Monday, July 7, 2008

Pools and pianos

Mark had off today because it was considered a family day for the Air Force - at least those in his squadron. He spent the morning studying and playing our piano and I spent the morning at work. I worked until around noon and then we went out with 2 of my co-workers, one of which is leaving at the end of the week. Mark asked me if I wanted to stop at the piano store with him on the way home. (Not sure why he even asked - of course I did!) We've been talking about getting a digital piano for a few months now. We have a keyboard - a pretty nice keyboard at that. But, it is a keyboard. And if you play the piano (and I have since I was 5 years old and Mark has since about 5th grade), you know there's a BIG difference between a keyboard and a piano. They feel different to play, they sound different, the action (movement of the keys) is WAAYYY different. So we went to "look" at a piano store in town, for the 2nd time. First time we came out empty-handed. Second time, we did. Mark and I bought a Roland digital piano, and, to put it mildly, it's awesome. It both feels and sounds like a piano (instead of a keyboard), but it's smaller than a traditional piano (as in, I can pick it up by myself even though it has 88 normal sized keys) and you never have to tune it. Both of those are HUGE pluses for the military lifestyle. Eventually I'll get my Kawai baby grand piano that is waiting patiently for me at my parents house, but right now our lifestyle doesn't promote having a huge piano to haul all over the country/ world. This was quite the splurge for us, but we both feel we'll put it to good use, and it'll bring us (and hopefully our kids someday) many hours of pleasure.

We were at the pool today after putting our piano together. We actually got there a little before 5pm, which was a first for us. For those of you non-military people, every day at 5pm they play "Retreat" followed by the National Anthem on base. If you're driving, everyone stops. If you're walking, everyone stops at faces the flag at attention. I knew this happened, but for some reason, I wasn't expecting it to be the same at the pool. However, it did. We were in the pool swimming laps (or I was at the side trying to catch my breath anyway) and "Retreat" started to play. Everyone at the pool - military members, spouses, even little kids (as in like 4-5 year olds) all stopped and stood at attention, facing the flag. Even those of us in the pool did it. It was just a neat experience and made me proud to be an American.

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