Night Moves ♥

The adorable Miss Pettitoes says GOOD MORNING Girls (and Jake)! 

It’s hot isn’t it, hot hot hot.  Going to be 97 degrees in Boston today.  The daytime is useless to me now. Or, actually, I’m useless to it.  I can’t seem to move until the sun goes down.

After dinner last night we walked out our screen door into the dark,  and, because I have become voyeur/photographer extraordinaire, (no neighborhood is safe from me ever again), I get to bring you along!

Under the old trees that arch over our narrow little streets is a bit like being under water, splotchy moonlight comes through, all soupy and green in the soft air and humidity.  I thought, with the “heat dome” as the weatherman is calling whatever this heat thing is, you might enjoy a cooling walk in the dark.  Grab a little sweater and let’s go!

Because I wanted to give you the true feeling of the night, I didn’t use a flash on my camera . . . and in order to do that, one must be very steady, and apparently, obviously, one is not. Just wanted you to know all the out-of-focus isn’t YOU.   (Want music while you look at this?  Click here, leave it on, while you come back to this page. . . and tell me if you ever get sick of this song because I just will never get sick of it! I’ll probably sing it all day now!)

Off we go . . . Joe’s asking if I have my camera!  Yes, honey; click, I do, darling.

Ahhhh, a breath of fresh air, a breeze came from the harbor, only a block away. Now we realize we’re whispering . . .  it’s so dark and quiet, we think we might be invisible. No one can see us, only hear the muffled crunching sound of feet on pavement as we head down the street. Could be a squirrel, couldn’t it?

As soon as I was old enough, the heart magnet of New England, started drawing me toward the island….My inner self knew I just couldn’t live life without being near houses that looked like this . . . 

Our neighborhood offers probably the same thing any neighborhood does on hot summer nights, exactly the same kind of thing I got when I was a girl walking ’round and ’round our block in the Valley, under the stars, trying to figure out life with my best friend. And up in the sky, the same old moon looks down on us . . .

Nothing’s really changed, it’s still the best kind of quiet; the sounds of domesticity that make the world seem right; the clinking of the dishes being cleared up, bits of music drifting from windows, people in rocking chairs outside with yellow porch lights and a halo of moths.  You can’t see it, but we could look up into windows and see old wallpaper; into screen doors, and down halls lined with family photos. All of this works especially well when you’re invisible.  Saw a kitty on a window sill catching the harbor breeze.

There were lightening bugs along this fence I was hoping to capture for you, but they’d blink and I’d snap, missing them by a mile . . . all the way down the street they seemed to follow us, under the hydrangeas, in the ivy,  in the darkest places, little blinks of fairy light flitted along with us. 

Our walks always take us down to the harbor, where the boat comes in….to hear the water lap on shore (pretend you hear it, it’s instant cooling!).  See all those little boats tied up there?  They belong to sailboat people who’ve come into town off their boats that are tied in the harbor to have dinner.  They could trail a hand in the water as the boat motors to shore.  I think they do.  I would.  Doesn’t that sound like the perfect life?  At least for one night?

And a half block up is the most wonderful ice cream store, Mad Martha’s, famous on the island; we each got a cone (I’m having a pistachio yen this summer, Joe goes for coffee chocolate chip; we are both sugar-cone aficionados :-)) and we brought a whole different kind home, because my next post is going to be a recipe for the most amazing, almost criminal, ICE CREAM SANDWICHES. And that’s it, we’re almost home now, but not quite . . .  first we were serenaded . . .

We pass the church across the street from our house, just in time for choir practice…out the doors, the music comes, just for us . . .  And He walks with me and He talks with me and he tells me I am His own . . . up to the sky it went, musical notes that looked just like stars.

And then, up the back driveway . . . and home to the Heart Magnet . . .my own personal ground zero. And that’s it, a night in the ‘hood.  Come back for some ice cream later girls…until then, stay coooool . . .   xoxo me

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111 Responses to Night Moves ♥

  1. blondie blu says:

    Marvelous! Thank you for taking us with you on your lovely walk. I am the same way… this hot, heavy heat has me very lazy during the day, but as soon as the sun goes down, my energy (and enthusiasm) returns. I just love your new blog, and have adored your books for a very long time. 🙂 xo Helena

    • sbranch says:

      Thanks so much, glad you like it, love having you here!

      • Tina J. says:

        I loved Night Moves, it makes me feel like I’m right there with you enjoying a bit of MV while I’m here in California. I just received my new calendar yesterday and I love it! Awesome job on the letter page and the Pollyana page. Nice work Susan. Have a good 1.
        Hasta, TJ

  2. Mary Lou says:

    What a wonderful evening walk. Love the song – you are a very Blessed girl – and Joe a Blessed guy. Your blogs are like letters from a long lost friend. Keep up the good work:)

  3. Donna Hamilton says:

    You are so blessed to live a life some of us dream of. It is the simple pleasures that we all enjoy that mean the most in our lives and you really know how to pass along and document your simple pleasures for us, as your readers. I just have to say thank you for showing us that life is exactly what a person makes it to be and to live a life with gratitude is a very blessed life.

    • sbranch says:

      That put tears in my eyes. Speaking of gratitude . . .

    • Paula B. says:

      Couldn’t have said it better Donna. Guess we’re lucky to “follow” Susan and enjoy what she shares with us. So lovely, felt like I was strolling along too but where’s my ice cream???

  4. Sandy Smith says:

    I am a self-proclaimed night owl, so I absolutely adore these pictures. Every night my children and I going looking for deer, rabbits and just about anything that waits until dusk to come out. We love to listen to the sounds that you only hear at night and feel the cool breezes that only come after sunset in the summertime. It’s like Christmas morning when we hear or see something that we did not see the night before!

  5. Becky says:

    Thanks for the evening stroll around your neighborhood. I loved it!

  6. Inlandcldy says:

    Thanks for the lovely walk. This Sacramento girl was thinking we had lost you (as a California girl) to the East Coast. Now, I can see why…………….your Island home calls you to a gentle, sweeter kind of living. After my hour commutes home from work M-F, it’s nice to sit down, enjoy your blog and let your photos take me on a mini-vacation. Thanks for sharing and helping us remember the little things that make up the snapshots of our lives.

  7. Diane Beasley says:

    I love to see Martha’s Vineyard through your eyes and I love to get glimpses of places I have seen in person myself when I was fortunate to be invited to Vineyard Haven four years ago. I saw your lovely home every time we traveled to downtown. Love seeing the harbor and the homes with their lights and the farmer’s market pictures from another post. Keep the pictures coming.

  8. Maire Dhu Lemley says:

    Of course as the song began and I clicked back to walk with you and Joe, my tears started streaming… I’m such a crybaby! Ha ha! The words and pictures walked hand in hand perfectly and I was there…listening and whispering..(and peeking in the windows 😉 Thank you Susan!

  9. Jacqui G says:

    Lovely! I heard that lightening bugs are really in abundance this year. We saw loads of them on our trip to Amish PA. They sparkled above the corn crops:)
    MV is NOTHING like South Florida….thanks for taking me along:) Oh and Good Morning!
    FOSB 4-ever,

  10. Jamie Willow says:

    a delightful evening…and a delightful song…

    I find that if I hold my breath when taking a night time picture, it has a better chance of not being blurry…just take it quick so you don’t pass out 😉 even blurry they are enchanting though.

    looking forward to the ice cream sandwich recipe…my husband will love me more for it…so thank you in advance 😉

  11. Karen P says:

    Susan! Thank you for that beautiful evening stroll through your beloved little town. The harbor pic is beautiful the way the moonbeams stream down on the water. Love the wonderful way you describe coming home…”the Heart Magnet”….perfect! Stay cool today!

  12. Lori says:

    Thank you for inviting us to join you on your walk. The music, the sights, the ice cream … pure bliss! I live in Indiana and it is hazy, hot and humid. The only activity around here is the cicadas. They sing too, but can’t compete with Patti Page.

    • Sandra Gillanders says:

      Hi Lori,

      Last night I came come after dark and I couldn’t believe all the night sounds and loudest of all was the song of the cicadas. It’s very hot and steamy here in PA. too!

    • K. F. Ross says:

      Boy, that’s for sure!

    • Linda H says:

      Hello from another hot “Hoosier”! I have been getting my walks in first thing in the morning, when I still have a chance to go for at least 30 minutes without passing out from the heat, but maybe I should try the after-dark walks! I love those fireflies at this time of year.

  13. Susan says:

    Susan I’ve enjoyed your books for years! I’m also loving your blog. Your neighborhood is beautiful, I also enjoy being near the water!
    Have a nice day in your beautiful home!
    Susan @

  14. Cathy Wegner says:

    Thanks for sharing the photos. I love, love, love Martha’s Vineyard. We couldn’t visit this year due to my daughter’s wedding but hope to come back next year.

  15. K. F. Ross says:

    What a beautiful cozy evening stroll. Ahhh — to be able to grab a sweater for an evening in July!! Down South, we swelter long after the sun goes down. New England is my dream life. But I am so blessed to have the tallest, shadiest willow oaks in my front yard. God’s blessings are everywhere when we open our eyes. Have a happy day! Thanks for sharing the pleasures with us! We all love you! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I love you all too!

      • K. F. Ross says:

        Susan Branch, you have no idea how much fun it is for us to have you “so close” and accessible via this blog. The wonders of technology!! (By the way, your name has a natural rhythm to it — kind of like “Annie Hall” or “Molly Brown” — can’t only say “Susan” — have to say the whole thing!)

  16. Linda Ishmael says:

    Thank you for another short visit to Martha’s Vineyard. This allows me to get an island fix until I am able to visit in person. Your stroll made me think of the play “Our Town”. The homes and hydrangeas were just beautiful.

  17. Lisa says:

    Thank You for posting such a beatiful Blog!! The music, the pictures, all of it made me feel as tho I were right there with you on your walk! Magnificent! It has been a beautiful start to what seemed like another too hot day, but now I feel as tho I can handle anything, for I have been refreshed, and rejuvinated! Thank you for sharing!

  18. Patricia Wehner says:

    You’re blog should win #1 – it’s precious, it’s real, it keeps us going. It’s the first thing I do each morning – if it’s new, I get excited, if it’s the one from the day before, I read it again and again. I got all my new calendars yesterday – last night was the night to spread them all over my bed and lose myself in each one. Thank you Susan Branch!!!

    • sbranch says:

      How am I supposed to be normal after reading things like this! It’s a two way street, you keep me going too!

  19. Debra B. says:

    Such beautiful pictures…makes one feel as though they are walking along with you! The picture of the white fence and hydrangeas reminds me of a scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life”. You truly have a blessed and wonderful life! Thanks so much for sharing it with all of us!

  20. Sandra Gillanders says:

    Lovely evening walk to the harbor, thanks for taking me along. I love a twilight walk pass pretty houses with the lights on in the windows and always wonder about the families inside. Nice you still have fireflies to add to the magic, think ours have gone for the season.The mosquitoes are out in full force much to my dismay. The Island is enchanting and full of beautiful images that I am so glad you shared with me/us. Thank you!
    p.s. Ice cream YUM!

  21. Erin says:

    This was such a beautiful post! I can’t stop looking at it ♥

    “As soon as I was old enough, the heart magnet of New England, started drawing me toward the island….My inner self knew I just couldn’t live life without being near houses that looked like this . . .”
    ^ I feel the same exact way!

    Erin @ I Heart New England

  22. Pat Mofjeld says:

    We loved the night photos of your walk. That is one of the fun things of having dogs–you get to do night walks on a regular basis. See the stars, northern lights displays, lights in windows…I love to peek in windows (from the street while we are walking, OF COURSE!) I asked my husband once if he thought I have latent peeking tom tendencies and he replied that he wasn’t sure how latent they were! 🙂 Have had a lot of fireflies here this summer, too, in the park in front of our house. You’re right now experiencing the heat we’ve had the past week–it was awful. Stepping outside was like stepping into a sauna–and at night the mosquitoes were bad. (No mosquitoes on MV?) No walkies for doglets during that time! With the extreme heat and my husband off work due to the State shutdown, we got into a strange schedule of staying up until 1 or 2 and then sleeping until 9 or 10! With the shutdown ended today, I’m calling to tease and see if he is still awake at his desk! We’re back to a normal schedule!!! 🙂 Will be watching for the ice cream sandwich recipe! (and by the way, what a perfect way to end a night walk–with an ice cream cone! I’m envious!) 🙂

  23. Angie(Tink!) says:

    I Scream You Scream We All Scream for Ice~Cream!…I’m eating a Strawberry Ice~Cream Cone… right Now… as I Breathe in Every Scrumptious Word on Your Blog Sweetest Sue…& look at each Phabulous~Photo you Have Shared with Us….You Truly Have Captured Our Hearts♥ ♥ ♥ With This Beautiful~Blog…& You actually brought us along for Your Walk in Your “Hood”….I Do Hear the water Lap on Shore…You are Soooooooooo Right…”Instant~Cooling!”ahhhhhhhhh The Sailboat People do have The Perfect Life! & mad martha’s Ice Cream Shop… Beyond Yumminess… I have always Loved Chocolate Chip & Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream & I Must tell you I have Never had Coffee Chocolate Chip…it Must Be Devine! My Dad’s Favorite Ice Cream was Always Pistachio…Yummy! & We always enjoy The Sugar~Cones! Sweeeeet~Crunch!….& omgggg That Magnificent Church Window…& The “Church Choir Seranade” Musical Notes that Looked like Stars….♫*♫*♫*….I know Tonight I’ll look up at The Black Velvet Sky…& See those Musical Note Stars! Thank You Sweet Sue for Bringing Me Along….Huge Smile on my Face Today! 🙂 I’m Sending Cooling Pixie~Dust to You & Joe & Kitty & to All of us Living in this “Heat~Dome” it’s 93 here for Me & it’s before Noon! even Our Pool Feels Like Warm Bath~Water Yikes! lol….Sue…. oh how I Love…”Little Blinks of Fairy Light Flitted” Words of Perfection! (Purrrrrrrrrfection…Meow!) xoxo Poof!♫♥

  24. Vickie T. says:

    Thank you so much for doing this blog, Susan. We know how busy you are with all of your projects, new book, etc.! Thank you for sharing your life with us. When you update your blog, it’s like getting a new Willard! I have really enjoyed seeing pictures of your home and neighborhood. Thank you.

  25. Kim Forester says:

    You are a precious gem, and we are all the fortunate recipients of your sparkle and generous spirit ~ What fun to mosey through your neighborhood with you and Joe! Thank you so much for taking us all along. (What a lovely stroll back in time it offers!) Wishing you (and ALL) a cool breeze or two from the Pacific NW today.

  26. Diane Harris says:

    Wonderful! Thank you! Every time I’m in a piano bar I ask the pianist to play this song; it’s one of my favorites! It takes me back to Nantucket where I spent many summer vacations as a single gal and then for my honeymoon. I cried when I saw the moon on the water because I miss it so. I have a ‘Nantucket’ boat flag on my wall in my scrapbook room and all this was more than I could bear. You are so lucky and so smart to have followed your heart (even if it was to Martha’s Vineyard and not Nantucket :-)). I wanted to live in Boston in my 20’s but something kept me in Cincinnati where in my 30’s I met the love of my life, so I really was where I needed to be, but I yearn for the architecture and landscape of New England and the feel of the soft air on my cheek and the bright blue hydrangeas everywhere! Thanks for the mental break!

  27. Rachel Lucas says:

    Oooohhhhh. Aaahhhhhh. Love everything. & you xoxo

  28. joan says:

    The photo of the harbor with the lights reflecting off the water…magical! Thank you for sharing. =)

  29. Judith B. says:

    You had me at the church….And He walks with me and He talks with me and he tells me I am His own . . . up to the sky it went, musical notes that looked just like stars.
    When I was a child, this song was sung at church almost every Sunday…what memories it brought back…sigh! It’s very hot here in Texas at night so night strolling is a lost art to us. Used to visit friends in New England (Mass. and New Hampshire) ….love that part of our Country – could easily live there but Texas must be my home for now. Thanks, Susan, for the magical night. Have been making a lot of home made ice cream, so patiently waiting for your ice cream sandwich recipe.

  30. Andrea says:

    Dear Ms. Branch
    Thank you for your blog. I look forward to reading it EVERY day. I loved your previous post on your little room at the top of the stairs. (So sweet…I think if I ever went to a Bed and Breakfast and my room looked like that, I’d beg to stay another week.)
    But as a nurse that works the night shift, I too am entranced by the summer nights. Its my favorite part of the hot season. I only live two minutes from work, but I’ve been leaving early in order to enjoy the scenery. (And the cooler air!) But I loved your pic of the blue hydrangeas in the twilight… definitely the best!
    I truly appreciate the little window into your wonderful island. You have such a dazzling talent of making everything beautiful. It reminds me of the Einstein quote, “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though EVERYTHING is.” Thank you for the miracles.

    Love from Waverly, NY!

  31. Thea says:

    I have been to the Cape, Rockport, Ogunquit areas many times, but I have yet to get to Martha’s Vineyard. Sigh…someday, I say to myself. I’m a big believer in putting my desires out into the Universe. Because the Universe has a wonderful way of answering me! It does seem to me that no matter where you are, given a bit of time, whether you live in a traveler destination type place or not, you begin to live in a neighborhood (not a place). And all those domestic sights and sounds – you don’t notice them so much as a tourist. But you do when it’s your ‘hood. Have a wonderful day!

  32. mari1017 says:

    Magical – just magical! I’m at work and playing “Old Cape Cod” and walking the evening streets of MV again and again…my coworkers are poking their heads in – and they smile as they watch! What a special place this is for us who love these beautiful and simple pleasures in life. Fireflies! The water! Tree lined streets! Ice cream! You are making me miss my former annual visits to MV, but I couldn’t come anycloser to an evening there than this!

    And I thought the Peter Rabbit Room was the be all and end all of the best in blogs – you just keep getting better and better as you get bolder and bolder with all the tools available to you in blogland!

    Thanks from a full and longing for New England~in~the~summer heart ~


  33. Kimi says:

    Well what can you say about this Susan…. But how serineeeee! I felt as though I was walking with ya. Here too in Chicago land area we have hot hot heat!!!! at night just as bad! thank~you god for air-conditioning!!! I live in a very lovely town too and we have also very old homes 1800s when you walk the streets it feels as if you have step back in time. America is a wonderful place to Be! and your town too!!!

  34. Judy Doezie says:

    What a breath of fresh air! I just called my mom and for a little while, she and I were strolling along on Martha’s Vineyard, giving her a brief respite from her little room in her nursing home. 🙂 thank you for that, Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      We have to thank the inventor of the “internets” for all of this…what a difference it’s made! Please say a special hello to your mom for me.♥

    • Darlene B says:

      How beautiful….all the best to your mom.

  35. Wendy Schreiber says:

    I “heart” you Susan! Martha’s Vineyard is on my bucket list…your walk this evening makes me want to move it up to now!!! Thanks for the tour.

  36. Janelle says:

    Oh Susan, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful evening with us. I am charmed, as always.

  37. Ann says:

    Thanks for bringing us along on your walk. I love to look inside houses, too, at night. And hope someone is looking into mine. I cannot wait for Labor Day and our Nantucket vacation.

  38. Shanna C says:

    I so loved the photos and Patti Page…have never been to Cape Cod, Nantucket, or Martha’s Vineyard, but this made me homesick for our family’s favorite beach vacation spot at Edisto Beach, SC. Just love those summer days on that island…….thank you for the mini-vacation in my heart & mind! 🙂

  39. Nina says:

    O Susan you have truely surpassed yourself today! It is a cold rainy day in the middle of England today almost like November! (Which is great in November but not in July!)
    But “walking” along with you & Joe on your walk has cheered me up no end! You do live a very blessed life and it is so very kind of you to share it with the rest of us girlfriends! Looking forward to the next little titbit already!
    Love from accross the pond xx

    • sbranch says:

      When I was a little kid, I wanted a pen pal in a faraway land so bad! But I didn’t know where to look to find one! Now look!

  40. Gaylene says:

    Just THANK YOU! Lovely, and loved the song!!

  41. deezie says:

    How is it possible for each of your blog posts to get better and better. Your writing is like Magic. Love it all. Your walk around your neighborhood was so real, like we were with you. Thank you so much for that. Fun is all I can say
    Yes, its super hot here today too. We live almost on the water so we do have a breeze though.
    Can’t wait to see those icecream sandwiches:)

  42. Patty Page says:

    Thanks for the dreamy walk! I’m stuck here in the Midwest, far away from any body of water—but I can dream!

  43. Tricia B. says:

    Oh my goodness!! Beautiful!! Just beautiful!! I loved “our” walk. Thank you Susan for the beautiful journey through your neighborhood!! It makes me want to move to MV right away. Perhaps, I should start with a visit, you think?!! Tee Hee!! 🙂
    I just want you to know dear Susan, that everyday I check your blog and I love the way it makes me feel. Your blog, books, calendars, etc. give me such a HAPPY HEART!! No matter what has gone wrong in my day; your way of thinking and doing and dreaming reminds me that “everything” is going to be just fine. You are wonderful!!! Thank you my dear friend!! Tricia B. XOXO

  44. Cheryl Egan says:

    Great post on your blog! and yes……seems to me you actually did sing that song all morning. Now it’s stuck in my head! Much better than the silly little bank commercial jingle that has been there for a while now. Thanks for the switch to something much sweeter! Chappy is fogged in still and my watercolor paper is soggy. ;-(

  45. Lori says:

    In the midst of the heat wave, may I suggest visiting Susan Branch on You Tube. Cool!

  46. Jennie says:

    Thank you for sharing your cozy neighborhood with us. I so wish the lightening bug capture had worked, because I’ve always lived in Wash. State, and we don’t have those, so I’ve never seen one! They must be completely magical. . . or at least my romantic ideals say they would.

    • sbranch says:

      I never saw them before moving here either, and they are all you would hope for. Total magic.

  47. karen saunders says:

    I have always wanted to visit MV ever since I bought your first book and read Willard (about how you got there). I LOVE old houses…. I’ve been trying to get any of my friends to take a road trip (from Oregon) across the US to see it…. but so far no takers. (I’ll even put the top down on my bug.) What the heck more can you ask?
    ‘Hopeless in Oregon’ karen

    • sbranch says:

      Poor Baby! Road trips are so fun!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Gee, I’m surprised Karen hasn’t had a lot of “takers” from here to accompany her on her road trip! 🙂

    • Judith B. says:

      Hi….if you ever get this road trip together….swing by Texas and I’ll go with you. I hope one day your dream trip will come true! I’ve visited the East Coast several times and it is so different from where I live…just love New England (never have been in Winter (snow and cold) but the Fall is glorious.

  48. karen saunders says:

    PS. I bought the Emma Bridgewater Camelia mug and it looked so great on my open shelf with my dishes I bought the Cosmos one too. I love looking at them. (You’re going to put me in the poorhouse…. oh well.) ks

  49. Lin says:

    Ahhhh, that was lovely, Susan, thank you! I feel cooler already. Someday I’ll get to visit that place……….

  50. Debbie says:

    ah. thank you susan for sharing your walk with us. So Loved the music. Martha’s Vineyard is definitely on my bucket list.

  51. Janice N. says:

    Like you, Susan, I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the 50’s & 60’s, the slower times, not the life-in-the-fast-lane times of now. I know exactly what you mean about walking around the neighborhood on a warm evening, smelling the dinners, hearing the kids laugh as the dishes get dried, the tinkle of the dog’s tag as he gets fed, too; the sigh of the leaves and the glow of the porch lights. The summer evenings the ice cream truck slowly jingled its way up and down all the streets and we waited on the still-warm curb for him to stop. No fireflies in the Valley, though. New England has called to me for many, many years and I yearn to live there (“someday…..”). I know in my heart I was born on the wrong Coast. Thank you, Susan, for bringing all the magic to us on this lovely twilight walk on Martha’s Vineyard.

  52. I know why you get to live on Martha’s Vineyard! It’s because you’re so willing to take the time to share it with us! Thank you for hospitality!

  53. Linda W says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely post. I love Old Cape Cod. Back in high school in the mid sixties, we had a dance band and I was the singer. We did OCC and Moonlight in Vermont and Sentimental Journey and oh, how I loved it. And this took me back. My neighborhood wasn’t as pretty and it was always noisy, with smells of spaghetti sauce and garlic – always garlic. The Italian Ice was fabulous! My heart magnet was here in Southern Lancaster County, PA. And we finally made it here in 2005 and we don’t ever want to leave. I guess it doesn’t matter where it is as long as you’re happy.

  54. Troy Louise says:

    Wow, I’m in awe of your beautiful post. Felt like walking back in time with you. What a lovely,lovely place. And, it was almost eerie to hear the choir was singing the same song I sing to myself while I walk in my own garden! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful evening.

  55. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Thank you Susan & Joe for letting us stroll with you, and the ice cream was delicious! And Patty’s beautiful song was a treat…….and then the stained glass window and “he walks with me”, and then the tissues had to come out – good thing I always have one in my pocket! My heart overfloweth! xo

  56. Carol Miller says:

    What a wonderful walk. I’m green with envy. Loved the blue hydrangeas and the water in the harbour. Could hear the water. Thanks for the tour.

  57. Evelyn says:

    Such a magical photo gallery. Took me to Cape May NJ at night in my mind. Very magical at night there too. And so romantic…lovely place for a romantic get-away. MV almost looks like a time trip to another, sweeter, gentler era. Wish all neighborhoods were like that. We’ve had tons of lightening bugs here in my neighborhood this summer. So relaxing to sit on my patio at night and watch them dance by. The frogs croaking in the pond nearby are the orchestra that they dance to….one of my favorite activities. Enjoy your evening and thanks for making me feel good again.

  58. Michelle Meyer says:

    Thanks for the evening walking tour! I’ve never been to New England and have always wanted to go, so it’s nice to get a little taste of it. Even an ice cream break along the way!

  59. Nellie says:

    Such a busy day here that it is very late for me to have a chance to check with your blog today. Now I see the wonder that I have missed.:-(
    We stopped at that church last fall on our trip, even have a picture or two of it, only from the outside. This was a delightful stroll around your town.
    Now I’m waiting to hear about the Ice Cream Sandwiches! What a temptation! xoxo

  60. cecelia says:

    yum! chocolate coffee chip! THanks for taking us along on your walk. Hydrangias were lovely and my favorite. I’ve been to Martha’s Vineyard twice and would love to visit again. The Black Dog restaurant was on fire when we were there! The fire trucks were there and no one could get inside. Tried a nice outdoor restaurant instead.
    I love your blog

  61. Carol Hesch says:

    Oh Susan–just loved this post. It is just a joy to look forward to your posts.
    Thank you for giving us all a reason to smile & be happy! At my work, above my desk I have your calendar page (several actually;) from a few years ago that says “Faith is the bird that feels the light & sings while the dawn us still dark. “. LOVE that!!! You are an inspiration! Carol

  62. Judy says:

    How wonderful is this?…..This blog is sooo… special! Congratulations my friend!

  63. Carol Ann says:

    I loved the stroll with you and Joe while listening to the Patti Page song! The neighborhood houses are so beautiful. Loved the white picket fence and the ice cream parlor. Your house is so beautiful. I loved ALL the photos but my favorite was the one of Joe asking if you had the camera…so sweet…!
    Love, Carol P.S. I LOVE lightening bugs. Always have !!!!!

  64. Lisa Nelson Jones says:

    LOVED the view of MV! I MUST MUST MUST find a bunny rabbit like yours on your banister! I CAN’T STAND the cuteness!

  65. Karen C says:

    What a great way to end the day, reading your blog Susan. Thank you for the great stroll. Felt like I was visiting MV. I had almost forgotten how to imagine. You put a smile on my face, now if I only had a cone, with Rocky Road!

  66. Heidi says:

    Thank you, Susan for this magical evening walk with you! I’m a California girl transplanted to Washington state (which can look very New Englandish in some places!) but my “heart magnet” has been in New England ever since a trip to Boston when I was 14. I returned again 6 years ago with my hubby and 2 teens in August and visited MV for the very first time. I was so enthralled with the homes in Edgartown, my family kept losing me as I strayed to take pictures of absolutely everything!!. : ) We only spent the day there so I’m really glad I could experience it at night through your enchanting descriptions! I’m going to have to go back again someday and see the lightning bugs! <3

  67. Laura says:

    Susan, your posts always make me smile! Aren’t summer nights just made for stealing innocent peeks into our neighbors’ homes? Rooms with decor that looks as if it were torn from the July issue of “Better Homes & Gardens”…everything is better in moonlight. 🙂

    Happy Summer!

  68. What a fabulous, fabulous post. I so enjoyed taking a walk in the dark with you. Thank you so much!!!!

  69. Sandra says:

    Ah yes, the music of the 1940’s and ’50’s…perfection! Patti Page had a voice like warm molasses and just as cozy. Loved the walk around your ‘hood and enjoyed seeing how other folks live. This afternoon I’m off to Budapest to see how they live, a long, long way from Thistle Cove Farm but such an exciting adventure! While on the road, I’ll try both to keep up with your blog and to blog my adventures.

  70. bj says:

    What a wonderful ‘hood you live in. Magical, I would say. You and your camera made me feel as if I was right there with you.
    Walking in MY neighborhood isn’t fun at all…nothing pretty to see…tract houses that all look just about the same and old enuf to look PLAIN..not old enuf to be interesting. No lightening bugs, either. 🙁
    xo bj

    • sbranch says:

      Sounds like where I grew up, all our houses looked alike, what was different probably is there were a jillion kids in every one of them.

  71. Pamela Rossi says:

    Dear Susan,
    Many many summers ago I led bicycle trips along the New England shore for a YMCA camp in Dingman’s Ferry, PA. One of the trips brought us to Martha’s Vineyard. I fell in love with it. During our trip we were fortunate to meet an ‘Islander’ and he took us (me and my campers) on his fishing trips. We had the best time. I so wanted to live on Martha’s Vineyard. It is so nice to be able to revisit the Vineyard through your blog.
    Thank you so very much.

  72. Vida says:

    Well I just know that we would be BFFs if we ever met. Your evening stroll just sang a song to me. It blesses my soul to know that a person can find their true happy. I pray you have many many evenings to stroll along in life.

  73. Jake says:

    I think I’ve truly arrived! Now, I’m not just one of the “girlfriends”! 🙂

    Your pictures are perfect. They show just what I want New England to look like – those big white houses and all the hydrangeas… Perfect!

    I also liked the way you remind us that a lot of things haven’t changed… the domestic sounds, the church choir… And the idea that it’s the same old moon that looks down on us. That’s a really lovely, and very comforting, thought.

    We might still be trying to figure out life, but I can tell you that this blog helps us do it! We are daily reminded of the splendor of the ordinary that we sometimes overlook.

    Have a great weekend!


    • sbranch says:

      You couldn’t have meant “just” — 🙂 Thanks Jake, glad you liked it!

      • Jake says:

        Of course not! Girlfriends are far superior, in my opinion… It was an honor to even be mentioned in the same sentence! (Whew… narrow escape!)

  74. Mar Bailey says:

    Oh Susan… you out did yourself this time. I’m having a rather rough day recovering from surgery , and needed a smile on my face and a song in my heart. Bingo! I knew I could count on you to bring on the magic! Thank you so much for all the joy and light you bring to each and every one of us. FOSB 4-EVER…I do love us!

  75. Madame samm says:

    O’ thank you for the stroll with you…hope you did not mind the company. The weather here is also very hot…over 100-107 all week. Thank goodness for sunsets when the temp’s drop to a balmy 89…lol. Your neighborhood is just delightful….
    You may need to bring a long a tri-pod with you wink….

  76. peg says:

    Summer nights were magical when we were kids. The Whitneys, the Vallettes, the Traugetts, the Goodyears, the Bonds…all the kids ran a-muck in the evening! Playing ‘Fly Up’, dodge ball, kick ball, riding bikes…we lived on a street one block long (Fair Oaks Avenue); at each end a street ran across it…so, we didn’t have too much traffic (thank God) which gave us a huge playground! The Good Humor man came regularly and sometimes our parents ponyed up…great fun. Simle pleasures by today’s standards! ♥

  77. Siobhan says:

    Wow. Almost dumbstruck. That was such a peek at & peak of perfection for a blog post! The music was sensational, and I hit the moonlight bay photo when Patty did…so much emotion. I’ve never seen lightning bugs either…maybe a quickie video will catch them next time? I love your mini-movies too! But this…oh my. Very well done, Ms. Branch! Brava!! Thank you so much for taking us along…

  78. Crystal says:

    Susan…thank you for making me smile tonight! I love all the beautiful photos and I really enjoy your whole website. I have visited Cape Cod/Nantucket in the past and I hope to come back and see Martha’s Vineyard! You make everything so appealing!!!

  79. Hi Susan,
    Your posting could be my husband and I…. We love to go on walks at night. We love to walk through our neighborhood and the little five minute or so walk that takes us down to the marina of Poulsbo, Washington, where we live. We actually have a sailboat there…. We have an icecream shop we love called Mora Iced Creamery… I love to get a sorbet called Mojito—so refreshing! I would love your town! Thank you for taking us along with you into the night for a nice walk! Love that house you featured and YOURS! xoxo Kim p.s. Have fun in California

  80. Leslee Frey says:

    I am a California dreamer (San Francisco East Bay) and everything you do makes me dream beautiful dreams! I loved every word of your piece on Nancy. I didn’t want it to end. And your trip up through Callifornia made me realize just how lucky I am to be here even though things in this state are pretty yukky right now. It’s what WE make of each day that counts and you remind all of us to look on the bright side and appreciate all life has to offer. AND, stop and smell the roses and savor the little things that come along each day. Keep “slapping” me into reality with your wonderful writings, paintings and your beautiful outlook on life. I am taking a deep breath right now!!!
    P.S. Try the Grand Marnier French Toast for breakfast while sitting on the deck of the Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill after a long walk on Moonstone Beach. What a way to start the day!

  81. Marty says:

    Hello Susan:
    Thank you so much for the story of Nancy Luce. Courage, perseverance. and the way that Ms. Luce found away to deal with her pain by sharing stories of her beloved chickens is inspirational. We don’t always have calm waters to sail through, but how we steer the ship is what is important. Thanks for the reminder!

  82. Alice says:

    Hi Susan, In Fall 2007 I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Cape Cod. As we were enjoying the trip we passed the graveyard and the tour guide pointed out the chickens there. A brief mention was made about the chickens and now I know the whole story of Nancy Luce and her chickens. Quite the inspiration she was. Thanks for bringing back a lovely memory of my visit to your beautiful spot.
    I loved visiting Cape Cod and long to return someday. Love your blogs and Willard!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, if you crane your neck, you can see her grave from the road; it’s pretty obvious with all the color compared to the gray antiquity of the rest of the cemetery.

  83. Rita May says:

    You’ve described my favorite kind of evening walk perfectly. Catching a glimpse of lives lived in homes is very comforting.

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