Last week was a busy one, but in a good way; very few of the things I was kept busy with were unpleasant. I always enjoy visiting my beauty doctor, and I saw several regular clients whose company I always enjoy (plus several meals with friends). And we made some progress on a major project for my ranch, the first one in a very long time. But of all the things that brought me joy last week, one of them may surprise or amuse you: I got my TriStar back. Well, not back exactly, because this isn’t the same one I was forced to sell 20 years ago, but it’s the same model. Some or most of you are probably scratching your heads or checking to make sure that you’re on the right blog; Maggie McNeill is delighted because she bought a used vacuum cleaner? Huh? Some of y’all are probably thinking something like, “No offense, Maggie, but you’re not exactly known for your housekeeping skills.” And you would be right. But this is different; this is one of those little victories that mean nothing to anyone but oneself. Jack bought me a TriStar back in ’92 or ’93; they’re really expensive, but I’m very hard on vacuum cleaners because it makes me crazy to have to go over and over the same damned spot and yet have it NOT GET CLEAN. I want a vacuum cleaner that would be at home in a cartoon, a vacuum that needs to be turned off if the drapes get caught in it because there’s no way to get them out otherwise. In this picture, that heavy hose is being held to my hand by the power of suction alone, and the circular mark is still visible on my hand as I type this over 30 minutes later. This is a sho-’nuff, no-messin’-around vacuum cleaner, y’all, and its air filtration is so good that the exhaust is cleaner than the air already in the room (suck that, Kirby). But after my marriage broke up and the bills started to get overwhelming, I had to be sensible and sell it to cover them. And as the years have gone by and I’ve been forced to clean filthy rugs with crappy Hoovers and Electroluxes and Dirt Devils, I’ve often missed my good old TriStar and vowed to get another one day. Then last week I was in a vacuum cleaner repair shop helping a friend to get a refurbished one, and I said to the guy, “You wouldn’t happen to have a TriStar for sale, would you?” He named a price higher than most of you probably paid for your new vacuums (but still less than a third of what my new TriStar cost over 20 years ago), and I said “Sold!” and peeled the bills off of the roll in my purse. Then I took it home and vacuumed all of my rugs, which were visibly brighter after the treatment. And though that’s great, and I’ll certainly vacuum much more often now, the really important thing for me is that after 20 years I managed to undo one minor example of the countless humiliations and defeats that life has saddled me with more than my share of. And that gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to undo at least a few of the others.
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