The smell of burning leaves filled the air carried by the chilly winds of autumn as the 50-year member shut the door of his car and locked it. He smiled to himself as he walked through the temple’s parking lot, reflecting on how many nights in the fall of the year he took the very same walk through this parking lot after a three-month vacation from attending lodge.
The creaking front door of the lodge building opened with a welcomed feeling of warmth emitting from the building's heating system. The smell of supper filled the air.
Pudge was stirring a pot of chili in the kitchen for the evening meal. “Good evening John,” Pudge said with a smile on his face. “It’s good to see you after a summer of being dark. I missed being at the lodge.” The old man smiled, “Yep! It’s that time of year again for pumpkin spiced Masonry.” Pudge laughed hard. “Pumpkin Spiced Masonry! Did we get bought by Starbucks? I swear everything is pumpkin spiced these days!”
The old man removed his coat and hat and placed them in the cloakroom. “I’m serious. It's time for pumpkin spiced Masonry. If you think about it, there are parallels between the two.” The 50-year member continued “Think about it, Pudge. After a long, hot summer your mind starts to think about cooler days and falling leaves, football on Saturdays. You know, sweater weather. The days are getting shorter and the long nights remind us that winter is getting closer, which brings the holiday season and the annual lodge elections and holiday party. So when you hear this coffee company or that cookie company or whatever a particular company sells start advertising their spiced pumpkin goodies, Masonry is much the same way.”
The 50-year member explained: “I know the seasons are beginning to change when I look at my calendar, and I see that the lodge’s September meeting is coming up. Both are a sure sign of fall and will start the march toward the holiday season.”
Pudge laughed so hard he almost dropped the ladle he was holding. “I think you may have a point, John. I know I’m glad we are back in session again. I missed Masonry during those three months.”
“I miss seeing the gang during those months, but I still have Masonry in my heart during the break, even if I am not in the lodge.” The old man said, “To me, the learning doesn’t stop just because the lodge room is in darkness.” He continued, “If we go to the beach I take a book with me about Masonic history or symbolism instead of a murder mystery novel, or if I am hiking in the mountains, it is the perfect time for me to learn or relearn a piece of ritual. If I am really in need to spread Masonic cement, I can always attend a meeting at the Scottish Rite or go to the Shrine and talk with the Nobles who are a fixture there. You can even visit some of the widows of the lodge and see if they need any help, chances are they could use something even if it is just someone to talk to them. Don’t confuse Masonry with just attending a stated meeting. Masonry never stops no matter what time of year it is or even the day of the week. Whether we meet or not, it never hurts to rest from your labors now and then. Think about it Pudge, if that Craftsman didn’t stop and rest and refresh himself he would never have found that sprig of acacia. So, I welcomed the rest; I can tell you the officers of the lodge welcome it. I feel like I’ve rested and ready to restart my work in the quarry.”
Pudge stood up straight after he laid spoon on the counter. “I have to admit I did enjoy my time off. I spent part of my time of learning the stair lecture. I think I have it nearly complete. Maybe soon I will have the part down well enough I can conduct a candidate. You know, I’ve heard some lodges don’t take a break for the summer. Maybe if I start getting lodge sick next year I can always visit another lodge that doesn’t go dark. But it does feel good to be back. I am also excited to start our Saturday football parties in the temple's social room again, and I am hungry. Join me in some chili and cornbread? I made it my special recipe.” “You bet,” the old man said. "I brought hot peppers and antacid with me tonight. The peppers to make the chili spicy an antacid to cure the effects of the peppers later!” Both men laughed. “I can run out and get you a pumpkin spiced coffee to go with that chili too, if you like.” The old man snickered “I think your chili, and the fall stated meeting is all the autumn I can handle at one moment.” Both men laughed as the men took their places in line for dinner.
WB Bill Hosler was made a Master Mason in 2002 in Three Rivers Lodge #733 in Indiana. He served as Worshipful Master in 2007 and became a member of the internet committee for Indiana's Grand Lodge. Bill is currently a member of Roff Lodge No. 169 in Roff Oklahoma and Lebanon Lodge No. 837 in Frisco,Texas. Bill is also a member of the Valley of Fort Wayne Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Indiana. A typical active Freemason, Bill also served as the High Priest of Fort Wayne's Chapter of the York Rite No. 19 and was commander of of the Fort Wayne Commandery No. 4 of the Knight Templar. During all this he also served as the webmaster and magazine editor for the Mizpah Shrine in Fort Wayne Indiana.