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Masonic News & Views -- Pop Quiz:...
July 12, 2010
Greetings Brother,

The Lady BG has a theory about life at the CowChows. She says it's like a school where we are required to learn certain and specific lessons before being allowed to graduate to the next level. I like this school analogy. It makes sense to me; maybe because I enjoy learning. Like school, however, I don't enjoy the tests.

Life is full of tests. Some are like mid-terms or semester finals where your performance can alter your direction or determine your ability to advance. Most of life's tests, however, are more like pop quizzes. They have no real or foreseeable consequences; they just pop up to see if you've been paying attention. In fact, I sometimes think these little pop quizzes are just God's way of relieving the boredom of overseeing a Universe that pretty much runs itself. Like today, for example. God looked down and saw that we were out back moving some rocks. He yawned and was about to change the channel when he thought, "Pop quiz: what will my child do when he bends to pick up a rock and comes eye-to-eye with a snake?"

He was the most beautiful and frightful copper color you can imagine, and from my perspective he was huge. I froze in place. I swear I could feel the breeze on the tip of my nose as his tongue fanned the air. His slitted eyes stared menacingly back at me. My first impulse would have meant burning or burying my shorts. Thankfully, that didn't happen. My second impulse was to try and toss the rock on him while simultaneously diving for safety. To pull that one off I'd have to be quicker than a snake, and what are the odds of that? If I had a third impulse it was drowned out by the Lady BG's screams. Her first impulse, after the screaming, was to grab the back of my shorts and yank. Turns out she is quicker than a snake.

We both tumbled down the hill, but suffered only minor scrapes and scratches. The snake, though obviously amused, barely cracked a smile. He lowered his body to the ground but made no attempt at leaving. The Lady BG and I assisted each other to our feet and when she had recovered enough breath she said, "It's a Copperhead! Kill it!"

I almost agreed, but then I stopped. Now that I wasn't nose to nose with it I realized it was only about a foot long, and while it was copper colored I seemed to recall that Copperheads have a patterned skin which this snake did not. So, I ran inside for my "Snakes of Missouri" book, and sure enough it turned out to be a harmless Northern Redbelly snake.

For me, this meant I didn't have to kill him. For the Lady BG, it meant I had to relocate him. Yes, I knew he wasn't venomous, and yes, he was less than a foot long, but old phobias die hard. So, I donned my leather gloves and found a couple of good snake wrangling sticks, and I went in after him.

When I turned him loose he didn't even bother to wave goodbye. He just disappeared into the brush. So, did we pass the test? I don't know. Was it even a test? I'm not sure. Did we brighten God's day a little? I'd like to think so.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

Now, on with the news........................

Tuesday, July 13, 2010: Bolivar Lodge No. 195 will meet in Stated Communication. Brother James O. Freeman will be present to receive honors for fifty years of Masonic service, and Brother John Devos will be a candidate for the sublime degree of Master Mason. The Brethren of Bolivar Lodge would especially like a good crowd on this evening and all Master Masons are encouraged to come and assist in the degree. Dinner will be ready at 6:30 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:30 PM.
Bolivar Lodge is located on South Killingsworth Avenue in Bolivar, MO and can be found on the Missouri Masonic Lodge Map.

Monday, July 19, 2010: United Lodge No. 5 will meet in Stated Communication at 6:00 PM, and will have two candidates for the Entered Apprentice degree and one candidate for the sublime degree of Master Mason. All assistance in the conferral of these degrees would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, August 21, 2010: A Chance-to-Advance (C2A) will be hosted by Gate of the Temple Lodge No. 422 to confer the degrees of Fellow Craft and Master Mason.

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