White Horses on Willapa Bay

Jan 23, 2012 | 2 comments

Under Our Piano's Dress

     The predicted “winds along the southwest Washington coast” arrived in Oysterville yesterday morning whipping fallen leaves around the garden and urging all the trees to take a trip toward the northeast.   Out on the bay the whitecaps (“white horses” say my British friends) galloped toward shore.  Our house moaned and groaned occasionally, and I worried that the power might go out.
     What a weekend for a House Concert!  But then, we couldn’t know when we scheduled pianist Scott Cossu several months ago that the snow gods would trap him in his Olympia house for four days beforehand, without power and without telephone.
    We were expecting him Saturday night.  Fortunately, he managed to get to a neighbor’s house that afternoon, called us on a borrowed cell phone, and said he and flute player John Croarkin WOULD be here for their Sunday evening gig…  probably early afternoon.
     Early afternoon came and went.  At least I thought it did.  When exactly IS early afternoon?  I think by 2:00 it might be past.  In any event, I was greatly relieved when the musicians arrived in plenty of time for a bowl of soup and a little keyboard check.
     Scott even had time to “undress” our 1908 upright piano which, much to my horror, revealed its dusty inner workings.  But, come on!  Who dusts the inside of their piano, anyway?  And besides amplifying the sound, watching the action was an unanticipated added attraction.
     By the time the concert began, the storm had pretty much blown itself out.  I was thankful that the coats piled on our bed weren’t a bit wet because, in the excitement of seeing the piano without her clothes, I had forgotten to put the protective plastic drop sheet atop the bedspread.
     Certainly, the concert angels were gathered around!  Musicians, music, audience and ambiance were fabulous – and not a white horse in sight!


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Oh I think it would have been dramatic to have had the concert by candle light, Sydney, but I’m glad that everything went well and sorry that we couldn’t attend. It is certainly my intention to be there next time–with bells on!

    • sydney

      It’s not the “Concert by Candlelight” that’s difficult (in fact, been there done that), it’s that this old house gets VERY cold VERY fast — so much so, in fact, that musicians really are too cold for fingers and lips to play. Fireplaces are nice for ambiance, but they don’t cut it in a 3,000 square foot house with 11 foot ceilings. My grandparents had a wood stove, an oil stove, and a wood cook stove all of which helped and all of which are gone… We would have carried on until we couldn’t, but I’m sure glad we didn’t have to.


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