A drive in the country with Dad

Monica and I went to Havelock today to visit Dad. The weather was foggy but we didn’t mind. We took a nice drive through Berwick to Bellisle and  saw geese and foxes. Then to Mama George’s for dinner. For a little guy he can sure pack in the food…he destroyed a pizza and onion rigs (well, I helped with the rings) and then strawberry shortcake. After dinner we stopped for a visit with Leigh and Marlene at the cottage and then back home to Havelock. Mom’s roses are blooming and the sun came out just as we returned to the house. Great day with Dad. So nice to see him every chance we get.

Back in Saint John, Mon and I enjoyed a glass of wine and watch TV into the evening. The perfect end to the perfect day on our 29th anniversary…and the peonies are just starting to bloom in our garden.

Mother’s Day – a photo journal

Great Weekend:

Nice to have Ryan and Sarah home for the trip to Havelock to meet with John, Delberta, Liz and Ellen where we picked up Dad and went to the Havelock Greenhill Cemetery for Mom’s Internment Service.  Then off to the ridge restaurant for a family lunch. Lots of laughs and memories around the table. Made the rounds to the cemeteries to visit all Mothers and then a peaceful drive home. The rain held off perfectly.

Home for cocktails and movies. Watched Game of Thrones with Ryan while Sarah went out (shopping). To bed early and up early to start breakfast. Sarah and Ryan gave Monica a beautiful set of deck chair cushions. Then we all had a great family breakfast after which, the kids did the dishes and then Ryan and I hung Monica’s new family room curtains.

Mon and I went out on an errand run at noon to get her quilt binding pick-up, Walmart for the lounge cushion to match the chairs, Costco for steaks, Sobeys for lobster and NBLC for Chardonnay and Cab-Merlot. Sounds like a party in the planning.

Rainy afternoon watching movies and then a big Surf-n-Turf supper with all of us raising a glass to Monica on this special day.

Sunday – Drive to Havelock to visit Dad

Ron Nelson came with me. That was great company during the drive. Dad hadn’t seen Ron since our wedding (29 years ago) so it was nice for them to talk again about hunting and fishing stories.

Dad and Ron

The day turned into a mission to find Dad’s Masonic apron. I was sure I had brought it home from Lodge last Monday night but he couldn’t find it anywhere in the house. We got the keys to the lodge building from Gerry Tingley and then drove to Salisbury. Ron and I searched the Lodge Hall. Nothing found. Dad was worried and upset, of course.

To settle nerves and think about it, we went to the Irving Big Stop for coffee and pie. Dad was sure the case had to be in the lodge hall or else someone had it. I kept saying “Dad, I’m almost positive I took it home that night”. He said he looked everywhere. So we went back to the lodge hall for a second look and this time he came inside too instead of just sending Ron and me. Half an hour later, still no apron case. I called Fran – she hadn’t seen it.  I tried calling Kathy – no answer. I called Phil Lewis in Moncton – he hadn’t seen it either. We decided to go home for another look and maybe call Joel Bleakney (Worshipful Master).

On the way home, my cell phone rang and it was Kathy. I told he our dilemma and she knew right away where the case was. She had put it in the hall closet. Whew! Crisis averted. See, I knew I had taken it home after lodge.

A great day to spend with Ron and my Father. When I arrived home, I discovered I still had Gerry Tingley’s lodge hall keys in my pocket (darn) and also that Monica had prepared a wonderful beef pasta supper made with garlic parmesan bread (triangle rolls). Oh, so good. Such a fantastic week. Let me count my blessings!

Thanks for reading, Nelly.

Monday: Lodge night with Dad

What an incredible evening I had with my father. I am so blessed.

Started off at his house after work today as we were getting ready to go to Harmony Lodge #20 in Salisbury (my lodge since Fownes #45 closed in Havelock). Tonight was Installation of Officers Ceremony and I hadn’t seen one for over 25 years. I needed a new apron case and Dad said he had an extra one somewhere in his closet. So I dug everything out in a pile and there were 4 apron cases…5 counting his wooden one that he carries the Past District Deputy Grand Master’s apron in. Of these other four cases, three had aprons. One is a nice newer case with his Fownes Lodge apron, another is Bob MacDonald’s (? maybe wrong name) (Dad somehow was given his apron when he died), and the third one is my great uncle Nelson Alward’s, from Salisbury. Dad got his apron too and it is beautiful with gold and ornate gilding. Uncle Nelson was apparently a past Deputy Grand Master of New Brunswick too, like Dad.

So the fourth case (that was empty) is Dad’s old and maybe original Fownes Lodge #45 case with the clip closure. So I asked him if I could use that and he said yes, of course. I put my apron into it and folded it up – and a surge of connections to past and present and future memories slid through me – I felt a tingle down my neck and back. With my father’s case and my apron in one hand and my father on my other hand, off we went to pick up Gerry Tingley and headed to Salisbury.

I hadn’t been to Lodge in years so can you imagine my senses were all alert as we headed in. We were early which was good as it gave me a chance to meet a few people first…calm the nerves… squeeze into my apron (a little tight). Then upstairs to sign the guest book and help carry extra chairs into the Sanctum… expecting a crowd. This night was the Deputy Grand Masters annual visit (Steve Allen)…and the 2013 Installation of Officers of Harmony Lodge #20. Dad was giving the “Charge to the Worshipful Master” at the end of the ceremony so I was really looking forward to that.

The ritual came back to me quite quickly. I remembered all the salutes. The Installation Ceremony was wonderful to watch especially since I hadn’t seen one in years. It was wonderful to see it all come back. Several of the lessons were give by excellent presenters who you could tell were well rehearsed and knew their lines. Finally it was Dad’s turn to give the “Charge to the new Worshipful Master” (Joel Bleakney)… he was flawless – so smooth and perfect, every word clear and loud. Quite a long charge with lots of lines. You could have heard a pin drop between his paragraphs. Everyone glued to the scene. Almost a wet eye moment. Gerry Tingley gave Dad a beautiful accolade when he said in all the times over the years since 1995 that he has been installed in some office or another and some of them repeatedly, this was the first time that someone other than Delbert Alward had installed him (Joel Bleakney did it – after all this was also Joel’s 5th time as Worshipful Master). And afterward from the East, the Deputy Grand Master and several other guest speakers including Jim Pike, drew attention to Dad’s years of dedication and service to the Lodge of New Brunswick. I was so proud and honored to have the opportunity to see that and be part of that memory. Not every son gets that honor.

Guess what I forgot to take with me…. my camera!  (my bad .. memory) I’ll just have to go back. Dad did say something about getting me presented with a Lewis Jewel (for sons whose fathers were Masons)

Thanks for reading, Nelson.