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At River Ridge, one of our core values is our belief in God. We believe that there is a God in Heaven who will some day allow us to come live eternal life with Him. I’m often asked, “Dean is a Christian?!”, but yes, the grumpy old man is. He actually spends a lot of time up in the office listening to scripture and sermons while he does his other ownerly duties. Below is a recent sermon I created for International Bible Day.

 

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline”. To be honest, this is one of my favorite verses from the Bible and one that I have memorized because it helps me in my everyday life. For those of you who know me really well, I’ve really been struggling to pray in front of others because it’s just an insecurity that I have. Lately though, the Holy Spirit truly has been taking my timidness and fear from me and giving me the power to pray in front of others, which is truly a blessing.

Along with this, it really helps with my self-confidence because it reminds me that I don’t need to be concerned with what other people think of me. I do not have to be fearful of the things that I do to glory God because He has the final say on judgement day. Through this, I have the power to worship and praise my God for who He is, and to love on others as Jesus loved on other people. I always joke about walking around the church barefoot and telling people who look at me with this face of contempt that Jesus would have washed my feet. But it’s true! God calls us to serve others as He did, even if it means literally washing people’s feet. Also, the more comfortable that I have gotten with praying in front of others and prayer in general, self-discipline really helps because it helps me to align myself with what God wants for me. Psalm 24:1 “The earth belongs to the Lord and so does everything in it”. I am a Child of God who was made to bring glory to Him through prayer and praise and living my life in the image of Him.

 

I hope this inspires you like it inspired me!

Allie 🙂

We have a special live music guest for the month of December during Wine Down Wednesday. Please join us and Jeff Parker for a nice relaxing meal and a glass of wine or two have a busy day at the office…or perhaps some holiday shopping!!

We will have wine and meal specials, so be sure to ask your server.

 

December 6th, 13th & 20th  5:30-7:30 pm

 

Jeff Parker

We invite you to this exclusive Private Event. The restaurant will close for this event and ticket holders only will be admitted.

The Olson Brothers are coming into town, one even flying in from Nashville, to do one last live music night for 2017 as we wind into the holiday season.  Holy Moly their resume is pretty awesome!
Summer 2016 they had over 60 shows including shows with Craig Morgan, Toby Keith, and Randy Houser, and 2 shows at Century Link Field including before a Seahawks game and opening before the Kenny Chesney Concert. We just watched a video on 10/1/2017 that they were at the Clink again in the pregame fun… They were also at Highland Days and have been around Tri Cities earlier in 2017.
They have also won The Texaco Country Showdown National Songwriting Contest in 2013 which won us $5000 and a trip to Nashville!  Luke is now interning with Desmond Child (wrote “Living on a Prayer” “Shot Through the Heart” “Dude Looks Like a Lady”) and writing songs with him. ( I mean, who doesn’t love all of those songs! He is in good hands!)
Get to know them  at the links below, call your friends and reserve table NOW!
Seating is limited to 88 seats.
Website:
Facebook Page
Tickets can be purchased here  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3022003

Ever heard of the Zombie drink? I hadn’t until the other day, but we will be offering it at our zombie golf nights and while supplies last afterwards! Zombie golf will be October 14 and 28th and is part of a fundraiser for the West Valley FCCLA club. We will be providing $10 per player that signs up to their club. We are asking them to dress up as zombies and walk the course, just like you would experience at the corn maze. The price for you is $30 for a great cause, including the ball, the green fee, and the donation. The field is limited to 36 people per night.

 

We will also have one of our favorite servers, Maren, out on the course in a lit up cart preparing zombie drinks with glow sticks for players of age. If you love the taste and want to recreate the drink when you get home, here’s the recipe with this awesome drink!

 

The zombie contains:

 

1/2 oz Bacardi® 151 rum

1 oz pineapple juice

1 oz orange juice

1/2 oz apricot brandy

1 tsp sugar

2 oz light rum

1 oz dark rum

1 oz lime juice

 

Blend all ingredients with ice except Bacardi 151 proof rum. Pour into a collins glass. Float Bacardi 151 proof rum on top. Garnish with a fruit slice, sprig of mint and a cherry.

 

The recipe for this drink was found on drinksmixer.com and we are so happy to share it with you! Come check it out and try it at glow ball night!

Hello lovelies! It feels so great to be writing to you again! Here at River Ridge, we are working on planning events to keep you busy this winter. For now, we’re just brainstorming, but we are excited to start getting into planning. We are currently thinking about doing make it take it nights where families can come in and carve pumpkins or make christmas decorations. We are also thinking about doing a live clue night, a vampire spaghetti dinner, and a game of dodgeball in the snow. Along with our own special events we are looking forward to helping plan your holiday get togethers! Please send us a message on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to let us in on your ideas so we can start planning them! Thanks!

 

Allie 🙂

We embarked on a new adventure to our Events end of River Ridge and we hope you have enjoyed any (or all) of the concerts you have attended. We are closing out our first summer outdoor concert series with a great local country band!

 

American Honey  will be bringing their Trio to the stage on Friday September 15th from 6-9pm.

 Call ahead early at 697-8323. Seats will fill up fast.  Cover is waived if you have a deck reservation!

You can order food to go and enjoy the grassy area.  Bring a blanket or a lawn chair.

These tickets are available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3021994 or at the CM Entertainment Tent (cash only)

Drink card special also available at CM Entertainment Tent (cash only)

Little insight to how the band got their name… Front woman Audre says ” We decided our name one day when we were all sitting around having a band BBQ and we happened to be drinking Wild Turkey American Honey whiskey. We had been trying to decide on a name for a couple weeks and the guys started pointing out things in sight, like the ketchup, relish, or mustard bottle. We all laughed until Bill said “American Honey”…. we all stopped and looked at each other and we all knew that was it!”

When you know, you know… am I right? So please join Audre (Vocals/Acoustic), Bill Cron (Lead Acoustic), and Brian Parker (Cajon Drum) and the staff of River Ridge and CM Entertainment as we dance and sing the night away. It will be show you won’t want to miss.

 

P.S. If you follow them on Facebook…did you see the video of Audre singing the Star Spangled Banner…MINDBLOWN!

https://www.facebook.com/americanhoneytheband/

American Honey Trio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“DAD!!! I CAN’T FIND MY SHOE!” Although this statement has developed as I have throughout the years (now it’s more of a “MOM, HAVE YOU SEEN MY CAR KEYS? I CAN’T FIND THEM ANYWHERE!”), I’m still my parents’ little girl and we’re still getting ready to send me off to school this year. For the final year of living at home. I’m sure parents will say that the final year is one of the hardest there is, and that it is comparable to the first day of school ever. I’d like to argue that the first day of senior year is much worse. I feel so overwhelmed!! So many schools to apply to, to decide from, and don’t forget the scholarship applications. My mother is already beginning to purchase bedding and other essentials for next year now, to get a head start. While this year is especially taxing on me, I can only imagine the way it makes my family feel. If I’m feeling stressed, what’s to say that customers like you won’t be? To help comfort our customers through the difficult times they’ll be seeing in the next month, we’ve hired more staff to help provide better customer service. We are also planning to do back to school weekday lunch specials for parents. We hope to see you in the clubhouse in coming weeks!

 

Allie 🙂

Howdy, River Ridge Family!!

 

I am so excited to tell you about the amazing opportunity that God has brought before us. For the next few months, we will be doing a change drive for Life Choices Pregnancy Medical Center. I am sure when you hear that, you think of Planned Parenthood. There are NO abortions at Life Choices, and they do not refer people to do abortions either. If a parent is not able or not willing to provide a happy, safe home for their future child, Life Choices helps to get them in contact with an adoption agency. On top of this, Life Choices provides free pregnancy and STD tests, as well as classes for moms to learn about how to take care of a child. Each time that a mom takes an “Earn to Learn” class, they earn “Boutique Bucks” that they can spend in the boutiques set up with books, toys, and clothes for babies. They are also provided with free diapers if needed. This non-profit organization is super top notch and we are extremely excited to provide them with a donation in order to help them pay for the supplies needed to help new moms. I even have a really close friend who was saved by this organization. Her biological mother found out she was pregnant at the Life Choices clinic and didn’t want to keep the baby. She wanted to get an abortion but the workers at the clinic were able to steer her toward an adoption agency. Thanks to them, my best friend was born and put through an adoption agency who directly gave her to her adopted family. (Ironically enough, her adopted mother was a worker at Life Choices). If it wasn’t for this clinic, I would not have my best friend, and I would probably not be the person I am today. In order to help this wonderful clinic that keeps people’s best friends in existence,  our goal is to raise $250 from you guys, followed by a donation by us matching what you donate, up to $250. Stop and drop your change in the jar to help this wonderful organization.

The Naches Valley High School Class of 1967 held their 50 year reunion at the restaurant last night, and it was awesome! Their bouquets looked fabulous with the yellow and white flowers and blue jars to match their school colors, along with the blue “NHS ‘67” flags. Each table was also scattered with blue and gold wrapped Hershey’s kisses. They also created a beautiful display honoring the veterans in their class, as well as a memoriam for those that had passed away. It was really cool to see how on top of their class’ information the hosts were. On top of the beautiful centerpieces, the class also came up with some really fun activities and icebreakers, including singing their fight song, playing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” on recorders and kazoos,and creating a small survey that forced everyone to talk to everyone else. This class did such a great job of decorating and really helped to show me what can be done to the restaurant to make it better. What could you do to decorate at your own parties? How would you decorate the restaurant to ae it look better? I have attached pictures from the reunion, including multiple shots of the centerpieces to give you ideas for your next party, and to help see what could possibly inspire some new projects in the restaurant. Feel free to email us and tell us the type of decorating projects you think we should take on to make the restaurant look better.

 

Our email is: riverridgefeedback@gmail.com

 

Thank you! I’m excited to see what you come up with!

 

Allie 🙂

***** UPDATED Cover Charge for this event****River Ridge outdoor concert-

River Ridge will be having an exclusive show on Aug 18th. The SHADES are a classic rock, pop & top 40 cover band that play the entire northwest. Covering everything from the Rolling Stones to Katy Perry , The SHADES offer the best sounding live music that everyone can get down to and enjoy!
 Be sure to check out their website http://theshadesrock.com/
~BOBBY NELSEN~
Founder of The SHADES… Bobby is
an awesome guitarist and shades cover
has been playing music
professionally even before his
teen years. He is also a seasoned
singer, bassist and drummer. He played in various full
time west coast road bands before forming “The
SHADES” in Seattle during 1982.
~FAITH MARTIN~ Great Lead Singer/Guitarist… Faith started with the band back in 2004 and you all may also know her from being a radio personality on various Radio Stations including 98.3 The Key & KORD. If anyone can get the party started….it’s her for sure! She is a passionate, seasoned performer who is at home being on stage.
~BILLY HITT~ Drummer/Vocals..Billy is a excellent seasoned drummer and excellent vocals. Former member of The Cavaliers of “Last Kiss” fame. Google it – you will know the song that Pearl Jam also recorded a version of. Billy provides the feel and “groove” that enables The SHADES
to rock solid and cover such a wide variety of music. Billy
joined The SHADES in 1994.
~RICK WILTSE~ Bass Guitar/Vocals… Rick started with The SHADES in 1994 and is as rock steady as they come. Rick played in various club bands in the Seattle area before moving to the Tri Cities where he also played in a variety of bands on guitar and on bass. A seasoned performer and total dedicated professional.

You are in for a early treat while eating dinner at River Ridge on July 21st! Charlie Green is in town promoting his new album and wanted to come to town to play for you while he is on tour.  He is a young man with a deep voice that shocks people from the first word sung.

Charlie Green, a Nashville Recording Artist from Vancouver Washington, has shared the stage with country music’s James Otto, Keith Anderson, Brian McComas, Jason Michael Carroll and more! Charlie’s love for music was found in an old radio at the age of 5. Singing in the car while playing a dashboard drum set became a routine performance for his supportive family. He continued his young interest in music learning the Trumpet in the 5th grade. From that first horn to a bass guitar in 2008, Charlie took interest in many genres of music. Going through phases of Rock, Alternative, Metal, Reggae, and Metal-core, he was bound to fall back to that familiar sound from childhood. Country. Around 2010 his love for country music became a life style as he got his first acoustic guitar. In 2015, Charlie flew to Nashville to record his Debut EP entitled “Don’t Mess”, as well as a military tribute, “Proud American”. Find him on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon and more!

Intrigued? Grab a burger and a beer and enjoy the show.  He will be playing the pre-funk show from 6-8 before rock band Nerve Centr takes the stage.

Visit CharlieGreenMusic.com for tour dates and merchandise purchases. He will also have cd’s for sale at the show. He looks forward to meeting you!

Follow him on social media  https://www.facebook.com/CharlieG33    https://www.instagram.com/charlie_green33/

 

Charlie Green 1Charlie Green 2

 

 

We have partnered again with CM Entertainment to bring you another night of live music outside!

Nerve Centr is a rock band from Tri-Cites. We love everyone who has a motto and they have a GREAT one…”Aim to entertain”  Musicians are regular people like you and I but Alan, Craig and Jerry have some AWESOME fun facts to share so when you see them try to guess which facts is whose…

  1. Which one of us is a scientist who is working on developing biodegradable rocket fuel?  (ok can I have some of that? I have a million places to be in a day)
  2. Which one of us rides a Harley? (We have bikers that come to the course, so be sure to talk a little biker talk during a break)
  3. Which one of us played in a punk band in the ’80s called Mental Heath (who also played alongside Violent Femmes) and when was a kid pitched a no-hitter in pee wee baseball at age 11? (Bring your kids to talk to him if they play ball…inspiration is every where)

Check out their website http://www.nervecentr.com

Nerve Centr

We look for ward to seeing you July 21st 8-11pm

$10 Admission (ticket link coming soon, will be posted on the Facebook event)

All ages welcome

$15 drink punch card available at will call — cash only

We have partnered with CM Entertainment once again to bring you a family fun night of live music set for June 23, 2017 @8:00pm

Apophus is a band coming from Tri Cities. Nicole White, Brian Williams, Josh Arendell, Matt Wessley, Uriel Rivera make up this band and they will be bringing us a unique musical experience mixing hip-hop with elements of fusion and prog rock. They have influences of rock legends we all love like Santana, Queen, Eminem, Janis Joplin just to name a few.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket and dance the night away as Apophus rocks the fresh new stage just off the main entrance of the club house.  You can check out the bands Facebook page as well. www.facebook.com/officialapophus

If you would like more information on the event, you may contact Autumn at cmebookingspromo@gmail.com or give her a call/text (509) 438-9963

We look forward to seeing you.

 

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I love Christmas.  Love, love, love.  I love Christmas so much, in order to make sure the family got together in a way that was meaningful and significant, I took it upon myself to host the party.

[The perfectionist’s motto is “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself,” and I am under no illusion that I am anything but a perfectionist.]

At the time, 20-something with no kids and only one job, hosting the extended family for the holidays was not a big deal.  I had time to spare, and the time I couldn’t spare I carved out anyways.  It was a labor of love.  I really did enjoy it.

I planned the meal, made a gift list for all who’d attend, shopped early for presents and wrapped them all ahead of time.  I grocery shopped at the cleanest, healthiest stores, started cooking two days early, brined the bird, baked the pies, made candy, baked cookies, created place cards, rented furniture, rearranged tables to fit everyone in one spot, made up guest rooms.

Back up, Martha Stewart.  I GOT THIS.

You’re probably thinking “oh my goodness, what a showoff, no one does that for reals except PTA b*tches and Real Housewives of Orange County.” (more…)

Christmas is coming!  (Yes, it’s only September, but keep reading.)

My dad is one of ten kids.  I counted once, and I have over 60 first cousins.

That’s a lot of people.

While Grandma was alive, we celebrated Christmas at her house, with Grandpa and all the family.

ALL.  The family. (more…)

Imagine you were walking down the street, looking for a mini-mart to purchase a soda.

(Or, if you’re me, a bigass cup of coffee.)

In the doorway of the first store you pass, there is an angry, hateful, pissy looking man propped against the door frame, a grungy apron around his neck and pulled tight across his middle, a sweaty cap pushed up from his face.  His arms are crossed tightly across his chest.  Although he has said nothing to you, his body language screams words of anger and profanity. (more…)

When I was a kid, most nights after tucking in, my dad would read us stories.

At the time, it never occurred to me that our time spent together was significant or important.  It just was, in the same way his snores that echoed across the hall meant we were safe, and everything was going to be okay.

(man, can he snore.)

The stories he read were epic and extraordinary.  Kings and queens, warriors and peasants, wars and love and honor and betrayal.  He read of miracles and mysteries, defiance and victory, of great men and stoic women, even of children who changed the world.

I craved those stories, read to me as the sun set and the day wound down.  I remember feeling as though I’d won the lottery when he made time to read to us, my vision blurring from reality as the pictures in my head grew bright and vibrant, carrying me away to a different time and place.

It wasn’t until I was grown and gone that I realized nearly every story he read, all those stories I still remember by heart, came straight from the Bible.  Very rarely did he read any other book.

Daniel and the Lion’s Den.

Ruth and Naomi, a story of loyalty.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the firey furnace.

Esther and Xerxes and the power of defiant obedience.

David and Goliath, and the victory of faith over power and pride.

Joseph and his amazing gift of organization, that helped him to feed a nation.

Jacob and Esau, and the damage of jealousy and comparison.

Adam and Eve.  Cain and Abel.  Abraham and Isaac.  Joshua and Jericho.  Lot and his wife.

My dad wasn’t just telling me stories, he was teaching me about God.

I didn’t even notice.  Sneaky bugger.

As an adult myself, a mother hen with three chicks tucked under my wings, I now understand what it was my father did.  He read the Bible, his big, clunky King James red print Bible, but he changed it.  The names stayed the same, but he changed the delivery, translated it for our tiny ears, turning the “these” and “thous” into words we could understand.

He changed the story just enough to make it hit home, and repeated the stories enough times that we would remember them, long after our night time story routine had passed.

And remember them I do.  I take for grated the depth of knowledge I have of the Bible.  Even now I am astonished when I pull from the dusty recesses of my mind a parable or story to relate to every day life, complete with Book and chapter and verse.  I remember the stories well, because I heard them well.

One of the many hats I wear is that of a personal coach, mentor, therapist, and consultant.  I work with women seeking truth, women seeking business advice, women recovering from addiction and the dangerous hold of disordered eating.

My blessed 40 years of life have granted me the opportunity to experience each of these things for myself.  It could be argued that some of those experiences are bad ones, but I’m not so sure.  With perfect stewardship, God uses the crap I’ve endured to teach others, and He has molded me into an effective messenger.   I teach others the hard knock lessons I’ve learned in the hopes they make fewer mistakes themselves, and for the most part, the lessons are learned well.

The clients I take come in many forms, from many races, countries, and walks of life.  I serve Christians and non-Christians alike, without judgment or prejudice.  Although I do believe the truths of Christ are THE answer to finding joy and fulfillment, I also believe that His truths must be presented to people in a way they will hear, and meet them where they’re at.

…kind of in the same way Dad changed the stories of the Bible, so we’d understand as children.

In this world we live in, in this country and culture that is actively running from God, it is tempting to yell.  To shout and scream, to point out the follies of the foolish and the lies of the misled.  We want to FIX THINGS, fix people, to direct those that wander and straighten crooked paths.

We want to get on a soap box and preach the Gospel, like the homeless man I knew who lived on the streets in downtown Seattle, complete with cardboard sign and blow horn, and yell and scream at the shoppers and sinners and businessmen and liberal, forward thinking, Godless masses and as they pass by and live their lives.

As they race toward Gomorrah, their faces fierce with lusty passion, their eyes glazed over with desperate, fleshy desire, we want to stop them.  

We want to stop them for them, and we want to stop them for us.  Not only will our lives be easier when everyone follows the same, God given rules, but God calls us to speak out and tell His story.

Yelling is the easiest way (and let’s be honest, it feels the best), but I propose a different one.

Change your delivery.

Understand that the ears that need to hear are NEW.  Regardless of their age, in the eyes of Christ and to the love He offers, they’re children.

Teach and speak with the patience you’d give to children.

In my experience with manager and leadership development, there is one truth I teach consistently that also is one of the most difficult to accept.  Perhaps it is tough to swallow because most managers and leaders are Type A people, strong willed and aggressive, and this lesson is counterintuitive to those character traits.

The lesson is this:

  People will either remember what you said or how you said it, not both.

Whether the message you deliver is a mother’s request, a manager’s order, or the Word of God to someone who desperately needs it (even if none of the listeners think they need those things), the person listening to you will remember what you said, if it is delivered in the way they need to hear it.

I wonder, as I write this, whether or not the Disciples struggled with this?  In the Book of Acts, when the Disciples headed out to tell the greatest story ever told, did they worry about delivery?  I’d imagine not, since they were carrying tongues of flame in their minds and hearts, but still.  Did they worry that their humanity, their flesh and frustration and human nature would get in the way of the Word?

(probably not that either, guys don’t usually worry about such things.)

I am sure, regardless, that God sent twelve men with twelve different personalities and twelve methods of delivery, because we need to hear things differently.  Every individual standing in every audience would relate to ONE of the Disciples, and the message would be heard.

At River Ridge, we strive to seek God.  We mess it up sometimes, of course, being made of sinful flesh and bone, but we do try.  We’ve made God one of our Four Core Values, because we want connection with Him to be an inevitable outcome for each of our business endeavors.

In an effort to speak God’s truth to everyone, we try to meet people where they’re at.  We don’t preach or evangelize to those who aren’t interested, but we do try to reach those around us in the way they’re best suited to hear.  God’s truth is universal; no matter the method of delivery, if it is heard, it will be received.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”  Romans 1:20

In other words, “even if you eff up the delivery or wrap God’s word in a don’t-beat-them-over-the-head-with-your-Bible palatable package, the truth will be evident when it’s heard.”

As it is with you, God has created us in a specific, purposeful way (in our case, a quirky, abrasive, blue collar way) to reach those He feels He can reach through us, just as we are.  We do our best to speak the truth as we see it, give credit where it is due, serve those who come to us for service, and love.

Love big, love hard, love endlessly as we are loved.

We trust God will do the rest.

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Colossians 4:5-6

“Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread.”
~ D.T. Niles

 

 

Hi.  My name is Erin, I help to run and operate a golf course, and I am one of the worst golfers in the world.

This surprises most.  When I tell people what I do for a living, they say “Oh, you golf?  You must get to do it all the time.”

I reply with, “Actually no, I’m horrible.”  Then they look at me with a wide eyed, incredulous head shake, as if to ask “Then why do you work there,” without having to actually ask the question.

I do LIKE golf.  I come from a long line of golfers.  My grandfather on my mom’s side was a scratch golfer, and his Hole-In-One ball still sits on the mantle in my grandmother’s dining room.  My cousin is the golf pro for Sunriver Resort in Oregon, and two others have a less-than-five handicap.

Add in the fact that Dad built the golf course so he could do what he loved most, I should be a great golfer.

I’m so, totally, absolutely not.

It isn’t for lack of trying.  I do hit balls on occasion.  I did golf as a kid with my cousins over summer break, and I have golfed with my uncles.  Everyone was incredibly patient as they waited for my average (necessary) fifteen strokes to get the ball onto the green, every stroke attempt sending the ball so short a distance, walking forward to it was quicker than getting in the cart and driving forward twenty yards.

Sad.

I wanted to be better.  I wanted very much to not suck, so I did want to practice.

Therein lied the struggle – to get better I had to go slow on the course, but I slowed things down SO MUCH that I didn’t want to get out on the course.

I was so slow, I felt bad.

Golf, from an outside perspective, seems to be one of those things you have to do well with before you can get better.  It seems, through the eyes of a perfectionist, that you must gain a certain level of ability before you subject those around you to your skills (or lack thereof).

I suppose the sport itself supports this perception, since it is built so much around consideration, politeness, manners, and etiquette.  To consider those around you as you golf is a big part of the game.

There are also those hard-core, cutthroat, competitive golfers that encourage the culture of “BRING YOUR GAME OR GET OFF,” demanding performance of a certain caliber from those they play with and around.   I have been yelled at before (not on our course, thank goodness) to “kindly move the f- out of the way” as I struggled to get my ball down the fairway.

Goodness sakes, I hope no one on our course treats others in that way.  It kind of negates the manners and etiquette aspect, doesn’t it?

I tell my story of struggle with the sport, not because I feel I need others to understand that it’s hard (if you golf, you know it’s hard without me saying a word), but because if it’s hard for you and you’re slow, practice anyways.

Last summer we sold over 2000 memberships to our beloved Yakima Valley.  We sold them inexpensively enough that brand new and barely started golfers were able to purchase them and learn the game.

If you are just starting, they were sold for you, and we want you to use them.

To help you overcome any insecurities or fears you might have while golfing slowly, here are the standing rules for etiquette and (as it’s officially called) playing through.

  1. Stand your ground. If you want to golf, golf.  The faster, more experienced players were slow once, too.  If you want to be on our course and you’ve paid to do it, you have just as much a right to be there as anyone else.
  2. The term playing through is specifically defined as “a faster group of golfers being invited to or allowed to pass a slower group.” Ideally this happens at the invitation of the slower group, out of consideration and kindness for the other players.
  3. Playing through happens only by invitation (“Would you like to play through?”) or request (“Mind if we play through?”), and when both of these conditions apply:
    1. there are holes open in front of the slower group, AND
    2. the slower group is finishing on the green while the fast group is on the fairway of the same hole, OR the faster group reaches the tee box while the slower group is still teeing off.
  4. Whether you play with a group or by yourself (I played alone a lot when I first started, to not slow anyone else down), rules still apply. If you’re fast and playing alone, you are allowed to play through just like a group of 4.  If you’re playing alone and you’re slow, etiquette demands that you allow other players to play through.

That’s it!  Playing through makes it easier for slow golfers like myself to get out on the course without feeling rushed, and it allows the other, faster, more experienced golfers to enjoy their time as well.

Additionally, keep your eyes open on Facebook and our Event Calendar for Green Golfer days, dates and times set aside on the course for new, slower golfers, or call the pro shop and ask for a quieter tee time.

Put in the time to become the golfer you aspire to be.  Everyone starts slow (some of us stay that way!), and practice is the best remedy.

Have a wonderful week, and we’ll see you on the course!

My dad, Dean, and the owner of River Ridge, is one of ten kids.

Most of the Laurvick clan lives (or has lived) in Yakima.  We grew up in Terrace Heights, and spent a large part of our time at Grandpa’s house.  Set on 5 acres of land near the Yakima River, he had a small farm.  Horses, goats, pigs, chickens.  (Grandma really, really loved those chickens.)  There was an angry bull that guarded the fields, an occasional rattlesnake, and sometimes rabbits.

And kids.

Oh my goodness, were there kids.

At one point I counted, and discovered I have over sixty first cousins.

(Yep.  Six-zero.  Sixty.)

Whether Grandpa’s house or ours, at any family function the kids would descend on the place like bees on a flower patch.  There were a lot of people involved, regardless; ten adults plus spouses makes twenty large people.

When you added the kids, it was a horde.

The space would swarm with bodies, but it never felt crowded.  If you looked for just one person in the mob it was difficult to find them, but it never felt overwhelming.  Raucous laughter of teens and the shrill cry of infants battled for dominance, but it never seemed loud.  It sounded happy.

It sounded full.

Easter egg hunts.  Scavenger hunts.  Hours and hours and hours of hide-and-seek.  Flashlight tag after dark, campouts in the back yard, barbeques, scary stories, catching salamanders and frogs by the ditch, and one time sneaking off to the creek to play in the water, even though I knew my mom would have an aneurism if she knew we were doing it.

Growing up in a large family, I have learned a few things about sharing.  Community property.  I’ve learned that all things are better with company, and that although we are called to live independent lives, we need like-minded people around us to provide support, sometimes a well-timed kick in the shorts, and backup.

At River Ridge, we take Family very seriously.  Not the obligatory, “You have to be nice to her, she’s your sister” kind of way, but in the way we felt as kids, running around the yard, hiding and seeking and digging in the dirt, discovering the world with the closest of friends.

To us, family means “you hurt me, but I forgive you.”  It means “I need someone to play with me, bring your bike and let’s go for a ride.”

To us, family means you’re never alone, not in company or in value, not in mindset or in calling.

I have this theory that God bakes His people in batches, kind of like cookies.  One batch at a time, He mixes and blends, then drops us into the world to bake.

Occasionally throughout our lives, we meet people who are baked from the same batch.  Mixed in the same bowl, we sense their similarities.

THAT is family.  People baked in your own batch.

I have met family that is not directly related to me, but their hearts match my soul.  We mesh.  We are kindred spirits, and in a very real (quite literal) way, I crave to dig in the dirt and hide-and-seek with them.  To discover the world with them by my side, because we just fit.

For those of you that visit at River Ridge, for those of you who have found a tiny bit of home and family with us and in our space, Thank You.  Thank you for being who you are, for recognizing a fellow cookie batch person when you see them, and for calling us “friend.”

For those of you that are looking for family in the way I remember it, come and see us.  Like I said, we take Family very seriously, and we’re always looking for more.  We believe in Family so much, we’ve made it one of our core values, and we strive to live up to it every day.

Much love to you, and God bless.  See you in the Clubhouse!

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948.

At the American Baseball Coaches Association convention in 1996, Scolinos shuffled onto the stage amidst an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which hung a baseball home plate.

A full-sized, stark-white, home plate.

The crowd wondered, “Who in the hell is this guy?”

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos finally addressed his attire.

“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing gruff.

“No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room, and several hands went up. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”

After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”

“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth baseball? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?  How wide is the plate?”

“Seventeen inches?” came a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up.  “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” the crowd replied in unison.

“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.

“And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?  They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter. 

What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.'”

The audience chuckled at this ridiculous notion.

“Coaches.

 

”What do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? When our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him, do we widen home plate?”

The laughter gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet.

He turned the plate toward himself and began to draw.

When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows.

“Home plate.

“This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

To the point at the top of the house, he added a small American flag.

“This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

He replaced the flag with a Cross.

“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have changed the rules and Word of God for years to include that which was not included by God. Our church leaders are widening home plate!”

At a baseball convention, where attendees expected about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, we have learned something far more valuable.  From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, we learn about life, about ourselves, about our weaknesses, and about our responsibilities as leaders, managers, and parents.

We must hold ourselves accountable to that which we know to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

Coach Scolinos concluded.

“If I am lucky, you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to.”

He held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark, black, back side.

“Dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches. He was the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known, because he was so much more than a baseball coach.

We live in a time where we are challenged every day to widen our plate.  We are encouraged to move our fence to include people who should not be on our property.  We are told that setting standards high enough to demand excellence is exclusionary, discriminatory, and hurtful.

At some point, “how our standards make other people feel” became our personal responsibility, and we are supposed to widen our plate to make room for the emotional wellbeing of others.

No, we’re not.

C.S. Lewis wrote in The Screwtape Letters, ““Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

Loss of virtue starts not with a loud bang, but a gentle slope.

Compromise is not hard.  Giving in to temptation and removing your expectations is not hard.

Living a life of uncompromising exactness is hard, and we are called to do it every day.  Every great man or woman who has ever lived understood this necessary demand, and they lived up to it.  That’s what made them great.

Coach Scolinos understood that, and left us with this challenge…

“Keep your players, your own children, and most of all yourself at seventeen inches.  Don’t widen the plate.”


This is an altered excerpt from a blog of Chris Sperry, former head baseball coach at University of Portland.