And the lion shall lay down with the lamb

On a whim I started browsing Craig’s List for a piano. I was paid up in all my bills, I had money in the bank ( a dangerous situation for me) and I was getting tired of the keyboard that Dan Tanner had left me. I didn’t like the action and the sound was “tinny.”

I found several, but one caught my eye. I called the owner but it had just been sold. I found another that, from the picture, looked to be in sad shape. The description candidly admitted that it had some scratches, but with some gentle sanding and varnish, it would be as good as new.


The price was cheap and the delivery was free. I called the seller who agreed to bring it to the house today “after church on the west side.” Who goes to church on the west side on Good Friday when he lives in Scottsdale? Jehovah’s Witness?

I collected money from the ATM, shopped for gazpacho at Target and waited for the delivery of the Wurlitzer spinet. I also moved the Yamaha keyboard into the front bedroom,  prepped some Murphy Soap to clean up the piano and took out some cloth runners to consider for the piano’s “decoration.”

Wayne, the seller, was good at keeping me abreast as to his time to arrive on the phone. When he showed up around 4, a couple of hours after originally agreed to, I wasn’t upset. What made me pause, though, were the two stickers on his truck. They were for “Trump.”

He complimented me on my yard and the flag. I didn’t say anything in response. I just wanted him to deposit the piano in the quickest manner possible and then to be gone. He was a burly sort of man, used to wrestling with large heavy objects. I stood out of the way, watching critically,  I did lend a hand at his request to steady the piano and then to guide it through the door. I pulled out the dolly when he lifted the piano up.

The piano seemed worse in appearance than the pictures led me to believe. The keys were dusty and dirty. When I played the keys, they sounded clunky and badly out of tune. Not too surprising.  I just hope it can be tuned.

He briefly told me that he had been bankrupt a couple of times due to ups and downs in real estate. He was dealing in pianos as a way to “help keep meat on the table.” Otherwise, he was retired. I told him I was a retired social worker in Orange County. He perked up: he said he was from Newport Beach.

I gave him cash which he dutifully counted out. We shook hands and he left. I then washed the cabinet with Murphy Soap: the water was dirty in no time. I cleaned the keys which are now white and black. The ends, though, are chipped.

From where I sit, at this end of the room, the piano looks ok. I want to get it tuned up this week. Hopefully Lydia W can steer me to a reputable tuner. It feels good to play a piano again, and not just an electric keyboard.

I’ve been pondering the word grace this past week. It is a noun, verb, adjective, adverb. It comes from the Latin “thankful, pleasing” and it leads one to acknowledge the presence of a Gift that lifts our souls. As Catholics, we were steeped in the teaching of “sanctifying grace” and “actual grace.” In his book Addiction and Grace James May talks about grace as being the only means by which a will can be dis-attached from addition. Dennett et al fail to consider grace in their experience of goods that occur in life. But it is a powerful meme ( if you will) that needs to be incorporated into the story of how humans evolve and are evolving through life. Perhaps faith can’t be quantified to the satisfaction of social scientists; but it is an unvarying phenomenon in the story of humankind for several millenia.

In my immediate life, grace prompted me to keep my partisan feelings to myself while Wayne unloaded the poor little piano into my house. Grace will make it sing.


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