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Every Life is a Story
    A place to share my own family stories

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My piano heritage

I may not have pioneer heritage, but I DO have a rather unique heritage when it comes to the piano. I have ancestors that ached to be able to play the piano, and were willing to do almost anything to make it happen.

My great great grandmother wanted a piano badly, but with finances the way they were, it didn't look like they would ever be able to afford one. Miraculously, the family was able to get a piano for a great price, and her dreams came true. She loved the piano and would play as often as she could. That's when the house caught on fire. Everybody hurried to leave the burning building, except for my ancestor who pushed the piano out of the house herself rather than risk it burning up with all their other things.

My grandmother also wanted to be able to play the piano. There was no money for a piano or lessons, so my grandmother would sneak into the church to play the piano there. She told me how she would pretend the windowsill was a piano and she would play that. When she grew up she was determined that her children would be able to play the piano, but again, money was tight, and there wasn't a piano available. My grandmother got a job picking beans in the summers and saved every penny of her bean money to finally be able to purchase a piano.

I love the piano, and am grateful for my grandmother who saw to it that my mother learned, who saw to it that I learned. My children are now learning. When they complain about practicing I try telling them how much their ancestors wanted to play, and how important the piano was to them. Perhaps they aren't especially impressed by the stories, because they still complain. I do notice, however, that both of them are still taking lessons, and sticking with it in spite of the complaints. Another generation added to the generations of piano lovers.


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