First and foremost hello, my name is Aaron and I write to you from the great state of Washington. I have been reading most every post in this forum for the last month. One of the great tidbits I have discovered is the wonderful diversity in your stories. This has prompted me to to share my story about finding freemasonry and starting my journey to becoming one.
A little background:
I grew up as a member of the Catholic Church as a result I was not exposed at all to the Freemasons in my father’s side of the family. I have a very vivid memory of attending the funeral of my Great-Grandfather. While at that funeral I saw guys in funny hats, wearing aprons, and other adornments. They spoke very dearly about their Brother and were there for my Grandmother and the rest of the family. I now know these were members of my Grandfathers Shriners group. The impression these men left upon me would later surface almost 30 years later.
I have been having the feeling over the last two years that I was missing something in my life. Overall I am a very happy man. I have been married for almost 18 years now. I have a wonderful loving family. I am active in my Church but still there was some piece of my life not quite put together. About a year ago my father presented me with several items of my Great-Grandfather. One was a book that had a square and compass upon the cover. After a quick examination of the book and a couple of questions to my father the subject was put to rest. I discovered the my Grandfather was a Master Mason, my Grandmother was a very active member of the Order of the Eastern Star, even my father and his sisters were involved in the youth groups (Rainbow girls, and DeMolay).
Feeling armed with this family history I started looking into what these organization did and what it all meant to my family. Over the last year I have intensified my research. Much of what I found was total garbage. As I am sure anyone that has done a Google search containing the keyword Freemason and seeing the result could attest to. As a result I stopped my research for a time. That is until my wife mentioned to me that a co-worker is a Mason (she saw his ring). I approached this individual and begun a dialog regarding what Freemasonry is and asked for direction to a source of good information. He promptly provided me with a information packet (he had it at his desk ready for anyone that asked), a reference to read Freemasonry for Dummies, and an invitation to attend dinner as his personal guest (he was the Worshipful Master of his lodge) at the next lodge meeting they were about to have.
The meeting was called a table lodge and was to honor the wives and girlfriends of the Masons of the lodge. I attended with my wife and had a wonderful time meeting many very nice men and women. I also was presented with a pin from the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the state of Idaho who was in attendance. After this meeting I quickly read the Freemasons for Dummies book (I skipped over the sections indicated as being spoilers) and decided that I too should become a Mason.
I asked my friend about joining his lodge but found that it would be a paperwork hassle as I live in the state of Washington and his lodge is in Idaho (only 8 miles away). He assured me that it could be done but it would just take extra time. While I enjoyed the time and dinner it made more sense to petition my local lodge. A quick email to the address posted on my local lodges website resulted in another invitation to attend a dinner prior to a normal lodge meeting. I attended this meeting and presented the men there with my background and why I was submitting a petition to join. I was told my petition would be accepted and read into the lodge that evening.
A week ago this last Monday (10-20-2014) I experienced the Investigation Committee visit to my home. My entire family was present and I had a wonderful time visiting with these men. A funny side note to this was I discovered that as a kid I delivered newspapers to the current lodge secretary. This made for a fun time remembering back to earlier days and lamenting on how small a world we really live in.
So to date I have not heard anything regarding my petition. I am learning my first lesson in freemasonry, patience. I look forward to finding out how the vote went on my petition and taking my first steps to earning the Entered Apprentice degree. I was told that would probably happen the January or February if the vote goes my way.
There you have it the start of my Masonic journey. I look forward to the day I can call these men my brothers. I also am happy to be on this forum and to be interacting with others that are new and old to the craft.
All the best for now,
aprsguy aka Aaron