with all the bells and whistles…

photoTwenty years ago, we put new carpet in the house we were living in, on a horse ranch 23 miles from the nearest grocery store.  The occasion called for a vacuum, something I had never owned.  I picked a bright red Dirt Devil from the pawn shop- which was in a town 37 miles in the other direction.  It cost $39.  The Dirt Devil was fancy and felt new to me, even tho’ it was pre-owned.  I used it up until a few years ago, when Dean brought home a Kirby – turns out someone who he had done work for, owed him money.  And they didn’t have any- so they gave him their Kirby vacuum.  It came with a billion attachments- even one for spraying insects, I believe.  I never really learned to use any of them, but it did vacuum quite well.

The Dirt Devil moved on to the girls.  I know that Tasha had it for awhile, and then Michaela had it in her townhouse.  It has acquired a few bumps and bruises along the way, including places where its fabric bag have been burned thru when someone tried to vacuum up ashes with it.

When I moved last summer, I left the Kirby behind (do you have any idea how much one of those things weighs!!?), and found myself in need of a vacuum.  Lo and behold, the Dirt Devil returned to me.

Grisham hates the Dirt Devil.  He will run so fast when he sees me wheel it out, his back feet hit him in the face as he whirls for a safe place under the bed.  And 20 years later, the Dirt Devil still can vacuum- still makes noise, the bag still inflates, the turney-brush thing on the bottom still goes around.  But it doesn’t do cat hair…and Grisham, being a cat, has lots of cat hair.  He has favorite places where the cat hair collects, like on the cushion above my head when I sit in my chair.

So today I went shopping for a new vacuum.  I have never owned a new vacuum. Found a wonderful Hoover, with special attachments especially for pet hair.  I vacuumed the floors in my new house, and I was – still am- horrified at the amount of dirt it picked up…how could that be?  The Dirt Devil didn’t find that much dirt.  I am not really a clean freak, but it bothers me to think there was that much dirt on the floor.

As I tapped the Hoover’s magic lever for the automatic cord rewinder, I ventured a look over at the Dirt Devil, alone in the corner.  I rolled the Hoover to a spot in the extra bedroom, where it would live now.  And I felt a bit like I had brought Buzz Lightyear home, with his fancy buttons and lights, and his claim that he could fly.

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