Tuning in
Friday December 11th 2009, 11:17 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends

You know why it’s so hard to keep those holiday pounds off?

It’s those see stars. One arm breaks off, they just grow another one, appearing time after time.  Whaddyagonnado.

(Michelle volunteers one-on-one as a tutor and the middle schooler brought her holiday cookies as a thank you.  Michelle wasn’t about to tell her she didn’t dare risk eating them; it was a sweet thing for her to have done.  I was glad to help out a little, and besides, I could use nudging the scale up a tad.)

Meantime, this morning, our piano doctor who makes house calls, an old friend after all these years, came by.  The house was, shall we say, unfinished–and I was discouraged at how fast my energy had given out on me.

He smiled a warm smile; “Doesn’t look messy to me.”

And at that suddenly everything was much better.

He glanced out at the birds on the feeder, taking them in for a moment; he has done recordings of the wildlife in his own area.  I’ve heard his frogs.  (If you ever need some theme music while ripping out your knitting…)  I wondered if he could hear my finches through the window.

I’ve heard them I think twice now. Yesterday the feeder swung around so one couldn’t see me coming as I opened the slider as quietly as I could and slipped outside.  The feeder swung back around, and I was close enough to stroke the little bird’s stripey-brown feathers had I moved.  I didn’t dare move.  Or breathe.  It chirped and dove into the seed, again and again, keeping an eye on me–and when I did finally breathe, it was a Mr. Tumnus moment: Oh my goodness! You’re a human, and I’m–I’m a bird!  Fright and flight!

I picked up my needles while Neil tuned my piano.

I don’t usually knit in the mornings; I’m not sure how to describe the weirdness that is the body responding in slow motion before about noon–you tell it to move and it dithers like a 13-year-old told to do the dishes and arguing about it. Knitting at that hour, and particularly on tiny needles?  Slow as doing taxes.

And yet. He played a few snatches of song here and there as he tuned, reminding me why my concert-pianist grandmother had chosen that Kimball in the first place ages ago.  Such a gorgeous depth of sound to it.   Some notes had slipped, but he was pulling them back into where they belonged.

The needles picked up a bit.

He got to the highest notes on the piano.  So many times in the last twenty years I’ve heard only the slight thud thud of the hammers hitting against the strings up there, but with my ears turned up now–thank you John Miles–I caught a few of those actual notes, thin and high and as unstable as a hummingbird’s flight, but briefly actually mystically somehow there.  So that’s what those sound like.  I had long forgotten.  Wow.

That stopped my hands altogether across the room as I felt, Do it again!  Make it play like that again! And he did. I didn’t hear each note every time, but just enough to feel like I was in the presence of a small, rare gift from Life itself.

Don’t forget to breathe! And don’t stop in the middle of a row of laceweight silk or you’ll drop a thousand stitches and he was almost done there. Hurry!

I didn’t finish the row. I didn’t drop the stitches. I did, however, find myself hugely cheered on a morning when I had been needing cheering.

So many grace notes appear when we are in the presence of good people who are our friends.

The kids are coming home soon.  Let the music begin.

14 Comments so far
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Yippee! It “sounds” lovely to me.

Comment by Ruth 12.12.09 @ 12:09 am

You can have energy and stress, or peace and mess: You decide.

It’s nice to read about you enjoying the high notes!

Comment by LynnM 12.12.09 @ 1:55 am

What joy!

Mother’s piano tuner knew he was “in for it” when he tuned her piano. If he left a key flatter than concert pitch, she would have him back to fix it!

Me? I CAN hear all the piano tuner’s work, and it drives me around the bend. (Perfect pitch can be a blessing/curse.) DH is usually good enough to let me leave home during tuning, and take care of it himself.

Thanks for the memories!

Comment by Barbara-Kay 12.12.09 @ 6:02 am

You’re such a wonderful mother – helpin’ out with makin’ the stars go away! 🙂

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 12.12.09 @ 8:42 am

I’m going in htis week to adjust my aids too! Gotta turn em up. Ah well, hopefully more notes are audible too!

Comment by Carol 12.12.09 @ 8:46 am

Dang, first tears of the day :-}
Thank goodness they are happy ones!

Comment by Diana Troldahl 12.12.09 @ 9:18 am

The only instruments I can play are my iPod and the radio.

If anybody can use a bit more weight, ’tis you, young lady. Enjoy the cookies.

Fun –

“I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.” 
-Rita Rudner 
“A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.”
-Robert Benchley 
“Anybody who doesn’ t know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.”
-Franklin P. Jones 
“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.” 
-James Thurber 

Comment by Don Meyer 12.12.09 @ 10:49 am

Enjoy those cookies! I made hazelnut chocolate chip ones recently, and ate most of them. Oops. 🙂

So glad to hear you are able to grasp those high notes again. My tuner is coming later this month. I hate the tuning (ping ping ping)but love the results!

Comment by Joanne 12.12.09 @ 1:40 pm

Beautiful. I used to love to watch/listen to the piano tuner too. That’s one reason I still want an addition; I want a piano someday!

Comment by Channon 12.12.09 @ 5:18 pm

Ah, I know what you say about the slow-motion mornings…..

Comment by kmom 12.12.09 @ 6:36 pm

yummy Christmas cookies for breakfast – and hearing the piano – priceless

now to give you your giggle for the day – I’m sitting in my living room having a cup of coffee – watching teh polar bear plunge down at the ocean on my computer via the webcam (no I ‘m not nuts enough to jump in the ocean when it is 25 degrees out) I hear this noise in the kitchen – I wonder what is falling down in there – get up to see and it is a BIRD
A WILD BIRD!! I have no idea how it got in at all I opened the kitchen door wide and held the storm door open with a brick and it flew out – but DANG! Now that woke me up really quickly

Comment by rho 12.12.09 @ 6:44 pm

Eat lots of the cookies. Those birds will be eating out of your hand before you know it!!!

Comment by Joansie 12.12.09 @ 9:23 pm

I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how much this post resonated with me — some days I feel like you are writing just for me to read

Comment by Bev 12.13.09 @ 10:31 am

“Grace notes appear when we are in the presence of good people who are our friends.”

Words to live by.

Comment by twinsetellen 12.18.09 @ 10:11 pm

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