But Morgan decided to step it up and pursue a new, foreign genre; classical music. She had to get her nose back in the nitty-gritty theory books. She had to train her eye to read the music staff instead of chord charts. And for what purpose? She doesn't intend to be a concert pianist. She has put her nose to the grind because she should. That she should learn to be better is why I'm so honored to have her in my company. That she sees the value in work just to not settle for less than she can is heroic to me.
So, I've been on a hunt for a piano. The poor girl has been learning on a $200.00 piano that is out of tune, is dilapidated by broken hammers, and worst of all, the ivory keys are chipped and splintered and she has suffered many wounds to her delicate fingers from her many hours of practice. Hangnails are annoying and painful enough. She has lived with perpetual, practice-induced hangnails for a couple years. Enough was enough.
We've called about pianos in the newspaper, on Craigslist. I've asked random piano tuners in parking lots to please call me if they run across a piano for sale. I've taken Morgan to several homes to play pianos, and to many retail stores. We knew pretty early on that we didn't want an electric piano. As techie as I am, I wanted the "old world" feel of wooed, ivory, hammers, and strings. Many a'salesmen have tried to sway me with the glittering idea of money savings in the form of "you never have to tune it." But, I wanted this piano to not have a single volt of electricity.
And today I hit the mother load... I truly can see myself developing a full blown novel from the history of this piano I bought today.
The piano was originally purchased (not sure of the exact year yet. I'll get the details as I go,) by a physician in Gainesville, Florida for his two daughters. When his daughters were grown and, in fact, grandmothers in their 60's, their elderly father sold the piano to the couple we met today for their daughter's use. The daughter has been grown and away from home for over thirty yeas. Today, I bought the piano for MY daughter's use.
I can't tell you how it makes my heart glow to know that it seems this particular piano's purpose of existence is to be "the daughter's piano." The elderly couple today found great comfort in that idea as well. As sad as they were to close their own chapter of this beautiful piano, it was comforting for them to know Morgan's very heart would be caressing those aged ivories.
There's yet one more delightful story about our new piano...
Sometime in the early 1940's (I believe he told me 1942) they had owned the piano for only a couple of years when the misfortune of a fire was started somehow in their civil war era house. After all of the family were safely out of the house they began to panic about the safety of the piano. They begged the firemen to save the piano. The 92 year old man told me in much emotion today how the firemen tore out a wall to rescue the piano. Once the piano was out of the burning house there was nothing else that could be salvaged, and the entire structure burned to the ground. They had the wood of the piano restored and greatly loved and valued the sounds of joy it sent through the halls and years in their new home.
I'd rather have this piano than any other piano in all of the world. I'm not opposed to Morgan fulfilling her dream of owning a Steinway someday. But her glowing smile as I related these stories the man told me today assured me that she understands that she's not getting "just another piano." She knows this one has love and commitment rubbed into the grains of its wood far deeper than any beautiful stain could penetrate. It radiates history and passion and purpose.
I think God led us to the perfect match for our imaginative hearts and minds.