Lake Forest Park Summertime Reflections: a party in the forest

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Gretchen holds an annual dinner in her LFP forest.
Photo by Gary Hawkey

Lake Forest Park Summertime Reflections!
By Donna Hawkey

This is the first of three posts that highlight a diversity of Lake Forest Park neighborhood traditions and appreciations.

Summertime brings communities together for enjoyment and to create stronger unity.

Gretchen Bennett Guethner readies
her dinner in the forest
Photo by Gary Hawkey

An annual dinner party held in a deeply forested backyard and hosted by resident Gretchen Bennett Guethner began twelve years ago when she joyfully returned home after experiencing a divorce proceeding in Europe.

“I had no idea how complex legal matters could become for a US citizen married to a foreigner. I was so happy to be back home with my daughter that I threw a party. It was so successful, I have been throwing that same party for the last twelve years!” exclaims Gretchen.
Guests gather in the lower forest level before dinner.
Photo by Gary Hawkey

Gretchen’s future son-in-law James was the chef for this years’ dinner party for nineteen. Even with an incline that requires a significant hike from the kitchen to the serving table, James did not miss a step. 

A guest helps to hike-up food from the kitchen.
Photo by Gary Hawkey

A full dinner from an appetizer starter of a delicate crab salad followed by a refreshing vegetable soup to two entrees rounded out this delightful dinner in a forest.

A full dinner was servd
Photo by Gary Hawkey

Guests include Gretchen’s grammar school friend who still lives only one mile away; a convivial group of neighbors, relatives and Shorecrest friends; and a family friend of longest standing – from the senior Bennetts’ university days.
The Bennett family has been living on this same property for nearly 60 years! 

Photo by Therese Guethner
The cellist plays lovely and perfect sounding music for the forest party.

And at the end of Gretchen’s party, neighbors decided to plan a street party for May of next year!

Lake Forest Park summertime reflections continue tomorrow with highlights of another lively neighborhood party on 182nd Street.


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