“The days grow short when you reach September ... the autumn weather turns leaves to flame.” — Kurt Weill.
It’s September already — two days after Labor Day and 20 days before the autumnal equinox. It used to be the month that schools started, but now most schools begin their new term in August. But there are many other things that September brings to mind.
So back to Labor Day. Seems in the United States, especially, we need to take this day seriously, since in this country, many of the employed are working longer hours and enjoying less vacation time. And, sadly, some people who are laboring such long hours are working harder and making less money. Others, who lose good-paying jobs, can only find new jobs (often part time) that barely provide enough earnings to live on. Does it mean anything any more when the top 1 percent enjoys lower tax rates than what’s left of the middle class, when labor unions have become practically defunct, when economic inequality is so rampant? Yes, we need to honor those who labor, but we must also do something about what Joseph Stiglitz, author of “The Price of Inequality,” described as the “most unequal society in advanced countries.”
I always enjoy September because that’s when my small vegetable garden finally produces something useful. This year just one beautiful pumpkin matured that I will display on the front porch shelf to commemorate autumn and then Halloween. The two squash plants deliver two or three dinner-sized zucchini a week. The green beans so far seem to be mostly foliage and I’m hoping that as September progresses, more beans will appear. I have been able to water the veggies without feeling guilty because, sadly, almost all of the 50 or so impatiens I planted in the spring have withered away and died from the mysterious leaf mold that is devastating them nationwide and apparently no one knows what to do about it. It has been predicted that those beautiful impatiens that have always bloomed gloriously outside on the patio, will be no more. Let’s hope that something will be discovered that will cure the problem.
September is when the various classes at the San Bruno Senior Center get rolling again — from ceramics and ukulele lessons to yoga, knitting, creative writing, ballroom dance, etc. For instance, you can sign up for the computer class for one-on-one help in learning all of the ins and outs of your computer. If you are over 50, you can attend the class by joining the computer club (for a fee) and become eligible for the class that meets Monday and Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Some of the special days in September we rarely hear about. For instance, Sept. 7 is Grandparents Day, a very special day, indeed. I wonder if Hallmark offers greeting cards for this event so that our progeny can honor their very deserving elders. Sept. 13 is Positive Thinking Day. With so much depressing news these days, it might be helpful to spend the entire day meditating on things that give a lift to the spirit — like Sept. 22, 1903, when the ice cream cone was invented and Sept. 30, 1849, that gave us the safety pin. What would we do without either one or without Google that was incorporated on Sept. 4, 1998. Do you remember that the U.S. Constitution was signed on Sept. 17, 1787?
I have saved the most important for last. September is Daily Journal Reader Appreciation Month. Of course, we all know that this is the best newspaper around. It offers everything we need to know that’s going on in the world, nationally and locally, and, among it’s many other features, includes a great sports section, movie reviews and even columns written by talented high school students. I even found a recipe for a new way to prepare that zucchini that I didn’t notice under the leaves until it was over a foot long. And, of course, don’t forget those very interesting and intriguing columnists, the often thought-evoking “other voices,” “guest perspectives” and readers’ letters. There probably aren’t many who appreciate this newspaper and its readers — many of whom have been very supportive — more than I do. I’m especially grateful for Jon, our intrepid editor, who has put up with my opinions, etc. for almost six years.
I haven’t forgotten that I have a birthday at the end of this month — not that I welcome birthdays any more. But it’s an opportunity to enjoy my family when they gather around and sing as I blow out numerous candles.
And, as the song goes, “as the days dwindle down to a precious few … those precious days I’ll spend with you.” — Weill.
Since 1984, Dorothy Dimitre has written more than 750 columns for various local newspapers. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.