Tuesday, July 11, 2017

We're At the Garden Grove Elks Lodge

As you know, we left Wilderness Lakes last Friday, and we have been here at the Elks since then.  On Friday Sherrie & Ron came over and we had a grand time with them.  We were having so much fun together that I forgot to get a picture of them.  After a great dinner, we played Mexican Train, and I won!  Later we had a dessert of banana ice cream pie that everyone enjoyed.  I assumed I would get a chance to take their picture on Saturday inside the Elks, but Sherrie went to a birthday party that day, and that night she had an upset tummy, so they didn't come to dinner at the lodge.  

Saturday my dear friend Joan and her husband Jim came over for lunch with us.  It was so great to see them again. I was sorry they had to rush off, but they have much to get done before their grand children from Holland arrive tomorrow.
This is the painting that represents the current Exalted Ruler of the Garden Grove Lodge, Mark Mahoney.  Every year a member, Bill Catlin, paints a wall size painting for the theme of the year.

 The painting also represents this car, which belongs to Mark Mahoney and his wife.  We saw it out in front of the lodge on Saturday morning.  It sure is a beauty!
 I debated if I should say what I think about the lodge and dinner, but I have decided that I should.  It saddens me to see how much the lodge has gone down hill over the last several years.   Of course they have to make enough money to cover expenses and raise money for the charities they support.  However, it seems to me that they are making a serious mistake in how they go about trying to do that.  Yes, the cost of food does go up, but many of the lodge members are senior citizens on a fixed income, so they cannot afford to pay higher prices for their dinners.  Instead, many have to stop coming here for dinner..............so the lodge loses the money they would have spent.......and then raise prices higher.  Instead, they should look at ways to keep the dinners affordable so the members will come back.  Many older people eat smaller portions, so they could use smaller servings of meats and side dishes.  They could offer one or two specials that are less than $10.00 per serving for those who can't afford the more pricey meals.  They could even offer home style meals that two to four people could share at the table.  I also think it is important that the service offered should be of top quality.  We were very disappointed Saturday night with our server, who didn't get our simple order right!  We both asked for our steaks WITHOUT mushrooms, but got them anyway.  We both asked for our steaks to be well done.  Mine was medium and Jim's was still alive!  He had to send it back twice before he got it done enough to eat...............and then it was burned black on the outside and still some was red inside.  This does not encourage people to come back again.  Good food, at good prices with good service will improve their business.  We were also disappointed with the DJ  who played "all requests" night.  I find it hard to believe anyone requested The Blue Danube Waltz that night!  He did a few songs we could dance to and then played several more that we couldn't believe anyone actually asked for.  
The DJ had these guys in front of his stand.  Maybe they would have done a better job of entertaining everyone.
We expected to stay in and dance until closing, but instead we were back in the RV by 8pm.  That means that the lodge lost the money we would have spent on drinks if we had stayed to dance.

I read in the monthly newsletter that the price of their Pizza Sunday pizza has been raised from $10.00 to $15.00 as of this month.  I'm sure that is because so many people who come down that day do NOT buy pizza anymore.  However, I have been told that this is because the quality of the pizza has deteriorated badly.  It is true that they have not raised the price of the pizza in several years, and people would probably not complain about this price increase IF the quality of the pizza had not gone south.  The tradition of Pizza Sunday once a month at the Elks has been going on for many years, and it used to be enjoyed, and supported, by hundreds of members and guests every month.  It would be a shame to see that tradition come to an end because of poor quality pizza!  I truly wish someone could show the people who are making these unfortunate decisions the error of their ways before it is too late to save this once great lodge.
Our lodge is a beautiful lodge with a wonderful grassy park out back where many wonderful events have been held each year.  

Sunday morning I was excited to go to our beloved church, and see so many loved ones there.  Sadly, Aiko was not feeling well so she had stayed home.  We are hoping she and Pastor Paul will be able to come see us before we have to leave here on Friday.  Pastor Paul gave a wonderful sermon on the topic of how to deal with criticism.  He reminded us that we are not alone in being criticized since even Jesus was criticized and called a blasphemer for saying that He is the son of God.  Paul made a humorous joke paraphrasing a Jewish story that said "if you are called a donkey once, dismiss it, but if you are called a donkey again, maybe it's time to buy a saddle".   He told us that since we are children of the Living God, people may criticize what we wear or the car we drive or many other things, but we must not let them criticize who we are.  That message was very important to me.  My son has been very critical of me, and of Jim, because he has become vegan and thinks everyone should stop eating any animal products and stop wearing animal materials like leather.  He is very adamant about his beliefs, and he has turned away from everything we believe in.  This has been very painful and upsetting to me.  He won't listen to anything I have to say because he KNOWS what is true and what is not.  He rejects the Bible calling it a book of fairy tales with no proof of anything in it.  I am deeply distressed by his refusal to accept the absolute truth of the Bible, but nothing I can say gets through to him.  So I pray, several times each day, that Jesus will show him the way.  I have absolute faith in Jesus, but I also know that my son is very stubborn.  So I also pray that before it is too late, my son will hit rock bottom, so he will have no where else to go but to God.  I respect his right to be a vegan, and I even respect his right to suggest his beliefs to others, but I can't respect the way he treats people who don't share his beliefs.  And I can only pray that he will find his way back to Jesus before it is too late.   
As for me, I don't believe in criticizing others, because only God can judge any of us.  None of us knows what burdens others may be dealing with.  We can't know other people's pain.  We all make mistakes, and God always forgives us if we ask Him to.  The way I see it is, if God can forgive all of us for our sins, who am I to be a harsher critic?  If I see someone who is having a hard time, instead of criticizing him, I would like to think I would extend a helping hand to that person.  God never promised us this life would be easy....but He DID promise to be here for us.  Life might be a little easier for everyone if we tried to help others, instead of criticize and hurt them.  So I'd like to suggest that for at least a week try something new.  Wake up with a grateful heart.  Start each day by thanking God for this day, and asking Him into your daily life.  Maybe you could even ask God how you might help someone else today.  I read something on my Mozilla Firefox page today that I never noticed before.  I don't know who said it, but it made me smile, so now I will pass it along to the rest of you.  It said "Watching the sunrise outdoors statistically increases your odds of having a good day.  And needing a nap after lunch."   I hope that made you smile too.  And by the way, Jim is napping in his chair as I write this.  Have a great day, and if it has been a good one, thank God for it.  We have been reading the Bible daily, and that is a wonderful way to start each day. 

Sunday afternoon Fred and Marla came over to visit and  we had dinner together.  She is the marvelous artist who painted this wonderful lighthouse painting that hangs in our bedroom.

 She also painted this wonderful Elk painting that hangs in the East Room of the lodge.

Well I guess I have rambled on for long enough today, so I will say Good bye for now.  Again, wishing you an abundance of blessings.


  1. I really enjoyed seeing you last friday, even if for only an hour or so. I will try my best to spend more time on your next visit.
    My love to all of you.

    1. Thanks Cindy, I understand why you couldn't spend more time with us. YOU WORK TOO DARNED HARD. That's not a criticism, just an observation. I wish you didn't have to work so hard, and could get more rest when you are not working.
      Much love, Sue & Jim and the furry kids too!