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From the East

By Andrew Hawes —Master

Happy New Year!

2024 is upon us, and with the December solstice behind us, we’re officially headed towards summer again.  I hope you all enjoyed whatever festivities you may have partaken of, and that you are ready to face the year ahead.  Our lodge budget has been scoped out, the calendar for the year is tentative and expanding, and – most importantly for many of us – we’ve done rough menu planning for all of our stated meeting and planned special dinners that are coming up this year.

We’re getting back into our usual groove this year for the most part- we’ll have a crab feed again (First Saturday in March this year), a car show in July, and hopefully a few Golden Veteran’s awards to give out.

One thing that I hope will be different this year is to set up regular dates on which the brethren of Crow Canyon Lodge can volunteer in helping out our community.  I will be working with some charitable organizations in Alameda County and setting up dates for our lodge to help out- keep your eyes and ears peeled for those opportunities as they come along this year!

I was born in January – on the Epiphany, in fact, which as I like to think of it is the “12th day of Christmas” – also known as the day with the most presents, in the song.  To date, I have never been given any french hens or pear trees (with or without a partridge sitting in them) and I’m fine with that.  I’ve decided that birthday celebrations are something that matters most to the very young, who haven’t had enough of them yet to lose their special excitement, and to the very old, who are happy to have made it through another year, and deserve congratulations for it.  A quote I just heard recently from Dick Van Dyke, who celebrated his 98th birthday in December resonated with me – “If I’d have known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!”

I don’t expect to live to 98, but I am trying to make the most out of however many days I do have left to enjoy on this Earth, and make them count not just for myself, but for those around me. 

I was asked once what one word I would choose to have people remember me by, and after some thought I came up with “fondly.”

Care for yourself, Brethren – and care for others around you, as well.  Keep making the world a better place, it doesn’t get there without help!

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