Photo by Mandi Donohue
Laura Love and the Family Dog got the crowd up and moving with highly energized music at the annual garden party at the Mazama Country Inn last weekend. This year’s event was a benefit to support Planned Parenthood.

By Mandi Donohue

Each week, whether some of you like it or not (ha!), I am invited into your home as a columnist with the Methow Valley News. You read my weird stories, recaps on events and random musings as I share whatever pops into my mind that week, something I appreciate so much. On the flip side, there are so many of you I don’t get to know!

That is one of the main reasons I love to help out at the Mazama Country Inn’s garden party each year. It really is such a treat to put faces with names I’ve heard before, or to meet new transplants to the area. Granted, I’m pouring wine and my husband is on beer patrol but it’s always a special thing to get to know people. I wanted to quickly say thank you so much for introducing yourself — and please always feel like you can!

Photo by Marcy Stamper
The annual garden party at the Mazama Country Inn last weekend was a smorgasbord of fun for all ages. This year’s event was a benefit to support Planned Parenthood.

We had plenty of fun at the party. Aside from the yummy food and great music, there were moments in the afternoon sunlight and perfect cool breeze that made me feel like we were in a Norman Rockwell painting, capturing a moment’s magic of community.

I got to see little chunky babies resting their full cheeks on the arms of their parents. I watched as old friends caught up and laughed in a way that took you through years of their history. And “watching the hippies dance,” as I described it last year, is always special for a gal from 1978.

The annual garden party at the Mazama Country Inn last weekend was a smorgasbord of fun for all ages. Top, Laura Love and the Family Dog got the crowd up and moving with highly energized music. This year’s event was a benefit to support Planned Parenthood.

Watching the Baby Boomers let loose is like stepping back in time to an era where people knew how to truly celebrate. There is a glimmer of collective power, of a voice, of a belief in love that comes through when they dance. Like the heaviness of who they are today is forgotten and the hope of youth returns. I’m not sure if I’m saying it well, but it’s a pretty cool glimmer.

This year’s garden party was to benefit Planned Parenthood. JR, the Singing Cowboy, took the stage first while folks ate some delicious barbecue. Then a representative from Planned Parenthood briefly discussed the importance of getting involved in regard to choices being made about the country’s health care. Next, Laura Love and the Family Dog took the stage and did what they always do — which is get the people moving!  Slower selections like “Valerie” were soon trumped by dance grooves like “I Feel Good” and “Uptown Funk.” We finally closed down the “bar” a little after 10 p.m. Thanks, Bill Pope, for another great garden party. And to everyone who introduced themselves — try not to be a stranger.

PREVIOUSLY, IN MAZAMA