Saturday, August 30, 2008

In All Labor There is Profit!

While for many Labor Day is simply another holiday, it is much more than that for me. I grew up on a dairy farm and so holidays were not "labor free." The cows had to be milked twice a day 365 days a year (and 366 on Leap Year) without fail. The chickens also had to be fed, watered, and the eggs gathered. On Christmas and Thanksgiving, usually the only work we did on the farm was the milking, feeding the livestock, and caring for the chickens, but on most other holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, and usually even the Fourth of July, a lot of work was done on the farm.
Dad was a steady, hard-working type of man who was not much into vacations. Our usual "vacation" each summer was to leave about 9 a.m. to go fishing (which included a picnic and other fun things) and return about 6 or 7 p.m. to milk the cows. In his later years Dad took a couple of vacations with us three girls, but I'm not sure he was that thrilled in traveling the country. He owned a small airplane and I think he would have preferred flying to driving! He went because Mom and us three girls wanted him to come with us.
On Labor Day of 1978 my dad went to Heaven at age 70. Both of my parents passed away on holidays. My mother, who was a more social person and passed away on January 1, 1977. We all thought it was so appropriate Dad's Homegoing was on Labor Day! I owe my dad a great debt for teaching me to work. I did not think such when I was a teenager, but it was so good for me to work on the farm. After my older siblings left home I was responsible to milk the cows twice a day for my remaining years in high school. The lessons I learned are innumerable and I am grateful. Having to perform daily duties such as milking helped me learn to be a hard-working responsible person.
Parents do their children such a favor when they teach them to work and I am grateful my parents did so! Proverbs 14:23a..."In all labour there is profit..." No one lives on our farm any more and the buildings are in disrepair, but I still have the character and integrity that was instilled in me from the work I was required to do. This Labor Day, rejoice that you are able to work and that someone taught you to work (it does not come naturally!) And if you have children, be good to them...teach them to work!
The barn [l] and the chicken house [r] pictured above were taken by our former neighbor and friend, Wanda Anthony.


Emily said...

Wonderful story, and great to be reminded that work is a privilege. I love the pictures of your farm!


ginabee said...

Wonderful tribute to your parents!
I enjoy your blog.

Annette said...

Great story, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this holiday.

Nancy M. said...

What a good lesson! I love the picture of the barn also.