Friday, September 4, 2009



I have a mother who is extremely old. In fact, she is so old that she is actually young. Not only is she really old and really young but she as well owns a very successful greeting card company, which over the years has made her very wealthy.

As I think of her and as I think of this Labor Day weekend, I find myself wondering why the people of America create national holidays. And, as mother does indeed own a successful greeting card company, I wonder why I have never in my worldly travels ever received a “Happy Labor Day” card from her.

I receive happy birthday cards, happy valentine cards, happy Easter cards, happy thanksgiving cards, happy anniversary cards, happy fathers’ day cards but I never receive happy labor day cards.

Do you?

I mean, when was the last time you received a “Happy Labor Day” card or experienced a hallmark, Labor Day moment via the United States Postal Service? When was the last time you stood in line on Labor Day Eve waiting for dozens of people in front of you to post their labor day greetings and gift packages before the postal clerk finally closed the door? Did you ever get your hair done or buy a new dress or pair of trousers a few weeks before Labor Day for the singular purpose of being in your finest for the merriment and joy this national holiday represents to both loved ones and friends? Did you ever send or receive a Labor Day fruitcake? Did you ever go around with a group of friends and sing Labor Day Carols?

Never, right? I mean never to all of the above questions.

Well, given the fact that I tend to think about things like this and my mother actually owns a greeting card company, my thoughts on this particular Labor Day are tending towards creating such cards, carols and fruitcake Labor Day hallmark moments. Given the fact as well, that I am a writer, I thought that it would be nice to create a couple of Labor Day theme cards that would serve to enhance the overall festive moment Labor Day conjures up in this particular writer’s mind.

Here’s the first:


May the Joy of the Day Bring Forth
The Fulfillment
Of Timely Employment
To You and Yours.

Inside this Happy Labor Day Card would of course be a timely personal note concerning the warm wishes of the sender (my mother who is really old):

Dear Marge and Herb

Just a brief note and a hello before I rush out to the hair dresser. Al is busy with the decorations once again (you know how he is), and the kids of course are busy with their friends and well, here I am a little bit older and perhaps a little bit wiser doing my usual Labor Day card writing campaign.

Any way I thought I’d just jot down a few last minute notes before sealing up this card and dropping it in the mail.

John and Carol are expecting their next child “very soon”. I mean Al and I might very well be the grandparents of a Labor Day baby. I’ll call you with the latest. Mrs. Johnson from across the street fell last week and is now recovering, ever since Ed fell off the roof, the two of them have had a rough go of it, but with Ed working once again, I’m sure that in no time soon they’ll be back on their feet.

I just don’t know about this younger generation, why Ed was up on the roof remains a complete mystery to me. He keeps talking about this solar collector idea

and he still spends all of his spare time up on that roof. It seems like since he graduated from Purdue ten years ago all he ever talks about is solar collectors. I just don’t understand why these kids don’t just go out and get a real job. I mean he spent eight years at Purdue getting an advanced degree in engineering and all he does is sit up on his roof. I don’t think either of them are on drugs but I do wonder why the two of them are always doing such odd things. When Ellen fell, she was on a ladder adjusting her

wind turbine (WHATEVER THAT IS) and of course she landed in their vegetable garden. I just don’t know why they don’t just leave their front yard alone. Who ever heard of a vegetable garden in front of a house with a wind turbine in the middle of it? I really don’t even know what a wind turbine is but they have one. And, why they have the garden in the front yard is mystery to me.

They do have very tasty vegetables I have to say and Al and Ed are always talking. I worry about Al though. Last week be brought home a bunch of things from the hardware store and said he was going to use this stuff to collect rain water for our garden. Why he doesn’t just use the hose like everyone else is a complete mystery to me.

Anyway, this is just a brief note to say high. Is Herb happy about his upcoming retirement? The last time we talked you said he was thinking about taking up a new sport. What is parasailing anyway? You said something about flying.

Why is it that every time I turn around, people are everywhere but on the ground? Anyway, I just hope the economy turns around and people can just get back to being normal once again.

Martha just graduated this last spring and is now working at Subway. They have the nicest young people working at that place. They all seem so bright, but for the life of me, I just don’t understand why Subway requires their employees to have advanced college degrees.

It seems like all they do is make sandwiches.

Anyway, I have to go because I have to stop at Diane’s house to pick up her kids and take them over to the school to deliver a science project. They’ve built some sort of an electrical device or something. I love my daughter very much but sometimes I have to wonder. Why isn’t she just normal like us? Apparently this device is called an “alternative energy vehicle” whatever that is. I just pray that whatever is going in our country, sooner or later people will get serious and get real jobs.

Happy Labor Day and with love,


P.S. Do you know anything about Tia Chi? Al keeps on talking about this, Apparently, its some sort of exercise. He keeps on talking about relaxing his mind. Why would anyone want to relax their mind? I have to go. By the way, Sally got her job back at Walmart.

My mother is so old that she is young. Having said this and having drafted my first Labor Day Greeting card, I can’t for the life of me understand why no one sends greeting cards on Labor Day. I said I was going to draft a few labor day cards in this essay, but something tells me that one is enough.

M. Patrick Dahlke

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