Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Love a Piano

All my life, I've wanted to play the piano. When other kids complained about piano lessons, I could barely contain my jealousy. My parents never had room for a piano or inclination for a piano. Or any musical instrument for that matter. They were stunned when my brother took up the flute in high school.

When I first moved to Israel, I shared an apartment with two other girls and a piano. One of my roommates was a wonderful jazz pianist. I get a warm glow when I remember evenings we spent with our friends huddled around the piano singing, just like a 1940s movie.

Later, my husband and I rented a furnished apartment that included a piano. But I was going to graduate school and and turned out to be pregnant, so piano lessons didn't factor in.

I thought it would never happen, but last week, I adopted a piano of my own. I found an ad on CraigsList. Someone was giving away a piano in a neighborhood not too far. I sent them an email and learned it was an upright, so it would definitely fit in our living room. I made a pre-adoption visit and fell in love. It was a spinet - not much bigger than a bookcase. We would have no problems taking it up the stairs.

I spent the week putting together a team. Brian, the most perfect next-door neighbor in the world, let us use his truck and his labor. I also nabbed my husband, my very reluctant son-in-law and my neighbor from across the street.

Sunday started with rain and continued with rain. My son-in-law kept texting me, asking if the project was off. No, I insisted, rain or shine, we would go. In the end, we had neither rain or shine. But for the hour it took us to drive to Willow Grove and pick up the piano, we had a steel wool gray sky, but no rain.

Now it's here. And I am so-o-o happy. When I told my Mom and complained she never let me have a piano, she said, "Well, your Dad always wanted one, and I wouldn't let him have one either."

I am surrounded by cynicism. "Do you play," they ask. No, but I can learn. "It's not a great piano," said my son-in-law the saxophonist. "I'm not going to play Carnegie Hall," I said.

I found a web site that gives lessons. It's almost like having a real teacher. I practice for an hour every day. I may not ever play Carnegie Hall, but I'll play something recognizable eventually. And one of my dreams will come true.

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