July 22, 2013

National Hammock Day, or Another Reason My Grandpa is Awesome

Today is National Hammock Day. Since I find myself lacking a hammock at present, I'm celebrating the day in the best way I know how...reminiscing about my best hammock memories. 

When I was about 6 years old, my grandpa bought a hammock. It wasn't just any hammock, mind you. It was an original Pawleys Island hand-crafted rope hammock. My grandpa appreciates quality and he's always been one to do his research. After much reading and investigating, he determined that a Pawleys Island hammock was the best. So that's what he got. 

In his backyard were two tall trees. As a child, I believed they were planted with the express purpose of supporting a hammock just for me. Maybe my grandpa even told me that. He has always had a way of making me feel like the world (or at least his world) revolved around me in some form or fashion. 

He usually did yard work or tinkered in his basement workshop on Saturday mornings. But Saturday afternoons were hammock time. He'd carry the hammock up the concrete steps that led to the backyard from where it was stored in the basement. He'd pretend to need my help hanging it up using the metal hooks. 

Then we'd plop in. Sometimes I'd perch up at the corner, pretending to be a spider and the hammock was my web. Sometimes we'd be astronauts flying through space or explorers rafting down a river. Mostly I was just an adoring granddaughter begging him to tell me story after story of his childhood adventures. 

My grandpa rigged up a rope that was tied to my swing set. This is how we made the hammock rock. Sometimes we'd doze. My grandma would bring us sweet tea but I remember she rarely got in the hammock. It was just his thing, thus it became my thing too. 

To me, the most magical thing about the hammock was that in it, time sort of stood still. My everyday life was fairly scheduled with extra-curricular activities. At my grandparents' house, everything just stopped. If we wanted to stay up all night and sleep all day, that was fine. And if we wanted to lay in a hammock for hours on a Saturday, that was fine too. 

I know it's impossible, but if I could go back and re-live a day in my life, I'm pretty sure it would be a hammock day. I'd love to have a yard with two trees perfect for supporting an original Pawleys Island hammock someday. But until then, I've got enough hammock memories to do me just fine. 

Happy Hammock Day!