A longtime dabbler in carpentry, Westbrook native Sam Broaddus only started working in wood seriously after he retired as director of urology at Maine Medical Center in 2014. That summer, he shadowed his brother-in-law, a professional cabinetmaker. “I sort of apprenticed for him, installing kitchens and working in his workshop,” Broaddus says. Together, the two constructed Broaddus’s worktable with wood from the red-oak tree that once stood at his childhood home. “My workbench is made from the tree that I used to climb as a kid,” he says.
When Broaddus and his wife decided to move to Cumberland Crossing after 37 years in Gorham, they agreed their new home’s basement should be able to accommodate a woodworking shop. In designing their cottage, they opted for I-beam construction, avoiding support columns in the basement and creating a more unobstructed space for Sam’s projects. Since moving in just over a year ago, Broaddus has built their kitchen table and five wood-frame mirrors.
Broaddus enjoys building items for family and friends and volunteering his talents for community projects. Broaddus has happily volunteered to help on special projects on the campus to put his woodworking skills to use for his neighbors, like a Little Free Library and some raised garden beds for the avid gardeners. It’s all part of the sense of community at Cumberland Crossing.
Broaddus finds his greatest satisfaction at the intersection of art and function in each project. “It’s a chance to build something beautiful and practical,” he says. “As a former surgeon, the idea that I can still use my hands for useful things is very satisfying.”
With Every Fiber of Her Being
Growing up, Susan Stasiowski spent after-school hours helping out at her father’s upholstery business. “I was surrounded by fabrics and color and texture,” Stasiowski says. “There’s just something about that whole medium that I love.” She’s been a knitter most of her adult life, and 15 years ago she ignited a new passion when she picked up a book on a less common fiber art, needle felting. “I immediately started practicing,” Stasiowski says. “I was absolutely hooked.”
Originally from Massachusetts, Stasiowski and her husband initially retired to Camden before moving to Cumberland Crossing in the summer of 2023. “We were looking for something closer to Massachusetts without actually being in Massachusetts so we could see our kids more easily,” Stasiowski says. “We wanted a community with opportunities for continuing care in case we ever get to that point.” Their Cumberland Crossing cottage has a second floor with a loft dedicated to Stasiowski’s felting and other creative pursuits.
She begins her projects by repeatedly jabbing a barbed needle into a big ball of raw wool, which tangles the fiber strands’ microscopic scales. “The more you poke, the more tangled and enmeshed they get,” Stasiowski says. Eventually, a shape begins to form, and she adds wool as needed to fashion it into an artwork. Her firm, free-standing sculptures are usually inspired by the natural world and have been featured in galleries throughout Maine.
Stasiowski also leads felting workshops in the area and hopes to hold one at Cumberland Crossing. “We had a bunch of neighbors over recently, and there seemed to be a lot of interest,” she says. “A great group of people lives here, and they’re interested in learning new things.”
Her Next Chapter
Over the last 30 years, author Mary Morton Cowan has published seven books and about 100 articles, all geared towards young readers. “I’ve always liked middle-school kids,” she says. “I live in a retirement community, but I’m really 11.”
Her work has always been youth-oriented. She carved out an early career at nonprofit youth organizations in Rochester, New York, including serving as an executive with the Girl Scouts of Western New York. “But then I decided, what I really want to do is write,” she says.
After she and her husband moved back to Maine, where both had attended Bates College, she wrote her first book, Timberrr. . . A History of Logging in New England. It won the Maine Library Association’s 2003 Lupine Honor Award for excellence in children’s literature and established Cowan’s niche in nonfiction.
Three years ago, Cowan and her husband moved to a single-story home at Cumberland Crossing. Their cottage includes a dedicated writing space, where Cowan is currently revising a couple of projects. “I don’t know whether they will ever see publication, but I don’t care,” she says. “I’m writing them anyway because creative minds don’t stop. It’s hard not to think creatively.”
Cowan and her talented Cumberland Crossing neighbors attest that art and creativity know no bounds.
Cumberland Crossing residents enjoy a great quality of life, thanks in part to the community’s easy access to major amenities.
Cumberland Crossing residents enjoy the security of being part of OceanView at Falmouth, a full-service, family-owned retirement community offering supportive services, every lifestyle amenity you can imagine, and peace of mind for the future.
Cumberland Crossing is just minutes from the thriving communities of Cumberland, Falmouth, and Yarmouth. Downtown Portland, home to award-winning restaurants, theater, galleries, and live music, is a 20-minute drive.
Many coastal and woodland preserves are within easy reach. Paddling, hiking, biking and sailing opportunities abound. Creativity flourishes thanks to an easy connection to nature and living sustainably with solar panels on every cottage.