Friday, July 20, 2018

Everybody won on this fishing trip ~ July 20, 2000

David Heiller

“Time to get up, Collin.”
I sat next to my nephew at 6 a.m. last Friday morning, expecting a battle.
But Collin popped out of bed like a piece of toast. He was wide awake before his feet hit the floor.
Collin and his lunker
Fishing will do that to a boy age seven.
It hadn’t been quite so easy for the 46-year-old. I spent 15 minutes getting out of bed and opening my eyes (in that order), then getting dressed and climbing up to the loft to wake Collin.
“Look at the loons,” Collin said when we stepped out of the cabin. Seven loons were paddling side by side across the middle of the lake. They looked like they were practicing for the Aquatennial Parade.
We got in the boat and headed for our hot spot, which is usually luke-warm at best. Collin asked if he could steer the boat. But it was too early for that. My eyes weren’t open all the way yet. “Later,” I promised.
I eased the 14-foot boat through a narrow channel and into a smaller lake. We drifted with the current, and started casting our jigs.
Collin caught the first keeper, a crappie about a pound in size. I put it on the stringer. Collin watched in admiration. He doesn’t like to touch fish. Then he caught a small bass. I took it off the hook for him.
I didn’t have to lecture Collin about how he had to learn to take off fish if he wanted to be a real fisherman. For one thing, my son, age 17, had ridden him pretty hard about it all week. (This is the same son who wouldn’t wake up when Collin had jumped out of bed.)
Collin and David, fishing buddies, swimming buddies, just good buddies.
And Collin knew he had to learn to take fish off. But knowing and doing are two different things. That’s what learning is all about. He had made his first small step the day before, when he borrowed my handkerchief to take off a sunfish for the first time. It was a good use for a hanky.
We left the spot after an hour and headed for another place that Collin had “heard about.” Already he is spreading gossip about where the fish are biting. That’s the sign of a true fisherman! It was a half mile away, which Collin also figured into the equation, because it gave him a chance to steer the boat. He knew I would say yes this time.
I was finally awake, and the lake was glass, so I scooted over and he took the throttle of the seven horse Mercury, and we made our way, although not in a straight line, to the next little lake.
Collin had lost his red jig, which he felt bad about, because it had caught a few fish and he thought it was lucky. “Do you have a white lure with red eyes?” Collin asked. “Uncle Mike lost a big walleye with a lure like that.”
“Yeah, it’s called a Red-Eye,” I said, taking one out and showing it to him. That was the one. I hooked it onto his leader. We started casting.
“There’s no fish in this lake,” Collin said, and not more than three seconds later, he had a strike.
Collin’s rod bent over. He reeled in steadily, with only a word of age-old advice from me: Keep your rod tip up. Is there anything finer than watching a kid reel in a nice fish?
He brought it to the side of the boat, and I lifted it in. It was a largemouth bass, about 14 inches long.
That was a lunker for the lake we were on. “Can we keep it?” he asked.
“Let’s take it back and show everybody,” I stalled.
We fished a little longer. On almost every cast, Collin said, “There’s no fish in this lake.” But that trick usually only works once.
Collin steered us back to the cabin, then jumped out of the boat with the fish almost as quickly as he had jumped out of bed. He showed his mom and dad and sister and cousin and aunt. He let everyone know how he had out-fished Uncle David. That didn’t bother me. It was a win-win situation, in today’s parlance.
We took the bass back to the lake. I had broken the news that this bass wasn’t quite big enough for a respectable fisherman to keep. I pulled out the stringer, and laid the fish in the water. I held it by the tail and pulled it back and forth, until its gills were working hard. Then we watched it swim off beneath the dock. That’s a good feeling, watching a fish swim away, to be caught another day:
I cleaned the crappie. Collin watched. It’s another fishing skill he will soon master. We ate it for breakfast. It tasted great!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Saying goodbye ~ July 20, 1989

David Heiller

The small black suitcase lay before me on the bed, and I hesitated before opening it. The suitcase stays in the top dresser drawer in my old bedroom, but I had never opened it before. And now, I hesitated just a second before lifting the two metal clasps, like you hesitate before lifting the phone receiver to call a friend you haven’t seen in a long, long time, not knowing who’ll answer.
Inside the black vinyl case, two bright scarves lay on top, and two hand-made pot holders, and a ceramic wall hanging, carefully painted but with colors running into each other, the yellow banana flowing onto the green foliage. Some construction paper posters were carefully folded, along with two hot pads, and a Girl Scout sash with 16 merit badges from Troop 93, Peace Pipe Council.
David and Lynette with Grandma Schnick.
I touched these things carefully, seeing for what seemed like the first time in 20 years, the smiling girl who had made them and worn them, my sister, Lynette.
Letters filled the rest of the suitcase, some still in envelopes with four cent stamps, some lying loose, scrawled in pencil. I hadn’t seen that writing for so long, the careful printing that didn’t quite stay on the line, like the ceramic colors that didn’t quite stay on their mark. I could see the toes as they gripped the stubby pencil so tightly, see the short strokes stab the paper slowly, carefully.
You know these pink slacks you made me, well their too baggy, Lynette wrote on April 29, 1968. Why can’t I get a dress for Kathy’s wedding? Everyone else is.
In a letter from Worthington Crippled Children’s School on February 20, 1966, Lynette told Mom: I will send you a copy of the paper we wrote. Boy, will you be surprised what I wrote. I miss you all, even Glenn and Sharon (the cats too).
A letter from the University’ of Minnesota Hospital on March 16, 1965, said to Mom: I hope I can go home Friday. Will you make Kathy come with you. I wanta see so bad, and she is my best sister (don’t let the girls read this or they’ll be mad at me). Glenn came Saturday night. Love to all, Lynette.
David and Lyn at Christmas
A letter from Kathy that same year lay next to this letter. I hope now that you are feeling better and can get around more, Kathy wrote. After an operation, no one feels like doing anything. Boy I bet you sure had fun when you were home, didn’t you? I suppose everyone was so glad to see you.
There was a letter from Mary Ellen to Lynette at the hospital, with a card and a kiss drawn in red taped to the page. I’ll send you a piece of gum, Mary wrote. I hope they let you chew it. I know how you love it!
There was a check-off list of things to take to Camp Courage, where Lynette loved to go every summer. Lynette had crossed “playsuits” off the list and written in “pant dresses,” more befitting to a teenager.
There were letters from Lynette when she was at Camp Courage too. Today is windy, she wrote from camp on June 23, 1964. Janet is always making me laugh. Did you get my radio fixed yet?
Two little autograph books in the suitcase had messages written to Lynette from Camp friends. One message read:
You’ve been a great camper,
Even in the heat.
But I’m still jealous
I can’t write with my feet!
Love, Margaret.
Other messages were more somber. A girl named Mary Beth wrote: You’re really the best roommate a camper could ever hope for. I’m going to miss you when you have to go on your own way and I on mine. I just hope you never forget me.
Grandma Schnick had some practical advice in the autograph book. She wrote: I just can’t think of any verse to write so will just say how very proud I am of the way you are improving and know you will keep right on. Love, Grandma
Finally there was a message from Mom: Lynette: I hope you never forget how to laugh. Love, Mother.
Laughter. Mom knew her daughter better than anyone, and in one sentence had touched Lynette’s shining star, her laughter.
Amidst all the letters was a folded piece of scratch paper. Mom’s familiar handwriting stood out on the clean side:
I knew the time had come to put away
The things you’d never use nor see again.
“Be calm, detached,” I said to me.
“These are but things.” 
But oh, they were so dear, For they had known your touch.
And in your purse I found a little mirror.
Long I gazed into its depth,
Hoping for a reflection of your smile
Captured there.
But all I saw was my own brimming eyes
And I knew the searching was in vain
And you were gone.
I closed the suitcase, just as my mother must have. Cindy lay beside me. I put my head on her chest, and cried, feeling the sheet turn wet beneath my face. I cried like never before, never since July 21, 1969, at Lynette’s funeral, three days after she had drowned at Camp Courage.
It wasn’t that long ago, 20 years, and I haven’t forgotten her, but somehow, I had never said goodbye, until now.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

If you go fishing, don’t ask why ~ July 15, 1993

 David Heiller

You never know what you’ll discover from a little girl in a fishing boat. Her name is Grace. She’s my niece and she’s four. Grace likes to fish, and I like any kid who likes to fish. So Grace and I and my two kids, Mollie and Noah, made several excursions in the boat last week.
Mollie and Noah can take off their own fish now, for the most part, so I got my hopes up. Maybe I can actually try fishing myself. Any adult who has fished with little kids knows what I mean.
But Grace brought me back to reality.
The power of a four-year-old brings reality into focus.

It started when I wanted to troll around Star Lake. Maybe catch a small northern like the one mounted on the cabin wall. Just a 12-pounder.
Trolling didn’t go over big with Grace. She was holding Mollie’s hand firmly with her left hand, and her Snoopy rod and reel in the other. Her feet couldn’t touch the bottom of the boat. She was ready to roll, and here we were, going two miles an hour while Uncle David held onto a fishing rod.

“Why we going so slow?” Grace asked. Her tone demanded an answer, and quick.
“I’m trolling.”
“What’s TRO-lling?” she asked, wrinkling her nose and holding out the word like you’d hold out a dead mouse.
I tried to explain about trolling.
“Why we trolling?” she asked next. To catch a big fish, I said.
Grace didn’t care about big fish. She cared about little sunfish, four inches maximum, that she could haul in on her Snoopy rod. She also cared about speed, and so she returned to her original question. “Why we going so slow.”
I’ve seen this logic before. Grace has discovered the one word that teaches parents patience: WHY. You might as well try to stop a glacier than battle a four-year-old armed with WHY. So I reeled in and Grace held tight to Mollie’s hand and I gunned that six horse Mercury over the lake to our hot spot.
Grace, the inquisitor, and Malika
I’d like to say that this was an isolated incident during our three days at the lake, but it wasn’t. Grace reminded me that when you take kids fishing, you usually forget about trolling and trophies. You find a hole of sunnies and spend your time taking off fish, throwing them back in the lake, and putting worms on hooks on Snoopy rods.
And you listen to questions. I can’t remember all the WHYs Grace hit me with. But three stand out.
The first came one evening at our sunfish hole. A golden retriever was running around on shore, all by itself. No owner in sight. It saw us, and swam about 50 feet out to the boat, then swam two laps around us. We had to pull out our lines.
Grace asked, “Why is that dog swimming around us?” That was the best question she asked. I sure didn’t know the answer. She could have asked next, “Why you swearing, Uncle David?” but fortunately she did not.
The second WHY came a few minutes later. A small sunfish had swallowed a hook, and was floating motionless near the boat.
“Why isn’t that dead fish swimming?” she asked. Noah, my 10-year-old son, pounced on that with a laugh. “Because it’s dead!” He thought he had won.
Noah sighed and didn’t answer. He had enough sense to know he’d been licked.
The third WHY came as we headed back to the cabin. Grace’s mom and dad were out in the canoe, paddling toward a group of six loons. We shut off the motor and watched. As the canoe edged closer, two loons would rear up and flap their wings and scream. They looked like a couple of King Kongs beating their chests.
I told Grace and Noah that the loons were threatening the canoe. They were trying to frighten the intruders away, I said rather profoundly.
“Why aren’t my mom and dad afraid?” Grace asked.
I tried to answer, but as usual, it fell short. I’ll let her parents try. They have more experience than me, thankfully. And hopefully more patience.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Raiders of the Lost Underwear ~ July 14, 1994

Mollie’s room wasn’t pretty. Three friends had just left from a sleep-over. Clothes and books and toys lay everywhere. Everywhere except where they should be.
It was time, I decided, to Clean The Room.
If the room is too messy for Monopoly, that is
not a problem, just go to the living room...
Clean The Room time is capitalized because it is like an adventure movie. You never know what you’ll find: the Ark of the Covenant, a few mummies.
There’s no one place to start when you clean a room like Mollie’s. You could almost grab a grain shovel and start digging. We began at The Bookshelf, one of many main characters in this movie. It was sagging with books and barrettes and other odds and ends that people set there late at night when they are too tired to put them where they belong.
We made a pile of Noah’s books, a pile Mollie wanted to keep, a pile she wanted to give to cousin Grace, even a pile for Mrs. Ribich, her teacher from last year (yes, we found two school books). These piles were then taken to their new destinations.
Then it was The Cupboards. Their doors haven’t been opened in several months, thanks to the doll houses and chairs piled against them. In the cupboard there were bins and buckets that were supposed to hold all the things on the floor. A bin for cooking utensils and pretend food like plastic eggs (fried and scrambled!). A basket of agates.
There was the Barbie bucket, full of voluptuous dolls, and a basket for her Kirsten doll. Mollie picked a bare-chested Barbie off the floor. “Remember when Nate played with this one?” she said with a laugh. It had teeth marks on its most prominent parts, where a dog had gnawed. Or maybe Nate had done that.
There were writing utensils, two baskets’ worth. Mollie can never find a pencil. Now I know why. They are all in her cupboard. There must have been 50 pencils, 30 markers, and 500 crayons. She could start an office supply store.
Grandma and The Doll House... you can't see all the little tiny pieces, 
ah yes, but you will FEEL them if you step on them...
There was the bin for doll house pieces. Little vases and flowers, beds and dressers, rugs and picture frames, even a little toilet. All under two inches tall, and all very dangerous. Try stepping on one in the middle of the night.
Finally we had a bin for everything, including the odds and ends basket. If it doesn’t go in any of the others, toss it in that one. That’s when the cleaning got fun. Everything on the floor had a destination. All the hiding places were discovered. A cardboard Avon box, a shoebox, the basket of stuffed animals. All were emptied and sorted of their old undies and stinky socks and tiny toilets.
It took about an hour and a half to do all this, and yes, it was fun. Fun finding a place for everything. Fun talking to my daughter, and hearing her say how much she appreciated my help. Like the next morning, when she was playing with her re-discovered dolls. “Thanks to you I’ve found most of my things, except for some of Kirsten’s dresses,” she said. “I can look for them later.”
It was fun seeing the floor of her room again, and not worrying about tip-toeing through it like a mine field. Fun vacuuming up all those sesame seeds that leaked out of the frog that Grandma Heiller made.
Unfortunately the vacuum cleaner didn’t work, which I didn’t discover until I was half done vacuuming. That explained why all those sesame seeds were still there.
I’ll clean it later. Like Mollie said, there’s always a “later” when you clean a room.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fishing Fever season is here ~ July 12, 2006

David Heiller

A friend of mine has been telling me about his kids and fishing lately.
“They’re crazy about it,” he said at the Redwood (cafĂ©) the other noon. “All they want to do is fish.”
“So you’ve got to take them;” I said.
Malika and Noah after a fishing trip in Brownsville. 
Their daddy made sure they got 
LOTS of opportunities to fish. (1989-ish)
“Yeah;” he replied. He didn’t sound too upset about that. He had been 12 once too. Sometimes his wife will take them to a spot and leave them all day. The kids are in heaven, and their parents are too, I would wager.
Most of us adults have been there. In fact, some of us have never left. Fishing Fever. It’s like a mini-season in Minnesota, and we are in the midst of it right now.
Looking forward to a trip to the river, checking the sky for rain clouds, sloshing on the mosquito repellent. Those are the happy symptoms. Then getting to the water. Soaking in the quiet. Finding that favorite spot and it’s empty as usual, because you are the sole owner of that little square of earth and water.
My brother Danny and I had a spot like that for a year in the Reno Bottoms. It took quite a ritual to go there, which made it even more special. We usually did chores or played around Brownsville during the day that Fishing Fever Summer of 1966.
Then around 5 p.m. or so our thoughts would turn to that spot in Reno. We would make sure we had a few worms or night-crawlers. That wasn’t always easy to do, especially during dry spells when the ground was like concrete. Supper was always at 5:30, but we’d gobble it down and Danny would drive the Chevy to Reno. He had his license by then.
We always took Grandma’s kerosene lantern with us. The bullheads wouldn’t start to bite until it started getting dark, and we needed that flickering light to find our way out.
The path to the hot spot went through the bottomland below the spillway on the west side. There was a main path, then another path to the right, then another path to the left. That was our spur. It was hard to see. It took us to a little clearing on Running Slough.
It wasn’t an easy walk, and that was part of the fun, in a perverse way. You had to walk with your arms raised high, because every plant that grows in the bottoms is itch weed or poison ivy.
The bullheads at that spot were legendary. You don’t see a lot of bullheads these days. I’m not sure why. And a lot of people don’t get excited about them. But they were king to us back then. We thought they tasted good, and they put up a good fight, both on the line and in your hand. One or two would always inflict a puncture wound on us as we took out the hooks and put them on the stringer.
I still remember the biggest one we caught, 13-3/4 inches. It doesn’t sound that big, but for a bullhead it is. Danny caught it. I caught several that were 13-5/8 inches, but after careful measurement we both confirmed that they didn’t reach Danny’s record. He still reminds me of that.
Fishing Fever and kids. (1987-ish)
The walk back out of the bottoms was always a little scary. Like I said, the kerosene lantern didn’t throw a lot of light, and we had to keep our arms high, and carry the rods and tackle box and stringer of fish, which was like carrying a stringer of knives because of the bullhead spikes. And don’t forget the mosquitoes. The “Off” would wear off about that time, and the skeeters would roar down on us like fighter jets. The entire bottoms would be filled with their drones.
It was tricky following the right paths back to the spillway too. “Do we go right here?” You don’t want to get turned around in the bottoms. Occasionally we would forget to fill the lantern with kerosene. Then it would go black on the walk out, and we’d have to slow down, talking back and forth so we didn’t get separated. We would look up and try to find the opening in the trees above that would signal the pathway. It was always a relief to leave the bottoms and come out onto the spillway and see the big wide river.
When we’d get home with the fish, Mom and Grandma would make a fuss. Then it was into the basement, lay a board on top of the wash tubs, skin the bullheads, scale the pan fish. Not a fun job, but somehow fulfilling.
That hot spot disappeared for us late that summer when we arrived only to find an entire family of Bunges from Eitzen firmly fishing there. All good things come to an end. That’s another little fishing lesson. You move on, find a new spot. Grow up, get married, have kids, go fishing with them. It’s a great life cycle!
It’s fun to hear my friend talk about his kids and their fishing adventures. Some things will never change, and that makes me glad.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

‘Pst! Hey you! Wanna buy a good used car, cheap?’ ~ July 18, 1985

David Heiller

 The heat is on to buy a new car, or at least a newer one than the 1979 Bobcat which we currently own.
The 1979 Mercury Bobcat.
Ours was red. Ours should have been dead.
The Bobcat had no heat, so the year I worked part time in McGregor, 

David wrapped baby Noah in a sleeping bag, and then
 we would tuck me in. He closed the gigantic door 
by lifting and pushing, and off I would go through the 
wilds of the Arthyde swamp. 
The return home was more complicated, since you 
did need a second adult to close the door.
It was a long and cold winter.
The heat is coming from my wife, from my family, from my wife’s family, from every direction but the car itself. You see, the car, Lucy, doesn’t have any heat. That’s one of her drawbacks. The heater hasn’t worked for two winters. But that doesn’t bother me, at least not now.
“Face it David, this car is in bad shape,” Cindy said as we headed Lucy down to Minneapolis for a family get-together last weekend.
“Bad shape?” I said, trying to make my voice sound confident, like an auto mechanic’s. “This engine’s only got 56,000 miles on it. I change the oil every 2,000 miles. I’d say—” here I paused, gaining momentum in my voice—“I’d say this car is in pretty good shape.”
“It’s a rusted-out piece of junk,” Cindy countered. “Look at the body. Rust all over.”
“There’s hardly any rust, for a 1979,” I said.’
“For a ‘79, it’s falling apart. The body has 148,000 miles on it. The tailgate doesn’t close, the fan doesn’t work, the heater doesn’t work, the driver’s door doesn’t shut.” Now she was gaining momentum. “I can’t even drive this car. I can’t get that darn door shut without help.”
The argument continued on, as it usually does, me standing up for Lucy, Cindy working to improve our lot. As usual, we held our respective ground. I said the car was in “good” shape, while Cindy said it was in “bad” shape.
Perhaps more than ever before, buying a new car is major investment. Some vehicles that pass us on the road, we say, “There goes 35 acres and a house,” because those certain cars and trucks are worth more than we paid for our farmstead four years ago.
Of course, not everyone needs to buy a new car. A good used one can be purchased for a mere $3,000 or $4,000.
When we arrived at my sister’s house for my family reunion on Sunday, I immediately sensed trouble. Lucy was out of her league. I backed her into a slot next to my brother-in-law’s 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass. In that same driveway was another new Olds, a new Honda, and a new Toyota van. Even my mother’s modest Dodge looked good next to Lucy. In the garage: three 35-acres-and-a-house vehicles, in the form of a couple Mercedes and Jeep Wagoneer.
All together, there was well over $100,000 worth of automobilia on that slab of blacktop.
No one paid Lucy much mind, until we were getting ready to leave. All the adults moved out into the driveway to mill around, hands in pocket, saying all those last-minute things that we forgot to say earlier. The men circled Lucy cautiously, like British police suspecting a bomb on some Northern Ireland street.
“I see you got new tires,” one remarked, recalling last Christmas, when I backed Lucy over a large rock and metal reflector on his lawn.
“Who made this one?” another asked, pointing to a dimple in the right front side.
“Aw, Cindy hit something,” I said casually, trying to separate that dent from the ones on the tailgate and left wheel well.
“Hey, doesn’t this tailgate shut?” someone asked.
I don’t know who, because faces were starting to blur as I fought to defend Lucy.
“Yeah, I’ve got the piece to fix it—got to do that one of these days,” I said with a fake laugh.
“What happened to the grill here?” another asked, pointing to a broken piece of imitation chrome.
“Oh that’s nothing. I have to put the screwdriver in there so I can open the hood. The cable broke for the inside lever release,” I replied.
Cindy senses the crowd mood like a pro, and spoke like Moses above the rumblings of the relatives. “Oh, but this car is in good shape, right Dave?” She said as she put the baby in the back seat.
“Well I don’t know about good, but it’s OK,” I compromised, sliding into the driver’s seat to make a get-away. “I think it’s got a couple more years left.”
I rolled down my window to say the final good bye. One of my sisters tried to shut my door for me. It bounced back open. She tried again—but it still didn’t latch. “Here, there’s a little trick to it,” I laughed, lifting the door up with both hands and crashing it into place.
I started the engine—thankfully it started—and we bucked down the driveway, amidst exhaust fumes and waves of good byes, and probably a few prayers that Lucy would hold up for our 150 mile trip home...
She did. I have complete faith that she will keep on being a “good” car, or at least OK.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Nap time ~ June 27, 2002

David Heiller

No, I’m not writing an article about my cute little kids. I’ll leave that to Julie. (I like your columns, Julie!)
This is much more controversial. Something befitting a cigar-chomping editor who keeps a bottle of whiskey in his desk drawer.
That leaves me out, too.

This camping stuff is exhausting business.
I want to talk about the delicate subject of naps.
I am sold on naps, and it’s time to proclaim my faith, publicly, without shame or fear of ridicule.
For some reason, our society has given naps a bum rap. Don’t believe me? The next time you see someone who is dog-tired in the middle of the day suggest that he or she go take a nap.
He’ll either look at you like you’re crazy. Hey, it ain’t macho to take a little-bitty nap.
Or he’ll smile self-consciously and say, “Yeah right,” as he pours himself another cup of coffee.
I must admit I still have a little of that latter chap in me. But more and more I am losing that worry about what people might think.
"Taking a 20" with Rosie standing guard.
I call it “Taking a 20.” It sounds better than “Taking a nap,” because, yes, the word nap does carry a bit of Sesame Street with it.
“Take a 20,” now that has a ring to it!
It refers to 20 minutes. That’s all it takes to refresh me. It’s a miracle in a way.
Many afternoons, usually at about 2 p.m., I get groggy. I type more slowly. Words don’t come out quite the way I want them to. I even start to walk funny. I’ve been that way for as long as I can recall.
Sleep reading. Is this what
happens if you don't "take a 20"?
This trait really hit home after I had eye surgery on June 5. Every afternoon, fatigue would hit me like a hammer. My eye was telling my body I needed to rest, and I figured I had better heed that advice. Doctors orders, you know. So whether at work or at home, I would lie down. Twenty minutes later, I would wake up feeling like a new person. It was a good reminder of something I’ve known for a long time—that naps really make a positive difference in my day.
And 20 minutes is all it takes. I lie down, look at my watch, and tell myself I’m going to wake up in 20 minutes, and I do just that, almost to the minute. The body has a built-in clock.
Often I don’t even sleep in my naps. I can feel my body start to drift and relax, like I’m doing a back float in water. That’s all it takes.
A lot of people are discovering the benefits of naps. Some progressive companies are even endorsing nap times, and providing places for employees to do it.
The National Sleep Foundation estimates that drowsy workers cost U.S. employers an estimated $18 billion in lost productivity every year. (I just looked that up on the internet.)
We LOVE to take
photos of sleeping people.
There’s even a book on the subject, by William and Camille Anthony, called The Art of Napping at Work. This past spring they promoted the Monday after the Daylight Savings; Time change as the first National Workplace Napping Day, touting a 20-minute workplace nap for “the amazing effect it has on productivity, alertness and well being.” (Another bit of internet trivia.)
In our case, we have a cot in our darkroom that works great.
Some countries have a built in nap time in their day. When I taught school in Morocco from 1977 to 1979, every day from 12 to 2, students and teachers would leave the school and go home, eat lunch, and take a nap. It really made a lot of sense for getting through the rest the day.
So there, I’ve said it. Naps are good. If you a nap-taker, you know what I mean. If you aren’t give it a try. Take a 20.