The first ever instrument I picked up seriously was the keyboard (never got past playing simple chord progressions and simple little melodies on it) when my bro and I wanted to make a band. But my first love came when my brother bought a mandolin. Since he was a good guitar player, he'd play the guitar and I'd piddle 'round with the mandolin in our jam sessions and for a thrown-together fan album we did for Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.
After that, he stopped playing music with me because he wanted to focus on writing songs devoted to Jesus. Whenever I could, I'd snatch is mandolin and practice. I got fairly decent, but then my brother moved and took the mandolin with him. He left his old guitar (this guitar belonged to my grandpa, who in turn passed it to my dad, who in turn passed it on to my bro, who in turn passed it to me) so I learned a bit of that enough to play most of the songs from Damh's songbook (my music bible and teacher! 90% of the music I can play comes from this book. hehe). And somewhere between being mandolinlessness and picking up the guitar, I got a bouzouki and fiddled around with that (since the fingering almost identical to the mandolin, my only obstacles with that were the huge frets and the higher action). I also acquired a tin whistle and can play a few things on there, and one of my side-endeavors is learning my way 'round my bagpipe practice chanter (the bagpipe: the greatest sound ever to be bestowed on my ears, I believe). And my brother bought a bass guitar from a friend that lives near me, so I'm holding on to it for my brother until he visits me (so I have the bass till July. mwahahaha!)
But still, something was missing...
So when my birthday rolled around again a week or so ago, I thought, "What the heck, I'm gonna reunite with a mandolin." So I bought a mandolin again, and it's been bliss since I got it. I forgot how much I loved playing the mandolin.
My brother and I still do a lot of stuff with music via skype. Since he left, he's picked up the dulcimer and psaltry (I want one of those! haha) and he likes to pretend he knows how to play the fife. lol!