This morning was another typical Motherload day: children need feeding, clothing, walking — no, driving to school (driving because another of the electric window motors died last night, and must be repaired, at enormous expense, immediately) — doctor's appointment, forms to fill in, car tax to pay, my own work disappearing further and further down the list of priorities.
Suddenly I remembered that my daughter's swim gear was in the boot of the car, now at the garage.
She needs it, of course, tomorrow. We have, of course, received dire warnings from teachers, while perched on tiny chairs in the classroom, feeling awash with memories of childhood admonitions, warnings about Not Forgetting The Swim Gear Or Our Children Will Be Humiliated.
I rush out of the front door to walk to the garage.
On my way I pass a squat object covered in a black bin liner. A notice taped to it reads, "Piano Stool. Please take".
I walk on to the garage, retrieve swim bag, and return past the piano stool. I sit on it. It's sturdy and comfortable. I pull aside part of the bin liner. It is a comforting red velvet, slightly faded. I feel a kind of bubbling joy, I know that it will be hinged, and that we will be able to store music in it. The green silk pattern on the piano stool I used as a child, hammering away talentlessly and dutifully every morning, returns to me. No one else is on the street. I hesitate, then go to the front door and ring the bell.
I know the routine: objects left outside need no thanks or recompense, the owners want to let them go, and want someone else to benefit from them. We did it ourselves the other day with slightly overly used trucks and trikes, faded from sunshine and rain, much loved in their time. They disappeared within a day, and we can see them as we walk to school, in the front garden of a house just down the road. We feel happy every time we pass.
A bosomy lady opened the door, slightly impatient at seeing a stranger. I stumbled over my words, thanking her, saying I felt I had to say something about such a beloved thing as a piano stool. She was, of course, embarrassed, smiled, but wanted to close the door.
I blushed as I walked up the road with my prize.
Never mind. I have carried it home, put felt on each of its feet, filled it with sheet music, an unplayed recorder, and a music bag, sat on it, played the piece my daughter is picking her way through at the moment.