Margot Datz

 Friends, they are kind to each others hopes, they cherish each others dreams.

I want to tell you a story about my artist girlfriend Margot Datz (that’s her cute self), but first, so that this story makes sense, I have to tell you about a strange thing between Joe and me.  Not scary strange, just normal strange.  I’m telling you, but don’t tell anyone, OK?  I wouldn’t want people to get the right idea about us. ♥

It’s just that we have certain words; and when we say them, we look intently into each other’s eyes in total concentration.  They are not words of love, they actually make no sense at all and have nothing to do with anything.  They just attract us somehow; there’s something about how these words feel coming out our lips or from the back of our throats; we like the sound of them.  One of them is “pork.” See? I told you, nothing to do with anything. But we say it with a Boston accent, poahk.  We say it, both at the same time, like a round of Row-Row-Row Your Boat, hearing the p; then the oa, then the k; ’til we’re sick of it, which luckily, doesn’t take long.  We do it because that word, the way we say it, sounds funny and makes us laugh.

 Family humor always sounds strange to the outside world, but it’s a kind of love-glue to the family who thinks it’s funny.   A little club.

The other thing we like to say is “Kicking Bird,” which comes from the movie Dances with Wolves.  Kicking Bird was the medicine man who was step-father to Stands with a Fist, the character played by Mary McDonnell, who was raised by the Sioux, remember?

The way she said “Kicking Bird,” sort of stuttering when trying to remember a language she hadn’t used for a long time, just stuck in our brain (we only have one brain between us, as this little story is proving).  We came out of the movie theater, repeating “kicking bird” all the way home. We tried to say it the way she did, so the “k’s”s kind of stick in the throat; we pronounce “bird” with our tongues up to the roof of our mouths, so it comes out as “buurd.”  So it’s kick, kickkk, kicking burrrd.  Try it.  See what I mean?

These words come up in our conversation every so often, particularly when we’re out on our walk; and when I say, “What do you want for dinner?” Joe will answer, “Poahk,” and off we go to the land of poahk; from there, it’s an easy slide into Kicking Buurd.

One afternoon, over tea at our kitchen table, I mentioned this story to my girlfriend Margot, and pretty soon she was into it.  “Poahk,” she said, over and over, and “Kick. king. buurrd.  k-k-kicking burrrd.”  She got it, we laughed.  And that was pretty much it; as you can imagine, it wasn’t mentioned again, not being a subject that comes up a lot.

Many months after telling Margot about this, she and I had a plan to go together to an Island-Artist’s meeting, downtown at Five Corners, where the old Ocean Club restaurant

Margot at work

used to be; an open room, with high ceilings, a row of tall, many-paned windows on two long walls, like on an old sun porch.

The wooden floor was set up with rows of folding chairs in a half circle, facing the windows, with a small table in the middle for the speaker; she’s speaking when we arrive, without a microphone; each chair has an island artist in it; everyone is quiet and listening intently.

I know some of these people, but not all; a serious meeting about artists’ interests is taking place; we are late, of course.  We tiptoe to two chairs in the back, as unobtrusively as possible, conscious of every chair scrape and creaking-metal seat noise we make.

Settling in, getting quiet, looking around the circle, I see lots of people I know, and some I think I recognize, but can’t remember from where — in particular, across the room, there’s a woman who is so familiar to me, I feel like I know her, but I can’t figure out who she is.  It’s driving me crazy, I can’t remember.

  I lean in, and working my way through Margot’s hair, I put my mouth up directly to her ear, and whisper very quietly so as not to disturb anyone, “See the girl over there?”  I nod in the direction of this person.  “Who is she?”

Margot glances across the room, then gets back around to my ear and whispers, “Which one?”

“The one next to Jenna, with the long feather thing in her hair.”

Margot’s eyes cut across the room in the stranger’s direction, she ponders for a moment, and leans back toward me, nodding.  She knows!

I’m relieved, thank goodness for Margot; I won’t have to think about this anymore, she’s my hero!

Her lips come to my ear; she whispers, barely audible, “Her name is  . . . (wait for it) . . . K-kick-ing Burrrd.”

Well, that does it for me.  I burst out laughing, she does too, and we can’t stop, we are crying with laughter.  I try to gain control, but instead, I’m shaking in my chair, making snorting noises, which sends Margot off; we can’t even look at each other; we realize quickly that we have to leave.

Yes, we had definitely delighted them long enough; we had no choice but to miss this meeting, but I’m pretty sure that the meeting did not miss us!

This is Margot last week, when I dropped in to see her at work on her newest project,  a mural she’s doing at the Steamship Authority in Oak Bluffs.  She is an artist and author beloved by her community, beloved by her friends, and beloved by her many readers.  You may recognize her from her wonderful book, A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids. (I don’t know how many of these we have left, but if you are going to want one, just let me know and we’ll order more!)

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was very sad and lonely, and Margot came in, almost on a white horse, and rescued me.  I will never forget it.

I am a very lucky person. I am blessed with amazingly talented, smart, generous, creative, and loving girlfriends, sisters of the heart, kindred spirits, who I love very much.

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256 Responses to Margot Datz

  1. Ann says:

    Aw, I loved reading that story about your girlfriend. And I knew what was coming in the story about the meeting you were late to. Friends are very special and ones we have had for many years are pure treasure.

  2. jeannine leonard says:

    Aren’t our girlfriends the treasures of our lives; what would we do without them,

  3. Barbara says:

    True, true friends that “get you” are the best. Husbands that “get you” are irreplacable and magical!

  4. Kim says:

    I love this.

    (Makes me feel better about talking in ‘Forrest Gump’ with my sister-in-law last night.)

  5. Marilyn says:

    If Margot is your friend, than she is automatically a member of the Girlfriends! 🙂

    Girlfriends are a special treasure and I am so glad she was there to rescue you when you needed someone. ((((( Margot)

    Just got back from Barnes and Noble with my 2012 Susan Branch Heart of the Home calendar! As always I’m going to try to wait until January 1st to open it . It’s one of my yearly traditions.

    I have a small windowless office at work and your yearly calendar always adds such cheeriness to my small space. Love it!!!!!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  6. Cindy Garner says:

    I just loved it !!! your wonderful “weirdness”, my father and sister and I are very similar to that….nutty commercials or crazy show tunes that remain embedded in the brain…waiting to {{{blurt}}} out the minute your mouth opens…
    Thanks for sharing you fun with us this day….was the pick me up I needed…:0)

  7. Francine says:

    Wow! Margot is a exceptional artist! And so are you! When I draw…my people still look the same as they did when I was in kindergarten, and even back then, they weren’t so hot! I can relate to your laughing moment. Years ago I took my mom to the funeral of a friend of hers. On the way there my mom commented to me that when she died I should make sure that I don’t put any dangling earrings on her because when she’d be laying there, they’d be hanging back and that wouldn’t look good, and she wouldn’t want her earrings hanging back for all of eternity. Well, of course wouldn’t you know it, we got up to the coffin, and the family had this gal all sparkled out anyhow, but there she was with large rinestoned dangling earrings that were hanging back! My mom and I took one look at each other and burst out in laughter, we tried to keep it in, but our bodies were jiggling for sure! I got out, just stand here, they’ll think were crying! And we couldn’t stop laughing and tears did come out. We finally started walking away and someone commented, you must have been really close to her, it’s plan to see this is very difficult for you! Well, that got us going again! We hid behind our kleenex and we had to walk out and compose ourselves. Moms are girlfriends too!

  8. Cindy Tuning says:

    That kind of stuff is just the gorrilla glue of friendship isn’t it??!! Another nurse I work with will sometimes look at each other..when something reminds us of it..and say at the same time ” John Dunbar”. You have to say it very fast and very deliberate just like good old Stands With A Fist says it.John Dunbar.Love it!!

  9. debbie says:

    It’s so wonderful to have people who “get” us in our lives. But it can also lead to trouble when the giggle fits arrive!!! 🙂

  10. mari1017 says:

    What a wonderful post about such a special friend ~ her friendship certainly shines! Isn’t it just beyond words when we connect with friends like that? So grateful that I have found friends like that here in Virginia ~ shout out to them! heading out to sushi with them as a matter of fact. So generous, so much in tune with us, so ready to help us or bail us out!
    Love Margot’s artwork ~ so glad I got to see her murals and listen to her describe her craft – thanks! You’re the best!!!! ♥♥♥

  11. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    That was so funny, I actually sat her laughing out loud. How adorable you both are when you are together. You both are lucky to have each other. I have a friend like that, her name is Chewy. What talent she has too.
    I think I may read this again tomorrow, it was so funny when you said you even snorted. How hysterical is that!!! I do that too when I am laughing hard
    and you and Joe are pretty funny too with your little (words) you have. Cute, cute cute

  12. OMG! I laughed out loud when you said that you and your Joe have one brain. At 55 and after 31 years of marriage, my husband and I have been telling people the same thing. Between us, we can just about manage without a keeper! Enjoyed the story of your lovely friend. You are blessed and I feel blessed to have you.

  13. Holly says:

    I love that story! Thank you for sharing it. Your blog always makes me smile.

  14. Tracy says:

    Hi Susan! This is so, so special that you have posted about Margot. I was very fortunate to meet you and Margot when you spoke at a book store in Plymouth MA a few years ago. She took the time to listen to my story and I had her sign my Girlfriends book. She of course, quoted Carly Simon, about life “coming around again,” and she was right. I have been in touch with her once since and she was both gracious and kind. I will never forget her openness, warmth and willingness to listen to me. You are very, very lucky to have her as a friend. I check her website all the time so see her newest projects. Her mermaid book sits next to all the others she has done, on my special shelf which include yours. Thank you for sharing her with us.


  15. Jennie says:

    Wonderful! Yes, those little inside jokes of silliness are a glue! I know my hubby and I have many, as well as certain annoying little things we LOVE to do to each other! We have this really cheesy eagle button pin that we love to pin into one another’s clothing or other odd places, just to be a pain. – Husband has found it in his laptop bag, pinned to the back of a tie and inside his undies! but he doesn’t get mad- he just gets even. Ever tried wearing your bra with an eagle pinned inside?

  16. Country Gal says:

    Oh my gosh, glad Papa and I arent the only nutters that do this type of thing lol . I loved this post I was giggling right to the end , a wonderful story and well writen ! K-kick-ing Burrrd soo funny ! Have a wonderful evening.

  17. DonnaRay says:

    I cracked up reading the “serious artist meeting” story. What a joy to have someone in your life whose screws are loose in the exactly same places as yours! You’ll be retelling that story, and getting more and more fun from it, for years to come. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I enjoyed seeing Margot’s work and hearing about her process. But I must admit that I’m totally distracted by her gorgeous hair. Is it fair for one person to have amazing artistic talent, magnificent hair AND Susan Branch for her friend! ….rather piggish, I’d say……oh, I mean…..PORKY! Thanks for all the fun!

  18. Irene Talaasen says:

    You make me laugh and be inspired with your stories and pictures. Thank you!! I love your new kitten too! Thanks for a wonderful Blog and books, etc.
    Irene Talaasen in Colorado

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Years ago we learned a joke in our family, about the boy who asked the fat girl to dance at the school prom…(trust me, none of us is skinny, so no hate mail please) and she wasn’t a very good dancer, so he was having a hard time thinking of something nice to say to her. He finally blurted out, “You sweat less than any other fat girl I’ve ever danced with!” Anytime anyone in our family hears or says a left-handed compliment, we all yell “You sweat less!” We’ve gotten some funny looks from people over the years… 🙂

  20. Judy says:

    I laughed so hard reading your story. I totally understand the uncontrollable laughter I have been in that position myself. I think every family has their inside humor that no one else gets. Thanks for giving us a good laugh today. Your friend sounds like the best.

  21. Cocoa Fornelli says:

    I think when uncontrollable laughter hits us, its suppose to happen! I have 3 “sissy girlfriends” sisters and the laughter has hit all of us, sometimes not at the most appropriate times. But, what fun!!! And my best friend of 45 years of married life, my husband (yes we got married when we were 5,) have some “key”
    words that get us to laughing. Of course, he is a big jokester to begin with!
    Hugs, Cocoa

  22. jack says:

    Wow –Margot, so nice to discover that in addition to your other obvious attributes and various dexterities –you are also gifted with a fiendishly reckless sense of humor !……..jack

  23. clarice says:

    LOL, how funny. Ours is squat over a cobra with a hand over one eye (I will spare you the meaning). It is amazing how these little things are the strong bonds of families. Oh I love Margot; we have all her children’s books. When my girls were little, we read them over and over and over and, well you get the idea. You are blessed to have such a friend xox Clarice

  24. Yep, Margot sounds like a keeper. Don’t you LOVE that kind of laughter?! My sister and I used to get the uncontrollable guffaws during church when we were teenagers. There’s just nothing quite like it! One time, during grad school, I was having lunch with the president of Wheaton College and one of my friends at the table made me laugh so hard that a Froot Loop shot straight out of my mouth and landed very close to Mister President. That friend and I still joke about Froot Loops!

    Sometimes I wonder, is it better to have lots of great girlfriends or to have just a few of them and ONE best friend? At this point I have a lot of wonderful friends but miss the joy of having a BFF (like back in high school and college). How ’bout you, Susan? Thoughts?

    • sbranch says:

      I have several BFF’s, I couldn’t pick one as best, because they are all best. Yes, I love that kind of laughter!!

    • Jacquelyn W. says:

      I love this post. I have been blessed to still have 4 BFF from way back when …we were 9 years old when we met and 52 years later we’re still going strong. We hold “reunions” (no husbands allowed) and resume all the fun and silliness that brought us together in the first place. Thanks for reminding me!

  25. Linda Pintarell says:

    I don’t know if I’m allowed to do this so it might be moderated out, but just received this today via e-mail and it just seemed so appropriate for this blog. Enjoy…if it’s okay to have something this lengthy.

    They teach this at Stanford.

    “I just finished taking an evening class at Stanford. The last lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.

    At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

    Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to create more serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of wellbeing. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But
    their feelings? Rarely.

    Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our
    sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very good for our health. He
    said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our
    general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

    There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are
    doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out
    with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively
    engaged—not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and
    maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as
    dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

    So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat
    yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something
    good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo let’s
    toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it’s very
    good for our health.”

    Forward this to all your girlfriends.

  26. Martha Ellen says:

    How lucky you are to have a friend like Margot. What a wonderful talent she is. I can totally relate to the laughter accompanied with snorts. Our family is quite nutty to say the least–We have lots of crazy words and sayings that bring out the giggles and the snorts everytime we are together. xoxo ♥

  27. Carol Lichwala (gramz) says:

    I am late in reading today’s blog…this is what I get for having a life that needs attention…LOL!
    Margot is gorgeous. I see your personality in hers…you are definitely kindred spirits. She is an amazing artist, and does the most beautiful murals.

    My best friend moved to North Carolina, I want her back!! I miss her to pieces.

  28. Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

    Oh Susan…I am so glad you have a girlfriend like Margot. My BFF Cindy and I have a similiar situation happen in the Emergency Room when I had my terrible accident in September. I can’t repeat what caused the hilarity as it involved a drug indused response from me to Cindy about something the ER doc said. Cindy was sobbing laughing and I couldn’t laugh because of broken bites and pieces but was making these really horrible, loud squeeks. The accident was terrible but truely, I’ll never, ever the laughter in the ER (probably the Doc won’t either – she ordered a CAT scan immediately!). I’m fighting a migraine this evening but I’m glad I checked in – you made me laugh!! Always good medicine!! Have a good night, girlfriends!!

    • sbranch says:

      You made me laugh, hospitals seem to be one of those places where it’s all so ridiculous it can sometimes become hysterically funny. Feel better honey xoxo

  29. Lisa G. says:

    Many, many years ago I had a friend named Becky, and we were pretty silly together. For us, the thing which would set us off was “Billy Graham is a cracker”, – I’m thinking I read that in Kurt Vonnegut, maybe? Anyway, we would get hysterical over it.

    I had forgotten about that!

  30. Mary S. says:

    How wonderful to have such a great soulmate in a girlfriend AND in your husband! Such a hilarious story!! ( I LOVE “Dances With Wolves!!)
    I want hair just like Margot’s!!!

  31. Nancy B says:

    Oh, Susan, I laughed out loud at your story about the meeting and KKickingBuurd.
    I can just see the two of you trying to hold it back, but the laughter came anyway.
    How wonderful to have such a friend!!

  32. JoEllen says:

    You are my sunshine…you make me happy when skies are gray…xoxo

  33. Gert says:

    Oh Susan how fun! You and Joe remind me so much of Tom and I… We do that same thing with different “movie sayings”….only we understand our inside joke …per say! lol Only we love it!

    And how blessed you are to have a friend like Margot! Isn’t it just amazing how God puts just the right people in our lives?


  34. Lisa Nelson-Jones says:

    Just blew slobber all over my computer screen laughing at that… that is SOOO something I would do with my girlfriends!

    • sbranch says:

      Sorry! xoxo 🙂

      • Debbie Gage says:

        Oh, Lisa! I know just what you mean! I read it and my tea came right out my nose! and that got me giggling at myself AND at Susan’s story! I’m such a dork! I needed all of this on a dreary Sunday afternoon. Thanks, everyone! (I’ll go blow my nose now. Sorry if I grossed anyone out!)

  35. Brenda says:

    What a wonderful artist your friend is. Love that you showed us her work. My oldest daughter is an artist and has been working on a mural that I have not seen as yet. I sent her a link I know she would love to see your friends work. She may well have already.

  36. Doreen Strain says:

    I love those laughs your all talking about. I love to make people laugh, but the best laughter I think comes when you least expecting it. You just get so out of contol your sides start to ache and then no matter what you say it’s funny. Happened a couple of months ago to me when I was out with the girls for a quilt show and then lunch. I went to the “Ladies” room and when I opened the stall door I just used was in…I saw a urinal…I started laughing so hard I couldn’t control myself. I was in the “MENS” room. I went over to the sink said hello to the gentlemen washing his hands and walked out. I was out of control laughing. Then to tell the girls back at the table what I did was even funnier! Life’s too short to not enjoy those times. Laughter is the best medicine…this nurse is sure of it!
    FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen~ Good Night to all my “Girlfriends”! XO!

  37. Ginnie says:

    Not only is your friend’s work beautiful and amazing, you also show us yet again what a wonderful story teller you are, Susan! Thank you for sharing this funny story, complete with the oh-so-important background. It’s always so good to visit you here!

  38. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Thanks for sharing about your friend, Margot–both her artwork and the hilarious incident at the meeting… Too funny! Oh dear, I’m absolutely the worst about giggling at inappropriate times and the next bad to me is my husband, Norm. My mother told us her biggest fear when we got married was that one of us would set the other off during the ceremony and we’d be laughing to tears up in front of everyone! We play word games, too, and have favorite words that bring us to tears of laughter. We use the term “Black-Black” as a shorthand for “You are the pot calling the kettle black” at appropriate times. Norm’s comment to me once was, “When we are gone people will say we were both half-wits but together we were pretty witty.” But that is what is great about a good relationship–that sharing of like minds and being able to laugh together at something that only the two of you “get”! After meeting you, Susan, I have to tell you that I can easily imagine you and Joe doing the “word thing”. And my Best Friend, Sandy, and I many, many times through Junior High and High School got moved up to the two desks right in front of the teacher’s desk because of uncontrolled laughter. She reads this so will find it tomorrow–I’ll never forget when I had a run in my nylon up over one of my knees (this was back in the “dark ages” when we wore nylons and skirts and sweaters to school) and the skin was kind of bulged out slightly where the run was and I quietly cleared my throat until I got her attention, while looking straight ahead at the teacher, and subtly took my hand and pointed to my knee, and the two of us exploded with laughter! The teacher came over and said, “Okay, you two–would you like to share with the entire class what is so funny?” (you can imagine the effect on two junior highers with that–more laughter!!!) I slowly pointed to my knee so the teacher saw it, and he started laughing, too! But that kind of friendship, both in a girlfriend and in a spouse or significant other, is a gift that no money can buy!!!

  39. Karen says:

    This post truly made me laugh- my parents have a cottage on Newfound Lake in New Hampshire where the wind can pick up quickly. My Dad who loves gadgets that measure the wind would always say ” check the Anemometer Anne” . My mom’s name is Anne. My sister and I say Anemometer all the time now when it’s windy outside- Anemometer! And it just cracks us up everytime. 🙂

  40. Enikö says:

    What a delightful tribute to our dear Margot and to your lasting friendship! Poor Jim was reading the Times next to me in bed as I was reading this… He can’t fathom why I repeatedly burst out in laughter & why I had to sprint to the bathroom before it was too late… Somehow I don’t think he would get the poahk or the kickkk, kicking burrrd…or what it is about girlfriends that is so amazingly special… Thanks for the laugh, Sue! You are brilliant! xoxo

  41. Jocelyn says:

    Susan, we all need a girlfriend we can snort with. I’ve been blessed to have one too 🙂

  42. Kristy Janus says:

    I LOVED your story Susan-my husband and I LOVE Dances with Wolves and we talk in “Standing With a Fist-ish” for days after we watch it! I also feel a kindred spirit with Francine, as I have a funeral story that ended in tears from laughter also. Which is even more remarkable, since it is about my mom. My Mom had Multiple Sclerosis, diagnosed in 1964, when I was 3. My sister was 5 and my brothers 6 and 7. She lived a very full life, always trying to look at the positive and making our family feel like a Norman Rockwell painting. At her funeral 10 years ago next month, my Dad’s good friend, a deacon, was giving a prayer service. I was in the front pew sitting next to my sister. The deacon began a beautiful tribute to my mom, and we were all listening intently. In the middle, he began talking about my mom being in heaven with Jesus, and went on to add, “She no longer is in pain, needs no more crutches, wheelbarrow, or canes.” Well, my sister and I slowly reached for each other’s hand and dug our fingernails into each other palms to keep from laughing. After the man finished speaking, our family walked into a side room. My sister and I closed the door, took one look at each other and burst out laughing! We laughed until we cried and then laughed some more. We kept thinking of Dad pushing mom around in a dirty old wheelbarrow with her legs sticking out the front yelling, “Honey-SLOW DOWN!” My dad finally had to tell us to pull ourselves together just like years ago in church when we would get the giggles! That poor deacon never knew he said “wheelbarrow” when he meant to say “wheelchair,” but it provided us with a great relief by giving us all a good laugh! My mom would have been laughing the loudest!

  43. Thanks so much for sharing Margot and her work – what a talent! I especially loved her mermaids…

    What a blessing girlfriends can be. The older I get, the more I treasure my friendships with women. I sometimes wish I could go back and tell the nineteen or twenty-something me how valuable these relationships with girlfriends are, what an amazing source of strength and support we women are to each other. I probably would have saved myself a lot of grief. 😉

    ♥ Carolee

    • sbranch says:

      One of my favorite quotes is from Oprah — she was talking to Maya Angelou on the Oprah Show, she said, “Yes, well, we did then what we knew how to do, now that we know better, we do better.” Perfect! xo

  44. Karen P. says:

    Loved this fun post once again, Susan. So happy that you are surrounded by fun, loving people. xoxo……kp

  45. Pam says:

    You little rascals!! That made me laugh, I think we’ve all been there, got a fit of the giggles when it’s inappropriate. The trouble is if I start laughing and can’t stop I always get of fit of the hiccups. Margot sounds like a wonderful friend.

  46. Sandy Richmond says:

    Good morning Susan,
    I love that your blogs always make me stop and reflect, and appreciate something in my life.
    One of my favorite sounds is my husband’s laughter.. We have been married 34 years, and are at a point where we don’t even need to say a word. We know we are thinking the same thing and start to laugh! And yes, my BF Pat (Mofjeld) and I have shared so many laughs together, and have special words between us (like “lurch” for instance).It’s so true, we got moved for talking more than a few times in school, but we were both good students, so I’m not sure the teachers knew quite what to do with us! My brothers and I can burst into laughter with just one word, and my “craft night” friends and I do the same thing, and my girfriends from church too! The one and only time I had my cards read by a psychic, she told me I was surrounded by love, but after reflecting, I would say love and laughter! Thanks again Susan, for the chance to reflect on the good things in life that money can’t buy!

  47. Darlene says:

    Surely a gift to have such a wonderful girlfriend and husband with whom to love, laugh and share so much!! My kids, well they’re 19 and 23 now, and husband can make me laugh sometimes so much it hurts and I cry but it feels so good if you know what I mean??!! We share that same sense of silly and funny between us and I have that with my sisters and brother too…..very special. It seems as though I’ve seen Margot before…perhaps in your artwork Susan? She is beautiful! Thanks for sharing xoxo

  48. Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

    Found myself snorting with laughter at your stories! My girlfriend and I could giggle about ANYTHING! Occasionally in life, you find that sisterhood connection with one person and presto! you’re never lonely. Just thinking of the silly things Bobbie and I laughed at make me laugh out loud years later. One day we were IM-ing on the computer and got the silly-giggles about nothing – the kind of giggle that makes you sincerely believe you are “going to pee your pants” giggle. We knew each other so well we were laughing at things that hadn’t even been written yet! Giggles are a precious gift! Those who “giggle” us are even more precious. THANKS for my morning giggle – it will take me through the day!! xoxo

  49. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good morning Susan and all ~
    Dances with Wolves is a movie my family often uses words and quotes from too!
    We like “John Dumb bear” as well as ” Keey…king Buurrrd”. We always use the line “Put that in your book” when someone does something funny ( not just THAT anything not at the best time.) I do not need to explain do I?!
    My husband just asked me what I was doing and I told him about you and your friend sitting at the ” naughty table” ( I always end up there too!) he said I have a quote too
    ( borrowed from the movie Stripes) ” Lighten up Frances! Love it!
    Love your blog!

  50. Laughter is the best gift we can give to each other and it does seem to sneak up on us at inappropriate time/places especially in Church…as a child I would find someone or something that would make me shake with giggles only to find myself moved between my parents during a prayer?? My Dad saw no humor in that behavior (20 yr. Military); but, Mother was normally right in the middle with me (must of been Dad doing the shuffling of me between them)….and I don’t care what you try to do to stop it just doesn’t work!! I think having a sense of humor is one of the best personality traits a person can have and I was blessed with enough for everyone!! I can remember a funeral of a Great Aunt and my Mother and I went up to her casket together and were just standing there when all of a sudden we both saw at the same time her eyes open/shut?? we didn’t say a word until the car ride home (not sure if the other had seen it), and with a nervous laugh that lasted the entire trip home!!! We have no idea what that was all about…having girlfriends and Mothers/Sisters is a very special gift that is very important and I agree is also good for our health (beats paying medical bills)….Susan, cherish all the times you can share with Margot and if you are lucky enough to have a husband that is your “soul mate” like I am…..that is just icing on the cake!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Deborah! Little worried about your Great Aunt–I didn’t think that was supposed to happen! Good thing your Mom was there!

  51. Pamela Jo says:

    Wow! Margot is quite a gal. Very inspiring post, as always! I just checked out your You Tube video of Girl meets Jack (I subscribed to your You Tube page so I don’t miss a thing now! Awesome videos!). I used to have a “Mommy Cat” and then inherited a boy…”Sammy” after my uncle passed away. All of them are gone now, but when I got Sam, I introduced him to Mommy the same way. Put him in a carrier and just let Mommy investigate as she pleased. Neither was too thrilled, but they did get used to each other. Mommy was very private and never did really want to be too involved with Sam. Every now and then, I would find the two together on my plant window. Sometimes Sam would be sleeping with his head on Mommy’s side. That was as much as she tolerated, though. However, they never fought with one another. Just chose to live in the same house while ignoring each other most of the time. The times they spent on the plant window were a joy to see! Now I just have Molly. When I picked her out at the shelter, they were very specific to say that she does NOT like other animals (not too many people, either). It is true, b/c even if she sees my neighbor’s cats outside just through my parlor window, Molly growls, hisses, and whacks the window with all her might. No new kitties for me as long as I have my Sweet Molly. I pray that’s a very long time. She wonderfully loving with me and sticks close by my side, always! Continued good wishes with your babies! ~xoxo~

  52. Barbara Tabb says:

    OH!!! you tell such a great story. I also burst into laughter, then snorted as I continued to laugh, then got tears because of my laughter! And all while I’m sitting here in my Lanz flannel nightgown while my husband is getting coffee in the kitchen and saying: what is so funny? that is just the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time!!! and I have always loved that movie (although I can’t watch past the wedding part because it’s sad and downhill after that) and always laugh when she says Mmm Kicking Bird! and I can hear it in my head! Isn’t that funny how things like that stay in your head? we do a thing at work where we throw movie quotes into daily conversation when it applies. Like: Oh my gosh! “You’re killing me Smalls!!” or if someone mentions basement and you say “There’s no basement in the Alamo!” and it’s like this big inside joke that every now and again a total stranger will get and you instantly bond with that person! But Susan, that made me laugh so hard, and when you’re in public and just laugh uncontrollably – MAN! that has happened to me! Like last Christmas Eve the choir wass singing at Midnight Mass and someone hit a wrong note and my son leaned over to me and says: “This is like the church choir before Whoopie takes over” and then both of us are laughing in church and can’t stop! yup, been there, done that! Love you for sharing with us, and I’m sure you know laughter is a better release and healthier for you than crying! 🙂

  53. Paula B. says:

    Not a sad story but I’m tearing up (about your Margot friendship and how she came along and “saved you”) but then I was really chuckling over the artists’ meeting. I have a friend like that, Patti, it seems like she’s always been in my life and very recently she helped me out in a major way: “thanks, patti”! Did you know that you are a real New Englander, you located a place by saying what used to be there……!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, that’s how it’s done! 🙂 I live in the Bowditch house, it won’t become the Branch/Hall house until we no longer live here! My old house is the Branch house, although I knew it as the Butler house!

  54. Paula B. says:

    Oh, one more thing: I love Dances with Wolves, remember going to see it with my aunt at the theater in Dennis, couldn’t take it all in and had to go a second time to see again on the big screen. Ironically, I will be showing it to my senior electives class next week as it really highlights that period in the American westward movement. Always loved how that character spoke and her movie story of how she is taken by the Indians is one that has remained with me. On a lighter note, my husband (who is also a history teacher) and I, have this thing where we say, “If you were an Indian your name would be (fill in something appropo to the moment)”, and then we crack each other up. Now we do it to others but sometimes they don’t get it???

  55. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Morning! FUN BLOG! Cracked me up! Secret words, untimely giggling, snorting, hysteria – always make my day! Margot is amazing & has great hair! Stands With A Fist hair, not so great! Love the comment about the Stanford guy, he’s so smart, but, I’ve always known it’s girlfriends (& daughters) that get me through – life! Thanks for sharing dear ladies & Jack! xoxo

  56. Tana says:

    I didn’t see that coming!!! It was so funny. There is nothing better than a good laugh in the morning. Thank you so much for this story. I have been saying “Kick, Kicking Burrrd” for the last half hour and I can’t see it stopping anytime soon.

  57. PatsyAnne says:

    I had to read all the comments to see if anyone had the same question I did – and low-and-behold I’m a first! Your photo of the spoon going into your teacup has an engraving and its driving me crazy – “Love and scandal(?) are the best sweeteners of tea.” – Where is that quote from – do you know? I’d love to do a cross stich of the saying.

  58. JudyCnNC says:

    Aren’t they the best ? and they love you in spite of who you are. I just hope everyone has one of those very special friends in their life. Judy C

  59. Sarah Maldonado says:

    Thanks for sharing such a fun and also moving story of your dear friend. I wouldn’t want to be in a world without artists like the two of you….those talents bring such joy to so many. Then, there’s that gift of friendship that we can all relate to. I lost my sister-in-law to cancer less than a month after her diagnosis last week. We had a house full of friends here yesterday…the kind who step in with food, quiet hand-holding, bringing remembered stories and laughter just when you need it. These are the friends who will help my dear brother find hope in his days ahead. Friendship is so important to nurture, for friendship is what matters most when days are difficult and what can make the best day even more joyous. Here’s a toast to true friends!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh, I am so sorry! What a terrible loss for your family. My prayers are with you — and here is a toast to your sister-in-law and true friends!

      • Sarah Maldonado says:

        And you’ll be glad to know we DID raise our glasses to toast my sister-in-law yesterday and the glasses were the vintage wine glasses I ordered from you. We will always smile when we think of that moment. 🙂

    • Siobhan says:

      So sorry for your loss, Sarah! Virtual hugs to you.

      • sarah maldonado says:

        Thank you for your hugs. I always feel like we are all surrounded by special friends on here and you are proof of that.

  60. Joan says:

    Susan – I love Margot’s work. I’ve met her twice, once at a book signing at the Bunch of Grapes, and once when she was working on the original mural at the SSA. I first saw her illustrations in Carly Simon’s books and I was hooked. She’s not only a fantastically gifted artist but a genuinely nice person.
    I’m a big fan of yours too… 🙂 I met you once at the Bunch of Grapes and you signed your ‘Love’ book for me… one of many of your books that I have.

  61. Ellen Beeton says:

    First of all, Dances With Wolves is on my all-time favorite movie list, certainly the soundtrack is my all time favorite. My grown/adult children and I have a similar thing we do when we all get together, someone will say one little word from a time long ago and we all crack up. No one around us knows what the heck we are talking about and we get the strangest looks. Thanks for sharing.

  62. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Happy Sunday Sweet♥Sue….I Just read & re~Read This Blog…I’m still Laughing…then I went & told The Entire Story to Herbster…cause “WE” too (We’ve known eachother for 27 years)…also Share The One~Brain Thingy…& it just happened again last Night this time with a New Song/Music Video…it gave us Goosebumps!…. The Souls & Minds “Connected”…..I Can Actually Hear You ask Joe what He wants for Dinner…”Poahk”…Hilarious…& K-Kick Kickkkk Kicking Burrrd….with You & Joe…& omggggggggg Your Cute & Oh so Talented Margot….Now I Must Read Her Book…”A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids”…it sounds very Magical….Thank You Sweetest Sue for Bringing us so Much Joy & Laughter & for Sharing with Us so much of You! Wishing You & Joe & Kitty & Jack a Scrumptious~Sunday!…”And the Song from beginning to end I found in The Heart of a Friend ♥” Perfection…..xoxo Poof! ♫♥ 🙂

  63. Patricia says:

    Lovely story- both about your husband and your friend! May I share this little story because it just occurred and the girlfriends might get a little kick out of it. My husband has been working in his office upstairs. He came down and the following conversation took place:
    Russ: Would you like a cup of tea?
    Me: No, I don’t think I want one
    Russ: Oh, I really wanted to have a cup of tea with you
    Me: But will you sit with me and have a cup of tea or will you take your tea back upstairs?
    Russ: Well, I’ll go back upstairs- but we’ll both be drinking the tea at the same time
    Me: (much laughter)
    Russ: And you say I’m not romantic!
    (Girlfriends- I had the tea)

  64. Sandra says:

    Absolutely delightful! You are both blessed.

  65. Siobhan says:

    “I made my way through her hair.” I am rolling on the floor from laughter here. That drop-dead-gorgeous mane of hair…Wow!!!

    Thank you SO much for sharing your dear friend and her very special work with us…what a talented bunch you run with, not surprisingly, with your own gifts.

    One of my bffs and I were dance majors in college together and we seriously could not stand near each other nor look at each other during class with one particular instructor…one peek at the other one of us would cause apoplectic conniptions. It was a task to get through class without widening my eyes and clenching my jaw to stop the snorting. I hope everyone has a friend like this…one teensy look is all it takes. Kicking Brrrd will never be the same for any of us.

    It is perhaps not coincidental that my mother’s bff of over 60 years passed away on 11/11/11 after an illness. God rest the soul of Noreen O’Reilly…she was a gem and a true girlfriend, and God bless you, Susan, for having the skills and talent and heart to share all your girlfriendy genius with us. I so dread losing my friends, my dear dear girlfriends, and I guess it goes without saying, we all do, right? This seems like an appropriate place to raise a teacup to the friendship of Noreen and my mom…after all, they were my girlfriend-role-models. Long live the girlfriends!

  66. Nina says:

    Hi Susan this post was soooo funny! I have a name for those uncontrollable laughs beyond giggles, I call them “Belly laughs” because they come from the belly up! lol. A friend of mine brought me Margots book for christmas last year and when she gave it to me she said “If ever there were a land locked mermaid its you Nina!” I shall always treasure it! xxxx

  67. Tina says:

    Thank heavens! I thought my husband and I were the only strange married couple to have code words that make no sense but always trigger laughter in us. Oddly enough, one of the words is also from “Dances With Wolves”. For us, it’s Tatanka.
    Silly word play, but we find ourselves doing the very same thing that you and Joe do, and we’ve been at it for over 40 years now!

  68. Sarah Powell says:

    Legends in your own time, the both of you. And, it’s quite a legacy you both will give Martha’s Vineyard. Lucky souls, one and all. xox s

  69. Nancy says:

    What a wonderful story and I am so happy to learn about Margot. What a talented person….our own Arkansas Children’s Hospital mural is a great testament to that.

  70. even though I haven’t lived in the States for many years now, I wake up to the smell of fresh brewed Kwah-fee . . and as I sit in my comfy chair sipping the steaming Kwah-fee I think of all my friends Across The Pond and send them my Best Love each and every day . . . All my girlfriends and my BFFE all live Stateside . . miss them all heaps but they are with me each and every step of the way every single day . .
    miss those fits of the screamin’ giggles . . but now we Skype the giggles!

  71. LOVED this story. I have a dear, dear friend that takes right off with me when either of us delivers a line from a movie that might not have anything to do with the situation we’re in, but maybe just one word starts us off. My friend’s sister was visiting over an extended time that we were both staying at the house and finally had to tell us that we had way to many inside jokes. Your blog today puts me right back in her presence. We were once asked to leave a yoga class because we got the giggle-snorts over something and just ruined the whole zen thing. Gosh, I miss her! It’s time to get on a plane again (yuck) and maybe being Young Frankenstein with me!

  72. Funny, we were just
    laughing in the car,
    this afternoon at one
    of our family “words”
    that no one would really
    “get” but us…..You are
    so right, it truly is the
    glue that binds, and I
    am so happy for you that
    you have that glue by the
    truck load!

    xx Suzanne

  73. Bess says:

    Susan, this is a great story, so funny … and I enjoyed learning about your friend and her work. You are as talented a writer as you are an artist! Thanks for all that you put into your wonderful blog. It is a breath of sweet fresh air to me.

  74. Linda Morrison says:

    Oh my gosh Susan You had me doing belly laughs with your story of you and your girlfriend in the “meeting”. “Kick-King Buuuuurrd. I’m going to laugh every time I watch Dances With Wolves and hear her say that! Thanks for the belly laughs today!

  75. sharon spaulding says:

    I laughed out loud when I read your story about Margot, Joe, poahk and Kkkkicking Bird” I can hear Mary McDonnell saying that now! It reminds me of a time when 3 of my dearest friends, my sisters, & I were on a trip to San Francisco with my parents. Being a good Catholic family, we went to mass at St. Mary’s cathedral on Sunday morning. When it came time for the sermon, the priest told the story of the two sisters in the Bible Martha & Mary. But he didn’t say Martha & Mary, he said MO-tha & Meeeeeery. Well, all it took was a look between us sisters and we were giggling. Every time he said MO-tha & Meeeeeery, which was OFTEN in his long sermon, we laughed more, MO-tha & Meeeeeery, then we snorted, MO-tha & Meeeeeery and then we could not even look at each other. Of course my parents were mortified and annoyed! My sisters and I still crack-up, 40 years later when we recall that day. Thanks for jogging my silly memory!

  76. Dale Worness says:

    Seems all my funny stories involve food! One time I was working in an office and one of the girls had a birthday cake. I was lucky enough to snag the last piece, but unfortunately it slid off my plate and onto the carpet. Of course I got down on the floor to clean it up. There was another girl standing too close to me, so as
    I was getting up, somehow I managed to hit my head on the bottom of her plate and HER cake went flying also! We all had our laughs that day!

    I live in Florida and one Christmas my 2 cousins and 1 cousin-in-law came to visit me. Since 2 of my local friends were coming for Christmas dinner also, I got the brilliant idea to eat outside! Who does that??? Somehow we managed to drag my dining-room table out the front door (it did get stuck!) and around to the side yard. Since there really wasn’t room on the table for the turkey platter, we (I?) decided to put it on the rabbit hutch in my yard. The hutch sloped, so before we could catch it, the platter, turkey and all slid onto the grass! My cousin dubbed it “Turkey in the Straw”! Yes, we washed it off as best we could since the only other option was hot dogs! The next year I went to their house in Chicago and it snowed Christmas day, so no outside Christmas dinner that year! 🙁

    One more! One October I went to visit my friend Irene in MI. We were at her house and she just finished telling me she was going to have a piece of pumpkin pie. As she was taking it out of the fridge, it fell out of the box and onto the floor and really shattered. She forgot she had already opened the box! All I could say was “OR NOT”!!! I was afraid to look at her in case she was mad, but as soon as our eyes met, we both started laughing so hard! I actually rolled on the floor! So now our catch phrase is “or not”!

    Next time I’ll tell you about “Batimore” and “Betty Batter”! Yes, if laughter is the best medicine. I should be VERY healthy!

  77. Bonny ~* says:

    Don’t you just love these wonderful “inside joke” moments with friends! It’s the best laughter there is!!!! Thanks…got me laughing out loud! ~*

  78. Kelly J. says:

    It’s amazing how friends swoop in right when we need them the most! Thanks for sharing your stories of “getting the giggles” and “family-speak”….we have our own little gems around here as well 🙂

  79. Ann C. says:

    Thanks for sharing! I can see why the two of you are such wonderful friends…

  80. Michelle says:

    Great stuff, per usual. The word my husband and I say, ohsomeaningfully to one another? PANTS. Just cracks us up. And now we have a son, so even more occasions to say it! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Pants is good too! I think I can see it. P’s are good.

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        I also remembered a few more words we have fun with… snorkel (schnorkal) & package (payg..age) ) as a family. We won’t even get into all the midwestern words and phrases “Don’t ya know eh?”

  81. Janie Phillips says:

    You’ve spoken of your girlfriends with so much love that I’ve grown fond of them myself, so to meet Margot this way is an absolute treat. She’s beautiful, talented, and ~ obviously very funny! ~ just like you, Sue. It’s easy to see why you two are such good friends. There are few things in life better than a girlfriend who can make you laugh!

  82. CindyK says:

    I adored reading about your friend Margot, and the video brought me closer to her! What a delightful person! You are fortunate to have her for a friend. I LOVED the story about Kicking Bird, and how Margot brought it up in the artist’s meeting!! What a riot!! Thank you for this wonderful blog post. It will be one I will remember forever!

  83. Hi Susan,

    Loved your post. I can relate so well because Melissa, my wife and another one of your adoring but compu-phobic admirers, and I do the same things! And then, there’s my favorite aunt… We used to sit in the attic at my grandma’s house reading old family letters and looking at pictures. She could read those letters in the most hilarious voices, and some of the mix-ups that came out of her mouth when it was hard to make out certain words were far funnier than what any of those letters could have said. Certain words or phrases are like code words for us and can start both of us off into gales of laughter.

    Two more little things… I was so lucky to find your big Christmas book at a thrift store yesterday. Perfect condition and 99 cents! I felt a little guilty paying so little, but not so guilty that I didn’t do it. It’s so great. I already had your little Christmas book, but there’s rather a lot of butter and sugar staining on it… especially around the Mary’s Mother’s Snowballs page.

    Take care and thanks for another great post,


  84. SHARON MORGAN says:

    You are absolutely amazing! I loved this story so much — it brought back the memory of me doing the same thing at a ladies conference — and I was in the middle of a long row – had to potty on top of it all! No matter how hard my friend and I tried – we couldn’t keep the laughter inside — made quite an embarrassing scene as we rushed out that aisle to the hallway where we were scolded by one of the hotel clerks. Made me smile with laughter all over again. Thank you! 🙂

  85. Joann says:

    One of the FUNNIEST parts of this story is trying to get through her hair to get to her ear to whisper!!!!! I laughed out loud!! Oh my goodness….how wonderful to have a friend to laugh that wholeheartedly with….

    We have words, too, but mostly accents. Because my mom is German, many of the things she says sound ‘funny’ with her German accent (well, they do to US when we try to talk like her). It’s all done in love…..but if we ever need a laugh, there are a few phrases we’ll use that are from her lovely little mis-use of our language…..I’m so happy you have those funny words, too!!! It’s the simplest of things which truly bring us the most joy…..


  86. Carol D. says:

    You are a riot! That’s why Ilike you so much!

  87. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Thank you for sharing your friend with us!

    Here at our house, my husband and our boys blurt out lines from movies. Our three younger girls have now started doing the same thing, but with lines from Little House and The Waltons. It’s hilarious.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful world.

    • sbranch says:

      I know, Goodnight John-Boy! 🙂

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Susan, we used to use that one, “Goodnight, John-Boy” all the time…when we used to have three schnauzers, all of whom slept on the end of our bed, we’d be silly and go through all of their names separately sometimes…”Goodnight Katie, Goodnight Lucy, Goodnight Rudy, Goodnight Norm, and then finally, Goodnight John-Boy!” 🙂

  88. Joan B says:

    Phenomenal!!! Sisters of the heart – I am blessed with many of them and can’t imagine life without them. What an inspiration to see Margot’s gorgeous artwork and hear her talk about it. Love, love, love your blog Susan – thank you soooooooooooo much!!!

  89. I loved this story. We had many family-only jokes through the years and share a love of movie lines.

    Recently I was watching a DVD of the X-files episode “Bad Blood” (yes, really). It is one of their funny episodes and this one about vampires (again… yes, really).

    Through the entire episode, I am texting my daughter who lives near Boston (1,000 miles from me and where there is the definitive New England accent) with favorite lines. She would text back the next favorite line coming up and we were both laughing and sharing memories through the miles.

    The movie we know the most lines from? Probably Casablanca… sigh.

  90. Dale Worness says:

    I promised you the “Betty Batter” story, so here goes! My friend Don recited this little ditty to me the first time we went to WalMart together nearly 8 years ago, and did that ever crack me up! (I really DID need butter!) It still makes me laugh whenever he tells it to someone new.

    Betty Batter had some butter but she said “this butter’s bitter. If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter” So Betty Batter bought some better butter and put it in her batter and that made her batter better! 🙂

    Enjoyed “meeting” Margot. There’s a Datz Deli near me. Maybe they need a mural!

  91. Nellie says:

    What a hilarious story!:-) Margot is truly a wonderful friend. How fortunate you are, Susan, to have such a treasure! xoxo

  92. Holly says:

    My mom, whom I dearly love, has a rather humorous habit of getting common phrases mixed up, such as “pinch the penny pot” instead of “pinching pennies”, for example. She has come up with many goofy sayings over the years so several years ago, my siblings and I made a “dictionary” for her for Christmas. My brother is the artist so he drew the accompanying artwork and my sisters and I lettered the pages and wrote the “definitions”. We have never laughed as loud at a Christmas since. We still use her sayings almost daily; in fact, I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the original sayings! Mom even cracks herself up! 🙂

  93. Suzanne says:

    Hi Sue…..I had never given this much thought but when you brought it to light its so amazing how many “words” we have this connection to. My husband and I too love saying Kicking Birrrd as well as Wa chi chu Wa chi chu!!! from the movie when he is coming to the indian camp with Kicking Birrrd laying across his horse, and the indian woman starts yelling it to everyone to warn them. So, anytime we get startled we yell “Wa chi chu, wa chi chu”!, people look at us like we’re crazy but its just a thing we do. I can only imagine how hard it must have been to try not to laugh at that meeting…it must have been so funny!
    And….being originally from the eastern part of the state my family still has the Boston accent and we have many words we say as well, like over hea and roast poahk! I’m always teasing my sistas as I have lost the accent through the years and I only live 50 miles from them! I live in western Ma. Oh well, this is such a funny thing to think about. You’re the best!

  94. Holly says:

    Hi Susan, I just read part of the Willard. I love that you have a “life soundtrack”. My husband and I do too. Actually, we have several, mostly 60’s – 70’s music, a rock track, and a “top 100” of every year back to the 40’s. And, I have the pleasure of my husband singing along to nearly every song. We spend every night, beginning at dinner with “life track” music. I really think it’s what helps to keep us happy people. Have you ever used I have made several playlists there. It’s free, and the music is limitless. Big band is my favorite music to sew/quilt by. 🙂 oh… more Jack pics too, I almost have my husband agreeing to a new kitty! He got a real kick out of your Jack. Thanks for inspiring happiness.

  95. Lori says:

    What a great story! Nothing is as good as laughter that reduces us to tears. I went to a Catholic college and my friend Shawn and I were both non – Catholics. We went to mass one day and we were trying to behave. As we walked in, we noticed there were marbles in the holy water. She said “Look – one of the nuns lost her marbles.” That was it. It was downhill from there. (We had a chance to ask later about the marbles and they were there to catch the lint or dirt from people’s fingers as they dipped in the water.) Lucky for us, the sisters often had a sense of humor too. They were the *inspiration* for many laughs!

  96. Rosemary (Sissy) says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your friend and your story. My friend Sue, on a cruise we took with other quilting friends a couple years ago, were ‘roomies’ in our vaaarandahhh room. One night Sue was just so put out with her pillow, she kept fluffing it to try and make it comfortable. I just looked over at her and started laughing…then she started laughing…and it just escalated into uncontrollable laughter where we had tears. Now, when we are together, she’ll just say “fluff, fluff” and we start laughing just like the first time. Even in a letter or note she’ll write “fluff, fluff” and that just makes me giggle to myself. Girl-friends are the best. And I can relate to the other posts about family having funny insider jokes–our family (especially my son) has The Christmas Story down pretty good, ‘meatloaf-beetloaf’, ‘ohhhh fffuuudddggeee!!’ and those dasterdly Bumpus dogs! hahaha! Family and Friends….can’t beat that combo!

  97. Gail from Hingham, Ma. says:

    Hi Susan,
    There is absolutely no doubt about it, womens’ friendships are AMAZING. I don’t know what we would all do without our dear girlfriends to count on during troubled times and laugh with during happy ones.
    I love the quote you ended your blog with “And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend. After I read it, I googled it to see where it came from. It is the last line of a beautiful poem by Longfellow, all about friendship. Just in case anyone else is interested in reading a lovely poem, it is titled The Arrow and the Song. Have a lovely evening dear friends!

  98. Karen P. says:

    Oh my goodness!!!! Just discovered that I have 2 of Margot’s books….Amy the Dancing Bear and The Fisherman’s Song!!!! I bought them at the time because they were so gloriously illustrated. Love them…love her talent! Nice to make the connection to you, Susan.

  99. Carol Moon says:

    Hi Susan,

    I feel like saying “first time caller, long time listener”. Just like your friend Margot got YOU through rough times, YOU, through your “Girlfriends Forever” book helped me by lifting my spirit during my divorce years ago. Poring over your stories in that book, trigged such fond memories of growing up in Southern California. You have such an eye for details. You and I grew up near each other, I went to Huntington Beach every day in the summers. The photos of your friends and you in that book are the same vintage as me with my friends. and I am still BFF with my college roommate from San Diego State from 1972. So I wanted to say Thank You Sooo Much for your positive energy, your playful spirit, and wonderful way with words and pictures. I’ve enjoyed you for years, just wanted you to know you make a difference. You are a gift to us all, all your “girlfriends” at heart.

  100. Annabelle says:

    Rock on sister’s!

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