Written by Becca Habegger, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) -
Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, even though technically it's not autumn until September 22.
In the busy world of work and school, the end of summer means different things to different people.
Marna Heitz tapped away on her laptop keyboard Monday afternoon in a rural Dubuque County farmhouse, halfway between Farley and Epworth.
She was preparing a schedule for her classroom, as she teaches second grade at Farley Elementary School. Her husband, Matt Heitz, farms corn.
For Marna Heitz, as she said, "Summer is over!"
"To me, it starts before Labor Day, with getting ready for school and everything, but it seems like Labor Day - now you're really into it and you've gotten the routine down," Heitz said.
Outside, standing in front of his rows of corn, Matt Heitz had a different take on Labor Day weekend.
"Labor Day always marks something of a transition in the work load a little bit. It's kind of the point in time the day starts getting shorter and you start thinking more in terms of harvest," Heitz said.
Earlier in the day, the Schuller family biked down to Dubuque's annual Labor Day parade.
Sydney Schuller is a fifth grader at Dubuque's Hoover Elementary School.
"At the end of summer, you don't really have much to do because, like, you've run out of things to do," she said, adding she has something to do now that school is back in session.
Eighth grader Sam Saylor marched in the Labor Day parade with Dubuque's Roosevelt Middle School marching band. He is a drummer and spent the summer in the Colts Cadets, a drum corps program for students in middle school and high school.
For him, finishing for the summer with the Colts Cadets marked more of a transition for him than Labor Day weekend.
"It's where drum season ends and you go back into regular school and regular drums and band and stuff like that," he said. "I still wish I was still doing Colts, yes, but, I mean, I kind of like being back at school, seeing all my other friends."
For elected officials, Labor Day is a significant shift.
"As elected officials, the end of summer is really the beginning for us," Rep. Chuck Isenhard (D-Dubuque) said after walking in the parade. "You know, I've been one of those who always felt that campaigns were too long, so I try not to start until Labor Day, but for two months, in earnest, up to election day we're going to be working hard."
Beth Beaves came to the parade to see her two sons march in their respective bands and her firefighter husband drive a fire truck. She said the weather makes it hard to believe autumn is drawing near.
"I think that, because of the weather, we're having a hard time giving up on summer," she said. "I mean, still today we're going to enjoy the pool and an outdoor family barbeque, and it doesn't quite feel like fall yet because of the weather."
Dan Schuller, father of Sydney Schuller, also cited the weather.
"With the drought, the crops are looking like it's fall already, but weather-wise it's still warm," he said.
"It feels like the temperatures are just getting higher," his daughter echoed.
For Marna Heitz, whose school building lacks full air conditioning, fall weather will be a welcome relief.
"I'm ready for the weather to cool down," she said with a laugh.
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