Feature Stories

The Problem with Vacuuming

We are all home a lot more. Around our house that has occasioned a reassessment of the chores.  Among other things, I’ve volunteered to do the vacuuming. Makes sense; we need to pull together and I’m not exactly busy driving to client meetings at the present. But like everything else, it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Our vacuum resides on the first floor, in a closet by the front door. The other day I went to get it but headed upstairs first for an extension cord. Even though the machine’s cord is pretty long, with the extension I can almost cover the first floor without having to plug into a different outlet. Upstairs, as I got the extension cord out of the drawer, I noticed a pile of books sitting on the floor. They needed to go to the cellar, so I picked them up and headed to the basement, where I stacked them up in the corner reserved for yard sale stuff. Turning to go back up, I heard the dryer click off. Naturally, I went over and emptied the dryer and then filled it again with the wet clothes waiting in the washer. Except, some of those cloths needed to be hung on the drying rack.

While doing that, I heard the mailman (in our case, it is a man) drive up. I went out through the garage to greet him and get the mail. Of course, the mail had to be sorted over the recycle bin. After that, I took the bills and catalogs up to our office and left them on my wife’s chair. Might as well check my emails at that point; after all, my boss thinks I’m working at home.

I eventually got that done plus checking the weather and a few things on YouTube, when the phone rang. I talked with a client for a few minutes and then headed back to get the vacuum. But I didn’t have the extension cord and must have set it down in the library when I picked up the books. Back upstairs for the cord, turning into the master bedroom where I stood, wondering what I was looking for in there. I couldn’t figure it out, so I went back downstairs to the office and sorted through the catalogs a bit. Then I remembered, THE EXTENSION CORD!

Back up to the library where I noticed it was starting to rain so I closed the windows in that room and proceeded to close the rest around the house. I ended up in the kitchen where my lovely wife was starting dinner. We visited briefly before pointing out I had to get the vacuuming done (which pleased her). Went around the corner to the closet where the vacuum is kept and started to . . . THE EXTENSION CORD!

Back up in the library, I decided to sit down and enjoy watching the storm for a few minutes.  Eventually, I noticed the extension cord on the floor. Went over to pick it up when Kelly yelled up saying dinner was, could I set the table?

During dinner she mentioned, “I didn’t hear the vacuum down here, Honey. You must have been upstairs?”


Scott Funk lives, works, and writes (and gardens) in Vermont.  His Boomer Funk columns are available at VermontFunk.com, as are his blogs and archived Aging in Place columns.

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