Tag Archives: vacuum

Perspective

Two weeks ago, I posted an analogy between a vacuum malfunction at a bad time to abandonment by a partner. It was tongue-in-cheek, of course. But with the news that’s unfolded since about COVID-19 and the mind-boggling implications, a clogged vacuum seems like pretty small potatoes.

In the interests of lifting spirits, I’d like to give you the dirt on what happened after my sister arrived.

For the first few days, we focused on catching up our conversations on many fronts and organizing old family photos. We had an appointment to use a scanner free of charge for three hours at a public library on March 6.

With the scanning behind us on Friday evening, I felt ready to tackle the floor attachment again. As I poked around the brush bar on the bottom in a vain attempt to access the offending clog, my sister looked over my shoulder.

“When we had a similar problem with our vacuum, we were able to remove the bar. Is there a way to get this one out?”

There on the end, was a “lock” and “unlock” symbol, and a slot for a coin to unscrew the cap to release the bar. My sister lent me a quarter.

Once the brush bar was out of the way, the clog’s minutes were numbered. After removing a few clumps of debris, I discovered a small plastic sack that appeared to have gotten it all started.

Suddenly a new tune was one my mind, “The cat came back,” but altered as “The vac came back.”

“Gee, taking off that bar was really smart. How did you and your husband figure that one out?”  

“We probably looked at the manual,” she said with as straight a face as she could muster.

Sure enough, the first item in my manual after the safety warnings was “Clearing brush bar obstructions,” with a diagram showing how to remove it.

I think I’ll use some of my time in retreat mode to create an operating manual for me. The idea of being open to and reaching out for help from others will rank fairly high. As will remembering that there may be a manual to help with the exact situation I am facing.

I don’t have to figure it all out by myself. None of us does.  

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A fine time to leave me

A country song from the 70s came to mind recently.

“You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille,

With four hungry children and crop in the field…”

The trusty vacuum cleaner I’ve used for five years started to labour. It’s one of those transparent models that lets you watch the buildup of debris like hair, rug lint, crumbs, dandruff… I’ll stop there because you may have just eaten your lunch.

Several minutes of “vacuuming” and the canister still sparkled. It’s not possible my floors were that clean.

As usual, I have a good excuse. I’m applying for a program to use some of the skills I’m dying to exercise before I die. The challenging questions on the application form have diverted my attention for weeks. When cleaning is the subject, I’m a pushover for distraction.

Back to the vacuum story. The motor in the hand wand was producing suction. The tube between the motor and the floor was clear. I deduced that the floor attachment was clogged.

I was able to free gobs of hair, etc from the underside and from the top where the tube attaches to it. Still no action. I shoved the tool I use to unclog my bathroom sink drain in as far as it would go in both directions. Nada. Meanwhile, time was ticking.

The timing sucked.

My sister was due. My one and only sister. My one and only sibling. The one I hadn’t seen since last August! I mentioned my plight to a friend. She assured me my sister would likely be too tired to notice the dust with the little bit of sleep she would have had before arriving.

So I focused on getting her bed ready.

Further assaults on the floor attachment and the dirty floor might be noisy. It would be a shame to disturb her sleep, don’t you think?

If I needed an excuse to procrastinate around cleaning, maybe the timing was right after all.

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