For the last few months, I’ve been laser focused on becoming a Sailing Instructor at OCSC.  Now, with that job in hand, I’m set up to have a fabulous summer of teaching sailing on the San Francisco Bay! 

The job is part-time, though, which is ok with me.  It allows me to pursue my other interests as well, like volunteering.

And that is exactly what I’m doing this week.  I’ve returned to Sonoma Valley (Glen Ellen, specifically) to volunteer for the same family I helped out last summer.

Their ranch is beautiful, complete with country-style home, horse barn, riding arena, enclosed pastures (which I helped construct last summer), horses, dogs, tractor, and LOTS of work!

I’ll spend a few days here pulling weeds, cutting grass, and mulching flowerbeds.  To some people, this may sound like hell on earth.  But for me, I love it.  I’m outside, I’m working with my hands, I’m getting dirty, and I’m tidying things up.  (And every good sailor likes things tidy!) 

In exchange for my landscaping skills, the family provides me with a private bedroom and bathroom, plus food, wine, great conversation, and a few hilarious episodes of "Fawlty Towers."  (They are British.)

I'm a stone's throw away from several wineries and the Jack London Historic Park.  So in my downtime, I'm free to explore the surrounding area... or just relax on the front porch, overlooking the horses, garden, and sunset.

I would like to stay longer, but I have to return to San Francisco this weekend to teach sailing on Saturday and Sunday.  I'm looking forward to teaching my next weekend of classes!

Then, to top it off, I leave on Tuesday, May 2, for New Zealand!! Yes, I’m back on sailing vessel Avalon to sail across the South Pacific Ocean to Fiji.  (Another perk of working for OCSC is that they are very supportive of this trip as a way to further enhance my sailing experience and my progress toward my U.S. Coast Guard Captain license.) 

In my former life, I would be working long hours right about now, reporting on the fiscal quarter and submitting a new forecast for the year.  Sure, I might be cashing in on some company stock and looking forward to a good performance review or maybe even a promotion.  But would I really be happier?

Instead, I'm volunteering in wine country this week.  I'm teaching sailing this weekend.  And I'm sailing across the ocean next month.  

Yeah, I'm good with that.

 

Dog #1:  Jefe.   (I think it's cool how the camera captured the sun beam right over him.)

Dog #1:  Jefe.   (I think it's cool how the camera captured the sun beam right over him.)

Dog #2:  Winston, looking regal as he surveys the property.

Dog #2:  Winston, looking regal as he surveys the property.

The view from my bedroom:  sunset-facing front porch, horse stable and riding arena, vine and trellis, and my Subaru :-)

The view from my bedroom:  sunset-facing front porch, horse stable and riding arena, vine and trellis, and my Subaru :-)

Spring is in the air!  Beautiful!

Spring is in the air!  Beautiful!

Some of my handiwork - cutting the tall grass.

Some of my handiwork - cutting the tall grass.

That's a lot of mulch!

That's a lot of mulch!

Dialing in the front garden.  It's going to look great!

Dialing in the front garden.  It's going to look great!

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