Thursday, October 01, 2009

One thing I like about my life

If you walked into the front room of our house, you would see, front and center against the wall, our piano. It's an old German piano, like none I've seen before. We once had an old, grizzled piano tuner come, a man who'd spent 50+ years tuning pianos, and he'd never seen one like it before. It's slightly out of tune again, but it plays, and it gets played pretty regularly.

If you turned around and headed to the 'formal' room, you'd find my trumpet sitting in there, fresh off of an evening's practice. I bought it (well, I think my parents mostly paid for it) almost 20 years ago, and it's seen some good days, and had some lonely days back when we had babies around the house. But it still plays, and more and more is getting played with regularity.

Next to the trumpet is my old mandolin, which was old when my father bought it in Thailand 45 years ago. It's not the best mandolin ever made, but I had it refurbished when we moved back to Washington, and it does the job. It's more of a diversion, but slowly I'm figuring my way around it, and it does get played every couple weeks in church, at camp, and on camping trips.

At the moment, underneath that mandolin case is Olivia's violin case. She started lessons this fall with the Peninsula Youth Orchestra. She's just starting out, Olivia is, but still, that violin is just waiting to be played.

If you looked around the corner, you'd find the old family autoharp, which once belonged to my grandfather's brother - "Uncle Art." I looked it up in a book once, and as near as I could tell, this model was made in the late 1930s. It still has the original strings and felts (I think) and so plays a little rough, but sometimes, when I'm tired of the piano, trumpet, and mandolin, I'll pull it out and strum through a couple songs.

Finally, sometimes in my office and sometimes in the house you'd find my guitar, a Fender acoustic I purchased shortly after moving up from California. Yes, the old beater guitar I bought in California is also around someplace, but the Fender is a nice upgrade and fun to play. I'm no great guitarist, mind you, but there are those days when I need to sit down and play a little John Denver, and out comes the guitar.

In other words, our house is full of music and musical instruments. I don't remember ever making a decision to have all these instruments; they just came over the years, and I've had fun getting to know them all. There is a feeling of fulfillment to realize the impact music has had on our life and our household, and a feeling of hope that our girls are being raised surrounded by so much musical offering. In the end, I'd much rather Olivia practice her violin than practice the latest video game.

So, not to toot my own horn (aargh. . .); just to say it makes me happy to share my house with so many instruments, to wander around and pick one of them up and enjoy them for 10 minutes or a couple hours, or even Clara bang on the piano, knowing that someday it will be 'real' music. Just one thing I like about my life.

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