So, this post will disappoint those of you who want photos added to this blog, like, yesterday (Hey, Mom, I'm talking to you!), but it is sure to be helpful to you if you should ever find yourself trying to decide where to keep your vacuum cleaner OR if you just need a laugh. Now, photos are coming. I promise.
I live in a small cottage. After years of struggling to enjoy trying to find a place for all the belongings of two, then three, then four people, I have finally come to the point of embracing day-to-day life in a small space. I have learned that I don't NEED a bunch of the STUFF that finds its way into my home. I have learned to appreciate life apart from the big dream house with its wraparound porch and gracious Southern drawl. That house is tucked neatly inside a three ring binder in my hall closet. It may come out of its binder one day, but it doesn't necessarily have to. God has shown us that success is not measured by the size of the roof over our heads.
Now, as I say all this I need to offer a disclaimer: My life has just been made easier by the purchase of a 10'x12' storage building. In addition, I am counting down the days until the contractor comes to start transforming the back porch into a second bedroom. This is actually what brought me to this post today. David has been out cleaning off the porch, getting it ready for said transformation. I stood out there with my camera posed for some "before" pics, and I could not stop thinking about the night I brought that vacuum cleaner in off the back porch. Here goes...
Ava was a little baby. I decided that it had been much too long since my house had a good floor cleanin'. Nora is terrified of vacuum cleaners, so David decided to take her outside while I ran the machine. Ava laid sleeping on our bed. I retrieved the bulky machine off the back porch. (My house lacks a space for the thing to hide, and I really don't want a vacuum cleaner as living room decor.) It came right on and ran beautifully. I admired the clean(er) carpet and decided to clean the bathroom rug too. Just as I wrapped up my vigorous vacuuming of the bathroom rug, I saw it...
A huge spider on the wall! Well I am not, I assure you, as terrified of spiders as my mother. But I do not relish them inhabiting my house. So I thought it best to turn off my vacuum cleaner and kill the spider. Easy enough, but a little messy too. I walked to the kitchen for a rag to clean my wall. Picked up the rag. Turned around. Saw movement just beside the vacuum cleaner. Wait...what is....a...TAIL...no...EYES...two eyes....OHDEAROHDEAROHAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH....A RODENT....there is a MOUSE and this is NOT okay!
A million thoughts ran through my head in less than half a second. I thought about the night I sat around a campfire in Botswana listening to the high pitched squeal of a mouse in a burning log. Any sympathy I felt for the little critter soon faded as this mouse, I kid you not, ran out of this log and straight toward me. The mouse ran UP MY LEG, seeking refuge in my skirt. I will never forget that creepy feeling as long as I live. I shudder even writing this story. Adrenaline is pumping through my veins. Fight or flight. Okay back to my living room...
"There is a mouse. Where are my kids? Oh yeah one is outside. One is sleeping soundly on my bed. The door is shut. The mouse cannot get her. She is fine. I'm fleeing!" I ran out my house, yelling loudly for David to get his tail back up the road and into the house to do what has to be done. I got up on the hood of the car and held my knees, rocking back and forth. Spiders are okay. Most animals are okay, but not mice. Mice are my vice.
Well of course the mouse ran and hid just as I slammed the door behind me, figuring his home in the vacuum cleaner was no longer safe. David wasn't able to locate him and finally coaxed me back into the house, but I assured him I would not be able to sleep without him taking some further steps.
The story ends this way: we rode to town to purchase a mouse trap, which proved very efficient at its duty. I sold the vacuum cleaner at a yard sale for $10. We have since purchased a Eureka Quick-Up, which is a solid crumb picker-upper in a very sleek package. Sleek enough to fit INSIDE my house.
That, my friends, is why you should never, ever, EVER store a vacuum cleaner on your back porch. Especially if you live in the woods. Don't think they're not around. They are, and they're looking for a comfy home!