Moments in Time . . . Thanksgiving 2011

A few moments in time, I thought you might like to see, caught by the camera lens, of our Thanksgiving 2011.  ♥  

The table’s waiting, anticipating, Music‘s playing

Most of our lovely guests are still at home, preparing to be fascinating . . . 

A bouquet of alstroemeria is cheering the guest room; for our friends Rachel and Paul who came all the way from England to have Thanksgiving with us. ♥

More flowers are blooming in the living room.  The clock is tick-tick-ticking on the mantle.  And, finally it’s time to get down to the business of . . .

Time to sprinkle the sugar over the cranberries and roast them at 350° until they are properly tart and bubbling. (The British language is rubbing off on me!! 🙂 “Properly,” such a good word!  Now, say “tart” without the “r” — Tawt.  Uh-oh, I feel a kicking burrrd coming on.)

Time to taste my grandma’s stuffing; more sage?  More salt?  More butter?  Where’s my dad when I need him!!!?  Time to stuff the turkey!

Time to harvest pomegranate seeds for the salad (unless you live close to a Trader Joe’s, who sells them in containers, all harvested and ready to go!).

And just about NOW in the proceedings is when we learn that our dishwasher is no longer working.  Doesn’t turn on.  Joe looked at it, checked fuses; I did my part, I kicked it; nothing.  There was life before dishwashers, we assure ourselves.  Onward and upward.

Besides, Little Women is on TV making the perfect background noise, what more could we ask for?

Time to pour off the roasted turkey juices to make the gravy.

Light the candles, pour the wine . . .

And read a beautiful poem that makes everyone cry; we toast Gerry and thank him; we toast each other and our friendships; count our blessings out loud; remember times gone by, thinking of our moms and dads, brothers and sisters, our grandmas and grandpas that can’t be with us today . . . we are so grateful . . . for all of it, for what has gone by and for what is still to come . . . “touching hands . . . “

Then it was, “Please pass the cranberry sauce.  Did everyone get mashed potatoes?Johnny, could you pass the gravy please?  White meat or dark meat?; oops, forgot the rolls  . . .”   “Mmmmm,” we are saying, “Anna, your potatoes are wonderful!!!”  “Joe, the turkey is so moist!” Fork and knife noises; spinach/apple/bacon/pomegrante-seed-salad scooping; gravy puddles forming; then spooning pumpkin flan and gingerbread cake onto dessert plates, coffee stirring noises . . . more toasting, pouring wine . . . “it’s not what’s on the table that matters, it’s what’s on the chairs,” we are so wonderfully reminded, that we have fabulous chair material.

After dinner, we put another log on the fire, Paul tells British turkey jokes while I play with Jack and an ostrich feather, on the giant scratching post Joe made for him  . . .

And Martha and her daughter Anna began to sing . . .

Our talented friends brought their violin and accordion; Rachel and Paul did a darling duet for us, Martha played the piano and we all sang along.  Jack and I were in charge of kitty acrobatics.  We laughed until we cried, taking turns, telling stories about our childhood escapades; the glee we felt, the delicious anticipation, when hiding in closets preparing to scare the bejeebers out of siblings; the glee they must have felt, the delicious anticipation, when siblings obnoxiously burst out of our own closets.

In the book Little Women, and in the Autobiography of Mark Twain, and all the Jane Austen novels, I learned that before there was recorded music, before radio and TV, people made their own entertainment.  They put on plays and played the piano and sang for one another (for better or for worse :-)).  TV, especially, took away a lot of that charm; we’re so used to being entertained, we forget that we also know how to be entertainers ourselves.  We do have to be brave to recite a poem or make a toast, or sing a song, or put on a skit. But it’s such a gift to everyone and so worth it. It gave us good reason to linger around the fire after dinner, making the evening last longer, and providing the perfect inevitable ending to a wonderful Thanksgiving: gratitude galore. 

Even after everyone put on their coats, kissed and hugged us goodbye, and walked out into the cold starry night, the party didn’t end; Rachel, Paul, Joe and I danced while we blew out the candles, washed and dried the dishes, put a load of napkins in to wash and spread a clean damask cloth on the table.

Yesterday, we woke to a sunny, clear day.  We shopped the little stores on Main Street and did our job as elves to help spread Holiday Cheer.  We wandered through town, wrapped in our scarves and jackets, had a delicious lunch overlooking Edgartown harbor and the lighthouse, browsed in the used bookstore drinking hot cups of cider, and on the way home, we jumped out of the car at Bend-in-the-Road Beach to take photographs of the gorgeous sky that had lit on fire as the sun was going down.

I took pictures of Paul taking pictures . . .

Then I had to have this moment in time for myself.  Another “little thing” to be grateful for.

While I write this, taking many kitty breaks because I’m “in demand” around here, Rachel and Joe are upstairs, still asleep. Paul bundled up and went out the door a few minutes ago; he’s riding the ferry over to Woods Hole and coming straight back this morning, not even getting off the boat on the Mainland; he just wants to take photographs of the sun coming up. When he gets back, we’ll all walk out to the pond and be grateful because it’s Saturday; we still have this last day together before we all have to go back to real life. 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.  Hope your Thanksgiving was great, that the leftovers are still going strong and that you’re doing lots of elf-like things today!  Your comments have been wonderful — Love reading them!!  Thank you! XOXO

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298 Responses to Moments in Time . . . Thanksgiving 2011

  1. Susan, you had a lovely Thanksgiving table and the entertainment was just wonderful!! I kept my promise not to moan/groan about all the work this year and started at 7am and finished at 1pm and did the entire meal by myself (with my daughter offering to help)….I wanted to make it special for my family and we had a very small group this year (5) and it takes the same amount of time for 5 or 25!! I know that I was successful because for the first 10 mins. all I heard was “this is so delicious…thank you Mother”….I feel a little special because God gave my daughter Angela a very special gift her lovely voice and she has been singing since she was 2 yrs. old and her nursery rhymes in perfect tune, and throughout her school years she has won numerous awards and State Championships and we were so blessed to be able to enjoy her talent. She is a Senior in College and was selected to be a member of a Choir/Pop Orchestra and was the only one chosen out of 50 to join this year. Her dream is to tour Europe and sing in the Opera Houses and someday sing at the Metropolitan Opera in NY….I truly believe that will happen for her and I will be in the front row cheering her on!!! I am sending you a link to her website (…..if you find the time and even though she can sing all types of music….Classical Opera is her forte and that is what you will find on her site. I do think she is singing the National Anthem for a college game which she has done numerous times. If you do check out her site please leave her a comment…she is a very special young lady and as humble as they come which always endears her to whomever hears her sing. Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving with us….we are having our “leftover” meal today and I sent most of it home with each person so they could also experience that special part of the feast.

  2. Oh Susan thank you for sharing your beautiful and cozy Thanksgiving with us! What a beautiful table you set! Love the after dinner music, and the ever playful Jack! My how he is growing and taking over! Hope he is using his scratching post instead of your beautiful furniture! I made your cranberry sauce, everyone raved about it! Also tried your gravy, is that the trick, to take the juices while the turkey cooks on? I always hate that last minute rush!

    Many blessings to you Susan, Joe, Girl kitty, and of course Jack!

    • sbranch says:

      The real trick is to make gravy a few days before Thanksgiving . . . then just add the additional turkey juices at the end. The turkey “rests” for a half hour, pour the juices into a wide shallow dish, and put it in the freezer — the fat will rise to the top and harden and you can just scrape it off. What’s left is pure flavor.

  3. Kelly J. says:

    Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving with us, and how grateful we all can be to have a whole day set aside just to give thanks and enjoy each other around a lovingly prepared table! And those feelings of gratitude tend to spread and multiply into this next season of preparation & celebration. I look forward to spending them with one of my favorite authors 🙂 Back in 1990 when I received a copy of Christmas from the Heart of the Home, I was so thrilled with this really neat Christmas book to add to my collection. It quickly became one of my favorites & I thought how wonderful it would be to talk with the author! And here we are….who would of thought back then that we would all be here now! Have a blessed Advent, Susan. I just switched my Autumn book (I display them on my Nana’s little sewing table) for the Christmas one, and look forward to reading it AGAIN this year!

  4. Terry says:


    Happy Holidays! Thank you for this beautiful post. I am officially addicted to your blog. I check my email every day to see if there is a new post, and I get joy-filled when I see one. I love everything about them, your beautiful words, your photos, the music, the videos.Thank you!


  5. Karen P says:

    What a very beautiful Thanksgiving gift to us, Susan! Love every little picture, detail, description. Your tablescape is beautiful! I love your china….have you mentioned the pattern on that one before? I don’t recall seeing that one and I know you have many sets! The video of Martha and Anna is so sweet….that little Anna is adorable!

    You bring such joy to so many! We all love you for the gift you give us with every blog and every comment made. We know that you don’t HAVE to do that but you choose to give. “As a man (woman) sows, so shall he (she) reap.” I pray that you will reap all the love and warmth you give so generously to others. Have a fun time with your visit with Rachel….I’m sure they’ll be heading back soon….those wonderful visits go by so fast, don’t they?! xoxo….kp

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Karen . . . I do want everyone to know how much I love hearing from them! May not be able to do it forever, but for now, I just love the connection. That china was all Vernon Kilns, mixed patterns, Delores and Mayflower. And yes, we were just saying how short this visit seems, but we filled it to the brim with fun, that’s for sure!

  6. cecelia says:

    Susan! Enjoyed your post and pictures, video. Thank you! I loved that there was no tv present and blaring. TVs should be off or at least limited on HOlidays.
    Will you stay in MV for Christmas as well? I love MV and want to go back again. Soon.
    You’re books (i have all of them!), blog, pictures inspire me and bring beauty, peace and contentment. I also like to show my husband pics of Joe busy in the kitchen (to get him off his butt to help 😉

    • sbranch says:

      Thanks Cecelia! Yes, we’ll be here through the winter . . . so pretty here when it snows. Hope Joe rubs off! 🙂

      • Yes it’s so nice to see the men in the family pitch-in. My grown son’s and there cousins washed most of the dishes after dinner. We had quite a gathering. It was such a blessing for the women to sit and chat for awhile before the dessert was served. We all had a wonderful time. Enjoy your post. I shared with the other’s how much I enjoy your post and that you shared your Thanksgiving with us.

        • sbranch says:

          How nice Kathy! Yes it’s kind of a tradition here now, the men do everything once the guests start arriving . . . they deal with the turkey and serve the coffee and they usually do the dishes! Except this year, we kind of held that back, because of having no dishwasher. And helped them!

  7. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Safe travels to your dear friends! It was wonderful that they were here to celebrate Thanksgiving with you! xo

  8. Angie(Tink!) says:

    “Ello~Luv”….Happy Sunday Sweetest Sue….Yawnnnnnnnnnnnnn…Stretch….More Coffee Please…Oh How I Love to Start My Day with Your Magical Blog!….Frank in the Backround…”Properly~Tawt”….Your Thanksgiving was Scrumptious…Ours was too…Little Woman in the Backround tooo Until The Football Appeared… 🙂 & Leftovers Here are Almost Over! 🙂 (Still Yummy) Jack & His Feather Paul’s Voice reminds me of The British Narrator from the Animated Movie “The Snowman”…amazing…Martha & Anna ♫ Singing Wonderfully…I Love it…Our Family still Plays “Charades”…it’s Hilarious! sounds Like Rachel & Paul have had a Magical~Holiday with You & Joe & Kitty & Jack…on Your Beloved Mystical Island…Thank You for Sharing this with Us…I can close My Eyes & Imagine You & Joe & Rachel & Paul Dancing as You blew each candle Out! Sunsets & Elf~Like Things! Holiday Perfection! & Now as I read Your last Pages of Your “Autumn” I reach for Your Book “Christmas Joy” “Chill December Brings The Sleet Blazing Fire & Christmas Treat.♥” & I am so Ready to”Be an Elf” Sweet♥Sue! Yay! Twirling into Christmas~Bliss! Saying Good~Bye to Sweet November & Welcoming December with Pure Joy! sending lots of Holiday Pixie~Dust Your way….Stay warm & Cozy! xoxo Poof! ♫♥

  9. Carol says:

    Basking in the afterglow of your Thanksgiving…I revisit as often as possible to relax and enjoy your company. I shared your Thanksgiving blog with my daughters and they too, enjoyed the warmth and calm it brought to their spirits. Thank you.

  10. Cindy Govett says:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely Thanksgiving with us! Your table looked perfect, and the stories about the day were heartwarming. I LOVE the gorgeous sunset your captured — Wow! But best of all was the after-dinner entertainment; what a wonderful idea for everyone to share something after the delicious feast… Thanks for giving me a great idea for next year. Cheers!

  11. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Thank you for sharing your loveliness with us! You always put a smile on my face.
    Your home is beautiful.

  12. Marilyn says:

    I love the “it’s not what’s on the table, but what’s in the chairs” quote. So very true, isn’t it? 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your lovely Thanksgiving Day with us. May your friends have a safe journey home and again, thank you for being such an inspiration. You have inspired me to be more creative and to see things in a different light.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  13. Laura B. says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful Thanksgiving with us! Your table was beautiful! I just saw a previous post that mentioned some of the dishes were of the pattern “Mayflower”. We have enjoyed Thanksgiving dinners on my Mom’s set of Mayflower dishes for years. They are my absolute favorite and bring back such great memories. I noticed you have a teapot of the same pattern. I will have to keep my eyes open for one to add to my Mom’s collection! Have a wonderful month of December and all of the traditions that entails. Thanks for sharing your hearth, home, and wonderful self with us!

  14. Terri says:

    Oh their voices sound so sweet! Your and Jack’s performance was quite entertaining too. Hurray for homemade entertainment! Your Thanksgiving looks and sounds purr-fectly wonderful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  15. Aggie says:

    Thanks for sharing your lovely Thanksgiving and Jack’s antics. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to new posts!

  16. Elizabeth Moore says:

    I loved your tribute to your grandmother. And your Thanksgivings sounds delightful- You are right….it is the people in the chairs that make an event special.

  17. Marcia says:

    Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving celebration with us. I felt like I was actually participating with you… I also love seeing the creative ways you set the table! Have a blessed week!

  18. Stephanie says:

    This post warmed my heart – it was lovely – all the best, sweetest moments all strung together. Martha and Anna’s song was perfection – I totally welled up – beautiful. Timeless. Although – the story about the turkey and the pope that was being told during Jack’s backflip? I need to know the end of that story!

    While I get the feeling Joe doesn’t want to be a daily feature on the blog – thank him for allowing a great “action shot” of the turkey. What Thanksgiving blog would be complete without a great turkey picture?? 🙂

    Your blog makes me so happy and inspired. I’m so glad (I read above in a reply) that you will be in MV for Christmas – it will be fun to share the Christmas season with you on the blog!

    I just put your little “Christmas Joy” book on my mantle as part of my Christmas-scape mantle arrangement!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, I definitely got permission from the faces appearing in this posting . . . I really don’t want my friends (or Joe!) to run from me every time they see me with a camera!! 🙂 Thank you for making me part of your “Christmas-scape!!”

  19. Carolyn says:

    Thanks, Susan, for sharing your joy with us on Thanksgiving and every day! Isn’t it amazing how many things there are to be grateful for every day?

  20. Betty says:

    Thanksgiving Day – what a wonderful tradition and what a celebration you all had! I loved the singing.

  21. Cindy says:

    What is the trick to harvesting all those beautiful pomagranate (sp?) seeds? I must confess I just bought my very first one this past week …. at age 63 and I “wrestled” quite a few out, BUT there has to be an easier way!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Everyone is saying to do it underwater, I tried it, but didn’t think it was much neater . . . plus all the juice was lost. I just cut them in half, then in quarters, and keep lots of paper towels nearby. Bend back the pieces, tear off the yellow rind, and pop them out with your fingers. If you want a real taste treat, take a big spoonful of the seeds and crush them softly, in your mouth, between your teeth, getting out all the juices, and just spit out the juiced seeds at the end. Mmmmmm.

      • Laura says:

        You can also cut them in half and “whack” the seeds out with a wooden spoon! It’s fun!

        • sbranch says:

          If you don’t mind wiping up red spots from the windows, the top of the stove, the front door, the Beatrix Potter people, the cupboards, your face, the kittie’s tail, and the hanging pots and pans, whacking would be the perfect way to do it! 🙂

  22. Janice Kay Pipes says:

    Oh it sounds like you all had sew much fun. My sister called on wednesday and said she wasn’t cooking. Come on over there always enough food over here. Sew I set the table with all the fineer. She came over with her husband and son. We had a great dinner. And she said I have never sat down to a table like this. I did this just for you. And she gave me a big hug and cried. I asked what wrong. She was sobbing. She told me she has stage 4 breast cancer. now I’m sobbing. we pulled or chins up and made the best of it and had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  23. Pamela Jo says:

    What a wonderful Thanksgiving at your house! Thank you for sharing, as always. The videos are great! Had a peaceful weekend here spent with family. I watched “Little Women” too. The film from the 1990’s. My favorite book by one of my favorite authors. Would love to tour Orchard House one day. I start a new job tomorrow, so I am feeling somewhat nervous tonight. I’ll be working with Special Needs adults. It’s a career change for me after working with children for 30 years. I’m very thankful to have found a job, as they are not plentiful, so I am trying to keep my nerves in check and appreciate being gainfully employed once again. Tomorrow will be an interesting day, I’m sure.
    Thank you for your enjoyable blog. It’s always a joy to read!

  24. Brenda Winter says:

    Your table is beautiful! Your salad is goegeous and looks truly yummy! But…….I think I covet your candleholders is they are black amethyst! It all looks “Simply mahvelous, Dahling”!!

  25. Heidi Rose says:

    Thank you, Susan for sharing your beautiful Thanksgiving celebration with us! It’s such a treat to take a little visit into your lovely home on a such special day. Your Thanksgiving Blessing tribute to your Grandma especially touched my heart. Just yesterday, “Grandma Rose”, my wonderful mother-in-law was laid to rest on a sunny hillside in California. And today, my daughter is about to give birth to my first grandchild! So, pretty soon, my house will have a Grandma in it…me! Loved ones leave and loved ones come, and I’m so thankful for them all!

  26. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan…thanksgiving sounded just wonderful…love your table setting…the mixed matched china ( and chairs ) makes it ever more inviting…cozy…homey…i always loved it when we had so many people coming that we extended our dining table with the addition of a card table of some sort….just reeks togetherness!!! We have an extended/blended family, and not everyone could be with us on Thanksgiving Day so this year we had a Mexican fiesta on Wednesday night so we could all be together…a little crazy with chili and tacos on one side of the stove and pumpkin and pecan pies on the other!!! But it worked and we were all together mostly in the kitchen!! We don’t do the Black Friday thing, but we did travel to Kansas City, Missouri for the BIG Border War Football Game..Missouri vs Kansas…so we were handy to shop at the beautiful Country Club Plaza that is just full of lovely shops, cafes, and coffee houses….even my husband loved it!! The Plaza is famous for their beautiful Christmas lights and they were spectacular !! A wonderful L O N G week-end…now back to the real world….made so much happier with your blog in it!!! happy monday….p.s. we (Missouri) won the game… : )

  27. Ginnie says:

    Susan, your writing is like your art – so much wonderful detail, bright bursts of color, charming designs, that all together make a wonderful picture. Thank you for all the wonderful elements you share with each of your posts. It is always such a pleasure and a treat to read.

  28. Enikö says:

    Loved Martha & Anna’s duet! …At our family gathering in NH, it was a comedy of errors, but we entertained ourselves by playing Charades after dinner & had a ball! Love you Sweet-pea!

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Enikö! I haven’t met a Thanksgiving yet that didn’t have the “comedy of errors” in it! 🙂 There’s always something — our dishwasher provided the difference this time . . . a good one, as it turned out, because washing-up turned into a fun event!

  29. Holly says:

    Hello everyone! Susan, thank you for sharing such wonderful pictures. I miss sunsets over the water/mountains. We had a quiet day, dinner with friends, and a wonderful four days of nesting. I’ve been sewing almost non-stop, making baby clothes, bibs, bath blankets, and finishing the quilt. We’re expecting grandbaby #2 any minute now. We are all truly blessed. I’ve been remembering a Thanksgiving many years ago, while we lived in Egypt. I made “pumpkin pie” from big very odd looking squash, and apricot tarts from dried fruit. We shared a “potluck” dinner with other Americans… all of us far from home and missing family. I think Thanksgiving is a state of the heart. Again, thank you for sharing your holiday. Jack is growing! I’m asking Santa for a kitten. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Holly — Thanksgiving far from home can be the most poignant of them all, reminding us again of how lucky we are. May all your Christmas dreams come true!

  30. Patti says:

    That was just beautiful! What you wrote about your Grandmother in that little snapshot made me cry. Our Mom’s and Grandma’s really make the holidays “happen” for all of us. I am so grateful to them for all of the wonderful hoilday memories and how HARD they worked. I am happy to carry the torch now for my family, I do it with great joy, but boy oh boy it is exhausting.
    Your Martha’s Vineyard sunsets are truly amazing! Thanks a bunch for sharing your everyday life with us! I look foward to every new post.

  31. Sandy Richmond says:

    Good morning Susan,
    Thanks for the glimpse into your holiday! I really enjoy reading this blog, and seeing how you and others celebrate. Where was Girl Kitty during all of the festivities? My daughter lives in LA (we live in Massachusetts), and she and her Friends from other states gather for “orphan” Thanksgiving. Nice to know the holiday traditions are important to the single 20 somethings too! Like some of the others, I have put your Christmas books out. I like to put out a basket of Christmas books, including children’s classics… take care-keep up the good work…

    • sbranch says:

      Girl Kitty is not as wild about commotion as Jack obviously is! She was up on the bed, happy as a clam. Thanks Sandy!!

  32. pat addison says:

    what a wonderful Thanksgiving, thank you for sharing it..sounds so wonderful and cozy. i am sure girl kitty and jack had fun with the guests and got lots of love and attention from everyone. our thanksgiving was good, and now its over and the preps for christmas have begun. have a good day Susan and everyone!!! 🙂

  33. Jacqui G says:

    Hi Susan!! I’m just back from a whirlwind weekend trip to Disney/Universal- so nice to find such a beautiful Thanksgiving message on your blog. I did want to tell you that our family Christmas gatherings ALWAYS include “carols at the spinet” – me on piano and my Brother on guitar-and the rest of the clan, old and young alike, singing out with gusto! Wouldn’t want it any other way~ xoxo Jacqui

  34. Debra Gibbs says:

    All I can say is–you make my heart sing!

  35. Suzyblatz says:

    Just looking at the photos in the above blog lets me SEE the love that was there such a magical feeling. Thanks for sharing all you special moments with us. You have no idea how much it all means to me. Love and Happy Holidays to come.

  36. Kirsten Wichert says:

    Your Thanksgiving looks just like in the old movies!!! Love it! I especially love how the turkey went from raw to gorgeously (if that’s a word?) cooked in 3 photos! It’s so good to know that these times are not “times past” if we continue doing them! Unfortunately, I am the oldest of the family now and don’t have much control over the holidays anymore. Most of the 30’s and under crowd stared at their electronic technology the entire day. No one seems to talk anymore. So many busy fingers……I totally enjoyed being together anyway. I’ve learned to take it as it comes whatever way it does.

    So, so sorry about your dishwasher! I lost mine over a year ago and thought I’ll never get through another holiday again. I keep meaning to get it fixed but my son insists that it’s not worth it. This coming from a 28 yr old who crashed on Big Bear Mtn., fractured his arm in two, had surgery to put a rod in his arm, and is resting in bed for the duration……..Don’t think he’ll be washing any dishes, LOL.

    Jack looks like he’s gotten bigger, or is that my imagination? He’s so cute jumping at the feather and flopping to the floor! Now that’s entertainment!

    Thanks again for the blog, Susan. It’s a bright spot in my day. I’m gratefull.

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Kirsten, Nice to hear from you! Yesterday the fix-it man came and he was able to fix both the dw and the washing machine! Whew, dodged that bullet, relatively speaking.

      Hard for us, talking in the way we are right now, to say tooooo much about electronic technology! 🙂

      Jack’s about 12 or 13 weeks now, he’s still little, but growing. Under my desk right now. My new shadow.

      Have a wonderful day!

      • Kirsten Wichert says:

        Touche! (Toochay)my french is awful. You are soooooo right about the technology! I take it back. Oh, you always make me laugh! Thanks.

        • sbranch says:

          🙂 Your French is as good as mine, we have the main important words down! Touche and Voila!

          Got the dw fixed, and then the washer, and now, today, the coffee maker quit working! We are having an appliance revolt here!

  37. Susan says:

    Hi Susan,
    Enjoyed your blog immensely, as always. It gave me pause as it reminded me of Thanksgivings many years ago when festivities were family-centered, and yes with both grannies in attendance!) and focused on what we truly were (and are) blessed with. Yes, ‘the best things in life are free’. Loved also the part about hanging clothes out on the line…I, too, have always loved doing that…my mom gave that special activity to me (when I could finally reach the clothesline) and it was a “me” time, my special quiet and reflecting time. Unfortunately, we have no clothes line now…but fortunately, do have memories and your wonderful blog to take us to wonderful places. Have a wonderful time leading up to Christmas…look forward to reading all about everything!

  38. Tricia Neron says:

    Your Thanksgiving was idyllic, the photo of your friend reading the poem, was something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Your girlfriends singing so beautifully, it was like watching a scene from an old movie, thank you so much for letting us be a part of it. That is truly what Thanksgiving is all about, friends, family and love.

    How goes it with the dishwasher? I know how you feel my dishwasher broke down the day before Thanksgiving. My new one gets delivered today, and I can’t wait.

    • sbranch says:

      The fix it man came yesterday, and we were lucky — he was able to fix both the dishwasher and the broken washing machine in about an hour! Lucky! Perfect timing for you and a new dishwasher!! Just in time for the holidays. xoxo

  39. Carol D. says:

    So very nice~ your Thanksgiving! We traveled to Branson for Thanksgiving with our son and his family,three sweet boys and a lovely daughter in law. Thanks for sharing your day.

  40. Margot says:

    I have a little white chair like the one in your pictures. It was my mother’s when she was a little girl during the depression. My mother gave me the chair last November 2010.

  41. Tami says:

    Your Thanksgiving sounded wonderful! Your table looked beautiful! I am curious, what song was it that Martha and Anna were singing? They sounded fantastic! Also, what poem did Gerry read that made everyone cry? I read your blog, then hopped over to & Leigh had a link to her favorite way to say grace as well. It was also very touching & appropriate… Thank you for sharing all your wonderfulness with us! God Bless!

    • sbranch says:

      The poem was an unpublished one that a local man wrote. And Martha’s song was I See the Moon and the Moon See’s Me — here are the words:
      Over the mountain over the sea
      Back where my heart is longing to be
      Please let the light that shines on me
      Shine on the one I love

      I see the moon the moon sees me
      Down through the leaves of the old oak tree
      (Back where my heart) Back where my heart is longing to be
      (Please let the light) Please let the light that shines on me
      (Shine on the one I love) Shine on the one I love

      (Everybody once again)
      Over the mountain over the sea
      Back where my heart is longing to be
      Please let the light that shines on me
      Shine on the one I love
      (Please) Please let the light that shines on me
      Shine on the one I love

      Over the mountain over the sea
      Back where my heart is longing to be
      Please let the light that shines on me
      Shine on the one I love

      Let the little lady with the tambourine sing (Hee hee hee)
      I kissed the rose (no not yet)
      I kissed the rose (no not yet)
      I kissed the rose and the (no not yet, now)
      I kissed the rose the rose kissed me
      Fragrant as only a rose can be (sing a little louder miss)
      Please take the kiss (not too loud) that comforts me
      Back to the one I love

  42. Tracy says:

    Oh did I miss it? What is the poem that makes everyone cry? Love your blog Susan, I check it regularly and am inspired. My husband always looks up when he hears the bird sing 🙂 Love the kitties too >^,,^<

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a poem written by a local man . . . not sure I would do it justice, just putting down the words — was wonderful the way Gerry read it! Candlelight and friends helped too.

  43. Lori says:

    Rabbit, rabbit – Happy December! Just found out that the wonderful holiday movie Christmas in Connecticut, with Barbara Stanwyck, was inspired by Gladys Taber. All the more reason to watch!

  44. Pat says:

    All I can say is, you have my deepest heartfelt gratitude for sharing your life.

  45. Lee Ann G. says:

    I loved hearing your friends sing that old song so beautifully. You are so right about T.V. making us into those wanting entertained instead of finding the entertainer inside of us and sharing it. My grandmother had my sisters and I singing with a record player as the background in church when we were little bitty girls and then we all we sing at all family get togethers and my grandpa even played the harmonica every Sunday morning as we were waiting to leave for church. We were raised by our grandparents so I feel I was blessed in learning about their generation and the time they took for one another gathering together and making our own entertainment.

    Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving with us Susan!

    ♥Lee Ann G.

  46. Glenda says:


    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I so wish everyone in America would read you post and focus on what this day means instead of another “shopping day”. Just lovely,

    This has been a wonderful few days for me. On Thurs, my Gladys Taber newsletter arrived and also your book, A Fine Romance. I was like a small child when I received them. It snowed here in CO and perfect days for reading by the fireplace. Your new book is over the top! I just love it! Very special and will be treasured by me. I tried to order it off of the website but had problems (sure it is me) so had to order from BN. I am sad that it is not signed by you. I have all of your books, so many many of your cards, stickers, and have been a fan of Willard since day one. You always bring out the sunshine! I have met you too and it is so nice to see that you are “REAL”. So glad you and Joe have found each other and that you are happy! Thank you for all that you share with the rest of us. I am motivated now to go get my Thanksgiving with my family ready too! Thank you dear lady! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    For you next book, (after the pumpkin one )can’t wait for this one as I love anything pumpkin) ) please write one using that little map in one of your books. My husband and I followed it, having never been on the east coast, and so enjoyed the trip with “you” as our guide. I would love to have a little book to go to the places you go to 🙂 We know so little about the area and it is so neat with so much history there.

    • sbranch says:

      I think it would be the funnest book to do a little tour of New England! The houses alone! And yes, I still can’t figure out why people are inspired by something called “Black Friday!” 🙂

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