Girlfriends are Forever!

I LOVE YOUR COMMENTS!!  You make me laugh; you make me cry!  You reminded me for the gazillionth time all the wonderful reasons I treasure my girlfriends!  So I thought I’d talk a little bit about girlfriends this morning with a little music to make us happy.

As many of you know, my connection to having best friends came very early in my life, probably the minute I noticed there was a difference between me and my four brothers; they liked snakes; they jumped off the roof; they broke their arms and got stitches, and they never wanted to play dolls. I had my mom, but my brothers had each other, and for a long time I didn’t have sisters.  I had to get me some girlfriends!!

Here I am with my first two best friends in life — that’s me, second from the right, the one with bows on her braids; the blond girl next to me is Cynthia Wrightman who lived across the street, and next to her is Melody Gelinas from four houses down. We were in the backyard of our house on Park Avenue, in Long Beach, California, with two of my brothers, the one we called “butterball,” Chuckie, on the right, and Stephen (the genius) on the far left, and a bunch of their friends.  My mom had been having fun, body painting the neighborhood with watercolors.

I lost touch with these two girlfriends; our family moved away when I was seven and although we went back and visited a couple of times, we couldn’t keep the connection.  That’s what happens sometimes; things change, people move, life takes a turn and sometimes you have to start all over.

 There are simple basic necessities of life, things we just can’t live without: food, water, shelter, clothing . . . (I was asking Joe this morning, “what are the basic necessities of life?”  He said, “Food, shelter . . .” I could hear him thinking, his eyes twinkled, . . . “gin” :-)) . . . and one of my basic necessities is best girlfriends.

When I moved to Martha’s Vineyard from California all those years ago, I didn’t really stop to think what I was leaving behind.  I was so busy escaping, I forgot that I was going to a place where I had NO BEST FRIENDS.  In fact, no friends at all.  It’s so easy to make friends when you’re a child, easy to do when you’re in school, but as you get older, it becomes more difficult, especially if you work at home, aren’t married, and don’t have children.  By the time I figured this out, it was too late, I had already moved!  But even though I had left California, there was no way I was going to disconnect from my girlfriends!!  I considered my phone bill for long distance calls to  Diana, Elaine, Sarah, and Janet, to be just part of the “cost of living,” one of life’s necessities no matter how much it cost, like tea, or chocolate.  They were my lifeline.

I didn’t know how to find kindred spirits when I first came to the island.  It had always been so easy before.  But now I was alone, without any connections.  It was only several years later, after I was finally rescued by my darling BFF Margot, and welcomed back to the heavenly supportive world of tea-party-having, garden-admiring, tear-drying, wallpaper-shopping, soup-delivering, yard-sale-hopping, girl-party-having, shoe-admiring, old-movie-watching, lunch-dating, farmer’s market-going, road-trip-taking, TGIF-ing girlfriends, that I realized that I might have assimilated much sooner if I would have joined something, a quilting or knitting class, volunteered for something; if I’d worked with like-minded people, shoulder-to-shoulder, on a project so that friendship had a chance to grow organically.  But I was shy and all alone and I didn’t know that.

Girlfriends aren’t a luxury, even though they feel like the biggest luxury of all!  It’s been proven that women who lack support from other women are more susceptible to illness!  We need each other in more ways than one.  I started thinking of what I would have told my ten-year-old self about the importance of girlfriends if I could have . . . and wrote this for my book, Girlfriends Forever…

In your comments yesterday I noticed a few of you had recently moved, or were planning to move, and I thought maybe this would help. Virtual girlfriends are wonderful (don’t we know it!); long distance best friends are easier to hold onto these days because of email, but still, not too much takes the place of two dear friends, eyeball to eyeball, having tea at each other’s kitchen tables, petting each other’s animals, talking-talking-talking, commiserating over each other’s sadnesses, celebrating each other’s joys.  And let’s not forget, laughing our pants off!

You know what I’m going to do when my girlfriend comes to tea today?  I’m going to play this funny song for her and then show her the page I did for my new book yesterday. Would you like to see it too? Here’s a little preview just for you . . . for my girlfriends, with a quote we all know is true . . . 

Ask me if I had fun painting this!  Yes I did! OK girlfriends, that’s all, have a wonderful day!!  And thank you for being my friends. 

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300 Responses to Girlfriends are Forever!

  1. Colleen says:

    Amen! Can’t say enough about a girlfriend or two or three or more! I am teaching my 13 year old daughter to take care of the friendships she is making now. Hope it works!

  2. Gail says:

    Dear Susan, I love, love, love the preview of your new book and I can’t wait to read the whole thing! I also love your wonderful insights into friendship. Women do form very strong and lasting bonds with each other. ( I haven’t seen men do this as much with other men) I have had one of my friends for fifty-five years, since kindergarten. When you’ve known someone for that long, you have so much history and memories to share and you know that person on so many different levels. A few years ago I made some wonderful newer friends through a church group I joined. Even after the group stopped meeting our little group of friends kept going. Have fun working on your book! xoxo

  3. Carol Maurer says:

    I love what you had to say about “girlfriends”! I have a girlfriend that I’ve had for 50 some odd years. There are 4 or 5 of us girls that are still quite close that have been friends for more years than I know. We are all spread out now in different states, but still look forward to getting together at our high school class reunions every 5 years. I belong to a group of 6-8 girls from church. We call ourselves the “Girlfriends”. Get together every Thursday night for dinner and fellowship. You’ve just got to love girlfriends. Thanks you, Susan, for writing about the importance of “girlfriends”.

  4. Teddi Lowry says:

    Your words spoke to my heart this morning. With a cup of tea in hand and cleaning my office I had to read your blog first. I have a few special girlfriends but as life changes I don’t get to see them as often as I ‘d like. Thanks for the suggestions of where to find more. I’ve been following you since 1990. I’ve even saved your handwriten letters! Thank you for being my girl friend and having alike minded heart.

  5. Rita Baker says:

    I’ve been lucky to have my best friend Gerry for 49 years – we met on our first job in downtown Chicago and call each other at least once a month. We’re always there for each other – through thick and thin, good times and bad. And it seems that every year I make new friends, like my riding buddies at the new barn where I board my horse last year. And my swimming pals who meet every few months in the winter just to keep in touch. And my sheltie rescue friends who were there for me when I lost my sheltie last May. Yes, friends are important, all right. I don’t know how I would have gotten through some tough times in my life without their loyalty and support. And my Internet friends like you, Susan. You don’t know how much I look forward to reading this blog. Bless you!

  6. Ann says:

    What a treat to see a sneak peek at the new book. My best friend lives in OK and I live in MD. We have been friends since 1984 when we met in Bamberg, Germany where our Army husbands were stationed. They moved, then we moved, and then we all got together again in 1993 for a few more years. We email frequently and manage to get together once in a while for a real visit, but there are times we miss chatting over a cup of tea. Real true friends are a treasure and a gift from God.

  7. Karen says:

    Dear Susan~
    Thank you for writing so sweetly about the importance of girlfriends. There is such a common bond that we share as women in our roles as daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers. Girlfriends are like the sisters that we get to choose for ourselves! I count you as a precious girlfriend. I chose you many years ago. I have spent time with you through your books and now your blog~which is a joy to me every single day. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you because your artwork greets me every morning as I check my calendar and sip some tea. It is just like you to create a place where all of your girlfriends can get together and share our common bond….YOU! Thank you all over again!

  8. Teresa G. says:

    Oh, Susan! What a timely piece! As I put my daughter on a plane last night to get her back to her friends and happy college days, I got very nostalgic. What a blessing to have a grown daughter to hear me out. I lost my best friend 11 months ago. We were Lucy and Ethel like no other. 40 years of sharing the same brain, the same heart and I hear her laugh in my head still. She had the best, best laugh and laugh we did. Thank you for reminding me I’m not alone. I have many friends, but I was ready to accept that no one will ever take that best friend spot again and then I read your quote by Sarah Orne Jewett. A good reminder for a broken heart. Thank you, Susan. XXO

    • sbranch says:

      Never to be replaced . . . So sorry Teresa.

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      Sorry for your loss Teresa~
      A dear friend is also Lucy to my Ethel. We even went to the I Love Lucy Anniversary Tour together! She moved to California years ago but she made the trip to Wisconsin to go with me. We did the grape stomping, chocolate assembly line and the Vita~ meata~vegamin~commercial too! She is one of my best~est friends~ I have more than one best~est~ Each one has their own uniqueness as to why she’s a best~est!
      ~Take care

  9. jeannine leonard says:

    girlfriends are the treasures of our souls; cannot wait til you finish this book, something we can share with our girlfriends and daughters.

  10. Martha Ellen says:

    So excited to read your post. It’s just what I need! I am quite shy and find it hard to reach out to make friends. My family has always filled that void for me. When one has been hurt by others it becomes harder and harder to make friends outside of family. I know it’s important and one is never too old to reach out. I think I just might have to have a tea party for some neighbors and take it from there. ♥

    • Pam says:

      Hi Martha Ellen, your post really struck a chord. I know exactly what you mean. I guess you just have to keep trying, one step at a time. The tea party sounds a lovely idea.

      • Martha Ellen says:

        Thank you Pam for the encouragement! My sister, who passed away from pancreatic cancer, was my best friend! It has been so hard to move on. I am slowly coming out of that black hole.

  11. Lesley says:

    I absolutely LOVE your painting of the apron. I collect old aprons and wear them too. I always have some hanging on my back porch. And I so agree there’s nothing like girlfriends…..they are the best along with my hubby.

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      Lesley, have you seen that book “The Apron Book” by EllynAnne Geisel? I think you would enjoy reading it. It was published in 2006 and is a history and commentary on aprons. Your local library will either have it or be able to do an interlibrary loan for you… 🙂

      • Lesley says:

        Pat, yes, I have the book and it is wonderful. That is so nice of you to share the information about the book, thanks.

  12. Soooooo true! I sometimes wish I could go back and tell the twenty year old me (the one who made guys such a priority) how important these relationships with other women are. To value and treasure them, and not lose touch with girlfriends.

    Now, thanks largely to facebook, I’ve been able to reconnect with many of them – such a blessing! Like a second chance. 🙂

    Thanks for the glimpse at the new book – whatever it is, I know I’ll want to devour it and add it to my collection. Your work never fails to make me smile.

    ♥ Carolee

  13. Kate B. says:

    Susan, it would be so wonderful to be able to give a framed copy of some of your artwork to a best friend-like the one that ends your blog today. My wish for the future would be to give my best friends a give that reminds them of our friendship and is beautiful enough to sit on their desk or hang in a special place in their home. (I know your are in the middle of a project right now, but maybe you could put that on a list for the future? Artwork, framed to buy through you? )Thank you for sharing your beautiful world every day! You will never know how much good you send our way. Love, Right back at ya! Kate

  14. Rachelle says:

    Thank you for this wonderful, uplifting post! You are completely right… girlfriends are the spice of life, my lifeline.

    P.S. Your artwork, photos, & quotes are SO inspiring! It’s refreshing to visit your site.

  15. Holly says:

    So true!!! My sister has always been my mainstay BFF. But, in our adult life we’ve never lived in the same state! We have called each other almost every day for the last 30 years! Sometimes several times a day. We even shop online together, while on the phone. This makes my husband laugh all the time.
    In each place I’ve lived, there has been at least one girlfriend that I can’t let go. So, we write, and call. But, the best “girlfriend” thing that has ever happened to me was being invited to “Quaker Haven Quilt Retreat” last year. It was amazing, I instantly had 20 girlfriends. We meet twice a year and have four days of shopping (in Shipshewana, IN – Amish community), and sewing/quilting together. We have meals prepared for us in the campground dining room, sleep in little cabins and sometimes sew late into the night. There is always tons of laughter and chatting! Now, we have email letters and prayer chains. These woman are all amazing, and each one very special to me. I highly recommend finding a group to join, and it helps to have a common bond of interest. I can’t wait for the next retreat in March.
    Susan, I too love this post and the artwork!

    • mari says:

      sounds wonderful, Holly! Since reading all the Elm Creek Quilters books, I’ve always wanted to go to a quilt camp. great post 🙂

  16. Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

    Susan: I went for a very long time without friend or family. I can now say that although I have no family I do have the most amazing friends in the world and you are part of them. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us. I am a real “girly” girl and need girl time a lot. Being here with you and our girlfriends really helps out. Thanks, Ladies!! P.S. Just came back from finding the best girly chinz for the studio curtains. I love being a girl!!! (Notice I didn’t say woman…I will always be a girl!!). I’m going to get busy sewing….right after my nap! I love vacation days….don’t you?!!

    • mari says:

      Margie ~ isn’t it great to be a girl? 🙂 love your comments and thanks for the reminder that I do have amazing friends!!!

  17. Patty says:

    Oh My! I loved this post! Once again you have hit the mark!..
    Susan, your apron is WONDERFUL!!
    I am excited to have your new book in my hands! I know it will be another treasure.

  18. Sherry Kennedy says:

    I have had many wonderful girlfriends over the years, some my whole life. I just renewed some highschool friendships after 50 years, and have felt so blessed to have these women back in my life. When I moved to be near my son 5 years ago, I knew no one outside of his family. Now I’m blessed to be a part of a retirement community where I am active in a book discussion group and also a group of ‘get together for dinner’ friends. You have to get out of your comfort zone sometimes to meet other people, but I’ve found the greatest rewards come when you reach out to others to find they are just as anxious as you to find a friend. Thank you, Susan, for letting me share a little of your life and being one of your girlfriends. xxxooo. Sherry

  19. Cindy Garner says:

    Oh How right you are…you can have family and spouses….but a good friend, well she’s there when all the above are driving you mad….LOL
    I thank the good Lord, have been blessed with 7 really good tried and true friends (one being my baby sister…we hold each others hearts in our hands…)


  20. Debbie P says:

    Hi, Susan!
    What a treat to find another post from you! I just returned from a breakfast with 2 of my 3 sisters. One of my dear sisters just lost her husband 3 mos. ago (very sad and way too young). I’ve been holding her up in prayer and love and since I had the day off today….asked my sisters to join me for breakfast. We sat in Panera for 2 hours over coffee and breakfast!!! We cried, we laughed, we reminisced, we planned… was a wonderful morning!!! It is especially lovely when your BFs are also your sisters.
    I mentioned your blog as a very happy, positive, loving place to go for inspiration and most of all….for CONNECTION! I’m the oldest of my siblings so I’m “blazing the trail” on this AGING thing…and you’re so right about our health and well-being being enhanced by our friendships.
    Two things jumped out at me from this post: #1….the music!!!…what a great song….I had to listen to it 3 times to get all the words….LOL!!! It’s stuck in my head now for the rest of today, I’m afraid. and #2….the last quote about the safety of a close friendship…I have found that security in my conversations with my husband and with a couple of others… truly IS the definition of COMFORT!
    Thanks, Sue, once again, for sharing…
    PS After breakfast, we wandered around a Michael’s and I stumbled on those little letters….I can’t wait to string up a message of Love!

    • Karen P says:

      Debbie, what department did you find them in at Michael’s? I was there today looking for them and went up and down every aisle a million times….even asked the clerk. Couldn’t find them. Maybe they’re just out of stock, I guess…

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        I tried to find them, too, and couldn’t find any. Were they part of “Laura’s Crafts” section?

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        I have an idea if you can’t find them. I have a mini Scrabble game that I use to spell out words & phrases. The little messages sit on my window sill & make me smile every time I look at them! As for the wooden letters at Michaels, try by the scrap booking supplies.~

        • Karen P says:

          Thanks, Lynn, but I did look in the scrapbooking section. I suspect there are Susan Branch-lovers here where I live and they’ve all done the same thing I am trying to do and Michael’s just ran out!!!! 🙁

    • Debbie P says:

      Hi, girlfriends~
      I just got out the package of letters…there is a heart on the upper left that says Lara’s Crafts. The number in the right corner is 20606. Also, there is a website on the back of the package: I don’t know if all Michael’s are laid out the same…but I found them along the far right wall of the store, almost to the back….past the individual, unpainted letters. They’re in a small package containing 52 pieces.
      Hope this helps….they ARE precious!

  21. Carol C says:

    Girlfriends are gold! This summer I had 2 cancer surgeries and am now in chemo and radiation treatments. My husband has been great and very supportive but those girls–Wow! I have been surrounded and held up by their love,
    thoughtfulness and especially prayers. These are friends from the past as well as my quilt group, church circle, bridge club, neighbors and teachers I taught with. With a special nod to my real life treasure of a sister and my fantastic sister-in -law. It’s the girlfriends in life that can see you through the tough stuff with humor and understanding. Love ’em all!!!!!

  22. Paulie says:

    Oh how true how true how true. Every single word of it. Love the apron, how many hours are in that floral pattern Susan? I love the heart and really enjoyed this post and hope you are inside by the warmth of the fire today. b-r-r-r-r-r…it is a tad chilly and near zero degrees…..time for a hot toddy or maybe some gin would do the trick———– if I only had some………lol

  23. Nicki Anderson says:

    As usual, it is like you are reading my mind. After moving to Texas from California, my best friend moved here as well. It was wonderful having her here.
    Ten years later the horrible fight happened. Now, it has been six months and there is no girlfriend in my life. I have pouted, and re-thought the whole thing. Decided I was better without friends. After reading your blog today, I am going to try again. I’m not sure how – but you did provide quite a list of suggestions. Thanks, Susan. I know you don’t really know me – but you have sure been an inspiration today.

    • Nicki, good luck with trying to reconnect with your friend, and if it is meant to be you both can forgive and forge forward. If for no other reason to take this off of your heart so you can move forward. I admire you for making the first step which is always the hardest. Blessings

  24. Tammy says:

    Oh this post made me cry! I am in that point in my life where my twins are not needing me who needs mom as much at 15 I live in the country very isolating and teach 7 year olds all day which I love but I m need of someone to have tea with it. It is a lonely place right now and finding it hard to hit it with the right girlfriend but you have shown me I can prevail because we all NEED our girlfriends. Thank you for making me cry and smile all in the same minute.

  25. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    Loved your post on Girlfriends. I have a few friends that are good friends but I am lucky enough to have a Best Friend and she lives only about 30 minutes from me. So we get to see each other through the year. Lucky lucky me. My neighbor girlfriends are pretty nice to have too 🙂
    happy day Susan

  26. Susan Roubal says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you so much for reinforcing the value of our “girlfriendships”. My BFF, Elin, and I have been friends since we were 3 years old; we were nearly inseparable. When people thought we were sisters we loved it! Sometime around third grade, family moves separated us. Since then we have regularly written letters to each other, through thick and thin, letters that so frequently cross in the mail because we were thinking about each other at the same time. 🙂

    As I tried to weather through a particularly painful time in my life some years back, my dear Elin sent me a large manila envelope, lovingly packed full of letters I had written her when I was at my at my happiest: pregnant for my one child! I read and cried through each of those old letters she had saved! It helped heal my frayed and raveled ends to know how much she treasured me. It has, in fact, brought tears to my eyes as I write this, remembering how much it meant to me.

    In 52 years we have seen each other twice and it was wonderful each time. Though email fills in the gaps, we still rely on old-fashioned hand written letters to chat with each other. It was she who introduced me to your very column! I love you, Elin. Love you, too, Susan. You fit right in to my life.
    Very truly, Susan R.

  27. Careen Porter says:

    The first time I saw your ‘work’ was in a little gift shop in Colorado…they had all three of your first books. I bought a set for me, my daughter, my daughter in law and all three of my nieces…18 books… Can you say I LOVE Susan Branch??!!!

  28. Betsy says:

    No one will ever convince me that you don’t own a crystal ball. This past weekend my husband and I looked at a gorgeous condo in the city. He is growing weary of commuting 3 hours a day to his job. I take care of our Grand-daughter Monday through Friday. We live on a small piece of land….an acre and a half. After the initial thrill of the condo being new and up to the minute reality set in. Could I, the paper crafter, quilter, tea drinking,garden growing, book reading sewer make it in the big city without my friends??? I would be lost….no state of the art building could make up for that. Oh, and before I forget Susan, when you post a photo with you in it there is no need to describe where you are in the picture… look the same now as you did then. Honest! We love you!

  29. michelle allen says:

    Hi Susan,

    My husband passed away on Dec 29th and This is the first time I have come back to your site since then and if it werent for my friends, well, I dont know what I would do. Girlfriends, even virtual ones are what is helping me make it through the day right now. Thank you for your wonderful messages.


    • sbranch says:

      Blessings on you and yours Michelle. My heart goes out to you!

    • Martha Ellen says:

      Michelle I am so sorry. Know that I am thinking of you.

    • Margot says:

      I am sorry for your great loss. Prayers are with you.


    • Nellie says:

      You are in my thoughts and prayers, Michelle. Bless you!

    • Ann Y. says:

      Michelle – keeping you close in thoughts and prayers.

    • Amy D. says:

      Michelle, I am so sorry. I lost my dad last March and my heart is still broken. I know my mom’s friends are helping her in a way even we kids can’t so I am happy you have wonderful friends, too! I am saying a prayer for you to be comforted–especially when you need it most.

    • debbie says:

      Michelle, I am truly sorry for your loss. I am glad that we can help you make it through each day♥

    • Sarah Maldonado says:

      Michelle, So very sorry to hear of your loss and I know the pain is great. Please know that I am thinking of you in those dark hours and praying you will feel the comfort of so many virtual BFFs who have you in their hearts right now.

    • Karen C says:

      You are in my thoughts and prayers. Sending warm wishes your way. Keep your chin up. 🙂

    • Carol C says:

      I will be praying for your peace and courage through this difficult time, Michelle. Blessings to you and your family for the peace that surpasses all understanding. (Phil. 4:6-8)

    • Pamela Jo says:

      You will be in my thoughts and prayers, Michelle. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

      Pamela Jo

      • michelle allen says:

        Oh my gosh, thank you to all of you! Its so good to have so many girlfriends when you need them.

        • Diana says:

          Please know others are thinking of you and holding you close during this difficult time. It is amazing how others help to hold our heads above water when we forget to swim!… Praying for you to have peace and comfort at this time. Diana

    • Lori from Maine says:

      Michelle, you’re in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you a warm hug and a shoulder to lean on. xo Lori

    • Karen P. says:

      Oh Michelle….our hearts break for you. My prayers and sympathy are with you. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    • Deb says:

      Sending prayers to you and your family that God blesses and comforts you during this saddest of times.

    • Kerry S. says:

      Michelle –
      Please know that many hearts and prayers are with you. Consider this a big virtual hug to bring you some comfort.

    • Marilyn says:

      Sending a virtual hug and my deepest sympathy.

      Marilyn (in Dallas)

      • Michelle, so sorry for your recent loss and remember through HIM all things are possible. The Lord will bring you through this, and may all your special memories of your husband bring you comfort.

    • Tamar Weaver says:


      Bless your heart. I am so sorry. XO

  30. Marilyn Norris says:

    Oh yes, girlfriends are forever! I have a group of girlfriends that I have known since I was 5 (and I am now much older, 62). We still get together every other month for a bookgroup where we eat, talk, laugh and hug each other a lot. It is amazing that we have stuck together all these years, through all of life’s issues, but that has made our friendship all the stronger. I thank you for all of your support of long lasting friendships.

  31. Cara M. says:

    Hi Susan….love your bit on friendships…my BFF just moved to Kansas but we remind each other that we are only a phone call away. I am in PA…and unfortunatley have not received your Willard yet….I have tried about six times to sign up…Can someone please just forward it to me at Thank you!!! Can’t wait to hear or see more about your new book!!

    • sbranch says:

      We’re going to send it Cara!

      • Cara M. says:

        Thank you Susan! I am sitting down to tea now with my two little ones in bed and I look forward to reading it!!! Thank you again for your wonderfullly creative blog and all your Heart of the Home books….I am one of your biggest fans!! Just made your Kahlua truffles yesterday for dessert for our friends….love them!

  32. Hi Susan!

    Many years ago, my very best girlfriend of 50 years, gave me a card that read:
    “Friendship is a sheltering tree “, (Samuel Taylor Coleridge). The willow painted
    on the front of the card was an insight into her loving spirit; just as a tree gives comfort & shelter from life’s storms, so too does the heart of a girl friend!

    Love & prayers,

  33. CindyK says:

    Loved your “sneek peek!”… Can’t wait for the book to come out! I loved reading what you have to say about girlfriends. It was so warm and fuzzy! A lot of times, with my illness, the only girlfriend contact I get is from your blog. A post like today’s entry from you is a real ‘feel-good’ kind, and gives me the feeling that I’ve had my girl-friend fix for the day! Thank You! and…….hugs to you!

  34. mari says:

    I loved this post too. First of all, thank you for being our girlfriend! I love your artwork, your writing, your kindness and love of life.
    I related so closely with your experience of moving to MV, Susan. I am in a very, very similar situation here in Virginia, and I am printing this out for your wonderful and encouraging suggestions about making friends in the community. Thank you for posting those! It is difficult to push yourself out there as you get older and more of a homebody!
    This was also a timely post. My 80+ year old mom lost her best friend (since high school) to pancreatic cancer a few years ago, and now, her second husband was just diagnosed with the same illness. My heart breaks for her because all of her friends (including my wonderful dad) have passed on, and she is just numb right now with the news. My sister is the one who lives close by her, and we are very close, but my heart just goes out to my mom with this news, and I’m too far (and working) to be there. I’m loving, praying for and supporting them both, but my BFFs (besides them) are mostly out of state now ~ I guess the point is truly ~ “make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.” I am determining to get out more and not be such a homebody, and be very, very thankful for the few but wonderful friends that I have found here!♥ Thanks again for a truly wonderful, heartfelt post ♥♥

    • sbranch says:

      Please give my best to your mom . . . such a hard thing!

      • mari says:

        thanks, Susan ♥ Your post is such a valuable and wonderful reminder of the importance and power of girlfriends! I needed that today!

        • Sarah says:


          Mari, I’m a newbie all alone here in Virginia, too. 🙂 Maybe we need to find each other and get this girlfriend thing going! 🙂 I have my husband and daughter, but we are all new to making our way in a strange new land after living in Houston for 25 years. I don’t think anything quite prepares a person for how hard a move can be. I don’t miss Houston, but I miss the people I knew there.

  35. Lori C. says:

    Oh Susan, you and the apron are JUST darling!
    Thank you so much for the sweet peak!

    I was just re-reading GIRLFRIENDS the other night before bed – and got to laughing (again!) at the quote about the pop-tarts vs. toaster strudel. And you and your friend sneaking out the window in your waitress uniforms so the boys next door wouldn’t see you! You were the original Laverne and Shirley!

    I already have a list of precious girl friends I want to buy Pancakes for!
    Can’t wait!

  36. Rebecca says:

    After knowing my BFF for 32 years, we just discovered we both absolutely LOVE your artwork, Susan! Amazing how two can be such great friends an not know something as simple as our favorite artists, but it just never came up in conversation! Guess is was something special about each other we weren’t suppose to know until now. But with finding that out about each other, she informed me of this blog. Not sure how I didn’t find it on my own, but nonetheless, I wasn’t suppose to know about it until know. And what a perfect 1st blog to receive in my emails this morning!

    So, thank you for reminding us that OLD best friends truly are the best, but NEW best friends are to be treasured, too! Sisters are truly God’s gift as we are born with a BFF, but it’s an extra bonus to be given another in kindred spirit!

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful art and opening your thoughts with the “girlfriends of the world”. We are blessed to have you in it!


  37. Sandy Richmond says:

    I’ve always treasured my girlfriends, perhaps because I don;t have a sister! I had a friend from babyhood on, named Linda, and lost her the year we turned 40.
    And as most of you regular readers have figured out, Pat Mofjeld and I are BFF’s! We met when we were 13, so we have been best friends for 16 years now- JK! For 48 years now, we have shared a relationship like the Craik poem above.. It’s a great gift to have a friend that knew your parents, knows your siblings, etc.. Looking forward to the new book too! Love SB illustrations!

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      I tried to find them, too, and couldn’t find any. Were they part of “Laura’s Crafts” section? My husband and I used to have words on magnets on the refrigerator and would write notes to each other all the time. That stopped when one of the magnets fell off and ended up in a dog’s mouth! 🙂

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      Gee, I was trying to respond to Sandy’s comment and something went awry…My comment to Sandy’s was: “WHAT–only 16 years!!! Who is she kidding??!!! We’re too old for that!!!” But then I read further and read the 48 years. Then I thought, “WHAT–how can it be 48 years??? Sure we aren’t THAT old now???” Well, the reality is that she is right! Good thing I don’t feel that old! (most of the time…) 🙂 It actually was Sandy who gave me my first Susan Branch book–years and years ago…and I’ve treasured her friendship. She is like a wonderful sister to me… 🙂

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        P.S. Am I the ONLY one that didn’t know what “JK” stood for in Sandy’s comment? (Hint: It is not John Kennedy! I’m embarrassed to tell you that I had to be told what it stands for!) That tale told, have you heard the definition of a true friend? Someone who thinks you are a good egg even though they know you are slightly cracked! 🙂

        • Debbie P says:


        • Karen P says:

          How wonderful that you two are mutual friends of SB’s blog! What a great thing to share together!!! I have a sister-in-law who also loves Susan. It’s wonderful to be able to share that common “love” isn’t it?

        • Just Kidding?? you two sound like you keep each other on their toes….so wonderful to read comments like yours. My daughter text me regularly and I was the one using initials that she wasn’t familiar with which made me seem hip….idk…was a new one for me and I figured it out even though she felt it necessary to write it out for me.

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            OK, I give up–what DOES “idk” stand for? “I do kid”??? Can’t be “I don’t care”–wrong letter. 🙂

          • Sorry Pat, idk=I don’t know….this is the problem with modern technology….we are going to forget how to use proper language and forget grammar! UGH=DISGUSTING!! haha

  38. Patsy Bennitt says:

    When preparing my mental gratitude journal, I always say, “Thank you, God, for helping Susan Branch realize that she can paint”. Your creations feed my soul.

  39. Becky says:

    Girl friends are indeed forever. I have had three best friends (the kind you are comfortable with) in my life. One passed a few months ago. She lived next door to my family and because I had three sisters and a brother and she had none she spent as much time as possible at our house. We were inseparable. When we graduated she moved away and I got married. She was my growing up girlfriend. Then when my children were small another best girl friend moved in next door. Isn’t it amazing how you can instantly connect. We had so many fun times together as families. In my older years I made friends with a gal who is another best friend. She came to a Christmas house tour at my house. Since I wasn’t there she sent me a note. We wrote back and forth for a year before I finally called and invited her to lunch. She has been a wonderful friend. She is a watercolor painter and markets her cards and prints in many places. You would love them.

  40. Mollie says:

    Oh Susan . . . I slurped this post up with a straw! Best girlfriends are definitely forever. I am so fortunate to have eight girlfriends for going on 68 years!!! We see each other often . . . talk often . . . and take trips together (not often enough). We turn into 16 year old gals at the drop of at hat.

    My wish for you is that you will find Cynthia and Melody someday . . . maybe they will find your blog and see that you miss them so much.

    Thank you so much for your “old fashioned girl” blog . . . and your charming and “oh so me” words!

  41. Becky says:

    A most wonderful book that I read every year in February to my class is Somebody Loves You Mr.Hatch. So important is friendship.

  42. Barbara says:

    Thanks so much for your post today Susan. As I am now on the verge of another ‘big’ birthday, I’ve been thinking that I just don’t seem to have enough girlfriends anymore. People get busy, they scatter about the country and it’s not always so easy to get together. Soon, we can find ourselves alone. I’m inspired by the girlfriends who have written that they’ve found their friends in church groups and clubs since I was just thinking that might be the place to start. Wish me luck!

    • sbranch says:

      Good Luck!!!

    • A wonderful place to start, Barbara! You don’t need luck, sweetie … just be yourself!! If I weren’t in Oh, I’d grab you by the hand and we’d laugh and have a coke! and say, “welcome to my world”!!! Good luck …. but you won’t need it!! you already have it!! …. Pink Hugs, Barbara!

  43. Susan says:

    I moved about 2 yrs ago from NE to CO. I have a friend that lives about 45min’s away. I’ve called several times since I’ve moved here to try to get together with her but it never happens. It’s very upsetting. I think you really need people around you who “know your story”. People, friends who know when your being a pain in the rear and call you on it, people who know when your down and need someone to talk to.
    I’m working on relationships here, but your right, it is difficult when your an adult and “life” is just busy.

  44. Candice says:

    I just recently discovered your blog. I got caught up by going back to the very beginning.

    My lifelong best friend has been my identical twin sister Alice. Neither of us ever married so we have lived together our entire lives (we are 54) except for one semester in college. We have always had friends but never felt the need for a “best friend” because we already had one since birth. We recently remodeled and redecorated our home and agree on everything. That’s the fun in having a twin for your BFF.

    I went to a family get-together last night without Alice as she had a migraine and I missed her.

  45. Jb Mama says:

    This entry brought fresh tears to my eyes, I feel so fortunate to have “best friends forever”. I truly can not imagine a world without them. My world would be dry as graham crackers if I hadn’t had my girlfriends to go through this world with. I thank you for this day’s entry.

  46. Sylvia Faye says:

    Thank you Susan for this post. I sent it to a dear girlhood friend as we see little of one another but as she said when we got together about 6 years ago “you are family”. .. and we just pick up where we left off.

    Love the page of your new book as I think ‘aprons’ convey that come in and ‘sit a spell’ with me…and I need to add ‘have a cuppa’ as well.

    ~Sylvia Faye

  47. Karen P says:

    Thank you, Susan, for that sneak peek at the new book! Looking so forward to it. Love your sharing about BFFs. Nothing like them. Love it when you get together and can just pick up as if no time has passed between the two of you. Those are the very best kinds of friends. It IS hard to move away from everyone, be on your own with no friends around you and feel any kind of mutual support that is so needed, especially when you’re in a new place. It’s been 8 years for me now….had made one really good friend (a kindred spirit kind of friend!) and she moved away a year ago….sad day. But, I have my hubby for which I’m thankful and some long-distance friends that I see occasionally…thanks for the encouragement you give in that “heart” posted above to find some girlfriend connections!

  48. merciful, katie, Ms. Susan, you’ve done it again! Made my day!! and with girlfriends, no less! I thank you! two of my girlfriends gave me a wonderful “gift”! the love of my life passed on in Oct and their gift to me was going through “stuff” we had packed to move here ten years ago! and had never gone through it! Now that, is true friendship! Ten years of “stuff”! the tears, the laughs, all shared by mutual friendship! and absolutely priceless. You are so wise, Dear One.
    Pink Hugs,

  49. Nellie says:

    Absolutely LOVE the “sneak peek” at your new book! It’s really hard when one moves to establish those bonds of friendship that might be left behind. To have a friend, one must BE a friend, and I believe you have that all in control, Susan! I think each one of us considers you our very own personal friend! Just let us know if you ever need us! We’ll all come running!! xoxo

  50. Daniela B. says:

    Thank you Susan, for sharing your wonderful gifts with us… I look forward to them every day! cheers, Daniela

  51. Ann Y. says:

    Dear Susan – HOW true – you don’t realize how important your friends are until you can’t be with them all the time…”face to face with tea across the kitchen table”. Loved the photo of you and your friends when you were small….I had a friend when I was small – Patty Ann – and for the longest time we thought we were the only two little girls our age in the small town we lived in….until we got off of our block and into first grade ! Luckily we have reconnected through email. But you are so right when you say that if you don’t have children and/or you move, it is hard to make friends. But then it happens – poof ! – and it is so much fun. Old friends make you laugh until you can’t breathe …and new friends show you a part of yourself you did not know was there. Reminds me of that old Girl Scout song….”Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold” ! Thank you for being a girlfriend to all of us and for helping us make so many new friends on your blog !

  52. Debbie says:

    I so enjoyed reading this post. My very best friend is my sister, even though she is nearly 14 years younger than me.

    • Tamar Weaver says:

      My sister is 15 years older then me and we are probobly each others best freinds. At our age, 41 and 56, the age difference means nothing except for when I want to know about menopause. We live 3,000 miles apart though. We have been through periods of our life where we were connected and then not so much. But I ampretty sure that we will remain connected from here on out. Sisters are good.

  53. Jocelyn says:

    Oh Susan this is all so true. Growing up I had the hardest time making friends. I was painfully shy, not one to join in. I did have one special friend, Jan. But we did lose touch when I moved 1000 miles away. And in high school, there was Mary. But she got married and we lost touch. I’ve had TWO BFF!!! Diana was the very first friend that I had who loved me unconditionally. We were BFF for almost 20 years, until she lost her battle to cancer 7 years ago. Oh how I miss her laugh. But God gave me another BFF, although she lives 1000 away, we get together at least twice a year. We laugh, and cry and talk, talk, talk. She’s in Florida right now, and I will be meeting up with her this week. There is nothing more healing then having a friend you can share your heart with. Thanks for this great post.

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Jocelyn! How wonderful you’re getting together with your girlfriend this week! I wrapped up your Love books today! They’ll go off tomorrow!

  54. Jacqui G says:

    I too left behind my girlfriends when I moved to Florida 11 years ago. Since then, I have made new friends but I still am in close contact with my “besties”. Yup, they knew me when…and no others will ever take their place. Talking about neighborhood friends, when I went to visit CT this past summer, I met up with my old best friends from my neighborhood and it was like we never parted…and it was 35 years since we talked (we found each other on FB). It was wonderful, we met at a restaurant and talked for over 3 hours 🙂 Precious and priceless, to say the least.

  55. Patricia says:

    Girlfriends are so important- my best friend lives in England and I live in New York…it’s a long distance love affair! I really appreciate and enjoy this community you are building here Susan- it’s nice to have so many women offer laughs, tips, ideas, thoughts, kindness….this is one of my favorite places to be! 🙂

  56. Deborah Mooney says:

    Dear Susan~ It was especially interesting for me to read your story about the mysterious light blue envelope…. At the other end, I can remember shopping on an autumn day, some 25 years ago. I was feeling a little sad, as my sweetheart had just departed on an extended hunting trip. I happened to be in a bookstore in Greensburg, PA, and came acroos your Heart of the Home book displayed on a table. I can remember the moment like it was yesterday! A brief glance at it told me it “had my name all over it”! I adored it, and it changed my entire demeaner for the rest of that weekend. Naturally, I snatched up every new volume of yours that followed. Did I mention that it had such an impact on me that I can vividly remember it like it was yesterday!!!

    • Karen P says:

      I’ll bet there are many of us who have that moment to remember when they first discovered Susan’s books and artwork. For me, the first SB thing I purchased was a set of Baby stickers and a set of Girlfriends rubber stamps at Michael’s. Couldn’t believe how cute they were!!! From then on, I, like you, sought out whatever else Susan made and devoured it! I think one of the things I love best about her books are the cute photos on the back of Susan in everyday poses….in her cute little winter outfit in the snow…etc. Real, live events in the life of a real, live person that we girls can relate to…. it’s that homey touch that makes Susan’s books so wonderful, I think!

  57. Donna Bradley says:

    Oh Susan, I think you must have written this post just for me to read today. Thank you for taking time to share about best girlfriends. Wish I lived close by to become one of yours. Thanks too for sharing a little glimpse of your new book with us. I can hardly wait to read the finished product. Have a great upcoming week!

  58. Marilyn says:

    This post strikes a chord with me, too!

    I recently re-connected with my childhood best friend through the worst possible circumstances. Last year, we had both lost a parent within a month of each other.

    We had lost touch over the last 30 or so years as we married, moved to different states and became entrenched with our own families. It was through a condolence card to my mother that we were able to exchange email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses. The funniest thing…..even after all those years we can talk to each other like we did when we lived only 3 houses apart those many, many years ago. It was like time had never passed.

    We both know how to make the other laugh and how to listen. It is the BEST feeling ever!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  59. Dale Worness says:

    Yes, girlfriends really are special. I’ve recently been e-mailing an old friend I hadn’t seen in at least 40 years when we both lived on Long Island. Kathy now lives in NH and I live in FL. She invited me to come for a visit next July so I booked my plane ticket that same day! She didn’t have to ask me twice! I have some old black & white photos of us taken in ’60 and ’62 when we were 12 and 14 and it will be fun to take some new ones this summer and compare. Bet we haven’t changed a bit! Yeah, right! I’m sure looking forward to that trip!

  60. Rosemary says:

    Just this afternoon got back from a weekend at the lake house of one of our circle of friends we call the Yee Haws…Yees for short! I have commented about them before…our group (6 women now that one has moved to California) has been hanging out since 1993…and our 10th anniversary year was spent on Martha’s Vineyard in 2003…one of our best trips EVER! So, this weekend we all took our sewing machines and worked on quilting projects, which has become our latest passion together. LAUGHTER, TEARS (thankfully, not too many), total devotion to one another makes this circle so important to each of us. Wouldn’t it be so fun if you could come spend a little weekend with us? You would SO FIT IN! We are in the throes of planning this years major week-long trip…where to go? Usually we stay in Texas but on some occasions we have left the state on a biggie. I am the oldest in the group. What an honor! So, this post of yours was so lovely and we all have your book…GIRLFRIENDS and we all sing your praises. Thanks for everything…again.

  61. Diane says:

    Susan, this blog makes me feel that my life is even more “balanced” with girlfriends than ever before. Girlfriends are definitely one of the biggest support systems going…..and anyone who has moved away from where they grew up and put down roots with their long-time girlfriends, understands that deeply. I appreciate that you shared what you went through when you moved to your island home because sometimes you get a picture in your mind of what a person’s life is like ( I had one of yours! )…and it doesnt include the loneliness and sadness for those left behind in another place. Boo Hoo! I think I have come to love you and this blog and all the gals on here like I do because it is one more way of connecting…..I think girls need lots of ways to connect! lol. That is one of life’s greatest joys for sure! I also think that the way you are able to articulate what all of us are feeling is what allows us to connect with you and each other in our hearts ….and I LOVE that! You say exactly how we feel! Plus you throw in a dose of humor about it all! You also are always giving us the gift of your beautiful artwork and it feeds the soul! I know I say this every time I write, but thank you!!!! 🙂 Have a wonderful week!

  62. Carol Heach says:

    Love the post & apron!! Can’t wait for the book!

  63. Debbie N. says:

    Good evening Susan,
    Just wanted to let you know that I made waffles this mornings from the recipe in your keepsake book “Love”. I wanted to do something special for my 9 year old grandson for his day off from school and I thought waffles would be perfect. I haven’t used this recipe in years, which I can’t understand why, and they turned out perfect. My grandson loved them. He even thinks I should open up a restaurant making these waffles. The ideas in “Love” work very well on Children also. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes and ideas in your books.

  64. Terry Scott says:

    Hi Susan,

    I have sent today’s blog to my two sisters. They both agree the little boy in the lower right of the “group” pic looks exactly like our brother, Jesse. He was born November 30, 1957, in Orlando, FL.

    Terry Scott

  65. Vicki says:

    As I write this my Best Friend of almost 20 years has 2 to 3 weeks to live. I will be going to see her one last time in a few days. Where do I go from here? Our Hubbies indulged us by driving us to visit each other…a 3 hour drive one way. In doing so they became good friends, too. What started out as pen pals ends in the most precious girlfriend friendship I have ever had. Our families are each others families, so we will not lose touch. We have love. I hope to hang on to my memories forever.

    • sbranch says:

      So very sorry Vicki! She is so lucky to have you.

    • Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

      Vicki.. You truly are a BFF. It would be so easy to just stay away from the heartbreaking “goodbye”. How lucky your friend is to have a girlfriend who loves her so much! Your 20 years of memories will help comfort you in the days and months ahead. Just know that all of us new girlfriends are here to help you. Remember, life goes on. What a comfort to her to know her family will be looked after by you and yours. Thoughts and Prayers to you.

      • What a wonderful friend you are. As a hospice nurse, I just had to respond to your heartfelt comment. This is such a difficult time, but patients need their friends more now than ever. Most people tend to stay away because they simply do not know what to say or to do. They are worried about saying or doing the wrong thing. Many ask me what they should do. Here is my advice: Just do what you always do. Talk about the things that you always talked about, just everyday stuff. Bring some nice tea or some scones and jelly and have breakfast together. Or some pretty flowers or a book; whatever you know that your friend loved best. One of my patient’s friends brought her a beautiful shawl to wear in bed; another brought a gorgeous pillowcase all laundered and ready to go. You will think of something. Most patients feel very isolated toward the end; it is sad. I have sat with so many women who were just terribly lonely. And we just sat and talked, had a cup of tea, held hands in silence. We talked about books we liked, we talked about their kids, movies, all sorts of stuff. I tell them how special they are. How much they mean to so many. We don’t talk about death. We all know it is coming and we leave that unspoken unless the patient wants to discuss it. Most do not. And that is okay. It does not mean anything, it is not denial. It is just personal. And be sure to hug a lot and hold hands. Touch is so important. And so is laughter.

        Good luck to you. My thoughts are with you and your friend. Makes me feel the need to contact many of my friends who I have not been in contact with recently. They are so much of our lives. We forget that sometimes.

        • sbranch says:

          I love you for leaving this wonderful advice. Thank you so much Janice! ♥

          • Janice, how very sweet of you to give Vicki such loving/caring advice for her friend. I was very moved by everything that you wrote to her mainly because my Husband’s Mother recently died from a long battle of Alzheimer’s and watching him love and care for her and kiss her forehead every night and say “I Love You” when he tucked her in her bed made me love him even more if that was possible. The advice to hold her hand and hug her is the most important because their bond of friendship will stay with her long after her dear friend has left.

          • Janice, how very thoughtful of you to give Vicki the loving advice to share with her dear friend during this very sad time in their lives. I agree with your advice to hug and hold hands mainly because I saw first hand how much touch means, I watched my husband love and care for his Mother who recently passed after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Every night he would tuck her into bed and kiss her on the forehead and tell her how much he loved her, it made me love him even more if that was possible. What a wonderful job you have and it sounds like you are a very caring person and that is so important to the people who need that at the end of their journey. Thank You!

        • Tamar Weaver says:


          That is so good to know, and I am so thankful for hospice nurses like you. Nurses are so special and needed. I have always felt that way. Thank you so much for what you do.

    • Tamar Weaver says:


      I am so sorry. Bless your heart. XO.

  66. Amy D. says:

    That song made me LAUGH!! I had never heard that before.

  67. Pamela Jewett says:

    Hi Susan,

    It is such fun reading your posts. They are comforting plus inspirational. It was a lucky day to find your books and receive your “Willards”.
    xoxo Pam

  68. Sandra Davidson says:

    Dear Susan your remarks about BF so hit home. Last year my husband and I moved to help out our daughter with our blind grandson and it has kept me busy but just recently I have started to miss my friends to go for lunch or just for a cup of coffee with or talk about quilting. I am 70 and it is hard to meet friends in a new town and especially if it is small. Right now I just don’t have the time to join in groups but maybe that will come.

  69. Maureen says:

    Just by coincidence I was actually reading your Girlfriends book last night.
    There are times when I just love to leaf through books even those I have had for a time.
    I love all your books.

  70. Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

    Hi Susan!

    Girlfriends, can’t imagine my life without them. And I feel so blessed that both my sisters are best friends. 🙂 I can’t wait to have your new book in my hands! I love the apron you’ve painted with the precious chicken pocket! Thanks for being our girlfriend!

  71. Ange M says:

    Susan, So glad I decided to read this just now. Very timely for me having recently moved from CA to WA and missing my dear friends. After reading your thoughtful post and all of the wonderful comments, I feel encouraged and inspired to just start joining groups and taking classes so I can cultivate new friendships with like minded folks.
    I will always take time to stay connected with my CA friends however, and I am so grateful for all of the ways we can communicate these days. Thank you modern technology, and thank you Susan Branch! You are one of a kind 🙂

  72. Evelyn says:

    Hi Susan. Just wanted to say how grateful I am that I’m included in your girlfriend group. Ever since I bought my first book of yours I wished you could be my girlfriend. I just fell in love with your art, your philosophy, the quotes. I have a select few very special girlfriends who are like sisters to me..but in the last few years my circle of friends has widened considerably. Thank goodness. Friends are life support. I don’t know what I would’ve done after my husband passed without them to hold me up. Great post.

  73. Lisa R says:

    Oh Susan,
    I loved this post so much I’d love to frame it all!! From that adorable picture of you, to the girls on the phone (love), to that APRON! Now let me tell you, my heart skipped a beat when I saw it. I don’t think I’ve every mentioned it, but I live in a chicken world. I have 25 free range girls out back, who give me beautiful brown eggs every day. And inside, a sweet chicken collection of various styles, given to me mostly by my girlfriends. A dear one is having a biopsy done this week, and we celebrate the birthday of another on Wednesday. My girlfriends are such a blessing to me, treasured gifts I never, ever take for granted. When we gather at Christmas, we always bring the upcoming calendar for the new year, and schedule our times shared through the entire year. That’s how important our friendship is to one another. Those gatherings are the first thing posted on our new calendars. I hope none of us ever have to move away. Heartfelt thoughts for those in the midst of that situation now.

  74. Karen C says:

    An awesome blog today, and even better posts girlfriends! Need to find the tissues. What was it that we learned in Girl Scouts oh so many years ago: Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold! or something like that. I realize now that I should have paid more attention!

  75. Andi M says:

    Your friendship post is great. Right now as a busy mom and substitute teacher most of my best times are with my eleven year old daughter. This weekend my daughter and I enjoyed the movie, The Bishop’s Wife for the first time. She enjoyed it so much she wants to buy it and she asked me to let you know how much she enjoyed it. We want to watch your entire movie list, those that we haven’t seen already. This weekend will be my daughter’s first tea party. Her 12 year old cousin invited her to a princess tea party. We are soooo exicted. She chose a Spanish princess costume and Spanish olives as a hostess gift. I don’t know who is more excited, me or her. I have never been to a tea party. Yeah!

  76. Sara says:

    A preview of the new book!!!! It is like Christmas all over again!!! 🙂 LOVE IT!!!

    I hope everyone has a BFF to talk to over tea, whether on the phone or in person!

  77. Jan from Michigan says:

    My best Girlfriend lost her husband 4 years ago (also on Dec. 29th) It was a tough year but I did my best to hold her up. The following Christmas I wanted to give her something really special. Yes, I gave her Susan Branch’s Girlfriends book. She just told me (again) that book kept her going on really dark days and how she treasures that book! Susan, you lift up so many “girlfriends” in ways you did not realize. You are truly an angel! BTW I fixed her up with a gentleman at work last summer and they are IN LOVE! She now thinks I am the angel. I still think it was devine intervention that made me set her up on that blind date!

  78. Pamela Jo says:

    This post was so touching, Susan. I just reconnected with an old friend about a year ago and now we are closer than ever. I believe that it was divine intervention for us to reunite, as both of us have had some difficult times during the past year. We comfort each other daily and she is the best friend I could ever hope for. I love your appreciation for “Girlfriends” and we all need them! The people in our lives who care for us are treasures!
    Pamela Jo
    P.S. LOVE the “silly song” you added to this post! It made me smile!

  79. Kirsten Wichert says:

    The Girlfriends book was the first of my Susan Branch collection. I was so lucky to go to a book signing, soooo mine is signed! It was my most favorite one until Autumn came out! I have since collected them all plus lots of the other stuff, too. We (all of us girlfriends) are so in love with you Susan! You are who we aspire to be like………Your attitude is inspiring us everyday! So go back to work on the new book……..we can hardly wait. But thanks also for the blog which could be small books on their own!

  80. Francine says:

    Maybe there would be a way to start up a pen pal page. Maybe we could find some in our state, or another to become friends with. I know at one time there was another lady who was a caregiver for her husband, as I am, but we couldn’t figure out how to get in contact with each other! Looks like lots of ladies could use some friends! Loved the apron drawing and look forward to your new book! Bless you!

  81. Barbara says:

    Some 66 years ago, I met my BFF and soul mate in kindergarden and we have been through joys and sorrows and remain close all these many years! Thank you for all these wonderful reflections….it makes me realize how truly blessed I am to have someone so special to call my “girlfriend”

  82. Linda Pintarell says:

    My mom was my inspiration regarding girlfriends. She made friends so easily; and was such a good friend to them. As a child, I could even see this. As such, I’ve made it a point in life to stay in contact with people who are important to me; mainly “girlfriends”. From a myriad of places I have lived, I count myself blessed that I am still in touch with “girlfriends” from almost every city. And I still have a large contingent of school “girlfriends” that I am in touch with even though we are spread all over. Lucky lady…I am!

  83. Carol says:

    Oh my!! Eartha Kitt was so fun in that video! My husband (my bff) and I got a big kick out of that video! Thanks! It is our 31st anniversary today and we truly understand real happiness…taking life one moment at a time. Grabbing moments with girlfriends is sooo important for your physical health and more importantly for your mental health 🙂

  84. Lezlee says:

    So I’m thinking that when I visit your blog – I won’t EVER get this message: “This blog is open to invited readers only” . . . I recently got this when I went to visit a favored blog. I was a bit shocked – I had never received this message before. I always feel welcomed and treasured when I visit you – just wanted you to know:)

  85. Jennie says:

    Susan- This is such a beautiful and timely post for me! I have not had a best girlfriend since I was fifteen years old! I met my husband at sixteen and he became my best friend. It made me a bit sad to not have any close girlfriends, but I put away my solace in favor of being married to my closest friend . . . however, sixteen years past and now I am on the brink of divorce- devoid of husband and even girlfriends- or so I thought. It’s amazing what calamity can bring to your doorstep . . . a whole bunch of pain, but a whole bunch of beautiful ladies that you never knew where even around! I have been blessed to find real friendships of late in the women who were in my life, but I never really made the time for, if you know what I mean. Talk about unexpected treasure! Even blogging friends have been a support and encouragement! Praise God for the girlfriends all the way!

  86. Cynthia Krynock says:

    I too, made a big move when I was in my early 20’s…from south Florida to Ohio….didn’t know a living soul…and though I still had some wonderful and dear friends that I could speak to via the phone, the calls got fewer and fewer…my heart got sadder and sadder…and then I moved again to northern Ohio…and I met a wonderful new friend, Robyn….and I knew that no matter the ups and downs of friendship, she would always be my forever girlfriend….and then I met more and well…now I am blessed with ones that, after 34 years, we are still close, hang out, and enjoy one another….there have been bumps in the road for sure, but they walked with me through miscarriages, general hard times and also the wonderful moments of our lives….and it is good to know that through it all it’s made us stronger….if you lay a good foundation in the beginning of your friendship, you will never regret it….I haven’t! Love the apron! I like the ties best of all….they reminded me of the ties that bind….bind us girlfriends to one another because we want to be tied to one another….forever!


  87. Karen Saunders says:

    I loved your post today. It’s like getting a little piece of the puzzle….ever so slowly, as you made your journey from California all those years ago. It gives hope and inspiration to those going through the same trials. I always yearned for a friendship like Lucy and Ethels…. I know someone mentioned them earlier. It does have something to do with their casual intimacy, and just being dang close. Friends are like nothing else in life. They don’t HAVE to be friends, they want to be. My husband of 40 years, (met our senior year) and known for 45…(okay I’m old) is my best friend, and I love spending time with him…. but I gotta have a friend that puts a bra on cause you just gotta have ‘girl’ talk once in a while. Know what I mean??

  88. debbie says:

    Hi Susan and Girlfriends!! This is exactly why I love coming here. It is like having a room full of friends to chat and have coffee with AND it is like having one of Susan’s books spring to life 🙂 I think we are all excited about the new book. That apron is too cute for words!

  89. Catherine says:

    Your girlfriend book is my all time favorite. I have given several copies to friends. I can’t wait to see your new book because I’m really lovin’ that apron!

  90. Becky says:

    Female freindships are vital for health and wellness and I am thankful to have a husband that recognizes the space and time I need to meet with the gals. Poor dear….sometimes it feels like he wants to be my BFF. Do you know what I mean? But I think it takes a man in touch with his inner “her” to know that a female connected to other females draws in nurturing,feminine energy that spills over onto him in many positive ways.
    How could we get through the loss of a parent, the marriage of a child, the craziness of work, relationships, and life in general without our girlfriends?
    When my friends and I are together, we say “the coven is meeting” because something magical always happens. Thanks for opening up the conversation for such a fun post! Are you feelin’ the love, girlfriend?

  91. Pat says:

    Hi Susan,
    I wanted to ask you what made you move to Martha’s Vineyard? It’s such a long way from California. Had you read about it or did you have a job waiting for you there? I was just curious for it turned out to be such a perfect match for you in so many ways.

  92. BJ says:

    Girlfriends – they are just the best. We moved a lot growing up (and even after “growing up”), but I managed to get girlfriends just about everywhere we went. But my to this day BFF and I only lived near each other for 7 years, yet 34 years later she is still that to me. Talk about our lives intertwining: we share the same wedding anniversary, even to the year; her dad married her, mine married me (yep, we’re both preacher’s kids); her oldest daughter and our oldest son share the same birthday (not year); her daughter and ours were very close friends for many years, as was her son and our oldest son. One of the best memory makers we did was when our kids were young we would take them out on Fridays and seek out the best French Fries in our area, thus the day became known (and still is to this day) as FryDay. I make a special effort to email her every FryDay. Several years ago she sent me a Precious Moments of a girl holding a tray with a hamburger, soda, and fries. Special memories.
    With our many moves I have made special girlfriends in many states. We keep in touch by email. I have also made many online friends through blogs from all over the world. I am now full time caregiver of my mom, and have been for over 3 years now. It requires me to be with her full time. It required a move for me to a town where I only know my sister. I really have had no opportunity to get any girlfriends here, but I have so many just a keyboard stroke away that I am not lonely. I feel so blessed.
    Whether for a season, or for life, I love my girlfriends.

  93. Terry B says:

    I just spent the day celebrating my BFF’s birthday with her. She is kind enough to always be 8 months older than me. 🙂 We’ve known each other for 48 years; she was even married to a cousin of mine for 20 of those years, so she’s realllllly family. Truly a blessing! I think we all need to take a moment each day to be thankful for our friends – and YOU help us to do that, girlfriend! I am grateful for you.

  94. Trish says:

    You’re so correct when you say that making new friends can be tricky if one doesn’t work, isn’t married and doesn’t have children! It’s like some sort of trifecta! However, that’s one of the blessings of social media. It allows someone to make new connections with like-minded people. Like… gee… maybe Susan Branch fans? 😉 Also, there’s no doubt about it. Gin is a necessity. *Trish looks for vermouth*

  95. Gail says:

    Love it! Ummmm. I really would like this apron. Please have your elves make it to sell in your store. It would look so darling on. Xxoo

    • Karen P says:

      There are some aprons for sale on in Susan’s store, Gail. Have you checked them out? Susan is the ever-adorable model, I believe.

  96. Your Blog & these comments need “like” buttons- like on facebook!

  97. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good Evening Susan & Girlfriends~
    Just wanted to say thank you for the post & all the comments.
    I love coming here when I am relaxing with my tea~ it’s always such an uplifting place!
    If anyone hasn’t read

  98. Kathy Thompson says:

    Hi Susan, it’s me again 🙂 I couldn’t agree more about the best friend whose pets you pet…whose shoulder you cry on…whose kitchen is as familiar as your own…who is there no matter WHAT time of day I call her or for WHAT. I’ve got my own special one named Charlyn. And, then I have another friend I’ve never even met…who knows just about as much about me. Sandy and I have been friends since we became penpals in 1964. We’ve been writing to each other back and forth from California to Indiana. What an e-ticket ride our friendship has been. You could probably write a book about the two of us 🙂 Imagine that…a friendship that spans all those smiles and miles…for, dare I say it, 48 years…and we have NEVER met face to face. Our friendship has grown from stationery sprayed with our favorite colognes when we were 11 …to emails at 59. That is what GIRLFRIENDS are all about. Here’s to the ones next door and the ones across the miles. Here’s to the “New ones and the old. One is silver the other gold.” They truly are are lifelines.

  99. Gala says:

    I do like the video! My husband used those lyrics in a sermon once (I don’t remember the rest of the sermon–shh don’t tell anyone–)
    I have been blessed to have dear friends at the various stages of my life: high school friends, dear, dear college friends, friends from when my babies were born. And then there are the friends I left behind, geographically at least, last September. This group was generally referred to as the “Other Mothers.” We all had kids within 5 years or so of each other. We went on field trips, rode school buses, taught Sunday School, passed clothes around as things were outgrown, and inadvertently wore glitter and glued our fingers together in craft projects. We laughed ourselves silly over things, and shared tears over events great and small. This was the group of friends that I knew I could call at 3 in the morning and they would say, “I’ll be right over.” A couple of them are hitting the road to come visit me early next month–God speed and long live the girlfriends!

  100. Sandra Gillanders says:

    I can relate to leaving behind friends having moved across the country from CA to PA. Leaving behind my girlfriends was very hard but thanks to FB I can still connect once in awhile and my BBF comes out to see me once a year which is soooo nice. I haven’t really assimilated and found some girlfriends here yet but joining a knitting group or taking a class is a great idea. Twitter has put a big smile on my face and in my heart because there I have many friends. Who knew the internet was so full of such lovely people. Thanks for being here to brighten the days and inspire the nights. You are a treasure to all girlfriends.
    Oh and the apron picture is really so perfect and cute. Don’t know how you paint so small and perfect. Want to make an apron just like it with the heart up top.

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