It's been about six months since I started Dream Burls and a little over a year since I became a member of KKF. To say that my life has changed in that period of time would be an understatement.
I retired from the public sector about eight years ago and other than a couple of years when I got involved with photography I could never find anything that got my juices going. I've told my story about the Christmas present for my wife and how that led me to KKF, Marko, etc. so I'm not going to repeat that now. This post is about what being part of the KKF community has meant to me. Please excuse me if I get a bit "mushy" at times.
When I started to "lurk" around the forum I quickly became overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge expressed by members. There was (and is) no aspect of knife making, use and care that was not covered. But it was not the knowledge that impressed me the most, it was the generosity, caring and humor with which it was dispensed that grabbed my attention. Some amazing acts of generosity have taken place during my year with KKF, the most recent being the support given to Eamon. And I can't tell you how many times I've read posts that have touched my heart or made me laugh out loud.
Members here really feel like part of a family. Randy's recent episode with Hunter is a case in point. It's not only the responses and prayers that came forward, but also Randy's willingness to share such a very personal event with us all. The ECG I attended a couple of weeks ago was another example of the warmth, generosity and fellowship that members of this forum display.
Just like any family, there are bound to be spats and squabbles, differences of opinion and other disagreements. In a way, I see that as just another indicator that forum members really care about what's going on in this community.
When I first became a vendor here, Dave went out of his way to make me feel welcome and help work out some technical kinks. Marko was extremely helpful in educating me in many aspects of knife making and the business of knives. And Mark at Burl Source, my "competitor", was anything but as he very graciously responded to the many questions I asked him about the business of selling wood.
So what does all this add up to? Dream Burls and KKF have changed my life (I warned you I might get mushy). I found a passion and a home to share it. I feel productive again, connected, involved and valuable. Each day I look forward to checking my sources for new pieces of wood to buy. I get excited when a box from K&G comes in the mail, and I love interacting with my customers. You "guys" are great and I hope you treasure KKF as much as I do.