88

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.

Like this!

My beautiful new/old piano!

My beautiful new/old piano!

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.

You’re invited.

Dad on the Knabe console, 1964.

Dad on the Knabe console, 1964.

My early work on Mary Had A Little Lamb, 1979.

My early work on Mary Had A Little Lamb, 1979.

Duets with dad before moving out of our old house during the hottest summer ever (hence the boy cuts), 1987. Don't worry, girls – the piano is coming with us!

Duets with dad before moving out of our old house during the hottest summer ever (hence the boy cuts), 1987. Don’t worry, girls – the piano is coming with us!

Debuting my Liszt "Liebestraum" at a memorial concert for my dad, 1993.

Debuting my Liszt “Liebestraum” at a memorial concert for my dad at the Detroit Yacht Club, 1993.

With my beloved teacher, Maria Meirelles. Detroit, 1994. Great shot of the beautiful Petrof my parents helped bring to the DYC in the early 90s.

With my beloved teacher, Maria Meirelles. Detroit, 1994. Great shot of the beautiful Petrof my parents helped bring to the DYC in the early 90s.

With my favorite student, Danya, before leaving for San Francisco, 2006.

With my favorite student, Danya, before leaving for San Francisco, 2006.

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10 thoughts on “88

  1. Kristy (Fleming) Russell says:

    Lisa— your posts are so wonderful to read. Your gift of writing brings the stories to life. Between you and Derek Southwick my inbox is filled with heartfelt stories — some sad some amusing! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Ellen says:

    What a beautiful piano! Score!!

  3. CA Mom says:

    Congratulations and Happy Birthday gift! Seems like the piano was meant to be right there. Can’t wait to hear you play her and listen to Trent accompany on his guitar. Life is so good….make pretty music….. CA Mom.

  4. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    Hooray! I am going to hear your beautiful music once again! Yes, that house on Lily Street needs a piano, and it will be filled with music and joy and laughter on the holidays again, and every other day of the year. I think it is amazing that music has been woven into the tapestry of your life by all the people in these pictures. And now you have Trent to play music with you. Keep the tradition going! And don’t forget to practice “Fantasie Impromptu” (my favorite, of course!). Love, MI Mom

  5. lisatemp says:

    Everyone come over for a singalong soon!!!

  6. Jealous! Still living the apartment life myself, a nice keyboard is my next ‘project.’ My gift to myself for getting a new job. When I go home to my parents’, I still always play their piano.

  7. […] in the Museum are made by hand; they reflect our appreciation of hard work. Every month we make or acquire another perfect piece for the […]

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