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When dreams become reality

Ashby Ponds the perfect home for this best-selling author and her husband

Created date

July 19th, 2016
Author Suzi Weinert and her husband moved to Ashby Ponds late last year.

Author Suzi Weinert and her husband moved to Ashby Ponds late last year.

“Life is good and will be even better when we advance from the priority list to our Ashby Ponds home,” said Suzi Weinert in an interview with the Tribune in the fall of 2014. This past December, she and her husband Don made their dreams a reality.

Suzi, a writer who recently found fame as the author of Garage Sale Stalker and Garage Sale Diamonds, discovered that making one simple plan—joining the Ashby Ponds priority list—provided her the peace of mind to fully enjoy life and its great surprises.

Firsthand experience

“Coping with our own parents’ aging taught us that it’s tough for caring adult children to put aside other obligations to solve their parents’ periodic aging problems,” says Suzi. “Don and I also realized that if we aged in place in our own home, we would burden our kids with our home’s upkeep and repair, as well as managing our in-home caretakers. 

“We know that our children would devotedly add our plight to the running of their own homes and lives, but we were determined not to become a problem for our children. We wanted to choose an appealing, safe destination where we could age gracefully.”

Because four of the Weinerts’ five children live with their families in Northern Virginia, their search focused on the Washington, D.C., area.

“We visited every [retirement community] we could find,” says Suzi. “Several features quickly distinguished Ashby Ponds from the competition. We like that Ashby Ponds is a new community with modern architecture and technology. It’s evident that Erickson Living properties apply what they’ve learned from past endeavors to update and improve their newest ventures.”

Taking advantage

As members of the priority list, Suzi and Don made repeated visits to the Ashby Ponds campus from their house at Lake-of-the-Woods in Locust Grove, Va., for a variety of special events. 

“We attended numerous daytime events, including open house tours, lunches,and presentations,” says Suzi. “Every visit reinforced our decision. We learned that Ashby Ponds anticipates every issue, offering sensible, convenient solutions.” 

Unlike many other communities, Ashby Ponds is new. “Our home has state-of-the-art upgrades—appliances, flooring, granite countertops, nine-foot-high ceilings, big windows—and open floor plans, which we did not find in communities built 20 or 30 years ago,” says Suzi.

“And it’s been fun to find that we are not alone in our decision,” she adds. “At last count we join 26 other people who have moved to Ashby Ponds from Lake-of-the-Woods.”

With the decision to make Ashby Ponds their future home, the Weinerts toughest decision was deciding on when to make their move. 

“Our big house meant big work and big time to do that work,” says Suzi. “Last year, we were ready for more free time to do what we wanted to do instead of what we had to do. Once we decided to go for it, Ashby Ponds worked with us in every way to make our move easier.”

A life-changing day

The Weinerts arrived at Ashby Ponds just days before Christmas on December 21, 2015. Even with the hectic schedule of moving, the couple hosted a beautiful Christmas brunch with the help of Ashby Ponds’ catering services just six days after their move.

“It was a beautifully managed buffet for 30 people with a wine station, salad bar, and dessert table,” says Suzi. “Everything was decorated for Christmas. We served fish, chicken, and beef main dishes plus several vegetable dishes for our vegetarian guests. Catering Manager Pamela Cresine and her staff did a terrific job. Everyone agreed it was a memorable event.”

Not long after their holiday celebration, the Weinerts experienced firsthand the benefits of maintenance-free living at Ashby Ponds during the 2016 blizzard that hit the Washington, D.C., area on January 22.

“Thirty-one inches of snow fell at Ashby Ponds, and Don just looked at me and smiled, saying, ‘I’m so glad I don’t have to do a thing about this,’” she says. 

Next chapter

Now enjoying their first summer at Ashby Ponds, Suzi recently finished the final chapter of her third book, Garage Sale Riddle. 

“This latest mystery addresses aging in America as the main character, Jennifer, must help her 88-year-old mother make some life-changing decisions,” says Suzi. “The mystery lies in a map and riddle Jennifer finds hidden in a garage sale purchase.”

Last month, the newest TV movie based on Suzi’s work, The Novel Murder, premiered on the Hallmark Movie and Mystery Channel.

“The only problem with writing is the time it takes from real life,” says Suzi. “Since activities abound at Ashby Ponds, as soon as the book is launched, I plan to plunge into many more activities.”