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Masonic News & Views -- Where's my brick?
December 13, 2010
Greetings Brother,

The temperature here at the CowChows dropped into the single digits last night. I was shivering slightly as I crawled beneath the heavy winter covers of my bed. The sheets were cold and although I knew my body heat would warm them up in no time I still couldn't help but wonder, "Where's my brick?"

As a boy growing up in the Midwest, we didn't have a lot. Mom and Dad somehow managed to keep us clothed and fed. Ailments and injuries, unless serious, were tended to at home. Luxuries and extras were something you just didn't spend time thinking about.

When I was about nine years old we moved into a old farm house that was never intended to shelter a family of six. The room that we three boys shared was added to the south side of the house at some point, and while roomy enough it had little if any insulation. As winter came on Mom piled the covers high and deep, but still the room seemed to grow colder each night.

Then one night, as bedtime approached, Mom could be heard bustling around in the kitchen. She hadn't said a word as to what she was up to, and it never occurred to any of us to ask or offer to help. Finally, she appeared at the doorway and announced that it was time for bed. We all groaned and whined at the thought of trying to sleep another night in that ice-box, but we eventually and dutifully trudged past her and into our room.

There really was no trick to it. You simply had to jump between those icy sheets, curl up into the smallest ball you could manage, and wait for the shivers to pass. Which, is what I did. Only this time something was different.

When I jumped into bed the sheets weren't icy. Not only were they not icy, but they were actually warm toward the foot of the bed. I felt around with my feet and found a warm bundle, and I dove down beneath the covers and pulled it to me. It was wonderful. I cradled it and tried to curl myself around it. Finally, I got warm and I pulled the bundle out where I could inspect it. It was a towel wrapped around something, and as I unwrapped it I came to understand what Mom had been doing in the kitchen.

She had placed clay bricks in the oven to warm them, and then just before bedtime she had carefully wrapped each one in a towel and placed it under the covers of our beds. The bricks held the heat long enough for us to drift off into peaceful slumber.

Maybe it was just a block of clay warmed in the oven, but that winter my Mom gave me a present that has been with me all these years. She gave me a gift that I will cherish all of my days and that no one can take from me. She gave me a memory that warms me still and reminds me that I am loved.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

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

Monday, December 13, 2010: Solomon Lodge No. 271 will have their Holiday Dinner tonight at 6:00. Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010: Every Wednesday the Joplin Scottish Rite Club meets for a Noon luncheon at the Masonic Scottish Rite Temple located at 505 S. Byers in Joplin, MO. Everyone is invited and all are welcome.

Thursday, December 16, 2010: Forsyth Lodge No. 453 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 1st Degree of Freemasonry. One duly elected candidate will be presented for the degree of Entered Apprentice. Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM.

There's always 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

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

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

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