Leading up to this Labor Day weekend, believe it or not I actually half-intended to do some work-related stuff such as spiff up a powerpoint presentation or two. Much to my amazement, I have not even opened up my office email or the hospital electronic health record, Epic, (pause for teeth-gnashing here) so far.
This is, in part, thanks to my wife, Sena, suggesting we make a little road trip adventure yesterday to Clinton, Iowa of all places. She got the idea from watching a Channel 2 TV news regular spot called Road Trippin’ featuring a few of the town’s attractions.
It’s only about an hour and a half drive east of Iowa City and pretty quiet once you’re off I-80. Don’t forget to wave at The Iowa 80, the world’s biggest truck stop!
We visited Eagle Point Park where we saw a couple of notable Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects from President Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies in the late 1930’s depression era. Clinton was one of a few Iowa cities benefiting from WPA funds which put many unskilled laborers back to work in those days.
Just to let you know, this park is not to be confused with another Eagle Point Park located in Dubuque, Iowa, the description of which is very similar to that of the Clinton recreation area and it also affords spectacular views overlooking the Mississippi River.
Another small but notable monument is the Peace Pole, standing not far from the park entrance, bearing the typical prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” The Peace Prayer was an inspiration of Masahisa Goi, founder of the World Peace Prayer Society.
There is also a very large lodge from which you can see Old Man River. As we walked through the large parking lot, which was full evidently because of a large gathering that day, we caught sight of a Ghostbusters wagon. Although it is difficult to reconcile this with a Labor Day weekend theme, there could be no leaving it out of this little essay. I guess even Ghostbusters have to take time off from work.
We also toured the Bickelhaupt Arboretum, the brainchild of a retired couple who had no horticulture experience but were inspired by a desire to create an arboretum starting with their own backyard despite the Dutch Elm Disease scourge back in the 1960s. This inspired Sena (an avid backyard gardener herself) to remark how nice it would be for Iowa City to have such an attraction. There are many talented gardeners in the community whose labors beautify many areas in the city.
This is a day to reflect on our labors. Maybe it’s time to also reflect on not only how hard we work but how too much hard work may be hard on us. Once again, Sena outsmarts me when it comes to my being overfocused on work.