The husband, the wife, and the holy canopy

Remember when I wrote about damage we sustained after a San Antonio hail storm back in the spring? You can refresh your memory here.

We ended up finding more damage a week or two later, when we rolled out our awning and discovered several holes along the edge closest to the RV roof, i.e. the part that would have been exposed to hail while the thing was rolled up.

The stains and mildew were pre-existing. The holes? Not so much.

The stains and mildew were pre-existing in this 8-year-old sheet of vinyl. The holes? Not so much.

Having a skylight in your canopy rather defeats the purpose.

Having a “skylight” in your canopy rather defeats the purpose.

Thanks to the existence of our insurance company, internet commerce, and YouTube, we were able to deposit a check, order a new canopy, and take care of the installation ourselves. Couldn’t have done it without the help of this video from the RV Geeks!

Step 1 was Tim's favorite: buy a new tool!

Step 1 was Tim’s favorite: buy a new tool!

The new canopy arrived in a long cardboard tube. I'm sure UPS drivers love those.

The new canopy arrived in a long cardboard tube. I’m sure UPS drivers love those.

Removing the brackets so that we could grab the old canopy by the legs and walk it forward -- across the street -- to slide it out of its channel.

Had to remove the brackets so that we could grab the old canopy by the legs and walk it forward — across the street — to slide it out of its channel.

Got it to the ground, and now we unroll it and slide it off.

Wrestled it to the ground, and then had to unroll it and slide it off.

Off with the old, and to the dumpster with it!

Off with the old, and to the dumpster with it!

Slot A, Bracket B, blah blah blah.

Slot A, Bracket B, blah blah blah. Mostly I take photos so that we have a visual record of how things are supposed to look when we put them back together.

New canopy, sliding cooperatively onto the roller

New canopy, sliding cooperatively onto the roller

This is what the riveter does: jams in the rivet thingies.

This is what the riveter does: it jams in the rivet thingies.

Tim the Riveter He can do it!

Tim the Riveter
He can do it!

That post sticking out on the left is part of the spring-loaded assembly that allows the canopy to roll in and out. There is a right way and a wrong way to wind it, as usual. We did it the wrong way first. As usual.

That post sticking out on the left is part of the spring-loaded assembly that allows the canopy to roll in and out.
There is a right way and a wrong way to wind it, as usual.
We did it the wrong way first.
As usual.

See? Wrong.

See?
Something is not right.

A few tweaks later: ta-daaaaa! It's so clean and shiny, and it smells like a new car!

A few tweaks later: ta-daaaaa!
It’s so clean and shiny, and it smells like a new car!

Yes, I helped. See? And so did the guy in the spot next door, who saw me struggling to hold up my end of the top-heavy assembly, and came over to take my place. Thanks, Bernie!

Yes, I helped. See?
And so did the guy in the spot next door, who saw me struggling to hold up my end of the top-heavy assembly, and came over to take my place.
Thanks, Bernie!

But wait. There’s more. And this one makes us look even more incompetent.

We shifted to a new spot, see? And we were in a hurry, and we convinced ourselves that those low branches were not going to be a problem, but...

We shifted to a new spot, see? And we were in a rush that day, and we convinced ourselves that we could back in just below those low branches, but…

Scrape Snap Pop And there goes the the forward AC cover. Again. Yep. Second time we've done this. Different tree, same bonehead maneuver. Sigh. But better the cover than the actual AC!

Scrape
Snap
Pop!
And there goes the the forward AC cover. Again.
Yep. Second time we’ve done this. Different location, same bonehead maneuver. Lesson: the tree will always win.
Sigh.
But better the cover than the actual AC. Not as much of a cha-ching, but plenty of self-flagellation.

Thanks for tuning in. Coming up next on the Rohrer & Wife RV Repair channel: Crappy Jobs. The toilet’s malfunctioning — again!

Travel cheat: We flew from TX to WA — but then promptly borrowed an RV

It’s true. And there’s probably a good joke here that starts, “You can take a couple of full-timers out of their RV…”

But didn't we look cute on our airplane?

But didn’t we look cute on our airplane? Sorry it’s fuzzy. I was probably giggling with glee!

With only 7 days to visit two different parts of the family — our son and his girlfriend on the Olympic Peninsula, and Tim’s parents, sisters and their families a couple hours north of Seattle — it made perfect sense for us to have our own mobile guest suite. Thankfully, Tim’s folks own just the thing, and were willing to hand over the keys!

Tim's folks made the bed, gassed/watered/propaned it up, and even stocked the pantry and fridge for us -- including homemade chocolate chip cookies. My in-laws are the bomb!

They patched a few leaks, made the bed, gassed/watered/propaned it up, and even stocked the pantry and fridge for us — including a bottle of wine and homemade chocolate chip cookies.
My in-laws are the bomb!

Tim's dad checked us out on all the systems before letting us leave the driveway. This thing is way easier to set up and take down than our fifth wheel, but...

Tim’s dad checked us out on all the systems before letting us leave the driveway.
This thing is way easier to set up, take down, and drive around than our fifth wheel, but…

... wow, is it petite. Excellent choice for short trips, but I don't think I could handle living in one full time. The bathroom is about half the size of ours, and includes sink, potty and shower. I did not think that was possible.

… wow, is it compact.
It suited our needs more than adequately for this short trip, but I don’t think I could handle living in a truck camper full time.
The bathroom is about half the size of ours, and includes sink, potty, storage cabinet and shower. I… I did not think that was possible. And I am not willing to downsize that much.

Boiling water for coffee in this old percolator made us feel like pioneers!

Boiling water for coffee in this old percolator made us feel like pioneers! (Yeah, we know. Pioneers had campfires, not auto-ignite gas stoves.)

And although this is truly a 1-butt kitchen, we bumped it a 2-butt to clean up after a big breakfast. Tim washed, our son's girl dried.

And although this is truly a 1-butt kitchen, we promoted it to a 2-butt to clean up after a big breakfast.
Tim washed, our son’s girl dried.

Our site at the Point Hudson Marina & RV Park came with a view of Admiralty Inlet.

Our site at the Point Hudson Marina & RV Park in Port Townsend came with a beautiful view of Admiralty Inlet and the mountains beyond.

Moonrise over the inlet

Moonrise over the inlet

And here’s why we went: our older son graduated from the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding with an associate of occupational studies degree, and an impressive list of craftsmanship and engineering skills, such as planking, structures, fiberglass work, and handcrafted cabinetry. We are so stinkin’ proud!

That's him, sitting up there on the Chamberlain, a craft he's done a lot of work on during his time at the boat school.

That’s him, sitting up there on the Chamberlain, a craft he’s done a lot of work on during his time at the boat school.

img_8152

Not many school-sponsored graduation receptions include a keg. Was this place a good choice or what? And although this is not our boy's first beer, it's the first one his mama's poured for him, so like so many other milestones, we captured it with a photo. I'm sure there's a spot in the baby book for this somewhere...

Not many school-sponsored graduation receptions include a keg. This school was a good. choice.
And although this is not our boy’s first beer, it’s the first one his mama’s poured for him, and like so many other child rearing milestones, we captured it with photos. I’m sure there’s a spot in the baby book for this somewhere…

Later on, our son showed us around the boat yard in Port Townsend. This one bears a price tag of $5000 OBO. My best offer is oh hell no.

Later on, our son showed us around the boat yard in Port Townsend.
This fixer-upper bears a price tag of $5000 OBO.
My best offer is oh hell no.

I’ll leave you with three images of what the Puget Sound area is famous for: her picturesque waterways. No matter where you go, your journey will include bridges, tunnels, or ferries to get you from Point A to Point B, and the views are always worth the wait.

Deception Pass, looking west from the bridge...

Deception Pass, looking west from the bridge…

... and east

… and east

Port Townsend Bay

Port Townsend Bay

As for what’s coming up next for us, it looks like we’ll be sitting here in San Antonio through the fall, and perhaps into winter. Some medical issues have come up, and they need to be taken care of. I won’t share the details here, mostly because we don’t have enough information yet to know what lies ahead for Tim, but once we’ve got a better grip on what needs to be done, I’ll spill the proverbial beans. For now, in my husband’s own words:

I admit this is not how I wanted to spend my fall months, but such is life. I welcome prayers, well-wishes, and good thoughts. 

Hell, some of you might even feel compelled to send large sums of money, which would also be just fine.

Now if you do choose to pray, please don’t get too serious. I think something like this would be appropriate: “Dear God, please help that sap get physically well soon. We all understand he is a lost cause mentally.”