It's a sad day for domesticity; my Dirt Devil Canister vacuum died.
It was the best vacuum I ever had.
I've had a few upright vacuums in my life, too, but there's something different about my canister vac. Something special that I've lost ... like the end of my young womanhood.
I can't even properly lament the death of my Dirt Devil with a photo to share because my husband tossed it too quickly, and it was too old to find a picture of it on the Internet. All that's left are a pile of 11 size-F vacuum bags and the faint memory of the smell of old, dusty, musty, animal hairy, years of dirty air it blew out its hind end. (It was a pre-HEPA filter model.)
My Dirt Devil, circa 1996, was a Christmas gift from Grandma and Grandpa when I was 19. It sounds like a weird gift for a teenager, but I had moved into my first apartment with my boyfriend, so to Grandma and Grandpa it probably seemed like a practical gift. If the boyfriend and I were going to play house, then we'd need some game pieces to do it right.
It was a sleek little red number with black accents and a convenient on/off button you could tap with your foot. It was super light for easy portability up and down the stairs and came with all the necessary handy tools for sucking dirt out of every nook and cranny you could think of.
The Dirt Devil is worth blogging about because my memory of it comes packaged with important and special memories and experiences from almost half my life.
It vacuumed the floors of three apartments and one condo.
It faithfully cleaned up after two live-in boyfriends, one husband and two kids.It sucked up hair from a dog named Lakota, a puppy whose name I can't remember, a dog named Roxy, a cat called Kitty, a cat named Toby and a cat named Mardie.
It was also well-travelled, living in two states, Utah and California, and in my parents' garage for a stint. (That was the time between boyfriends and apartments.)
Fourteen years is a long time to own any appliance nowadays. The old cliché is true: They just don't make 'em like they used to. But everything has its day. The Dirt Devil's came when my husband smacked it against the wall or dropped it down the stairs, or some such trauma, causing its motor to go caput.
Now sitting in the back of my truck is a brand new Dirt Devil Canister vac I bought at Sears. I don't know how long it will last, but however long I have it I hope it services my next 14 years well, making another batch of great memories.