Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Labor Day, Americana-Style

Thank God It’s Monday and, as such, #HappyMonday and happy Labor Day to everyone! I personally look forward to all Mondays because they’re my 52 Chances a year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with you!



Today is, among other things, National Labor Day – an Americana celebration of the contributions and achievements of American workers to our country’s economic strength, prosperity, and well-being. Labor Day also celebrates the improvements of working conditions and fair compensation that were gained through the efforts of the American labor movement.

The labor force is comprised of people who are either working or actively looking for work, including self-employed entrepreneurs; those who’ve been leaving their jobs, with which they weren’t happy, due to low pay/benefits, physical strains, mental health concerns, and much more – going out to start their own businesses, living the Americana dream.

According to The Great Resignation: Everything You Need To Know (Jun 29, 2022) at, the “Great Resignation” started when “employees across multiple sectors came to the realization that they weren’t happy with their jobs during the pandemic. People weren’t satisfied with their work environment, the industry they were in or their work-life balance and left their jobs.” Leaving a job to open one’s own business isn’t really a new crusade.

A significant growth in entrepreneurships also began early in the new millennium, after banks began losing money, the housing market collapsed, and major auto makers declared bankruptcy. The domino effect was felt throughout districts, nation-wide, as businesses were forced to close their doors due to the “Great Recession”, beginning in 2007.

Another similar event occurred more than 30 years prior, when Mom (and Dad) faced the same uncertainty in the 1970s recession, when Mom left her job at the newspaper, in 1973, to start her own business; which evolved over the years, eventually becoming known as Secret RecipesTM, with her Recipe DetectiveTM brand recognized world-wide.

By 1976, Dad needed to take an early retirement from his job at the sign company to help Mom full-time, with the family business. Today, more than 160 countries observe their own Labor Days, celebrating the accomplishments of their own labor movements and the continued evolution of improving working conditions for everyone, everywhere.


Many people like to celebrate this Americana holiday with parades honoring the labor force, community picnics, backyard barbeques, sports events, and the like. The annual Mackinac Bridge Walk on Labor Day is going on, as well!

Moreover, a lot of families also like to take advantage of summer’s last, long weekend, by going on one more family vacation before the kids go back to school.

As I’ve mentioned many times, Mom liked to celebrate AFTER Labor Day, when my siblings and I went back to school, and she found reprieve in her own workload (and well-being). She always said, jokingly of course, THAT was when her vacation began.


As seen in…

School Begins and so Does Mother’s Vacation

By Gloria Pitzer (Algonac, MI; Aug. 1971)

NEVER MIND WHAT THE calendar says about the longest day of summer. It doesn’t really fall in June. It falls somewhere during the last week of August, as mothers everywhere breathlessly await the beginning of another school year!

When listening to a child lick a postage stamp in the next room begins to give me a headache and the cat seems to be stomping his paws and even my Mixmaster and my vacuum cleaner sound like mini bikes, I know it’s time for school to start.

This is what happens when you live with children who believe that the same door they left open all winter should be slammed all summer. And all I have to show for 10 weeks of summer, is a tape recording of 400 hours of the kids next door, gunning their motorcycles under my kitchen windows; which I felt would make a lovely remembrance for their mother who has been out, working in a pleasant, air-conditioned office.

Someday, she may want to know what she missed while her boys were growing up. I can tell her what she missed – migraines, excessive nervous acidity and hives, that’s what!

The first 8 weeks of summer rushed past us so quickly – it was like catching quicksilver in greased gloves. Suddenly, there was our 15-year old [son], telling us he needed back-to-school clothes; but he’d like some new blue jeans that didn’t look like new blue jeans.

Honestly, I don’t know where you can buy new blue jeans with broken zippers, frayed hems, worn seats and patched knees. He [also] said he had wished he had bought his school shoes last month, so he could have had plenty of time to scuff up the toes and run the heels over before school started; then, nobody would accuse him of wearing Sunday school clothes.

It is during the [unofficial] last week of summer that my Avon lady sends me a CARE package and my mother apologizes for not having had the children visit her more often before they had to go back to school.

I receive fliers from the drug store advertising Christmas wrappings and ribbons, and you can’t find a 99-cent Styrofoam cooler anywhere in town for the Labor Day picnic you wish you didn’t have to attend, because any picnic with 5 children is no PICNIC!

It is during the [unofficial] last week of summer that I’m ready to vote ‘yes’ in a school bond issue and school supplies that were on sale in July are being replaced on dime store counters by Halloween candy and costumes.

It is during the [unofficial] last week of summer that a neighbor stops by to see if he ever returned the lawn mower he borrowed from us and is disappointed when he learns he didn’t because he wanted to borrow it again!

Actually, the longest day of summer can make one weak – especially if she’s a mother!



In case you haven’t heard, September is also, among other things, National Americana Month. Americana is considered the patriotic nostalgia, usually associated with the U.S.’s culture and history – especially from the Native Americans, the colonial era, and the mid-20th century. Given our melting-pot foundation, Americana could include just about anything.

Traditional Americana is mainly represented by food, art, music, literature, and the like – anything that is stereotypical American, such as red, white, and blue. Examples are likened to Norman Rockwell’s art work, which appeared on over 300 covers of the weekly edition of The Saturday Evening Post, for many years.

Rockwell depicted the simple, small-town, middle-class lifestyle of Americans as humble, God-fearing people enjoying a strong and prosperous family life – with Americana-styled elements like Coca-Cola memorabilia, blue-collar workers, white-picket fences, denim jeans, baseball, and apple pie.


In honor of next Sunday, being National Hot Cross Bun Day, here’s Mom’s copycat recipe for “Awrey’s Hot Cross Buns”; as seen in her self-published cookbook… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; June 1997, p. 8).


P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…


September’s observances include: National Better Breakfast Month, National Little League Month, National Blueberry Popsicle Month, National Chicken Month, National Courtesy Month, National Honey Month, National Italian Cheese Month, National Library Card Sign Up Month, National Mushroom Month, National Potato Month, National Rice Month, National Sewing Month, National Self-Improvement Month, and National Whole Grains Month!

As the first FULL week in September, it’s also… National Waffle Week! Therefore, here’s a re-share of Mom’s copycat recipe for “Waffle Hows Waffles”, as seen in one of her early, self-published cookbook, The Second Helping of Secret Recipes – Fast Foods and Other Favorites (National Homemaker’s Newsletter, Pearl Beach, MI; July 1977, p. 37).


Today is also… National Cheese Pizza Day and National Be Late For Something Day!

Tomorrow is… National Coffee Ice Cream Day and NATIONAL READ A BOOK DAY!


Wednesday, September 7th is… National Beer Lover’s Day, National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day, National Grandma Moses Day, National Acorn Squash Day, National Salami Day, and National New Hampshire Day!

September 8th is… National Ampersand Day! Plus, as the second Thursday in September (for 2022), it’s also… National School Picture Day! Unofficially, Thursday is also the start of the NFL’s regular football season. Happy football season, Dad!

Friday, September 9th is… National Wiener Schnitzel Day! 

Saturday, September 10th is… National Swap Ideas Day and National TV Dinner Day!

September 11th is… National Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance! Plus, as the Sunday after Labor Day, it’s also… National Grandparent’s Day! Additionally, as the start of the second week in September it’s… National Biscuit and Gravy Week and National Arts In Education Week!


…36 down and 16 to go!

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