Labor Day is one of the saddest holidays of the year since in this neighborhood it means the end of summer. But that doesnâ€™t mean there isnâ€™t anything to do.
Sure, the fun and frolic of summer is gone, but there are plenty of opportunities after the celebrating has ended. Here are the top 11 things you can do after Labor Day.
1. Go to a school, walk into the principalâ€™s office and tell them you are here to volunteer.
It could be anything from supervising a playground to tutoring a kid who is having trouble reading or doing math. This is one that will make you feel proud, make you feel good and also do a lot of good.
2. If you have plants, a lawn or or anything that grows beside your kids, itâ€™s time to start thinking about what you want to do as the weather grows colder.
You can get a bunch of advice online, but if you want the real pros, call the UW-Extension office in Milwaukee County. The number is 256-4600. Just tell them you want to talk to an expert about your plants, and theyâ€™ll fix you up. Plus, unlike garden centers, they wonâ€™t try to sell you anything.
3. Take your snowblower to National Hardwareâ€™s shop on 4th and McKinley Downtown.
Theyâ€™ve got the best and most reasonable tune-up shop Iâ€™ve found. Nice guys who will make sure that when the snow builds up on your walk, you wonâ€™t be left standing there with a snowblower that wonâ€™t start. Plus, it wonâ€™t cost you and arm and a leg. No matter how old your machine is, they can get it ready for winter.
4. Find a class to take.
You are going to have more time on your hands now that the beer gardens in the parks are closing. Learn to cook, dance, speak a foreign language or even how to make your own beer. You can find tons of classes online, but for cooking, Iâ€™ve always loved the Milwaukee Public Market classes.
5. Plan your fall color trip now.
Donâ€™t wait until you wake up some Saturday morning and say, "Hey, letâ€™s go look at some trees." The most beautiful part of the state is on the western edge, and if you plan now, you could take off for La Crosse on a Friday night. You can get a room somewhere and eat at the world famous Piggyâ€™s Barbecue and Blues place. You can sit outside if you the weather is passable and gaze at the mighty Mississippi as it rolls past. Not much is prettier in Wisconsin.
6. Look at your windows.
Nothing makes an apartment, condo or house colder than a draft coming in around your windows. Hold up a match and if the flame flickers, then youâ€™ve got to do something before the wolf starts to howl. Those rolls of stick-on insulation work, but if youâ€™ve got big gapes, a can of a foam insulation called Great Stuff works like a charm.
7. If youâ€™ve got a fireplace, get the wood now.
Lots of ads all over the place with wood to burn. Also, buy a box of those fake logs from the grocery store. But donâ€™t use an entire log (theyâ€™re expensive) to start a fire. Cut each log into fourths and use one to start the fire. You want the real wood to burn, not some chemically created log. And donâ€™t forget kindling. You can get waste pieces from almost any lumber yard and they work great.
In summer, itâ€™s hard to just devote your mind to thought. Youâ€™re running all over the place, having fun, doing chores, dancing, etc. Summer is a party. But things slow down after Labor Day, and I canâ€™t recommend spending some time thinking more. Youâ€™ll be surprised what your mind can dredge up. Sometimes itâ€™s good stuff, and sometimes it may be a problem. But either way, thinking is a pleasant way to spend an hour or two.
9. Get involved.
We have an election coming up in November. I donâ€™t care what political stripe you are: Call a campaign and ask what you can do to help. Make phone calls, stuff envelopes, host fund raisers, go door to door. It all helps, and it makes you feel a part of the process. You donâ€™t have to be a fanatic to do this, but it is an exercise in good citizenship, which we could all use a little more of.
10. Sign up to help at a homeless shelter.
As the weather turns colder, the demand for shelter for people on the street grows. You can donate money, but itâ€™s a wonderful feeling to show up and serve meals, cook for them or just sit and listen to someone who hasnâ€™t had anyone to talk to for a long time. They may suffer, but you can help relieve it. You can find a list of shelters in Milwaukee County here.
11. Finally, plan a party.
You could celebrate anything: a birthday, a raise at work or a new dish you can cook. But one of the worst things after Labor Day is that you are going to spend more time alone. Planning a party down to the last detail can help relieve boredom and loneliness. Decide on the what, where, who, when and how, and you can find yourself wrapped up in something other than how crappy the weather is about to become.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published Nov. 29, 2015
Snoopy, the friendly and good natured beagle created by Charles M. Schulz in his Charlie Brown comic strip, is wonderfully portrayed by Matt Daniels iin "A Charlie Brown Christmas," at First Stage.
Published Nov. 28, 2015
Put the credit card away. Close down Amazon. Get out of line at Walmart. Let the leftover turkey sit for another night. Grab your coat, get your hat and hurry down your doorstep to Milwaukee Chamber Theatre to see "Love Stories."
Published Nov. 26, 2015
Sometimes a day like Thanksgiving can be a little confusing.Do you give thanks for your new job or your new car or your new girlfriend? Dave Begel has four very special reasons to give thanks.
Published Nov. 24, 2015
Now that the Green Bay Packers seem to finally be back on track I'm ready to give thanks for some of the things about the world of sports that makes life so special. Happy Thanksgiving.
Published Nov. 22, 2015
Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" opened in London's West End in 1952 and it's still going strong making it the longest running play in modern history. The Rep production shows why it's been so popular.
Published Nov. 21, 2015
"My Fair Lady" opened a month-long run at Skylight Music theatre Friday night and the overwhelming performances of Norman Moses and Natalie Ford make it a perfect theater outing during the holiday season.
Published Nov. 19, 2015
It's never too late, especially if you want to be a Republican who runs for president of the United States. And Wisconsin has several worthy candidates who would fit the bill to be the GOP nominee.
Published Nov. 17, 2015
It is hard to overestimate the shock and humiliation of the Packers' 18-16 loss to the Lions on Saturday. Detroit was a team and an organization in turmoil. Green Bay was playing in invincible Lambeau Field.
Published Nov. 17, 2015
For over 1,000 times Doug Mancheski and Steve Koehler have gathered around them an audience of average people who love "Guys On Ice," now running at the Stackner Cabaret of the Milwaukee Rep.
Published Nov. 14, 2015
Enrico Caruso's star blazed brightly until his death at 48 and his final performance, on Christmas Eve, 1920, is the tale impressively told in "Bravo. Caruso!" that opened at Next Act Theatre Friday night.