I've played a lot of instruments in my life- the piano for the longest, the flute (high school band), french horn (high school orchestra), the hammer dulcimer (one lovely summer) , the recorder (high school madrigals) , the banjo (every Tuesday night for lessons) - but the fiddle has been the biggest influence on my time , life and mind.
I've owned a fiddle for 25 years- but it spent at least 20 of them in the closet , with no bridge and a bow with no hair. I suppose it was actually a series of closets- because it braved college , graduate school, first apartment, married life (did I?) , and then finally got strings when my oldest child was about 5. So then with strings and haired bow , it sat for another 7 years until I began to play at the grand age of 42. I am REALLY unsure about that math- but you get the idea.
Some of you are going to ask- what is the difference between a fiddle and a violin. There are lots of snappy answers - but my answer is always, the tradition in which the instrument is played. I play Irish. I get in lots of trouble with fellow musicians , because I play only Irish- not old time anymore and not Scottish.