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Masonic News & Views -- Yard Play
June 06, 2011
Greetings Brother,

Life is good here at the CowChows. We've not been affected by the withering drought to the west of us; nor have we had to deal with the strangling floods to the east, and we thankfully escaped the worst of the damaging spring storms. In a time when the whole world seems to be either burning up, blowing away or underwater the CowChows seems somehow an oasis of peace and we are truly thankful.

Summer has come early to the CowChows and with it all those lovely outdoor chores. I have to admit I never found an affinity for yard work. I could never understand the attraction to an activity that left you aching, itching, bleeding, or some combination of the three. But, like any responsible adult I've accepted that some things simply have to be done. And, it was with this responsible resolve that I ventured out into the late afternoon heat to pull and whack weeds, ferry wheelbarrow loads of mulch, and conquer unruly hedges.

I had just finished trimming the barberry hedge in front of the house. Sweat dripped in my eyes and blurred the droplets of blood on my forearms into bad abstract art. I straightened and felt the budding backache that was sure to be in full bloom by nightfall. I reached up and plucked the plugs from my ears and heard a small, timid voice from behind me, "What ya doin?"

I turned and there stood Mason, little brother of the little blond haired girl next door. He was dressed in the standard summer uniform for boys, t-shirt, shorts and bare feet. The pockets of his shorts bulged with what I was sure must be frogs and snails and puppy-dogs' tails. He, like me, was sweaty and dirty and grimy, but unlike me he wore a beatific smile. "Hello Mason," I said wearily. "Oh, I'm just doing some yard work. What are you up to?"

He shrugged and said, "Nothin' much. Just playin'. Can I do some yard work?"

"Well," I said, "I suppose you could, but why would you want to?"

"'Cause it looks like fun!" he said cheerily.

"I can assure you, Mason," I said seriously, "that yard work is not fun. If it were fun they wouldn't call it work."

"Then why don't they call it yard play?" he quipped.

I was speechless. It was probably the heat, but I had a clear mental image of a cool, refreshing mountain stream and I was holding his little blond head under the water. But, while I studied him and waited for my words to return I was suddenly struck by the wisdom of what he had said.

I closed the distance between us and knelt down in front of him. "Mason," I said, "what do you mean by that?"

He became uneasy at the sudden serious turn of the conversation. "Huh?" he said as he took a half step back.

"What do you mean, 'Why don't they call it yard play?'" I asked him.

"I, I dunno," he stammered. "If you don't like doin' yard work, you should do yard play. That's all."

I reached out and took his little hand. "Mason," I said, "are you telling me that I can effectually change the experience of performing an onerous task simply by approaching it from an attitude of play rather than focusing on its distasteful labors?"

He stared at me blankly for a long moment, and then he slowly but firmly pulled his hand from mine. He took one long slow step backward, and then another. He held out his hands and patted the air in a calming gesture and said, "I have to go home now. See ya later." And then, he turned and was gone.

I had to use the porch post to pull myself to my feet. I figure I've either got a budding genius for a neighbor, or heat stroke. Either way, I was done for the day.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

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

Monday, June 6, 2011: Gate of the Temple Lodge No. 422 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 2nd Degree of Freemasonry. Several candidates will be presented for the degree of Fellow Craft. Lodge will be duly Opened at 6:00 PM and there will be nourishment following the work.

Thursday, June 9, 2011: The Christian County Shrine Club invites you to their annual fish fry this Thursday at the Elks Lodge in Ozark, MO. We would like to invite all Masons, Shriners, and we would also like you to bring your non-Mason friends, as well. Who knows, they might like what they see and want to join this fine fraternity. The event starts at 6:00 PM. Admission is just $10 and includes all the food and camels milk you can handle. The Elks will provide a cash bar for mixed and other drinks. So come out ready to eat and have an evening full of fun and fellowship.

Thursday, June 9, 2011: Ava Lodge No. 26 and Ava Chapter O.E.S. will have a cookout fundraiser from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at the pavilion behind the lodge building located at 407 N.W. 11th Avenue in Ava, Missouri. Funds raised will go to local school programs.

Saturday, June 11, 2011: Hazelwood, Mansfield and Norwood Lodges will co-host a MOCHIP event from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM during the Se-Ma-No meeting being held in Seymour, MO. The event will be held at the Seymour High School Gymnasium located at 625 E. Clinton Avenue in Seymour.

Saturday, June 11, 2011: You are invited to a Hammer-in hosted by Republic Lodge No. 570. This is an opportunity to try your hand at blacksmithing. The intended project is to make a railroad spike knife. The Hammer-in will take place at the home of Brother Patrick Hill at 513 Ventura in Republic, MO.

Saturday, June 11, 2011: The 8th Annual Pickin in the Park Bluegrass and Country Music Festival hosted by O'Sullivan Lodge No. 7. Come join us at the Walnut Grove City Park in Walnut Grove, MO from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM. All proceeds go to charity.

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 While you're at it be sure and tell your friends. 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

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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