Labour Day is a favourite of many holiday revelers.  It feels like the last chance to enjoy summer.  It marks big changes for many people whether you are starting grade one or college.  And it can be hot or chilly.


The weekend has held many memories for me.  On Labour Day Weekend 1970 started a series of events that ensures Labour Day is a favourite of mine.  My family attended a huge auction near Tilsonburg Ontario.  It was an estate sale of an eccentric bachelor who had saved hundreds of motorcycles, world war two aircraft and vehicles and a farm full of “junk”.  At that sale, my Dad and an informal group of guys bought the hulking frame of a Fairey Swordfish.  The biplane had made its reputation by dropping a torpedo that hit the rudder of the German Battleship – Bismarck, leading to its demise.  Already outdated at the beginning of the war, the eight planes, the bachelor had purchased from Crown Assets after the war, had been used to patrol the east coast of Canada.

By the time of the auction, the wings’ fabric hung in shreds, metal was exposed and all paint had peeled.  It took my Dad, 22 years to rebuild the Fairey Swordfish back to flying condition.  That’s when the Labour Day Weekend connection was resurrected.


For the next six years, we hosted the Muirkirk Airshow from my parent’s farm in eastern Chatham-Kent.   (In fact, way back then it was Orford Township and Kent County.) Airplanes and enthusiasts came from all over southern Ontario and north eastern United States to fly off this grass airstrip in the middle-of-nowhere.  It was magnificent.  It made sure Labour Day is a favourite memory for most who attended.


For all the last 10 years, Labour Day Weekend has meant a whirlwind of activities at the Crazy 8 Barn & Garden.  Buttertarts would be disappearing as fast as we could bake them, fresh bread would be sliced into tasty sandwiches, ice cream would be scooped, gift ware and supplies would be purchased to decorate for fall or pacify those non-tourists left at home.  Those were weekends of goodbyes-til-next-year and our once-a-summer stop.  The end of the holiday Monday would mean we had survived another busy summer season.


This year is different.  But boy has it been fun already.  I kicked it off with a “Labour of Love” with my grandchildren.  We built our first-ever snail habitat.

The idea has been percolating for quite awhile.  When we built our house a few years ago, we discovered that we were located in prime snail territory. I have no explanation for it, but there are snails everywhere.  We decided that just like Sponge Bob Square Pants we would like to have a pet snail as well.

It’s surprising to find out how much information there is on the internet about caring for your pet snail.  We found a used Terrarium, added soil, sticks, plants, moss and snails.  Apparently they like vegetables so their  food trays are filled with carrot slices, and spinach.  I’m going to add some dried egg shells later to help them meet their calcium needs.  We’ve spritzed the inside with water and are hoping that we have created a healthy habitat for our snails.

We hope you make some happy memories this Labour Day Weekend.