Have I ever told you the saga of the Christmas Saxophone? Settle in. This story is long and weird.

Sometime in October or so, my sister called up and asked if Kid#3 was still interested in playing the saxophone. This is the kid that so far has learned to play the recorder, the violin, the guitar, the snare drum, the ukelele, the piano, and the flute. Yes, yes, he wants to play saxophone, too. So my sweet sister orders one around the end of October, early November from someone on e-Bay. The expected arrival date at this time was around Thanksgiving.

In December, excuses started pouring into her inbox. “I forgot to mail it when I went to the post office.” “I can’t find a box to fit it into.” “I’m really behind on everything right now. Isn’t Christmas time crazy?” So when the saxophone didn’t arrive by Christmas, no one was really surprised. Disappointed, yes. Surprised, no.

Post Christmas, the excuses stopped coming. My sister kept trying to contact the lady and not hearing back. We despaired of ever seeing this instrument and we told the sax teacher we’d lined up that we wouldn’t be able to take lessons yet.

Sometime in February, my sister got an email that said the sax was on its was on its way. Greg had pneumonia. The coronavirus pandemic hit. Mail delivery started getting weird. We honestly just figured wasn’t coming.

Then yesterday, nearly seven months after she ordered it, the saxophone arrived!

It wasn’t in a box at all. It was in a regular soft-sided case, smelling of motor oil, and wrapped a couple times around with duct tape. We immediately checked that there was, in fact, a saxophone inside the case, and a then threw that nasty, smelly case away. We washed the saxophone as best we could, transferred it to the smaller, gig-bag style case that had sat empty all these months, and then dropped it off curbside at our lovely local band instrument shop. They’ll do a deep cleaning, a tune up, and set us up with mouthpiece, ligature, and reeds before it comes back home with us again.