Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Snow and Braggin' Rights

For a second day this week, I'm home from work due to the weather. We've had a little bit of everything here in north Texas since the weekend: ice, freezing rain, sleet, and now snow. It's coming down lightly right now, adding to the over 1 inch accumulation we got overnight. Very unusual here. If it were ONLY snow, I'd have braved the roads, but with the unsanded ice beneath it, no way. Besides, folks here are nuts. Sorry, but they are. Coming back from a church meeting last night, the roads were mostly clear, and people were doing their usual 75 - 80 mph (not I). I prayed that each one, as he or she sped past or cut me off, did not hit any of the numerous ice patches that still remained beneath the overpasses. Now mind you, I need the money I'm not making by staying home. But I figure I also need to stay alive and out of the hospital!

Anyway, about that meeting. The great Piano Hunt has been "on" for about two weeks now. A week ago, the church pianist told me she thought she'd found "the one." Great deal on it, played beautifully, the whole thing. Well, last night, the pastor told me the whole story. One of my older choir members had wanted to do something "big" for quite some time. Our sanctuary piano is a pitifully bad instrument. Sorry, but it is. Plus, it's been used week in, week out for many years despite its badness, so it's wearing out. She decided she'd like to give her church something the pianist has longed for, for many years: a grand piano. Yesterday, the donor, her son-in-law (also a choir member who has been "brokering" this project) and the pianist met at the store that had the wonderful instrument. All agreed it was both a fine piano and an excellent price for it. Our church council voted unanimously to accept the gift (they're not stupid!) It's being delivered Friday!!! We're going to have a grand piano in our sanctuary and it will be played this Sunday!!!

I know that a grand piano isn't as important as vital mission work. But I still find joy in knowing that one of our saints recognized a need--replacing an old piano that wasn't a good instrument even when it was new--and decided to meet it. Her gift makes sure we do it right this time: we're getting an instrument big enough for the space, good enough quality to still be going strong 100 years from now (if it's well cared for), and beautiful in sound so as to help the saints worship through music. I'm full of joy about this! For yet another reason this week, I can't wait for Sunday!

Unfortunately, because of the weather, I *may* have to cancel the choir rehearsal tonight, at which the news would have been announced (and the chancel furniture be moved while lots of us young, strong ones were there to do it). And I have a very important thing that MUST be done: hugging the neck of the slightly curmudgeonly saint who instigated this whole wonderful thing.


April said...

Well, I'm just jealous. We have three TERRIBLE instruments in our sanctuary -- a wheezing funeral home organ, an out-of-tune and really not-very-good piano and a fake clavinova that no one knows how to play. I'm very, very envious of your grand piano. I think I'll start praying for a music-minded person to donate a new one to us! ~April

Psalmist said...

Sorry, April! Didn't mean to bum you out! :(

This church decided years ago, when the only organist available retired, that they would not replace their even older, tired-er (cheap) organ. They made the decision to be piano-only. Then they added an electronic keyboard that, while a perfectly decent instrument, no one knew how to use. Even now, the pianist has barely scratched the surface of what it can do, and it's now getting old and unreliable. A good-quality acoustic piano, however, is always a good sanctuary instrument, for nearly any style of music. The thing is, a piano must be tuned regularly, and that costs money. (I know you know that.) It's such a crying shame when a church has a decent instrument that they refuse to keep up.

Anyway, keep on praying, April. You never know when God will lay it on someone's heart to help improve the music ministry of your church.

P.S. (an after-thought) said...

You are fortunate indeed.

I wish our piano at church would be tuned. I can't really hear pitches well enough to know tuned and out of tune, but I do know that when our piano at home is tuned, it sounds happy. The piano at church sounds unhappy, currently.

Fortunately we have a great pianist who just smiles no matter what. She is a saint.