This post has nothing to do with baking, but since it has something to do with how I spend my free time, I thought it was warranted to post about it.
Since I was 7 years old and my parents introduced me to music by taking me to the local orchestra, I have been playing a musical instrument. During that first visit, when the music teacher thought I was too young to learn reading sheet music (but mom persisted) and reluctantly let me in, I knew this was for me. Soon, I was handed a french horn and began practicing. The horn was never a conscious choice, but it was the only instrument the orchestra had available for new students at the time, so that's what I played. After a year or so, I switched to the trumpet, again because a new student needed the horn and I was given a slightly better available instrument ;o). I did like the trumpet better and played it for more than 12 years after that, so it was a good match for me.
An even better match was the piano though. After playing that horn for a year, the orchestra hired a wonderful, talented director. He seemed to like me and talked to my parents, convincing them they needed to let me try to play the piano. He told them it would help develop my skills, and also, would give me more satisfaction in making music as I would be able to play by myself without missing the orchestra. My parents agreed, and bought me a piano. Of course, this was a tricky move, as they didn't know whether I would like it and be consistent with it, at the age of 8. But I fell in love with it the moment I laid eyes on it. I took lessons, and playing on it was my favorite thing in the world. I remember my mom encouraging me to do something else for a change ;o).
Making music became more and more important. When I was 15, I was playing in three orchestras with my trumpet, and seriously considering a career in music as a pianist.
I accompanied many of my friends on the piano, played the organ in church whenever needed, and accompanied the high school choir and orchestra. I owe that director so much for his encouragement.
When I left high school, the director of the orchestra asked me to accompany his men's choir, and I did. This is when I became more interested in singing and vowed I would take lessons one day.
Slowly my life changed though. After I finished college and started working and met my now husband, I found myself with a lot less free time on my hands. I quit the orchestra, but still continued to play the piano. A couple of years later I quit the men's choir, and the piano lessons and took up singing lessons. I loved everything about it and accompanied myself on the piano, but it was quite hard for me to get my voice to do the things I wanted it to. I could read the more complicated pieces but couldn't sing them, lacking technique, which became frustrating. When I started taking an interest in baking and decided to take pastry classes, I quit singing and focused on something else for a while.
All that time, I took the piano with me when I moved out of my parents' and started my own life with my new husband. The piano never found a good home in the living room as there simply wasn't any room for it, but it was always there. Now that we are building a house, I decided it was time to move the piano back into a proper spot in the living room. Seeing it desperately needed a new caot of paint after 26 years of use and 3 moves, I decided to give it a whole new look and make it black. It is now waiting for us to move to our new home, ready to reclaim it's position and waiting for me to get back to playing it regularly. Which I fully intend to do :o). So here it is in it's new 'do': I know a professional would definately find the flaw in my paint job, but I think it looks pretty darn good :o).