Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Differences - rural vs urban vs MY reality...

After living in a metro area for more then ten years, I have come to notice many subtle differences between urban area homes versus rural homes and in lifestyle choices.

Many months back, I mentioned Mark and I bought a vacuum. Honostly, we made a considerable investment in this necessary home cleaning tool. We bought a top of the line brand at a vacuum store. I STILL cringe at what we spent... but I do not plan on buying a vacuum AGAIN for about 18 years! (Seriously! Plus we had special needs with the kind of carpet existing in our home.) Below is a model of the beauty that now resides in our upper hall closet, or lower furnace room, depending on where we last vacuumed. I hope it was money well spent. Below is a model or style of vacuum coveted by women in the country ( my mom! Oh.. and my aunts have them too). There it is folks - CENTRAL VACUUM! (Insert vocal AHHHS! here.)

I bet many of you born and raised in a metropolitan area didn't even know this type of home maintenance product existed. It is a vacuum system installed into your home. There are pipes in the wall, a motor and collection system in your garage or basement, and little holes with covers the size of an electrical outlet throughout the house where you attach your hose and floor unit. Quite a system! Let me tell you from experience, these things have power! (and they last forever).

When my parent's built our house back when I was in the 8th grade, my mom got central vac. My parents stuck to a budget. My mom had a regular tub in her master bathroom (nothing extra big or elevated, no jets) but she got CENTRAL VAC! What does that say about the priorities of a farm wife! Our house was around 3,000 square feet and we had two plugs/wall mounts upstairs and two down. We also had a VERY long hose and two different floor units (one for carpet and one for limoleum) that had a special home in a custom built cabinet in my mom's HUGE laundry room (further insight to life on the farm).

I have yet to encounter ONE SINGLE metropolitan home with central vac (including new or newer construction). I wonder why this is? I know people in the country (my aunts...) still use central vac today. (Although when my dear friend Cindy built her farm home several years back... she didn't get central vac, but does have a nice bath tub....)

I didn't think 'cenral vac' was just an '80's thing or a Melberg thing... but now I am not sure? My aunt has a cabin they built just a few years back. She has central vac in her cabin....

Anyway, as a farm girl now transplanted to suburbia, I have taken to wasting time contemplating/blogging about how location and lifestyle effects what is considered a luxury, necessity, an item you don't want to live with out, or styles and variations that are common place in the country and unknown to suburbites... (crosages on Mother's Day)

I also conteplate how much of my "REalities" as a farm girl are really "MELBERGalities." I also suspect my mom's desire for a top of line vacuum cleaner somehow lent itself to our own Riccar purchase. (I will alert you though, Mark wanted a high quality vacuum, and I was the one dragging my feet before the purchase!)

Thoughts? Insight? Once again, it leads me down the road of how VERY different my children's life will be compared to my own, for so many reasons.


britta said...

I always thought central vac's were only for the rich people in the metro cities! Apparently, I am really waaaay far off!

Angie said...

Another former country girl here, and guess what? MY MOM HAD CENTRAL VAC!

My dad even sells central vac systems!

The reason you don't find them in the city, I'm guessing, is that it would be hard to retrofit the pipes into an existing home. But lots of people building new homes in my parents' community are installing them.

Me? I prefer a (good quality) regular vacuum. Easier to store and carry around IMO.

Nicole Mages said...

Although we never had central vac in our house (obviously, it was MUCH too old!) and my parent's didn't put it in the new house either, I have always wanted it! I know at least one of their friends that built a house put it in. But since I have decided I am more likely to get a nice, good quality vacuum than a brand new house with central vac, I have been researching vacuums. Went to the ABC vacuum store in Willmar (an actual vacuum store with a sign that says "Everything we see sucks" I love it!) and now I am drooling over a RICCAR too! Who ever thought?! And yes, it cost more than our computer! But I do love to vacuum and want a REALLY GOOD QUALITY vacuum. Guy there said RICCAR is the best (of course that is what they sell though...) Anyway, I love your blog!

Nicole Mages said...

Ooops, meant Sell, not see.

Jen Lyons said...

My grandparents in Bismarck, ND had a central vac installed in their old house - that was in the city of Bismarck - not on a farm.

As a kid, I can remember opening the sockets that you plug the hoses in and getting scared at how much suction there was.

Last summer, when my mom and her siblings cleaned out that house and got it ready to sell, they found that the central vac was still actually sucking, though Grandma hadn't used it in quite a few years. Seems those things last forever!

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