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Ask Dr. Rich
Rich Simons | Upper East 11th Street

Every month Dr. Rich answers readers’ most perplexing questions.

Dr. Rich at home. Photo courtesy of the author.
Click on image to enlarge.

How long have you lived in Del Mar? And where do you plan to go after you retire? –c.t.

The short version of the story is that on the morning of April 1, 1970, I awoke in a small motel on Camino Del Mar at the base of 11th Street, called the Lemon Tree Inn. (I’ll let you do the math.) It was a glorious day, with a light breeze sweeping in off the ocean. It was so glorious that I strolled up the street and bought the first house I saw for sale, which of course I couldn’t afford.

As for your second question, I already retired, in 1983 (again, you can do the math). Anyway, its been a long time, and I must tell you that in all that time I have not thought to “go” anywhere. This is a hard place to leave. I don’t think that anyone disputes that we have the most equitable climate on the planet. If the thermometer hits 78 we say we are having a “heat wave.” If it plunges to 65 we have got a “cold spell.” The residents of places like Houston and Minneapolis alternately laugh and cry when they receive this information. And they hate us. We don’t have tornadoes and we don’t have dust storms and we don’t have hurricanes. And it looks like the next flood is a long way off. And anyway most of us live high on a hill.

So this may be the best place in the world to pass your “senior years.” We are only ten minutes from some of the best medical services in the world. Thanks to Del Mar Community Connections, we can stay in our houses as long as we want.

We don’t need to be able to drive. We can still get to the grocery store and the theatre. We’ve got concerts, lectures, bridge, mah-jongg, yoga and I don’t know what. Add in the sun, the sand and the ocean breeze – AND WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU WANT TO LEAVE!

Actually, there is an answer to that question – and of course I am going to tell you what it is. You see – as we seniors become more senior, our lives become a carousel of doctor’s appointments, blood tests, scans, operations and orthopedic devices. As Bette Davis said – to grow old you have to be very brave. And to be brave, you need to find something that makes you want to get out of bed every day, that makes you think it’s worthwhile to be riding that carousel. Now - you may have already settled on tarpon fishing or your daily game of whist, but I submit to you that the one thing most likely to bring a smile to your face is . . . grandchildren!

That’s right – watching those little devils grow, changing almost every day, full of surprises – will put a smile on your face every day.

So if you have to leave to get closer to your grandchildren, that’s understandable. It’s permissible. I think I can forgive you.


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