I have to take the opportunity to brag about the beautiful region I work in. My territory covers 12 school districts in 7 counties over about 1/3 of the state. My days of travel can be some of the most beautiful places to drive you could imagine. Last week we had one of those unusually warm, sunny days that comes around the end of February or first of March to tease you into thinking spring is here. I had to drive East over a mountain pass to get to a rural district that lies in a little town with an old hotel, store fronts out of an old western movie and a geo-thermal hot lake that was a spa and sanitorium in the 1920's. Movie stars like Douglas Fairbanks were guests there in those days. It has now been taken over by an artist/sculptor as a gallery and destination resort.
I drove over a summit with fir and pine and 4 feet of snow piled on the sides of the freeway, the Grande Ronde Valley with it's river winding through was visible below. The sun was warm, the sky was blue and I was celebrating how great life is. This region is home to craggy peaks, giant boulders and tiny ghost towns from the gold rush in the 1800's. The movie "Paint Your Wagon" was filmed here in the 60's and I remember what a buzz it stirred in the area when I was a kid.
I visit remote places like Burnt River, with a small district one-complex school and dedicated staff. Towns like Echo, Stanfield and Athena-Weston is where rural is spelled in capital letters!
There is something about getting the chance to drive an hour to an appointment, through sweeping fields and rolling hills with distant snow-capped mountain ranges of the Eagle Caps as a backdrop. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to clear your mind, meditate on good things and set your mind in preparation towards a good and productive session or meeting.
If you are a speech pathologist reading this blog and you are looking for a place to work away from the rat race with good small community people and values, let me know. There are always places for you in our region!
I am 2-3 hours from the Columbia River Gorge and Portland where gourmet dining, micro-breweries, Broadway shows, sail-boarding and skiing are. We make short trips to go to OMSI- a great museum, the Portland Zoo, and the Oregon Coast and Edgefield - a 9 hole golf, gardens, micro-brew, winery/pub/restaurant retreat by McMenimans. I have linked all of them on their names.
I just want you to know that I love WHERE I do my work as much as what I do. I hope you love what you do and where you do it as much as I do!
All the best to you!
Image Credit: http://www.wallowacountychamber.com/community.htm