I'm a terrible gift giver

I'm going back to Michigan in September to visit my cancer ridden mother. No doubt a visit from her most charming and beautiful daughter will chase her cares away along with her sickness. She has been bothering me for months to help her pick out a ukulele. She doesn't have a lot of money since she can't work so she needs something inexpensive but that sounds good. I've been looking. I looked in stores, I looked online. I knew what she should get but she just hasn't had the time, energy or money to get the ball rolling.

So I did it for her.

A friend came up to me the other day and said, "Chris just bought a mandolin from a guy with a whole workshop full of instruments! He had ukes! You should give him a call." Well, of course he didn't have the guys number. So I placed an ad on Craigslist: "WANTED: UKULELE TO BUY Please contact Emily at..."

20 minutes later I got the call. He has all four sizes and three different brands. He's a hobbyist, you see. He puts new tuning pegs on, he puts strap buttons on. He shines them up all pretty and puts Aquila strings on. I was amazed at his dedication and will definitely be shopping with him again.

Here's my mom's Mahalo with new tuning pegs and strap buttons (if she'll want a strap, I hope she does):

Despite my disappointment with my own Mahalo (considerably cheaper in many ways), this one sounds pretty darn good. I think she'll be pleased with it.

Of course, I didn't go without considering the fact that I wanted a soprano sized uke of my own to play outside of the storytime arena.

I came out of the deal with this:
It was funny. He seemed embarrassed that he hadn't changed the tuning pegs on it to the sticky-outie ones (that's a technical term, by the way). It was so beautiful (and a hundred bucks cheaper than the concert sized one he was trying to push on me). It was cool, for sure. I'm not sure what model it was. It looked like the K-Wave Les Paul style uke but it actually said Bushman on the headstock.

Anyway, the pictures I have of the one I got don't do it justice. It has this beautiful inlay around the headstock, the body and the hole. When I took it out immediately to the park while my strong arm/boyfriend ate lunch the wood actually glistened in the sun. Unbelievable! It glistened! It was meant to be.

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