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With Labor Day behind us, we will soon launch into the fall season.

Author William Zinsser wrote that Labor Day was proposed in 1882 by Peter McGuire, the general secretary of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

He suggested that the first Monday in September be set aside to celebrate America's working spirit.

The first Monday was selected because it was about halfway between the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving.

From a social perspective, Labor Day is the end of summer. By then schools have started and family vacations are generally over.

Zinsser described it as a time in which Americans are "squeezing the last ounce of pleasure out of summer's final gift of unexamined time."

He went on to write, "Officially, summer won't end for another three weeks. But in our bones, we know that the jig is up."

Is that how you feel right about now?

Labor Day comes at a good time -- still a part of summer festivities but also serving as a transition to a different time of year.

For those of us who like the water, it's still nice enough to take a swim.

For those of us who can't wait for fall to officially begin, the evenings are -- most of the time -- pleasant enough to sit outside.

Autumn is widely welcomed, especially during those years in which August has mercilessly brought on day after day of heat and humidity, causing prayers for deliverance from the sauna.

That hasn't exactly been the case this year, with late August bringing an unusual break from the heat.

There are some who love summer so much that they never want it to end, instead wishing for an unending stream of warm nights, cookouts, fun in the water, daylight until 9 p.m., family trips, sunglasses and suntan oil.

But even the most devoted sun worshippers among us must sometimes admit that there are years in which we give in, conceding to summer that we've had enough.

In those instances, fall is welcomed and embraced even more heartily than normal.

And with its arrival comes the usual refreshing feeling, a sense of relief that we have survived a test from nature itself.

As for me, I enjoy both summer and fall tremendously. And this year, for some reason, I find myself wishing that summer could go on.

And just like those who sometimes complain that they have too much month at the end of their money, there can be too many activities yet to be enjoyed at the end of summer. Why can't summer continue?

It doesn't bother me to sweat during normal outdoor activity during the summer months. In fact, I welcome that.

It's actually good for a person's health. (I'm not talking about trying to bring on a heat stroke but, instead, just taking the body through the normal functions for which it was designed).

I've read that Alexander the Great had his troops exercise every day at least to the point that they began to perspire and, as a result, they were very well-conditioned. The ancient civilizations knew the value of exercise.

For those of us who prefer to exercise outside, summer is a perfect arrangement.

But fall is coming, ready or not. And I'm not complaining. A day that begins at about 56 degrees and climbs up to about 77 in the afternoon is certainly not the end of the world.

On the other hand, a winter day that begins at 12 degrees and warms up to a balmy 25 is another matter altogether.

So given that perspective, I'll always embrace fall weather and enjoy every minute of it. I hope you can as well.

• • •

--David Wilson, Ed.D., of Springdale, is a former high school principal and is the communications director for the Transit and Parking Department at the University of Arkansas. He has other articles online at He may be contacted by email at Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 09/05/2018

Print Headline: Looking onward from Labor Day

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