In Our Own Backyard....Make a clean sweep of itI detest vacuuming. I’m not sure just why – I seem to be able tolerate most other household chores quite amiably. I don’t even mind scrubbing grout, scouring toilets, or cleaning out the kitty litter pan.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
I detest vacuuming. I’m not sure just why – I seem to be able tolerate most other household chores quite amiably. I don’t even mind scrubbing grout, scouring toilets, or cleaning out the kitty litter pan. But when it comes to vacuuming, well – I always save it until last, and if I’m lucky, I may even run out of time and not get around to it at all.
I have a friend who feels quite the opposite. She says that running the vacuum cleaner gives her a certain sense of satisfaction, nosing out the dust bunnies, listening to all that dirt going up the hose and lifting the nap of the carpet so it looks almost like new. She said she feels, well, renewed after she finishes vacuuming.
I truly wish I could see my friend’s point of view, but sadly, that sort of household euphoria escapes me. Don’t get me wrong – I love a clean house. But in order to get there, one has to run the vacuum cleaner every once in a while, and I simply don’t like it.
It might help to explain that the majority of the floors in our house are hardwood, with only an occasional runner or area rug here and there, so much of my vacuuming is done on the bare floor. Even without the beater bar going, the process tends to make a whole lot of noise.
When I’m vacuuming, I can’t hear the phone ring, I can’t play music, I can’t hear if someone’s at the front door, and I can’t hardly think straight over the roar. That makes for a long, drawn-out chore, and I can hardly wait until it’s over. (Neither can our cats, who flee in terror whenever I drag out the vacuum cleaner and don’t resurface until later in the day, skulking as though they’d seen Bigfoot!)
Yeah, I guess the noise thing is probably the real reason I detest vacuuming. After all, I tend to lean toward what are often referred to as the “silent sports” in other areas of my life. I prefer snow skiing over water skiing, I enjoy bicycles more than motorcycles, I’d rather kayak than jet ski, I’ll strap on a pair of snowshoes before I’ll climb on a snowmobile, and I favor the feel of a horse beneath me over the roar of horsepower under the hood.
The “silent sports” give you time to really savor the world around you, think deep thoughts and simply look and listen.
Is it any wonder, then, that the deafening roar of a vacuum cleaner simply isn’t my thing?
Last week, I had done all of my housework except the floors, and I was dreading it as usual. This time, however, I decided to pull out my broom and dustpan, as my mom used to do every night after dinner the whole time I was growing up.
The cats held their ground on the end of the couch, eying me suspiciously and ready for flight lest I make a move toward the canister vac.
I paraded over to the stereo and put on one of my favorite CDs – “Afternoon in Tuscany” – and to the mellow sound of mandolins, accordions, guitars and strings, I dreamily swept every square inch of the house that I could. The phone rang a couple of times so I stopped to answer it, and as I swept, I mentally planned out what I was going to make for dinner and what I would wear for our daughter’s June wedding.
It took a good deal longer than vacuuming, of course. I had to occasionally trap an errant dust bunny with the dustpan, and one of the cats discovered how much fun it is to attack the broom, but I didn’t really care. I had broken the curse of the vacuum cleaner, and I had won!