Transitional periods, when new developments change everything about the way people work and live, cause people to experience fear, anxiety, and, even for some who know how to take advantage of changing times, exhilaration. How people work is interesting. Once agriculture was how families made ends meet. When farm machines grew sophisticated enough to free up family members to pursue careers besides farming it was a wrenching adjustment for many. Farms failed and children who thought they would inherit the farm and live the life had to adjust. Working in a factory is very different from working on a farm, although both things are classified as work. Factory work was the next trend especially when Ford gave us the assembly line.
Work in the Twenty-First Century
Labor Day got me thinking about the world of work in America. So many people are pontificating about how the pandemic will change work in the future. Many of these people are employers trying to decide whether they want employees back in office or if work from home (WFH) will be more common even after COVID. Hybrid models are being tried out in some work environments, models which have employees spending part of the work week on site and the rest of the week spent working from home. There are discussions about 4-day work weeks once again, and shorter work hours. When commuting to work was interrupted, the WFH model, which we did not think we were ready for, became an important way to work, take care of family needs, and stay healthy.
Labor Day 2021
This week began with Labor Day which always puts my mind on my father. Dad earned the nickname “Brain” because, had he not been born into a poor family just at the edge of the Great Depression, his intelligence might have led to a very different life than the one he lived. He had to drop out of school after eighth grade to go to work in order to help support his mother and father. He found a job at the Easy Washer plant in Syracuse, NY. I know he worked there for at least 15 years, beginning when he was thirteen. Easy Washer made wringer washing machines. I also know that he worked there right through WWII, doing essential war work.
Texas Abortion Law Not Just About Abortion
Abortion is not the real issue in the pitched battle between the prolife folks and the proabortion contingent. No one is forced to have an abortion. Roe v Wade does not make abortions mandatory. This is a fight about morality. This is an attempt to legislate morality for every woman in a nation that has always professed to be about freedom of religion, separation of church and state. This is also a fight about the role of women in the world.
Impossible Tech, Part 2
Captain Tom “T-Bone” Thompson and Beauregard “Beau” Jackson had been “transported” to some unknown destination by the force signified by the green light. As they wandered in an orchard of ripe and nearly ripe fruit trees, they attempted to collect data to try to reach some logical conclusions about where on earth they were (Were they still on earth?), what had happened to them, and why that green light was always present when mind-boggling things happened. Had someone discovered a new force that made solids navigable?.
The Long Thaw
The Long Thaw Maggie, Charlie, Nat and Max The cattails confidently raised their velvety brown topped stalks above even the tallest grasses as the greens around the pond began to turn into the beiges and ochers of fall foliage. Even the purple loosestrife had shed its spikes of tiny flowers and delivered the seeds that would eventually choke out the cattails. Goldenrod was around, although sparse, and a few Queens Anne’s lace flower heads decorated the edges of the pond.
Airman Thompson heard about pilots who were sighting strange objects or unidentified flying objects, but he had not had that experience himself until today. But there was one of those blips just below the left wing of the jet.
Klara and the Raging Bull
Klara lived weekdays with her mother and weekends with her father. Her mother was a lawyer and she lived on 5th Avenue. Her father had been ‘let go’ and he lived in a co-op in Greenwich Village. Klara loved both people and both places. She didn’t know which one she liked best. Her mother’s apartment was clean, full of soft places to sit and fresh flowers. Light poured in through tall windows.