In my attempt to get rid of everything now, instead of waiting mode, I am finding the things I treasure are not even worth anywhere what I thought they might be. I have a beautiful 1907 Mahogany Etsey grand piano with ivory keys and a new soundboard. I have not played it much since marrying six years ago, as my husband is much better than I am. I am a little embarrassed to play if he is around. I took lessons for several years, but my first love of music was the clarinet, so my left hand does not mind as well as my right. Trying to work them together doing different things with each hand is just not intuitive to me.
Growing up on a farm in Northern California, we were not poor, we were dirt poor. I never realized just how poor we were till I was an adult. My father worked two jobs and my mother was an elementary teacher. We lived in a house that had been passed down from my great grandmother. It was a very old house with no central heat, a cesspool behind the garage and the only bathroom where remodeling was started, but was never finished, so we had plywood countertops for years. The kitchen counter was rotted linoleum by the sink, but we had many wonderful family meals in the kitchen on our 1950’s now retro table. My mother played the piano, but my family could not afford lessons for me, so I did not have the opportunity to learn. My mother played for church and school as my grandparents had an old upright piano where she learned. I often wondered why I was not allowed to take lessons and play their piano, as they lived next door.
When I married the father of my three sons he supported my wanting to learn the piano and bought me a very nice upright piano, where two of my sons took lessons in Del Mar. We left the piano behind moving to the Northwest, with the promise when our gorgeous new home was complete we would buy a new grand piano. The house was designed with that in mind. For my fortieth birthday, and the year Fred died he bought me a beautiful black concert grand piano where all three boys and myself took private lessons. When I sold that house, as after he died, it was just too big (7000 square feet) I designed the next house with a separate area for that beautiful piano. It had been used by the Seattle Opera, so it was signed by the conductor of the orchestra and had “Lionel Hampton” casters. We had to hire a crane to get the piano to the second story conservatory for the piano. In hind sight it was not the best place for the piano, as it was in a very private space away from the main area of the house. I did practice every day for the years that we lived there; but since I had to go back to work full time to support my sons and I no longer took lessons. By then they were teenagers and could not be bothered with piano lessons.
When my taxes grew and grew and grew and I decided it was time to make a change, I had to hire a bigger crane to move the piano. At the time I was not sure where I was going to move, so I put the piano in storage. I knew I would most likely never have a house with enough space for my beautiful fortieth birthday gift, so when I moved to my beach house I traded it in for the one I have today.
When I called the piano store where I purchased the Etsey grand, the owner informed me he had closed the store and works out of his garage. He told me pianos no longer sell well. He suggested I look on Ebay and see how many thousand pianos were offered for sale. It is sad that so many of the beautiful elegantly crafted and perfectly designed objects that were loved in the past are dismissed in today’s world. Not only are they unwanted, but if you happen to have them, many in the younger generation do not understand the significance they might have had in your life and think it is sill that you have not sold them for the “money”?
Now I guess I am going to keep it and when all the company of summer leaves, I may find somewhere to take piano lessons once again, as it is so relaxing. Maybe when my day comes, I will just donate all my beautiful things to a good cause, as I truly to do not want to burden my family with the bother of selling them. Ha Ha