Part 10: Locations Shift Like Sand

Joan's Journey Locations ShiftA funny thing happened on my way through Joan’s Journey 2012. My world, or I should say my adult children’s worlds, shifted like sand. My son Brian, who was settled in Seattle last December, is now commuting and working in Silicon Valley, CA. In LA, my son Mark and daughter-in-law Lindsay each changed jobs and moved to a new home in another area of the vast city. My daughter, Allison in San Francisco, talks about moving in the Bay Area — but who knows. So much for moving to senior housing to be close to my children.

The lesson, as I see it, is one can move to senior housing near one’s children, but flexibility is essential. For this reason, I have spent the past year exploring senior housing that leases on a monthly basis. Buy-in communities are lovely if one is sure the geographic location is long-term. In situations where your children may move and your priority is to live near them, short-term leases may be your answer.

In 2013, as I wait and hope that my condo will sell, I will continue to explore senior housing communities in Northern and Southern California. Two types of senior housing I have not yet visited are “Adult Homes” and “Continuing Care” communities. On Feb. 2, I’m headed to Los Angeles for my Grandson Oliver’s birthday. While in LA, I’m looking forward to visiting and blogging about senior housing recommended by the counselors.

Just In

Creative and talented Joan’s Journey editor, Jacqui Howell had a baby boy in December. Mother and baby are doing great. Filling in while Howell is on maternity leave is Silas Lindenstein. Until Howell returns, Lindenstein will add his special touch and post Joan’s Journey.

Journey silent partners are photographers Howard Templehoff and Lia Linart. A banker by day, Templehoff often accompanies me on photo shoots in Baltimore and California. Linart, a budding writer and actor, serves as my driver and photographer when Templehoff is unavailable. As a recap of 2012, this blog features their photography at senior housing in Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, CA.

Drive Safely, Please!

Joan's Journey car crashTo remind Joan’s Journeyer’s of the need for safety and caution as we journey, I’ve included one last picture, a chilling shot of my “totaled” car. On the clear, chilly evening of Tuesday, Dec. 11, as I returned home from a visit to the vet with my rescue cat Mia, a young woman was speeding and distracted with her “To Do” list (presumably on her cell phone). She collided into my car at 45 MPH while I was fully stopped at a red traffic light. The impact thrust me forward, then back.

Thankfully, I was wearing my safety belt, which saved my life. Mia’s carrier was thrown hard. Fortunately the carrier and cat landed between the back seat and floor. If cat’s have 9 lives, Mia used one that night. I am convinced her heavy carrier saved her life. Other items, like my umbrella, hand-bag, and coffee cup, flew like bullets.

The experience was harrowing. I am grateful to be alive to plead with you to heed all safety laws and rules while traveling. Buckle up your canines and place felines in sturdy carriers. Please, while driving, follow the road, not your cell phone.

From the Joan’s Journey team at, Happy New Year and a safe journey to all.


Joan London, a freelance writer/editor in suburban Baltimore, plans to move with her rescue cat Mia across coasts and settle in senior housing in California, close to her children and grandchildren.

Read Part 11 of Joan’s Journey: Plants and Seniors On the Move

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