“I don’t care what the vacuum cleaner just sucked up “ has been my motto. I do try and eyeball plastic parts that could harm the motor, but unless I see or smell smoke or the rollers stop moving, I never give it a second thought.
(Ok, there was one time LAST month when I was vacuuming around the craft table in the playroom and it made a BAD noise. Soon after I realized that a straight pin had landed sideways in the hose and was popping out BOTH sides of the hose causing a SERIOUS backup (which did, by the way, implode all over me when I pulled the hose out) so THAT time I removed the item.)
Until yesterday, when I merrily (ok, not so merrily… more like in a power-vacuuming mode) vacuumed the rugs in the bathroom. I scanned the rug while I was vacuuming back and forth. My eyes spotted “some” thing just at the precise moment my hand moved the vacuum RIGHT over it. In that instance, I heard a clunk clunk and deep in my brain I recalled a conversation from earlier that morning. The one when my 8 year old exclaimed “I dropped my earring” and I responded “We are running late, we can find it later!” Apparently it was later and apparently we found it.
An earring. OH NO!! I just sucked up one of the girls “newly purchased” earrings. I did the quick scan of their earring holders and thought… Please, please let it be one of the sets that they bought at Claire’s that I can easily replace. Search engine, search engine. Oh no! The lone earring in my younger daughter’s earring dish was NOT a CLAIRE’S earring but the blue sapphire post that her ears were pierced with.
I paused and thought.. Do I really want to open up the vacuum bag and search for it? Really? Thankfully, some occurrence interrupted my thought and actions and I was carried away to another task. The vacuum cleaner dilemma was shelved for the moment.
Upon arrival home that same day, we were greeted by a cloud of feathers billowing in our dining room and front hall. The bird feathers were part of the “hunt” remains from our lovely kitten Midnight. And there in the middle of the floor was also the “prize”. My eldest daughter immediately offered to vacuum up the mess while I disposed of the remains.
Later that night, the vacuum cleaner question loomed. DO I really want to go through this mess? Moments later I had the bag cut open with its guts hanging out. Feathers AGAIN started to fly everywhere so I decided to wet it all down and let it soak in a plastic tub. My hope was that the metal items would settle at the bottom of the tub. They did but so did all the dirt.
How could I sort through this mess without actually handling it all bit by bit? I had a thought about “panning for gold” and then it hit me.. a screen to sift out the water from the solids. THAT WAS IT! But I had no screen available. Ah ha!! But I do have a sifter for baking which I never use anyway. I could always buy a new one and that cost would surely be less than the earring, right? IF I found the earring, it would certainly be worth it. Otherwise, I would have a wet soggy mess AND a disgusting sifter.
After all is vacuumed and done, it is important to note that:
a) Sometimes it IS important to know what was sucked up in the vacuum cleaner.
b) KNOWING what was sucked up does not mean that you need to retrieve it.
c) Retrieving it can be a messy job on ANY day.
d) One should never attempt option “C” the day after sucking up BOTH an earring AND bird feathers.
e) Finding that unharmed but rather dirty earring after the first try was worth replacing that darn ole sifter any day!