Semi-retirement! Wow, how did I get old enough to be able to retire? The years seem to have slipped by without me realizing it! Well, I suppose if I’m honest with myself, retirement has been on my mind for the last 4 or 5 years, but I never had the motivation to pull the trigger on actually making that move. I have shared in a previous blog about the decline of my natural hearing, but I have been able to compensate with visual tuning devices and hearing aids. However, this past summer, I was on a mission trip with the Texas Mosaix group to Spain where we would do outdoor concerts to support local churches and their ministries. As you might imagine, for an outdoor concert to be effective over large distances, the volume has to be quite loud at the source around the stage. With my already diminished hearing ability, the loud sound did a number on my ears to the point that I was loosing my sense of pitch. This happened on several occasions during our trip. It was then that a couple of things occurred to me. One, I can’t handle the loud volume of concerts anymore without some way of being able to control the volume of what I hear, and two, I need to protect and save what is left of my hearing so I can keep playing for the years to come. Texas Mosaix (I’m their main keyboard player) has recently purchased an in-ear monitor system that we can travel with and use with any sound equipment we have for concerts. This will be a big help in controlling the volume of what I hear, with the added bonus of being able to set my own mix! Piano tuning is pretty hard on the ears because of the percussive nature of the piano, and the volume with which each note has to be repeated to ensure the tuning stays where it should even with hard playing. So…..I made the difficult decision to retire from piano tuning in an attempt to retain the hearing I have left.
It has been about 2 months now since I stopped taking tuning appointments and I have just about taken care of all the customers that had appointments already scheduled. Pianos have been my life and living most of my life, and I have a lifetime of experience both playing and working on these marvelous instruments. I am 69 years old and still in excellent health and not quite ready to retire completely. What would I do?!? So I will continue to repair and rebuild pianos, calling on this lifetime of experience with the piano and put it to good use.
Then there is the other side of semi-retirement…….since I’m not tuning all the time, what will I do? Like I stated earlier, I am still rebuilding pianos, so I expect that will keep me as busy as I want to be, but there needs to be time to pursue other things as well which I intend to do! I have written songs for every major family event like weddings and anniversaries since high school days, yet I never took the time to record all those songs for my family or anyone else that might be interested in listening to them. So, getting all those songs recorded is definitely high on my to do list and I need to get started as it might take a while to get them all done! I would also like to travel some and see parts of the country I haven’t been to, or re-visit some of the places I really enjoyed. I don’t think I’ll have trouble finding something to keep me occupied!
Thank you to those of you who have been my customers for the last 40 plus years. Many of my regular customers have become good friends, and I offer my thanks for the friendships I have enjoyed. If you happen to need some piano repair or want to rebuild grandma’s old piano, give me a call! Thanks for reading, and for tuning in! Now I need to go take a nap!