A lot to be thankful for as I sit on the deck overlooking our 110 acre backyard. Working here for the first time this season. Been too hot and humid up until this very day, the eve of Labor Day 2010. Thankful for some cool, dry weather.
lot to be thankful for as I sit on the deck overlooking our 110 acre backyard.
Working here for the first time this season. Been too hot and humid up until
this very day, the eve of Labor Day 2010. Thankful for some cool, dry weather.
thing to be thankful for is the 110 acres isn’t ours; we just get to enjoy it
together with the birds and rabbits and (we think) some deer and other assorted
wildlife. Coyotes a few months back … not our usual fare in North
Georgia. Lots of other things for me to be thankful for, including
the marvelous Kay and our children and grands. Mom and the brothers, sisters,
this is about Labor Day. I am thankful to have work. I am thankful to have had
work since the middle 1960s. Full time since 1970. Until this very moment I had
not considered it but I have been gainfully employed for 40 years straight. Not
any kind of record to be sure, but a nice run just the same. And at this
advanced stage in my career I can boast (or complain) that I have two jobs.
What the hell am I thinking? One pays the bills and the other is just too much
fun to stop. In truth, they are both fun and rewarding in their own ways.
grandfather, Louis Damato, did hold a record at one time. For all I know he
still does. He went to work for the US Post Office when he was 18 years old and
left at age 70. That is an amazing 52 years of labor, and all for the same
employer. He spent many of those years at the West Bay Annex of the main post
office in downtown, Jacksonville,
Fla. I was working nearby when it
was demolished in favor of a new convention center.
I think of labor and laborers I always think of my papa and my dad. Dad also
worked for the Postal Service, but his career (and life) was cut unmercifully
short by a bum heart. But the man knew how to work. He almost always had that
second job. Like me, his second gig was almost always freelance. I freelance to
enhance my primary place in the roofing industry and because it gives me an
outlet for all these words that keep wanting to come out. Dad worked freelance
to keep food on the table for his wife and nine children. These two taught me a
work ethic that has kept me competitive in sometimes tough environments.
they led me to a discovery that is quite apropos of today’s economy: There is
always a market for people who are willing to play by the rules, show up, and
work hard. My papa and my dad were not complicated people and neither am I.
They were not wealthy and neither am I. But I consider them and myself a
success when it comes to the topic of “labor” because we have managed to take a
very simple concept and use it to endure.
while better than 10 percent of my fellow citizens and nearly 25 percent of my
fellow construction-industry laborers are out of work, I am blessed to have
work. No big feat, but days like Labor Day call on us to celebrate our
victories, no matter how insignificant.
I am thankful to the Creator for a life and a life of work. With any luck will match
my papa’s record. But for now I must close. The hummingbirds are back and an
itinerant family of gold finches just arrived at the feeder. I must keep an eye
on them as they remind me that one of the rewards of labor is this place and
the time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.