Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Journal of a Living Lady #269

Journal of a Living Lady #269

Nancy White Kelly

When I was five, I asked Santa Claus for a pony. I didn’t get it. When I was six, my Christmas list was more realistic. I wrote PIANO in large letters on tablet paper.  Alas. I didn’t get that either. I assumed at the time that both were too big to get down the chimney… even if we had one.

In retrospect, I am certain I didn’t get the pony because we lived in the city. Why I didn’t get the piano I do not know. I suspect it had something to do with money. Putting groceries on the table for five children must have been a greater priority.

Not that I didn’t have good Christmases. I did. My favorite gift came in my early teens. It was a turquoise-colored, manual typewriter from Sears. My dad typed a note on it: “Go write the great American novel.” I honestly thought I could and would.

Now that I am in my sixth decade, I find myself still pining for a pony, well…actually a horse. And, I would like to have a piano. Not that I can play well. I only had a dozen lessons in my lifetime. It is just that I miss piano music. I do amuse myself with an accordion occasionally.

Our son, Charlie, a natural pianist, was playing music by ear when he was just three. He had to sit on telephone books to reach the keys. He later took lessons and even chose to continue them in his high school years. When he married, he took the glossy black piano with him. The emptiness left behind is more than physical.  I can still hear his vibrant version of “Victory in Jesus” in my mind. Nothing will ever erase that memory, Alzheimers bedamned.

While Buddy would have little use for a piano, he would most certainly vote for a horse. I suspect he was the original horse whisperer. He and horses talk a language that only they understand. It is eerie.

We used to have horses in our young married days. In fact, we…I mean I, used to ride in horse shows. What happened to those blue, red, and white ribbons and brass-coated trophies, I don’t remember. I suspect the old cardboard boxes that contained them were thrown out years ago. Funny how important those ribbons and trophies were at the time. Vanity of vanities.

Perhaps a compromise is in order. Buddy could get a horse. We already have a small pasture. I know just the right spot in the den for a piano. A horse would keep Buddy occupied while I got reacquainted with those white keys and confusing black ones. I think they are called sharps or is it flats?

Is this a whim that will soon pass?  Perhaps the Shadow knows.

PS: If you don’t know who the Shadow was, ask somebody who was born in the imaginative dark ages of radio.

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