Monday, March 09, 2015

Busy weekend

This was a very busy weekend out at the farm.

On Saturday, we tried to melt aluminum. We ended up destroying the forge. Apparently, there was moisture in something, and we had some explosive boiling of copper in a used crucible. The flower pot was destroyed.

Later, I went to the funeral for a brother here at my local lodge. He was an older brother, but a recent mason, only since 2006.

The funeral had a good turn out of Masons, probably 35. I wasn't there for the opening of the lodge of Sorrow, nor was I able to get an apron, as they didn't have enough. But I was able to march in with the brothers, and attend the graveside burial.

The words are archaic, and yet full of meaning. "We have called the roll of the workmen, and Brother N. has not answered to his name." The ideas may seem simplistic these days: Life eternal, removed from sight but still existing, the eternal Grand Lodge above. Never the less, it makes those left behind think: What will I leave behind? Our brother had a sizable family, and was obviously well liked by the brethren. I'd only met him a few times, but those times stuck out for me. He was the chaplain of the lodge, so we had things in common.

The burial took place at the Masonic cemetary in McMinville, pictured at the left. I didn't take any pictures at the funeral out of respect, but the view was amazing. If you look closely over the top of the white house in the center of the frame, you can see Mt. Hood rising out of the horizon. It's difficult to see in the picture, but in the moment it was beautiful and sublime.

The graveside ceremony was quiet and simple. The brother was a veteran, so the flag was folded by two young men, and presented to the Widow. After the service, I walked the grounds, and saw the ancient stones of brothers gone before, and their families. The bodies, the stones pass away. What remains is removed from sight, and eternal. In a culture that does not think about death, dying, or even the elderly it was a day of reflection.

Sunday was a day for celebrating life. I spent time with the family, we built chicken enclosures, we melted pewter, we herded goats and sheep and llamas and horses. It was a day spent almost entirely outside. The contrast was extreme, and wonderful.


Anonymous said...

It's nice that we're in that brotherhood together. I've never been to a Lodge of Sorrow — have to make that a priority someday.

Did you follow that video on how to make a forge? What mistake did you make that I should make an attempt to avoid?

Scott Rassbach said...

I used Flowerpot Furnace. I bought a book on it, even.

Do not put a crucible that still has slag in it that's been sitting in moisture. And monitor the temperature. The theory I have is the copper slag from the last time we did it splashed when the moisture boiled, and welded the flower pot to the lid. Also, the temp got so high it cracked.

Also, this furnace was 4 years old, so it may just have been at the end of it's useful life.