Yesterday, on the 11th day of Christmas, I received my last Christmas gift, something I had specifically asked for. A piano tuner came to our house and tuned my piano. He also fixed some small things that were wrong with it -- a key on the far right that didn't make a sound and the C an octave above Middle C that didn't hold its sound. The damper on the C was broken, so he removed the damper from the highest of notes that have dampers and moved it down to that C. He will try to order a replacement damper from his catalogs of old piano parts.
Isaac felt vindicated and a little outraged when I told him the piano tuner had found the missing ivory (for the key at right in the photo) inside the piano. For years, I had thought that the kids lost that piece of ivory, and Isaac remembers that I expressed my suspicion a few times.
As all piano tuners do when they work on this piano, he commented that it was in very good condition and had a nice sound for the age of the instrument. It's over 100 years old. The most recent patent date inside the piano is 1893.
My mother got this piano when it became apparent that I practiced my piano lessons willingly and was learning to read music. We had another piano before this one. My mother had tried to refinish it, and it wasn't too successful. When she moved in the new piano, my dad took the old piano to the blowout and dumped it. I remember seeing it there, lying on its back with its face to the sky.
Over the years, this piano went from Nebraska to Missouri to Kansas with my mother and father, and after they had passed away, it moved to Kentucky with me.
The kids and I had a memorable trip, bringing the piano from Kansas to Kentucky. I drove an excessively large U-Haul truck that was nearly empty except for the piano, dragging my car behind for 750 miles (more or less).
We made the trip without serious incident, and the day that the piano took up residence in my living room, I know that my mother smiled. She would be glad that I got it tuned again at last. And she'd be pleased at how nice it sounds.