Our 92 year old next door neighbor has an in-home studio from 50+ years of playing the piano at church and parties.
Muffin is his latest accompanist.
He doesn’t seem to mind that, at 89 years his junior, she’ll slobber into the mics, constantly fiddle with his soundboard, and hopelessly crush and tangle the headphone cords while hopping between keyboards. Just so long as she follows the one rule. . . “Please don’t pound the keys sweetheart.”
She gets piano lessons here and there. When she’s not devouring snacks at his kitchen table, trying to operate his treadmill, or constantly bumming rides on his walker.
And he encourages me to practice on the real piano in the living room. . . usually because I can see him at the kitchen table but not her, so he can slip her a second (or third) box of yogurt-covered raisins before I have time to protest.
“You’ve got me figured out,” he says.
But I’m getting a little less rusty on the piano and Muffin, though probably getting a little rounder around the middle, can point to “Middle C.”
And I’m finding more and more room in our days for these visits because my elderly neighbor’s joy, spunk, and energy are completely contagious.
And it affects my daughter and her joy.
This afternoon, when I asked “How was your day?” he instantly exclaimed, “TERRIFIC!” With a victory fist thrust in the air to punctuate that statement. And then he added, “Every day for me is a GREAT DAY. But I guess you’ve realized that by now.”