From Thornton Oaks’ Residents
Sarah Faith and Moriah
Moved from Boston, Massachusetts
There is nowhere else we would rather grow old!
Before retirement, I (Moriah) was an administrator at Harvard University, and Sarah Faith worked in the library of the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College. We had longed to live close to the ocean in later life, and Thornton Oaks satisfied that wish with expansive Popham Beach only 40 minutes away. We chose Thornton Oaks because we frequently visited a friend who resided here for ten years and were impressed by the facilities and the community life. We continue to be grateful for our choice.
Life at Thornton Oaks and in the Brunswick area has proven to be intellectually, culturally, and physically stimulating. We feel warmly welcomed in the community and supported and cared for by staff and other residents. It’s a very neighborly place!
I enjoy the health and wellness opportunities at Thornton Oaks. I am an avid participant in Running Start, the exercise program that enables residents to use Bowdoin College athletic facilities, including the pool. I also enjoy working out in the Thornton Oaks fitness room, and greeting other dog owners as I walk our dog, Digby, around campus and on the surrounding Land Trust trails.
Sarah Faith enjoys singing in the community’s chorus, serving on the library committee, and practicing Tai Chi. Our fenced yard allows us to pursue our gardening interests—I grow flowers and Sarah Faith, vegetables.
Thornton Oaks has met all our expectations and then some.
John and Connie
Moved from Woolwich, Maine
We think the intellectual activity of the people who live here is stimulating to be around. They are interesting people and they have led and continue to lead, fascinating lives. You can talk to them about almost anything in the world and have an interesting conversation. They are real people, and it is genuinely nice to be part of a community that feels like a real community.
We also love living within a three-minute walk of the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust (BTLT). Within the Land Trust there are many miles of trails. Along those trails there are frequent discoveries: jack-in-the-pulpit, trillium, winter green, trailing arbutus, and bunch berry…just to name a few. Such fun! We have been here 2 ½ years and there is still more exploring we want to do. All of this is literally right out our front door.
The BTLT also includes the Tom Settlemire Community Garden which has 80 plots plus raised beds open to the community. One eighth of an acre of the garden is devoted to a common good garden where plot holders, community volunteers and high school students grow food for the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program.
Moved from Manhattan, New York
After a work life in magazines that included The New Yorker as well as being present at the creation of Bon Appétit, my husband and I searched for a new experience in retirement and focused on Maine—very different from our much-loved Manhattan, a place we had come to treasure through happy visits with our friends.
Brunswick was perfect for us, with all the benefits of a vibrant college town — Bowdoin, one of America’s most well regarded institutions, offers town residents opportunities to share first-rate speakers, dance, sports, music, libraries, even the chance to audit classes.
Top class music abounds all year, but especially in summer when the Maine State Music Theater brings Broadway to Brunswick and the acclaimed Bowdoin International Music Festival offers student musicians from all over the world six weeks of study with a renowned faculty from both the U.S. and abroad.
Food lovers can enjoy not only well regarded Thornton Oaks cuisine, but also a choice of first-rate restaurants ranging from seafood-centric to diverse ethnic ventures that range from the Far East to Europe to Latin America. And when it comes to a food scene that invites happy comparisons with the best offered anywhere, nearby Portland is a veritable cornucopia of opportunities for “best meal ever” praise.
Creative people are everywhere…Sharing their writing, cooking, performing, building, thoughts and dreams.
A world away from Manhattan, setting out to find somewhere with an authentic sense of place, we found a happy new opportunity for that at Thornton Oaks. It’s a very vibrant community and a great opportunity to feel right at home.
Tod and Lyn
Moved from Harvard, Massachusetts
Why Thornton Oaks? Value. There are many more expensive continuing care retirement communities that offer more luxuries. There are many less expensive ones that offer fewer features. And they all have different financial structures, which are hard to fully understand and compare. But we feel Thornton Oaks offers great bang-for-the-buck—a structure and level of service that suits our needs and wants.
Why Brunswick? We like small cities—or big towns? They have everything you need (restaurants, medical care, shopping, services, etc.), and they are easily accessible. Portland and Boston airports are easily reached by car or express bus. We like college towns. Living near the University of New Hampshire was disappointing, but living near Bowdoin is fantastic. They work at town-gown relationships, we have audited courses, we have taught in the Upward Bound program, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival has been a beautiful positive surprise. This summer we will be sponsoring a student and hopefully attending many formal and informal concerts.
And we have been very satisfied. In our first three years, everything is working out as expected, and our expectations were high.
Moved from Orr’s Island, Maine
I have been a Brunswick resident for years, and I live for the summer when I return to my beloved Orr’s Island cottage. I am an active member of the Orr’s-Bailey Yacht Club and was co-founder of the club’s Abbot Fletcher Sailing School. I held the position of commodore, initiating the groundwork toward the construction of the new clubhouse. When it was time to sell my house, I chose Thornton Oaks for its proximity to the island, and I discovered a community far richer than I expected. The cultural opportunities are so abundant here. It’s a wonderful complement to island living.
When my husband, Ted, passed away, my children urged me not to rush into the move to Thornton Oaks. But it had all been carefully planned. It was one of the final plans we made together and I was determined to carry it through. He knew that I would be safe and well cared for here. Now my children are seeing the struggles some of their friends are having with aging parents and they thank me.
I also like the fact that residents of Thornton Oaks share ownership of the community. It’s a solid investment, with the potential for financial appreciation.
Deborah and Arthur
Moved from Belfast, Maine
Upon our arrival at Thornton Oaks we felt a sincere warm welcome—that feeling has continued to this day. We were especially pleased to discover a kindergarten and a high school classmate from Rhode Island, college classmates from the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College, and a long-time skiing friend from Sugarloaf. Other newcomers can look forward to the same.
We have many opportunities for getting acquainted depending on one’s interests, energy and willingness to participate. How about bridge, bocce, ping pong, croquet, a writing group, a poetry group, weekly movies, an in-house monthly newspaper, the list goes on.
If you are interested in a vibrant retirement life, we would say “Don’t wait” but join us today as we are enjoying the many opportunities for personal growth, and easily accessible healthcare, in a supportive community of staff and fellow residents of Thornton Oaks.
Moved from Newton, Massachusetts
Thornton Oaks was my choice for many reasons. Its plantings and wooded setting are beautiful in every season. Proximity to Bowdoin College is another plus. I enjoy the warm relationship with the college and the availability of the many programs and events.
I looked at my move as a “New Beginning.” Friendly, interesting, well-rounded people went out of their way to welcome me. Activities I enjoy—games such as ping pong, keep me fit and alert. The walking trails, book club, exercise class, Listening Circle, are but a few of the other activities I enjoy.
The staff always present a cheerful willingness to be of assistance.
Moved from Bergenfield, New Jersey
I must have traveled to Maine to see 15-20 cottages over the years.
Since May 2020, all the work was done on the cottage by phone from NJ and I was dazzled by the amazing completed job!
Our neighbors and folks from all around welcomed us at our door. I met many folks at Running Start—an exercise group affiliated with Bowdoin College—and at luncheons, take out dinners, Halloween Doggie Costume Parade, and Evening Solstice and Holiday Lights!
I do not miss the hustle and bustle of life in the fast lane of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut! I am so glad I did not wait any longer since my greatest happiness is that I am here with my Ginger and Snap! Come soon so we can meet on the trails here!