I went for a walk the other day and remembered what a nice thing going for a walk is. Just walking around. Thinking and looking. Not necessarily for exercise or to get someplace, so maybe ambling would be a better word, especially when it’s 90.

One thing’s for sure, we’ve only got three more weeks of summer left officially, but unofficially I can already feel a change of season on the New Mexican horizon. There’s something in the wind that feels like fall.

Wait, no. It’s not the wind, it’s the pumpkin-flavored Reese’s showing up on stores’ checkout counters. Oh well, it wouldn’t hurt to have just one bite of synthetic pumpkin flavoring.

Just a reminder, after Monday the fashion police will write you up if you’re wearing white. Why? I don’t know, but Labor Day has traditionally been the cutoff day. But they say nothing about cutoffs.

Never mind.

In Socorro County, the big deal with the Labor Day weekend is that it’s county fair time, and every year I’m reminded of a song my mother used to sing when I was small. It goes, “Oh dear what can the matter be, Johnny’s too long at the fair,” and for some reason, I took it to heart, even though I was never referred to as “Johnny.” In my four-year-old mind, I worried about it and had visions of poor little four-year-old Johnny wandering around a darkened midway with puckered chin late into the night. It haunts me to this day, every county fair time. Well, not really.

Nowadays, for me, the truth is – I know I bring this up year after year – besides all the cows and chickens and goats and prize-winning pumpkin-flavored pumpkins there’s…um, fair food.

If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed in this age of hurry up, it’s good old-fashioned fair cuisine. You know, turkey legs, buttered born on the cob, Navajo tacos, and don’t forget the Tumbleweeds 4H club’s pancake breakfast Saturday morning. Comfort food galore.

What I’m saying is that there’s no sushi at the Socorro County Fair.

Anyway, it’s all over by Monday. I’ve always heard that Labor Day is the swan song of summer, and if nothing else you can at least take comfort in knowing the pressure to have fun during summer is finally over.

Labor Day, however, is yours to do what you want to do, the day when all ye who labor get the day off. If you think about it, Labor Day can be confusing. I mean, it should be called Lazy Day. Trouble is the Tuesday after Labor Day you’re going to be laboring twice as hard to make up for the work that gets backed up when you’re not laboring on Labor Day.

Newspaper work goes on, however, as well as police officers, firemen and EMTs, doctors and nurses, radio disc jockeys and don’t forget those working at John Brooks and other stores.

Some of us have held jobs doing one thing or another since our teenage years, and I’ve got to say I haven’t been required too much bending and lifting through it all…although there was that time at boot camp when I was designated “latrine queen.”

Speaking of that I was wondering what the most undesirable jobs I could have, so I compiled a list. Not taking salary into account and not in any particular order.

  • Roadkill collector.
  • Armpit smeller at the deodorant factory.
  • Cleaning out portable toilets.
  • Taste tester for cat food.
  • Mosquito bite researcher.
  • Radio tower light bulb changer.
  • Crocodile trainer.
  • Breath odor evaluator.

There are more – some I won’t mention with children present – and I’m sure you could add more. But here’s something I just don’t get. A company called CareerCast ranked newspaper reporter as the third-worst job, right behind taxi driver and logger. Excuse me?

The funny thing is, the people who make up the list are statisticians, which they rank as the second-best job. Go figure.

Anyhow, it seems everybody here at the Chieftain feels fortunate to be doing what we love. But to quote Terry Gross of Fresh Air fame, “the problem is that those of us who are lucky enough to do work that we love are sometimes cursed with too damn much of it.”

I fear that that would also apply to New Mexico nurses beset by the number of COVID-19 patients showing up at UNM hospital.

But I digress.

Before I run out of room here, don’t forget to celebrate National Waffle Week this week. As you might have guessed, National Waffle Week was founded by that mecca of dives and diners, Waffle House.

I wonder if we could get the Tumbleweeds 4H kids to switch to waffles Saturday morning.

After all, isn’t a waffle nothing but a pancake … with syrup traps?