Read Is this You?: Vacuum What? by Trina Machacek for the week of September 25, 2014.

Trina Machacek

Vacuum What?

While it is not unheard of in our abode to skip a week, maybe a week and a half, okay two weeks, of vacuuming the carpet, what has been unheard of, up until the other day, is using the vacuum outside on the… Well let me start at the beginning.

Summer is a wonderfully short time period in this high mountain desert of Nevada we call home. So it is with the utmost happiness when we can work in our yard and smell that glorious smell of fresh mowed grass on Sundays. Weeds and bugs are sprayed into oblivion so we can enjoy our lawn. We have two puppies so our shovel is at the ready for the scooping. A job fit for a king. But the queen also gets her fair share. This is a 50/ 50 partnership after all.

We also have three outside cats. I hate mice so the cats are my guards against finding little presents when I open a drawer or cupboard in my house. The only things I want in my cupboard that look like mouse turds are caraway seeds. So now you have a good idea of the makeup of our world. Manicured lawn, dogs that are well let’s just say duty full, and cats that have the run of the yard. (It is true you know, dogs have a master, cats have a staff!) Moving on…

Monday morning comes, the sun has come up and the dogs are let out of their pen to run amuck. Cats are soaking up the sunshine of a new day. Master and staff are outside shovel ready. When, as we walk around the front of the house we find there has been a murder in the front yard. Yes a pile of feathers, not just a small pile, but a rather large PILE of feathers is there to meet us. A dove has met its’ maker sometime during the night. Nothing left but feathers, a white and dove gray mound of fluffiness. The leftovers lay splayed out on his newly mowed green as a shamrock lawn. Good Kitty!

Now here is where he and I differ. I chuckle at the fact that there are feathers in a nice pile and call the dogs over to discover and play in the left overs. I even make mention of how services for the lost feathered friend would be held at a later date, and chuckle. But he has a look of urgency on his face. You would have thought that we were just about to be inspected by some high falutin’ big wig. His mission in life at that point was to clean up the feather pile ASAP. Come on, they were feathers!

Then what happened next was just too over the top, even for him. But I should have not made mention of…

He immediately needed to get those feathers cleaned up and I was to keep the dogs away so they couldn’t have any fun with them. Laughingly I said maybe he could use the vacuum cleaner to pick up the feathers. Chuckle, chuckle. But he got this glassy eyed look on his face and poof he was gone, like magic. Soon he showed up carrying my cordless little picker-upper vacuum. To add insult to injury he hands me the sucky little devil. (Bad back makes it hard for him to bend over is his story.)

So there I am, in the front yard, on my knees, early Monday morning vacuuming the lawn. Those who drove by watched with rapt inquisitiveness, pointed honked and waved. It wasn’t even 7 yet. I was still in my pink and black plaid lounging pants and lovely t-shirt I got for free by playing a lottery game in Idaho over 12 years ago at the Twin Falls County Fair. A stunning creature. My neighbors now know that I have totally lost what little mind I have left. I will be forever remembered, when the guys in the white coats come to cart me off, as the lady who lost her mind and began vacuuming her yard.

Why, oh why do we wives do these things for our husbands? I don’t remember our vows as, “Love, honor and vacuum the lawn of wayward feathers!”” Just you wait. I am, as I write this, working on creating an event to even the score that will knock his socks off. Maybe something having to do with femininity and the drug store… Weaving tangled webs, always weaving.

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at