tune up...

it was one of my two favorite days of the year today. my #1 favorite day of the year is haircut day. i LOVE getting my hair washed, cut and blow dried. alas, i only allow myself the luxury once a year. which makes it even more of a treat! but haircut day was last month so i have another 11 months to grow and go before that day rolls around again.

so today was my second favorite day... PIANO TUNING DAY!!!!

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paul dewalt is our piano guy. first let me tell you about our piano. so you two can become friends... it was given to me by my parents when i was 8 years old. i was the only noblin to take piano lessons. i wasn't very good. ever. but my parents gave me the piano when they moved out of my childhood home. the piano moved to atlanta 15 years ago. then moved into storage in florida for a year. un-airconditioned storage. then into our house here for a few more years with only toddlers banging on it. maxx seriously began to play it a few years ago. and so we thought that after 15 years and all those moves... it MIGHT need tuning. maxx's assessment (and he has a pretty good ear) is that it was in tune, with itself. ha. sounds like a marshall piano. 

*side note. i find it interesting that i hardly ever used that piano growing up mixed with the fact that we NEVER would have been able to afford a piano for our own home and how maxx plays the piano by ear and plays it almost every day. though they didn't know it at the time, my parents bought that piano for maxx to play. i just get to listen and enjoy. thanks mom and day. you had such foresight. ha. 

so someone gave me paul dewalt's number and the first couple of years he came out twice a year for our little untuned for over a decade baby. but he has been coming out every year for the last two years. and i eagerly look forward to his yearly tune ups because 1) our piano needs it. maxx is quick to tell me when we need to call paul. 2) after paul has tuned the piano he plays the most gorgeous music on it for about 10-15 minutes. making little adjustments now and then to perfect the tuning. it is like a little private concert. just for me. 

today while he was here i made myself a taco salad, sat on the couch in the family room (the piano is in the living room) and just listened to him tune the piano for over an hour. tune and play. tune and play. tune and play. and then just play some gorgeous classical music. magical.

and whilst i sat and chewed my lettuce i thought philosophically about tuning a piano. you see i am that person. that geeky nutty philosophical kind of Christian who actually believes the EVERYthing that happens can be a lesson for me. that maybe if God created all things, is holding all things together, and working through all things that even an untuned piano and a piano tuner could be an incredible metaphor for something that He is doing in my life. and during my  philosophical musing i also looked at wikepedia.  i wanted to read about how one tunes a piano...

Fine piano tuning requires an assessment of the interaction among notes, which is different for every piano, thus in practice requiring slightly different pitches from any theoretical standard... I

n all systems of tuning, every pitch may be derived from its relationship to a chosen fixed pitch, which is usually A440...

The relationship between two pitches, called an interval, is the ratio of their absolute frequencies. Two different intervals are perceived to be the same when the pairs of pitches involved share the same frequency ratio.

i would hear paul play a key on my piano and then hear him play the true note. then adjust the note. play it again. play the true note then my sharp or flat piano key again. until they sounds were in harmony.

and i thought about all the ways that my life can be out of tune. that one errant thought can be false and affect the song that i am playing to the world. and i thought about how there is a standard i can line my notes up to. and how when i go time and time again to the chosen fixed pitch (the Bible) i clearly hear the correct note. then i adjust my heart. my thoughts. my song to that note. and beautiful music is made.

and philosophically i loved this little caveat on a website about how to tune your piano yourself...

A "good" tuning is two different things: accurate (in tune) and stable (stays in tune). 

After that, the best way to keep your piano in tune is to (surprise!) tune it. Once the piano is in tune, it is easier to keep it in tune with touch-ups and regularly-scheduled tunings. Don't wait until you can't stand the sound anymore.

don't worry i am not tuning my piano myself. it was just for edification. i wouldn't miss having paul here for my yearly private concert.

here is hoping that i can stay accurate (in tune) and stable (stays in tune) and that i make some beautiful music with my life...

the things i took...

my dad is packing up. going through kitchen items and decor things that he won’t be needing. and so i chose a few things that i really really wanted...

like this egg poacher. it reminds me of all the breakfasts that my mother made. different hot breakfasts every day. and i don’t think i ever thanked her. and i wonder why my kids don’t thank me profusely every day for the hot breakfasts that i make every day. maybe one day they will. maybe...

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and this great wooden bowl. i love it. and i love all of our christmas cards in it. it reminds me of growing up in the 70’s. which was a great time to grow up. because we had pong. and gilligan’s island.

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and this cool glass thing. i am not sure what it was. but it is now a pen holder for my morning Bible study time. i need a lot of pens. and post it tabs. what does that say about me? i think it says that i am clever to store them in this glass thingie. i love reaching for a pen for it to jot down something or to underline something in my Bible. my parents’ Bibles were always so filled with notes. underlined passages. i am sure my name is written by several verses as they prayed those verses over my life. i learned the importance of the Word from them. what they had in writing in their Bibles they lacked in ease of finding pens. i grew up in a house where i could never find a pen or a pair of scissors. so i hoard both of those items... obviously. 

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and my dad gave me this set of china. millefluer. it is simple and elegant. and millie already chose it as her china for when she gets married. IF we let her date ever. i already had my paternal grandmother’s china that has roses on it that i am giving to rosie when she gets married. IF anyone ever wants to date her...

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and these beautiful glasses. i love looking around my house and seeing pieces of my childhood. beautiful things given to me by my parents. things that are just things. things that i could live without. but seeing them reminds me of all the love that has been passed down to me as a legacy. 

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#8 my kindergarten teacher...

because i taught elementary school for a few years, i am sadly aware of the fact that my students may not remember a lot about the time that they spent with me (then again, who could forget spending every day in my presence?). and lest that bring up any ressentiment (and yes, i know you think that is spelled “resentment” wrong, but i didn’t. it is a whole new word and go and listen to the pronounciation of it and try to use it in a conversation today because nothing is better than busting out a little french word every now and then). but i do have a few moments of clarity from my elementary years that have made me a better teacher and a better mother and at the core a better person. and this story from kindergarten involves a teacher who knew the heart of her student and it involves a lot of urine...

i have you hooked with the urine thing, don’t i? i know how to work the crowd...

side note... my mom and dad built a new house and moved into it exactly two years ago, and guess you bought the house that they moved out of that was 3 houses away from the new one.... my kindergarten teacher’s daughter! that story will be even more interesting after tomorrow’s entry... so stay tuned...

again, demonstrating that i know how to work the crowd. 

so, back to lea in her kindergarten days. picture a shy, quiet little 5 year old lea. YES, you read that right. i was shy and quiet. something came upon me years later and i became much less shy and downright noisy. but for the purposes of this event, picture me as shy and quiet and i did not like to make a scene and i DID NOT break rules.

but, desperate times call for desperate measures...

and i was in my kindergarten class and i missed my mommy. i wanted to go home. and so i thought through this idea of wanting to go home in my house and i settled on the perfect solution. some other little girl had wet her pants the day before and her mommy had come to fetch her from school. 

do you see where this is going?

so i decided to wet my pants just a little bit JUST like the girl in my class and ergo my mommy would appear and i would be home free (and a bit wet), but home free indeed.

so i sat on my little kindergarten chair and i tried to wet my pants, and i tried, and i tried. it is hard to break a rule and do something that you know is wrong when all of your ENTIRE LIFE (albeit it had only been 5 years) you have been a rule follower. and finally i had a breakthrough and even though i was trying to only wet my pants a little bit, i (how can i put this nicely?) succeeded with much gusto and even more liquid than i had envisioned in my mind. 

isn’t that what happens whenever we try to do something just a little bit wrong? we end up with a mess all over ourselves AND the chair AND the floor. the girl the day before just had a wet spot on her dress’s back. i had a lake under my seat. and now i had the attention of the whole class and the teacher. 

she gingerly stepped over the puddle and rescued me from the flood. she took me to the restroom and went to call my mom. i remember leaving the room while ALL the other students’ eyes were fixed on me, i remember how that puddle looked on the floor, i remember how WET my dress was, i remember the smell of urine, i was humiliated and silent. i remember feeling so small in that restroom and so wrong. 

i was still silent when the teacher came back and she started talking about how this happens to everyone and it was okay. i didn’t cry, i just whispered that it wasn’t an accident, that i had meant to do it. she started to get mad and then paused a moment and softened up and said something about that not seeming like me (see, i told you i was a rule follower). i told her that i did it because i wanted my mom to take me home for the day. 

i remember her smiling as the reality of it hit her and her saying very sweetly that i had gotten what i wanted and then she asked, “was it worth it?”....

and thinking about how uncomfortable i was, i said “no”. and she said, “remember that.” and i did.

but my mom came anyway and i went home with her. and i don’t think that my teacher ever told my mom that i had done it on purpose OR my mom never brought it up with me.

i never had another bladder control incident at school after that one, purposeful or unintentionally. i wish i could say that i never broke another rule or commandment in order to obtain something that i “thought” that i wanted. but it usually turned out in the same way. obtaining the sought for “prize” whilst standing in a pool of my own regretfulness (which to this day smells a lot like urine in my mind).

i think about my teacher’s sweet and kind response to me, she wasn’t angry, she just let the consequences play themselves out. i think about how she could have made me stay, how she could have humiliated me further, but she didn’t. she let me go home with my mom and she knew that would be the best lesson for me at that time. i hope i was as good of a teacher as she was, i hope i am doing that same kind of job with my kids.

and i hope that i never sit in a pool of my own urine (literally or figuratively) again. that is miserable stuff, people... even if you get to go home with your mom afterwards...

 don’t i look all sweet...  
 and quiet and shy and like a little girl who would NEVER do anything bad in her life? well, looks can be deceiving... 

 by the way, check out my brother’s sock and shoe combo and note that my sister and i have on the SAME style shoes that my youngest daughter and her youngest daughter still wear today....

don’t i look all sweet...

and quiet and shy and like a little girl who would NEVER do anything bad in her life? well, looks can be deceiving...

by the way, check out my brother’s sock and shoe combo and note that my sister and i have on the SAME style shoes that my youngest daughter and her youngest daughter still wear today....