Friday, August 9, 2013


(heads up, a long one)
Yes, it was my birthday...
the big 5-0
Many want diamonds for their big birthdays,
some want vacations, me? what do I want?
In the form of a vacuum cleaner.
Let my go back 27 years, right after Baby boy's first birthday.
We had just gone through a demonstration of one a few weeks before
and although I fell in love and wanted it desperately,
it was not financially in the cards.
However, at one year old, BB got a bad case of
croup and was in the hospital, ICU until he became stable.
HOBL at the time was a smoker and he felt so bad
for the fact that maybe his smoking made BB sick
that he called and ordered the rainbow.
It is still the one we use now. It has broken a few times
but each time I think maybe I will get a new one,
HOBL fixes it. To say we have gotten our money's worth is
an understatement. This time HOBL goes to Alaska and
that darn rainbow breaks again! I convince him that although
I still want him to fix this one for upstairs, it is time for a new one.
He gives me all his arguments that he can fix that one,
that they are too expensive... blah blah blah...
Finally I send him an email explaining that the time has come
for a new one, that if you divide 28 years by the 2,000 dollars
a new one may cost, that is less than 50 cents a day.
He finally gives in but after much study, we agree on 
no more than 2100 dollars.
He wants to order online,
I want to go to Gray... where I have always bought
our parts, where the couple who owns it has always been
friendly and helpful. Where I have always promised if ever
I would buy a new one, it would be from them.
I walk in yesterday, so excited. Of course, they know me.
"The time has come, I am ready to buy a new Rainbow"
I am hoping for a brand spanking new one.
The price??? 3,100 dollars.
My heart sinks as I explain HOBL and I have agreed to spend
not more than 2,000 dollars and how I drove there because
I had promised my business. In there is a little old man
getting a demonstration on a second hand vacuum that he is 
about to purchase. That one is well under my budget and even
though my heart is sad, I realize a second hand one is probably 
what I am going to get. They work me some prices,
if I trade in my old one, they will take 1,000 off a new one
placing it right at my budget. I don't want to give away my old one.
I know it sounds ridiculous to be attached to a silly vacuum but I am.
I want HOBL to fix it and place it upstairs.
They knock off 600 dollars without any trade and will
give me the "no state tax" that went on last weekend.
Still the price is more than HOBL and I agreed on.
There are no second hand ones left at this moment so I give them
my name and number to call if another comes in.
I am sad, it is evident. The friendly owners say that if money
is the issue they can finance the little bit left.
I explain it is not a money issue. Thankfully because HOBL
is the big saver, money is not a problem. It is just out of
respect for him that I will not go over budget we agreed on
without speaking to him.
We just don't do that.
The little old man buying the second hand rainbow has taken all this in.
He is teary eyed as he finally speaks up.
"Tell your husband to get you the new one. My wife wanted 
one like you, a brand new one. I put it off because I though it
was not needed, to expensive. She died last week. Now I buy the second hand
one because it is all I need now that she is gone, but
I sure wish I had bought her that shiny new one."
I am speechless... me, speechless? Yep it happens some time.
We all are quiet. I give my sympathy but leave without the vacuum.
I get in the car thinking of this poor little man.
Even after in the car I turn around once deciding I am just
going to trade in my old one for the thousand dollars off.
I turn towards home again because I can't let the old one go
and I also can't go over what we budgeted without speaking to HOBL.
I want to cry, I am 50 years old and I am crying over a ridiculous 
material possession. But the sadness is more about the little old man
than wanting the vacuum. Within a few minutes of turning around
for the second time a call comes through from my dear friend,
the owner of the rainbow store, David.
"Listen, Ms. Lilly, I couldn't say it in front of my other customers
but my wife and I have decided without a trade in they will give me
the thousand dollars off as well as no tax at all.
the total price? $2, 197!
I am turning around right now... and I do....
I get there and hug them both! 
I am not in to delayed gratification, they have made my birthday!
I know that they are still making a good profit but they explain 
that after I left the little old man, before leaving with his second hand 
rainbow goes on about his dear wife and how he wishes he could
go back and buy her what she wanted.
The decision was made and they throw in a rainmate room air freshner machine
for my birthday.
Such an awesome story and again,
it could be called a coincidence but I will call it a God gift.


  1. This is a precious story! Sometimes people are right where we need them to be, like my Dad the day your Mom passed and this time when you needed to get a good deal. God watches out for our emotions and our pocketbooks too!


  2. Oh, and your birthday is our anniversary!