Six minus One

Posted by Jane Biehl / November 11, 2009

I have not one treasured memory of the Oregon coast but one that is actually a series of visits. We were a group of six that traveled from Portland to Lincoln City for a Girls Getaway weekend at least once or twice a year. We all worked together at one time but as the years have flown by some of us have retired, some have moved on to other jobs and one we lost to cancer. Memories of those special weekends are something that I personally will cherish always. Not just for the activities that we did together but for the wonderful friendship that we have shared over the years.

During the day, we would spend our time shopping at the Outlet Mall and various shops throughout Lincoln City. Sometimes all together and sometimes in smaller groups but what never changed was our sharing time and fashion shows that followed each days shopping. We always found the best stuff, if someone missed a deal another would find that not-to-be-missed deal and back we would go the next day to get our own. Honestly, there were times that we barely had room in our cars for us! Then it was dinner together and oh my, what a good time that was.

I’d like to apologize now to all those that may have sat next to our group. Yes, we might have gotten a little raucous at times. Then we would return to our weekend place for dice and card games. That is when things would get really loud with giggles, laughs and the occasional shout of excitement that comes with the sheer pleasure of great company and the possibility of winning the huge pot of $3.00. After that it was time to head to the casino! Some stayed short, some stayed long, some won more, some won less but always a good time was had by all.

For breakfast, we’d spare others our exuberance and would stay put and make our own. It was certainly a sight to behold. Six women, working in a small kitchen doing the cooking, setting the table and cleaning up afterward, all the while sharing one bathroom and going about our daily routines for getting ready for the day’s activities. If everything in this world ran this smoothly and efficiently we’d all be better off for it.

Then the special weekend came that one of our group was too ill to attend. We spoke by phone to her and pledged that we would do our best to have just as much fun even if it was without her there. We did our best but understandably so, it wasn’t the same. She brightened a room, just by walking into it. Our first Girls Getaway weekend after we lost our dear friend was a journey we all needed to take whether we knew it at the time or not. We took flat gray stones on which we wrote messages of remembrance and celebrated her by placing them at our familiar, shared locations: favorite shops, the beach, our usual restaurant, and yes, at the casino. Every trip back, we smile about those stones as it is a secret that we share as friends.

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Comments on this story:

  1. Grandma Alpha Palmer says:

    I would love to have been with this group, it sounds so much fun. Knowing Janies infectious laugh i can just imagin it six fold. I too, love being at the ocean so i can really take this story to heart and know what goes through Janies mind and heart as she wrote it. May GOD BLESS the six minus one. Grandma alpha

    posted November 16, 2009 at 3:34 pm
  2. Julie says:

    beautiful story, bittersweet, and heartfelt…….and wonderfal memories created.

    posted November 16, 2009 at 11:47 pm
  3. Darla Murray says:

    This story is filled with a bond, friendship, laughter,
    love, craziness, and food that everyone should have the experience ! Yes, I even now go back and look for those very special rocks. What a group ! I thank Jane, for putting into words what the six of us experienced ! I still hear her laughter and feel a need to shop at the “Red CocK”, her favorite store !
    Thank you for a journey you took us on ! Thank to my five buddies who made me grow and gave me life long memories !
    One of the lucky six !

    posted November 20, 2009 at 12:06 pm
  4. MRD says:

    I am so blessed to have been part of those weekends. I have many times heard someone laugh which reminds me of our lost friend and the great times we shared.

    posted November 20, 2009 at 12:14 pm
  5. rosie lovings says:

    Hi Jane,

    Thank you for writing this story. You did a beautiful job of capturing the friendship of these six women. It was wonderful to be taken back to those days of laughter and then unfortunately sadness; but the most important part are the memories that remain in our hearts and mind.

    Rosie D.

    posted November 22, 2009 at 3:42 pm
  6. Burnetta Holder says:

    This is a wonderful story of friendship. And life goes on.

    posted November 23, 2009 at 2:07 pm
  7. Buffy says:

    I can appreciate the great memories that you have collected regarding your departed friend. The gift of memories related in the carefully distributed stones is a powerful and compeling tribute to your friendship. I wonder if what you were doing for her was in truth great memories she was returning to all of you.

    posted November 23, 2009 at 2:36 pm
  8. Shannon says:

    Very nice story, Jane. Thank you for writing it down and sharing. I feel pretty lucky to have been invited on one of these weekends and to have known Carole.

    posted November 24, 2009 at 11:46 am
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