By Dom Cioffi
I told my wife not to buy me anything last Christmas because I knew exactly what I wanted as a gift. I then sent her a link to the precise product I was interested in with instructions on the size and color to order.
On Christmas morning, I unwrapped a large box containing the aforementioned gift… and I couldn’t have been happier.
The gift was a hammock — not just any hammock, but a Hatteras Hammock, widely considered one of the finest hammocks made in the world.
The Hatteras Hammock story started in 1971 when traveling salesman Walter Perkins bought a rope hammock on a visit to the beach. A hobbyist woodworker, Perkins started to take apart the hammock in an attempt to make it stronger. After much tinkering, he had reengineered the basic design into something much more comfortable and resilient.
He then made a few extra for fun.
Family and friends soon caught wind of his new hobby and requested their own hammocks. Before long, Perkins began selling hammocks out of his car trunk to businesses along the coast. With word starting to spread and orders piling up, he eventually had to move his operation from his backyard woodshop into a commercial space.
The rest — as they say — is hammock history.
I can attest to the quality and craftsmanship of this company’s product. I owned a Hatteras Hammock years ago and it treated me well. I took many a nap in that hammock. And when my son was born, he and I were in it endlessly (since it was the one activity that could consistently lull him to sleep).
Eventually, the elements wore that hammock down into a semi-compromised state. It never broke or came untethered; it simply grew old after so many years of use. When we moved from that house, I begrudgingly left the hammock behind swaying between two trees in the backyard.
But I vowed to get another.
It took a few years, but I finally decided last Christmas that it was time, so I did my research and got the ball rolling by sending my wife the link.
I stored my new hammock in the corner of the garage for the remainder of the winter and then set it up in my backyard when spring arrived. I found the perfect spot just off the side of my house that offered privacy and the cooling cover of several trees. There’s some shrubbery that encircles the area, so even though my neighbors are within eyesight, none of them can see me while I’m in a reclined state.
I’m a fan of hammocks for several reasons:
First, there is nothing more tranquil than being suspended in air in such a way that you’re able to gently swing back and forth. That sensation ranks as a 10 on the relaxation scale.
Second, if you like to nap (and I really like to nap), then a hammock has to be the best napping device ever created. However, some important adjustments must be made prior to diving in. While the rope in a rope hammock allows your body to conform to the mid-air suspension, it can be a little harsh against your skin. I’ve found that a soft blanket draped over the circumference makes it even more comfortable. I also like to bring out a pillow for the same reason. And if it happens to be one of the cooler months, another blanket thrown on top of you can make an otherwise chilly swing entirely blissful.
I am wholly in love with my new hammock and look forward with anticipation to any time that I know I’m heading out for a break. My favorite times are after I’ve gone on a long run. I’ll shower, dress comfortably, grab a cold drink, and then lose myself for a good hour or so.
And if I’m not in the mood for some sleep, I’ve found that there’s no better spot to listen to a good podcast.
This week’s feature, “Awake,” posits a scenario where a strange global event has not only rendered all electronics unusable, but also robbed humans of the ability to sleep (whether they’ve got a hammock or not). One small girl holds the clue to solving the worldwide ordeal, but there are desperate forces working to derail any solution.
I found this new release on Netflix, where it was listed as the No. 1 movie in the country. That rating and a quick read of the premise convinced me that it was a viable film to watch.
I was dead wrong in my assumption. “Awake” is a B-level production that dreams of being more.
Check this one out if you have nothing better to watch. The premise will intrigue you for a short time, but the execution will ultimately leave you dissatisfied.
A lethargic “D+” for “Awake.”