Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Memories—A Heavy Hand


During the Christmas break I was the impromptu pianist for a baptismal service. After the service, Ty said, “Did you see that even the flower arrangement danced while you played? You played so loud I thought they were going to bounce off the piano.” It’s not the first time he’s brought the volume to my attention.

Hear. Hear. I play the piano with a heavy hand because of the Boogie Man. I learned to play our old upright, saloon-style piano with the squeaky, swivel stool in the basement. (I don’t have any idea how the piano got down there, my folks probably built the house around it.) My practice slot was 6:00 am and the only way to practice the piano was with my back to the deep, dark fruit-room and furnace room (with the big black coal box that took half of the room and the noisy furnace hopper that fed the coal into the furnace). Certain the Boogie Man would eventually creep out of one of those rooms and snatch me while I was counting out notes, I created a safety plan that included playing very, very loudly so that my family would know that if the music stopped something was dreadfully wrong and come searching for me. Though I tested my theory twice and no one came looking for me, I still played the piano with a thunder hoping that if it were a real emergency they wouldn’t let me down.

For better or worse, mankind and floral arrangements are the beneficiaries of this memory.

Does one of your childhood fears still affect you?

13 comments:

SANDERSON / MCCONKIE FAMILY said...

I love your story Jayne. What a vivid memory...felt like I was there. I really think you need to write a book about your life. I would buy the first copy!!! :)

Jill said...

That is just too funny!

deidra said...

Maybe I needed a boogie man to get me to practice. I figure it worked out alright, I can weld and Chris can play the piano. (Well, it works out until I'm in womens meetings and there aren't any piano players.)

Kathy said...

Oh yes, I am afraid of the dark!

melanie said...

I'm still afraid of the Boogie Man, especially in the dark! This cracked me up, you are soooo funny! Even now I take the garbage out at a leisurely pace and once it's dumped I run, mock speed, back into the house. I just know that's when he's going to get me!

Julie said...

I'm terrified of birds. We had chickens when I was little and when we went in to collect the eggs the rooster always flew at me. Little brunette girls always wear red and roosters don't like it. Anyway, now even pidgeons at the park freak me out. I couldn't even watch a few minutes of "The Birds". My kids think I'm crazy.

Alisa said...

This whole story makes me laugh. I can just imagine the flowers jumping on top of the piano. I can also imagine sitting in a basement and coming up with the same plan. Want to know how I am sure I would have done the same thing?
When I am stuck somewhere (like grocery shopping walmart etc ...)and one of the boys has to go to the bathroom and I can't go in with them, I have them sing loudly the whole time they are in there. If the singing stops I am going in. I have many a man come out of the bathroom laughing while I am waiting.

Deanna/Mimi said...

Great story Jane. Even then you were able to come up with a solution to a scary time in your life. Also your story tells not only your fear, but your drive in learning the piano..even at 6:00AM. That speaks volumes of you. I would have loved to have met your mother...you were taught well and you have carried that on to your children and they will to their children. What a legacy!!
My fear? Worms. Ugh! I am just now starting to grow out of it..a little...a wee little.

michelle said...

This story cracked me up! And reminded me of many a piano practice on our old upright in the unfinished basement. Love your emergency plan.

I'm still kind of afraid of fire, but nothing like when I was growing up.

Cali said...

Oh mom, that made me laugh and laugh and laugh... especially because you tested your theory twice and no one came. However, you kept the faith that if it were a REAL emergency, they'd pull through. Ha ha ha (still laughing).

I love you and the qualities you've passed on to me. Last night Ray turned off the bedroom light when we were going to bed. It was pitch black. He suddenly became VERY quiet and I didn't know where he was in the room. I loudly declaired, "I hope you remember that I hate to be startled and that I'm scared of the dark. If you sneak up on me, I'll punch you VERY hard." Suddenly he made his presence known. He was in the opposite corner of the room... he had indeed been trying to sneak up on me. Wise man for putting up the white flag. Wise man for making himself know because then suddenly it all became fun and funny.

Being scared of the dark sure makes life more interesting... and movies too.

Becky said...

Hilarious!

I still sometimes get nervous in the dark if the house seems too quiet.

And, I have small anxiety attacks during anything remotely confrontational...that is a definite throwback to my childhood--yuck! (I've learned that deep-breathing exercises really work).

Korbi said...

oh my gosh... maybe it is the late hour, but I am CRYING from laughing so hard....I can't stop.... someone get me a Kleenex....

Nikki said...

That's so funny! I find myself speeding through songs. The pace gets faster and faster.

I think I may just post about the fears part. I need some blog-fodder anyway. :P