The Steinway: Fur Elise

I woke this morning to the dulcet tones of “Fur Elise.” If you also got very far in those childhood piano lessons you also might have made it to Beethoven’s “Fur Elise.” I found her in the soft easy chair, watching the sun rise taking coffee from her new Mr. Rogers mug. “I’m centering myself” she announced. I remembered when I could play “Fur Elise.” It was centering. It was a way to be satisfied with having my fingers could travel the friendly keys and create melody and those quiet meditative sounds from our 100 year old Steinway. Now it sits, another piece of furniture.

Metastasis made me get off my precious road bike that so often took me 60 miles round trip from the dry Inland area to the mouth of the Santa Ana River, to the Pacific ocean also took the dexterity in my right hand. I can no longer play “Fur Elise” except on the stereo.

Wife got this stack of CD’s from NPR, they came this week. The old war horses Rhona once called them. She’s gone now. So are the two elderly sisters whom my wife befriended in Washington D.C. They sold her the Steinway. Their father had once been “the Secretary of Agriculture” they proudly said.

Adeny moved the piano to Loma Linda. That’s where we met. I was intimidated by that piano…by her. I rarely played such an instrument. I was intimidated by her having attended the national conservatory in Buenos Aires.

In time I got the courage to sit down at that piano and discover it. And thankfully, I finally got the courage to discover her. We moved the piano to our new home in Loma Linda, and finally here to LaSierra. Here we raised five kids in a big old house where they all had their own bedrooms. One day we’ll part with that piano.

She brought us two sons. One of them used a toy hammer on the piano keys. Chipped the ivory a little bit. Memories. He’s married now to a beautiful lady. They live in New Mexico. He has continued his interest in keyboard. Their sweet Emma is five months old. She may learn to play “Fur Elise” on this piano. And send centering sounds across the Sandia mountains.

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