This is a bittersweet time for Jim and me. After a potential sale of our Lorane Family Store didn’t go through last year, we are once again in the process of selling it, and this time it appears that the sale will go through. The closing is set for the end of this month or early February.

After owning and running it for 44 years, it’s not easy for either of us to let go. It has provided a good life for our family and after being open seven days a week for 364 days every year (we close on Christmas), it will be a complete lifestyle change for us ... but it is past time.

The past few years have taken a toll on our health and energy levels and we have been fortunate enough to step back and allow our wonderful manager, Tracie DeBoer, and our equally wonderful employees to deal with the day-to-day business of selling groceries and gasoline. Jim and I have continued to make grocery and bank runs three times a week, and he has opened the store three mornings a week himself, but even those things are becoming harder to do.

In December 1977, when we bought it, we named the store The Lorane Family Store because we could foresee not only our own family working in it, but enfolding the special people who worked for us and those who stopped in to buy their RC Colas and lean against the counter to visit for a while as part of our family, as well. 

And, that’s just what happened.

They have all become our store family and good friends over the years. We’ve sadly lost several of our longtime friends and employees, including Nancy O’Hearn, Marna Hing and Marilyn Wenger Cooper, who all logged many years there. Fortunately, Kathy Warden, another longtime employee, is still with us. I like the fact that many of them have brought in their daughters and sons to work at the store, too ... another reason that we chose the right name. 

To commemorate it all, our granddaughter, Stephanie Furlong, has arranged a special gathering to take place at the store on Sunday, Jan. 30, where our own family, most of whom have worked at the store, will have our photos taken professionally by her employer, Natalie, of McFarland Productions. In addition, to those of you who have worked for Jim and me through the years we’ve owned the store and who made the “family” in “Lorane FAMILY Store” come to life, we would love for you to join us in the photoshoot. We will be gathering in front of the store at 10 a.m. that day.

If anyone has photos of the store (inside or out) or of the people working there, we’d love to have copies for our memory book.

The store will be entering a new era and continue to benefit our community. Thank you to all of you — employees and customers — who have been part of our family for so many years. You’ve touched our hearts in many ways.

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Everything remains quiet in Lorane these days as far as activities are concerned, but hopefully, things will be gearing up once again as we get into spring.

Even now, though, there are still cars with bicycles on racks heading for the BLM mountain bike trails on Carpenters By-Pass, a few miles southwest of Lorane. It’s a year-round recreation area that has become quite popular. And because the once-dangerous curves on Stoney Point, north of Lorane, have been tamed by Lane County, and converted to a beautiful, safe, winding portion of Territorial Road, access is much easier.

The Crow Grange (first and third Saturdays; 7 p.m.) and Creswell Grange (third Wednesdays, 7 p.m.) have resumed their dessert and bingo nights. The Lorane Grange does not have a regular schedule, but the next one is planned for Saturday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. In order not to miss out, it’s best to watch for notices on the various community Facebook pages for more information on each.

Website: allthingslorane.com