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Masonic News & Views -- Springtime at the CowChows
March 28, 2011
Greetings Brother,

Spring has at last officially arrived here at the CowChows. I know this not by any date on the calendar, and certainly not by the thermometer on the back porch. No, I know that Spring has arrived because the annual battle with the birds has begun.

It never fails. Every Spring two lovesick birds discover the light fixture on the front porch. They swoon all over each other, and chatter excitedly, and flit about with anticipation because they've found the perfect place to build their home and raise their family. They start dragging up twigs and weeds and little pieces of moss and all manner of miniature things, and poking them into our light fixture. And, when I discover what they're up to I go out and tear down their nest and tell them to move along. Some years the battle goes on for days, but eventually they get the message and move on. It's kind of a little ceremony to celebrate the arrival of the season, although this year it went a little differently.

It was just after breakfast and the Lady BG was clearing the dishes. She glanced out the window and sang, "Your friends are here."

I stepped out onto the front porch, and they vanished into the branches of the old elm tree. I began the ceremony. I had removed the handful of twigs and was about halfway through my lecture on why this was not a good place for them to build their nest when there was a sudden rush of wings at my left ear. I turned, and a beautiful little House Wren was sitting on my shoulder and looking me right in the eye.

"What's your problem," he demanded.

I have to admit I was startled. I'd never been confronted like this before, and his sharp little beak was inches from my eye. "Huh?" was all I could say.

He took a step closer and eyed me for a long moment. "We worked hard on that," he said, "and you just come out here and tear it all down. What is your problem, dude?"

I finally regained my senses. "This is our house," I told him. "You're building your nest practically right over our front door. You can't build your nest there."

"Why not," he asked as he leaned closer to my eye.

I tried to move my head away from that needle sharp beak, but found my neck was already stretched to its limit. "Because," I said, "you stick your butts out over the edge of the nest and crap all over my porch, and then your chicks will hatch and there will be even more crap."

"So what," he said. "It falls on the ground. What do you care?"

I was beginning to get a little angry. "No," I said, "it falls on my porch and I'm the one who has to clean it up."

He was also getting a little ruffled. He stepped even closer and we were practically eye-to-eye. "Why do you have to clean it up," he demanded. "It's just crap!"

I tried to turn to face him, but only wound up going in a circle. Frustrated, I said, "Because, I don't want to step in it and track it into the house!"

He was so furious he was shaking. "Just fly over it," he shouted.

I was taken aback; momentarily stunned. I hadn't considered his perspective. Amused, I said, "But little House Wren, I can't fly."

He stepped back. He eyed me skeptically. He was about to say something when Mrs. Wren swooped in and landed on the light fixture. "Honey, is everything okay," she chirped.

Mr. Wren looked from me to her, and back again. Finally he said, "Everything's fine, dear. We won't be building our dream nest here after all."

"Why," she whined "it's the perfect spot."

Mr. Wren left my shoulder and fluttered into the light fixture next to her. I heard him whisper, "He can't fly. Do you want to tell your family and friends you have a neighbor who can't fly?"

"Sorry to have bothered you," she chirped, and a moment later they were two dots disappearing into the trees.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch


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

W:.Brother Norm Napier has recently taken residence in the Christian Health Care Center located at 3535 East Cherokee Street in Springfield, MO. He is in room 201 and can be contacted directly by calling (417) 889-9818 extension 201. Many of us know Norm and have benefited greatly from his teachings. Please give him a call or stop by and say hello when you can.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011: Billings Lodge No. 379 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 1st Degree of Freemasonry. Travis Kincheloe, who has been duly elected, will be presented for initiation into the Mysteries of Freemasonry. Dinner will be served at 6:00 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM. All Regular Freemasons are invited.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011: Friend Lodge No. 352 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 3rd Degree of Freemasonry. Brother Patrick Hill, a Fellow Craft, will be presented for the sublime degree of Master Mason. Dinner at 6:15 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM. All Master Masons are invited in.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011: Joplin Lodge No. 335 will host a Regional School of Ritual Instruction. RWB Tim Couch, RGL Region 'F' will instruct on the ritual of the first sections of the degrees, and receiving and balloting on a petition. Dinner at 6:00 and Instruction will begin at 7:00 PM.

Saturday, April 2, 2011: Sparta Lodge No. 296, located at 7702 State Hwy 14 E in Sparta, MO, will host a School of Ritual Instruction beginning at 9:00 AM. RWB Tim Couch, Region 'F' Grand Lecturer, will instruct.

Saturday, April 2, 2011: Republic Lodge No. 570 will host a MOCHIP event from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Miller Community Center located at 711 East Miller Road in Republic, MO.

Saturday, April 2, 2011: The Knights of Seven Chapter of DeMolay will initiate two-to-three boys into the Chapter at Republic Lodge No. 570. This will be immediately following the MOCHIP event.
Saturday, April 16, 2011: The Knights of Seven Chapter of DeMolay will hold their Installation of Officers for the 1st term at 3:00 PM at the Sparta Lodge building. The first regular meeting of the Chapter will follow at 4:00 PM.
The Knights of Seven Chapter will hold their regular meetings on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month at 4:00 PM at Sparta Lodge.
All Masons, Ladies of the Eastern Star, Amaranth, White Shrine, etc, and parents of DeMolays are welcome(and strongly encouraged) to attend all regular Chapter meetings, fun events, Initiations, and Advisory board meetings. Installation of Officers is open to anyone.
DeMolay is open to any young man age 12 to 20. A Masonic relationship is not necessary for membership.

Saturday, April 2, 2011: Whitewater Lodge No. 417 will host their 1st Annual Bluegrass and Bluegrass Gospel Music Show. The show will feature the Bressler Brothers, Old Santa Fe, Route 66, and will be held at the Delta High School Gymnasium in Delta, MO. Only $7 to see both shows. Click here to view a flier for the event.

Sunday, April 3, 2011: Appended Bodies Presentations and The Traitor Episode. This event is open to the public. There will be presentations by representatives of the Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shrine, DeMolay, Rianbow for Girls, Jobs Daughters, and possibly other appended Masonic Bodies beginning at 2:00 PM.
Following the presentations the Traitor Episode will be performed by members of the Scottish Rite Valley of Joplin. This is an excellent one act play depicting a Masonic Lodge meeting that could have happened shortly after the Revolutionary War. Characters portrayed include General George Washington, Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de LaFayette, Generals Henry Knox, Nathaniel Greene and Mordecai Gist, Colonel Alexander Hamilton, other noted soldiers and Countrymen and of course, the Traitor.
Everyone is invited and all are welcome.

The Scottish Rite Valley of Joplin needs your help in preserving our beautiful Scottish Rite Cathedral. And, in helping preserve this piece of American history you could win a brand new Chevy Camaro. Tickets are just $50 each and only two thousand tickets will be offered. There will be cash prizes awarded, as well. For all the details on how you can help us preserve this beautiful building please go to WWW.WIN-CAMARO.COM. or visit and "LIKE" the page at Facebook.com/Win-a-new-Camaro. Thank you very much.

As you can see there's lots of Masonry going on in Missouri. See the links below to keep up with the latest or to submit information for your upcoming meeting.

For more news of upcoming events and special communications visit the Upcoming Masonic Events page on Masonsmart.com

For a calendar of Stated meetings for many of the Lodges and Masonic bodies visit the Masonic Calendar page on Masonsmart.com

For help locating a lodge building visit the Missouri Masonic Lodge Map page on Masonsmart.com

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