My wife Pat and I moved to Collington in June 2012 from Annapolis. We loved Annapolis and would liked to have moved to a retirement home there; however, we didn’t like Bay Woods, not only because it was a co-op but because it cost too much. The only other alternative was Ginger Cove was not seriously considered because it didn’t take cats or any other pets.

After looking around at other Continuing Care Community (CCRC), we chose Collington which is a nonprofit CCRC and is part of the Kendal Network of retirement communities. It is about 35 years old. Located in Mitchellville, Maryland, sometimes called Bowie, outside of Washington, D.C., Collington provides independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing services to 500 residents. Our campus is a Certified Wildlife Habitat.

It is a diverse community with residents of all races and sexual orientation – and we like it that way.

Our zip code is 20721 and is a “Super Zip”, the zip codes in the U.S. with the highest per capita income and college graduation rates. The Washington Post has created an interactive map that breaks down the so-called “Super Zips” — According to the Post’s analysis, there are 650 of these “Super Zips,” where a typical household earns over $120,000 a year, and 68 percent of the adults graduated from college. The largest collection of Super Zips is around Washington, D.C. We are the only one in Prince George’s County.

I believe that Collington adds greatly to the reason that 20721 is a “Super Zip”. I would estimate that here there are at least 100 academic degrees floating around, many of which are advanced degrees. I know nothing about income of residents; however, it is likely that all earn over $120,000 just being able to live here. You can learn more at: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/do-you-live-in-a-super-zip.

Never in our lives have Pat and I encountered so many interesting and diverse group of people in one place as we have until we moved into Collington. While their personalities, problems, joys are typical, their backgrounds certainly stand out.

Some think that we are in a nursing home and that is far from the truth. We think of it this way: We have moved into an over 55 (well over) community and live in a cottage which we love – everything inside the cottage was new! The community is different in that it serves meals that are very good. In addition, as a separate section it has nursing and Alzheimer units which will take care of us should we ever need them. The children think that we have given them a wonderful present in that they never have to worry about our future medical needs. The converse is also true; we never have to worry about being a burden to them.

We also like it in that Collington has no dress code. Before we came, there was a vote that the only thing that all agreed upon was there should be no wet bathing suits in the dining room. I have been known to have worn a black tie at the New Year’s Eve party which ends at 10 p.m. Other that that, I have a seldom used the collection of ties that hang limply on their rack.

There are other reasons why we love it here, chief of which, is for the interesting residents. (see my “Kaleidoscope of Residents”)

By and large, there are many nice people; however, as is true in the outside world, there are some kooks.

We have made many wonderful friends here and have at least quadrupled our social life.

Collington residents are important advisors to management about what goes on. They maintain their own website, https://collingtonresidents.org/.

If you would like to know more about Collington, check out this URL: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=collington+retirement+community&view=detail&mid=FAC635923A8EAE157248FAC635923A8EAE157248&FORM=VIRE. Even if dated, 2016, it is wonderful particularly because it includes brief appearances of my wife Pat and me.