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!

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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!

47 thoughts on “On a Knob

    • Elyse,
      Wow … you are fast as I just this just went up. 🙂 … and yes, you provided a good analogy about knobs. Hope you wanted the video as it is an fun piece. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


  1. Hi,
    The Lady was so right about the final touches, the knobs must blend in, and look just right. The kitchen looks really nice, a very good job done by all.
    A lovely video, it was really nice to listen to. 🙂


  2. i was reading your post and looking at the pictures and wishing i knew that couple who helped you. i just had to get new appliances, and now my countertops really look like crap. i’d love to update the cabinets, though they actually look better since the appliances were replaced. they don’t have any knobs, and i’ve always thought a little ‘jewelry’ would spruce them right up. i was going to say how totally jealous i am of all your counterspace and the number of cabinets you have (my kitchen is tiny). then i got to the part where you explained that the lady is the friend who just passed away. your post took on a totally different meaning then. what a wonderful reminder of your friend every time you walk into your kitchen. and what a wonderful gesture to have a rose and a glove where she would usually be.


    • Nonnie,
      Thanks for confirming that my connection worked … and in terms of updating a kitchen, she would absolutely support the points about your experience.

      As you can tell, the tribute table was in front, but we ring in a more on the side and toward the back. Of the 200 attendees, I’m not sure how many saw this table. Plus, we took it down during the opening hymn. As a matter of fact, a friend told me yesterday that he the removal of the table and the daughter with the rose after the service, but didn’t know the connection because of where he was seated. Plus, not many could see the rose at her ringing position.

      BTW – Since I know you enjoy handbell music, I hope you saw the video! Thanks for your comment.


  3. Frank, thanks for sending the link. I too have gone through the remodeling mode (1986) so it is about time again. The knobs were a major issue, that said, you have touched on a universal concern for the discerning homeowner … one which can drive you up the wall.

    The hand bell performance was superb. All the best to you and your friends as you adjust to the absence of a cherished colleague.


    • Joe,
      Thanks for confirming the knobs issue … and I was surprised to see individual knobs selling for $20 and more! Meanwhile, I’m glad you enjoyed the bell piece, as I knew you would. Thanks for visiting sharing your thoughts.


  4. Thanks for doing this Frank. It lifted my spirits this morning as I head out to do the committal service at the cemetary with the family.


    • Patti,
      Her passing has hit many like a tons of bricks … and many of us are continue to struggle. In that light though, I can’t imagine the impact on her husband, son, and daughter. We will be stronger very soon b/c we have to for them! Thanks for visiting.


  5. What a heart-rendingly ironic day for your friend’s committal – 70 years to the day, from the horrific loss of Pearl Harbor. On this day, as I lower my 48-star flag, I will add an additional silent prayer for one more soul given to God on this day.
    The kitchen looks great, and is a fitting memorial in and of itself. And as long as you remember her, every time you open a cabinet, so will you guarantee her immortality in your heart.
    Well done, my friend.


    • John,
      Thanks for mentioning Pearl Harbor. I recall seeing a report yesterday that a group of vets are disbanding … well … low numbers … but, if I recall, some families will continue to get together to commemorate the day in honor of the vets. Meanwhile, I recall my one visit to the Pearl Harbor Memorial … what a solemn feeling you get during the wait – let alone at the memorial.

      From one memorial to another, yes, we have one in our kitchen … plus see others when visiting certain friends. Her passing has hit many of us very hard, then again – nothing like the impact on her husband, daughter, and son. Many thanks for your thoughtful words.


    • Kay,
      Thanks for the kind words. As a person of style, I imagine the change in the storyline may have surprised you. Plus, I hope you had a chance to watch the handbell piece. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


  6. Beautiful pictures with a touching post. 🙂 Btw. How did you include that URL with the photos changing? Is that the “Slide” site? I have an account with them, but I don’t think I can add them to WordPress as they don’t like third party things.


    • Java Girl,
      The slideshow IS withing WordPress, so you have that capability. (This is from memory, so I hope this is correct). After loading several images into your post, the Gallery tab appears in the Insert images sequence … and Insert Slideshow is at the bottom of it.


  7. Touching story, Frank. I had to laugh at your kitchen before photos though; we have the same laminate white cabinets here. My husband promised me a new kitchen within 5 years of moving here, but after pricing it out, we did the 10% makeover – paint and new handles plus a few appliances. Glad you got the cabinets and made a friend in the process.


    • Lynn,
      Ours involved new wooden doors … and then we did other stuff to coordinate. We use the door inside the door to find the match … and it worked very well! Hope you listened to the handbell use as it has an interesting techniques (sound). Thanks for visiting and commenting.


    • Alan,
      In terms of the bells, all the unplayed bells in the video may be from a different group. (They seem to be on separate tables in front of the choir that’s playing). We have our share of bells … of course if a bell is not used in a song, it stays in the storage case. Glad you enjoyed the post – after all, you also you a reminder kitchen. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


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  9. This was a lovely tribiute to your friend. I enjoyed watching the video it brought back lots of memories. It’s definietly one of the most difficult parts of life loosing loved ones. It really is heartbreaking.

    Kitchen knobs can be important when we bought our very small trailor it had been remodeled before we moved in and what caught my eye was the details, like the kitchen and bathroom knobs. I think all the small details is what sold me to the place. I appreciated reading this heartfilled post as well listening to the musical tribute.


    • Starla,
      Thank you for the kind words. Interestingly, I had to return to this post to remind myself of the handbell piece … which of course I watched again. What a fun piece!

      I think about my friend quite often, but I keep my head up while trying to be supportive to her surviving husband. Meanwhile, she would be right with you on the importance of knobs! (Oh I can hear her voice now. :))

      BTW, the rose on the empty bell table we gave to her daughter. Thanks for reading this link and commenting.


      • My plessure Frank. I know it’s hard when having to be stong for others. I was just telling Navar last night how important it is to feel our feelings of sadness from time to time when they come up so that they don’t bottle up. I think all the feelings are a part of life so that we can have the Joy as well.


        • Being strong for the survivor is a delicate balance of being there, but not being over protective. Being persistent, but not over bearing. ,,, and yes, as you say, feeling sadness is important – especially in relationship to joy.


        • I agree it is a very delicate balance. I think it is a dilicate dance a part of being a humanbeing. You may need to remind me of these things down the road. I’m not sure there is a perfect way to grieve. As I think about the possiable loss of those who are close to me it takes my breath away.


        • All of us need reminders in life. In terms of grieving, it’s not one-size-fits-all because each of us handling it differently. For instance, go back to today’s post and read my story about my mother’s funeral.


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  11. What a lovely story about some knobs and bells and a wonderful friend you’ll never forget.
    Enjoying the bells on the video as I write this.
    Wish I lived near you – I’d love to come watch your group play.


    • Rosie,
      If I recall, the song on this post was the one we played in our first time after her passing. A good one for the holidays. For a volunteer church choir, our group does well. Being where you are, I imagine LA has many good choirs to hear – thus worth the search! Meanwhile, I can still her talking about the knobs – which makes me smile. Thanks for following the link to this.


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