A Christmas Collection

I have enjoyed Star Trek since I started watching re-runs of the original series when I was in elementary school in the early 1970s.  So when my mother-in-law saw the original U.S.S. Enterprise Hallmark ornament orbiting a tree in a hair salon in 1991, about after a year after my wife and I were married, she started scanning; but that ornament was already sold out everywhere.  I still do not have it–and at a current asking price of approximately $200 online, I’m OK with that.  (Fan does not have to equal fanatic.)

Docked for the holidays.


But my M.I.L. immediately realized she had stumbled upon a potential annual present for my November birthday and Christmas, starting in 1992.  Over the past 25 years, she has beamed quite a few ornaments my way, including ships, characters, and scenes, drawn from the original series (TOS), Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, and 3 groups of movies…all of the possible corners of the franchise.

Now, while my wife is not so fond of my Star Trek collection, I managed to establish a Prime Directive:  Ban my ornaments and risk The Wrath of Your Mother.  (Cue Mrs. DKB:  “Maaaaaaaaahhhhm!”)  Then we entered a final frontier a few years ago when my M.I.L. gave me a silver tree which has become a galaxy completely separate from our actual Christmas tree–which seems appropriate, as the Star Trek collection is really

Resistance is…well, you know.

just a fun complement to the spiritual and family focus that has always been the true center of the holiday in our house.

After 25 years, the collection is here to stay.  I enjoy it.  The kids enjoy it.  And my wife even surprised me this year by setting up the silver tree and deploying the ornaments while I was out of town picking up our oldest daughter from college.

Merry Christmas.  Happy New Year.  And Live Long and Prosper.


To boldly go

Note:  I did not receive any compensation or consideration related to any part of this post.  In fact, the idea that the people at Hallmark or Paramount have ever heard of DKB is not…..logical.



December 28, 2017 · 10:58 am

Renovation–Why Did We Wait?


Kitchen renovation

New & Improved

For over 10 years, my wife and I talked about installing hardwood floors to replace the original early ’90s carpets and kitchen vinyl, and about replacing the builder-grade cabinets that were literally crumbling near the floor.  Those talks always evolved into:  “Should we expand with an addition?”  “Do we really need a dining room?”  “Whoa–How much?!”  Agreeing on what it should all look like and deciding to commit the money were challenges that always stopped us in our tracks.


Until this year.  We finally settled upon a general plan and a far more general budget, set up a home equity loan, and invited contractors in for estimates.  With a contract signed and details sorted, in October a dumpster landed in the driveway and work was under way.

I’m not going to claim to be an expert on home remodeling, but there is one very important thing that I learned:  We shouldn’t have waited.

Driving to work one morning I realized how much brighter I was feeling with work on the house underway.  Wood, paint, a little (well, a lot) of expense–It all seems pretty straight-forward.  Now the house looks nicer, the kitchen is much more user-friendly…just what we were after.  But I have to admit that the benefits have been much more than what shows on the drawings and invoices.  We’re all actually happier in the space.  Not a “let’s show off what we’ve got” type of happy–more of a contentment.  In fact, except for the grandparents, we haven’t had anyone in since the work was done.  We’re just….happier.  More comfortable in a fresher house.

I just wish we had done this years ago.

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Filed under Finding Peace, House & Home, Living Well

Believing, Knowing, and Feeling

Like many parents, I’ve believed my daughter would be heading to college since before she was born.  She accepted an admissions offer months ago, so you could say that since then we’ve known not only THAT she would be going, but WHERE.  But it became real on a different level one night in August.watermarked-14494879_10210688146509269_3666155225609929744_n

We had just gotten back from vacation, and while we were away at the beach her year-round swim club had held the final practice of what had been her final season with the team.  I was having a routine evening when all of a sudden she volunteered:

“I texted Coach to ask if I could practice with the team when I’m home on breaks.  He said they would love to have me there.”

And that’s when I felt it.  A deep sense of quiet.

I’m happy for her and a little envious of the adventure she’s heading into.  I loved college, and I hope she does, too.  But that’s when it became real.

She’s only going one state north, maybe 2 hours or so away, and since she’ll be swimming for the school I’ll have easy excuses to drive up to visit once in a while.  So we’ll see her.  But…

In one of the books I used to read her when she was tiny–I can’t remember which one, but if it rings a bell, please help me out with a comment–one of the very young characters “got kind of quiet” for a few minutes when a situation became unexpectedly real.

I’m there.

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Filed under Activities & Sports, College, School, Transitions, Uncategorized