I caved in. It’s as simple as that. I caved in and bought a Torro Ultra Blower Vac. My wife wanted it and pressed me. What the heck is it? It’s a leaf blower, but it also vacuums your lawn.

“Vacuums your damn lawn? Are you kidding?” I said to her.

“Yes. All the leaves and bits of trash and even rocks that you just can’t rake clean on the driveway and in the bushes and planters, it sucks ‘em up.”


That's not me

I’m out here now vacuuming my itty-bitty front lawn after I weed-whacked the grass with my Echo Weedwacker, which is a tool I do abide because it has a proper gas engine that makes a lot of noise and actually cuts stuff up in front of your eyes.

The Torro Blower Vac, on the other hand, is electric with a toy-like plug, and the stuff it sucks up disappears inside its long snout and you can’t see the chopping or mulching or whatever it’s doing in plain sight.

No getting around it, I feel like a fool vacuuming the rug of my front yard!

In fact, I feel worse than a neutered fool out here in suburbia because contemporaneously I’m reading the Pulitzer prize finalist in History (the fact that they have categories like this to define a writer is another pet peeve of mine, just one more indicator of the layered, insulated world we live in, blah, blah, blah…). The book’s called The Empire of the Summer Moon, about Quanah, the greatest, fiercest Chief of the Comanche, who were themselves the most aggressive, warlike tribe on the continent, and the last bastion of resistance against the onslaught of the entire U.S. Army.

This giant of a man, Quanah, fearless, iron-willed, of superior intelligence and unequaled bravery, challenged them all, including President Ulysses Grant, no slouch himself in the field of battle.

This book fills my head, this Indian Chief fills my dreams, and here am I vacuuming my crabgrass in suburbia. Shameful and ridiculous! Go ahead and tell me civilization is not devolving! Warriors to mice seems the path we’re on.

But when I’m done, dammit, I gotta admit that the yard does look tidy and neat…my little patch of the American West.

As I put my Torro Blow Vac away, hanging it on the sturdy rubber-shielded hook I installed to protect the plastic handle of the machine, I hear the put-put-put, chug-chug of an out-of-tune car coming up my hill.  When it reaches my open garage, I see it’s a beat-up Toyota pickup with a couple of Hispanic gardeners in the front seat. And what’s hanging in their truck rack?  Yes, a Torro Blower very much like mine.

You know what? These are Indians in this Toyota, or close descendants thereof, as close to Indians as I’m ever going to see in my neck of the woods. I wave to them in respect for their glorious, if vanished history.

“Quanah,” I say under my breath, “I salute you, too, with my Torro Blower Vac!”

Then I head into my office to set down these words in the mysterious ether of the modern world.


8 Responses to My New Torro Ultra Blower Vac

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  2. Leaf Blower says:

    It has a heavy duty commercial type air filter which is easy
    to replace and prevents dirt and air debris from getting into
    the engine. The recently developed versions are made in
    an effective technique to make it more simple
    and versatile with regards to applications. You can
    then distribute the mulch all around your garden and
    lawn, saving money on essential nutrients.

    Feel free to surf to my website Leaf Blower

  3. Hugo says:


    I am also a proud owner of a Torro Blow Vac. Have been for years. It will come in handy when all the leaves from all the trees in the hood decide to visit you this fall.

    Enjoy the blowing and sucking…….:-)

  4. Dave Goodman says:

    Hey, I used to sell Kirbys! So I know a little bit about suction! Way to go on your new Toro purchase. Question: will it suck the dead skin out of your mattress (one of the Kirby’s specific talents!)

    • Ursula McNeil says:

      My community takes care of most of my gardening needs and I dread Tuesdays when, first the edger, then the riding mower, then the hand mower and hedge trimmer and finally the blower ruins a good part of my day. The Guatemalans all wear noise abating head gear but I suffer uninterrupted assault to my ears. Guess I ought to buy a Bose ear phone and deduct the expense from my HOA fees!
      Love, Ursula

    • fz says:

      I can just picture you selling them machines door-to-door. Great image.

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