Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

On Being Thankful


For my family, the Thanksgiving weekend is just another work week.  While everyone else was spending the day with their friends and family, eating themselves into oblivion, my children watched as their father got ready for work.  While most were sitting down to watch football in their post-lunch stupor, they were standing at the door and waving goodbye.

So, in honor of families like mine – the public employees who patrol our streets, sit on call in case a deep fryer sets a house on fire, or the nurses and residents who care for patients in the hospital or nursing home – I wanted to say thank you.

This holiday season, I’m most thankful for those who go to work while everyone else is off to play.  On holidays, weekends, and nights when the rest of the residents in our state are sleeping in their beds, these workers are on the job with nary a thought from those they serve.  They have been vilified, blamed, and otherwise maligned by those in power and by thoughtless citizens who want what they will not pay for.

My deepest gratitude goes out to public employees, for all that they do and for spending so many weekends, evenings, and holidays away from their families in service to our cities, counties, and state.  As a society, we do not value your contribution anywhere near enough – so, from my family to yours, thank you.


2 thoughts on “On Being Thankful

  1. I can remember when I was young, my dad had two jobs at different times. For a while he worked in the toll booths on the branch of the interstate highway outside Buffalo, NY where I grew up. I can remember him having to work at Christmas. His birthday was Christmas Eve and one of my sisters was born on Christmas Day — which made those two days more special and his absence more noticeable. My husband worked for UW Police and Security and often worked holidays. Working at a newspaper, I usually had the holiday off but not everyone did. And I usually worked the days before and after the holiday and had to put out my section whether I was in the office or not. I think only folks who’ve been in these situations realize how many people are out there working for us on holidays.

    • The assumption always seems to be that everyone works 9-5, Monday through Friday, with all weekends and holidays off with very little acknowledgement or gratitude for those who work otherwise. Then again, I think if more people really understood what it was like to be a teacher, correction officer, police officer, fire fighter, nurse, highway worker, toll worker, etc then we wouldn’t have found ourselves where we are today.