Friday, December 27, 2013

Long Day Off

Today was the first full day off I have taken from work using my personal time. It was not a day to sit around and do nothing, it was a very busy day spent in Philadelphia at the Annual Communication. While I was able to sleep in an extra hour and didn’t leave the apartment until nine, I was out all day and didn’t get back until about 10:30 this evening. It was a long, but enjoyable, day off.

The morning began with my wife dropping me off at the Philadelphia Marriott. Within a few minutes of arriving I was talking with brothers whom I had never met before but seemed like we had known our entire lives. While I chatted and waited for other brothers from my lodge to arrive, I was approached by a man interested in Masonry. It was interesting that he chose to stop and talk to me out of the dozens of Masons in the lobby but I happily answered all the questions he had for me and offered as much guidance as I could.  

With everyone having arrived (and on time), we took the elevator up to the fifth floor and took our seats toward the back of the room to witness the departing of the Right Worshipful Grand Master Jay W. Smith and the beginning of the tenure of Brother Robert J. Bateman as the new Right Worshipful Grand Master of Pennsylvania. While the meeting was long, approximately 3 ½ hours, I am glad that I took the time off and attended as it demonstrated the greatness that men can achieve through Masonry as well as the hope we all have for the future of our fraternity and the desire to see it continue to make not just good men better but families stronger as well.

After a late lunch, it was time for a little break from the action. I took advantage of this time by heading over a few blocks to the grand lodge and checking for a few masonic records that I have been unable to find. Having completed a few successful searches, it was time to walk back over to the hotel and continue meeting brothers from all over the commonwealth. Many conversations later and we all eventually made our way up to the reception where I was able to finally circle up with many of the brothers I have gotten to know already but only see at larger events and at meetings of Masonic bodies.

From the social reception we made our way to the dining room which contained row after row of tables containing nearly 2000 people (Masons, friends, and family). While the entertainment for the evening, which delayed dinner, was not a group that I particularly enjoyed, it was still nice to be able to sit at meal that felt more like a family atmosphere and enjoy the company and fellowship. What started as a day talking to new people and seeing new faces was now coming to an end with a table full of brothers from my lodge… the family within the brotherhood. Not a bad way to spend the day off.