After much whining and begging and repeated searches on Craigslist Keith said I could replace my/not mine but my grandmothers piano that was given to mom for me, but my brother got when mom died ,piano. I like to plink a bit, t and find some kind of peace wasting time trying to play piano. AND I saw some really cool upright antiques on Pinterest that were painted and looked soooo cute and would go so well on that wall…. Keith though is too practical and in his universe he see’s no use for a big hunk of heaviness for a bit of plinking. So his giving in to my impractical desires, was/is huge!!
I thought this would be easy and cheap, it seems someone I know is always giving away or getting free pianos. Pianos are in craigslist for free and under $100. Advertising they sounded good, might need a little tuning. Heck, the one I had was not tuned in over 50 years and it sounded amazing. In this piano shopping I have found that “need tuning’ means missing keys, the wires that exist are tied up to each other, and antique of course mean beat up piece of crap.
Last week we woke up early on Saturday, , so we decided to drive to Lubbock (just over 100 miles away)to check out a couple of the ‘need’s tuning’ pianos there. Bust. What keys played, damaged our hearing. While in town we searched some more, realizing we may have to up the amount spent. We found a gorgeous looking piano on Craigslist, but at this point knew looks were usually deceiving. We contacted the guy, turned out he was in Plano, not returning for a couple of days. We decided to do a bit of Christmas shopping, head home and then come back in a week. All this time in Lubbock we are hauling the flatbed trailer to ‘get’ our piano. We hauled it back home empty. Did not even get to go to Costco, cause they close at 6 on Saturday- Bummer
We talk to the pretty piano guy during the week and are pretty sure this is the piano, it is gorgeous. He describes that it was last tuned about 15 years ago and he does not play, just has the piano for the furniture piece that it is. My logic goes back to the lack of tuning my old piano had and it playing good. I KNOW it will be right. Keith has his doubts.
Thursday night, Lee, our oldest says he has heard it is to rain in Lubbock on Friday, and maybe we should borrow a covered trailer from friends. Weird, our forecast has just said we would be in the 50-60 and dry and sunny until after Christmas. We checked out the Uhaul rentals in Lubbock, the Uhaul center confirms having covered trailers available, I ask Keith if we should reserve, he said “No, they will have them tomorrow, besides we were not sure we would get the piano.” He might not be, but I am sure.
Friday morning we get up and get ready to run to the Christmas play of two of the grandkids, and check the forecast which says Midland and Lubbock both have 90% chance of rain. I call my friend with the covered trailer, her house is right next to the school . Her son borrowed the trailer this week and has not brought it back, but we could pick it up at his house. Keith says ” The rain is not suppose to come till late, maybe tonight, we can rent a covered one in Lubbock, we still don’t know if we are buying” We go to the play- The weather is cold, but it does not look like rain at all, it will be fine.
We discuss how ‘we’ will move it, the now owner said he would help a bit, but he sounded a bit iffy on his ability to actually be of help. Keith said ” With the dolly and straps he was pretty sure we could get it, as long as we had not big steps to maneuver . And he had contacted a guy that would come help us move it for $100, but we are not sure we are getting it, we will call him when we decide.
We get to Lubbock for an early lunch and go to our favorite Pei Wei and have our favorite Gluten free shrimp sdkfss. The weather is dry and cold. We come out and Keith is grumping, because we should have brought our flat bed trailer. We call the guy and tell him we are a bit early, he says come on over. When we get to his place we see that he is moving, not just going to be out of town beginning in two days. The piano is what we hoped for, Keith tries to get him to come down, just for the game of bartering, he won’t budge. We tell him we are going to go get a trailer, and explain why we did not bring ours, though it does not look like rain, just cold overcast. We will be back within the hour. It is a deal.
As we drive over to the UHaul center, that had the list of available covered trailers for 71$, Keith says he just realized he left the phone # of the guy to help move in his other jeans. And that piano IS heavy. This guy had an option to deliver to Midland, maybe that would be about the same, since we were looking at renting a trailer. Keith searches his cell and finds one of the few movers he had checked with, calls and asks the guy how much to Midland. $800. Nope, we will be doing the moving.
Inside UHaul, the personnel, 2 women and a man greet us across the store and ask us our need, Keith is getting off the phone from one of the boys and I start to describe the need for a covered trailer, then Keith picks it up. A woman named La Crissy (yes we are in West Texas) asks when, we say “Now”. She says ” Not gonna happen, there are none available, we should have reserved.
I say ” The site says you have them available.”
LaCrissy ” That site ain’t right.”
Keith is now asking about lifts/dollies and such
The man asks what we are moving.
La Crissy is explaining Tech students are moving mid term. ” There is nutting to rent, we should have reserved.”
I am getting miffed at the LaCrissy spouting unhelpful things.
The guy begins to explain we really would want a trailer with a ramp, and the un covered short one may work.
We are talking to him and out loud about the weather and if it going to actually rain, and we have flatbed at home,….
La Crissy interrupts the guy trying to help us solve our delimma and says to him “Don’t talk to them, I am taking care of this.”
My head screams “SERIOUSLY??” I bite my tongue and growl instead of saying “what the F chick?” I turn around and mumble obscenities as I leave the store and Keith and start searching out other rental places in town. I find another UHaul with the uncovered trailer, that has a fold down back/ramp and it still does not look like rain, we have a tarp just in case. I text the guy and say it will be more like 3 before we can get things worked out. I go in and tell Keith I have found a trailer. He has just finished a second attempt with La Crissy, and been put on a list for them to find him one. Keith says he got a call from Lee, it is raining in Midland. Lee found a covered trailer at U Haul in Levelland and Brownfield. Keith calls about door height, decides the piano won’t fit, with dolly underneath, per measurement he remembered that the piano dude told him. Keith grumps about getting a flat bed when we have one at home… It starts to sprinkle.
We drive across town,they have a covered like we just gave up, in the lot, already rented. The door is taller than me, the piano would fit. We try to convince them to rent the already rented one to us and we will bring it back before it is needed in AM. No luck. We hook up to trailer and pull out of lot. It starts to rain.
We stop at Sutherlands to buy another tarp. I text the piano dude, ‘ 3:10’. We come out with tarp and bungie cords, it is raining more, and it has dropped about 20 degrees. It is now 35 degrees. We arrive at the house, the piano dude asks ” Where is the help?”
We strap the piano onto the floor dollies we brought. The men tilt and I push under. I did not get it centered the first try- Keiths foot had been in the way. They push it out. I am told as they get to the door I get to lift on back as they lift on front across threshold and down little brick step off at walk. I took off my coat and throw it back in house- Once we get to trailer, the wheels and expanded metal don’t cooperate, then the metal floor ridges hamper more pushing. As we struggle one of the guys who are repairing the fence for the new buyer of the house runs over to help. He is Navajo,from Denver, he has been in Lubbock 2 weeks, he reeks of alcohol. The 20$ Keith gave him probably helped him stay that way.
It is raining. We are wrap and strap the piano- It a steady soft rain. I ask Keith if we should cancel our trip to the new Costco? He said he wanted to go and the piano was covered and running down road or sitting would not be any different.
Costco was great! Found giant loaves of Udi’s Gluten free bread, and lots more goodies. As we are inside we realize that noise is the pouring rain outside. When we get out it is still pouring. Keith said we are eating at West Crust, to have there gluten free pizza. I am nervous about the piano being out in all this rain and cold. Keith says it is wrapped, nothing more can be done. Have faith. The pizza was great.
We remember we needed to pick up tamales at Pedro’s for our Christmas eve dinner, so start heading out to catch them before they close. It is now 7 pm raining raining raining and cold. We stop for gas and Keith sends me to Auto Zone next door for a tarp. Either 5×10 or 6×12– I tell the clerk that when he asks what I need. He hands me the tarp I pay and leave. A guy standing in the rain between AZ and the gas station asks me for money. I tell him maybe but my hands are full now. I get to Keith is under the awning, he unwraps the tarp and throws it out, it is about 5×4. The guy pulled the wrong size, no wonder it was so cheap. We cover the front half of the trailer. We give the begging guy $7 as we drive out.
The right lane of the roads are running rivers, the rain is pouring, each car that passes throws water so we can’t see till the wipers swipe twice. This is in drought stricken West Texas, on the day we are hauling a 1900 sawn oak piano 115 miles. We start reasoning on the rain letting up once we start towards home, since it moved in from south, it won’t be raining there anymore. We pick up the tamales on the way out. It starts to rain harder. The short tarp is flapping, in the wind that has started to blow much stronger now that we are on the highway.
Just outside Lamesa, our halfway point stop, the tarp is only held by one front corner and is flapping like a sail. Keith slows down from the below limit of 50 to way below of 40. He does not want to stop in the rain, the piano is still wrapped in two tarps, the top one was just extra. We will drive on to a gas station with an awning. At the station, 2 other vehicles are tying down their cargo. It reminds me of the Grinch and his over loaded sleigh. It is about 35 degrees and the wind is blowing now. As I stand on the wheel well and catch the rope that Keith throws me from the other side, my legs start to shake, my butt cheeks too.
We are back on the road, it has taken us an hour and a half on what normally takes minutes to drive. It is still pouring rain. Evan calls to say he is off work and is very excited because we are finally getting some more rain in Midland. Grrrrrr.
Another hour and a half and we are finally home. Our roads are soup from all the rain, the mud squashes over the top of my boots as I open the gate. I get my car out of the garage and we back the trailer into the garage. We can’t call the boys over to help us unload after 10 PM. We take off the short tarp, which is now much shorter and shredded. Then unhook the next extra large tarp, the tarp wrapped piano underneath is completely dry.
We prayed on the way to Lubbock. Prayed in Pei Wei. Prayed on way to mans house. Prayed in parking lot of U Haul. Prayed as we left Costco. Prayed when we ate at West Crust. Prayed as we left Lubbock. I prayed silently every time I looked back at flapping tarps.
God is amazing. In the midst of our storm He kept the piano dry. Just as the Isrealites crossed the Red Sea bed without getting mud on their feet.
My Christmas present is a gorgeous piano, something Keith had sworn he would not have. My Christmas present is God knowing my concerns, my wants providing just what I needed. He did not dry up the rain, nor the roads. He did not remove the obstacles. The La Crissy’s of the world. Yet the results are exactly what I needed.
God does not remove all the sins, all the obstacles of this world. He did provide a way for us, to prosper and not be ashamed. He provided a Salvation in the midst of a storm. One way, Jesus Christ, His one and only Son, born as a babe laying in a manger.