I'm grateful for experts. Not only did I get an expert handyman to come in and fix a huge hole that had been in our bathroom ceiling for WAY too long (certain repairs just have to wait for room in the calendar, I'm afraid...), but I had an expert piano technician in to give my piano a full check-up.
This piano has been in the family for nearly 60 years - I believe it dates from around 1933; it belonged to my Father's piano teacher, and he inherited it from her when she no longer needed it. It has been asked to play many, MANY notes over the years - from bad sheet music arrangements of the Bee Gees (it was the 80's - give me a break!), loads of Billy Joel songs (I think I had all his fake books!), countless Barbra Streisand ballads, an achingly large number of those horrid Czerny exercises, the glorious valiant (brilliant in my own mind!) stabs at Chopin and Beethoven, and, yes, the occasional full-on-arm-I'll-never-get-this-phrase-right pounding. These days it doesn't rendezvous with the ballads of Debussy and Schubert as much as I'd like, but it has served me quite well in discovering the thrill of Ariodante and Octavian.
The good news is that she's healthy and in good shape internally - but I think it's time to take the plunge and get her refinished. She definitely deserves to be spoiled a bit!