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  • My daughter is eleven. She has been playing piano since she was four years old using an old full-sized electronic keyboard. She practiced and liked piano, but the sound was not quite the same as a real one. We were hoping, someday, to afford a real instrument.

    One day when the kiddo was nine years old I sat in front of my computer and screamed, "There's a piano on! A FREE PIANO!!!" I sent an immediate request for it and luckily, I was the first person in with my request.

    Two days later we went to pick up the full sized piano. We do not have a truck. I asked my husband how on earth we were going to get the piano home in the back of a Vibe and he said, "It'll fit."

    So off we went to pick up the piano. It was enormously heavy to lift; it took several of us to wrestle it in to the back of the car. It fit in with only a bit of space on each side. My daughter grinned from ear to ear while we drove home.

    Then something miraculous happened. My daughter played it. Every day. For hours and hours. She loved the sound and loved playing on the piano more than anything else that year. She worked and worked for hours every day, passionately, and became a better piano player. It cost us nothing, but meant everything to her.

    It does not take money to buy happiness. Sometimes it can be discovered second hand.
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