Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks for That Roomba

Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S. Of course, in our home we're giving thanks for each other, the wonderful sense of place that we have in Vermont, and a fine table full of traditional food at my in-laws this afternoon. I'm not sure we can give much thanks to our health, as most of us are dealing with a cold, sinus problems, or a fever. I suppose we can give thanks that we'll be able to get over these issues.

For a change of pace, I'd like to go full-on materialistic for a few moments here, and rave about how thankful I am for my iRobot Roomba. If I were Oprah, I'd put this on my Favorite Things list (though I hear she's moving toward more accessible and maybe even homemade items this year).

A Roomba, if you don't know, is a robot vacuum cleaner. I received it for my birthday last July, and it has roamed around our house for probably about 80 percent of the days since then. We have two dogs and a cat (and a young son who likes to cut paper and leaves lots on pieces in his trail), and Roomba helps keeps our wood floors and carpets free of daily dander.

It goes under the sofa and beds. (Our kids call it a "he", but I haven't brought myself to that level of a relationship. Yet.) It turns itself around when it finds furniture or other roadblocks. It navigates over area rugs and room thresholds. If it hasn't roamed too far away, it returns to its charging base when it’s low on power. And it stops itself from falling down stairs. Dust and pet hair begone.

Sure, we have to pull out the big-gun vacuum periodically to clean out the tight spots, but far more infrequently than we used to. Without a doubt, this is a luxury item but one I'd choose over most others.

We have to clean Roomba frequently, removing mostly dog hair from its brushes. Honestly, I had no idea there was so much dog hair in our house. And I'm a little embarrassed by what my house must have looked like Before Roomba because we didn't sweep or vacuum almost every day like we do now.

There was also a time Before Roomba when my husband often fell flat with birthday and other gifts. Pine-scented hot pads from Maine and dangly salmon earrings from Seattle are good examples. But for whatever reason (could be the 25 years that we've known each other), he seems to have turned the Good Gifts corner, and I've been blessed with a greenhouse, an engraved iPod ("Mom, you rock"), and Roomba in the past few years. What a guy...

Disclaimer: I have no relationship to the iRobot company or its employees. I just really like this thing. My 2008 Product of the Year.

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