Labor Day in Kettering, Ohio means two things: Kettering’s Holiday At Home Festival and Alter High School’s Alterfest.
I love this holiday, perhaps, more than any other except for July 4th. Labor Day in Kettering brings together members of the community as well as many guests returning home for the festivities, or many non-Kettering residents traveling into the city to see what this terrific little community is all about.
We cannot agree how many years we’ve celebrated the parade together, but the Bane and Haas families have been doing it for 8-10 years. Today, it was just Angela and myself, and after the Fairmont cheerleaders completed their parade route, 10th grader Ellie joined us.
My morning had been stuffed with feeding canines, feeding Flanagan and cleaning him up, prepping for my teaching day, and getting ready by 9:15 AM when Angela would arrive for our annual trek across the high school’s backfield to Far Hills Avenue’s parade route.
Post-parade time began filling up rapidly as I scarfed down some lunch, fed Flanagan again, and prepped for teaching.
8.5 hours of fantastic musical accomplishments from current/old students, as well as two new students. The remainder of this week I will joyfully welcome eight new students that have been crammed into the schedule. Tonight, one new student is from a family I met upon my arrival in Dayton 27 years ago. I photographed their eldest daughter’s first baby photos, did some band/music work with the dad, and gave voice lessons to the mother. Their youngest daughter, now a junior in high school, is a lovely young lady and I enjoyed our first official time together.
Flanagan has been fed and showing signs of improvement. I have fed my self and am showing signs of improving fatigue. The parade, time with friends, and teaching some great lessons seemed to lift that hollow emotional vacuum that had begun to swallow me.
And, it was nice to receive an impromptu hug from my non-demonstrative youngest son and to discover a phone message from my eldest that simply said, “I just wanted to let you know I love you. Enjoy the rest of your evening.”
And, I did.