NATIONAL (CBS NEWSPATH) – Supply has failed to catch up with demand for many goods and services in the United States, leading to higher prices on almost everything. But there is a retiree community in southern Utah that will never have to buy a puzzle again.
Lindy and Rob Hilton created the Sunriver Community Puzzle Exchange – and the couple’s garage is the place to go on the second Monday of every month. “It’s like the blue light special at Walmart. There’s a line of people buzzing as fast as they can, making sure they get the puzzles they want, ”says Lindy.
With puzzle shortages online and in stories during the pandemic, the Hilton’s exchange was ideally suited for seniors who needed to stay close to home. “You need things to distract yourself from everything else and that’s what’s confusing,” says Lindy.
The exchange has grown from 27 puzzles to over 700. They are organized by number of pieces, by maker, and by themes such as nature, food and high art. The Hiltons have a separate stash of vacation puzzles that they circulate in November and December.
There are puzzles for visiting grandchildren and for the wife of a member who suffers from dementia. “Sometimes she doesn’t even know who he is, but she knows how to put a piece in the puzzle,” says Lindy.
Rob is also the resident doctor for the missing piece. “They would bring back the pieces that surround this missing piece, so I have a role model to follow,” he says.
Using small cutting and painting tools, Rob recreates the missing pieces. A labor of love with one goal. “It’s just another thing to bring people together, no matter what their perspective,” says Rob.
“We connected friends who wouldn’t even have met,” says Lindy. The Hiltons fit into their community, one room at a time.