LABOR AND LEMONS

Chef on balcony

Working Chef in Austin, Texas

Happy Labor Day
On this day it is useful to take a few moments to think about those Americans whose labor make our lives better. Though membership in unions has been in the decline, the effects of the unions’ nearly 200-year effort is part of the fiber of our society and the struggle continues. We wouldn’t have laws guaranteeing minimum wages and overtime without the labor movement. Unions fought for or supported and eventually won the minimum wage and 40-hour week as well as the Equal Pay Act banning wage discrimination based on gender and the Civil Rights Act banning discrimination based on race. It is fashionable to complain about unions (as my parents did) but if you are fortunate enough to have health insurance and a pension, you can thank the labor movement. Their efforts on behalf of their members raised the bar for all working people, union or not. So thank you, grocery store clerks, my letter carrier and UPS deliverer as well as the electricians, carpenters, laborers, refuse collectors and dozens more workers in my everyday life.

Meyer Lemon

Happy to be back on the ground.

Lemon Tree, Very Pretty
If you have followed the saga of this little tree, you’ll know that I have been in a life-and-death struggle with a potted Meyer Lemon tree (see previous blogs of 5/16/16, 5/23/16 and 6/27/17. Things are looking up. In June the tree moved west and I planted it in our front yard. After years of trying to keep it alive in New England the tree is thriving, a living example of the maxim, “Don’t fight the site.” It’s free at last from its big blue pot and obviously grateful. It will thrive in California, as I hope we will.

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About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.

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