The Lodge room looked better than I had ever seen it. Magnificent, actually. The officers' chairs were solid walnut with gold filigree inlaid designs of the working tools. An Italian marble podium sat in front of each of the warden's chairs with an intricate swirling design that matched marble insets on the walls around the room. New deep blue wall-to-wall carpeting covered the floor. A crystal chandelier illuminated the altar and an ornate Letter G hung above the Master's chair in the east.
I was encouraged by the size of the crowd at the meeting — probably over 100 Brothers. I couldn't help but think how great it was that the Grand Lodge had voted to change things to allow lodges to make every use of the technology available, a move I was certain had everything to do with the large number in attendance.
I saw Joe, an old friend, across the room and went over to greet him. "Wow," I said, "I haven't seen you in years. When did you get back in town?"
"I didn't, Brother Steve." he replied.
"Me, either," I said and we chuckled at our little exchange.
The Master called the meeting to order and we all took our seats. Some things change and some don't. After the opening ceremonies the Secretary read the minutes and the Treasurer gave his report. During the business part of the meeting we discussed the sad state of our Lodge furniture, something which seemed inconsistent with the gorgeous view I had of my surroundings. Based on the Treasurer's report we decided we didn't have the funds to do anything about it now, but with participation up under the new rules, maybe we could do something next year.
The reason I go to meetings these days is the Masonic education, and that meeting did not disappoint. We took a walking-tour of the Loge des Neuf Sœurs as it appeared during the time Ben Franklin was a member. Then, the main speaker, Brother George Washington, spoke on his thoughts about the fraternity, a presentation based on his writings and experiences during his lifetime.
The Master closed the Lodge and I greeted several more old friends before leaving. Conversing with them after the meeting we agreed it had been an inspirational evening and would look forward to more of this kind in the future.