a black and white photo of a building



Conversion happens in a lot of different ways. Oftentimes, conversion is associated with somebody finding their way in (or out of) a faith practice, such as Christianity. In my life, I’ve seen a noticeable trend of improvement in the quality of life that people experience when they convert to a faith.

Why? Because replacing a lifetime of addictions and partying for participation in an intentional community of like-minded people that pursue something other than self-seeking pleasure tends to have a positive impact on one’s life. While this isn’t true of all religious organizations, I think it’s safe to say that the general impact regular attendance at a church has a more positive impact for the masses than regular attendance at a bar, or drug-fueled party scene. Prove me wrong.

Now, this post isn’t about conversion to faith – although I did take that leap this past year and found a warm embrace in the arms of both God as well as a loving, supportive church community – and I’ve never felt more peace in my life, or seen the hand of God work in such a powerful way.

No, this post is about vacuum cleaners.


Ever since I was a child, I’ve been obsessed with Dyson vacuum cleaners. I used to flip through the pages of Architectural Digest and drool at the stunning homes they showcased; filled with ultra-modern furniture, oceans of glass and striking angles of steel. I often wondered what it would feel like to live in a home like that.

Even back then, I imagined the occupants were ultra-sophisticated, cashmere-turtleneck wearing espresso aficionados who drank their morning shot of exotic roasts while thinking deep thoughts as they started their day in the home that was so perfectly put together, it almost didn’t seem real.

Tucked between those pages of architectural wonder was always something that excited me every time I flipped through the pages. Better than a centerfold to my young eyes, it was an all black page with a stunning expression of design, technology and innovation.

The Dyson vacuum.

My goodness, those advertisements were beautiful.

That. That was the vacuum that Turtleneck Joe and his Swedish wife would use in their childless home tucked away in the mountains. At least, that’s what I imagined and boy, did I want one.

Yes, a vacuum cleaner.

Then, I looked at the price and instantly discovered it was well out of my allowance budget – otherwise I would have gladly bought one for our family home and volunteered to use it on a daily basis.

At a young age, I had an obsession for cleaning products that promised to make things shine, pull out the toughest stains or even keep windows sparkling clear. Back then, I used to wipe down our dark bathroom counters and marvel as the way they looked when they were still wet; shiny, dark and most importantly – clean.

On Sunday, July 29th, 2007 – my Dad died.

That afternoon, I made the decision to buy my first Dyson. In some ways, it was a hat tip to the man that taught me how to appreciate and understand the beauty of modern design. In other ways, it was a way of healing, because I felt like a Dyson would forever remind me of my Dad – and they have.

Since that day, I’ve bought over 30 Dyson vacuums. In most cases, they’ve been bought for others as housewarming gifts, wedding presents or even random acts of kindness for others who shared my Dyson obsession – but lacked the budget to buy their own.

Last weekend, I was vacuuming my floors with my Dyson Big Ball vacuum while Atlas was ‘helping’ me and vacuuming the floor with his miniature Dyson. He didn’t mean any harm, but he gave my full-size vacuum a hard whack with his. The next thing I knew, I smelled burning. He had knocked a belt loose and my home began to smell like burning rubber.

Sadly, I looked at my beloved Dyson and realized it was time to pack it up. Despite all of the beautiful advertisements, I now have a really thick shag rug in my living room that even the Big Ball couldn’t handle before it broke; I’d have to pick it up and pull it back with every stroke, otherwise the spinning brushhead would come to a stop every time I used it.

As a result, my shag rug never got clean. I mean, really clean.

With a toddler and now a dog in the house, I felt like it was finally time to see ‘other people’ in the world of vacuums.

“Use the right tool for the job”

If the Big Ball couldn’t handle it, I realized no Dyson was a match for my shag rug. So, I started the hunt for a new vacuum. Kenmore? Orbeck? Hoover? Almost.


Brand new Kirby vacuums sell for over $2,500 and are made with commercial-grade motors. They’re notoriously heavy and are often passed down through the generations. If anything was a contender for the shag rug, it would be a Kirby.

Years ago, I learned a pretty simple trick; look for wealthy people on Facebook marketplace and scoop up the items they no longer want for a fraction of the price. This is how I got a $6,000 Tempurpedic Mattress for $300…which had sat unused in an extra guest bedroom, a $6,000 drafting table for $300 – among other items.

After scouring Marketplace – I found my match. Somebody from a posh neighborhood in Dallas was moving and decided their Kirby was simply too heavy to carry.

$50 later, I was the proud owner of a Kirby vacuum, complete with all of the accessories and a whole mess of extra HEPA-Filtration bags.


I couldn’t wait to get home and try it out. Firing it up, I knew that I was using something I well made and built-to-last. Cranking it to the highest setting, I cautiously started in on the shag rug, and the Kirby didn’t seem to mind the 2-inch strands one bit. I clicked it down a setting or two and hit the “Powered” drive mode, which propelled the Kirby through the shag rug.

In less than 30 seconds, I found myself a total convert. That vacuum cleaner didn’t just clean the thick rug – it wanted to clean it – at least, that’s how it felt when I felt it tugging forward with the drive assist.

While it might sound odd to write about a vacuum cleaner, I think there’s a lot of joy that can be found when you take the time to clean and maintain your home sanctuary. It’s where your memories are made, and it’s also a responsibility to care for it properly. While Woke Gen Z’ers get their rocks off to ASMR videos of other people doing work, I’m proudly from the generation that actually gets satisfaction from doing it.

Tonight, my floors have never been cleaner and I can happily look back at all of the memories I’ve had with Dyson and wave them goodbye. Dad taught me a lot of lessons in life, but the most important one he ever taught me was to use the “Right tool for the job” and now even my thick shag rug is no match for the behemoth of the vacuum cleaner in my closet.

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