The Maze

With all of our celebrating behind us and nothing to do yesterday, we set off with our Wind Crest map to explore. We have been told that you can walk from one end of this campus to the other without ever stepping foot outside into the elements. We didn’t have to worry about the weather, however. It was a sunny, if somewhat chilly, day when we set off on our adventure.

You can’t know how much of an undertaking this is until you see Wind Crest. The campus is huge. In fact, campus is the correct word, because it’s as big as some college campuses. I imagine at some point, someone told me how many acres it is, but what I can tell you is that from the time you enter the gate, it takes in the neighborhood of 10 minutes to get to our front door. There are eight or 10 separate apartments in three (what they call) neighborhoods. Two swimming pools, three or four hair salons, two big fitness centers and several smaller fitness centers, seven restaurants (with more on the drawing board).

I’m going to digress for a bit. Bill and I have always been big map users. I recall being in Washington, D.C. one particular time. I had my son and and my nephew with me, and our goal was to walk from the Lincoln Monument to Georgetown. It’s quite a walk, as you might know. Still, it’s doable on a nice northern Virginia day. It wasn’t however, a nice Virginia day. It was a windy Washington, D.C. day. It was long before the days of GPS on a cell phone. I had my map out and we were walking in the general direction of Georgetown with the wind threatening to whip my map right out of my hands. Finally, after 20 minutes of struggling, some nice person asked me if I needed directions. I’m pretty sure he was the legislative assistant for a friendly midwestern Congressperson, because only midwesterners are that nice. Anyway, he saved the day, and we made it to Georgetown successfully.

I felt that way yesterday as we left the comfort zone of our “neighborhood” and headed into the “Twilight Zone,” map in hand. The difference between yesterday’s experience and the one from years ago was that every time we turned a corner (and we turned plenty of corners in the maze they call Wind Crest), there was a smiling face asking if we needed guidance. When we admitted that we were lost, the person would inevitably say, “Oh, I’ve lived her three years and I still get lost,” or “I’ve never been brave enough to walk all the way over to Town Center because I know I’d get lost.” But the person would either give us very clear directions or tell us to follow him or her and they would lead us to the next elevator.

On the way to Town Center, we passed pumpkins left from a recent carving contest. There were some very cleverly-carved pumpkins with our favorite being one bearing an uncanny likeness to the late Queen Elizabeth II. We grabbed forms to register at the WC Medical Center. We watched people getting COVID boosters at an event of which I was unaware. Had I been aware, we too would have been getting shots. We passed the WC Hobby Shop, locked up tightly. We peeked through the windows, however, and saw that people have been working on the majestic train sets that will be displayed at Christmas.

By time we were ready to turn around, I put my foot down and insisted we take the campus shuttle because my feet hurt and I was hungry.

I learned two things from our adventure. 1) If I want to attend any class or event at the Town Center, I should either plan on a good, long walk or drive my car; and 2) it is NOT true that you can walk the campus without going outside. We had to walk about 10 steps outside from one building to the next, so it ISN’T possible to walk the entire campus without stepping outside.

I feel somewhat betrayed. I hope my feet don’t get wet as I walk those 10 steps.