Remember the start of the New Year? Remember how I made a resolution? Sigh. I had resolved to stop procrastinating as much. Specifically, I resolved to spend a little time here and there to cross out items on my task list. I would try not to exaggerate the importance of certain minor to dos. Eight weeks in, it’s not looking great.
I wish I could report otherwise. I did eventually follow up on the process available through DMAchoice.org to reduce my junk mail. I sent a series of emails to those charitable organizations that continued to send me unwanted mail. Strike a line through that one!
Something that has been on my list for at least a year, if not two, is to find a piano for the house. There was a piano at home my entire childhood, because my mom had played since she was young. I took piano lessons regularly starting at age 7 and continuing through early high school, at which point sports and after-school activities crowded out practicing time. I was no virtuoso, but I could handle playing occasionally at church, and I even assisted in accompanying/teaching my high school choir for several weeks my senior year. My piano knowledge made it easier for me to learn mallet percussion to play in elementary, middle and high school band. I played bells in the high school marching band for six years, followed by four years of college. College marching band was where I met my wonderful husband, Matt (who celebrates his birthday this week–HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) You can see how the piano connects to significant parts of my life and history.
I digress. The point is, I want to maintain my ability to play piano. I haven’t sustained any sort of practice routine with pianos outside the house; it may be as rare as once per year at my parents’ house. I believe there’s a much better chance in my own house. Also, pianos can be wonderful additions to the home (the racket is welcome some times more than others).
In June 2012, I read this article in The New York Times about the increasing numbers of piano sent to the dump rather than transferred to new owners. There are so many people who have a piano so old or so undesirable that they would rather toss it than give it to a family member. For some, disposal is the less expensive choice, as fees for tuning, repair, and moving stack up-this I am learning for sure! As for prospective buyers, like me, it is a gamble to take on an old piano that may have serious tuning issues, when there may be fairly inexpensive pianos available new (from China). Used pianos have much in common with used cars, in that respect. When I told Matt that grand pianos can run $30-$40,000, at least, he noted that one could choose to buy a luxury sports vehicle, or one could buy a piano.
The New York Times article informed me about the Piano Adoption website. I checked the site periodically in the following months, but it didn’t seem to be kept up to date, and I never received responses to the inquiries I did make.
Craigslist must keep tons of goods out of the landfill. People who are tired of their “stuff” get connected with people who are willing to make a trip and exert some effort to get a good deal. I’m happy that a few horror stories haven’t caused the demise of Craigslist. It can be a great resource for finding furniture, specifically. My friends over at There’s Treasure Everywhere made some amazing transformations with Craigslist merchandise. Previously, I bought some nearly-new furniture items, and also sold a small dining room set through Craigslist. I was happy with how it all went.
Last week, I made the decision to reach out to some sellers of pianos on Craigslist. The first one I ended up seeing was housed fairly locally, making it convenient. It was Baldwin brand, but the smaller, spinet size or upright, which reduces the richness of the tone. It was out of tune, but certainly functional, and felt comfortable under my fingers. And unlike many of the pianos I saw photographed, the color and finish of this one was nicely preserved. I made an offer, arranged for piano movers, and welcomed the piano to my home last week!
I discussed my piano purchasing venture with the music director at my current church. Once I shared that it was in hand, he congratulated me on my “first piano.” I had to stop for a moment at that statement, because I thought, wait, but I had a piano for years in my parents’ house, so this isn’t my first! But of course, that was my parents’ piano. This piano is mine, and therefore special. It is like your “first car” for which you make your own car payments, or your “first child,” even you have played with other people’s kids before.
Now I wait for the piano to “settle”, and pray that it will hold its tune. After that, I’ll be able to contribute to soundtrack of our happy home! (Yes, I realize how cheesy that sounds).