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Masonic News & Views -- What a ride!
February 07, 2011
Greetings Brother,

Okay, I admit I'm an old dog. And yeah, I probably should have known better but temptation sometimes overrides common sense. It all started innocently enough, but as I trace the timeline back to the beginning a pattern emerges. One might even call it a plot. And, it becomes clear that what seemed a neighborly gesture was actually the opening gambit of a brilliantly conceived plan.

I was startled from my afternoon nap by the bing-bonging of the doorbell. I swung the door open to find the little blond haired girl from next door and her littler brother. They were both bundled up in puffy winter weather wear, and they both carried a snow shovel that was taller than them. I pushed open the storm door and stepped out on the porch. "Howdy neighbors," I said. "Whatch ya doin?"

"We were wonderin' if we could shovel your driveway," said the little blond haired girl, and her little brother nodded.

"You want to shovel my driveway," I asked wondering what the catch would be.

"Yup," they said in unison.

I paused, trying to formulate my next question but the little blond haired girl was quicker than I. "For fun," she said cheerfully.

"For fun," I repeated dubiously, looking from one to the other.

Again in unison, they nodded and said, "Yup, just for fun."

Finally, I said, "Well, you've got a weird idea of fun, but hey, knock yourselves out." And, off they went wagging their snow shovels and running through the trackless snow.

I watched them off and on through the panes of the front door. For a while it was just the two of them, and then they were joined by two more girls from further down the hill. They laughed and squealed as they threw snowballs and chased one another around the yard. They happily shoved snow around the drive, but only accomplished making a giant mess. I started to go out and instruct them on proper shoveling techniques, but the Lady BG admonished me to, "Leave them alone and let them play." And so I did, knowing that I would have to go out later and tidy up the mess, which is exactly what they wanted me to do.

Eventually, they were called home to supper and I slipped into my coveralls, cap and gloves and waddled out to the driveway with my snow shovel. I'd managed to shovel about a third of the drive before becoming winded and stopping for a break. I pulled off my cap and stripped down my coveralls and tied the sleeves around my waist, and was resting against the front porch post of the CowChows when I saw it. One of the kids had left their sled out by the road, just below my driveway. Hmmmm, interesting.

I looked around and there was no one in sight. I made my way to the end of the drive, and still saw no one. I nonchalantly strolled down to where the sled lay in the snow, picked it up and quick timed it back up the hill. Reaching the foot of our driveway I turned and surveyed CowChows Hill below. Somehow it didn't seem enough, and that's when the brilliance of their plan becomes evident.

In all their playing and wrestling around in the snow they had somehow managed to transform the steps at the front of the CowChows into an icy ramp. And, somehow they knew I wouldn't be able to resist it.

I carefully climbed the dozen or so steps and placed the sled at the top. I looked around once more. I felt like a kid who knew what he was about to do was probably not a good idea, but the lure of the thrill was just too much. I settled myself on the sled, took a deep breath, and pushed off.

The steepness of the icy ramp combined with my adult weight resulted in a rate of speed much higher than I anticipated. The ramp spat me out at the bottom and I streaked down the hill completely out of control and loving every second of it.

Suddenly, before me, I saw a mound of snow pushed up by the kids. How did they know where to put it? The sled hit the mound, went up in the air, and I watched in wonder as the world rotated around me. I came crashing to the ground and as the cloud of snow settled I heard the laughter, applause and cheers of the kids. I'd been a pawn in their game from the moment they rang the doorbell.

I have to admit, though, it was a mighty fun ride. I may not roll like I used to, but I ain't flat yet.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch


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

Given the weather we have had lately, and the forecast for this week please contact someone from the Lodge to be sure the meeting is not cancelled before venturing out.

Monday, February 7, 2011: Branson Lodge No. 587 will have work in the 1st Degree of Freemasonry in conjunction with the regular Stated meeting. Dinner at 6:00 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM.

Monday, February 7, 2011: Willard Lodge No. 620 will have work in the 1st Degree of Freemasonry in conjunction with the regular Stated meeting. Dinner at 6:30 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:30 PM.

Tuesday, February 8, 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.

Monday, February 14, 2011: The Brethren of Solomon Lodge No. 271 invite everyone to dinner from 6:00 to 7:00, followed by an Open Lodge event. This event is to recognize the lodge for its efforts to benefit the community through the Masonic Home's Creating a Partnership program. All Freemasons, their family and friends are invited and welcome to attend. Please RSVP via telephone with how many will attend so we can have adequate food for all. That number is (417) 885-1145. Thanks and we hope to see you there.

Saturday, February 19, 2011: Washington's Birthday Celebration - Webb City Lodge No. 512, Mineral Lodge No. 471, Criterion Lodge No. 586 and Southwest Heritage Lodge No. 681 cordially invite you to the 96th Annual Celebration of Brother George Washington's Birthday. Breakfast will be served from 8:00 to 10:30 for $5, and Lodge will be duly Opened at 12:30 PM.

  • The EA Degree will be performed by the Pittsburgh Lodge No. 187 Kansas Degree Team.
  • The FC Degree will be performed by the Grove Lodge No. 187 Oklahoma Degree Team.
  • The MM Degree will be performed by the Bentonville Lodge No. 56 Arkansas Degree Team.

For more information contact:
RWB John Kuehn ph# 417-623-8399 email: kuehn.john@yahoo.com
Secretary Gene Bass ph# 417-673-2291 email: gbass7@cableone.net

Friday & Saturday, March 18 & 19, 2011: Multi-State Scottish Rite Reunion hosted by the Valley of Joplin. This is going to be a once in a lifetime event. Freemasons from Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, as well as other States will gather in Joplin for a two day Reunion to confer the Scottish Rite Degrees. Degrees will be conferred by teams from differing States. This is definitely a Reunion that you will not want to miss. Contact the Orient of Missouri Membership Director, RWB Greg Ross KCCH @ 417-872-8179 for information, details, and petitions.

Want a chance to win a brand new Chevrolet Camaro? Well, here ya go. The Valley of Joplin will award a brand spanking new Chevy Camaro to one lucky ticket holder on October 19, 2011. 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 and to get your winning ticket visit WWW.WIN-CAMARO.COM.

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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