family. He brought pleasure into his work with his positive attitude.

While Daddy worked for the government building roads and dams, Mother stayed home with us kids and kept the home running smoothly. She may have been a great actress, but I always felt that she really loved what she was doing and wouldn’t trade places with anyone. The joy she exuded came from within and certainly not from her tasks at hand.

The way Grandma and Grandpa worked after they settled in Indian Territory and raised their family on seemingly nothing, was a real challenge I am sure, but they continued to work hard and improve their land and eventually came out on top. They believed work was the answer to almost everything — worry, finances, grieving, and getting ahead in life. They passed that passion for work on to their succeeding generations.

We have all heard the saying if you want a job done, ask a busy person to do it. I believe that is true. Look in any church or civic organization and the ones who do most of the work are the ones who are the busiest with many, many accomplishments. They are happiest when busy and doing for others.

Work is part of the driving purpose in the universe. Many look forward to when they can retire and quit all work. Others seek diligently for the easy tasks. But most happy people are those who work simply for the joy of accomplishment. Work should become an altar upon which we offer our best selves to a needy world. The ability to work is such a blessing.

All labor, if it has a purpose, has dignity. There are no menial jobs. Whether a person is a ditch digger or a construction worker or a physician or cleans houses, every job is important. There are no jobs more important nor more commonplace than another. Life’s simplest tasks contribute to society and living. The goal is to do good for others ... and be joyful and feel a sense of achievement.

When I was a little kid, we all had chores to do. Mine, when I was about 4 years old, was to pick up wood chips or cobs to start the wood fire in the stove each morning.

I helped gather eggs. I threw out food for the chickens and fed the kittens and cats milk. No matter how young or old we were, we had chores that we were responsible for every night and every morning. We did them without fail and with pleasure and joy. It saddens me now to see parents who pay their kids just to take our trash or make their beds or do other household responsibilities when I believe everyone works together to make a home or family run smoothly. Making a family contribution has its own reward.

Mother used to say there are two changeless sources of solid happiness. First is the belief in God, and the second is the habit of hard work toward useful ends. Amen — Mother.

It is fresh-peach time. What better way to enjoy them than this easy peach dessert. Serve with ice cream and a warm butterscotch sauce.

It brings back wonderful memories of a delightful, but hard day’s work picking peaches in the orchard with wasps competing for the peaches.

Fresh Peach Dessert

5 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced thin

5 slices bread, with crusts removed, and cubed (about one half inch cubes)

cinnamon or nutmeg to taste

1⁄2 cup melted butter

1 cup sugar (brown or white or a combination of both)

2 tablespoons flour

1 egg

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla

Prepare peaches and bread cubes. Toss lightly and place in sprayed 9 X 9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg.

Combine melted butter, sugar, flour, egg and vanilla in bowl. Pour over peaches and bread. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and peaches cooked. Serves eight.

Text Only
Food
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Seasonal Content
House Ads