Friday, February 20, 2009

The Egg House

I have just returned from visiting Dianne at Sunshine on my shoulders. This week she has been busy asking questions, you know the kind of questions that take a person back to their childhood. "Oh boy" you think "There she goes again!"

By telling old stories, I know I am annoying my children. I know this because I tend to tell the same stories over and over and over. "It is a privilege of old age" I tell them. Not convinced, they roll their eyes. I find find eye rolling funny. People look funny with their eyes rolling about in their heads don't you think? Anyway, I will be disturbed when my kids quit this Ahem... they simply do it behind your back because that means that I will have truly entered my dotage. That is the time in life when you kids start to humor you and agree with anything you say or do so as not to upset you. I am not quite there yet. I digress

Question Number One: What books did you enjoy reading as a child?

I find this question a little incriminating. By answering it, you give away your age. If the curious do not recognize the title, they can find out your approximate age simply by spending a little time with Mr. Google. Here. Let me make it easy for you. By the way, I would love these books. If any of my children or my hubby wants to... Mothers day is coming. I would love to spend a few hours pretending I am a child again. I used to pretend that my Coop was a boxcar. Maybe that is where I got my love of camping from.

Question number Two: What instruments did you learn to play as a child?

I am having trouble interpreting the word learn in the above question. I am not sure that I did really learn to play the instrument that I did study. It really is not my fault. It is the fault of my mother and Onion Breath not his proper name who taught at the Egg House. The place that I received my lessons was called The Egg House. They sold eggs. I think they sold onions as well, judging from the bad breath. As well as selling onions and eggs, they taught piano. I still find this confusing. I want to know, can you wrap your head around that?

Seriously, I would like to know, how any sane person my mom could possibly expect a romantically inclined dreamer of a little girl to learn from a man who ate onions just before she showed up for her lesson! My mom had decided to move me from the nice lady who taught classical music to attend lessons taught by a stinky grumpy man who taught jazz. She had decided that she wanted to see if I could learn to play by ear. Yeash! My silly mom! I always figured that people used their fingers to tickle the ivories yet I wisely decided not to share my observation with her. With Mom it was the best policy to not only mind your P's and Q's but to pay attention to the whole alphabet! Week after week I toughed it out. I had no choice. Oh, I protested! I even tried gagging when we pulled up at the Egg House! My tactics did not deter my mom. Sometimes, I wonder if she wasn't just a little possessed. We would pull up to the curb, I would gag then turn my pleading eyes on her. Her eyes at that point did have a slightly yet fully discernible devilish glint. While they did not exactly glow red and her head did not spin around, she was scary.

I did innocently manage to get out of one lesson. I had picked at a wart on my knee. We had pulled up to the Egg House. Mom spotted Bwaahaaa! my injury and know! She squealed the tires and left burnt rubber in her rush to get me home muttering "Oh honey, I am so sorry!" again and again. She whisked me into the house, dragged me along to the washroom and wildly rummaged about for PRODUCTS that I had not known existed for A Wart! I can still see the expression on her face when she learned the truth and realized that she was going to have to explain a few things to me. Next week we were back to the Egg House. Sigh...

I spent most of my lesson time copying out my music while he sat beside me and breathed and breathed. Oh, the horror! I am sure that the room had a slight yellow haze that permeated every nook and cranny. I played stupid Alley Cat instead of Moonlight Sonata. The whole episode was torture. Of coarse you can all see where this is going. Yes. It all came to a head one sunny summer day. Instead of gagging, I refused to get out of the car. I think that she really relented because, judging from the progress at practice time, she had come to the obvious conclusion that it was an exercise in futility to teach me to play the piano with my ears. For me, learning to play the piano was simply not worth the torture. I can play Alley Cat and Greensleeves.

As a teen, I talked my mom into getting me a guitar. This was difficult and took some major begging because she kept bringing the whole Egg House episode up over and over and over again. Eyes roll! The fellow who taught me was young an cute. I stayed with it until I ran out of money. I can play and sing: There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly.


Eve said...

My mom taught me to play the piano. No Egg House, no onion breath, no car, and NO wart (lol). Just me and mom and the piano. I didn't get to be as good as my sister, but my mom was always proud of me.

You have made me laugh today (which makes me cough). Thanks for the laughs.

Karen said...

Soooo funny! Onion Breath sounds horrible. My own adventure into the world of music was when my mother decided that I had to learn to play the accordian. She was from a Polish neighborhood in Detroit. I was born in a little hick town in Georgia. No one there even knew what an acccordian was. I hated it. It was huge, I could barely hold it on my chest. It mysteriously got damaged somewhere along the line. Too bad.

Christine said...

Karen, do you have anything that you would like to confess?

I would love to hear the whole story. Who taught you? How long did you have to suffer? What songs did you learn to play? Did your moms eyes glow red and did her head spin around? What did you do with the accordion?

diana said...

isn't it funny how something read here in blogland can get you to reflecting on the past (anywhere from childhood to yesterday). i'm glad my questions were able to do that for you. thanks for sharing some of what you were thinking about.

who would have guessed that piano lessons could be such an ordeal? i had at least 3 different teachers in 3 different cities. they were all weird in their own way. i think that was part of the problem with me wanting to practice and take it all seriously.

hope you have a great weekend.

Jientje said...

No piano, no guitar, violin or anything. All I ever got in my hands as a child that looked remotely like a music instrument was a triangle! Ping! That's all the music this girl has ever made!!

Cindi said...

Since I read some of the boxcar children books growing up I'm going to guess you're around 26 or 27! Right Auntie Chris!!!

Sue said...

I loved the boxcar children too.

"I've got no music in me" Well, I do, but nothing that anybody other than my grandchildren want to hear.
I did get a keyboard for Christmas from Marv last year but have yet to sign up for lessons. It was something I wanted to do before I turned "50". Now I am "50" and it just doesn't seem as important. And I don't seem to have time for lessons. I haven't totally given up, I may start yet!

Christine said...

Thank you Cindy! Hahaha!

Lucy said...

You poor thing, you definitely have quite a piano lesson story.

I had Sister Pig Nose teach me (that's what we called her). She was the typical nun, wielding a ruler and let me tell you I kept my wrist up!

Fluffy said...

I had piano lessons in elementary school. A relative had died and we got the old upright piano. I had lessons for two years and loved it.