The sound of the vacuum cleaner brings me back to the daily cleaning that was the norm in my youth. It was a large vacuum cleaner called a Dairy-Vac and was actually meant for cleaning barns, but my mom, being the headstrong person she is, wanted it in the house because of its powerful suction. It must have weighed 60 pounds and more than once I dropped the front half of it on my toe.
Mom flocked the Christmas tree, so she hooked the vacuum hose to the exhaust valve of the Dairy-Vac and attached it to a bag of powdery white flocking. Though the tree was truly beautiful, it took several days for the haze of powder to settle and we vacuumed flocked well into the hot summer months of the new year.
The hum of the milk pump turning off startled me awake. It signaled that the men would soon be coming in for breakfast, that the milking was finished and they were on to the odd jobs now. The pipeline was being removed from the bulk tank so the fresh cows could be milked. This way, their thick, pink-tinged milk didn't contaminate the milk in the bulk tank and it would be used to feed their new fresh calves.