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Went to Grand Lodge this year, if only to babysit Marry’s cousin who was Worshipful Master of my mother Lodge. He hadn’t visited Manhattan before and I was glad to play your guide; he was grateful I handled all the arrangements. We parked the car in Pughkipsee and too the train in, then the subway, and the rest of the time we walked. Everything we needed was right there in Chelsea, and we had fun exploring the columned Home Depot. We left just before the opening of the “portal” to Dublin, wondering what the “Guardian of Forever” was next to the Flat Iron building.

Mer and I went to St. John’s Day, earlier than usual given I had AGL training on Thrusday. I finally got to be in the parade, although it was backwards (as was the schedule) and I went AWOL after we were traffic-jammed outside Wiley Hall and just before it started to pour. It felt like a million bucks to stroll down the lane. Also got to talk more with my new friend Kanjin about Buddhism and such. It was the first time I felt like I had something to learn outside of books, or rather the first personal opportunity.

Other than that, I’ve been to Binghamton (for Grand Chapter in support of the new High Priest of my Chapter), Jamestown (a Lodge of Research), Olean (for the Lodge of Research), and went to Dunkirk (twice) with the Wife (cemetery and then to buy lawn furniture). We will be going to Oriskany at the end of July and Bunghamton for Eastern Star in the Fall. I also discovered that Red Roof Inn (which allows pets, and Utica was the first time we brought both dogs with us) has awesome shampoo-conditioner. Unfortunately, you can’t buy it retail unless you get four gallons for about a thousand dollars.

As to dreams …┬áLast week my Father came up to me in the middle of a dream and I got a much-needed hug. Maybe it’s because things are stressful health-wise, with Merry having her scare and awaiting a pacemaker and my own MRI in anticipation of a possible biopsy. A more recent dream combined the story of an astronomical object heading for earth called “snowball” and a leaky ceiling. The latter turned out to be concurrent in reality, remediated by (re)caulking the tub. I hope the former will not come true, or at least not be destructive.

Still playing the stay-at-home pet dad, and it really brought me closer together with Hazel, my beanbag office buddy. Hilda is slowly calming down as well, and finally went into heat at 14 months so she will be spayed soon.

Otherwise, everything has been busy, going from one deadline to the next for various projects and events. As usual, I vow to make writing a priority, but it seems I need to focus on one work at a time to make any progress at all. Hoping Summer will allow me to catch up. And with test results hanging, momento mori is a serious sentiment that is helping me focus on what matters and living life more consciously. In fact, even if everything is fine, I intend to make a five-year plan to clean up and finish a lot of stuff.

And if heaven wills it, I might just go for a degree in Marine Biology like I considered in high school. I’m being really challenged by reading Spengler, and it really makes me realize how little education I’ve had, classically at least. Maybe I’ve gone far enough down those rabbit holes and need to de-intellectualize my life — just a bit, of course. Without that, I wouldn’t be me.