One of the best things about home ownership is shedding the nagging feeling that a move might be just around the corner.
Especially since relocating to the Bay Area in 2006, I now realize I had this constant concern in the back of my mind… I’d better be ready at any moment! My cushy rental situation might turn out to be too good to be true, and I might have to find some crappy apartment really fast (for 2k a month) and make do with half the space.
Maybe not everyone lives like that, but me – I’m a worrywort. I did.
But I don’t anymore, and it feels nice. The more I realize this, the more I give myself the okay to go after those “big things” I’ve wanted for a long time now.
I told Trent not to buy me any gifts for my birthday this year – I wanted a piano (though he still bought me some anyway: SuperHubs!). And a piano would be a “project.”
We searched for her for quite a while, and just a few days before the actual day, I finally found her: a 1910 New England Piano Company upright with all her original ivory, just a couple miles away on the island of Alameda, being given away for free by a family who had actually cared for her. The exact kind of piano that might have been in this house when it was first built.
My mom sent movers as a gift, and we have a tuner/restorer coming to take a look at her in a couple weeks courtesy of my (really awesome) boss. Oh hey – Munga, you’re really awesome, too.
In the meantime, she is perfectly playable, and I’ve been sitting at her nightly reviving my old ragtime repertoire. In particular, my favorite Scott Joplin piece.
Not many people in California know that my whole life was once more or less centered around the piano; my father was a working pianist, as was I. We both learned to play on the same 1930s Knabe console piano that belonged to my grandmother, who also played.
I gave up music for the most part when I moved to California. I gave up my students, my weekend gigs, my recording work. I did keep my digital piano – more suited for apartment life – but without the work demands, I rarely touched it. I married a musician instead, and enjoyed letting him make music for the both of us.
But now that I own a house, it needs a piano. Together, Trent and I are going to fill 3675 with music, the way my house was always filled with music as a child. I can’t imagine a house any other way. I can’t imagine a house without singalongs around the piano, without duets with all our miniature visitors, without live Christmas carols at the holidays.