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Carol Perkins: The perfect gift

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By Carol Perkins

When the box arrived on our garage steps, Guy set it on the couch. "You expecting anything?"

I was expecting many things via UPS the week before Christmas, but nothing in a box that large. Often the box is larger than the product, so I was sure it was a set of Legos or a combination of many small items. Assuming it wasn't something I needed immediately, I walked by most of the day.

The phone rang a few hours later. "If you get a box don't open it," our son Jon said. "Does the box give away what is inside?" There was nothing on the box other than Amazon. We were now curious, but we could never have guessed.

Jon chose the perfect gift. It is stubborn, has a mind of its own, does not obey orders, and when it gets stuck refuses to back off.

I have come to think of it as an unruly child.

I issue orders, "Don't go in there. You've just been there. Turn around and come back!" It doesn't listen. That's when I manually pick it up and remove it from where it wants to be. "Stay in here where I can see you." Right back it goes from where I just removed it. Guy says, "I think it has to be a man." When I asked why, he said, "Most men don't take orders well."

I vowed it was a woman because it leaves nothing left unturned and refuses to surrender. To a fault, this thing is obsessed with space. Behind the curtains means nothing; she will forge right ahead. She pushes to get under a chair even though she is too big, often moving the chair to the side. Under the piano is impossible, but that doesn't keep her from trying. She would go down the basement stairs if we left the door open.

Guy only yells at her when she invades his office. "You go back to the den. You have no business in here." She swirled around his feet, ignoring his orders. Finally, when she finished her mission, she left, and he closed his door.

She only stops for two reasons: she is full or out of energy. She tells me when she is full. When her power is gone, she goes home.

The gift that keeps giving isn't a puppy, but I find myself saying the same things to it as I did to our late Fluffy. "Don't go in there!" Like Fluffy, our Roomba vacuum has a personality, but it doesn't bark or destroy carpets. I have learned to remove obstacles, turn her loose, and let her go! What a wonderful gift!

Carol's most recent book, based on a true story, The Case of the Missing Ring, is available through Amazon, both paperback and ebook. You can contact her at

This story was posted on 2021-01-07 07:07:40
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