Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

It is my firm belief that one of the major things wrong with the world is not enough hammock time.

Behold the view from my hammock. Sunshine, palm trees, blue sky, the occasional cardinal, squirrel, and on one memorable occasion our neighborhood hawk.

It’s amazing I ever get any work done.

I learned at an early age to appreciate the wonders of a hammock. Many summer days were spent with friends who had a beautiful home on a bluff overlooking Mobile Bay. A non-air-conditioned home, as most were back then and who needed air conditioning with those wonderful sea breezes? Said home on any given weekend was filled with family, friends, and flybys (occasional guests who just happened to be in the area and knew they’d find a welcome haven there). In the days before the world revolved around children, we were relegated to sleeping wherever was left after all of the adults had claimed space. (Disclaimer: we were well fed, we were loved, we were given plenty of goals and direction, but we knew our place in the family hierarchy and it was not at the top). Babies and toddlers stayed with their respective adults. Those of us old enough to feed ourselves, dress ourselves and yell for help if needed were free to choose our spot within the confines of said house (which was huge).

The teenagers preferred to fight over the living room couch so they could hog the television until it went off (I am not kidding – there was no 24/7 coverage back then). Most of the boys preferred to pitch tents in the wilds of the back yard.

My spot was prime real estate – the hammock on the top floor screened-in porch. It came to me by default – I was the youngest and smallest. The other girls preferred the World War II era bunk beds on the sleeping porch. They didn’t like the way the hammock swayed in the breeze. To me, that was the best part, along with the spectacular views of Mobile Bay and sailboats during the day (my hideaway when I wanted to read), the lights of shrimp boats and Fairhope, Alabama’s Big Pier at night. I was the one who first heard the call of “Jubilee” and roused the household to partake of the bounty of shrimp, crab, flounder, and whatever else we could catch. My five-year-old self basked in the praise of a grateful family and friends who ate well for free that weekend.


After too many years of being hammock-less, I bought one. It came in a very small box. My husband graciously offered to put it together for me while I was at the grocery store. He called as I was wandering the produce aisle and said “Did you know you could land an aircraft on this thing?”

I didn’t.

But as it turned out, it’s a good thing. My hammock plays host to kids, dogs, cats, lizards and there is room enough for all.

My hammock is a sacred place for dreams, for pondering the problems of the world, for such questions as “If I stay out here long enough will someone else do the dishes?”

To all appearances, I’m doing nothing.

In reality, I’m writing books, trying out melodies in my head for new songs. The knottiest of problems seem to unknot themselves during hammock time. And even the most mundane of chores are less draining when I carry the peace of the hammock with me.

If you don’t have a hammock, get one. I mean it. Your world will thank you for it.

Saving the world one hammock at a time…