May 21, 2019

So sorry for my silence! But Merry Christmas!

By John Guy LaPlante

Dear Friends near and far, Merry Christmas! Enjoy this day. Make the most of it. I am doing just that, finally here in Morro Bay, CA, close to my daughter Monique and son-in-law David. In fact, I spent Christmas Eve with them in their home a few hours ago.

I am sure you’ve been wondering, What the heck has happened to John? So sorry for my months of silence.  It was  imposed upon me.  Life!  Here’s what happened.

It's Christmas, but look at me out in the open air here. Hey, look me standing in front of my mobile home.  In my shirt sleeves. In the sunshine. And that's a palm tree sticking up at the back!

It’s Christmas, but look at me out in the open air here. Hey, look me standing in front of my mobile home. In my shirt sleeves. In the sunshine. And that’s a palm tree sticking up at the back!

In May I returned to Deep River from California with a dual challenge. First, to sell my number one condo at Piano Works (I own two there).  Second, to unload ninety-five percent of my earthly possessions thee. All in order to relocate in my 86th year, mind you, close to Monique and David,. For what  I felt quite sure this would be the concluding chapter of my time on this planet. Then, complications.

I came down with what I call Illness Number 1, from which apparently I’ve recovered.  Then Illness Number 2 hit me, would you believe, which threw me into the hospital for six days and then a rehab center for a few more.  And it seems I have survived that, too. At my age, I’ve been waiting for something like that to hit me. It’s natural. It’s expected. I have been so fortunate.

Well, I became so, so sick that I had to suspend my blog. So, what a challenging six months! But, wonder of wonders, I did sell my condo–the one that’s been my home, sweet home for some 10 years. And I sold it myself, without a broker, saving a substantial commission and getting a kick out of the challenge..

Getting rid of my stuff was a different story. Very sad. I had to do it–no room in my new mobile home in Morro Bay. A huge undertaking, very painful emotionally. I don’t wish that on anybody. But I got it done by the skin of my teeth.

Leaving Deep River was also painful. Truly I considered that sweet little town home.  I had friends there. I had a role in the community. I liked the town itself, and that little corner of Connecticut, right in the estuary of the beautiful Connecticut River, such a gorgeous area.

Yes, I am writing this from Morro Bay!  It’s 2:11 a.m. on Christmas Day. I was determined to get this post finished and out by Christmas, and I’ve barely made it, as you can see. But getting settled here in Morro Bay was a bigger job than I expected. As I explained some months ago, I bought a nice place here in this most interesting and pleasant seacoast town.

It’s a mobile home.  I never, never thought I would ever live in a mobile home.  But it’s perfect. It’s less than two miles from Monique and David’s.  In a very nice mobile home park for people 55 and over. It’s called Morro Palms, and you can see one of the palms  sticking up behind my unit. And I have a beautiful spot in the park, with my own little garden lot, and lots of nice people living around me, quite a few in what is a second home for them.

Morro Bay is a lovely small community. It’s on the Central Coast, about 225 miles from Los Angeles at the South and 225 and San Francisco at the North. Never any ice or snow–what at this season I call “sweater weather.” Morro Palms is on the very edge of the compact downtown.

It’s just a hop and a skip from everything important to me… the public library, the senior center, my bank, the big chain supermarket and the big drug store next to it, and a whole assortment of shops and services. Everything from a Radio Shack and Autozone and Dollar Tree and several restaurants. The one thing missing is a Walmart, and I miss that. But even a walk-in medical clinic right across the street, with a nice Burger King right next door.

My favorite chiropractor, Dr. John Watson, is a hundred yards away. He’s the one who figured out and repaired my terrible neck problem after my awful fall down the stairs three years ago. The problem that left me unable to hold my head up. The problem that half a dozen other medical practitioners, including four MDs, couldn’t resolve. I saw Dr. Watson for a tune-up a week ago. I really didn’t need it but I walked out feeling better, and I’ll be back for another next week.

I can walk to the public library, the  senior center,  my bank and even the harbor itself.  And it’s even easier and more fun with my new adult tricycle. I got a trike from my mom and dad when I was a little kid, moved up to a bike (I was an active bike rider right up till I hit 70) and now I’m wheeling around on a trike again. Wonder of wonders!

Morro Bay Is the home port of a number of commercial fishing boats and a great variety of recreational boats.  It even has a Coast Guard station. It’s famous for a huge dome of a rock right by the harbor. So big that it’s called the Gibraltar of our Pacific Coast. Can be seen from miles out at sea. And there are miles of beaches up and down the coast. Swimming, surfing, hiking, bird watching, sunning, picnicking.

So Morro Bay is a very popular tourist destination. Tourism is very important here. Famous San Simeon is just a few miles up the coast and it draws thousands of people.

The beautiful and interesting small city of San Luis Obispo is just 13 miles to the South. And it has so much! Last evening, by the way, we attended a beautiful performance of “A Christmas Carol” at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church nearby. Wonderful. That put me in the mood.

I’m no stranger here.  I’ve been enjoying Christmas and New Year’s here for 20 years.  And I have a clutch of good friends here. Just a few days ago I was the guest for an hour in a talk program on The Rock. It’s the local radio station. My second appearance there. So slowly I’m getting back in circulation. Lucky me!

Come Spring, God willing (I’m not very religious but that wonderful expression says it all), I’ll return to Deep River.  There I’ll confront my  next big decision: what to do about my second condo. That will take me some time. I look forward to it as a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Deep River and my friends there and that beautiful corner of the world.

And, if Fate continues to smile upon me, this post will be the first of a new series.  With one big change.  My jottings will be briefer!  That will take enormous discipline. And they will get to you more often. Well, that’s my hope. I

t’s embarrassing to wish you a Merry Christmas so late, though there’s still some hours of it left. But I certainly can wish you a Happy New Year. I hope 2015 will be grand and wonderful for you in every way.

Oh, one more thing: I’d be so, so pleased to get a few words of news back from you!

As always,



  1. Toni Gonzalez says:

    Dear John
    Good to hear from you…I so enjoy your news and writings…
    I am enjoying my daughter and son in law and their 10 and 8yr olds this Christmas..I am usually visiting them in Sharon, Mass., but this year after spending 18 days in Tuscany and the Amalfi coast I decided to stay at home, it was a great trip, but it is good to be home.
    Good to hear of your travels

  2. ivan otterness says:

    So good to hear from you! And that you are now back well, enjoying your new home.
    We failed to cross paths this past summer, but hearing from you was a treat.
    We are well, helping our son start his new business, and so it has been a busy time for us retired folk.
    I probably won’t see you until the summer, so I can only say enjoy the new year, the warmth of California and don’t forget, come summer, it will be warn here too in CT so you will enjoy it.

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