Select Page

Not uncommon, the weather has been teasing with warm days, then cold ones. There was less than a week between using the furnace and the air conditioner (and then back again). The big thing I’m looking forward to is spending time outside like in the last couple of years, having tea on the porch and meals on the back deck.

The year started with my back out, but not the upper thoracic strains of the past. I seem to have tore something between my Lumbar vertebrae. After nearly a month of almost no sitting or standing at all, and a good deal of physical therapy, I am not in better shape than before my injury. The most painful thing for me was realizing I was overdoing a posture I had diligently preached in Tai Chi classes for years. Changing my habits isn’t too hard, though, and now I can sit even in upright chairs better than before — until my old pains creep in, anyway.

My heavy reading habits continue, and my involvement in Masonic activities and leadership has kept me intellectually vigorous and enthusiastic. My presentation on ancient architecture was not hit out of the park but “into orbit” as one person said. The research was a pleasure to do, with a good chunk of source material from our own library at home, along with some unburied from the stacks downtown. I felt well-received in such speaking like never before, and have become an active part of the newly rebooted research body, the Thomas Smith Web Chapter of Research. And of course, I pulled off a website for it on short notice.

It just seems like everything is looking up in terms of Masonic responsibilities, not least of which is Merry and I going into the East again at Pond Chapter — intentionally at the same time as our cousin is in the East for the Lodge where it meets. I’m still High Priest in East Aurora, moving to the East shortly for the Western New York Lodge of Research, am slated to lead the Rose Crois line at the Valley of Buffalo the following year, and lead the Research Chapter the year after that. No idea what will happen with my web-related responsibilities at Grand Lodge, but I honestly care more about writing about and helping people with communications outside the scope of that anyway.

Yesterday was an early perfect Birthday. I started out with breakfast and a Degree at the Valley (having participated in a Degree the previous night), then met up with Newmie to check on bees in Colden. Okay, they were actually missing, either stolen or we moved them and forgot, but it didn’t bother me.) For an early dinner, Merry treated me to the Flying Saucer Restaurant in Niagara Falls, Canada. I always wanted to go there, and the food was amazing for someplace I only expected ambiance. It was the first time we’d been to Canada since COVID, and we had a pleasant riverside drive home, followed by some Minecraft and folding a mailing while watching TV.

But there’s one more thing — Hilda. On our way back from Royal Arch Grand Chapter in Binghamton, I opened my mouth that there was a “Beage Puppies” sign. After some deliberation and a return trip to an Amish farm in Mt. Morris, we expanded our family. She is a frenetic, quickly growing mass of cuteness and teething. She’s getting along well with Hazel, which is both good and concerning. And it’s another excuse to spend time outside and get some exercise, something I can’t neglect any longer without consequence.