The above photo is the Autumnal Convent of the Priory of St. Andrew, part of the Grand Priory of the United States of America, The Solemn Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem. Also known as the Knights Templar.
There is so much about this organization that I don't know--not the least of which is making sense of the various titles and designations--but having attended this convent (and no, I don't know why it is called a convent, though I can tell you that it has nothing to do with nuns) I am absolutely impressed by the order for all sorts of reasons.
The short version of how we came to be at last night's convent is because it turns out that a member of our former church is a Dame of the Knights Templar. When The DaVinci Code came out several years ago Ken got launched down an exploratory path of learning more about many of the ideas and facts presented in the book. He was especially intrigued by the Templars. When he learned that Jeri was a member of the order, he felt like he'd struck gold. Imagine the thrill when Jeri invited him to join the order! (Membership in the order is by invitation.) I won't belabor the details involved in that, but this weekend began the process of Ken's entrance to membership.
The convent is full of ritual and symbolism, and can include the investiture of a new knight. See below! It you look closely you'll note the sword touching the left shoulder.
There are also strong ties to Scotland and things Scottish (and you thought The DaVinci Code was fiction!). I was in my glory in a room full of men in kilts following the convent.
And here we are. I am not happy with any of the pictures taken of us, but this one is the kindest. The dress is actually quite beautiful, but I learned a valuable lesson last night. The right undergarment is essential! Truly, my chest doesn't really need the parking space to my left. This wasn't such a big deal 50 pounds ago, but at my present weight it's a rather crucial detail. Live and learn, and get with the program! It's a rare occasion for me to dress up, though with the Templars in our lives that will begin to change. Ken is due to be knighted in April.
You'll be hearing more from time to time. For now I'll simply say that it looks as though life is going to get a lot more interesting, and interesting people will be a part of that.