The waves toss my worn body in relentless succession. My strength has diminished along with the sun’s fading rays.
I can’t go on much longer.
Then I see it in the distance.
It’s not big, but the sight of it is enough to spark renewed energy in me, and I swim towards it with new resolve. As I approach, I see shadowy outlines of people. Are they just figments of my imagination?
I forge ahead.
Just a few yards from shore, the remaining sunlight illuminates the faces of the shadowy figures. My friends! They wave their hands and shout my name when they see me approaching the island.
I stumble onto the coarse sand, then my wet and bedraggled body collapses in sweet relief. I look up to see that I’m surrounded by my equally-exhausted friends. We made it! Finally we could rest at our island oasis.
I know what you’re thinking: This story is a too dramatic to be true. You’re partially correct; my friends and I did not wash ashore on some remote Pacific island. But we were rescued – mentally. We found relief from being battered by wave after wave of the daily stress and challenges in the vast sea of life.
And we found it close to home at Oasis Salon and Day Spa.
I remember how excited I was when Oasis opened its doors in 2001. It was the first large-scale, full-service spa and salon in Joplin. Darlene Shepherd and her two granddaughters, Aubree Templeman and Adrian Petticrew, started Oasis with just 12 employees. Today, this family-run business has over 50 employees and services more than 3,000 clients per month.
Whenever I pull into the parking lot at Oasis, I immediately relax. The sight of the sprawling red-tiled stucco building with its ornate fountain and manicured topiaries is reminiscent of a Tuscan villa.
Okay, so I’m not in the Italian countryside, but my mind perceives that this place is something out of the ordinary, something special. And that’s what counts.
Recently, I met three of my friends there for an afternoon of relaxation. When I arrived, Carrie and Erin had already been brought back to their treatment rooms for massages while Donna and I unwound in the tranquil spa’s lounge area, waiting for our facial appointments.
Then I heard the sweet sound of my name being called. This was it. This marked the beginning of my time – my time to forget responsibilities, my time to release all of my worries, my time to have somebody else take care of me for a while.
When the esthetician began my facial, my skin was confused as to what was happening. It’s used to me giving it a whopping 20-second wash at the end of the day (and that’s on a good day) so I think it felt embarrassed by all of the sudden focused attention.
There was cleansing and toning, followed by a rest period during which a hot towel was placed on my face. While my skin relaxed under the warmth, the esthetician massaged my arms, hands, and neck. I felt as melty as butter – or maybe it was more like Parkay?
When the facial was over, I reluctantly left the treatment room and followed my esthetician to the spa’s lounge area where Donna was flipping through a magazine on the sofa. She told me that our other friends had finished their massages, changed into their swimsuits, and were now enjoying the jacuzzi and sauna area which was available for all spa clients to use during their visits.
I quickly changed and joined them. I didn’t want to miss one moment of indulgence that afternoon. This was bona fide “me” time.
I found Carrie and Erin in the sauna as the steam was just beginning to fill the tiny room. Once the steam reached full force, I could barely see my hand in front of my face. This cleansing steam, I imagined, was removing all toxins and impurities from my body through my skin. I was going to leave this place shiny and new! Well, shiny, at least.
When we could no longer take the heat in the sauna, we took a short break before soaking in the therapeutic jacuzzi. We had the entire area to ourselves, and it felt like we had traveled out of town to a resort rather than just down the road to Oasis. Convenient pampering – you’ve got to love it.
After getting dressed, all four of us were led to the other side of the building to our pedicure thrones (I’m not joking; that’s what they’re called).
These thrones had a massaging feature built into them, which we immediately activated with our individual controllers. I think I got a bit overzealous with mine; sometimes when I talked, my voice would vibrate because I had my massaging throne on the highest strength setting.
The pedicure at Oasis includes a sugar scrub exfoliation, plus a leg and foot massage. After an hour, our feet were buffed, polished, and prepared for flip-flop season.
I enjoyed each moment of my spa afternoon at Oasis, escaping from my daily routine and allowing myself time to be pampered while I spent time with my friends.
I felt refreshed, revived, and ready to ride the next wave of life.
Oasis Salon and Day Spa is located at 2915 E. 29th St.
To read more about my adventures in the area, visit JoplinMOLife.com.