Thursday, September 18, 2014

The neglected piano

This summer I found out there's a chalk paint cult following. There is a small group of people in your community that is, right now, painting, waxing, distressing, and buffing chairs from flea markets, beds from grandma's garage, forgotten attic mirrors, and other items they once thought they detested.

These people will transform these items, ohh and ahh over the amazing results, top them with flowers and pictures, then quickly search for the next item to tackle. They cannot stop…

I jumped into this creative and crafty community with trepidation because, although I love art, and I love to make things with my hands, I'm also terrible at it.

But a friend of mine, who knew I had a tight decorating budget, pushed me. Because she has exquisite taste, and because she owns a home that ought to be plastered on the front page of a decorating magazine, and because her design aesthetic is a perfect model of gorgeous, affluent, yet comfortable living, I responded.


During the four years I lived with my parents, my mother introduced my son to the piano. A former teacher, she taught him until he was hooked, then found a fabulous teacher to carry on from there. My son loves to play, and he excels in his ability to hear tunes and rhythms. The expression he plays with astounds me. He is definitely a natural, in a way that, to my mother's chagrin, I never was.

Upon moving, my mother announced that we could have her second piano because, really, a 74-year-old and her husband don't need 2 pianos. This piano was mom's original, later replaced by a grand piano. It sat, neglected, in the basement, only occasionally banged on by a bored grandchild in between play with Legos and Lincoln Logs. It had traces of mold traveling along its bottom and wore years of wear and tear on its chipped and scuffed frame. The color of its keys were stained, like an old smoker's yellow teeth.

That piano was going to ruin my living room. I knew I had to take it, for my son's sake, but I abhorred the idea of its sulking in the corner of a room where celebrations and intimate gatherings take place.

So, I decided, despite my lack of skills, I'd join the cult. I simply had nothing to lose: I could not ruin this piano. My friend held my hand as I agonized over colors, waxing, and technique. But, it looks pretty darn good right now, don't you think? I actually like the charm it adds to my living room. And you know what? It was easy.

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