Oh Shoot, Here Comes Labor Day Again

Chicago, Ill. (Oct. 22, 2005) – One hund...

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For those of you who don’t know what the Labor Day means, please don’t mistake that as in the labor of delivering a child. I wouldn’t put the word ‘again’ at the end of that title if that’s the case. Labor Day is a federal holiday in the U.S. It always falls on the first Monday in September, and this year it is on September 7. I have mixed feelings about this holiday, mostly not positive. Labor Day is a day to celebrate the workers, the laborers, the union, and so it’s something that I support. Not many countries have a national holiday set for their workers.

Because the Labor Day falls on September, it usually also marks the end of summer holiday in the U.S. The school year here typically starts in September, and for people like me who are in school, it means time to go back to the whole routine again. This school year is special because instead of starting classes like what I’ve been doing in the past three years, I’m starting an internship. The internship in my study is done at the very end of three to four years of taking classes and a series of practica. Internship is a full-time position, whereas practicum is done part-time while taking classes at the same time. Therefore, by taking my internship, it means I’m done with all of my classes and free from going to classes, studying, and doing papers. I should really be screaming yippee at this point, except that I still have a dissertation to finish, so it’d be best if I save the hooray part at the very, very end, which will be next year, exactly a year from now.

Labor Day also means that summer season is almost over. September is associated with the beginning of autumn. The season actually starts officially in mid September, even though we’re already starting to feel the fall breeze a few times in August. This summer has been an atypical summer for Chicago, very cool, only a couple of humid days. So Labor Day brings a reminder that summer is almost over, and in Chicago, it’s a time to mourn. Anyone who is familiar with winter in the Windy City knows this familiar sense of loss when summer is over. You know you’re from Chicago or have lived in the area for a while to know that there are only two seasons in Chicago, construction (which usually happens in summer) and winter.

I really shouldn’t make the impression that I dislike Labor Day due to what comes afterwards because I do love autumn. It’s the most BEAUTIFUL season, particularly with the changing color of the leaves, which makes it a very colorful season. Love those fall colors!

In the past, the cool temperature of fall season really brought such a fresh feeling from the heat, humid, muggy, sweaty summer days. I usually welcome it very much, but less so this year because I feel like I haven’t gone through a true summer yet; more like a tease of summer so far.

I love fall season because there are actually a lot of other great things associated with it. September means only one month away from the World Series of baseball! Yes! A whole month (October ) of baseball games. Unfortunately, the Yankees may be in this year, darn it! One of these years I hope to see the White Sox to play in October again, all the way to the end of October to be more specific.

Cool temperature also means time to change my wardrobe and say goodbye to my sandals, shorts and other summer outfit. There is something exciting about this changing of wardrobe. It’s hard to describe it, but it’s similar to trying new clothes because many of these clothes I haven’t worn in some months. I remember that I had to get used to this changing of wardrobe every changing of season; never had it when I was in Indonesia. It brings a refreshing feeling just to go through the action of moving clothes from the back of clothes line to the front a few times in a year. There is no way of telling, however, how long this refreshing feeling stay, perhaps until the frigid degree arrives or snow starts to fall? Then it’s time to look for my winter/snow boots. Oh gosh, it’s time to end this essay. I sure don’t like where it’s heading. Till next cold season!


A Day in Chicago

All of these pictures were taken on a hot, muggy, summer day at the end of July 2009 in Chicago. I just came back from a picnic with some refugees from one of the refugee resettlement agencies in Chicago. The picnic took place at the Montrose Harbor, by the lake (lake Michigan), and on the way home I thought it would be a nice day to take a walk by the lake, so I did. While walking to the next bus stop, I took some pictures. So I started walking from the Montrose Harbor and sightseeing…

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and I kept walking….
a person can do a lot of thinking during moments like this….
…and without even realizing it, I ended up at the Belmont Harbor.  Here is a proof for those of you who are familiar with Chicago street numbering system, this is pretty damn close to Belmont Harbor.
I didn’t even realize how far I walked.  I also saw something cute, though, a beach for dogs to play.
And all of this walking was done using my sandals, which was (not) a smart move on my part.

But in the end, I gave myself a reward. After all, I think I did about 3 miles of a walk (and with those sandals?).

Aaahhh….it’s just another beautiful day in Chicago, and this is one of the ways to enjoy it while it lasts.  Pretty soon, it’ll be winter.  Did anyone ever tell you that Chicago only has two seasons?  Winter and construction (construction =  warmer weather).  I’m thankful for another construction season.