As most know, our homestead does not have central air, which means open windows is how we get fresh air and a cross breeze.  It also means, dust - lots and lots of dust.  And, dusting and vacuuming - lots and lots of dusting and vacuuming (you may want to take this into consideration now before the poo ever hits the fan, or you will be in for a huge awakening if you like to keep things clean.) 

So, one day I am vacuuming with my upright vacuum cleaner.  Feeling kinda lazy (my only excuse, as I can’t recall being struck in the head ) I decided to vacuum “around” a washcloth left on the bathroom floor that had apparently fallen out of the dirty laundry, instead of bending down and picking it up. Using the skill of a master craftsman, I maneuvered the vacuum ever so gingerly around the washcloth, until … vurrrummppp … I heard the hollow sound of “something” being sucked up into the vacuum tube – something that was not supposed to be sucked up - yep the washcloth. No, problem, I told myself, I’ll just remove the hose from the back of the vacuum and pull out the washcloth out. Oh, that life would be that easy!! vacuum 2

I went to the toolbox and grabbed the appropriate screw driver, came back and removed the hose from the vacuum. I then retrieved a dust mop from the closet and proceeded to stick the mop handle down into the vacuum hose in an attempt to “push’ the washclot out of the tube to other end – nuts – too short. So I tried sticking it down the tube … again short. Determined, I grabbed a flashlight to look down into the dark abyss. There nestled between here and there (the tube and the hose) was the washcloth peeking back up at me. Not to be defeated; especially by a washcloth, I got a butter knife out of the kitchen drawer – no, not to kill it - to try and coax the washcloth out promising to do no harm once I got it in my hands.  Again, fail.  I could neither push nor pulled the washcloth from either end. 

vacuum 3In my moment of desperation, I remembered I had something that I have always encouraged others to have a few of, for those “ya never know when you might need it” times; a wire clothes hanger.  I retrieved the hanger and straightened out the crook of the hanger’s neck and then pulled down on the horizontal part – the part you hang pants on (I’m sure there are official names for these parts - I just don’t have a clue what they are) - and made it one long wire; like if you were going to make sa’mores over a campfire.  I then stuck it down into the vacuum tube.  But I couldn’t catch it on anything to pull it out. Unbelievable, I said! So close and yet still so far away.  Then I got another brainy idea.  I twisted the crooked part of the hanger neck back on itself.  Sticking it once more down into the tube, I reached the washcloth, and slowly began to twirl the hanger.  I caught it!  Continuing to twirl the hanger I pulled the washcloth to safety! Yay me!  An hour later and stuff scattered all over the floor I put the washcloth in the hamper.  (Please keep in mind that the hole is usually plastic so don't yank the object out, slowly and gently twirl it as you carefully bring it to the surface.)vacuum 4

So, why am I even sharing this with you?  Well, first of all, as a suggestion for you; and most definitely for me next time, always pick up anything on the floor that you don’t want to be sucked up in the vacuum cleaner, before you start, it will really save you a lot of time and hassle.  A lot. Next, have a few wire clothes hangers in your emergency supplies.  They can be used for so many emergency situations. Then, there’s the fact that sometimes we forget and do something even though we were warned not to do it, and if this happens, I want you to be able to come back here and find out how to remove the “whatever it is that was sucked into the vacuum cleaner”.  And lastly, as I mentioned before, you might was to start thinking about a life of open windows and no air-conditioning and how you might keep your house clean. Gives a whole new meaning to dust busters! 

Just sayin’.

- Survivor Jane







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