52. Memory Lane: What does Memory Lane look like? How do you get there?https://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/
Today, a piano is taking me down Memory Lane.
I can hear my mother nagging me to practice piano as a child. I can see the little upright we had in my childhood home. I can hear my brother playing “The Entertainer.”
Fast forward nearly twenty years since I last had a piano lesson. A piano has fallen in my lap.
Friends were clearing some things out of their home and offered us their old spinet piano. It hasn’t been tuned in twenty years, but hey! It’s a free piano!
Well, turns out nothing is really free.
The tuner came in on Tuesday and opened it up. I heard a tentative clearing of the throat.
“Jane…? I need to ask you a question.”
“Yes?” I said.
“Did you spend any money to move this piano here?”
“Well there’s that, at least.”
The bass bridge is cracked and there’s what looks like mold in the bottom of the piano.
Essentially, the piano sounds like crap and will always sound like crap unless we pay about $800 to repair the bridge. Even then, the sound is nothing special.
The question is, is the piano worth this much?
The tuner was wonderful. She didn’t charge me for coming out, and she gave outlined three possibilities:
- We repair the crack in the bridge ($800 as previously mentioned).
- We ignore the crack in the bridge, tune the piano and know that it won’t be a stable tune and the crack could get worse.
- We replace the piano.
We looked around a bit online at Craig’s list and Facebook marketplace to see what was on offer. Turns out, a lot of people are trying to get rid of pianos for free (since they know whoever takes them will have to pay professionals to move them).
It also turns out that people who are trying to get rid of pianos are happy to open them up and send me pictures of the instrument’s innards.
So now I’ve identified a promising piano. I know how much it would cost to get it here and to haul out the old one. I know how much it would cost to get the new (old) piano tuned up and repaired.
The question is:
How much am I willing to spend on a “free” piano?
And all because I want to remember how to play?