Sunday, December 28, 2008

Out with the old....

I'm loosing an old friend but I've gained a new one! Ron bought me this piano in 1982. It's a 1913 Brewster made in New York State. He purchased it from a man that renovated it by hand. Probably not the best job ever done but pretty darn respectable and it was beautiful to me. I sat down immediately and began to play - or at least 'play at' playing the piano.

Ron stood there for a few minutes and then said "if I had known you couldn't PLAY the piano, I might not have gotten it" (smartypants)!

We've spent many fun times banging on this ol baby. I'd always hoped one of my children would gain the skills I didn't have - but sadly, it appears that the Dale family musical talent didn't carry through my line.

When the time came to move up to the Northwest, we worked on selling the piano. No one wanted it. No one. The sound quality is not concert level.....very tiney (it would work well in a ol New Orleans jazz joint). At last moment I gave the piano to my dear friend Janet Hancock as compensation for letting me stay with her a couple of months. She accepted it gracefully, but when I came back a year later to pick up a couple things still in town, it became clear that the last thing she needed was a piano - she was just too nice to tell me.

So we wheeled the ol' thing into a little trailer and Ron drove it home (I flew, thank you very much). It was a death defying drive, from what I gather. Poor Ron.

It took five members of the Sequim Football team to move it into the rental house and then, when it was time, into our home here on Burnt Hill. It's a funny thing. I didn't think about where the piano would go when we designed the house. We stuffed it into the living room for a time, then we pushed it into the dining room. Audra would play it here and there. Me even less. We had a piano tuner come out to put new coaster wheels on it (which makes it MUCH easier to move about), tune it up and to let us know what it was worth. Nothing Antiques Roadshow would clamor after. But it's well loved.

Still, when I spotted a black electronic piano at Costco a few months back that had some fun little buttons I fell in LOVE. It's nothing fancy, but I knew that it would fit right into a corner of the living room. I was so excited. I dropped every hint I could think of hoping Ron would buy it for me for Christmas.

Just this last Tuesday night
(Christmas Eve Eve) it became clear that Ron had completely forgotten about it. Oh, the pouting and consternation he got!

The next evening - early evening, Ron drove up with my piano. It was the last one - in fact it was the floor model. He had gotten off early to go get it.

When he got it inside, we discovered that it didn't have the power cord. It didn't matter to me. It wasn't the fact that I had an electric piano that did cool things and fit perfectly into my living room. What mattered to me was that my husband got it - reluctantly - late maybe even - but he wanted to make me happy (or maybe to make me "NOT" mad). I was perfectly prepared to pout my way through the first Christmas with no children at home. Ron gave me an easy target by not listening and preplanning - but when has Ron EVER listened or preplanned? It's just not his way. I, on the other hand, am a planning fiend! Of course I had my shopping done months ago. It just comes naturally. But for Ron to go against his grain makes me think that maybe I need to go against MY grain and be happy for all the gifts he gives me everyday, like hard work, talent and true love.

So now I have a new friend - a fun little toy that has already helped make some special memories between my beloved and me. I'm hoping to find a new home for the old piano. It's been a dear and deserves some lovin. It'll be a little sad to see it go, but I'm learning that change is a good thing.....most of the time.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Survey

My favorite daughter-in-law challenged people to post their answers to the following survey. Who am I to argue?

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags – and to be honest – USED gift bags. I’m a cheap, cheap woman.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Much to my husband’s chagrin - artificial

3. When do you put up the tree? Not even sure we’re going to get around to it this year, to be honest

4. When do you take the tree down? New Years

5. Do you like eggnog? No! But Ron and my kids are crazy over it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My dad made my sister and I a refrigerator and stove/sink set that if I remember correctly, really ran water. At least in my mind it really ran water! We didn’t have to pay for it (water that is) in those days, so it’s POSSIBLE

7. Hardest person to buy for? Ron. He gets whatever he wants throughout the year and I always seem to pick the wrong brand/style/color anyway.

8. Easiest person to buy for? Me!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. We have a few.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both – and it’s a family newsletter more than a card.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Ron gave me the worlds ugliest ring once. I could even pretend. It went back the next week. He doesn’t buy me jewelry anymore.

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Throughout the year. I’m usually 80% done by October. This year I was a little late – November. Still have nothin’ for Ron or Mom. I just have no idea what to get them.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I refuse to answer that one.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Prime rib and Sweatheart Salad

15. Lights on the tree? Of course. Multi-colored.

16. Favorite Christmas song? Whatever is the most smaltzy tear jerker of the season. But by the next year, I hate it and move onto something else. Muppets Christmas Album with John Denver will NEVER get old.

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Hopefully soon we’ll travel. There are lots of Grand Kids to see, ya know.

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall, the most famous Reindeer of all?

19. Angel on the tree-top or a star? Ceramic angel by the name of Francis Grace.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? My kids all got their tradition of pjs on Christmas eve and everything else on Christmas morning. I HATE opening gifts up the night before. Then there’s nothing to look forward to.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Crass commercialism

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I have all glass ornaments now

23. Favorite food for Christmas dinner? Hey, didn’t you already ask that on #14?

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? Happy, healthy children. Especially my son-in-law who will be returning from Afghanistan in January. Job security in my new business. Honest - I don't need any THING else -