A Rather Large, Melodious Distraction

A few weeks ago (quiet possibly—or, exactly—when this blog went quiet for a month), we received a very special delivery.


A tall and lovely lady, sitting pretty in our living room, was gifted to us by a friend whose living arrangements were changing and needed the space our gal was taking up.

She is quite old, and quite a bit rusty; she was rather dusty and a little mildewy, and was in need of a bit of tuning and a few repairs. She is incredibly heavy, her innards held together by solid cast iron.




But most importantly, she is ours. Every last single key and every bit of crazed shellac and each ancient felt hammer that is held together with a song and prayer… it is all ours.


And we love her.


Things went quiet here for a bit while I realized a dream I’ve had since I was a very young girl sitting in front of an plastic electric mini-organ I won by selling girl scout cookies; I am learning how to play the piano.


Next week, my two eldest children and I will begin piano lessons. Although my kids are excited, it is clear that my enthusiasm far surpasses theirs. I suppose that if waiting for something for thirty some years (erHEM) doesn’t diminish your desire to learn, then there is bound to be some disparity in levels of passion. I hope that they’ll like it enough to stick with it for a while. They are already learning, by my fat-fingered, two-semesters-of-study example, that it takes a lot of practice and patience to make something that begins to sound like music. It might take me three weeks to learn four bars of a simple tune, but by george, I waited thirty years to begin, so I can wait a few more before I expect results.

Someone remind me of that when I still can’t play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star after my thirtieth lesson.


12 thoughts on “A Rather Large, Melodious Distraction

  1. Ok Thank God you’re alive! I was about to hijack an old post with a long comment professing how I wasn’t doing so well not seeing any Holiday antic posts from your end. Thank God. Phew! Love the piano if only for aesthetics. I am so tone deaf I’d shatter windows with my singing and any attempts at playing would probably sound more cohesive after a glass of wine.

    • Ugh!! I know! I kept seeing all your posts (been reading, but not writing) thinking I had to comment to let people know I haven’t been abducted by my children and tied up in a closet for ransom. I can not believe how much time I’ve been sinking into practice… it’s soooooo much better than doing the dishes or the laundry. Let’s face it, they’re just going to get dirty again anyway…

      And I think my playing sounds _amazing_ after a few glasses of wine. I think the sulfites sharpen our musical awareness, wouldn’t you agree? 😉

  2. That’s a beautiful piano! I hope all your piano playing dreams are realized and that they rub off on the kids too 🙂 Evan is finishing his 3rd month of lessons and still liking it (i.e. not objecting to practicing). He had his first recital a couple weeks ago and was a total ham (who successfully played his chosen piece of music, so I guess that’s what matters). He’s very excited to be learning his Christmas selections. I have even started playing a bit again, making my 13 years of lessons not totally wasted 😉

    • And it’s here thanks to you! Thanks for being at the right place at the right time to reassure E that it was a sounds investment! The man-child has decided he doesn’t want to just play the keys randomly; he insists that someone show him how to “press it in the right way” according to the dots and lines he sees on the sheet music. I hope it sticks with one of them! I had no idea you played Joan!

  3. Oh my what a beauty. If you could only have one antique, you picked the best one to have!! I can hear it now—oh my ears. 🙂 I am sure it’s like riding a bike, it will all come back to you!!

    • Indeed! She’s our antique lady alright! Love her to bits! I almost called you last night to say “Hey Mom! Listen to this!” 😉

  4. I learned to play on a piano very similar to this one! I loved the old charm of it and even the sticky keys didn’t bother me. I know you’ll do fine with your lessons! I just relax and feel it in your heart! Hugs, Leena

    • We had one key that only worked some of the time… now it works all of the time, but our bottom-most key is silent since it was that hammer that we chose to use to replace the unrepairable one. 😉 I am really looking forward to my lessons, although I’m a little nervous that she’s going to look at all my music and say “Yeah, let’s try that a few years from now. How about Old McDonald Had a Farm?”

  5. She is a grand old gal !! I cant wait to have the kids give me some lessons when I get there. I can hear it now, No no Nana, this way.

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