Mayhem, Mold, Mice and Music

Mayhem isn’t the exact word. It may denote expectations of violence and chaos; but writers love alliteration (Wow I was so far off trying to spell that word–thank you again Siri). And I, who, these days, sometimes pretends to be a writer because I no longer have focus or take myself that serious, love to use them.

The so-called mayhem was, as you may know, the drip, drip, drip, drip, drip of a leaky pipe between our walls; and the tearing out of floors and walls and bathroom tiles covered in that earlier blog. It also covered off the packing up of our downstairs to move into storage while repairs were to be completed.

There was mold on some unexposed, closeted walls; and we later discovered on the back of an old very-large wardrobe, which had also been warped from the dampness. We were told that it may not be reparable. This wardrobe has been hanging around our home since before I was a part of the family. It cost The Doc all of $35 many, many, many years ago and once functioned as a pantry and broom closet in our previous home. What value it had was sentimental.

We also discovered mold on the back of the piano. Oooooh Noooo!

We decided to open up the instrument to see what the inside looked like. It did not look good. As a matter of fact it looked terrible. There was a little mold, gunk on some strings and it was pretty dirty. I wondered why the tuner didn’t mention this stuff. Some of it had been there for a while. Plus some mice, or just a single mouse I can’t be sure, before he or she or they got snapped by one of the traps in our furnace room, had chosen the piano as a place to hoard sunflower seeds that probably fell to the ground from the outside bird feeder. These seeds sprinkled to the floor when the piano was moved. Now my playing isn’t great having only been taking lessons just over a year, and the piano never seemed to stay in tune for very long, so if all this affected the sound, I really didn’t know. In addition sometimes some keys didn’t work well and the two front legs were broken so were just pushed into place to help hold up the poor old instrument. But, it had been free, given to JT several years ago, and I liked learning and practicing on it.

Old Wardrobe and Piano

Old pianos, these days, are like boat anchors–nobody wants them except poor students who need something to practice on. They are a bitch to move. The pianos, not the students. So was this a dilemma or an opportunity? I chose to make it into an opportunity. We decided that since movers were coming to take everything downstairs away and since the large damaged wardrobe wasn’t coming back that the old piano, the one they originally hesitated about moving, could go and not come back either. The only problem remaining was how was I going to take lessons and practice.

At one point, we were unsure whether the insurance company would cover the costs of our water damage, and it was a great relief when they said they would. Especially since the estimates have started to come in, and we would have had to make some major (and I mean major!) cash outlays to get our house back to normal. So after much online research, some consultation with The Doc and several conversations with JT, our family musician and music instructor, I decided to purchase a new electric piano. After all we didn’t have to pay to fix up the house, so this was a much more reasonable expense. And with my skills, it wasn’t as if I would be playing in the symphony. I didn’t need a top-of-the-line model.

I decided I did not want a keyboard and a stand. The klutz in me could knock that around, or possibly knock it over, pretty easily. I wanted a full piano that was solid and stable and looked like furniture. However they are very hard to find right now given the supply issues caused by Covid. But my local Long and McQuade music store had the one I wanted in stock. 

The plan was to go test it out and purchase it, but plans don’t always go as planned. That day, a Saturday, it snowed and the roads where I live were not cleared and easy to drive. Outside the city, road maintenance tends to fall apart after every snow storm. So I didn’t get out to try and buy my piano. I went in on the following Monday, but the piano had been sold on the Saturday to some city slicker who had clean roads to travel on and beat me to the punch. The particular piano I had wanted had been discontinued and the company was taking this Covid period to rethink and redesign their line. There were no others to be had. And as I mentioned before, stock in general was hard to get. I had visions of waiting remorsefully for months, if not years, before I could continue my lessons.

But wait, said the manager at Long and McQuade, I have another electric piano in stock that you might like. My remorseful vision floated away like a helium balloon, and I asked if I could try it. Well no, he said, it is still in the packaging, but you can try a comparable key board by the same manufacturer, which happened to be the manufacturer of JT’s keyboard. Well that worked. Within the next half hour I was the proud owner of a new electric piano that they would deliver and set up in the next few days. And that they did.

Now as the not-so-mayhemish (an invented word) mayhem continues with fans running sometimes day and night and making us feel as if we have been living in a factory for almost three weeks, I can go into my reorganized office/playroom, close the door and practice my new electric piano. Every key works and; when my fingers are having a good day, it sounds wonderful. At least to my ears.

The New Piano

Thank you for reading. 

Photos: Mouse – Pinterest, All others – Jenn Stone

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26 thoughts on “Mayhem, Mold, Mice and Music

    1. It sounds a little bit different than my old piano but rock bands have been using electric keyboards for years and the electric piano is just like a keyboard but not as portable. I actually am finding it easier to play. Of course it helps that all the keys work. And no tuning required.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am so glad you were able to replace your piano and can continue on with your lessons! Sounds like you’ve had a stressful (to say the least) time lately. Nice, that things are settling down and super great that you have your music to help with destressing! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, basically you’re hoping this time the mouse will be electrocuted?! 😉

    I have a mouse living in my car – it’s tried eating the interior (managing some of it), has eaten the various scrapers and things for frosts, and now it’s moved to the boot (trunk) where it’s in the process of eating things like walking pole handles! Of course, there’s no chance of finding it! 😐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha. We have mice quite frequently in the downstairs of the house. So many that we use traps. They must have stashed the seeds last summer when I wasn’t using it much because I prefer to be outside in the summer. Can’t imagine then sticking around when it was being played. I did find the whole piano mouse thing amusing though.

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      1. I don’t use traps as such but have those plug-in high-pitched sound emitters which rodents are supposed to hate (if I could hear the, I’m sure I would too!). I also use anti-mouse spray in strategic corners – I’ve put that in the car now but not sure whether I still have the mouse. I have a ‘humane trap’ but the mice always seem to know how to get the cheese and then get back out again!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. i bought one for my wards, my favourite moments were the first lessons of success now my toddler plays like a rocker to adverts, climbs up to do her own style of phantom of the opera with her feet! I am amazed it still works as the keys are barely marked i believe it may be set to reclamation if we ever move and a new one found! ipad and the internet search piano music and their are a lot of free ones available! you tube for free classes!

    Liked by 1 person

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