Thursday, July 5, 2018

Freemasons have a difficult time transitioning to summer schedules

Lodi, CA -- In a holdover from bygone days before air conditioning, many Masonic lodges in the US close, or "go dark" for the summer, as some jurisdictions refer to the practice. In the pre-modern times, many men used this time for maintenance work on their farms or homes: repairing loose boards, fixing leaky roofs, digging wells, or other labors that kept them physically occupied. However, as modern Freemasons tend to have office jobs and do the same thing year round, the transition to a "summer mindset" can be difficult.

Masonic wives around the US have been writing into The Past Bastard to share their stories.

Susan Blackboard writes: "My husband Charles is the, I don't know, the Deacon's Warden or something like that. Do they change titles every year? Anyhow, dinner time is the worst. Whenever me or one of the kids says something, he raps the table with a spoon and tells us to make a sign or something. It's really getting on my nerves."

That sentiment was echoed by Gloria Birdseye, whose husband is a member of Widow's Peak Lodge. "My Carl is some kind of sheriff or marshal or deputy or something. He's never home, even on weekends. When summer comes, he really has no idea what to do with himself. I've caught him staring out the window, mumbling to himself. He'll be like this until August."

Some Freemasons are unable to cope with the free
time over the summer, and create lodge-styled
man caves for themselves. 
Not all Freemasons have a difficult time leaving the lodge, though. Some, like Juan Nieves, manage to bring their lodge home with them. His wife, Maria, explains. "Oh, he built himself this 'man cave,' except that he calls it his 'summer lodge.' I'm not exactly sure what he's got in there, since he covered up the windows, but he told me that no girls are allowed inside because it destroys the sacred tranquility, or some nonsense, as if I really care. And if the kids want him to do something, they have to knock three times on the door. He even found some old, rusty knocker thing at a barn sale and hung it up."

For some Freemasons, the summer becomes a way to re-connect with their family.

"It takes my husband almost the entire month of July to stop saying 'Fire all cannons' at the dinner table," said Janet Hammersmith, whose husband Jason is the Worshipful Master of Ungunquit Lodge. "Oh sure, I get it. he's out four or five nights a week, so being home every night all summer takes some getting used to. But after six years of this it's annoying as hell."

"I can't wait until summer is over, and he goes back to lodge, again," she added.


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