My favorite weekend of the whole year is almost here - Labor Day weekend. It isn't the holiday that does it for me, because truthfully, well, it is just another day. (In fact this year I am blessed with the opportunity to work it! - Yes, my dears, that is sarcasm. Come now, don't act surprised...) No, it is what this weekend holds. This weekend signifies the transition from the lazy days of summer into the crisp, ever-increasingly fast paced days of fall. A season which I hold to be my most favorite of all. Saying good bye to August with its tortuously hot days which were filled with the laughter of children as they ran about and hello to September with its promise of more sedate temperatures, quiet streets, and empty yards.
However, Labor Day weekend is more than the end of a season, and the beginning of another; it is the return of routine and structure in the forms of classrooms and schedules. For some it is quite chaotic and truly expensive. As a mother of three I can attest to how much education, or rather the process of it, costs. (But I'm going to save that for another blog...still need to get my littlest little off to her first day!) Labor day weekend says good bye to the comfort of tank tops, cut-offs, and flip-flops while welcoming in capris, cardigans, and slip-ons. This weekend of change is also celebrated with a wash of color - out with the lime greens, shocking yellows, bright reds, and watermelon pinks and in with the pumpkin oranges, light browns, deep yellows, and burnt reds. It's the trading in of Popsicles for pencils, roller blades for back packs, and sprinklers for sprinkles, the rain kind that is!
But it isn't just all this change that makes my heart smile, it is the festival that accompanies it. It may be hard to tell, but I love old cars. I'm not going to profess to know a lot about them. In fact, I can't tell the difference between a turbo engine, a carburetor, a crank shaft, or even an oil pan, but I know beauty when I see it. I know there was passion in the designs and that alone is what draws me to the festival. It isn't the lure of who's driving them, how much they're being auctioned for, or any of that jazz. No, it is simply the joy of seeing a well crafted piece of art purr like a kitty as its driver, ever lovingly, applies pressure to the gas petal and all that mechanical wonder propels its sleek body onwards to its next destination. I can see, in my mind's eye, the sunshine glimmer off the chrome and metal, the sparkle of the paint, and even hear the humor in the tooting horns. I can picture the labor intensive hours of men and women bent over drawing boards with their pencils and erasers designing the most minute of detail by hand, something that is totally missing with modern machines. Oh, we may have beautiful cars today (my Chrysler T&C being one of them) but nothing, absolutely NOTHING, like what will be on display. No. And sadly, my limited vocabulary cannot paint a word picture strong enough to describe what my mind sees. I see love and passion, craftsmanship and art, glamour and prestige all manifested into the objects put together by hard working men and women who spent hours building the things we would eventually love decades into a future they would never see. These aren't just automobiles, these are a huge part of our history. These are our grandfathers', great-grandfathers', uncles, and even grandmothers' blood, sweat, and tears spread lovingly over something we have joyously passed from one generation to the next. This is why I love Labor Day weekend.
Sadly, we lost this somewhere after the 70's. We don't see many Pintos or Yugos in classic car line-ups. There aren't going to be people lined up for miles to watch a parade of Ford Escorts, Chevy Sprints, or even Chrysler PT Cruisers, but their predecessors will; they will pull people in repeatedly with the allure of the dreams of their forefathers, all-the-while creating the hopes of one day seeing that same kind of love repeated into another one of the machines we've all grown to rely on.