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The First Piano

When I turned 6, my grandfather died and my family moved to another state. One Christmas, my grandmother gave us an electric keyboard. Eventually I started taking piano lessons with a local piano teacher who was in a wheelchair due to an accident when she was a missionary in Africa. It was okay practicing on the keyboard, but I needed a real piano. My parents heard about an estate sale nearby with a piano being sold, so they took me there. We picked our way through the clutter of a dead person's furniture to an imposing upright piano, paneled with solid, dark brown wood. I played "Do, a Deer" on the discolored ivory keys. The people standing around clapped as though I had done something amazing. The piano was $25. "We'll take it," my father said. I'll never forget seeing his hand holding out the payment to the estate agent. I felt like I was being given the universe.

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