Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Church of Christ Piano? Yep.

In the past four years, I have learned so dad gum much about living life to the fullest, construction techniques, re-purposing trash into treasure, and just being an honest-to-God friend to those in need that I cannot even imagine living any other lifestyle that the one we live now.

The kids and I have perfected the art of being a family of three.  We cook, clean, serve as carpenters, paint, sand, stain, polyurethane, build our own furniture and collect artwork that speaks to our souls.  And though our budget is tight (we choose for me to work part time for income and full time for US) our money seems to stretch so much further than it did when we were a "traditional" American family being supported by a nine-to-five. 

Last year we had something hysterical happen.  I had literally been asking God (and all of my friends) for a piano to put in the living room of our dogtrot.  Far and wide I searched, but all I could find was the occassional "this one needs a lot of work, but you can have it" ads on Craigslist and in newspapers.  I pretty much became the musical version of Goldilocks.  This piano was missing too many keys.  That one was missing too many strings.  The next one was missing too many keys and too many strings.  And then it happened.  I FINALLY found a piano that was just right.

The irony of my piano purchase was not only the price (a whopping twelve dollars and fifty cents) but also the LOCATION.  You see, the Church of Christ in one of our local towns was up in arms about their former pastor's piano being left in the parsonage.  Now for those of you who don't know anything about the Church of Christ, it's important for you to comprehend that they do not believe in using musical instruments in their services.  The piano, it seemed, was sacriligeous to them and they wanted it out as soon as possible.  Seriously.  I was told to "get it out of her as soon as you can because we don't want it here anymore."  I laughed out loud, but I was the only one who got the joke. 

It's important to say that the piano had been defaced.  Kids had been carving their names into the wooded exterior of the piano for quite some time.  But it played like the dickens.  I'm telling you, I sat on the piano stool in the parsonage and pressed down those ole' black and whites, and I'll be dad-gummed if it wasn't love at first sound.  Pressing the pedals was like stepping into warm butter, only without the mess.  This puppy was a finely tuned instrument, it just needed a good tuning and a little bit of elbow grease to help ease it back into daily use.

I bought it right then and there, and my boyfriend (at the time) helped haul it back to the dogtrot.  It was ugly as burnt molasses, but I had a plan.  I wasn't content to have a normal piano in a very unique house, so I went through my collection of half-used paint cans from this remodel and quickly picked out a color palette.  What happened next was very simple.  It involved painter's tape, two paint brushes, and a fine coating of flat paint in strategic places.  When it was finished, we placed it beneath an enormous painting of a zebra and VIOLA.  Home Sweet Home became even sweeter.  For twelve dollars and fifty cents and about an hour and half worth of work.

You want to live the simple life and still get luxuries WITHOUT having to rob a bank?  It's simple.  Just use that noggin of yours and search high and low.  Think outside of the box.  An ugly piano can become beautiful with just a little bit of creativity.  And a little bit of creativity can chase the ugly out of any day.

I can't even begin to tell you how often we use this piano.  Preston was just sitting at it last night, picking out a song by ear (the way my grandfather learned to play) and my dear friend Bonnie has been coming over for piano lessons as often as possible.  You outta hear the notes of this beauty ring out through the dogtrot hallway and spill into the woods surrounding our home.  It really sounds like you've stepped back in time, y'all.  And I couldn't be prouder of our Church of Christ piano.  :-)


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