Quilting, Farming, Variety

Friday, July 13, 2018

One of God's Greatest Gifts

I have always thought one of God's greatest gifts to us is music; those seven notes, infinite ways of expressing happiness or sorrow, solo or in harmonic chords and cadence. Even the birds can sing the notes from God.

If ever I've been envious of something, it's the musical ability some people have to play instruments by ear. Mama's family was a family of music makers, by voice and instrument: fiddles, guitars, pump organ, and brothers and sisters gathering round one another and singing those notes from God.

I always wanted to play the piano. Miss Pauline came to the school auditorium each Wednesday to give piano lessons to those whose parents could afford 50 cents each week for a lesson. I could hear those notes -- learned them by heart -- yearned to play them.

In the spring of 1955, Daddy had sold his horses and bought a little John Deere tractor. He hitched the horse-drawn plows, planters, etc. to the tractor, taught me to drive, and I helped him put in the crop of sorghum cane and cut the hay. As the school term approached, he agreed to pay for piano lessons, so I took the money I had earned working in the peaches and he bought a piano for me; a $100, big, heavy, not-so-pretty piano, but it had the seven notes from God. I ordered a "note finder" to slip over the center keys and before lessons started I was picking out tunes.
I whizzed through the beginners' book; after all, I knew those little lessons by heart, and by December I was ready for my first recital. I felt a bit out of place, being fourteen years old and playing pieces along side elementary students. All went well until the ending and I had to cross my right hand over my left; of course I played the wrong note -- one time.
Mama made a "formal" for me to wear; lots of nylon net in a light green color.

I only took lessons that one year; I had learned enough to play hymns at church and it just seemed I had come to the end of my being able to learn the more difficult pieces. These last few years, when my cat stayed inside, I didn't play much; it seemed to annoy him. I'm rusty at playing now, the piano is out of tune, but I'm feeling an urge to try again, because I love those notes from God, written in praise to him.


  1. Oh how I love this Charlotte and admire you for not giving up. My mother's family were talented by playing instruments as well and I always wanted to play something but never did pursue it. I'd love to hear you play and I love that pretty picture of you in your lovely dress. Blessings to you sweet friend and thank you for sharing this very touching post.

  2. I hope you return to playing, Charlotte because it obviously brings you much joy and you deserve that joy. I can play just a little on the piano but not much. I never had formal lessons. What little I do know I taught myself. I can't play by ear, only by reading the notes. Music truly is a great gift we've been given. Wonderful post. I hope you are having a nice summer.

  3. I love this too, and so agree that music is one of God's greatest gifts. What a lovely piece and so well written. I am sure it won't take long for you to once again be playing those old hymns you love so well.

  4. Charlotte, you've nearly got me in tears.

    So beautifully written, and straight from your heart.


  5. Sweet post, it is nice to know a little bit more about you. Love the photo of you in your light green formal. I say, put the cat out to play and have fun on your Piano. It's a marvelous way to praise the Lord.
    In regard to the comment you left on my blog: I enjoy antiques that are tools and everyday items. Things that people used to farm, cook, clean etc. I'll take them over fancy crystal and heavy furniture. I'm just a simple gal :) I think it is wonderful that you have your mother's rub board. We have it so easy compared to the life they lived. Thank you so much for popping in to say Hi.
    Connie :)

  6. Oh how I love this post! I took piano lessons for 18 months--hated every lesson and the only song I really liked was "Swans on the Lake"--I can still play it today. Then I cut the end of my right index finger off and that was the end of lessons.
    Along came my baby sister and loved piano lessons, took them for years. Played in church and at home. She plays carols every Christmas for our family sing-along.
    Now, sit down at that out of tune piano and put your right thumb on middle "C" and practice--it's just like riding a bike. You never forget how to play!