Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hammock Day - 2011

Terry's idea of relaxing

By Diane Forrest, 

Today is Hammock Day, when I think of hammocks; the first thing that comes to mind is Gilligan's Island.  Growing up watching Gilligan and the Skipper sleeping in their hammocks seemed like a natural way to sleep the night away.  I on the other hand could never quite get the hang of operating a hammock.  They look so uncomplicated, until you try to lay down on one.  They flip!  They never showed this with Gilligan.  When I would finally get laid out flat on one, after being thrown out several times, I would have to lay straight as a board so I would stay put.  Not a very comfortable form of sleeping for me.

A hammock is a sling made out of cloth or netting suspended between two points for the purpose of sleeping, or relaxing.  They were first used in the tropical islands to allow inhabitatants to sleep off the ground to avoid animal and insect bites.  Their use was discovered by Christopher Columbus, and he introduced them to the European countries.  Later they were used aboard Navy ships, not only for their comfort, but also because they maximize the use of space.  They were also used aboard the space flights for the same reasons.

In Venezuela, entire villages raise their families on hammocks.  They allow them to be out of danger from snakes and scorpions that inhabit the area.

My son traveled to Bolivia on two occasions with a mission group from our church.  They used hammocks for sleeping during their trip, and he liked them so much he brought one home for himself and some friends.  However they must have lost their appeal during the trip home, from the jungles of Bolivia to the back yard of Mississippi wasn't quite the same.  So, he took it down and packed it away for his next exotic adventure.

Today people use hammocks while camping.  They are easier to carry than a tent, and they don't cause any disturbances in nature while being used.  People also place them in their gardens at home to use for relaxing on warm summer days.  They come in several different styles, some are even built for 2 or more people.

If you have a hammock, take a few hours and go out and relax on it.  If you don't have one, try finding some old reruns of Gilligan's Island on TV, or hulu. 

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