© Jerry Stanecki

From on the road, in northern California:
It’d been awhile since we’d visited my nephew, Dan Nolan, and his wife, Jill, so I called him and suggested get together for dinner.

“Let me check my schedule,” he said. “And, the family schedule, and the kids scheduled.”

“Okay, call me when you can . . . schedule it,” I said.

I called my son, Jason, and told him about trying to put a dinner together.

“Sure, dad, I’ll have to check the schedules.”

That’s when I realized we’re all a little nuts with the pace we travel at. Schedules for schedules . . .not a good thing.

What drives our society today? Is everybody so afraid failure will pop up in his or her life that they go, go, go? I remember when go-go was a dance and fun. Are we afraid to take time to be still and feel who and what we are?

Today’s societal demands remind me of what Susan B. Anthony once said:

“Failure is impossible. Failure is an attitude. Having an attitude of failure can’t help us. It can only hurt us. If we’re not careful, it can grow into a way of life. So, when we feel like failures, we’d better look at our attitudes.”

Is fear and failure driving you this day?

Thinking about all this, I realized that there was too much going in my life and that I needed to get away. I took action.

Driving north out of San Francisco, heading no where in particular, I turned off the freeway onto a side road. I’d been this way before, but this time was different.

The universe led me a few miles west of Sebastpol to a five building town called Graton. There, I learned that one of the area’s best-kept secrets was 3.3 miles down Graton road.

Deep in a stand of young redwoods, surrounded by rolling hills of vineyards, is Avalon. It’s a real life dream that’s becoming a reality . . .and there’s not one schedule in sight.

Hilary and Gary McCalla are taking a chance. 

“We wanted to build a B&B, so we spent a lot of time looking at different ideas,” Hilary explained. “A diary farm, an empty warehouse, lots of places. Then we found this.”

Describing Avalon is easy if you use words like luxurious, beautiful, peaceful, classy, and homey. It is all of these, and for a lot of folks, it’s more.

Hilary, a type-A personality, yet with an easy style, gets an A+ for details. Fine cotton linens, thick towels, soaps and lotions. There’s even postage on the postcards.

“I don’t want more than three rooms, “explained Hilary, a woman of detail. “With more, I wouldn’t be able to provide the class of service I do, and that’s what the priority is.”

Providing service in a world lacking service is, Hilary said, a gift she and Gary give to themselves and they do so pretty much without hectic schedules.

“People come here when they’re stressed and leave more peaceful,” said Hilary. That gives a terrific feeling of satisfaction.

“How about your family, three different schedules?”

“No, not at all,” Hilary told me. “Some of my friends get down on me because we don’t have our son in pre-school. I don’t think pre-school is so good.”

“What about learning to interact?” I said, playing devils advocate.

“What’s wrong with learning to interact by playing with kids here and not having to be on a schedule? It’s the way Gary and I were raised and we turned out pretty good.”

Point made.

I wished them well and good-bye to the McCalla’s. Let’s see now, where’s my schedule, I thought, laughed and headed off to where ever I ended up.

Are you ready to “schedule” some down time?


Avalon—a luxury Bed & Breakfast Call toll free 877-824-0880 or www.avalonluxuryinn.com Just three suites in this fantasy getaway,

Just 3 luxury suites, excellent breakfast, delightful inn-keepers.

Rates depend on time of year- $195 to $320.

Jerry frequently speaks on happiness and life, including lowering stress in the work world.