All Because I Couldn't Find A Chaise

I was young, though I didnt feel it, and determined to try something new. An unchartered mode of expression to get those creative juices flowing.

My outlet of choice: Upholstery 101.

What better way to spend two nights a week? Especially after Id relegated our pre-marriage furniture hodgepodge to the basement, leaving our living room mostly empty. 

Id upholster us a fashionable space! Where to start? The answer came to me while flipping through a Coastal Living magazine.
A chaise! Bigger than a chair, smaller than a sofa. A chaise would take up some real estate in my cavernous living room and go perfectly by the awkward picture window. And, provide a resting place of solace to read and sip and write and dreamand…where does one find a chaise? One preferably with amazing bones, like the one in the Coastal Living photo?

I scoured tag and estate and garage sales with not a lot of luck, none actually. Until there in the classified section of the paper I saw it. Like a personal message just to me. The word, in a laundry list of offerings: antique chaise for sale!

The next morning I arrived early. Or, so I thought. The garage sale proprietor looked puzzled when I inquired. The what? Oh. No. That sold.

Who knew there was another soul out searching for a chaise? Dejected, I turned to leave.

But, I do have a baby grand piano. Want to take a look?

Um. Baby grand piano…chaise…not at all the same.

It was time to admit that this search was over.


Moments later, I was doing the polite thing, asking myself, What is the appropriate amount of time I should spend so as not to offend this woman and get the heck out of here?when I was ushered into a very full living room and saw it. 

The piano. It instantly took my breath away. 

Im trying to make room so I can move my mother-in-law in,she explained.

I called my husband, We dont want a piano, right?

A what?” 

Baby grand piano. Its really beautiful.

I bought the piano, then immediately had buyer's remorse. 

What did I just do? I bought a piano?! All because I couldnt find a chaise?

Perhaps the most profound disconnect of this impulse buy was that I dont play the piano. My piano-major-in-college mother had insisted I take lessons, but I was so bad at it that my teacher used to let me sing (that I loved) while she played.

Rob did play growing up. There is much family folklore about the hours hed spent practicing to the dismay of his siblings. But in all the years of dating and marrying and moving and babies, Id only ever heard him tickle a chord or two on my mothers upright.

We did not need a piano. We needed furniture and diapers and baby doodads and better insulation andit cost as much to bring the piano home (turns out moving a baby grand piano is not so easy) as it did to buy the thing. 

But, there the beautiful piano sat, in our otherwise empty living room. Rob did start to play again, a bit. My mother played every chance she got, filling our home with music on each visit.

Then, not that many years later, my mother (Mimi as the boys call her) began to bring books, introduce lessons and simplistic songs to both boys. Before long these tutorials transformed a passing love of banging on the pianoto a pursuit for then four-year-old Will.

Today, the beautiful piano, rarely stands idle too long. Between Will’s profound quest to get the next piece off of the page and time spent accompanying his brother (turns out John loves singing like me), the piano is at the center of what we now call the music room.” It shares space with a bass, a ukulele, a banjo, a guitar and a trumpet. Theres a comfy couch in there too, one not upholstered by me.

I never did learn to upholster anything more than a footstool. Wasn't my thing. Or, maybe I didn't give it the time. 

But, heres what I have learned in all that time since...

It all works out for a reasoncan also mean You dont need a reason for it to all work out.

It just does. As long as you keep your eyes open and wide. 

Because most decisions are like the piano. Life gets built around them, making the journey infinitely more interesting--way better--than the original picture you had in mind.