Joel Vernier

I was enjoying a well-deserved nap, of course, every nap is well deserved. Think about it, every nap you take refreshes your body and mind. Each time you wake up from a good nap, even a short one, you feel better. How often have you woken up from a nap and said to yourself, “I just napped, darn it, I wish I would not have rested.” Okay, if a nap made you late for work or you missed an appointment, that might be an issue. Today’s smartphones or an Amazon Alexa allows you to easily set your nap time, also giving you the pleasure to grin and go back to napping.

I enjoy napping no matter what season. In spring, we have the fresh promise of a new beginning. Summer, with the heat being offset by air-conditioning. I love the fall with the sights and smells of burning leaves, apple cider, and hibernation signs. Winter with the heat from a fireplace or furnace to warm you up under your throw blanket. But I must admit, I’ve had enough of air-conditioning this summer. The hot and muggy dog days of summer require the A/C. When I was younger, the only A/C we had was a window fan in the living room that would exhaust the day’s heat. In the morning, we would close up the house to keep it cool until the afternoon’s heat would turn our house into a toaster oven. You could go downstairs to get away from the heat; but we had an old basement with a coal shoot, and it smelled musty and damp. 

So we would go back upstairs to get away from the dark and dreary basement. Of course, when I was younger, the heat did not have as much impact on me as it does today in my late middle age. Middle age is a moving target, 60 is the new 50? All of the cars my Dad drove when I lived at home, did not have air conditioning. I remember loving the little window in the front bottom of the side windows that you could open. A beautiful stream of air came forth that you could adjust to cool various parts of your body. It was amazing! Of course, the car manufacturers discontinued that nifty feature making A/C in your car a must. 

My first business automobile did not have A/C; it was considered a luxury back then, not a necessity. I always wondered why my Dad, in his advanced age, would keep the heat up to 78 in the winter and the A/C down to 68 in the summer. After I moved out of the house, my parents put in central A/C and a dishwasher. I guess they figured they did not have unpaid help to assist with the dishes as I was the last to move out.

My dad was a master at napping. He worked six days a week, so Sunday was his day to relax. He would put on whatever sport was on that time of year and within 10 minutes, he would be napping away. I would turn the TV to another channel while he was in REM sleep, and he would immediately wake up and yell at me to put the game back on and repeat the napping sequence. I was amazed that he could smoke a cigarette, begin napping, hold the cigarette in his hand and wake up just before the ash fell off or his fingers would get burned. 

He only set the couch on fire once, which created a lot of activity in our house. The couch had to stay outside one night until he was sure it was safe to bring it back in. A short glimpse of the history of my childhood growing up in Royal Oak, Michigan. I would give anything to be able to be back in that living room watching dad nap on his couch with his cigarette and a can of Black Label beer. Love you, dad!

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others. – © Joel M. Vernier 08/25/2020 Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer.” joelmvernier@aol.com.

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