The heat of summer is now past us, and the fall rains have arrived. We’re rolling into the cooler mornings, warm afternoons, and the occasional thunderstorm. On a road trip this week that had me cover about five hundred miles on one day to visit a half dozen projects, the urgency of getting stuff done before winter seemed evident everywhere I looked. Our Kennewick High School project is well under construction, with the new running track paved and artificial turf surfacing scheduled to start soon. A middle school project nearby has its new rubberized track installed, striped, and sod on the new football field. Three other nearby schools are in various phases of construction, with armies of earthmovers, concrete trucks, and masons transforming the sites and buildings with rapid progress.
Moving north out of the Tri-Cities, the fields are telling us it’s time. Corn, potatoes, apples, and pears are being harvested for a hundred miles, and grapes await that first shot of cold weather to set the flavor over fifty thousand acres of vineyards. Mountains of grain are piled near the full elevators at dozens of locations in the dryland farming areas. Alfalfa and timothy were being cut, dried, and baled for winter. Hundreds of laborers were in the fields, dozens of pieces of equipment were hard at work right through sunset, ready to hit it again the following morning. Not many people have the opportunity to see just how much is grown in our region; fewer understand what it takes to make that happen.
With Labor Day being this past Monday, and as we reflect on the changing season, it’s important to acknowledge the hard work of all the people who make our community and region everything it is. For all who work so hard, our thanks for the building, the farming, the harvest, the labor, and the lives you enrich.