Monday, August 16, 2010

The Hammock

A hammock to me always seems the ideal image of a restful relaxing summer under the tall maple trees. You lie there and swing gently in the warm breeze looking up into the leaves watching the clouds moving slowly across the sky,your mind dreaming of far away places or the next horse back ride you are going to have racing back the lane and through the bush.That was my summers while growing up on the farm.We always had a hammock and the trees were placed just the right distance apart to hang it.We had canvas hammocks and rope hammocks but the one I remember the best and the one that lasted the longest was made out of old wooden barrel staves.

We got some brace wire,laid three strands of it about eight inches apart,drew the ends together in a v shape and wrapped the wire around a solid iron ring.We used little staples and hammered the brace wire to the back of each barrel stave,the other side of the wooden stave was smooth and when a rope was tide to the rings at each end of the hammock and fastened to the trees our hammock was in place.It was strong and sturdy two people could lie side by side on it.Or they could sit up put their legs over the sides sitting back to back and swing themselves with their feet.One person could stand on the ground and push the other on the hammock.You could make it go very high and turn it over knocking the rider out. You could pull up and down on the rope and give the rider a bumpy ride.On this wooden hammock you could even stand up while the other person was giving you a swing.It was fun getting some blankets lying in the hammock and reading your book.I even remember sleeping over night on the hammock.

I remember too liking to go to the garden picking peas,filling my pockets and taking them back to eat while swinging on the hammock.The hammock was only twenty feet from the door to the house and after eating our dinner or supper we would often have a race to see who would claim the hammock for a good swing.Still today when I meet a distant relative he always reminds me of how much fun they had when he and his sister came to visit playing on our hammock.

In the 1960’s after having back surgery for a slipped disc and not being able to lie on a regular hammock I remember making a flat one.I went to the bush and cut poles to make two tripods.I found some old chain that I had saved after taking apart an old hayloader.I got a scrap piece of ¾ inch plywood 4 by 6 feet. I hung a pole between the two tripods. I put the chains on the pole and slipped the flat board through the chains.Now I had my portable hammock.I put a pillow and mattress on the board with a couple of blankets, got a book to read and spent many an enjoyable hour swinging gently in the warm summer breeze.I even had a portable radio.What a life!

July 15 2010

1 comment:

  1. Everytime someone writes a note this come to your this hammock story..