By Mandi Donohue

Mazamazonians 7:5-9 tells the story of the great Fourth of July exodus of Seattleites from the fertile Methow Valley that flows with Lisa’s Chocolates and Highway 20 Honey. Those who stayed behind found favor with the Lord due to their wisdom. They arrived after most of the other interlopers had left, found peace in their activities and were rewarded for their foresight with many deer-less road trips back to the promised land.

Ah, Mazama. Quieter this week, yes?  In Lost River we indulged in a fireworks display of lighting and thunder that woke us from our slumber. It down-poured enough to ravage our delicate nasturtiums and flood our gardens. At dawn, we awoke fresh-faced and rosy-fingered. Our Department of Natural Resources, local District 6 volunteers and U.S. Forest Service fire crews, however, woke with a whiff of nausea and an eye twitch. Major kudos, high fives and casseroles to everyone involved in actively pursuing the area for unknown fires! Thank you.

One of my undercover confidential informants for Mazama, Cheryl Crosby (how’s that for confidentiality?), mentioned that we are still looking for volunteer firefighters. Being of service is one of the greatest ways to give back to your community and to get your neighbors to actually like you. Sounds like a win-win to me! If you haven’t already given it a few ponders, it would definitely be worth serious consideration.

Speaking of service, it has been my pleasure to work at the Mazama Store for the past three-and-a-half years. However, with a heart full of gratitude, a bit of sadness and anxious excitement, I have tendered my resignation at the end of September. (No, I have no idea what is next job-wise but I’ve been working with Jenn Tate at Earth & Sky to start a brand and give a good deal of myself, mindfully and creatively, to a website devoted to food, travel, photography and humor).   

It is hard for many businesses to find good employees in the Methow, and even harder to find employees who want to work full-time. Missy and Rick have been incredible to me, as have the ladies I work with, so it would mean a lot if you would please keep an ear out for talented and hard-working baker individuals that can make this transition a truly inspired one. It has nothing to do with the selfish fact that I’ll be a paying customer soon and want to maintain my daily intake of delicious pastries. Ahem.  

Of course life is cyclical, so with my departure we also have an arrival. Wayne Holverstott will be the new head chef at the Freestone Inn. He graduated with honors at Le Cordon Blue in Seattle and has an overwhelming laundry list of experience. He loves supporting local producers, is an advocate of farm-to-table and has a passion for Pacific Rim cuisine. Next time you’re at happy hour, stop in and say hi. Be a good neighbor!