New Life in my Living Room

I can’t stop walking into my living room.  My breath gets taken away and my heart flutters when I walk in and see what was added to the room yesterday.

My grandmother’s piano.  My grandmother who recently passed away.  Leaving me sad that i didn’t give her more of me. That I didn’t make more of an effort.  Has now left me this gift. This extraordinary gift.

A fixture that for my entire life sat in my grandmother’s living room.  And before her living room, (and before my life) sat in HER mother’s living room.  A piano that my dad learned to play as a little boy.

A very old piece of furniture, that is now breathing new life into my room.  It will give me the chance to add new warmth and beauty to my house by filling it with the music that I learned so many years ago. It will give my children the chance to have the same passion I had as a child, learning to play those black and white keys.

I imagine (once the piano is in tune again) sitting with my cup of coffee in the morning playing quietly as the snow falls softly outside the window.  I hope to relearn the ragtime music I once loved to let my fingers dance to.  I believe it will be another outlet for me.  An outlet I can use when I am unable to find words to write here, I instead can lose myself there.  When my mind is too full (as it usually is), I can release it through the music.

Yesterday I watched Hannah sit on the old bench in front of the piano.  Tapping at the out of tune keys.  She looked like me. Just like me. The age I was when I first learned to play scales and first songs.  Her legs unable to reach the pedals. Who knows if she’ll ever learn to play more than chopsticks.  I hope she does. So she can feel proud of starting a new song and making it through to the end.  So she can see my smile as she plays a song I once played.  So she can play her favorite show tunes and sing at the top of her lungs along with the notes.

My parents brought over a box of piano music books yesterday when the piano was delivered.  It was stacked with music I played over the 13 years on that bench. Books with my teacher’s notes dated 1977.  Stickers showing I had done a great job and could move on to the next song. Notes telling me to slow down, not rush, play quieter or with more gusto. Songs I can’t believe I actually learned to play with so many notes covering the page.  Songs that I’m sure would be impossible for me to learn again. The pages of the books have yellowed. A reminder that once again, I’m “old” and time sure does fly. But how cool it is that no matter how old the pages are, the music written on the pages, could once again sound new.  Played by my old fingers.  Or Hannah’s new ones.

I love my new old piano.  And the newness it will bring back to my life.

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26 Comments

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26 responses to “New Life in my Living Room

  1. It is absolutely gorgeous… what a breathtaking addition to the room 🙂

  2. I’m sure your whole family will get a lot of enjoyment out of it!

  3. What an amazing, wonderful, beautiful gift! How lovely for all of you. Enjoy!

  4. What a gift.

    It’s beautiful. And it’s history. And it’s part of your future, too.

  5. What a beautiful gift, and what a wonderful reminder of the connection between the generations of your family. I hope all of you enjoy the music – both literal and metaphorical – that it will bring into your home.

  6. When I was about 10, my great aunt’s piano came to my living room. Oh, the joy of music always there.

    Don’t doubt your fingers memory or ability to relearn those pieces. That kind of learning is deep.

  7. What a beautiful reminder of the family you bestowed this gift, generation to generation! And what a wonderful opportunity for you and your children to have a small part of your Grandmother again!

  8. Nicki

    What a beautiful piano! You brought back memories of me, sitting at my grandmother’s as a teen and playing. You will forever remember your grandmother whether it is you, Hannah or Luke (maybe Tim will play, too) playing.

  9. A complete treasure. And such a lovely reminder of your grandmother. Enjoy it!

  10. Becca, how fortunate you are to have such a wonderful hierloom and that it’s a piano of that beauty! I have some friends who told their kids they were not allowed to give up their lessons till they were 18 and the kids now play like concert pianists while my son (who was allowed to quit) can’t play at all.

    Our piano growing up was not a very good upright but I bought my sister’s piano when the kids were little and when I had it shipped to my house I found that our family’s piano books had somehow migrated to the bench. All the books from our 1960s Skokie childhood, including all my stuff, were there! It’s like a time capsule!

    Use it well.

  11. Molly Efrusy

    Aahh…brings back memories of all our duets and playing at the Christmas parties at that old house in Ridgefield. Miss you!

    • Molly! I thought of you when i wrote this post. Still was thinking of you this morning as I looked AGAIN at the piano in my living room. I wish so badly you were coming to the reunion. What’s a reunion without you? 😦

      Of course I totally understand though… I wouldn’t be going either if I wasn’t right here.

      I hope all is well with you and your boys. All is well here. Will send email to catch up! xoxo

  12. What a wonderful way to remember your grandma, each and every time you see that gorgeous piano.

  13. What a beautiful family heirloom – it’s lovely to have something like this to connect you to the past, and if Hannah gets into it, to the future as well.

  14. So beautiful! What a lovely way to think of your grandmother… daily 🙂

  15. What a treasure, for the memories it already holds and the new ones your family will make for it! Happy plinking! =>

  16. Absolutely lovely. Along with the legacy of the stories and memories we pass down, sometimes we are also graced with objects to pass to the next generation, so they may build their own memories with them.

    I love this post.

  17. There is nothing like the sound of music playing in the house on those ivory keys. I hope you succeed where I have failed–upon bringing a piano to our house it sat and sat and sat and then made it’s way to the basement where it sits still. Of course, it wasn’t half the beauty that that doll is. Enjoy it, love.

  18. This is so so lovely, and it sounds like it is going to be a balm for your soul. I never learned to play, someday I might. Enjoy my friend.
    XO

  19. So sorry to hear about your grandmother Becca, Gammy right? I remember summers on Nantasket . Hannah does look just like you!! I’m really glad we are in touch again after such a long, long time. Where does the time go?

    Enjoy the piano!

  20. Your piano is gorgeous, as are the memories it brings with it. This makes me want an heirloom that can carry our family’s history through the ages. What a treasure.

  21. What a gift. To feel her presence in your home and such an opportunity for Hannah to touch the keys of your family’s history. Beautiful.

  22. niki guida

    It looks like that spot was meant to have that piano right there. So glad your Dad shared that.
    I wonder what it will REALLY sound like when it is tuned up! I’ll have to come and hear you play!

  23. Barbra

    Becca, I’m so glad you will enjoy the piano! Remember the days we fought over the bench??

  24. Barbra Kidd

    beautifully said Rexxx

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