The Meaning of Labor Day

Labor Day is a time to reflect back on the history of the American workers and how we’ve built our country on the basis of our hard work.

Reflections of work

My first real job was working for YCC (Youth Conservation Corps).  I was 16 and I worked at Mount Rainier for the summer.  Our focus was on conservation of trails and keeping soil erosion to a minimum.  We cut down old dead snags and cut them into sections to build drain bars across the trails.  We also built bridges across rivers, dug trenches, etc.  Our base camp was at Longmire on the weekends, and during the week we would hike into the woods all over the mountain with a week’s worth of provisions on our backs and our tools.

A lot of times the hiking was harder than the work (though the work was very demanding).  We’d live out of pup tents during the week and return to Longmire at the end of the week.  I’d always taken for granted what a nice hot shower felt like prior to this experience.  I developed a lot of respect for the beauty of nature and felt proud (to this very day) of the work I put in to help preserve it.  I learned the value of hard work and working with others to get a worth while job done.

Other jobs

I had other jobs in the years after YCC.  Restaurant work, working at a gas station, landscaping, etc.  But I never really liked it as much as my days working at the Mountain. Regardless, I ALWAYS had a job.  I have never been unemployed.  I stumbled on a help wanted ad in the TNT one day.  It was for work in pest control.  It sounded interesting so I sent in my resume.

I got a call for an interview and I got the job.  This was back to hard work that I was used to, though many a day I would think to myself “there’s got to be a better way to make a living”!  These thoughts would come to me when I was entering into a nasty crawl space that was wet, full of spider webs, low clearance, and full of rodent feces.  At the end of the day I would get cleaned up and I would resume the next day.

Most days were very rewarding and I developed into the best technician, on the staff of that particular company, in a matter of a couple months.  As I excelled, I needed new challenges and eventually went into business for myself. 

Remembering Labor Day today

As I write this, I am thankful to have the life that I have.  My wife, Beth, and I have built a very successful business that we are extremely proud of.  It is through our hard work and dedication that we gratefully celebrate  this “holiday” we call Labor Day.  So thank you to EVERYBODY (past, present, and future) that contribute so much of their lives to the belief of keeping this country great through their hard work.