Gathered Together: Hammocking 2020

hammocking. (n)  hanging a hammock between two trees and lying in it 

So. We bought hammocks. Grandpa loved them so much that he put the old, canvas hammocks into the thrift store box. We bought one for each grandchild and then we practiced putting them up by joining them to two trees in the part of our back yard which they call “the forest”.

The hammocks were reasonably priced, light weight, easily stuffed into an attached bag about the size of a loaf of bread and nicely colored.

We knew that we would use them over and over year after year for one reason or another.

We decided we would go “hammocking” at the same spot on the mountain stream, in the same canyon where we had previously had our boat races during other gatherings.

We took a yummy picnic.

The kids chose their trees and easily tied their hammocks a few feet from the ground. There was a wonderful breeze and the water was noisy and restful and steady.  

Lydia listened to the musical Hamilton while she began her reading of the wonderful biography I gave to her. She will love the book and come to know this unusual and talented man.

I caught some of them just staring into the tops of the trees and others reading books and some listening to music. All around the edge of the water were brightly-colored hammocks.

The kids climbed in and out. In and out.

When we couldn’t find Grandpa, we looked downstream and found him in the hammock which was farther away from us than all of the rest. He had one shoe on and one shoe off and was sound asleep. When we got home he put the hammock into his camping box and said he had a plan.

That day “hammocking” had a convert.

Not everyone was in a hammock all of the time. This is one of our favorite places to relax and that is what we did. Grandpa had a conversation with Tucker.

It was unhurried.

Timothy also had a fine conversation with his son Andrew.

The air was perfect and the water was soothing. The kids were in and out of the hammocks and back and forth to the table where the food slowly disappeared.

The last thing we did was cut up a watermelon. We remembered extra red Twizzlers, which were the favorites but none of the kids liked the real black licorice.

Hmmmm.

We love this place of shallow water.

We made Ivory Soap boats and some of the kids built dams with rocks. 

These are the moments we all want to remember. No clock to watch and the boundaries are very wide. No one is telling anyone else what to eat and even little kids can take a handful of cookies without a reprimand.

Oh the joy of safe, peaceful and blessed lives.

We are grateful.

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