By Mandi Donohue

Last Monday, Lliam and I were down-valley when we decided to get ice cream on our way home at the Mazama Store. I had just made a super rich chocolate cake and as they say in “Steel Magnolias,” “I serve it over ice cream to cut the sweetness.”

We drove two separate cars, so I was in Lost River when I got his text: “No ice cream sweets.” Ha! That’s hilarious. An utter impossibility.

An then: “The store’s closed.” He had to be teasing. It’s summer, the store never closes early. When he came home, however, he had nothing in his hands. When he was getting out of the car, his final text came in with a joke: “Blame Randy.”

Little did I know, the Mazama Store (owned by the LeDucs) and the Mazama Community Church (led by Randy and Lisa Picklesimer) were in the great throes of a mixed-team softball game. How fun! All ages were represented, from Rudy Peterson over 90 years old (yup, he’s back in town, folks), down to 9-year-old Calendra (one of the daughters of a couple from the church). 

Diane Sheehan, one of the church’s members, said this was the first time some of the kids had ever played softball, and they got a quick instruction on batting and fielding. “It was even an international event as Vince, the LeDuc’s Chinese exchange student, batted for the first time.” She went on to say, “There was enthusiastic encouragement for everyone playing and a wonderful time was had by all.”

So much, in fact, that another game is on the horizon. Besides the antics provided by wacky community softball, a wonderful barbeque and salad bar was provided. “It just goes to show what a great place Mazama is to live when so many generations can enjoy each others company,” Diane said.

Having attended a bonfire the first weekend I arrived in Mazama years ago, with an array of ages represented, this was a sentiment that struck me then as well.

Photo courtesy of Stillpoint Photography by Angela Parris
Mandi, Lliam and a few friends gathered for a little event a year ago.

In other news, this weekend marked the one-year wedding anniversary for my honey and me. We were married at the Heli Ski barn over by the Freestone Inn and had an amazing wedding, thanks entirely to the Mazama community that gifted so much of their time, money and hearts to us. The LeDucs were so beautiful in their endless generosity and excitement for us. We had an amazing, imperative and gifted decorating team that consisted of my aunt, Micki Thomas, Cheryl Crosby and Tammy Nielsen. Bill and Suellen White put on a super delicious barbecue.  If you’ve ever experienced their generosity, you’d know the tab could never measure up to what they’ve done for you.  Not to mention, the freezer full of food you’re eating for a year.

There were countless others that donated themselves and their time — I wish I was able to name them all. However, if you’ve been married on a budget, you know exactly the feelings that are impossible to put into words. We were overwhelmed with love that day and all of our guests had a blast.

Mazama is truly an inspired place to get married and to be lucky enough to be in a community so willing to ease the burden of the day. It’s a gift that brings the fastest tear to my eye at its memory. Whether it’s a softball game or wedding bells, it’s certainly been a week to celebrate this community. Thanks for being such an incredible one, Mazama. And since he was also a part of the success of our wedding day, I’m just gonna go ahead and blame Randy for that as well.