Storytime: Some Things Live On


We had a great Thanksgiving here. Jen, Rachel and a couple other friends and I did the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot run in the morning. It was very windy and snowing during the race, but fun was had by all. Did a little prep around the house and then welcomed 20 or so family members for dinner. Dishes brought by all made for quite a feast. A morning spent running makes the bird and trimmings taste even better.

A personal highlight of the day, for me, was to have Grandma Renda in our home again. She is over 90 and was in the hospital most of the summer/fall. I didn’t see any way she would be with us for the holidays, but, thankfully, I was very wrong. She walked into the house assisted only by an offered hand to steady her up the stairs and visited with the family all day. Quite a woman.

In recent weeks, I had been looking into purchasing a Mandolin. Jen mentioned that Grandma had a couple of Grandpa’s old Mandolins lying around. Well, word got to her about this and two mandolins are now sitting in the Man-Cave™. I was a bit nervous about the whole thing, but she was very gracious about it all and said that Grandpa would’ve liked that someone is playing them again. As I said, quite a woman. Kent (relative) had brought his bass along, so the two of us retired to the Man-Cave™ to while away a couple of hours in song. Family members wandered in and out to listen and bring us cookies.

Today, I got some new strings for the instrument and began to read up on the process. Sometimes particular instruments have little quirks that must be respected. After a bit of study, I decided to remove all the old strings and use some elbow grease to polish her up. About halfway through, I was struck with a nostalgia that made me pause and look a bit on the instrument. This was Grandpa’s mandolin. He had been the one to play it and change out her strings for years. Now, it was my responsibility. Now, it was my pleasure. I thought a bit more and, for some reason, grabbed my camera to capture the process a bit.

The bridge on a mandolin is not fixed. Rather, it can be moved to bring about the best possible sound. Not being comfortable with the whole process, I replaced the bridge in the same spot.

Not exactly re-stringing a guitar. One by one, the new strings began to bring the old mandolin to life.

Done. Polished body… Treated fretboard… New strings…

And music.

Some things live on.