As of this afternoon, Mitchell and I made it through the remainder of the Dismal Swamp Canal. It has been an experience that will remain with us for a long time. The sheer beauty of the trees and water, along with the friendships we have formed have made this portion of the trip a true joy.
Mitchell and I decided to call it a day once we made it to Elizabeth City, NC around one. We pulled into one of the free town docks that were nothing like what we were used to. The wind was blowing as we approached the dock but Mitchell nailed it on the first try. The dock consists of 4 pilings (wooden poles)- 2 on each side- and a mini triangle on which you jump onto from the bow of your boat to get to land.
After tying up the bow lines, I looked across the street…
when, what to my wondering eyes did appear,
but a Singer sewing machine shop that specialized in repair.
Back to Mitchell I yelled,
“finish tying up the boat,
throw out the fenders,
I’m off to see if these ladies can fix my machine.”
As some of you know, I brought my sewing machine along with me in case I found time to sew or quilt in between working on the boat and exploring the land. Thus far I haven’t been about to use it much, but did get it out the night before Halloween to help my sister-in-law make a costume for her daughter. As I was putting the finishing stitches on the white snow princess shawl, my machine started acting crazy and jammed up. Mitch, Michelle and I tried to fix it but weren’t able to figure it out.
Since the machine was a Christmas gift less than two years ago, I was hoping that it might still be able to be fixed under warranty. The only problem was finding a store along the way that I could get to without a car. So, as you might have guessed, I was in shock when I saw the Singer store in front of me. Jumping off the boat, I ran across the street, sewing machine in hand, and explained the problem to the lady. Within five minutes, she had it fixed and refused to take even a dime. As she was putting the screws back in, I noticed the embroidery machine next to the counter. I asked if it was possible to embroider the name and date in the corner of the quilt I had made last May. The other lady who was working said ‘sure’ and spent the next hour helping me do just that (she also refused to take any money). I thanked them and assured them that I would be calling them once I moved back to land to buy a quilting machine. The kindness that they showed me seems to be something we have seen almost everywhere on this journey. It warms your heart and renews your belief in the goodness of people.