Thursday, June 30, 2016

AMD Picnic

We met with the ladies and had an informal picnic at Middletown tonight. They have a great facilities set up for having things such as picnics and outdoor degree work. While our attendance was down a little, the food was great and the fellowship just as good. It is nice to have a social evening once in a while and given that this is the "end of the season" for most until the fall, the timing was perfect. Our Sovereign Master this year is Mac Polston and as many may know him (he is a DEO in our 3rd Capitular District) I thought I would mention he is schedule for hip surgery July 15th. Keep him in your prayers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

3rd District Planning Meeting

Since last night we had the area wide planning session, tonight we held one internal to the 3rd District. We started planning some activities, which we were waiting to confirm the dates last night, to making sure all the officers were aware of the upcoming year schedule. We also discussed responsibilities for each position and some changes in the upcoming year and the future. It was a good session and we plan to continue these meeting at least quarterly and will hold breakout meetings in between for District Officers, DEOs and DDGHPs separately. We are also holding separate planning sessions on how to improve and plan some of our District events including a Murder Mystery Night and Luau. I think we have some enthusiastic and progressive officers who are not afraid of change and a little work. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Area York Rite Planning Meeting

Tonight the 3rd & 4th Capitular Districts along with the 3rd Arch and 2nd &3rd Divisions got together to plan overall schedules for next year. Luckily we also had many of the dates for Scottish Rite in the Valley of Dayton and Valley of Cincinnati along with a few Grand Lodge dates. Surprisingly this year we had very few conflicts and most we did find were at the far ends of the area and would probably have little affect on the attendance at either event.  It seems like every year we are getting a few more sets of area Masonic dates to help in the overall coordination of dates. In planning for the whole year (from Grand York Rite week 2016-2017) it was accomplished in a little over an hour an a half. The best part was representatives from each were available on-site to help make immediate adjustments. I'm looking forward to another great year next year.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Tall Ceders Social outing

Tonight our Grand Tall Cedar, MEC George Shell, decided to change our stated meeting to a social outing with the families as Marion's Pizza. We had a good turnout with around 30 total in attendance. I think it was more than he expected as we just sat in the normally dining area instead of their separate room. It ended up being a nice social event even if we had to sit at 3 separate tables. Considering that a few months back around Christmas we were contemplating closing and usually, at most, had around 4-5 showing up at a meeting we are definitely headed in the right direction an one couple who came last night, he will be joining in October. As we left Laura played the hand of "dad since I'm leaving Wednesday and won't be back home from Knoxville for a while can we please go to Young's for Ice Cream card". So, needless to say, we had ice cream at Young's after Pizza tonight.

Friday, June 24, 2016

More news

We were a little shocked when we heard the closing on mom's house would be last night but as of today everything associated with her house should be done. That's good as it is now time to help Laura move to Knoxville to start the next chapter of her life as a Tennessee Volunteer at the University of Tennessee. Luckily, she already has a job lined up at a local gym where she can have flexible hours. She may be helping to teach gymnastics, dance and cheer. While she got the keys to her new apartment Monday, she officially moves the majority of her "stuff" there this weekend. The good part for us is that the dance studio she was working at here in Dayton would also like her to work with them on the weekends, at her convenience, to choreograph solos so she might be coming back on some weekends to work in Dayton. Pam is finally starting to recover fully from her jaw/mouth surgery but still limited on what she can eat. Guess it is getting time to start focusing on cleaning up the aftermath of Laura leaving at our house and her grandmother's house where she had been living. That's right folks the work never stops it just changes forms....

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Trinity Chapter

Tonight was our final meeting until the fall. Despite just being a stated meting, we had 15 in attendance. It was a good chance for the new officers to practice their parts and to my amazement there were no rituals open. We also talked about all of the events which are going on over the summer and while we will have no stated meetings, we have around 5-6 activities planned prior to coming back in the fall. I continue to be a proud member of this Chapter as every time I think they might be taking their foot off the accelerator pedal, they push it down just a little farther.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Joint Installation

Tonight was the Joint Installation for the 3rd District Chapters. Several of the Grand Officers came to Middletown to help install the officers the various chapters in the 3rd District this evening. It started off with the Rainbow serving a dinner prepared by the Eastern Star and then moved upstairs for the installation. We also passed out awards with Trinity Chapter getting the travelling Alter cloth, EC Bob Reedy outstanding High Priest and District Workhorse Dave Trainer. The new District officers were installed with EC Richard Poore being installed as the new District President.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Long Day

Today was a long day and although it had no Masonic activities, I thought I would mention it here as it was a significant day.  It started around 4 AM with some things I needed to do for work before heading over around 7 AM for the final auction day for my mom's house contents and the house itself. While it should mean I have much more time to again start visiting more places for Masonic meetings, it was also a bittersweet feeling. While I haven't lived here for over 30 years, I did live here growing up my entire life and most of the items sold today were things from my childhood. It was also the first time in forever that I've seen rooms completely empty in the house. As we brought out the stuff to sell, there was the huge movie camera that was in what looked like an over sized suitcase which when dad got he then thought he was a movie producer and took everywhere taking movies. There was a huge rooster cutout made of wood which mom covered with various colors of seeds to fill in the areas to make it appear to be a rooster which were popular in the 60's. There were numerous coolers which we used on camping outing we made almost every weekend to local campgrounds in truck camper which dad made himself. The coolers were filled with dry ice to keep the food cooled down for the weekend. There where my sisters Barbie's which I would used my GI Joe's aircraft carrier to shoot down her Barbie dolls. I even saw the unopened full set of John Wayne movies which I gave dad just before he passed away and had not had a chance to watch. You can sell all the "things" which helped to create those memories and even the house where they happened but nothing can erase when a good memory is made.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ormus Grotto Stated

Tonight at our stated meeting we elected and installed two new officers. For a small Grotto of around 50 total, I think this is a big deal. We also recognized Keith Newton as a Past Monarch for his service last year. I also discuss that due to work I now will not be able to make it to the Supreme Session in New Orleans in July and I was really looking forward to this trip. We also did some instructing for our newer members so they would understand a little more for the new offices they assumed. We are going to start promoting our Valley Vineyards Wine and Dinner outing in September so we might get some participation outside just our Grotto. Since they were projecting severe weather, we tried to get done as quick as possible while still addressing our items which needed to be discussed.

Skip Vanderhorst Mother-in-law Viewing

Tonight Pam and I went to the funeral home for Skip's mother-in-law who was one of Pam's late mother's best friends in high school and I think was also in her wedding. She had lived a long life and outlived all her friends. As Skip said, she was starting to have some significant issues on a more regular basis which was getting her frustrated. While it is always sad when someone passes at times you have to wonder if it actual was more of what the person passing wanted given their current condition.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Trinity Chapter Installation

Tonight Kent Crager was installed as our High Priest at Trinity Chapter. Kent has some big shoes to fill as the past two High Priests have made sure we won the traveling awards in the District. We had a great turnout with almost 20 in attendance and in addition several of the ladies were there for the installation. EC Dave Thomas was congratulated for the excellent job he did this past year as High Priest and presented with his Past High Priest apron. PDDGHP REC John Watkins served as the installing officer. I didn't think I was going to make it as I felt terrible during the afternoon but felt much better by the time for the installation.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Ohio Masonic Home Day

Today was the annual Ohio Masonic Home Day and this year the York Rite Bodies were all asked to participate in the parade. It was definitely hot and we were excited that we were able to ride instead of walking in the parade. If you haven't been to the OMH in the last year, make it a point to visit. The new layout and buildings look fantastic. The new shelter house is first class and I'm looking forward to attending meetings in this building. We had the normal food booths and kids area but this year it appeared everyone was enjoying the new atmosphere the home changes made for the activity. Overall, it appeared there were more folks attending than in the past as they had to park folks in an additional area this year. I came home today proud of the improvements made to my (our) Masonic Home in Springfield.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Grand High Priest Reception 1/8 District

Tonight we were at the joint Grand High Priest Reception in the 1st and 8th districts held at the Browning Masonic Home. The evening started out with dinner and it was one of the first times Pam has been out of the house for an extended period of time since her jaw reconstruction surgery and by the time we got there she was very sore again (and still can't eat but a few very soft foods). It was good to see REC Keith Green out from his knee surgery though he said he was still very sore. MEC Wayne Dill came back from Tennessee to give out the Dill awards and the DDGHP's of each district gave out their district awards. MEC Dill also made a nice note of the extra effort our GHP has made over the years to support our Charity, Adopt America, and thanked him for his thoughtful acknowledgement this year of our military veterans with the special pin and grand honors. We heard a nice presentation on the new homes being built at the Browning and our Grand High Priest, Robert Blankenhorn Jr. made some heart felt comments and had a special presentation for MEC Dill. (note on the cake the spelling of MEC name)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Adoniram Council Installation

Tonight was our annual installation of officers for Council in Miamisburg and we had 20 in attendance. MIC Bobby Campbell installed the officers and Greg Fannin was installed IM and Ken Turner is the outgoing IM. We have no PIM in the progressing line as well as the appointed officers are also not Past Illustrious Masters. It was very warm at the meeting so they kept things moving along.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Busy and Hectic Week

While I only have made it to one Masonic meeting this week it has been no less stressful. Since Pam could hardly even talk up until yesterday and was still having balance issues even through today from her surgery last week, I've been working at home and today we suffered a power outage. We have also been working every evening to get the last minute things ready for the first day of mom's estate sale tomorrow when we need to be there to help around 6:30 AM ... probably lasting into the evening. We also have been helping Laura get her plans together as she moves to Knoxville within the next month or so to transfer to the University of Tennessee in the fall. We had to take the new trailer in to get a couple issues we found on our Memorial Day outing to get fixed and finally are starting to get some of the financial information from mom's settled so we can take it to our financial planner. It has also really started setting in this week that the dog passed away over Memorial Day weekend. And to add to the fun, work has been very busy this week. I just have to keep focused as hopefully the second day of mom's sale, which is being held next Friday, will be the start of a little less chaos though I doubt it!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Unity Chapter #16 installation

Today was the first daytime meeting of Unity Chapter at the Dayton Masonic Center and while most of the year it was tough to get out 10 members to meet, today we had 14 and almost every office was filled. It was a positive start for what many are calling a new beginning for Unity chapter. Prior to the meeting and installation of officers, they shared a lunch with another Masonic associated group meeting in the temple. The good part was some of those Masons in the other group were unaware of Unity changing to meet during the day and said maybe at the next meeting they might stay for the Unity chapter meeting. In addition, they held a memorial service for the departed members over the past year. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Portage Chapter #202 Dedication

Well today we were back in Akron at Portage Chapter and this time were dedicating a new building for them to meet within. The Chapter voted to change their meeting location and so we needed to dedicate a room for Chapter work. As this is MEC Dale Ray's home chapter, he was also present. Most of the Grand officers were present and after the dedication folks went downstairs for some light refreshments and a few went out together for dinner. Since I had a couple of items I needed to get done at home, I headed out to get back home as soon as possible afterward.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

11th District Grand High Priest Reception

Tonight was the reception in Columbus for our Grand High Priest Robert Blankenhorn. Grand Royal Arch Captain Dan Smith and PGHP Don Lossaso were also present. I like it as the reception is held at the MCL Cafeteria and the food is good and you can choose exactly what you want. Also they have a separate room for us so it can be closed off for the activity.  Afterwards they presented the GHP with a gift and passed out district awards.

Friday, June 3, 2016


Tonight was the Ohio Council of Deliberation or the state meeting for the Scottish Rite. I attended to see the persons from the Valley of Dayton who were receiving their Red Hats. These are presented for outstanding service to Scottish Rite. In Dayton, we had Dan Frye and Bill Garlow receiving them. Dan is in the choir and with the aging choir members, he has taken on the role of soloist for them. Bill has helped as the editor for their newsletter for years. Both are very deserving as their respective work consumes many hours every month.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Past Masters Club Meeting

Tonight was the Shrine Past Master's monthly club meeting and while the numbers were down we had several good discussions about what could be done to improve attendance. One of our issues is that most of our members are super involved in other groups and have to make a decision on which meeting they are going to attend. One of the ideas I suggested was while cancelling meetings might seem like a solution when several can't attend maybe changing the time & location, possibly to dinner at a restaurant, is probably better than cancelling all together. Letting people "get out of the habit" of coming to meetings is a deadly idea for any group as it becomes almost impossible to "re-train' them to attend.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Pam Surgery

Well today Pam was finally cleared to have her dental surgery that she has been waiting to have due to an ongoing infection for over a year. The surgery was fairly painful as it involves a reconstruction of gums and jaw. Not sure how long it will take her to fully recover but I'm sure it will not be quick as the swelling, the doctor indicated, may take weeks to fully go away. Luckily this week Laura was available to help her but that is not always going to be the case and since the drugs they have her on for pain and to fight infections are fairly strong she is slightly unstable, driving is not allowed and standing needs assistance as she often gets dizzy. So until she gets a doctors release I will be her caregiver though she seems fine just in lots of pain ...even with the medication.