Sunday, February 01, 2009

RV Fix'in

Bang! I heard the awning retract with a slam into the coach. A tremor rocked our Prevost “Dolly’s Pride.” Moments later Ed walked inside with the canvas strip used to open and close the awning in his hand. The awning works like an old-fashioned roll-up window blind. Without the canvas strip attached, awning would stay permanently rolled in its aluminum casing.

“Can you sew this back on the awning?” Ed asked.

We checked the contents of my blue sewing box. Watermelon colored thread reminded us of a long ago sewing project to make a bridesmaid gown for Suzie to wear in Andrew and Cindy’s renaissance style wedding. The spool of metallic gold wire came from a burst of creative interest to make a beaded necklace. And, the beige thick button thread might work temporarily but elements of the sun and road would surely bring us back to where we were today with the canvas strip in hand. It seemed only my thimble and a heavy duty needle from the A&P would be of use to us.

Ed solved the problem by going to an RV shop for some heavy duty nylon thread. The elderly man there gave Ed the thread for no charge. “I told him you were an excellent seamstress, and you use to make your own bras,” Ed said.

“I’ve never made bra in my life,” I shrieked. “Dresses and suits, yes. Bras, no!”

Before I could begin sewing, Ed and I had to force open the awning. We stood on ladders at each end and pulled hard, so hard I flew off the ladder. I landed on my feet and the awning had come out of its casing, so we succeeded with step one of the repairs.

Steady on our red ladder again, I began reattaching the canvas strip. For once, our roles reversed. Now, Ed stood as my helper handing me scissors, giving me an extra hand to hold the awning steady when the wind gave a gentle gust, and following my orders for a change. I sewed the canvas with reinforced stitches, and then gave a tug after I knotted the final stitch.

Finally, came the time to test my handiwork. “Let’s see if it holds.” I gave Ed the nod to retract the awning while hanging onto the strip. It retracted just fine. “Okay, open the awning.” Ed gave a steady pull. It opened and the strip held strong.

I need to go back to that RV shop and correct Ed’s statement. “No, I’ve never sewn a bra; but I have tackled a canvas awning.”

(The fix is now ten-days past and the awning has been successfully opened and retracted many times.)

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