Rummikub and the President of the USA . . .

My Mom loves the game of Rummikub.  We like it too, but we don’t play it as often as we should if we ever have the slightest hope of keeping up with her.

  And since we’re going to be seeing her in a few weeks, I thought we should start practicing so we don’t embarrass ourselves.  Martha and Lowely came over yesterday afternoon; and we set ourselves up to play at the kitchen table.  It’s a simple game to learn, a cross between Mah Jong, Gin Rummy, and Scrabble; really fun.  So, there we were, playing our game, minding our own business, when, from out front on the street, we hear the crackle of a police radio.

We look at each other, everybody jumps up,  we’ve heard that sound before, we know what it means!  Police only hang around outside our house for one reason (so far) and that’s when the President of the United States is going to drive by. It’s happened before, which is why we have experience.  That’s why everyone on our street is flying their flag.  We want our street to look patriotic when the President drives by! (See Joe’s shutters? Don’t they look good?)

So everyone grabs their cameras (Lowely and Martha live on either side of us) … and out we go to the front to wait.

The policeman ignores us; he pretends he knows nothing.  He’s like one of those guards in front of Buckingham Palace, all business.  He answers all our questions by raising or lowering his eyebrows; but that’s enough for us.  We know the President is coming.  We also know we won’t actually see him, because, as I’m about to show you (I did a video of it; I knew you’d want to see it!), you can’t even tell which car he’s in. But it doesn’t matter, it’s still extremely amazing to see the leader of the free world go by your own house!  Now we are part of history.  Just like the people in the Campground that own the house where President Grant stayed in 1874 (only not quite, since he’s not staying here . . . I guess you don’t often hear much about the houses the Presidents drive by! But today you do!) I warn you, I have obviously not yet learned the art of being blasé when the President is going by my house!  Apparently (I didn’t know it until I saw this), I become a gibbering idiot.  Turn your sound down a little bit.

Remember, I didn’t have to show you this, don’t make fun of me.  I can’t help it if I get excited, have you ever seen this before?  In a small town?  Those cars were filled with secret service; probably the red phone to the Kremlin was in there. Amazing that it can be a regular day, the cat asleep on the back of the couch, lawnmowers in the neighborhood, us playing a game at the table and then . . . oh, yes, the President comes by.  (The island elves are at it again!)

OK, back to real life; just wanted to keep you in the loop!  Now, look at my tiles.  If you know how to play this game you are shaking your head; Lowely got all her tiles down and went out and I never even got on the board!  Points are bad in this game, and I’m stuck with all of these! My mom is going to make mincemeat of us.

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156 Responses to Rummikub and the President of the USA . . .

  1. Rachel says:

    I’m betting he is not in the ones with open windows 🙂 I can understand the excitement… but the rummikub hand is BAD 🙂

  2. Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

    I’d be right out there with you, girlfriend. How cool was that??!! What a pretty day you’re having. I love Rummikub but haven’t played it for years. I’ll have to dig it out and take it to the “Girlfriend’s Retreat” in three weeks. I’m taking your brownies too. Anything else you can suggest for a bunch of ladies hanging out in a gorgeous cabin in the Hocking Hills (Ohio)? I’m happy with movies, books and my knitting but I think the other girls are a bit skeptical. They’re city girls!!! Have a great afternoon, Susan!!

    • Kim says:

      Take extra needles and teach them all how to knit!!

      • sbranch says:

        What a good idea! They’d probably love it!

        • Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

          They don’t know it but I’ve already got kits prepared with face cloth patterns, needles and yarn. The patterns are summer flowers and I thought it would be a good reminder of the end of summer. Hope they’re in a “learning” mode!!

    • Nellie says:

      Have you tried Mexican Train Dominoes? A group of us had a great time with that during a week-end retreat.

      • Julie says:

        We are addicted to Mexican Train Dominoes!
        It’s the only thing the guys love playing too. Hmmm, we’ll have to give Rummikub a go. Just so there isn’t a lot of mathematics for this math dummy (me).
        Love the shutters…they are like eyelashes for the house. 🙂
        Susan, that is sooo cool that you got it video-taped for your family history!
        Happy Weekend!

    • Deborah says:

      Hi Margie: Girlfriends retreat, that sounds so great!!! How about Scrabble? There is a new version out – Food Scrabble, I really want to get this. I LOVE Scrabble! Enjoy the retreat!

  3. Ann says:

    Hmm, haven’t got the slightest idea what you are talking about with the Rummikub! Looks much to difficult to me! But I do remember when I was about 8 years old THE QUEEN and THE DUKE drove past our house! This was in the 1950s mind! And of course everyone knew she was coming to our small seaside town in Wales and we were all standing out in front of our houses waiting for them….. but I still have that image in my head.

  4. Evelyn says:

    So exciting! I met Robert Kennedy’s son Joe at 30th St. Station in Philadelphia while having breakfast with my mother and some friends in 1971 or 72. It was one of the most exciting things I ever experienced in my life up to that point.

  5. mari1017 says:

    First of all – the shutters look great as does your beautiful house!!! Terrific job. Joe ! Next, how exciting and thanks for sharing the President going right by your house – very cool! You are so cool to share that with us ♥♥♥
    I don’t know how to play RummiKub, but it looks like Mah Jong which I don’t know how to play either – but now Scrabble… 🙂
    We’re hunkering down here in coastal Virginia (in the sunshine) for Hurricane Irene to come – prepared for everything except evacuation – but friends and lifelong area residents say that where we live will be ok – we’ll see!!! Work is closed tomorrow.
    As it heads your way, I know you’ll be prepared – 🙂 Thanks again for the lovely post.

  6. dawn says:

    And your house looks absolutely beautiful with that flag hanging there. And the shutters. 🙂
    What an experience!

  7. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Finally, the Pres drives by! Actually, he was probably taking your stroll through the woods and all the official cars were a distraction! Loved the excitement and the shutters and your flag, they are all terrific! Did Girl Kitty get in your game and give you extra tiles……golly what a crummy hand……yup, you’ll be mincemeat to Mom! The best part of that game is when you think you can do a whole bunch of switcharoos with the tiles, to play your last few, and then realize it won’t work, and then try to put them all back, and the next play somebody else wins! 🙂

  8. Sharon says:

    I wonder how comforting it is to be followed by an ambulance?

    I saw the Queen and Prince Philip in a motorcade about 6 years ago. It really is quite exciting even though you can’t see them but you know they are there!!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, I don’t think it would be a comfort! Unless you were a hypochondriac…then you’d probably love it!

  9. Courtney says:

    Ok, I haven’t had the president actually drive by…but he did fly over our house in some cool air force jet! That’s the best I can come up with. That game really stretches my math abilities…and I’m a teacher! Maybe it’s just “beginning of school” brain-fry. I love the look of your house…looks great with the flag!

  10. happy zombie says:

    Oh Susan, that is soooooo exciting! And I love your excitement over it (and so glad you video’d it). I think you should do a second video, same video – but do a voice over… “This is our house, just after we pulled in… just after our entourage dropped us off. There goes our Secret Service detail… and our press corps… and our in-case-of-emergency team… “

  11. Kim says:

    I watched a second time just so I could devote my attention to your house! What a smart cookie you are to take the video with YOUR house in the background. I would have stood in my driveway with a view of my neighbor’s houses. Much better for future viewing with your own house in your movies.

  12. Lin says:

    Oh, Susan, you made me smile again! I LOVE Rummikub – we play it all the time when we’re with MY parents! And yes, I kind of know how all that Pres stuff feels – we were lucky enough to MEET the elder Pres. Bush in Maine soon after 9/11 in an Orvis fishing store! It’s been 10 years………..He had a much smaller entourage, however :))

  13. Janie Phillips says:

    Your beautiful house with it’s superbly painted shutters and Old Glory proudly displayed is undoubtedly part of the charm that keeps the Obamas coming back to MV. I can’t help but notice that they drive by every year. That should tell you something! Love your excitement and love you. xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      The flag flying in New England drew me here, so pretty on these old houses, but I think the reason Obama drives by my house, is because this is the only way you can get to the golf course! xo to you Janie.

  14. Jacqui G says:

    How exciting! I would be just like you- running for the camera. Kudos to Joe for the great job on the shutters. Oh, and I am a dismal Rummikub player (sigh).

  15. Jennie says:

    The house looks lovely- and how nice of the president to be sure that his entire brigade would drive by in black to match your shutters! 😉

  16. Country Gal says:

    WOW ! What an exciting day ! Great post ! Have a wonderful day !

  17. Amy says:

    Love it!! I also thought how smart it was with your house in the video! Thanks for posting for us!

  18. Donna Hamilton says:

    Ths shutters on the house look fantastic — way to go Joe! The Rummikub game looks complicated, but I bet it is fun. I have never heard of Rummikub before and I love games. As for the President and which vehicle he is in — he would be in one of the two SUVs between the SUVs with the back seat windows and the batch window of the vehicle open. Open windows are for the Secret Service.
    However, if he really wanted to throw everyone off he could ride in the ambulance!!

    • sbranch says:

      I can tell right now you’d be good at Rummikub!

      • Donna Hamilton says:

        Thank You….I will try to find this game and see if my girlfriends will join in a little friendly competition. They usually will do anything if I cook also! Have a great day!

  19. Gert stevens says:

    Oh Susan I just love it! You are like me..when I use my can always hear me rambling on! Lol and can’t imagine what I’d sound like if I saw the Prez’s enterague go by! Smile! You did a great job with your camera! Oh and your house looks amazing! Tell Joe he did a marvelous job! The shutters look fantastic! (good job!)

    Still haven’t got that game yet….but I just know it would be fun to play!


  20. Anita says:

    Susan, if you had had a batch of brownies in the oven, he probably would have stopped! 🙂 By the way, the shutters and flag look great.

  21. Carlie H says:

    I love game night!! We have one every couple of months and I love playing games with my grown kids. I haven’t played Rummikub but it looks like fun! I never have to worry about the president interrupting a game though!!

  22. Nellie says:

    Oh, Susan! How exciting! I would have been just as excited as you, maybe more so.

    I’ve never played Rummikub, but I love Scrabble.

    Do you have a storm siren on Martha’s Vineyard? I’m hoping the worst of Irene will slip past you with hardly a notice.


    • sbranch says:

      No siren that I know about…I don’t think it will be too bad, as long as the trees stay up, they are the thing that could be a problem. Thank you!

  23. Heather Mavis Rushing says:

    Now what I want to know is did Obama know he was riding buy SUSAN BRANCH’S house? That would be more impressive to me.
    I know that I would not be able to help going to stand outside my house if the President were going by whether I liked him or not.
    I was looking back at your campground blog. It was interesting to me because I live year round at “Camp Faithful”, Connecticut Advent Christian Camp Meeting Association. We just had our 142nd camp meeting. It would be lovely if we could get our camp to look as beautiful as the one at MV again.

  24. Jessica says:

    You are so cute! How could you *not* get excited with all that Presidential hub-bub happening right in front of your very own house! And you just know he was looking at how patriotic and beautiful your home looked…those shutters really look spectacular (that Joe’s a keeper!)…as does the flag, I’m sure it was appreciated very much!
    I’ve not heard of Rummicub, but I’d love to learn, it looks fun…and challenging!
    Thanks so much for sharing…
    xo J~

  25. TJ says:

    Hi Susan,
    I just sent the following e-mail message to my friends reminding them of when we were visiting MV and on a mission to locate your home…and we did right after following behind President Clinton as he headed to lunch in VH…later the same day, we had dinner at the BD Restaurant and sat one table away from Spike Lee…and then I went home and sent you pictures (just to show I had been there…in a manner of speaking) and a letter detailing everything about our trip…and the best part was that you sent me a card saying “Hi Teri” just like we were best friends and you mentioned that Joe laughed at some of the funny parts of my letter…but I digress as is often the case…here’s the message I sent to my friends today…HOPE IT MAKES YOU SMILE!

    “Check out the video of President Obama’s motorcade driving right pass the home of Susan Branch today…I’ll bet Michelle was on a mission to locate the home of her favorite cookbook author (just like someone that I know personally…LOL)”

  26. Barbara (WA) says:

    How amazingly cool !! I was wondering why the motorcade would go by your house (because you are famous? your house is on the main road? or what?) until I read your comment about the golf course, haha!! That was a lot of cars, more than I would imagine. THE president going by YOUR house is too awesome. Once I watched the King and Queen of Norway walk by in our local Viking Fest parade. I even have a photo :o)

  27. Sheryle Towle says:

    Susan….how exciting! OMG! THE PRESIDENT!!! Actually, a good friend of ours is in the Secret Service & with Obama. Can you imagine! You did a great job videotaping…I love your 45 sec. movies. Makes me want to eat popcorn! Anyway, the shutters look wonderful. I am certain that the President noticed them! No comment on that game…looks complicated. We play Yahtzee a lot here. Have a nice evening. Are you ready for Irene?

    • sbranch says:

      Joe poo-poos all hurricanes and sits on the end of the pier for his front row seat, which of course drives me crazy. We’re probably as ready as we’ll ever be!

  28. Mary says:

    Your Rummikub game is hilarious!!! It’s my mom’s favorite game, too!! And we all love it!
    Thanks for sharing your excitement with us! Love you!

  29. Terri says:

    I love how excited you are! I have a pic of me and two good friends standing in our yard with Air Force One flying over our heads. Can’t even imagine how excited we’d have been if the President was actually driving by. And your house looks beautiful!

  30. Kelly H-Y says:

    I’d totally be doing the same thing as you … and my 9-year old son would be standing right next to me – also recording the whole thing for the purpose of remembering all the ‘cool trucks’ that drove by! 🙂

  31. Carmel says:

    Quilts, Illumination Night, a picnic with fireworks, Rumicub, a Presidential motorcade excitement and more … it’s been a visual (and sound) feast with fun and sweetness! It’s like comfort food! All have been an especially nice respite from the news, an earthquake here in Virginia and waiting for Hurricane Irene. If we loose power from the storm, I’ll not only really miss all the necessities but your blog as well. Susan and everyone – take care.

  32. Sharon Calvert says:

    Susan, I found myself scanning the game table for those cute scorecards posted on F.O.S.B. on August 15…surely they would boost the win in your favor!

  33. Leanne says:

    Oh Susan you are a scream!
    IMAGINE if he had stopped and said hello. He didn’t know who he missed did he?

    Love Leanne NZ

  34. Rebekah Lynch says:

    How fun! Michelle and her girls (including her mom) were here in Oregon last week, visiting her brother. I really wanted to drive down to Corvallis and see if I could see her….You always wonder what they did for fun while they were here… Probably enjoyed their family…. Your house is beautiful, love the freshened shutters and flag. Ours is staying up till 9/11/11. Rummikub looks to hard for me!

  35. Carolyn Ann says:

    The American Flag and the Shutters are fit for a President! Your house looks great. Do you know where the president is headed when he drives down your street? Or does he just want to see the “famous Susan Branch’s house”?

  36. Joan says:

    How cool! I would have been blithering too. MV seems like a place of non-stop excitement and cuteness. Your house is so pretty! I was wondering do you have for sell cloth calendars with your cozy artwork on them?

  37. Stephanie says:

    That was so much fun! How much do I love your beautiful flag? I love being purely patriotic – just loving America and all it stands for. Fantastic. Your house looked like a perfect American home. Your narration was perfect – I would’ve been screaming, “Mr. President! Mr. President!”

    Tell Joe – way to go on those shutters! They look great. He got them up just in time. Otherwise today’s trip would’ve sounded like this:

    Malia: Look at that beautiful home!
    Sasha: Look at the big American flag!
    Michelle: Yes, what a lovely New England home.
    President Obama: It would look better with shutters.

    See? Just in time…

  38. Angie says:

    Susan, so cool! Do you know why the President was on the island? I’m going to have to learn Rummikub, sounds like fun!

  39. Suzanne says:

    Years ago, then President, Jimmy Carter came down the street 3 doors from my house. His aunt lived in the historic district of Roswell, Georgia. Her house was just over the fence from the house where Teddy Roosevelts mother grew up and his parents married…My children and I did watch for him and he had the windows down and waved….We may not always agree with our leaders, but if we lose the respect for the office then we really are lost. That was actually more fun than when the olympic torch was carried down our main street. Could not even tell you the year but I will say I was really much younger!!!! All of this helps us feel a part of the world around us as you make us a part of your world. Many thanks.

    • sbranch says:

      Well said!

    • Paula B. says:

      Loved this Suzanne, thinking of all the history that has gone on literally in your backyard. I agree about our need to resprect the office of the presidency, don’t know when we lost our common courtesies.

  40. Lesley says:

    Susan, I loved reading about your visit from The President. The video is terrific. I can relate to your excitement. In April we stayed in Morro Bay. The next morning driving down scenic Hwy. 1, we suddenly had to stop. A motorcycle cop was halting traffic from both directions. Along came lots of other motorcycle cops at a fast speed passing in the opposite direction, followed by several Highway Patrol cars and about 4 other cars (black like the ones in your video). Behind them were more Highway Patorl cars and motorcycles. We knew from the news that Michelle Obama was in the area. We thinks she passed by us. Like you, we couldn’t see in the windows, even so it was exciting.

  41. Karen P says:

    You’ll always remember the day you play Rummikub with the girlfriends and the President drove by! How fun! Memories in the making…so cute! I LOVE your minute-by-minute commentary on the video! xoxo…kp

  42. Ginny Stanley says:

    Dear Susan,
    You’re such a hoot! You could make anything fun. Good thing Joe got those shutters up when he did. They look great – kudos to Joe.
    If you don’t mind, I have a post request. I’m a little confused about the layout of your house. Was this the front of your house in the parade picture? And if so, what about the beautiful, long part of the house we see in a lot of pictures (like the background of the quilts on the clothesline). And then there’s the kitchen door pics and the picket fenced garden pics. I’m so confused????? Would you please give us a “tour”? Just so I can get it straight in my head? I was trying to figure out why the police would be outside your door – didn’t realize your front door was right on the street. Anyway, I hope you will consider my request and thanks for another wonderful post!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, the front of the house is on the street, they way they often did them in the old days. The picket fence garden is on the right of the driveway you see in that video. The kitchen is at the back of the house. On the driveway side of the house, the kitchen door goes out to the picket fence garden, and, on the other side, the other kitchen door goes out to the back porch and garden … that’s the bigger yard with the clothesline in it, and a long driveway to the other street behind us. Make sense? We have a street in front of us, and a street behind us.

      • Ginny Stanley says:

        Thank You and yes, it makes perfect sense. It’s very pretty – front to back and in between 🙂

        I get so excited when you comment on my post. It’s like….
        “OH MY GOSH!!! Susan Branch talked to ME. She’s so awesome” – lol.

  43. Cindy says:

    Very exciting! I’d be going crazy! Reagan came to our town in the 80’s, but I wasn’t a fan and didn’t go to see him. But Obama, yes!

  44. Janet says:

    Now, that was fun. You made me smile and I’m writing this at 10:00 at night-just before I go to bed!
    Thank you for finishing the day in such a cute way! I love the excitement and chatter. I have to admit I have never, ever heard of Rummicub. I must havve been living under a cabbage leaf all this time 🙂

  45. Gail Mangurian says:

    Hi Suan,

    I am taking a break from making favors for my daughter’s wedding. They are lovely ivory organza circles filled with Jordan’s almonds and tied up with a beautiful satin ribbon. I remember my Mom making favors for my wedding too. Your blog is the perfect way to relax and get re-energized. I love your home. The flag looks awesome on it. How exciting to have the Pres drive by! Thank you for all of your wonderful posts. I enjoy them every day. xoxo Gail

  46. bj says:

    I’ve been waiting and waiting to see if you see him or not…:))

  47. queenmum says:

    Dearest Susan, how could we ever make fun of you? It IS very exciting to see a motorcade going past one’s house! When I was honeymooning in Kennebunk I saw one of President Bush’s boats go flying by the beach I was walking on and almost wet myself! The next night we had to stop as we were passing by Walker Point, so that a VERY long motorcade could exit the point on to the road in front of us. I was so, so excited and my husband just looked at me as though I had lost it. Perhaps the President will pay you a visit one day!
    xoxo from the boonies

  48. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Hi! Our Rumikub game lets you put down 4 tiles of the same number–as long as they are 4 different colors! I’m betting if we compared the games, the directions might be a little different depending on when they came out… We had that happen with the game Uno. We started playing it with our California relatives one time years ago and realized both families had games with slightly different rules and directions! It was sort of funny! We ended up comparing the actual directions and they were different! But if your game only lets you have runs of 3 tiles of consecutive numbers of the same color, I think I like ours better! 🙂

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      Susan: Duh, I just looked at your hand again and now I “get it”–why you couldn’t get on the table to start out–four 2’s wouldn’t add up high enough! Someone gave us this game years ago and we love it but I forgot about how you have to start out…We love to play this in the wintertime…keeps your brain clicking… 🙂

  49. Siobhan says:

    Never heard of Rummikub! An education today! And, Teri is funny…wouldn’t it be great if it really was Michelle coming by to check YOU out, and was excited to see you outside in person! lol

    Another sweet share. Thank you. So nice to come home to after a long day at work. 🙂

  50. Cheryl Colazas says:

    Susan, Just yesterday I was wondering if the President’s visit to your hometown was affecting you at all, more thinking the crowds and increased security. Never thinking he would actually drive by your house! I would have been right on the curb next to you trying to get info out of the policeman too, taking cues from the raised eyebrows, etc. What a thrill for any American with a patriotic heart! Thanks for sharing!

  51. Barbara says:

    My Mom was a Rummikub nut too! We all had to play when she came over, I love games and game night!
    I think it’s great that you get excited when the President comes down your street, the Vice-President from a different administration came to our sleepy little burg for a fund raiser, everybody was at the end of their driveways waving flags and taking pictures. There were a lot less cars so we could figure out which one he was in. Exciting!!!!

  52. Rosanne says:

    I laughed when you described yourself as a “gibbering idiot” when you saw the President pass by, because that’s exactly how I felt when meeting you at a book signing years ago. Later I thought, was that really me chattering away like a crazy person, trying to tell Susan how wonderful she is? It’s such a treat to be able to check in with you all the time now! Here’s hoping Irene skirts right by you, and everyone else in her path.

  53. Jeanie says:

    I really love this post I cant wait to look up and find rummikub I anxious to learn about it dont laugh but I also have baked brownies and aired out my pllows and quilts this week!!!!!!!!

  54. Carolyn Ann says:

    Susan I am praying for you and everyone who is in Hurricane Irene’s path. Hope all goes well during the next few days. I’m worried about you guys!!!

  55. Joann says:

    Susan—no making fun here- I’d be the same way—I’d be screaming out—-‘Hey Mr. President……I’m over here—wave to me!’ This was exciting and I just LOVE the big flag—totally made even more beautiful by the exquisite work of Joe on those shutters—-what a good man he is!!!
    Thank you for sharing and filming this—I can’t believe so many cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, etc. had to come along—-does this happen for him if he just wants to go have a cup of coffee? My goodness!!! I wonder how they get all of that on the ferry!
    Have a lovely Friday and bring those quilts in before the storm!!

  56. Helen says:

    I would be pretty excited too. You don’t see something like this everyday. Amazed how many cars, vans, and motorcycle police come along. Most impressed with the ambulance, why is that necessary 🙂 You learn something new every day. Thanks for sharing this little snibbit of your daily life. Keep those posts coming. Love them. Helen, the quiltmaker.

    • sbranch says:

      Joe had restaurant here for many years, Pres. Clinton came there to eat; brought person to watch food being cooked–he had poison kit with him! I don’t know why; may be simple case of boys with toys.

      • Carolyn Ann says:

        What kind of restaurant did Joe have? Must have been good if Pres. Clinton ate there. Now he gets to cook for you, his sweetie!!! LOL

        • sbranch says:

          Was famous here, called Black Dog…he ran it 23 years–yes and he is a very good cook!

          • Carolyn Ann says:

            Wow! Between the two of you cooking, I bet your friends love when they get invited over for dinner!!!

          • sbranch says:

            And I love to go to theirs too! A lot of good cooks around here, I think they’re inspired by winter when there’s not much to do but cook and eat!

  57. Hi Susan,

    Just a couple of weeks ago, Michelle Obama came to Oregon to visit her brother who lives in Corvallis, about 40 miles north of us. Being the intrepid presidential followers that we are (not that we get a lot of practice here in Eugene!), we found out where her brother lived and drove by. Well, we saw the motorcade and that was it. A few days later, I decided to take the boys out to the airport, just five minutes from our house, to see the plane she came in on. Just as we were leaving, the police started blocking roads and telling us we had to move. By sheer luck, we stopped on the side of the road and saw Mrs. Obama’s motorcade drive by. There we were, a dad and six of his sons waving like their lives depended on it! The motorcade looked just like the one in your video, so we had no idea which car she was in. Did it matter to us? Not in the least! We were just so excited that she might have seen US! We were the only ones out, so perhaps she appreciated our enthusiasm.

    Years ago, I traveled to Victoria and Vancouver, B.C. to see the Queen. On both occasions I got to give her flowers. I can remember those moments so clearly, but I also know that I was completely and totally speechless. I think that happens to a lot of people when they meet or see someone that is so famous. It’s a shock to the system to see people who you “know” so well in the flesh!

    Finally, I’d agree with one of the earlier posters… I’d be pretty thrilled to be driving on your street and realize that it was Susan Branch’s house that I was passing!

    Take care,


    • Paula B. says:

      Great post Jake, I’m sure Mrs. Obama saw all of you and that it cheered her! Wow, you saw the Queen twice! So funny what you said about Susan’s street: I was chatting with my much younger hairdresser, something about Susan Branch, and she said, “Oh, I know Susan… I used to drive down her street all the time.” And I thought, what is wrong with this girl she doesn’t know who I’m talking about – I haven’t even finished my story yet. Then, I remembered where she had moved from, Susan’s island (where Susan is the celebrity sighting).

  58. Peggy says:

    That was so much fun to see the motorcade and your home looks terrific! The shutters and flag made it look perfect for the video. I would love to know in what year your home was built. Any history that you know of? The reason I am asking is because my son moved to New England after graduating from college a few years ago and purchased his first home. It was built in 1805 and he adores it. I’m trying to research the history of his town and that home. Thanks for your wonderful blog; you inspire all of us with your creativeness and charming writing!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, when we bought the house some photos came with it that were taken around 1900…it was built in 1849 by an Arctic Whaling captain who’s name was Smith (both Joe and I have mom’s with Smith as maiden names). Thank you Peggy!

  59. Bridget says:

    Good morning Susan,

    I’ve enjoyed your inspiring work for many years. Been thinking of you with Irene approaching the east coast. I’m in South Carolina and survived hurricane Hugo. Not something I want to experience again.

    Hope you and Joe will be safe since this storm is headed your way. Ya’ll batten down the hatches and don’t forget to gas up your cars. Oops, you’re on an island.

  60. Kirsten Wichert says:

    O.K. so I only subscribed to your blog today, oh I mean tonight, oh I guess it’s 4:o6 am, 8-26! I’m sure I’m too late for you to ever read this……..but I’ll leave my comment anyway!!! I’ve loved you for years (got all your books), even met you once at a book signing a few years ago in So. Cal. Reading your blog is like getting a piece of a book you wrote…..everyday!! How great is that! From what I see and read we(fans) are all like you……we love the same things, do many of the same things, etc. Do all us “boomers” long for a vintage lifestyle? I too experienced seeing the presidential “parade” at the Long Beach, Ca. airport last year. We saw him land his jet here. I so love that you share all of your great experiences with us, especially the quilts on the clothesline! I am currently re-reading my Autumn Book, but it’s 100 degrees here….sooooooo I won’t be baking yet!

  61. Judy says:

    Looks like my hand when I play Kellee but I have to say… I am learning my best moves from that girl and now I am a force to contend with. 🙂 Kellee is going to read this so I have to sound real tough and maybe she will be scared.

  62. Teresa says:

    He really should have one of those cars like the queen with clear windows so we can see him doing the wave and all. Too bad you couldn’t actually see him. I am jealous of him cause he is on MY dream vacation! Maybe they were headed to the beach for a picnic.

  63. Michelle says:

    President Bush came to our small town about 8-9 years ago. At the time I was teaching first grade. We had planned to walk students down and park ourselves on the predicted route (about a 1/2 mile away) but that morning it started raining. As we watched the start of coverage on the tv, the rain stopped. Another teacher and I couldn’t take it anymore and gathered up the kids (about 50), our little American flags, and a few umbrellas and started walking – fast! We just made it to the route when the motorcade went by. The kids were so excited and I hope that they will always remember practically running to catch a glimpse of the president!

  64. Paula B. says:

    That is pretty cool, having the president drive by, I completely understand the excitement. But when I saw the title of the post I thought that it was about the pres. playing Rummikub while vacationing, darn! This game is a favorite on our game nights when we have a smaller group although we have never had a situation where someone couldn’t get into play…. We also love Canasta and Quiddler (that is usually our warm-up to get the evening of games in play). We have two game nights already scheduled for next month so that will help take the sting out of summer’s end.

  65. Carol Lichwala (gramz) says:

    How beautiful your house looks for the President to see. I bet he made a comment about it as he passed. Joe did a great job on the shutters.
    I remember when President John Kennedy came to Springfield. I was 15 yrs. old and couldn’t wait to see him. He was in an open air car…couldn’t do that today. I pushed my way through the crowd and went up on our Symphony hall stairs to shake his hand…..and he asked me where I went to school and how old I was. I think I answered him…not sure….LOL!
    Please stay safe from this hurricane that is coming up the coast. I cooked all my veggies that I bought from the farmer’s market yesterday. I also have peaches, pears, and grapes. We lose power easy here.

  66. Cameron says:

    I loved your video! It’s always exciting to have such a “close encounter” with someone like the President. My boyfriend was in college at UVA when Obama was campaigning, and Michelle came to UVA to give a talk–my boyfriend got to meet her! I had graduated already and was too busy working at my boring office job to come see her, and I was soooooo jealous of Chris’s good fortune at meeting the future First Lady.

    Stay safe from the hurricane! Believe it or not my high school cross country coach had us practicing during Hurricane Fran (in Virginia, where I was raised). We had to climb over downed trees and run through puddles up to our knees–and could barely keep upright at times. I always knew our coach was crazy!

  67. Meg Ambabo says:

    I’ve seen the Presidential motorcade a couple of times, but never in front of my house. How cool that must have been! I’ve never heard of Rummikub before, but just looked up the instructions online. It sounds like so much fun, I think I have to go buy it and restart our old family game nights.

  68. Carol C says:

    Love the excitement over O’Bama’s visit! Our most exciting one was on a plane from Atlanta to NYC Jimmy Carter came around speaking to everyone and shaking hands. I was working a crossword and he commented how he loved to do them too.
    When we got to NY we were headed into the Crown Room to await our flight to Tanzania. My husband (Jim Carter) was showing his ID when Jimmy, Rosalind and the whole entourage came in behind us. Jim said,” Here comes the other one.” We had a good laugh at the double take of the agents.

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, very sweet Carol. Nice of him to stop and talk to everyone! Sending you love, from me and Nellie. xoxo

  69. Ann Y. says:

    Susan – Your enthusiasm about the President is part of your enthusiasm about LIFE….and that is why everyone adores your books, your blogs, and YOU. It sounds very exciting and I am so glad you shared with us. People do get excited about presidents – and they should. Even if they are long gone from us…. In 1960 John F. Kennedy was campaigning for the office and came to the little ( and I mean TINY) town of Sugar Notch, PA. Sugar Notch was what was considered a “coal patch”…a little town that sprang up around the coal mines. We lived in a “company house” that was owned by the coal company that employed my father as a miner. Everyone was excited that he would be driving through town…but he stopped. And gave a speech. And stood on the back of the firetruck in front of the town hall and reached down to shake hands. I was 5 years old, dressed in my best red coat and hat with the red vlevet inside the hat….and my sister lifted me up to shake JFK’s hand. It was amazing ! Later that day the CBS evening news said “Today JFK campaigned in coal towns, driving past unpainted miner’s shacks that lacked indoor plumbling…” Wow, we didn’t think we were that bad off. Anyway…years later as a school librarian, whenever JFK’s name comes up, I tell my students I shook his hand. And it is so nice to see they are amazed…and tell their tales of “brushes with Presidents.” So enjoy the magic, the elves are so good where you are, and thank you for sharing the magic with us all.

    • sbranch says:

      That was wonderful Ann! How great!

    • Siobhan says:

      Beautiful story, Ann! Brought tears to my eyes imagining you as a little one all dressed up…so precious!

      • Ann Y. says:

        Thanks…it was my sister who passed away almost 20 years ago who took me ( she was 12 years older ) and I can’t think of that time without remembering her, too. JFK was running against Nixon and she ( though she could not vote) was for Nixon…that’s why she lifted me up to shake his hand ! Memories are wonderful things….thanks for sharing mine !

  70. Theresa says:

    Your home looks absolutely stunning !! Love the American pride of ownership..and the video is stupendous!You are as professional as everyone else…you go girl!!! Peace!

  71. Kimi says:


    I think you handle the Presidents convoy just fine and yes that was exciting! The house shutters look new that means Joe did a good job! Susan I’m not to familiar Rummikub but its sounds fun… Enjoy your trip! and Susan enjoy your Mom.

    “Gods Peace”

  72. Victoria Miller says:

    Way back in the 1960s, President Kennedy’s motorcade went by our house in Lakewood, Ohio. I was in school, but my mother got all dolled up and stood in front of the house. When the President came by, he was in a convertible and waving, and he called to my mother, “Hi, how are you doing,” or something similar. My mother voted for him, and my father and brother didn’t speak to her for a week. Now they are all gone, but to all concerned I say “thanks for the memory.” I smile whenever I think of it. Thanks for reminding me. Best wishes for a lovely time with your mother!

  73. Marilyn says:

    How exciting! I love how everyone on your street flew their flag. There is something so inviting, and patriotic, about flags proudly flying in New England.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  74. nancy says:

    Praying for your safety and all on the east coast especially family members….son, nephew & family, and niece. May Irene veer more out to sea than expected!

  75. Kate says:

    Thats fun, house looks great. Never heard of Rummkiub before, will have to google it! It is exciting meeting someone famous and nobody bigger than our President. A number of years ago I was at the Vail Dance Festival and Pres. & Mrs. Bush the first live in Vail in the summers and they came in and sat in the row in front of us! They were so nice, got up and shook peoples hands and waved, got a standing ovation from the crowd. Was hard to watch the performance, I kept looking at them!. But they are just normal folks with a very important job. He reminded me of my Grandpa. But it was quite thrilling in a way I didnt expect from myself. Obama’s been in Denver but not down any streets where the average person could see him, long gone are the JFK days of the convertible. Our loss. Thanks for shareing that!

  76. Joan says:

    I couldn’t get the video up – all I had was a black square! Wah wah! We love Rummikub too, but you all must play differently – how come you didn’t go “down” with the 11’s or 10’s?
    Looking forward to Twittering from the Twain in a few weeks!

  77. Mae says:

    What fun it was to read your post today (all days are fun when reading your blog)it made me think about seeing President Clinton’s motorcade in New York City one year while on vacation. We were so excitied about seeing it and all the local New York people were so put out that streets were blocked and you couldn’t even cross the street from one side to the other. It was such a fun thing to happen and it looked just like your little film except in New York they drove much faster!
    Thank you for all the joy you give so many of us through your art work, writing, books and the blog. You make the world a better place!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, we have these narrow, made for horses, streets; our neighborhood is big old shady trees, it’s quiet and sooooo sloooooow; those Batman cars really don’t fit in! I would think the pace of NY would be just right!

  78. Tana says:

    Please take care! That hurricane is a big one.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m going over to Twitter, I’ll kind of update everyone there…what we have now is blue skies, no humidity, and not a bit of wind. Too bad it’s not going to stay that way!

  79. Dannelle Kinslow says:

    Dear Susan, Thank you so much for being the bright spot in my days.
    I love your blog, newsletters and, oh just everything you do!
    Thanks for sharing the video, and I am going to try to be in San Luis Obispo on October 9th! the first time I knew about you was when I got a children’s cookbook by you way back when!
    I am just an old lady from California who enjoys the homemade goodies you share with us!

  80. pam says:

    I love your little video of the Presidential Parade! I would be excited too. A few years ago the President flew over our house in a big black helicopter. Very exciting stuff.

    Love the view of your house and omg my video of driving by your place would be all squealy and out of control… with my family in the background trying to get me to settle down.

    The game however scares me. I am going to check into that so I can see what it’s all about. Love you. xop

  81. Ginnie says:

    So cool to see the Pres go by! And please be careful if Irene comes to your neighborhood – we don’t want you & Joe to blow away!

  82. Jan Pogue says:

    Hey, I get goose bumps when he does by. And why not?

    • sbranch says:

      Always feel like gov’t is like high school. President is like best dancer, best dresser, most popular boy, all wrapped in one.

  83. How very exciting for you! With all due respect, though, one small correction: Mr. Obama is not the president of the free world. He is the president of the United States only.

    We in the rest of the free world do not claim him as our president since we have our own national leaders. Just to keep things in perspective…

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, well, you are right! Giddiness made me forget! Sorry! I did say “leader of free world” but that’s bad too! Sometimes I forget who I’m talking to!

  84. Rita says:

    Oh, Susan Branch (and I do think of you as Susan Branch, not Susan or Ms. Branch but Susan Branch), I do love you! Your excitement over the President passing by is a delight. He passed through MN a few weeks ago. No, I did not see him, I had to work…but, I drove on the road he would drive on later and saw the road blocks going up. I was so excited at the prospect of seeing him (I missed him by an hour) that I called my husband and my mom to tell them, yep, I was driving on the road that the President would drive on. I was giddy with excitement, so no need to apologize! The sweetest sight was the little boy on his bike waiting by the side of the road just in case he might catch a glimpse of the President’s bus. I guess we all feel that excitement of being close to the Commander-in-Chief.

  85. Lori says:

    Such a totally relatable moment, Susan! I loved your video. The policeman does sound like one of London’s Palace Guards…no expression or response, except you got some eyebrow wagging, lucky you. 🙂 I’ve never seen any President, but we have Nixon monuments all over our town, San Clemente (which was known as the Western White House when he was in office)…..framed photos in restaurants, statues, “Nixon ate here” signs, etc. When we first moved here, we ate at a restaurant in San Juan Capistrano, El Adobe, and sat (supposedly) in Nixon’s favorite chairs! That’s our famous-claim-to-fame. (kinda meager, huh) 🙂

  86. Debbie says:

    No need to apologize Susan. I would have been the same way. So exciting that he drove by your house and oh my goodness what alot of vehicles. woowee. Thank you so much for sharing the excitment. Felt like we were right there with y’all.

  87. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Wow, how exciting to have the President drive down your street! Thank you for sharing your cool video. (My husband Ken liked it too! ) Every day I can’t wait see your world, which makes my world alittle more cheerier! Even though I did not take a vacation this summer, I feel like your blog takes me away on little mini minutes of vacation time each and every day!!! God Bess you for all you do!!!

  88. Mary Ann says:

    Loved the video, we should always be excited to see our President pass by and I’m sure the whole family loved the flags and folks filming the long line of black cars. And I have to admit that was the worst Rummikub hand I’ve seen in a long time, nothing worst then not be able to even get down. We play Rummikub and very competitive games of Shanghai, our granddaughters have been cut throat game plays since they could count! Now we have 3 generations around the tables laughing and teasing the losers…wonderful memories.

  89. I love it that you and your neighbors all hung flags to welcome the president to your neighborhood. Very sweet.


  90. Hi Susan,
    A reader of my blog told me that I had posted your house yesterday. I was on island visiting my parents and on driving back from a trip to Tashmoo, (which was my blog post subject), we saw your fantastic house, so I grabbed a pic. I LOVE your house!! Had fun watching your video of the Presidents motorcade too.

    • sbranch says:

      Small world right? Great photos, I hope the island still looks like that in a couple of days! It will, I have full faith!

  91. Nancy Sussan says:

    I’m not at all political and have no sense of direction but I did watch many episodes of 24 and since there were a zillion vans, some scary SUVs, what looked like a horse transport, motorcycles, and only one car, I’m guessing the Obamas were in the car. Just sayin’. But what I don’t get is since your house is newly spruced up and all why did you miss your big opportunity? Brownies were recently baked and surely you had some lemonade in the fridge. How come you didn’t open a lemonade stand? Then maybe they woulda stopped. Keep it in mind for next time. Maybe sew two little banners to attach to the sides of your giant flag. Patriotism AND LEMONADE.

    Meanwhile I’m thinking of you guys and glad the storm was downgraded. The more you prepare the more intimidated are the storm clouds until they just peter out.

  92. I love your house and garden, and I hope both house and the trees weather the coming storm- oh, and you too of course!

    Watching your video I was surprised to see that your road looks almost as bad as our village road, (Little Barugh in North Yorkshire, UK) which hasn’t been re-surfaced in all the 23 years we have lived here! They fill in the pot holes occasionally and two to three weeks later they are just as bad as before.

    As for not seeing the President, hmmm, some months ago I was at Malton Train station when someone excitedly told me that the Queen was aboard the Royal train and about to pass through. Several people had camera’s at the ready, I hadn’t even heard she was coming. Well it sped through the station non stop, all the blinds on every window were closed down, so we didn’t even get to see the famous wave. There were some very disappointed people.

  93. Wendy says:

    So good to hear your voice after all these years of reading and cooking from your books! You sound just like I imagined 🙂

  94. Good luck on Martha’s Vineyard and stay safe. We live in Massachusetts as well and are in the path of the storm, or so they say. We are on town water as well, but I bought water just in case the town water becomes undrinkable. It has happened during floods. I am mostly concerned with our chickens; we have 10 of them here in suburbia, some are still poullets. They free roam during the day, but we are locking them up tonight in the coop mansion my husband built for them.
    I am sure they will be safe, but I worry.

    Anyway, I have been an admirer of yours for years, have all of your books. One is stained badly because I used it every single year for your stuffing recipe. It has exactly the same taste as my dear departed mom’s, who did not have a recipe, she just “threw it together.” I have always wanted to be able to tell you how grateful I am for that one simple recipe. So now I shall……..Thanks 🙂 It brings my mom back to to me each Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh that makes me feel so good…that was my Grandma’s recipe, and she said it was her mom’s too. Our house smells just like yours at Thanksgiving, who could ask for more?

  95. Becki says:

    As I was reading your post I was thinking to myself, “Forget the President!” If SUSAN BRANCH came driving by my house, she would see my little “Susan” flag waving proudly by my front porch (okay, there’s an American Flag there too!). and I would be frantically waving and taking your picture, saying THERE SHE IS!So, there you have it, the big guy in DC has nothin’ on you :o)

  96. jazz says:

    Que bien que el presidente pase por tu casa, eso demuestra que es un país libre y seguro, nuestro presidente no hace eso. Valora el país en el que vives, atesora ese recuerdo, ya tienes algo para contarle a tus nietos.

    Saludos desde México.

  97. Kelly Paquet says:

    Thank you, Susan, for sharing your tips on painting with watercolor! I am trying to learn and the things you shared were very encouraging! You are interested in so many of the same things that I am, and I enjoy reading your blog very much! I’m happy that you came through the hurricane all right. Enjoy these late summer days!

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