Archive for October, 2005

Posted on October 21st, 2005, by Mary Jo

I’ve wanted a piano in our home for years.

I took lessons in 5th-8th grades, and played during high school and college, but then my folks sold the piano, and it’s been 20 years now since I lived with a piano. 

I’ve been looking for an affordable piano (almost an oxymoron) off and on for the past several years.  I kept checking out pianos from the classifieds, always to have them ruled out by my piano-teacher friend Dianne (who evaluated them over the phone as I played scales for her) and her piano-tuning son John (who steered me away from brands notorious among tuners for needing lots of repair). 

I was beginning to think I’d never find one. 

Then a couple of months ago, John called and told me a friend at his church had not one but two pianos to sell. 

Here’s the crazy part.  I had actually been to these folks’ home last spring to see the spinet they wanted to sell to make room for a nicer upright they had been given.  John nixed the spinet, and that was about the time I gave up.  But now this family wanted to sell the upright because their teen daughters thought it was too old-fashioned and didn’t want it in the house!!  John and Dianne both thought the piano sounded decent for being about 75 years old and not tuned in several decades, and John thought he could tune it into good shape.  Apart from a few ivory keys with ragged edges, it’s actually quite pretty and appears to be well cared for. 

So, for a mere $150, and four loaves of homemade bread to the deacons who helped move the piano, we now have music in our home!

I was able to sell my engagement ring for enough to pay for the piano and the tuning, with perhaps just a bit left for some music books.  I’ve been holding on to my ring through 4 years of divorce, wanting to sell it for something I wouldn’t otherwise have.  I didn’t want the only financially valuable remnant of a 15-year marriage down the tubes to go for just groceries or the electric bill; I wanted it to be something meaningful, lasting, and rewarding. 

My playing is more out of tune than the piano, but even over the course of a single week it’s improving.  And my musical 10yo Andrew is already teaching himself to play from the piano primer the previous owners left in the bench for us. 

Praise God for His provision! 

Mary Jo Tate 

Oh, by the way, the first song I played on our new piano was “Great Is  Thy Faithfulness.”


Posted on October 10th, 2005, by Mary Jo

Head over to “Mensa Mind in an MTV World” for a great post on teaching multiplication and division on a shopping trip.  This single mom has a great handle on how to make the most of teachable moments and redeem the time in the store or the car.

Mary Jo Tate

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