I had nightmares of doing nothing but lazing about in front of the TV binging on peanut butter cups and slowly swelling into a rotund and purposeless slug-woman.
So, I immediately volunteered at CALM (CA Living Museum) in Bakersfield as both a Docent and a Wildlife Rehabilitation assistant.
That doesn’t seem like such a huge commitment until you factor in the hour and a half drive each way, and a bit of at-home prep work most weeks. FYI—The bighorn sheep, goats, pony, donkey and pig all enjoy carrots slices and apple chunks frozen into ice blocks on a hot Bakersfield day.
Rehabilitating injured animals was my original goal, but it turns out being a docent is double-awesome. I knew I’d enjoy getting up-close and personal with the critters, but I never expected to enjoy the people as much as I have.
Watching kids’ (or adults’) eyes light up when they see a hawk or owl or tarantula or tortoise up close for the first time is priceless. Showing them the decorator crabs, sea cucumbers and abalone in the new California Coast Room and talking “tide pool” is one of my greatest joys!
I’m going to miss CALM now that we’re moving back to Arizona, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Well, at least not for slugging-out in front of the TV.
Now back to that novel! And maybe just a few peanut butter cups.