It’s nap time!

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Some smart people have decided taking a nap during the day is good for us.

They have discovered a siesta improves mental stability, heart health, brain function, joint and bone strength, muscle maintenance and all sorts of beneficial things. I think we always knew naps were good because we put babies down for naps and even younger kids in school had to take an afternoon snooze.

Other than my Dad’s father, who died at 58, my grandparents lived good, long lives. They worked difficult, extensive hours every day whether in the home or fields, for a wage or for themselves. My Mom’s parents had large vegetable gardens and fruit trees, raised chickens and sheep so canning and butchering were common place.

My Dad, who also died young, and my Mom worked with intensity and followed the example of growing and canning, raising and butchering for themselves and putting in long demanding hours on the farm and for a wage outside the home. They tried to instill the same in each of us. Some got it, some not so much. Times change and the opportunities of higher education gave later generations the chance to enjoy lives not as grueling.


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My parents didn’t follow the practice but my grandparents took a nap every afternoon after lunch. Grampa slept in his chair and my grandmother would lie on the couch. When we spent time with them we had to take a nap, too, usually lying on the floor or curled up in a chair. They rested, we giggled and wiggled and got yelled at to be quiet. I don’t think it was likely for more than a half hour but to us it seemed hours of being quiet.

Like it was timed, they both got up and resumed household or farm duties. They also kept very strict hours for nighttime sleeping. You went to bed at a certain time and you didn’t get up until it was time to get up. They were always up and at ‘em much earlier than we were but I remember when we got up we were often sent back to bed. “It’s too early,” they would say but I think they just wanted time to get things done undisturbed.

They never really played with us but we did whatever they were doing. We “helped” clean house, steer the tractor, gather vegetables, pull weeds, collect eggs, pick fruit, feed animals, whatever chores they had to do. We also helped kill and feather chickens, butcher cows, sheep or pigs. It all seemed so normal back then none of us objected. We always treated all farm animals as pets but we knew they were being raised for the pot. Back then it was life on the farm.

I don’t want to kill animals, pick my own vegetables, climb fruit trees or do any of the hard work we were accustomed to doing back then but I might start taking an afternoon nap. For health reasons, you know!

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