as if i needed another sign

I filled my last day in Boston with all of my favorite things… following a little piece of advice from Julie Andrews of course!

Driving around the city in a Mini Cooper I ventured over to Harvard Square for a dreamy massage to relieve all the aches and pains of moving and lifting heavy boxes. That was followed by a last visit to my favorite accupuncture clinic (Plum Blossom) where I was able to say goodbye to Mark and Julie and thank them for literally transforming me. As Julie said as we hugged in the parking lot, “You’re a new woman!”

Then I decided to visit a few old haunts from the Brookline days… Starbucks in the Village (where Margaret and I first met and decided to be roomies and where i spent many mid-mornings getting coffee with Amy McDermott) and the nail salon near Coolidge Corner (where Karen and I spent many afternoons getting our nails done) to indulge in a little more pampering.

The “sign” appeared while I was sitting at Starbucks reading the news with a photo of the Alvord Desert on my desktop. I’ve been following NY Times writer Matt Gross’ frugal traveler column highlighting his 12-week cross country road trip.
(http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/02/travel/02frugal)
The trip has come to an end and his final journey took him through the deserts of southeast Oregon where he visited Burns, Malheur County, and finally my favorite desert at the base of the Steens Mountains – the Alvord – where like me and many others before us he took a long soak in the hot springs.

I can’t believe that one day soon I’ll be able to stand in the middle of that beloved place once again and feel the utter remoteness of that landscape. It brought home that I’m a study in contrasts – I’m in love with the dense city and the open expanse of the remote desert, I’m in love with the east coast and the west, I’m in love with staying still and being on the move. And given this love of contrasts it looks like I’m in for a life of movement and pauses – propeling me to my favorite places and then enjoying them to their fullest when I’m there.

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