33: More Power

33: More Power

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home

More Power

Nature abhors a vacuum. And so do I.

~Anne Gibbons

My husband decided that he needed to remove our old carpeting and replace it with wood flooring. For some reason many of his home improvement projects occur when I am out of town on business trips. This is probably due to the fact that it would be quieter around the house with me out of screaming range. My youngest son’s room would probably not have been painted bright blue if I’d been home when that improvement was made. Oh well.

The carpet replacement job was well underway when I left town for a gourmet foodie convention in San Francisco. The old gray carpet was stripped away and safely delivered to the local dump. The work of cleanup and preparation for the new flooring seemed a fairly benign activity to undertake while “Mom was gone” so I wasn’t even worried.

Upon my return I saw that the floor debris was completely gone and the subflooring not yet in place. I actually admired the cleanup work and thought that for once my husband had completed a job without leaving a monumental mess for me.

Back in the kitchen, inspired by the foodie offerings at the convention, I looked for my favorite sauté pan, prepared to whip up a tasty treat to reward my deserving husband. I reached up to retrieve it from the pot rack in the kitchen. As I pulled it down I noticed it was a bit dusty, and I chalked this up to not using it for a few weeks. Later on I needed a strainer, which was also located on the pot rack. This item was equally dusty, and upon closer inspection was covered with dog hair as well.

All of the pots and utensils were coated with dirt and hair. What had happened?

I went to the closet to grab my vacuum and do a bit of clean up. I glanced over at the Shop-Vac and saw the cord was still wound up neatly from the last time I had used it. However the leaf blower was there, cord sprawled all over the floor, the attachment still in place too, indicating that my husband had recently used it.

Even though I knew it was the wrong time of year to be blowing fallen leaves, I could not resist asking what the heck he’d been doing with that leaf blower. Sure enough the answer I received explained the dust and dog hair that covered all of my cooking equipment on the pot rack. In a brilliant ploy to save time and be efficient, my industrious husband had operated the leaf blower inside our house. I had a cartoon-like image of him screaming “woo-hoo!” as he waved the leaf blower around the kitchen. He opened the back sliding door to our deck and proceeded to blow, through the kitchen, all of the accumulated dust, wood scraps and even the hair from our Norwegian Elkhound. Did I happen to mention the dog is a male? They probably did a high five — paw to hand — to each other for a job well done.

Happily the wood flooring went down without further incident, and we enjoyed it for many years while living at that house.

~Kathy Gail Passage

More stories from our partners