My big Christmas gift this year was an iRobot Roomba. My youngest sister got one several years ago and I was fascinated (and a tad jealous). It really was a marvelous contraption. Then she bought one for my mother. Again it worked like a charm. It is especially useful since my mother is 85 and it is more difficult for her to push a heavy vacuum cleaner around. I had seen them on sale while shopping with Sparky. I longingly caressed the box and mentioned that I’d always wanted one. Of course I also dismissed the suggestion as being extravagant and unnecessary. Sparky bought it for me on the sly and I opened it on Christmas day. I was very pleased! Fast forward a couple days and it was still sitting in the box. This was mostly because we were so busy with activities and events that we just hadn’t had time to mess with it. So while Sparky was at work and I was home alone, I unboxed it and read the instructions. I had worried that it was going to be complicated like installing the sound bar on the HDTV. It was easy.
I turned it loose in the kitchen and it made a pass under the table and headed to the dining room. It must have banged around under the table and around the chairs for a solid 15 minutes before discovering the living room. Once in the living room, it got tangled in the electrical cords behind the end table. After rescuing it from my lamp, it headed to the Christmas tree and those electrical cords! I put up some barriers and all was well. After closing the bathroom door and the door to the basement (just in case, even though the instructions said the sensors would prevent it from falling down the stairs), I headed upstairs. While sipping my hot chocolate I could hear it whirring and bumping around. Then suddenly it went quiet. I had the same feeling you get when the kids go silent – you know there is trouble.
The Roomba is a good robot. It was low on battery charge and had gone back to its docking station to recharge. In associated news, my house is cleaner. This is all relative of course, but I emptied the little catch bin. I was expecting it to be full of dirt and debris. However it just had a few crumbs and some dust. Much cleaner than anticipated! If we still had a dog I’m sure it would have been packed full of hair!