You know, sometimes the most brilliant ideas (or what seem to be) turn bad real fast. I experienced that this morning. What seemed like a great idea in my mind, almost turned into a disaster of epic proportions.
2 Years ago, we bought this little patio gazebo. Set it up and it has been absolutely wonderful. The only time we have taken it down was during the threat of a couple of hurricanes.
The metal frame weighs about 100 pounds or so and the canopy top another 20 I would guess. Pretty thick canvas. Why I mention this will become evident as you continue reading.
Well like any cloth that is exposed to the sun for 2 years straight, the UV rays finally got to it and it ripped. It’s brittle and the wind is basically shredding it.
So in my mind I don’t want to buy another one. I search for a replacement top. The replacement is about what we paid for the entire thing. Which shouldn’t surprise me but did annoy me.
Here’s where the brilliant idea comes in. I have an old Vietnam Era parachute in the attic. It’s HUGE and will easily cover the top of the 10×10 frame of the gazebo. Why not use this?
So bright and early this morning I am digging around in the attic and find the parachute. I open it up in the backyard and find the center point, ball it up and throw it over the top of the gazebo to start test fitting it.
I spread it out and tied off four corners and then sat down in the shade (it’s already hot out) to contemplate how to best make a round parachute fit a square gazebo frame and still look decent.
As I was sitting there, watching the dogs run around the backyard, looking at the garden, swatting flies, a nice breeze picked up and blew into the shady area I was sitting in. Underneath my newly installed parachute canopy. I’ll let that sink in.
As the entire gazebo took flight and lifted about 2 – 3 feet off the ground I realized the error in my plan.
I had two bags of potting mix on the ground and I quickly grabbed one and threw it on the corner of the gazebo frame closest to me. Grabbed the other one and ran across the patio and threw it on the other frame leg, averting complete lift off of the entire apparatus. I the began quickly untying the parachute from the frame.
I managed to get it released, and then twisted the parachute up on the frame and sat down. To contemplate “what could have happened” and the potential coverage by local news stations.
Not my most brilliant moment.