I remember my first vacuum cleaner. It was “inexpensive,” about $40 in 1997, and broke very quickly. I used a dust buster for about the next two years. It sounds a lot worse than it is, since at the time I lived in the dorms, and borrowed vacuums on a regular basis. This is especially important, since as a smoker, spilled ash trays were not that uncommon.
In 1999 my parents moved to Indiana, and I was out of a house for the summer. I was going in to my senior year of college, and had everything already set up and did not want to change my plans. My benevolent parents said that they would pay for an apartment for my, even though I was working, since I had planned on moving home for the summer and saving up money.
I relished my first apartment. I lived all by myself and enjoyed every minute of it. Unlike being married and having children, I could find everything in my apartment, since it was always where I left it. But I had no vacuum. I had been borrowing my Grandpa’s vacuum cleaner about once a week, but it was old and heavy and a pain to haul back and forth between his house, about 8 or 9 miles away, and my apartment.
My mother knew that I had feeling a bit down, and on a day off of her job search at the time, came to visit. Since I had nothing to hide from my parents 😉 , and they were paying the rent, my parents had keys to my apartment. I came home from school one day to find my Mom cleaning my kitchen and a brand new vacuum sitting in the living room. This is about the same time I was learning about financial responsibility, after having racked up massive amounts of credit card debt. I was bound and determined not to go further into debt nor ask anyone for help. I really could not have afforded a vacuum on my own. (Some days I could not even afford to eat, but that is another topic all together.)
That is the vacuum that I still have. I have repaired countless times, new belts and such, and it still works like a charm. But as the years passes, the volume increased. We have taken to not vacuuming the floor after 8 P.M. so that the boys can sleep. Yes, it is that loud. We could be sweeping the basement (finished) and it would wake the boys up upstairs. Although it works, it was time for a new one.
Mom and Dad came to the rescue again, and the UPS guy delivered a Hoover vacuum to my front door today. On my birthday, no less. Talk about timing. It is quiet, bag-less, has more attachments than you can shake a stick at, and even has a power boost mode for those things that you pick up because the vacuum cleaner could not get and then throw back on the floor to give the vacuum one more chance. Until I needed my first vacuum, I never though I would be excited or thankful to get cleaning equipment as a gift.
But, I am thankful. I am thankful that I have a family that takes care of each other, and listens to what each other want. I am thankful for my children who taught me to be less selfish (C’mon, what other late twenties guy would want a vacuum cleaner for his birthday?) And I am especially thankful for my wife, who will 😛 be the one using the vacuum cleaner.