Shining some Light on the Subject . . .

By the light, of the silvery moon, I want to spoon, to my honey I’ll croon loves tune  . . .

Last night . . . we walked up from the harbor with this half-moon shining down on us the whole way.  We couldn’t see it when we got to the darkest part of the street, but when we came out from under the trees and into our driveway, it was there, waiting for us, suspended over the barn.  This is our harvest moon, on it’s way . . . growing (waxing), until the twelfth, when it will be full and pop up like an enormous orange pumpkin right at the end of our street.

It provided just enough light to brighten the white things; the picket fence and the japanese anemones seemed to be lit from inside. It was a beautiful evening; the air was filled with the sound of crickets.

Inside I kicked off my flip flops, and from our kitchen window I could see the moon bouncing off the trim of the yellow house out back of us; I walked out the side porch, barefoot, and across the cool dry grass to take this photo . . . even though it’s in the shade, the birch tree had a little coating of moonlight too. . .

Later, that moon followed us right up the stairs.

The change of season from summer to fall has always been my favorite time of year…it’s stirs me to the core when church bells ring from across the street, and the white steeple peeks through the branches of our maple tree; or when I go clamming with Joe, standing knee-deep in the shimmering pond, the tide beginning to come in, swirling around our legs; fair weather clouds streaming by the white-trimmed cottages along the shore.  Or when the breeze carrying that first little autumn chill through the trees, like it did this morning, sweeps across the dirt road where we walk.  I love to stretch out on a blanket on the lawn and look up through crossed branches; just lie there, listening to the wind and the birds, hoping my kitty will deign to lie down with me.  There’s every reason to be excited and looking forward to the future…every day is more beautiful than the one before.

But a few years back, right in the midst of all this wonderfulness, I discovered something about seasonal rhythms; mine had gotten a little off, was not quite right, but I never put two and two together. It was my girlfriend Margot who figured it out for me.

She stopped over unannounced to have tea one golden September afternoon a few years ago.  I was, at the time of her knock, just up from a nap and scraping up the last crisp brown bits from a frying pan where I’d cooked left-over mashed potatoes into a big pancake (brown and crusty on the outside, soft and melty inside with a river of butter).

Even though it was pushing 4 pm, I was still in my jammies but had covered the fact, somewhat, with a navy blue sweatshirt that said TOO MEAN TO MARRY on it; my hair was stuck to the side of my head.  As I shuffled to the sink, slippers scuffing the wood floor, to fill the tea kettle, Margot surveyed the scene and asked, because she is my dear friend, “How’re you feeling?”  I said, “I don’t know, kind of miserable for some reason…just no energy. I don’t feel like doing anything.”

Thank God for girlfriends! “You know what?” she said,  “I don’t even have to look at the calendar … I already know the days are getting shorter just by looking at you . . .  you did this last September, remember? You got all depressed the minute the days start getting shorter —  I think you have S.A.D.”

Basic food group for SAD sufferers

“What?” I protested, “That sad-people disease? I don’t have that. No way. I have the happy gene.”

Then I burst into tears.

She hugged me, and gently started reminding me of the clues, about how I was still wearing my jammies for instance, and it was four in the afternoon; how I didn’t feel like going anywhere; that I was almost licking the potato pancake pan (apparently consumption of large quantities of starch, butter, and chocolate is a symptom); and how I had lamented to her that if I ran away, as I would like to, the big drawback would be that I would have to take “me” with me. She was unflinching, “And honey, what about those two-hour naps?”

Thank goodness for Margot, my best friend forever!  If it wasn’t for her, I would have gone obliviously through life, letting depression cloud up my favorite season and half the year, assuring myself there was nothing wrong, thinking it was just the prospect of winter that was bothering me.

That conversation took place some years back, I had all the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, but just didn’t know it.  Now I have a light box, which I keep on my art table, and flip on about 5 am, when the days start getting shorter.  If you wait until you’re already in the throes of it, it’s too late, you need to start in September.  I also found out that taking Vitamin D helps a lot.  Now, with that, plus this light box and our walk every morning, I feel great.

I just paint, or work on the computer while it’s on, it works even if it’s pointed at the back of my head!  All the normal happiness and love of the seasons returned, I am SAD free, the happy gene reigns supreme.  And, I found out I could still stay in my jammies all day if I want to, and sometimes I really do, and eat potato pancakes (in moderation) and not be sad! Hooray!

Just thought I would mention it because this morning when I turned on my light it occurred to me that there could be others suffering with this  (even 4 to 5% of children are said to have it!) — it’s not like anyone is going to die of it, but who really needs it?  Do you (or someone you love) have sort of a little nagging despair in the back of your mind?  Worried about summer being over?  Thinking about running away?  Not dressing? Eating entire boxes of cookies?  Can’t get the energy to enjoy life the way you want?  You might want to try a light box.

So you can feel the joy and dance by the light of the moon all winter long. 

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135 Responses to Shining some Light on the Subject . . .

  1. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Bless your heart! So happy for you, that your dear friend recognized that you were suffering with SAD! Thank you for sharing with us and I’m sure you have just helped a whole lot of folks also suffering, who’ll no longer be SAD. Thanks for the lovely walk, too! ♥ PS Mmm, crusty potato pancakes!

  2. Dawn says:

    I think my husband suffers from this a little, though living with me, a person who adores fall and winter, has helped, because my enthusiasm rubs off on him. He also goes to a tanning salon two or three times in winter, which helps.
    I think the hardest month for me is February. In January the snow is still fun and there’s that excitement about beginning a new year, and in March you know Spring is just around the corner. But February can be very trying. Aren’t we all glad it only has 28 days?
    The first fall foliage is glowing outside our kitchen window, and today a strong wind sent that first (exhilarating exciting thrilling) shower of golden leaves flying through the air.
    I keep wondering if that full Harvest Moon is going to usher our little son out into the world…let’s cross our fingers….
    Sending you pumpkin hugs and kisses,
    xoxo Dawn

  3. Maryellen says:

    I really felt like you were describing me. I love the cooler temperatures and nesting in my house, but as fall moves on – I am the one who is always tired, eating boxes of cookies and my friends, Mr and Mrs Potato and feeling sad and teary-eyed. Where did you find a light box? Thank you so much for sharing this and I will try the lights. I thought I was just moody and grouchy. Maybe it is all the fault of the turning of the earth!!!

    P.S. What wonderful moonlit pictures you are sharing with us!

  4. Buddy says:

    Bless you for posting this! Love it (AND your blog)!

  5. Marilyn says:

    What a magical evening! There is something so special about moonlight, particularly during the Fall. I LOVE the picture with the white picket fence.

    Good friends are such a blessing! I’m glad that your friend recognized your symptoms and that you were able to find the right remedies.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  6. Judy C in NC says:

    By Golly – you have hit that nail on the head. I was ready to ask the doctor for depression pills – felt as if it was just my age with wanting to just sit and cry, not looking forward to anything and frustrated with being unable to even make up my mind about things. I already take the Vitamin D – but will look for a light souce. Thanks Susan – when you share, I bet you have no idea how many you reach. I will keep on reading. Judy C in NC

  7. Jacqui G says:

    Hi Susan,
    My brother is getting married outside in the evening on 9-10-11, (next Sat) and they picked this time of year because they fell in love under the Harvest Moon. Now they want to take their vows under the Harvest Moon as well. Very romantic- don’t you think?

  8. Lin says:

    I have a friend who is affected and she says she HATES (her words) autumn because she knows it’s leading to winter. I think I’ll mention this light box to her…….

    Having said that, I am often still in my jammies at 4 pm and it’s not because of a SAD disorder…….I just get so busy it’s too much trouble to change :))

    I’m so glad that you found a solution to your problem, because this time of year is just too good to miss!! We have our nip in the air today – it’s actually cool here! LOVE it! Sending you hugs, Susan!

  9. Peggy Cooper says:

    You can count me in with the others who love fall the best. I’ve been not so patiently waiting for a break from the hot, hot, hot, weather we’ve had here in Southern Colorado all summer. It’s finally come, and so today instead of having burgers on the grill for Labor Day, I’m making meatloaf and the corn pudding from your Autumn book.

    We get so much sunshine here in Colorado (over 300 days a year) that I haven’t had a problem with SAD since I retired and don’t work in a dark office any longer. Since I hang my clothes on the line year round, I get some sun several days a week, even in winter. Thanks again for the wonderful blog Susan. It’s such a nice treat to share in your world for a little while every day.

  10. Doreen Strain says:

    Hi Susan, beautiful pictures! I felt like I was taking that picture with you as you walked across the lawn in your bare feet in the back yard. I too used to get that S.A.D. and like Dawn it bothered me more in February. For me it was something I fought with most of the year because I worked in the Cardiac Cath Lab at the hospital and we do our cases in the dark so we can see the images we are taking of the heart and where we are putting the stents. I used to go to work in the dark during the winter, worked all day in the dark and then came home in the dark. Days would go by without seeing the sun. I bought a light box too and then my physician put me on vitamin D. Both helped a lot. Now that I live in Florida…I don’t get it at all. It is a feeling that you just can’t shake. You just feel like sitting around and taking it easy and don’t want to do anything that involves energy….except eat! It’s very nice of you to bring it up and talk about it because so many women just feel like they are in a funk and it will pass. Eventually it will but why not help it along a little. Thanks for making the suggestions! Happy Fall! I’m so jealous!!!!! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  11. Michelle A says:

    Thank you for this post. As I was reading I was thinking of my sister. She lives in Oregon. It might be more of the gloomy weather they have all the time than the seasons, Im not sure but I think it would be similar. I am going to tell her about the light box, I know she would love it. It rains alot where she is and she always tells me how much better she feels when the sun comes out and she can go sit outside and soak up the sun.

  12. Tammy says:

    I love your garden in the moonlight:o) I first “discovered” you in a magazine article a few years ago (Country Living, maybe) and there was a wonderful shot of your garden. I fell in love immediately! It’s been great to see different pictures of the garden esp. on the blog where I can get to see what you are doing much more often! I’d love it if you did a post about your garden and included lots of pictures–just a suggestion since I know you have nothing else to do, right? LOL Thanks for sharing a little of your wonderful life with us:o)

  13. Monica says:

    As I was reading this, I was thinking that maybe you were pregnant! =) I am pregnant and I could consume large amounts of chocolate, take 2 hr naps daily and stay in my PJ’s all day and be perfectly happy! I’m glad you found a fix!

  14. Martha Ellen says:

    Susan my daughter suffers from SAD. It has become worse since she moved to New Hampshire. Luckily she knows this and also uses a light box. It is such a simple thing that helps a lot! Bless your heart for sharing your experience with this problem! I love your blog and all the beautiful photos of your home!

  15. Gumbo Lily says:

    Living up north, I am very familiar with SAD. I took 2 hr. naps, felt depressed in winter months, ate gobs of sugar and so it goes. I *had* to have my daily outdoor time in the sun, but it was not until I discovered vitamin D3 that I really got over it.

    I’ve been looking at the same moon as you these past nights. Isn’t it fun to think about — you and I are looking at Luna — and how many others? Connections.


    • Jen says:

      Last night at about 8 o’clock I took my 4 year-old daughter on a walk with me through a beautiful old neighborhood and we could see the half moon so perfectly. She adores babies, and said if we tipped the moon it would be a cradle. 🙂 We had a magical time together walking in the moonlight with the autumn’s-on-its-way breeze blowing. And then I see Susan’s picture of that half moon, too! Hoping for a clear (maybe with a few puffy clouds) night sky on the 12th!

  16. Joy Hall says:

    This explains a lot! Thanks so much for writing about this!

  17. ginny says:

    Hi Susan, I know I have SAD. It is already kicking in for me too. I don’t want summer to end, I have wierd tastes for comfort foods and sweets. I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning and I am in bed before the sun goes down. I cannot afford a light box, so I take Vit.D. Most of the day I am nearly in tears, and my feelings get hurt really easily. I have had this most of my life, and it is not as bad as it was years ago.
    I love your blog!

  18. Gail says:

    This is exactly how I have been feeling already. With the shorter days I have had very low energy, am craving carbs, am kind of down in the dumps and anxious. My exuberance has exited with summer it seems. The light therapy is so simple a solution! It’s certainly worth a try. Thank you, thank you.

  19. Carolyn Ann says:

    Susan, it’s so nice of you to share your experience with SAD. This information will help some of your readers and let them know that they are not alone in their sadness. Also, I wanted to share this little prayer from England that I’m sure everyone has heard before, but it’s just so precious. “I see the moon, And the moon sees me; God bless the moon, and God bless me.”

    • sbranch says:

      I love that!

      • Jan says:

        I love that little poem too, I say it with my girls. Hannah is 12 and Grace is 7. We have said this together since they were babies. They will see the moon, and start saying it to me. 🙂
        Susan, thank you so very much for sharing your expirence with S.A.D. I have been a fan for many years of your art, it always makes me happy. Thus, I have thought you were ALWAYS happy. I had the same symptoms of this each time the time would change to regular time from day light savings time. I would tell my sweet husband, why can’t I be more like Susan Branch, she is always so happy. It is comforting to know that you have struggled with this too. Feeling like you are alone, is the worst isn’t it???!
        I did the right thing and went to my Dr. so thankful for a simple light! And for you who puts a smile on my face each time I see something in my home inspired by you <3

    • Doreen Strain says:

      Hi Carolyn Ann,
      I have to tell you…I read your post and it brought tears to my eyes! My mother used to say that little prayer to me when I was a child. Whenever we woud go out at night or we’d be sitting on the stoop and see the moon she would say that very same prayer! Thanks for bringing that memory out of the depths of my heart. I really appreciate it! Funny how we forget things and then someone says something like that and it just means so much to someone else. Happy moon watching! FOSB 4~Ever ! ~ Doreen ~

      • Carolyn Ann says:

        Hi Doreen,
        I used to say the little prayer to my kids,too, when we would look out the window at night and see the moon. Happy fall and happy moon watching to you, too!

  20. Shannon says:

    Oh Susan…I can’t thank you enough! I KNOW I suffer from it! Montana is never sunny in the winter. The gray days feel like they will last forever! I tried just doing Vitamin D, but that alone is not enough. I always thought it was odd that I feel so wonderful in the summer and so crummy and depressed in the winter. Now I know! I will most definitely be checking into that light!

  21. mari1017 says:

    Susan –

    yes, bless your heart ♥♥♥ for sharing your SAD story ~ I began reading your post enjoying your description of moonlight on white – the way the light changes come September ~ your transition caught me off guard! I have always been affected by SAD ~ my mom is the one who pointed that out to me. I had no idea!!! I even used to go to the Florida Keys for at least a week every February to escape it!!!
    Love your light box~ I have a lamp. I have also found that living here in Virginia has helped because the day’s light here never gets as short as up north, and I can live with that. I STILL live for DEC. 21 though 🙂 🙂 🙂 And lots of Vit D does indeed help. I do use my cousin’s rule of thumb ~ 2PM is the cutoff. If you’re still in your jammies at 2 PM, you stay in your jammies! Better like your jammies!!!
    Just got out my autumn things ~ hanging my leaves (I use silk lol ) in the window ~ you’re inspiration incarnate ~ hugs to you ♥ ~ and thanks for sharing.

  22. Sylvia Faye says:

    How well I relate to how you feel about the Fall. I absolutely love it and yet at the same time I feel reluctant. I love the beauty, smells and briskness of the air and love, love those Harvest Moons. This past winter I began to keep a ‘fresh eye’ on the cycles of the moon and it when it wanes that we seem to have our worst weather. Will watch it again this year.


    I do believe I am going to look into a lightbox pour moi and my birthday is next month…it would be a great gift.

    For me your daily blog is a daily plugin to something that speaks to my ‘soul’ and says here is someone who almost knows how you feel, n’est ce-pas?

    If, when I get to Cape Cod to visit a dear daughter, I would love to visit Martha’s Vineyard and meet a kindred spirit. Teatowels speak to me and this same daughter is in Paris for a vacation with her girlfriend. I requested she bring me back a ‘teatowel’. I loved your blog on teatowels and yes, I have always loved the old ones made out of floursakes and embroidred.

    Tomorrow is my dear one and I’s 59 wedding anniversary. I bought some flowers in a carrying tray…small but styled like a carpenter’s tool box; it is fitted out with two pots of pink blooming flowers and two pots of greenery. It just looked so inviting that before I knew it, it had found a place in the top of my buggy. It is a greyed white with black letters that say ‘My nursery garden’…so appealing and has a small golden watering can stuck in the earth and a glowing pink ribbon. I just set it on the table and tucked a card on a holder and placed it on my dear ones’ placemat at our kitchen table as this is where the nursery garden is going to stay for a long, long time. It is meant for the kitchen and also that way I want forget to water it. Hummmmmmmm!

    I do so appreciate you, your talent, your home which says welcome, and I can almost smell your baking. I loved your blog on your stove. I also had a great stove in the early days of marriage and kept it for 20 years and than it was sold with the house. It was special and did lots and lots of baking and cooking for our family of five.

    With gratitude,
    Sylvia Faye

  23. Sheryle Towle says:

    Susan, thank you. You share your art, your recipes, your home & your soul. I believe more people have this then they realize. My mom did, but unfortunately, it is too late to help her. I will be watching that moon from Maine!

  24. Nellie says:

    LOVE the description of the moonlight on your walks, Susan! No SAD here, although I will confess to loving the “hibernation” aspect of winter.:-) Warming stews, soups, etc., plus a fresh opportunity to curl up with a good book, give us enjoyment when the days grow short. We also anticipate a few birthdays during those months – plus, our favorite holiday of the year!:-)

    This post was a great service to those who DO suffer from SAD, and many of them have expressed their appreciation. Your words and information will be helpful to many!

    BTW, the potato salad was well-received.:-) xoxo

  25. Anita says:

    Wonderful moonlight walk, thanks for sharing it with us in pictures. Fall is my favorite time of year too, and thankfully, I do not suffer with sads–on the contrairy, I seem to be energized by the dark days and blustery weather–never could figure out why though, it just seems like a dreary day is wonderful for reading (maybe a gladys Taber book),cleaning sock drawers, ironing, or especially baking or making a warm hearty soup. Tomorrow is our 52nd anniversary–and we’re going to the “big city”–hopefully, we’ll have lunch out and stop for a good browse at the book store (maybe he’ll even stop at the art supply store for me too) 🙂 Lots of beautiful colored leaves starting to fall for me to paint!

  26. Anita says:

    Guess I should mention that my guy is a “joe” too. 🙂

  27. Sylvia says:

    I love the fall leaves on the line at your window. I am going to do that. I think fall is still a few weeks off here in Marietta GA, but I am getting my house ready! Thanks for your daily notes to us. I smile when I see a new one.

  28. Country Gal says:

    A wonderful post and photos ! I think we all feel a bit S.A.D when the days get shorter and the cool weather sets in. I am glad you solved your S.A.D ! I to do enjoy this time of season though S.A.D or not ! Have a wonderful evening !

  29. Thank you for this. I too suffer from SAD and my special lamp makes all the difference! Mine looks like a regular desk lamp, so I work under it all day. And I take extra Vitamin D, too and those two things make all the difference. Forcing myself to walk helps, but our Canadian winters (I live in Montreal) sometimes makes that difficult so I use a treadmill on bad days.

    Chocolate is my other weapon of choice, and oatmeal cookies. And banana bread. Okay, let’s just name it. CARBS!

  30. daricia says:

    my sweet mom gave me a light box a few years ago. it is amazing how effective it is -nearly immediate relief. potato pancakes dont hurt, either! your blog is irresistible, susan, and i love that you shared your s.a.d. story. ~ daricia

  31. heartsdesire says:

    Thanks for the tour of your town by moonlight. I have my bed below the window in our bedroom and I never pull the blinds, so when the moon is full, it beams in. So lovely to have the brightness in the room. Especially in the fall when it seems very dark outside.

  32. Francine says:

    I too love the picture of the fence with the house behind it. Beautiful! It’s getting chilly in Wisconsin!! Had to close the windows, put warm socks on my freezing feet….where are those closed toe shoes??? And I had my first cup of The Republic of Tea Hot Apple Cider Tea – yum! But fall is by far my favorite season, and so is anything pumpkin!!! Time to put away your summer book, and bring out the fall one!

  33. Betty says:

    Hello Susan!
    This all sounds very familiar to me. Thanks you so much for sharing and thank you for your beautiful, uplifting posts.

  34. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    What wonderful pictures you always share with us. We are so lucky.
    I do not get SAD but I sure have a few friends who do and they are just so depressed all winter long. I will certainly be telling them about the light box, thanks for sharing that with us. I love Fall and Winter. I actually sit and let the sun hit my face all Fall and Winter long. I have done that for years, along with taking vitamin D. I only sit outside on the deck about 5 or 10 minutes a day, feels so good in the winter time.
    Lovely Post as usual Susan 🙂
    happy day to you

  35. Gert stevens says:

    Hi Susan,

    What another great post! I had one of those SAD days today! No energy to do anything! smile… It’s such a lovely day here too…hummm but I think it’s due to the fact that I took my MS shot last night. Always a good excuse anyway! Will see what tomorrow brings! ha..

    Love the moonlight walk you shared with us! Just like being there!

    Thank you for this information however, I started taking Vitamin D last year and am sure that helps here in Iowa! And of course with the MS.


    • Doreen Strain says:

      Hi Gert,
      Saw your stuffed peppers on your blog…now I have a hanking for one. Maybe I’ll but that on my menu for next weekend. I haven’t made them in some time now and my husband just loves them. Thanks for sharing the picture. BTW..I really liked your blog! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

      • Gert stevens says:

        Oh thanks Doreen..I know you will truly enjoy those peppers when you make them! Did you need our recipe or do you have your own?

        Hope you continue to visit my blog…just a day by day daily planner..telling the things goin on with us! smile..


  36. cecelia says:

    I love Fall too!
    I bought a light box 2 years ago from Amazon and it really does work!

  37. I’ve never thought about it being SAD…but maybe that has been my problem all along. I’ve always said Fall was my least favorite season and I’ve suffered a lot of losses in these months, so I thought that was it. I have been saying to everyone AND on my blog that I’m going to make a real effort to find JOY in everything I do this Fall! I’ll keep the light in mind, too! Thanks so much for sharing! It’s made a difference for me! Hugs! Diane ♥

  38. Doreen Strain says:

    Girlfriends…I suggest we should all buy stock in Light Boxes! I think after reading all your posts there is going to be a rush on them! Whenever you feel yourselves becoming a little down in the dumps, try to remember…your not alone! Come here…sit a spell…enjoy your friends here. Laugh at the goings on, smile at the things you see and know, although we may be many miles away from each other, we are friends. We all have kindered spirits and that holds us together. So when the “blues” start to cover you like a blanket…come to the blog and chat with us for awhile. Susan will make you laugh and some of the stories you read here can even cause you to have a good belly tickle laugh! Try the light boxes and
    and try the Vitamin D3, but most of all remember you have all of us who are your friends! Thanks again Susan for bringing this subject up! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  39. Hi Susan,

    I am not making light of S.A.D. and am very serious when I wonder if there is an opposite sort of condition. Although I could always eat an giant potato pancake with butter, it’s when it is really sunny and warm all of the time that I start to get moody and can take long, long naps. I come into my own when days get cooler, shorter and darker. Funny how our systems work. I do have a 17 year-old daughter who seems to have these systems in the fall and winter… It could explain a lot!

    Not only another beautiful and entertaining post, but a really useful one, too!

    Take care,


  40. Jeannie M from NC says:

    I haven’t gotten SAD, but have been down in the dumps for the last 2 weeks, fell over my newly crawling darling Grandson to keep from stepping ON him, that was on my birthday, it sprained my foot and had to get out the crutches, had surgery on the same leg 2 days later to have some skin cancer removed, and OH the pain that leg was in! Between both things happening to it! I got so depressed, and grumpy! Couldn’t get to the garden to pick tomatoes and check on everything else, could only see most of my flowers if my Hubby drove me by them when we went back to the doctors because of infection in the wound!

    So excited to here about a light box! was going to ask you about it, but then I saw where you gave someone early on in the blog where to look.. Thank you for that! I am on the mend and can’t wait to get my fall decor out! Love your leaves strung at the windows! What a great idea!!! Can’t wait to do that at my kitchen windows!

    Love your moonlight stroll, thanks for sharing!!!

  41. Sandra says:

    So many people have vitamin D deficiency and haven’t a clue. I use OTT lights in all the rooms I frequent plus my studio. It helps a lot with SAD but so does sitting in my sun room, doing outside chores and trying to make the most of all the daylight hours.
    Glad your girlfriend figured you out; bless her!

  42. Melanie says:

    Oh ~ thank you so much for sharing this. Have discovered this about myself in recent years, too. Exercise helps me lots, but will have to look into the light box and the Vitamin D.

    With love from a new reader, but a long-time fan!

  43. Beth says:

    We all need a friend like Margot 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story

  44. Ginny Stanley says:

    Good Evening Susan,
    So enjoyed your post today. Especially the evening walk. Sorry to hear that wearing pajamas all day, eating carbs and not wanting to do anything is a “disorder”. Sounds like a good way to live if you ask me – lol. But seriously, I understand. Don’t know that I’ve ever had it but see that I could if I live elsewhere. The first thing I do when I get up is go through the house and open all the blinds/curtains. I can not stand to be in the dark when it’s daylight outside (and I can’t stand to have the blinds/curtains open when it gets dark out.)
    I love fall but every season has “something” about it that I love. I think it’s the colors of fall that sets it apart. And that beautiful harvest moon! Aren’t we blessed to live where we have different seasons to look forward to? I just wish their were more hours in the day 🙂

  45. Flo says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thank you so much for your blog and for sharing your SAD experience; a light box will be my next purchase from Amazon! For as long as I can remember, I’ve thought fall was a very sad (no pun intended) time of year. I’m a summer person at heart, and when September comes I know I’m leaving that behind and have nothing but the bleak winter ahead facing me. I know autumn is a beautiful time of year, but I just can’t appreciate it the way I’d like to. As one of the other posters commented, I look forward to December 22 when the days start getting longer and begin to feel nervous when June 22 rolls around and the days start getting shorter.

    I also really appreciated your blog about the Oak Bluffs fireworks and Illumination Night – it made me smile and was almost as much fun reading about it as being there. Most summers my family spends a week on the Vineyard and frequently have been there for that magical week in August that encompasses those two wonderful nights as well as the Agricultural Fair – there’s nothing better! We didn’t make it there this summer, but I’m hoping for a weekend in September, so I can get my “Vineyard fix”! Maybe I’ll even have my light box by then so I can actually enjoy a fall weekend on the Vineyard!

  46. Tiina says:

    I know what you mean SB! I think we all feel a little like this in Jan or Feb. We get really bad foggy dreary days here in Central California and I feel that any kind of sunshine or vita. D is helpful. So smart to start now. I’m looking forward to Fall and I’ve already started decorating. YOU inspired me!!! I just wish the weather would cooperate. It was 91 today. Have a good week. Send us more pics of your awesome fall leaves when they get here. You and Joe rock!
    xo Tiina

  47. lynda says:

    I’m sure I have had S.A.D. over the last few winters. Even though our winters are very mild compared to other countries, leaving work at 5.00 pm when it’s dark is horrible. It’s spring here in Australia and so very lovely – such a hopeful time of year with blossoms and sunshine. Thank you for the Vitamin D tip.

  48. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Thanks from me, too, for sharing your experience with SAD. SAD can be very subtle or very obvious but either way really affects lives of the person with it and the people around them. I was diagnosed with extremely low Vitamin D level and started on high doses of it. There are so many ways that Vitamin D affects us physically and mentally. From what the Dr. said and what I’ve read, a high number of people in the northern states that have shorter days in the winter have low Vitamin D levels. I usually get energized by cold dark days but that said, the winter can feel depressing and I can feel “bummed out” so I’ll be interested how I feel this coming winter now that I’m taking the Vitamin D. I think I notice the difference now after 2 months on the high dose of it–I think I feel more “up” and have more energy though the heat and humidity this summer have played havoc with my arthritis. I’ve thought about a light box so thanks for showing the photo of it. I have a “day light” Ott lamp but I’m not sure that does the same thing…I’m going to check it out! So thanks for the information. It has been cool and Fall-like the last couple of days here but 80’s are predicted for next weekend so who knows what it will be like the middle of Sept. Our anniversary is Sept. 15th and the weather usually is beautiful. The saying in Minnesota is “If you don’t like the weather, stick around as it will be changing” and that is about it! 🙂

  49. Mary says:

    I absolutely believe in this concept!! I just moved from 30 years in AZ (where I had become accustomed to sun about 360 days a year) to So Cal where you never see the sun on summer mornings and it has really bummed me out. In my case, I’m praying for fall so I can have MORE light in my life. The one good thing is that if there IS a sunny morning, I am higher than a kite.

    And by the way … I have loved your work before you were … this cool. 

  50. Carolyn says:

    Yes, Susan, even in So. California I get blue with the shortened daylight! A few years ago, I replaced all of my light bulbs with the full spectrum bulbs and it helped greatly. Now, by order of the government, the 100 watt full spectrum bulbs are no longer available! (Yes, I am a little bitter.) Maybe the light box is the answer! I will give it a try, thanks for mentioning it!

  51. Lisa says:

    Thank you Susan, for sharing. Someone very close to me struggles during the winter months too. I’ve already sent her the amazon link, and gave her instructions to order it now!….with instructions that I am paying. Thank you again. Enjoy your beautiful autumn!

  52. Nina says:

    Hi Susan Once again a wonderful from the heart message to us all! Today my youngest daughter started high school here in England, I can’t believe my baby is growing up so fast! So when she’d gone I made a coffee and headed right to your blog! I was delighted when a knew message came up! Autumn is my favorite time of year I too like Anita feel energized by it! When the nights start drawing in (and they do pretty fast here in England) and there’s a nip in the air, theres also a spring in my step and I love it!
    However I feel SAD in January after all the festivities are over and the weathers bad that’s when I feel it. The last couple of years though I have tried to change my way of thinking and tried to look at it positively instead of dreading it. I think new year, fresh start, lots to look forward to…if doesn’t work next year though I will remember the vitamin D. By the way I too love your thing with the leaves, i loved it in your Autumn book and on the calender. I’m going to give it a try I think! Have a nice day Susan and all fosb! xx

  53. Pom Pom says:

    Hmmmmm. I like the look of your light box and I know SAD is a very real thing. I have to say that I thought, “Can I substitute the tanning bed for a light box?” But my doctor and the dermatologist always tip their head to the side, look at me patiently, and say, “No.”
    I’m going to follow your link and look at one. Oh, that Gumbo Lily up there. She’s my smart friend.

  54. Laura says:

    I live in California, I got sun burned on Saturday, but I still have SAD…and now I have figured it out…good grief, I have been eating too much fruit and not enough potato pancakes! 🙂 By the way, last night on my way home from my friend’s house, I stood looking at the moon, saying hi (he said hi back, he can talk you know?) Well, imagin my surprise to know that he said hi to you too!

  55. Kimi says:

    Dear Susan

    You know when I would start to feel a little sad about the changing seasons I would just remember that the trees are just going to sleep getting their rest and why not they gave us there beauty, shade, breeze, so let them sleep! next year they will be back! but before they sleep I then would look forwarded to the changing leaves, Oh fall how wonderful with the pumpkins, hot cider mmmmm and heavy sweaters, cool long walks. Susan and don’t forget butternut squash too! remember that saying for every reason theirs a season! who knows this better then you? Just tell yourself the earth is resting for now so I will enjoy this and be happy. PS you know too that Christmas is just around the corner, Yippy!!!

  56. Ginnie says:

    Thank you, Susan, for sharing your story with us! I have wondered for some years if my husband has SAD but haven’t gotten much encouragement from his doctor about doing anything about it when I have brought it up. I think I will take the bull by the horns and make the investment in a light box, and if it even helps a little, that will make his life so much better – which, of course, will make mine better, too.

    PS We were in Wisconsin over the weekend and guess what – same moon! Such a coincidence. 😉

  57. Gigi says:

    So glad you found the cure for your SAD symptoms and thanks for sharing! What a blessing it is to have a good friend like Margot – as you well know.
    I’m wondering if there’s such a thing as SAD for folks (like us sun drenched Texans) who get too much sun ;)? We haven’t had a nice cloudy rainy day in such a long time that I have the urge to close all the curtains (during the day!) and turn on my thunderstorm nature sounds and pretend it’s really rainy and gray outside while I sit inside knitting and watching old movies. There’s something so restful and cosy about a rainy day, isn’t there. I think we are all longing for fall & shorter days here.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s exactly what we have here to day, 60 degrees, pouring rain, dark, cold, and loving it! Lately you guys have really had way too much sun! My nephew is in Austin; just wrote to see how he’s doing with fires. Thanks GG!

  58. Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

    Hmmm….food for thought, dear Susan. I have been struggling with these very symptoms lately but have been keeping them to myself because I felt “ungrateful”. I have a wonderful life/friends/job etc…..nothing to feel depressed about. I am going to give this a try right away. I need my mojo back!!!

  59. Karen P says:

    Just noticed the top line “By the light of the silvery moon….” Love that song…love the movie with Doris Day. We used to sing that song when we were kids…ah, the memories!

  60. bj says:

    I think we could just about DIE without sunlight and………awesome friends.:) ♥

  61. Barbara (WA) says:

    Like others have said, thank you for sharing this so others know they aren’t alone. I keep thinking as I read the comments that SAD and clinical depression are not from circumstances but brain chemistry. So very important to not just think “I have nothing to be depressed about” and to get treatment. You’ve probably helped several to do just that! And you show how even if one suffers from SAD or depression it doesn’t mean they will be chronically gloomy – with help you can have a wonderful outlook on life. My favorite Susan Branch quote is “Feed your life from the well of sweetness.”

    • sbranch says:

      Oh no, I’m not gloomy at all anymore — it goes away! It’s true, that wonderful world of sweetness… I like “These days every woman must be her own chaperone.”

    • Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

      Barbara: You are so right – the symptoms are very close….That’s why they get ignored some times. Susan’s blog was very timely. Autumn is my favorite time of year and I don’t want to miss a minute of it!! Smart ladies – both of you!!

  62. kristine says:

    lovely post…the imagines, so serene and peaceful.
    You and I adore family and home. I am trying to support and encourage my youngest daughter to share you more genuine gift, the poetry she is compelled to write. Would you please check out her website…
    I just blogged her latest piece called Tempest…every time I read it, I know others should be reading it as well. thankyou

  63. Tina says:

    You are darling Susan! I do have SAD and know I do…………. and yet I struggle every year. Your sweet and (oh so gently urging) post made me remember that THIS is the year I do something about it. I’m off to buy that light box. Big hugs! Now I owe you TWO cocktails in Minneapolis! 🙂

  64. Patricia says:

    Hmmm….it’s 2:30 pm and I’m sat in my jammies reading your blog after having had a big chocolate donut. Maybe I need something like this! Or maybe I just need to keep reading your posts and books- they always seem to cheer me up.

  65. Susan, I read todays blog post and immediately went to Amazon and will have my light in about 3 days. I have felt like this every September for years. I thought about getting a lamp a few years ago, but never got it and forgot all about ever getting one again, until I read your post today. Thanks for the beautiful blog and info. Looking froward to meeting you in Minnesota next week. hugs, Angel

  66. Gaylene says:

    Love everything you do, and continually appreciative of the time and creativity you share. Also enjoy reading the comments and always wonder where they are coming from if they forget to mention it. Could you add a line in your Leave a Reply section like “location” – people could be as vague or specific as they’d like.

    Wondering where the crisp fall air is . . . this is coming from San Jose, CA — and yesterday I was sitting on a sunny beach actually watching two whales slapping their large majestic tails on the water putting on a show, along with a large school of dolphin playing in the first break of waves. What a glorious day it was. . .

    • sbranch says:

      What a good idea, I always wonder where people are too…love to imagine …

    • Virginia says:

      Hi Gaylene,

      I’m just south of you in Morgan Hill (although at this moment I’m at work in Saratoga). I would imagine there are a number of Bay Area FOSB’s here.

      In a cycling forum I lurk in, I list my location as “In Cognito”. In some places on the internet, it’s good to be vague :-).

  67. CarolK says:

    It’s a gray, rainy day here in central Jersey too and the maple leaves are dropping like crazy. I had to run out to the cleaners and noticed the temp outside was only 61!! Yeaaaa for cooler weather. I just love it. I can’t wait till I can drag out my sweaters and jeans and socks. I’m ready for a change. Hubby and I have bouts of S.A.D. too, like today. We’re just bumping around the house and into each other aimlessly (we’re retired, we can do that) but I know that when the sun finally shows it’s face, maybe in a day or two, we’ll both perk up and get busy doing out thing. Right now I’m thinking, there’s a Klondike bar waiting for me in the freezer and I’d better hurry. Hugs to you SB, who can stay gloomy for long after reading all the FOSB messages.

  68. Susan says:

    When my kids left the house for a first overnighter, went to summer residental camps or moved onto a college campus dorm or apartment, I would ask them to look at the moon at 10:00. That way we could both be looking at the moon at the same time and be thinking of each other.
    Last fall my doctor told me to take antidepressants and I dumped them into the toilet; the side effects were too much and I didn’t want to take them. Spring arrived & summer’ssunny days and I was feeling great. Our town gets less than 160 days of sunshine a year. Now I’ll try this. Thanks!

  69. Claudia says:

    Dear Susan – A friend of mine told me about your blog and I’ve just spent the better part of an afternoon reading all your posts. Oh goodness! I feel like I’ve spent the afternoon with a friend, having tea and chatting about all sorts of wonderful things. Thank you!

  70. Tootles says:

    I discovered your charming blog recently and have been like a pig in mud !
    This one, tho I had to comment and thank you. I am a joyful person; 3yrs. ago(42) I struggled tremendously. Fall is my FAvOrItE season of all and here I was just as you mentioned… Thankfully I too started the D3 and hubby has taken my on a vacay each winter… has helped so much. Don’t have a light, but am looking at gettting one. The blessing is that I too know now what it is like to struggle and can understand and empathize. Thanks so much for posting- you no doubt have turned a light on with someone.

  71. ANITA TAYLOR says:

    How wierd … I was in my jammies all day yesterday feeling blue and not really knowing why. I quilted for a while and complained about the heat, then I took a nap on the couch where it was cooler. I woke up wanting a chocolate dipped ice cream cone ( I haven’t had one in forever!) Which I ate every bite of. The day seemed to just slip away and I was in a fog for the best part of it. Glad to know I’m not alone. I’ve heard of SAD … just didn’t realize I was a victim! Thanks for your post, it makes so many things clearer!!

  72. Davett says:

    Hi Susan…I have just fallen in love with your blogs! Thankyou sooo much for starting one…..I enjoy once or twice a week to get on ur blog n check out what new pic. u’ve posted or new adventure ur on…I know..Jan.,Feb., n March are my hard months…= ( they make me feel SAD n glum, n down, {CABIN FEVER} BUT, from August, when the tips of the corn starts to turn brown, and the cicadas start their merriment of chirps,and autumn and all the way thru to January 1st…are my MOSTEST! FAVORITEST !!! 5 months of the year..lolololoo…these are my HAPPY months!!!! have been ever since I was in school…It’s been raining for days n days here in good ol’ Central Pa. Not very fall yet =( Thankyou! for being YOU!!…Susan i’m a 41 yearold female andI’m always saying when I grow up I want to be “Susan Branch” lololoo =) Take care…n God Bless!

  73. Jennie says:

    As always, a lovely and important post! Wonderful pictures and wonderful words. My mom has suffered from that for years and got herself a light box a couple years ago- I know it helps her. And believe it or not, Cleo her kitty just sits there and soaks it in, too! Even animals get to feeling down every now and then!

  74. Kimi says:

    Hi Susan again

    You know I forgot to tell you that the cream-puffs look good, very good! you know my Nonna would makes these all the time when she come for a visit and she loved putting little bits of chocolate into the ricotta it was very good. Shes gone now but every now and then I make it too. Your site brought back a very nice memory for me. Oh also Susan you can mix- ricotta with mascarpone cheese. Have a good day yummy…

  75. Sarah says:

    Having lived in Texas for 25 years, we recently moved to Virginia and I was startled to learn that it gets dark here in November and December at 4:45pm! That bothered me a little last winter. In general, I like winter days, but that early darkness makes me a little apprehensive and glum. I know about the light box, as my sister-in-law suffers from SAD and uses one. But thanks for reminding me about that. I may need one now that I live in the mid-Atlantic!

    I’m not sure I would have recognized napping, jammy lounging, and eating yummy potatoes as an indication that anything was wrong. That sounds like a perfect day to me. 🙂 My husband, one of those annoying early rising, “let’s-get-busy” kind of guys would never tolerate that kind of behavior. That’s why my daughter and I indulge in that very illicit behavior when he is out of town! 🙂

    It’s 59 degrees and rainy here in northern Virginia today. Perfect nap weather. Too bad it’s too late in the afternoon. I missed the window of opportunity while picking up from school! 🙂


  76. Noelle says:

    I was thinking of getting a light box just the other day! I never thought of SAD beginning in September, but for the last couple of years when I started taking my son to school in September I would come home and go back to bed and sometimes not get up until after noon – aha! I definitely think my son could use a light box too.

  77. Sweet Mormor says:

    So grateful you touched on this subject – so many people don’t realize what is happening to them and it is so easily remedied. Thank you! By the way, you live in such a beautiful part of the country!

  78. Lisa says:

    Hi Susan,

    I suffer from the same thing and take WellbutrinXL from September to March. I thought about going the “drug free” route by buying a Full Spectrum lamp this year and I just bought Vitamin D today. Wish me luck!

    Your Friend,


  79. Debbie says:

    Hi Susan,
    I check in every other day hoping to find something new. Reading your blog really is like a visit with a dear friend. Thanks for sharing your life with all of us. I, too, love to watch birds ( in the casual way) and fed them for years. But once we got cats that came to an end. Our cats go outside and it just seemed like they had an unfair advantage if we continued to feed the birds. I was wondering if your cats were exclusivly indoor but then you mentioned hoping one of the cats would nap with you outside. Do you have a secret to safe bird feeding or has this not been a problem for you? Enjoy these wonderful last days of summer with the promise of autumn ahead.

    • sbranch says:

      I have owned bird killing cats in my life, but this baby I have now is merely interested. So far anyway! She’s shy.

  80. peg says:

    had never heard of SAD but totally ‘get it’…..maybe I’m not as chronic as some….but, totally, TOTALLY get it! My m.d. put me on vitamin D earlier this year and what a difference. And, now I need to know about that light…who makes it, who sells it….can’t be too prepared, right! hugs to you, dear girlfriend. been there, done that. glad to know there is a solution!!!!!! thank you for sharing! i’m sure there are oodles of FOSB that have experienced this to some degree. yet, another, unspoken, malady….. ♥

  81. Donna says:

    What a great blog entry–thank you so much. I just ordered a light from Amazon and I can’t wait to see if it does anything for me! 🙂 🙂 Thank you, Susan, for your blog and your sweet spirit.

  82. Susan Edwards says:

    This blog reminds me of a little poem I just love:
    I see the moon and the moon sees me and the moon sees the one that I want to see.
    God bless the moon and God bless me and God bless the one that I want to see. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your life, loves and talents with us.

  83. Lisa says:

    I have the other type of SAD…I just found out it exists. I was so glad to hear I wasn’t completely losing my marbles.
    This is what happens to me. I live in California, in the HOT part, and when it heats up I become irritable, grumpy, depressed and miserable. I long for cooler weather. It is hard because I can no longer go outside and spend time outside during the day. I have to be up and out early and inside the until the evening. I think my Swedish genes don’t mix well with the heat. So for me this time of year is WONDERFUL, summer is ending and cool weather is on its way. I LOVE your fall, I have been on the East Coast for the fall colors, and it is AMAZING, loved the crisp cool air. We have our fall here but we just have to really look for it, but it is here too
    Ok off I go to look for it, thanks for sharing such an important bit of info!

  84. Kathleen C. May says:

    Thanks for sharing that story about the SAD condition. My sister mentioned it a few years ago and I thought it was nonsense. Nonsense indeed! I become really melancholy at this time of year and yet I love the crispness in the air, looking forward to the holidays,etc. So why so despondent? This has gone for years. I hibernate in my bed (when I can). That’s ok sometimes but not ALL fall and winter while life slips by me! And yet at the end of February I’ll carry on excitedly about the 2 extra minutes of daylight, by April I’m overjoyed!! You mentioned your “walks”, should I assume exercise helps this condition? Have you been told that? The Light Box-you turn it on at 5AM not PM? Where do you find such devices? Would greatly appreciate your time helping me out with this info. THANKS SO MUCH

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, exercise helps, but also even 20 min out in direct sunlight (I’m talking winter sunlight) makes a huge difference. I get up early, so I turn the light on at 5 am, but 5 pm is good too — it gets dark here at 4:30 pm around Christmas time! Scroll up the comments…I put a link there to Amazon where you can get one. Hope it helps!

  85. Linnea says:

    Thank you for your post! I know I have SAD to some degree. I hate when I have to shut the blinds and stuff to block out the hot sun in the summer time, when I would love to have the bright light coming it. So I love it when the cool days come and I can have the sun coming in. Dark rooms really depress me. We painted all the paneling in our house white so it would not be as dark. Still kind of dark, but not as bad. I definitely need more light.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!


    • Lisa says:

      that is how I feel, it just bothers me so to have those blinds pulled all day, the AC BLASTING, and I can’t even go outside to escape it…because it is too freaking HOT.
      thanks for sharing

  86. Cyndy says:

    I, too, noticed our half moon in Virginia – so bright on one side and the other half still evident in the shadow – so beautiful and mesmerizing!

    I loved the photo of the fall leaves hanging in front of the window. Annually, I collect the most colorful leaves I come upon and place them on the buffet where I can see often throughout my day. The hanging leaves is such a better idea – can’t wait to try it….

    • Sarah says:

      I’m in Virginia, too! But I recently moved here from Texas, where I lived for 25 years. I grew up in Indiana, and was used to lovely season changes. The first few years I lived in Texas, I used to get sad because there was no fall season, from a foliage standpoint. (I found out later that there was–I just quit looking too soon–it comes in December!) 🙂 Anyway, every fall, my mom would send me a box of fall leaves in the mail. It was so fun to open up a box with the smell and crunch of beautiful orange, red, and yellow leaves. I always thought that was a sweet gift. I’m glad to live somewhere now where she doesn’t have to do that. Fall here in the Blue Ridge Mountains is breathtaking! 🙂

      • cyndy says:

        The trees are starting to turn, slowly – the slower the better for me – I get to enjoy my favorite season longer….I can see a bit of the Blue Ridge Mountains from my living room – I seem to look at my view constantly – it will never get old, boring…..

        Enjoy each change, enjoy every moment – life passes much too quickly!

  87. Katharine says:

    My father suffers from S.A.D.s. He lives in Santa Monica and check’s the tide and sunrise/sunset schedule at the lifeguard station or on the pier. When I lived with him, in my early 20’s, he’d tell me we have one hour less of Sun after Mid-Summer. I have tried a light box, at my therapist, and really should buy one. It would help my fibromyalgia too. My dad is amazing! He’s 83 and tripped and broke his wrist but that was after he had been boogieboarding for 3 rides in the ocean. On the way home he tripped and fell. He’s such a trooper and we all love and admire him.

    I’m glad that the light box has helped you. 🙂

  88. Lee Ann G. says:

    I feel so much better now knowing there is someone who has tried these light boxes and vit D and that they have worked. I too for the past few years have thought I probably have S.A.D. and over the past few days have been panicking somewhat inside with seeing the sunny days less. I’m glad you shared that the light therapy has really helped you. I am looking into buying one now.

    Thank Y♥U Susan!
    ♥Lee Ann

  89. Jessica says:

    I’m so thrilled that you wrote about this. Here in the Pacific Northwest, I think a lot of us have SAD and don’t even know it…this summer being a very weak one in the sunshine department, had us all feeling quite gloomy and, yes, sad. We desperately waited through the other three seasons for the large dose of sun that gives us the boost we need to survive them, but this year it didn’t happen…no spring, just a long, drawn out winter…then a gray, springish summer. Thankfully, we are just now getting our summer…just in the nick of time, and hopefully fall will merge right into it and the loss of vitamin d will be rectified!
    I’m so grateful to know about the lamp… it will be prchased, talked about, and shared with many….it’s so wonderful that it helped you, bless the heart of your friend!
    xo J~

  90. Christine Youngblood says:

    Thank you Susan for sharing with us this side of you. I must admit I would almost feel jealous of you cause I would read all of your blogs and books and think she has the most wonderful life. She always is up and happy. And then I would feel kind of guilty that I felt depressed at times when I had so much to be grateful for. I really am a person who finds joy in the little things and that is why I have always related so well to you. ( I have almost every book you have ever written, actually I may have them all cause I just bought the Baby Love and Baby Blessings cause my daughter is expecting my first grandbaby!!) Anyway thank you again for all the joy you spread and for being real! Christine

  91. Janie Phillips says:

    I joke that I’m solar powered, but it’s true. I just feel better when I have sunshine. What I didn’t realize was that the shorter days might be responsible for the funk I’ve been in, nor did it ever occur to me that the funk could be S.A.D., or that symptoms of S.A.D. would show up as early as September. Reading your blog made me think about it and I remembered feeling this way last September, too. A big old light box went on over my head … so I’m going to order one and give it a try. I know you’re helping a lot of people with this. Thanks, Sue (and Margot!) xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      The days start getting shorter the middle of June . . . that’s why September is when you do start feeling it. Hi Janie!

      • Janie Phillips says:

        Hi Sue! Ordered the light box this morning. Will soon be reading Willard in its cheerful glow. xoxo

  92. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Hello Sweet Sue…Excellent Information….I’ve heard about this…My Baby Sister gets this…she lives in Pennslyvania…& I Know she misses The Florida Sunshine….there are Days when I actually Hear The Sun calling me…so that’s when I go Outside & Soak Up those Healing Rays of Light & Warmth… it’s like a Huge Hug from The Sun….ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh…..I am Twirling into Autumn with lots of Joy….& always a bit of Fairy-Dust! xoxo Poof! I Love You Sweetest Sue! 🙂

    • Angie(Tink!) says:

      P.S. I almost forgot…The Moon…I shall Be Dancing By The Light of The Moon….Always…oh how I Love The Harvest Moon…Very Magical & oh How I Love when it Rises…& Exactly looks like a Huge Pumpkin…in All it’s Glory! Yay! I Need a Pumpkin Patch! 🙂 xoxo Poof!

  93. Tracy Nassau says:

    Susan, I wanted to comment on your Willard from Aug. 24th … was so darling….I loved looking at the pic of your house with the leaves on the ground….reading about all the fun things you write about, and then I saw the
    picture of the “snail mail letters”….well, I did a double take, sensing
    something “familiar” about that one envelope………eventually realizing (duh!) that
    it was mine! I drew that branch and had fun decorating that envelope
    trying to make it stand out so you would notice it. How totally thrilled I was to
    see it in a picture and realize that you still have it. That night some friends
    came over and I was telling them about this and about you….and I got out your
    old Christmas book which I love dearly…and out popped a little cherished note
    you had written back, thanking me for my letter. It was from 1999. So fun! Here
    I am, 12 years later….cuter and actually younger and now a grandmother (!!) and still a fan! I still love snail mail so much and was reluctant to fully embrace internet communications, but now you are in touch with us so much more often, we see
    pictures, you shoot video…..its amazing and its wonderful!!!!
    I have shared your website with many friends who are so thrilled to read your
    blog and read all sorts of interesting things on your website.
    I use your books over and over and over again! I didn’t start collecting when the
    first two came out so it has been fun to look for them. I just snagged Vineyard
    Seasons at the antique mall and was glad to pay $10!! (yes, I know I can go on ebay, but searching thrift, tag, and antique stores is too much fun to pass up)..
    I posted a few times before on this blog but that snail mail was the only one I had written …and honestly, it just made my whole day to know you had kept it 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      That’s so great! I was HOPING you would be here and see it! Isn’t life wonderful! What goes around, goes around again! xoxo Have a wonderful day!

  94. Pingback: No SAD Here Gentle Light Seeker!

  95. Janice N. says:

    Am adding my reply a bit belated, but hoping you will see it just the same. When I read your post about S.A.D. I realized that I have had it for many years, but it’s been more pronounced in the last five or six… (possibly age-related, too?). I had become depressed and seemed to walk around in a fog all day long, yet unable to sleep at night. I ordered the light box you recommended and have been using it every morning since it arrived. After speaking to a couple of girlfriends, I decided to try Vitamin D capsules, too. These two small changes and the addition of a daily 20 min. walk after work have made an enormous difference in my life! I have a much happier outlook and I am sleeping better, too. Thank you, thank you, Susan, for sharing with us.
    Looking forward to Autumn’s beauty, I plan to make another leaf garland like yours to hang across my kitchen window. The past two Falls I have threaded the leaves with needle & embroidery floss, but they dried so quickly and I was constantly having to re-string. This year I am going to tack a length of fuzzy twine across the window and use little wooden clothespins to attach the leaves. That should make it much easier to make additions and adjustments through the season. I love your blog and am enjoying your posts now from the Train. Safe travels!!!

  96. Pingback: Nouvel automne … | Libelul aka. Jane : My favorite things

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