NEVER Wrestle with a Shop Vac* — a Preamble to Beating Busyness

Ahhhhh…… Monday mornings.  Some are dreadful.  Some  delightful.  Monday, December 10th was a record-breaker in this house, hands down.

John was ready to leave for work when he decided he’d make a last-minute trip to the basement for something.  Let’s just say the next few mutterings rising thru’ the vents clued me in to a terrible discovery.  WATER  IN THE BASEMENT.


Because our home was added on to, we have two small basements.  One  “new” one, and one ”scary” one.   “Scary” translates: old and cellar-like. (Main part of our home was built in 1908.) Both of our basements are currently storing my parents’ furniture waiting to fill new homes when our boys get married, among other “treasures”.

Wood furniture standing in an inch or more of water is not an ideal combination. To the rescue, I offered to fetch the shop vac.  Naturally it was over in the “scary” basement.

John said, “No, don’t you go,  I’ll get it.”  Quite confident I could accomplish said task, I emphatically said, “No… I’ll get it.”IMG_3974

This is the shop vac Tim-the-Toolman-Taylor would have excitedly featured on his show  Home Improvement.  With a girth rounder than Santa’s, I managed to get the tool-of-all-tools up the first half of the stairs.  Negotiating the turn on the landing, I attempted to lift it up the second half.  “Hurry, hurry!  Time’s a wastin’!!!”

There’s a teensy shelf on the stairs where we store six-packs of glass bottled ginger ales.  (Don’t ask me why.  Just because.)  As I heaved the shop vac up the first step, my elbow caught one of the six-packs.  Yes, it dove rapidly, spiraling onto the top of my bare foot.  (I was wearing flip-flops.)  Let’s just say my mutterings rising thru’ the vents clued John into the fact I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing.


Searing pain shot up thru’ my foot, my leg, into my head and out of my mouth.  One of my writer friends, Robin from Indy, has a great Christmas talk called “Advent or Advil?”  Let’s just say Advent wasn’t in my head at all.  Please forgive me, Lord.


This particular Monday morning also happened to be the gift-wrapping party day I told you of in another post…. (SURE CURE FOR A BAH HUMBUG ATTITUDE) which really is THE best day of the season, in my opinion, prior to Christmas Day.  Fearing a date with the Emergency Room, I kept praying, “Lord, please don’t let my foot be broken.  Please don’t let it be broken.”


I quickly put on tennis shoes, certain they’d “fix” any future swelling.  After all, I could walk. Trah-lah-lah…

John managed to transfer the  shop vac to the new basement, vacuum up all the water, put the dehumidifier on, and get to work.

“Let’s start this day over!” I begged, as if nothing had happened.  Patiently biting his tongue, John simply shook his head.  With an I-told-you-so- look, I felt slightly scolded. Still scurrying, I readied for the wrapping party.

Scolded puppy

There you have one pitiful-poor-preamble to our desperate need to beat busyness and secure some margin into our schedules.  Rushing around, to the detriment of ourselves (and sometimes our bare feet),  is never a good idea.

As we ring in the New Year and lay open before us a brand new calendar for 2013, we’ll learn what margin is, why we need it, and see how WITH it, we CAN beat busyness.  You’ll be surprised to learn we’re wired by God to rest.  He created rest!   Each week in January, we’ll discuss one of four ways to keep some much-needed margin in our lives.

Perhaps not a total-cure-all scenario, but at the very least one to make us all mindful of our margin. We ALL have margin.  Whether or not we keep it (!!!) is the challenge du jour.

Meanwhile, I pray you and your family have a most Blessed, Happy and Healthy New Year and that 2013 will be one of your best yet.  I’m ready for a brand new beginning.  You?

Happy New Year 2013

Let Lamentations 3:22-23 brighten your day:  “Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  The Life Application Bible explains: “Trusting in God’s faithfulness day by day makes us confident in his great promises for the future.”

*The Lesson?  Besides NEVER WRESTLE WITH A SHOP VAC, the lesson for us all is to quit rushing.  We’ll learn what the Lord desires for us straight out of Scripture.  Your eyes will be opened! 

Additionally, don’t miss a wonderful children’s book, Never Tease a Weasel, by Jean Conder Soule, which led me to this week’s blog titleThis was a favorite book of mine growing up and John and I both read this to our boys.  Teasing among siblings ran/runs (!)  rampant.


Favorite line:  “NEVER tease a weasel.  This is very good advice.  A weasel will not like it.  And teasing isn’t nice!”

‘Til next time!

(This post begs for yet another plea of forgiveness from my sweet husband.  John and I are going on twenty-nine years of marriage and he gets the “Most-Patient-With-My-Wife” Award.  Amazing grace. May God continue to bless you and our marriage abundantly. )


Filed under Holidays, Life Lessons

17 responses to “NEVER Wrestle with a Shop Vac* — a Preamble to Beating Busyness

  1. Pingback: Can a Princess Really Play in a Peck of Dirt??? | Worship with Words

  2. Bonnie Martinell

    Oh Elizabeth – love these blogs – it’s wonderful to be able to “hear a person’s voice” through their writings! Hope your foot’s healed – and that water’s dried up – been there!
    Happy and a Blessed 2013 to you and your men!

    • Hey Bonnie! My foot’s still bruised….but “working”. ha More water in the basement but we are determined to get this “fixed”….Happy New Year to you too & hope to see you soon!!! Big hugs to you & your fam.

  3. Susan Jamison

    Love this blog….and the pictures!!! Happy New Year to you and all the readers!

  4. Ann Bailey Smith

    I shuddered when I began reading this post as it transported me back to a time when our basement flooded after an unusually strong storm. The water was up to our knees and we lost precious photos, diplomas, etc which cannot be replaced. Our children were young at the time and one of them, while standing on the basement steps, asked if he could go swimming in the basement. I laugh about it now but wanted to cry at the time. Alas there was no ginger ale involved in my story! Happy New Year to you and John.

    • Ha! Fun to hear from you Ann! My parents’ basement flooded all the time & this all brings back nightmares. We are back from an escape to Naples, FL & have more water in the basement….time to call for help. Happy New Year to you & your sweet family! See you soon! Love, E

  5. Ginny Crowe

    I’m not laughing at your injury, just your blow by blow description! I can picture it in slow motion! Loved the “scary basement” description – haven’t we all been in one like it… and it is scary!! If you need your prized decanter back to wash this whole experience down… just let me know 🙂

    • I am so elated the “white elephant treasure” brought you so much joy. Seriously you should sell it on e-bay! ha See you soon to celebrate YOUR bday! Love ya (P.S. More water in the basement as I type….)

  6. Carol Bonura

    I always enjoy your blogs. They very easily could be made into a TV series, don’t you think? This one reminded me of “I Love Lucy.” (smile)

    • Hey Carol! Fun to ring in the New Year w/ you & Joe. I would love to re-visit the “I Love Lucy” show in the chocolate conveyor belt factory scene. Yum. =) So fun. Big hugs to you!!! Keep reading ! You lap us all & can teach us so much.

  7. Betsy Heady

    Elizabeth….from one foot sufferer and much too busy girlfriend to another…I CAN relate! LOVE your blog. Happy New Year! We must make time for lunch! Betsy

    • Hey Betsy! I do declare, my foot is still bruised!!! It’s working, but a tad sore….C’est la vie. Would love to do lunch. I’ll buzz you this week. Big hugs to you & David.

  8. Elizabeth Jeffries

    Oh Elizabeth, I needed this reminder this morning. Looking forward to your wisdom on margins. Not much white space on my pages these days.

  9. I, too, know the “I told you so” look.

    What a sweet note from John. My Jim also encourages my writing. Thank goodness for patient husbands.

    Joyce Cordell

  10. Another welcome and lovingly-rendered post, Elizabeth. Leave the shop vacuum to the men in the household while we work on widening our margins.

  11. Loved your blog this week (and so relieved both your foot AND your basement are okay!). Eager to hear more about setting a margin around my life. Currently living in ink-bleeding-off-the-page mode…

  12. John Hoagland

    To my sweet wife. I’m so proud of you and how your blog is touching so many lives. Keep up the great work! John