Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Good Bye to an Old Friend....And Hello to Another Old Friend

This weekend our piano will be finding a new home.
A lovely new home with Orlando Grandma.
I've polished it up and it's ready to go where it will be played more and appreciated.

Believe it or not I took piano lessons for nine years when we lived in Toronto
until we moved when I was fifteen.  I found many of my old piano books
that were used during those years of instruction.

They sound fancy.  They sound like they should have produced a piano virtuoso, 
but I was a reluctant student.

Not to mention the overwhelming stage fright I would experience during
recital time.  We had to memorize our pieces and that added to the pressure.
 It was excruciating for me and I think it ruined the joy of playing for me as 
I would anticipate those twice yearly recitals.

I had the same teacher all those years, Miss Aiken. Right out of 1960s central casting
for a piano teacher. A spinster who wore skirts and jackets and hats to each
lesson, with a purse dangling from one arm
and a satchel of theory work (ugh) in the other.
 - AND, she came to our house. She was scary to me.  I'm sure she,
in reality, was quite kind and probably was frustrated at my lack of
progress at times.

I loved to play popular music as you can see by a couple of pieces in the piano bench.  
I remember when I was about thirteen,  Miss Aiken let me work on The Beatles' "Yesterday"
for lesson work.  Probably to motivate me.
I wonder if she liked The Beatles.

The well-worn copy I played from for Miss Aiken.

This is not the original piano I took lessons with.  This is the one my parents bought 
when we moved to Florida in 1974, hoping I might
take more lessons, but I was busy with marching band and
high school distractions.  Besides, Miss Aiken didn't move with us.

My dad could play by ear and had a talent for sight reading. 
I think he hoped that I would get the enjoyment he
got from playing the piano.  I'm not sure he ever had a 
lesson.  Maybe that's why he enjoyed it so much.

Original sheet music of my father's.

The Writer liked to pick out tunes on this old friend and The Maven took lessons for a few years,
and she had the talent for it, but I think her teacher
ruined the experience for her unbeknownst to me.
Even Mr. Tennis took lessons for a time during the early years of our marriage.
He definitely has the talent for piano as he can also play by ear and
sight read after he learned the notes.

Orlando Grandma, I know you will have fun with my old friend.

Meanwhile, this other old friend is getting a facelift.

It was Mr. T's paternal grandmother's hope chest.  It has been
passed on to The Maven after being in storage for many years where it's
top surface suffered a bit.

The Maven has asked me to see if I can bring out the beauty of this gem 
and I'm going to give it a try with the help of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

A distressed finished was requested and I think the light paint and subsequent sanding,
staining and waxing will bring out the elaborate carved design.

So, that's what I hope to be working on in the near future - I started today
by emptying the chest and admiring it's cedar interior.

Some old friends leave, some stay and become new friends all over again.


Kathy said...

When I scrolled down to the open chest, I swear I could smell the cedar! I remember my Mom's cedar chest by the foot of their bed. Wonderful memories. The Maven is one lucky girl, it will be absolutely stunning!!!!! Can't wait to see the "After" photos!

Razmataz said...

Now that is a gorgeous heirloom for The Maven. Can;t wait to see how it turns out.

The Country Mouse said...

The chest will be beautiful! And I can think of another old friend of yours that would benefit from a "facelift" - me! Could Annie Sloan chalk paint do anything for my wrinkles???

Mr. Tennis said...

I'll miss seeing the piano around. I wish I'd had more time to play it.

Mr. Tennis said...

I'll miss seeing the piano around. I wish I'd had more time to play it.

Chatty Crone said...

Are you from Canada?
Hey that was sweet about the piano and how nice it is going to be in a new home.
And the Maven's Hope Chest - what is chalk paint?
Have fun.

SueBee said...

I have a piano and nobody can play it. But I can't give away. You can come and play mine and no recital..

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

I have a cedar chest-- we acquired about 2 years ago after my mother in law passed. The Honey built it in High school Wood Shop! Cool, huh?

My MIL had it lined with a newspaper that was pre 70's! and its a Dallas paper mention the new loop being put in around the Metroplex... 635 LBJ... I left it in the bottom after I cleaned out the trunk. It gives the trunk a know?
can't wait to see yours painted all pretty.

take care!

Orlando Grandma said...

I could not see your familiar piano in someone elses house. I took piano lesson back in High School so I decided I would find some space in my place and keep something that has been part of your life beside the Dr. said at my age I must exercise my fingers, and my mind, can you think of a better way to accomplish that?. I'll give is an hosest try but not recital.
Looking forwards to see the chest, I have always liked it.

The Thuglets said...

Fabulous chest!Look forward to the after photos.
Have a great week
Big Nose Pokes
The Thugletsx

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

I really enjoyed reading about your two "old friends" - how nice that your piano is going somewhere it will be used, and loved.

I think Yesterday is such a beautiful song, how wonderful that you played it. I think I noticed Elton John's, Yellow Brick Road, as well, another very pretty song.

I'll bet the trunk will look great in pale paint, and distressed.
Your daughter will have a very special heirloom, with your handiwork.

Angela said...

I'm glad you found a new home for your beautiful old piano! I too took lessons but only for one year when I was in the 3rd grade. Dad had to drive me to lessons and he worked shift work and something happened and I didn't get to continue taking my lessons. I so loved playing and would teach myself how to play. Years ago I bought another piano and for some reason it just sits there. It's beautiful! My kids will play a little with it more so when they were toddlers but they have no interest in lessons.

The cedar chest is gorgeous! I think you can use sand paper inside to bring out the cedar smell again if it has faded some.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I know the piano will be very appreciated...and you can always visit! Looking forward to seeing the hope chest!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I took piano lessons for 3 tortured years. :)

Love the chest. Can't wait to see how it turns out. I am eager for your review of the A.S. chalk paint.

Wendy Weissmueller said...

heart and soul has been played many of times on that piano... can't wait to see the result of the hope chest!