On a Knob

Knob: a projecting part, usually rounded, forming the handle of a door, drawer, or the like (dictionary.com)

Knobs seem so simple and mundane. This story starts in 2004 when we decided to update our kitchen. Not a major overhaul involving gutting what we had, but just updating – so we hired a husband and wife team we somewhat knew, plus we know others who used their skills.

In their team, he did most of the heavy work while she had a gifted eye for coordination and detail. Interestingly, his communication touch was quite a bit softer than hers. As time went one, it was time to pick the knobs. I can still hear her unique voice and manner saying, “Come on Frank. The knobs are going to be the final touch that makes this room right because they are more than something to grab and pull.”

Our previous cabinets lacked knobs. Meanwhile, selecting knobs is not an easy task, and believe me, I traveled the city looking for the perfect, 40 attractive, reasonably priced knobs – and yes, I saw some expensive ones too!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We got to better know this couple after the project, did things with them socially, and eventually both of them joined our chime choir – which shortly thereafter transformed into a handbell choir. Although she lets everyone know that she is not a good player, she is the least confident and very much part of us all. Her occasional frantic meltdowns during rehearsals caused much laughter – and her husband simply smiled to say, “And that’s my wife.”

The lady in this story is the friend who passed away last week. Her funeral was joyous, sad, and difficult – but a celebration of her life. We played a peaceful piece that brought all of us to tears during rehearsals – but we got through it when it counted. We also had a simple tribute displaying a bell, empty gloves, and a rose (which we gave to her daughter). By the way, I will feature the beautiful tune on Friday, or watch it here.

Our handbell choir continues without her and her husband (although he could return in time). We are adjusting, yet it is not the same as each of us glance to her spot in our U-shaped arrangement with a sense of emptiness and sorrow. (We also had a rose in a vase at her position.)

The piece below is an interesting arrangement that intertwines Oh Come Emmanuel and Carol of the Bells. To me, it has a Manheim Steamroller feel, This choir plays it very well – and they have a good four-in-hand player, which is an interesting skill that is definitely not me.  (I play the same part as the far-right female.)

Our group plays this piece (Emmanuel Bell Choir, arr John Malinowski) on Sunday in our first regularly scheduled time since her passing – so enjoy this music of the season as I dedicate this to my friend – the one whom our kitchen serves as a daily reminder to my wife and I. Blessings my friend!