Wearing Green?

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!  If you’re not wearing green, run, get something, save yourself. I found out in grammar school that a pocketful of green grass was better than nothing!

Hi girls, this one’s long, get tea, get comfy!  Well, yesterday, I was thwarted.  Came to the computer early to update the blog and show you what we were up to on Thursday and found out “the server is down.”  Grrr.  #$@%*$# I do not like to be thwarted by my machines!  And it stayed down until noon!  By that time, all the magical morning juice (the stuff that’s manufactured while I sleep) had burnt off me; I was no longer the creative blogger I so wish to be, so I cleaned the studio instead.  Which makes me very happy this morning, because here I am, all juiced up from dreamland, in a clean studio, with a full cup of tea, a kitty on my lap, ready to go.

So what I have for you today is a bit of a travel log.  We went off island and because this is New England, because there is so much history here, whenever we have errands to do, we try to do them in a cute little town so we can eat in cute little restaurants, and see wonderful old houses.  We needed to go to an  Apple Store (to put more memory into my computer!).  Luckily Apple has lots of stores, so we picked the one in beautiful, downtown, Hingham, Massachusetts.   So here we go… arm chair travel!

Guess what year Hingham was incorporated and recorded as the twelfth town in the Massachusetts Bay Colony?  Yes! 1635!  The first courageous settlers of this town came across the cold gray sea in a wooden boat from Hingham, England.  I guess to make themselves feel more “at home” they named their new settlement after the town they’d come from, which is pretty much what all the settlers did.  That’s why it’s called “New” England.  That’s why there’s a Plymouth, a Boston, a Woodstock, a Tisbury, an Andover, and so many other towns, both here and in England.  But this isn’t a history lesson, this is a house tour.  Because, one of the things this town is famous for is that Eleanor Roosevelt said it had “the most beautiful Main Street in America.”

I thought you’d like to see some of it because so many of the original houses are still there!  And although Eleanor Roosevelt and Hingham don’t have much more in common than perhaps belonging to a mutual admiration society, I thought I would take advantage of the situation and pepper some of the wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt amongst the photos; she is one of my heroes, her words resonate in my heart.  The world was and is better off because she was in it; I like her to be remembered.  So here we go, not in any particular order . . . here’s Hingham!

All of these wonderful old houses are either right on Main Street or just off; we walked up the street taking pictures as we went.  I would have liked hearing this music come from the windows of this house when the song was brand new!

Remember, Spring has not yet sprung here in New England; the bushes and trees are leafless and gray.  You have to look very close to see the buds; you have to imagine the green that is still to come.  But this robin’s egg blue house is very cheerful anyway.

Here’s the only fixer-upper I saw; anyone in the mood for a project?  It’s a beautiful old crumbling early American house.  The bathtub is right there, waiting to be reinstalled.  Most likely will need the floor to go under it too!  Some new glass panes, a little paint, and voila!  That was easy!

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.       ♥ Eleanor Roosevelt

Huge old trees line the neighborhood streets.  It must be stunning in the summer and fall.  I would like to take a nap under a tree like these.

This house was built in 1692!  That’s old!  Many of the houses had plaques with historical information on them.

Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.    Eleanor Roosevelt

This is that same 1692 house, of the “First Period” style of architecture . . . you can see that over the years, they kept adding on, and one day, they no longer had to walk through the snow to get to the barn!

Here’s a close up of the front door with a heart wreath.  I already like the people who live here!

How can you not fall in love with a whole antique village filled with stately homes, ancient trees, gambrel roofs, picket fences, shutters, old fireplaces; they speak of our whole history!  There’s definitely been knitting going on in this house!  And if you look real close  . . .

The lawn is full of springtime blossoms.

This is the Old Ship Church, built in 1630 — I’ll let the sign tell you the rest . . .

It is written that Abigail Adams took a sleigh ride over to Hingham from her home in nearby Quincy.  Can’t you just picture it:  A horse-drawn sled, bells ringing through the snow, horse’s breath visible in the cold air, furs layered on to keep the people warm?

It takes as much energy to plan as it does to wish. ♥ Eleanor Roosevelt

Here’s another wonderful old house and barn, but what is that in the upstairs window?

I think it’s a person.

A baby! A baby, peering out and he waved to me!  How many babies have done that over the last 300+ years since this house was born?  Waved, to daddy, back from the Revolutionary War, to people on horseback, to people in Model T’s?  Now, to us!

Faith and Begorrah, more MUSICA?

 So then we’d walked far enough; we were hungry so we took a vote and decided we would pop in, to what else, an Irish Pub, for lunch!

Too often the great decisions are originated and given form in bodies made up wholly of men, or so completely dominated by them that whatever of special value women have to offer is shunted aside without expression.  Eleanor Roosevelt

We had delicious Shepherd’s Pie with mashed potatoes and gravy, hot and steamy and fragrant and toasted Soda Bread and we listened to the Irish music that was playing there and decided, when we got done, we’d go to the old burying ground.  I hope you still feel like traveling, because there’s more!

So we started out, stopping at this beautiful green Georgian style house for a photo … could I really drive by without showing you this one?

Continued up the street and saw this beauty with the double gambrel roof . . .

To the gate of the old burying ground; New England churchyards are so beautiful, so full of history, they are wonderful to walk through, they set the imagination on fire.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you look fear in the face.  You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror; I can take the next thing that comes along.’  Eleanor Roosevelt

This graveyard was filled with old trees; keeping watch as they have for centuries.  Double graves of moms with babies are so sad.  The elements had blown some of the markers clean of any engraving at all.

The history of our country is right here.  Gone but never forgotten.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. ♥ Eleanor Roosevelt

 Twigs and yellow grass crackled under our feet; it was too dreary a day for a graveyard, gray and chilly; but it was filled with austere beauty and memory and truly, love.

These headstones look like they are leaning back in their chairs about to put their feet up.

 As for accomplishments, I just did what I had to do as things came along.             Eleanor Roosevelt

Time out for coffee . . . off to the local bakery to get a brewed awakening!

How cute!  Giant bakery-made cupcakes with cream on the inside that look just like Hostess Cupcakes!

Trays full of delights, but we were good, still full of mashed potatoes and didn’t even get one of these checkerboard cookies!

We’re beginning to head out of town, but my camera won’t stop clicking — this large Georgian-style house caught my attention, but it’s the beautiful old gate that became the subject.

With my imagination, I remove the car in front of this Federal-style house (that I would like to move into in my next life); insert horses and wagon; let chickens run loose in the yard.

I think there may be more American flags per capita in this town than in any I have ever seen.  Look at those porches.  Make some lemonade, put a pillow in one of those rocking chairs, and call me when the sun comes out! 

Friendship with ones self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.  ♥ Eleanor Roosevelt

So many beautiful old churches with bells and weather vanes.  They take such good care of everything.  It must be a monumental job to keep this painted and beautiful.


Right about here Joe mentioned that if we go any further I will probably use up all the new memory I just had inserted into my computer!!!  Time to go home . . .

About 1 ½ hours later, we’re back on the boat and heading across the sound for home; we have kitties waiting!  I go to the snack bar for tea and when I come back . . .

Sitting on our table, was this!  And Joe, with a catbird expression on his face.  A little worse for wear, having been tucked into a shopping bag, but still recognizable from the bakery; Joe got us a Hostess Cupcake when I wasn’t looking.  Starvation is not imminent. Dinner is served!  A haunch of cupcake.  You’d think, after all these years, I would know Joe always has something up his sleeve!

Just delicious!

A woman is like a tea bag; you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.    Eleanor Roosevelt

And that, my darlings is all.  I hope you enjoyed your trip!


What shall we talk about now?

Oh!  OK! I guess you have been the most patient people in the world, waiting for me to go to Apple, waiting for the server, and then this story that would never end —  and you would like to know who the winner is of our last giveaway?  Am I right?

OK, here we go, in honor of all of us who Love Cursive, the winner will receive signed copies of our new Home Cooking Recipe Keeper, my new book, Grandma Tell Me Your Story, and a set of notecards called ‘How to Be Happy.’  It will be going off to one lucky winner via snail mail just as soon as I hear back from the email I sent her.  Who? You ask?  Her:


On behalf of all the girlfriends, I want to say it couldn’t have happened to a sweeter more deserving person!  Right girls?  Congratulations Kristina!

Byeeeee Girlfriends.  Thank you all for sticking with me through thick and thin; your comments are just wonderful — you make me cry!  Just better and more interesting every day.  Thanks for entering into these drawings; they’re always fun because of YOU!!  Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day weekend!  Willard starts going out on Tuesday, watch for it in your email box.  Sign your moms and best friends up for it if they aren’t already! XOXO!

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434 Responses to Wearing Green?

  1. Kirsten Anne Wichert of So. Calif. says:

    I knew it!!! I knew I would want to be doing what you were doing when you didn’t exactly tell us what it was. Thankyou for including the house tour in your blog. It so reminded me when I flew into boston and then drove to Maine with my daughter in a car rental. It was wintertime, Feb. We saved the most on air fare this way but we enjoyed the scenery! There’s really no place like New England. When we got lost in Boston, we enjoyed the scenery as well. I’m told everyone gets lost there! And Joe’s surprise cupcake certainly looked much better that a hostess, eventhough I loved them as a child. Fun, fun, fun, fun, a Susan Branch life for me! (to the tune of yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me. From Pirates of the Carribean ride at Disneyland!) Congrats to Kristina on her lucky win! Thanks Susan for another wonderfull blog!

  2. Maureen says:

    I moved back to sunny, warm Florida last year from Rhode Island. It was heart warming to see the gorgeous old homes I grew to love while living there.
    Thank you for a return trip to New England.

  3. Sara says:

    Holiday, FL

    I love the character in those old homes. It is a shame we couldn’t get back to that quality craftsmanship now a days. Thank you for a beautiful tour!

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      What I just don’t understand is why nowadays, with modern electric tools,
      easy-by-comparison transportation, wider education of craftsmen, etc., that houses have to be thrown together with no character and cost so much. The majority of us in big cities have to live in housing that truly makes the song “Little Boxes” come to mind…It seems that craftsmen took more pride in their work back then. The name of the game in construction seems to be profit and speed with no regard to character or the length of time the building might stand…and even the attempts at “character” are usually cheap imitations of the real architectural detail.

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        p.s. My comment clicked off before I finished my tirade… 🙂
        Often architects seem to take several different architectural styles and combine them–Federal style windows on a house with a gambrel roof, paladian windows over doors, etc. I shudder to think what most of the townhouses here will look like in 100 years but the reality is that they won’t last that long probably… So it is really fun to see REAL houses with classic styles of architecture and hard to not envy the lucky people who live in such a setting… 🙂

        • Janet says:

          Hello Sue – another wonderful posting! I feel like I stepped back in time. Never get tired of seeing anything to do with New England. Anything old period. And Pat, well-said and you are SO right! Completely agree with everything you tiraded about! I’m willing to bet most of us here feel the same way. Where is it written that we can’t have style AND profit?

          PS Miss Susan – you have absolutely excellent taste [translation – you like everything I like!]. I’m an Eleanor R fan too. If you haven’t read them yet, I strongly recommend Joseph Lash’s “Eleanor and Franklin” as well as Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “No Ordinary Time.”

  4. I did my first term paper, in 7th grade, on Elinore Roosevelt with notecards, foot notes etc. Yikes of course this was when we didn’t have computers or word processors. I was inspired by the series on Elinore and Franklin from 1975. It wasn’t till recently that I realized many of my favorite quotes were by her. You mentioned a few of my favorites. My new favorite is..you have to make friends with yourself… Thanks for sharing all the lovely homes and quotes. Makes me want to tour back east more.

  5. Patsy says:

    Thank you so much for that wonderful tour. I just love those old homes and would be as happy as a clam living in one with fabulous porch like those. Most of New England is virgin territory to me, having been in every other area of the US thus far. It’s my dream and a definite on my list. Since my grandparents came to Florida from Maine, I feel like I owe it to myself to at least visit their native area and soak in all of the New England history.

  6. Tora says:

    Loved the house tour Susan, it’s so similar to our little village of Chagrin Falls, Oh. It would be, of course, cause we’re located in “the lands of the Western Reserve,” which was part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, settled in 1773. I love those old homes, so inviting. I love to imagine what life must have been like living in those stately beauties without all our modern conveniences. Thinke we could do it? LOL

    • sbranch says:

      Did you ever see 1900 House? It’s the first time I really became overwhelmingly happy I live NOW!! 🙂

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Yes, I saw it and thought the same thing! And I’ve always said I was born too late in time, should have been earlier in time! But it DID make me wonder if I could have done it…and even more so, the Canadian series “Pioneer Quest”. Gosh–watching several couples from modern times deal with everyday pioneer life including weather, bugs, snakes, and mice and cleanliness issues on a daily basis opened my eyes. I had always romantisized the idea of living in pioneer days…If you haven’t watched that series, check it out… 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          I’ve seen it, I love camping, but this is different! It was the washing of the sheets (in 1900 House) in the caldron over the fire on a freezing winter day in the back yard in Boston that sealed the deal for me.

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            Ugh, I remember that now–and their red raw hands, as a result…I remember thinking no wonder that their life span was so much shorter–they probably wore themselves out with the hard work just from day-to-day! Indoor plumbing is a real plus now, too! 🙂 And as much as I love candlelight and using our oil lamps, the safety factor (or rather lack of) was an issue…all of the beautiful old historical houses that are missing weren’t all torn down for modernization, a lot burned down due to careless candles, etc… 🙁

  7. Shelley says:

    Your blog is such a bright spot as I go through this very difficult time in my life. It gives me hope that there will be better days ahead. Thank you.

  8. Lori says:

    Thank you for taking us on the tour Susan – just lovely homes and such history. Congrats to Kristina!

  9. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good Morning~
    I am going to go off topic a bit here but I wanted to give the girlfriends a ” heads up” ~literally~
    It has been an unseasonably Warm & Beautiful stretch of weather here in SE Wisconsin ~my only complaint is WOOD TICKS!
    I found one crawling around on the top of my head last night while sitting checking my email last night!! Yuck!! Thank goodness the darn thing had not embedded himself in yet!!
    We were walking in the woods yesterday afternoon ~ on the path~ with the dog & I had to open my mouth about being on the look ~out for those darn things because Maybe they’d be out already & guess what??
    So at 8:30 last night dog got a bath & I got a shower and a ” tick check”~ the Brad Paisley song ~” Ticks” ~ kept crossing my mind~ that song is very funny~ so at least I got a laugh from that! ~ But seriously ~Be Careful~ at least it was not a Deer Tick~
    Thanks for letting me post this public service announcement!
    Happy Monday~

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      Darn tick made me right “last night ” twice in that sentence!

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        I mean “write” ~ I give up!

        • Pat Mofjeld says:

          Lynn, I’m laughing! Here in St. Paul they have been warning us on the TV news about the bad wood tick problem with this odd early spring. We’re doing “tick checks” of each other and the two schnauzers on a regular basis. (And those of you who think tick checks might be fun need to think twice! It is NOT romantic at all!!! Besides that, you start thinking about the wood ticks and then start to feeling itchy and twitchy and paranoid about them…) LOL! Actually, we usually find them on us more than the dogs–guess the flea and tick stuff works good on them! Lymes Disease can be serious so the wood tick issue is a real problem…(this reminds me of why Fall and Winter are my favorite seasons!) 🙂

          • Lynn McMahon says:

            You are too funny Pat!
            I can’t believe I had a tick on me! In March!
            I didn’t sleep too great last night~lots of phantom itching and twitching~the Beagle had no problems though…lucky dog!

  10. Joy Pence says:

    Thank you, thank you Susan. It was almost like I was walking down the sidewalk with you. Read your “Girlfriend” book this weekend…I couldn’t put it down, it is just beautiful. I loved the all the pictures of you and your girlfriends. I am jealous of them so have such a sweet girlfiend as you!! But I know you now, even if it is only thru your pictures and words, and that makes me happy.

  11. Loved the Hingham tour~the houses are just beautiful! You inspire me to stop and see the beauty around me…loved tagging along with you. I started reading this yesterday and had to leave for a late St Pattys day dinner at cousins in Concord Ma, another great town loaded with gorgeous old homes~anyway just finishing up my HIngham trip now. Dotting the post with Eleanor’s pearls of wisdom was the icing on the cupcake for me!

  12. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Good Morning Sweet Sue…what A Delightful Journey You Have Taken Us On…My Favorite Besides All The Gorgeous Photos…is Your Shepherd’s Pie Lunch in The Irish Pub…& Your Joe’s Sweet Surprize of Yumminess….What a Perfect Day! Yay! 🙂 Our Saint Paddy’s Day was Scrumptious Too! The Corned Beef & Cabbage Beyond Yum…(& We Had Leftovers for Sunday Brunch) & We washed it all Down with Cold Irish Beer….& Herbster even did an Irish Jig for Me 🙂 He Looked like a Cute Leprechaun! Jiggity~Jig!… 🙂 So Congratz to Kristina! Another Very Lucky~Girl!!!! 🙂 & We Have a New “Willard” to Look Forward too! Twirling with Joy! Wishing You a Marvelous~Monday Sweet Sue…& to Everybody! Today Here in Central Fl…I woke to 61 Degrees & cool Crisp Air…gonna warm to low 80’s but Low Humidity with a Breeze…☼Spring has Sprung….The Last Day of Winter! Amazing…(We also Worked in The Garden all Day Sunday) so this Morning all The Flowers were Singing♫ to Me! Yay! xoxo Poof! ♫♥♥♥☼

    • sbranch says:

      It’s beautiful here too Angie … already over 50 degrees and perfect sunshine!

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        Sounds Perfect Sweet Sue….We Must Breathe in All The Magic of Springtime…Enjoy… Sue & Joe & Girl~Kitty & Jack! Spring Fever is in The Air! Yay! 🙂 xoxo Poof! ♫♥☼

  13. Kristina Moore says:

    Oh my goodness, Susan! I’m SO EXCITED!!! I just saw your weekend blogs this morning and my personal email form you!

    I truly can’t tell you how very much I appreciate the wonderful GIFT of your blog and of course the wonderful gifts I will be receiving in the mail…and that I can share with my sweet mom!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Have a wonderful day!

    Kristina, from Georgetown TX

    • Kristina Moore says:

      *from (not form…)

      typing too fast…so excited! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      This is Kristina, Girlfriends, the winner of our last drawing!! So happy to hear from you Kristina. . . your gifts will be on their way to you very soon. Have a great day!

      • Congratulations Kristina!!!!!

        Kathy (Orange, CA)

      • Dorothy Ann says:

        * Hi Kristina Moore from Georgetown, Texas *

        Well…I am happy for you…girlfriend…you are the very lucky winner of Sweet Susan’s 3 wonderful gifts. You do sound so excited and rightly so!

        So nice to “meet” you via Susan’s amazing Blog.

        * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

      • Dorothy Ann says:

        * Good Mornin’ Susan * March 20th…2012…
        Wake-up! Sleepyhead! Spring is here!
        It’s the first day of Spring!
        Here in the Pacific Northwest….where is it is 32 tonight and raining….I am so ready for Spring!

        What a fabulous trip-tour we all had…following along with you and your “cupcake” Joe. So much history can be found in that quaint, lovely town of Hingham. All of the homes you photographed for us are charming, but my favorite is the one with the double roof. If we were in Hingham, as you and Joe were, Ron and I would surely be dining in the “Snug” Pub too. And…afterwards…enjoy a little box of those delicious checkerboard cookies from the local bakery!

        Once again, dear heart, Thank You.
        You took us down another path in your travels and this time to a place where the past of 1600 meets up with the present of 2012. Eleanor would be proud of you, Susan.

        Happy Spring!
        Happy Spring Girlfriends!
        * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

      • Janet says:

        Congratulations Kris! You will love your goodies, you lucky thing you! Enjoy!

    • Debbie P Weedsport, NY (near Syracuse) says:

      Congratulations, you lucky, lucky girl! I couldn’t be happier for you and your Mom!

    • Joan Lesmeister says:

      Golly, I forgot to congratulate you Kristina! So happy for you that you won!!!! I think we must be cousins – my Dad’s (George Moore) parents were from your neck of the woods! We were just at Round Top, but didn’t have time to venture to the old homestead, maybe next trip! I live in Carmichael CA!! And, thank you Susan for your wonderful prizes!!

  14. Tracy says:

    Like many people, a lot of my ancestors lived on the East coast, before they made their trek to the Midwest. Every time I see your pictures I feel a calling. I think a trip to the East is needed!

    Congrats to Kristen – you certainly won a wonderful prize!! 🙂

    Have a great week – it’s SPRING!

  15. Sharon says:

    Thanks for the tour Susan, I’ve never been there until you took me along…I loved it!

  16. Linda L. says:

    Susan, I really enjoyed the tour of Higham. Eleanor Roosevelt is also my hero. A favorite quote of hers that I use a lot is “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Thanks again for taking all of us along on the tour. Linda, So. CA

  17. pat addison says:

    good morning susan, hello everyone…Happy St Joseph’s Day!!! sorry i wasn’t in earlier, i turn my computer off on weekends. i hope everyone had a fabulous St Patrick’s weekend, we sure did. got a few nice surprises for once, and i was one happy camper. first last fall my hubby sold my old ford bronco to a friends son-in-law. i wasn’t exactly happy about that, but the old bronco needed to go. anyway i have been making use of hubby’s pickup truck to run my errands in, and that truck is a monster to park. so this weekend my husband bought a used jeep, and i get to use that to run my errands in instead using the truck all the time which makes me happy. and the second surprise is he finally replaced the old fence to the chicken yard and put in a new and much higher fence so the hens can’t fly over anymore and i don’t have to chase them round and round the yard anymore…wheeeeeeee!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!! i won’t miss that, seems like all i was doing lately was chasing those darn hens around the yard to get them back into their yard and out of the gardens. finally some relief. and believe i won’t be missing that at all. susan loved the tour of Hingham, saw a few houses that i wished my house looked like ( sigh… we can dream a little can’t we???) and i loved the pub, all we have is the Red Garter Saloon, and its not a very savory place to visit alone!!! i’d go over to the Bigfoot Tavern but its up for sale now, just opened and its already up for sale. but i loved the tour and i love that big cupcake, wish we had one of those places around here. well off to get going on the spring cleaning, and pretty soon hopefully the spring planting. have a great day today everyone!!! hugs…. 🙂

  18. Dianna Swartz says:

    Several years ago, in the fall, my husband and I flew from SLC, Utah to Boston and spent several weeks on the back roads touring New England. What a magical experience that was for us and full of special memories. Thank you for allowing us to tag along with you and Joe on your fun day. Sounded perfect and then that sweet, thoughtful Joe…surprising you with a treat with your tea. It takes so little to make us happy and feel special.

    You share so much about Joe in your writings, as you should. I think your followers would like to know more about him…at least as much as we know about Jack. How did you two meet? Where is he from? Did I understand that your home was his family home? What makes you laugh about Joe? Your favorite things to do together? What are his interests? Is he O.K. sharing you with us? What line of work was he in? Your followers want to know…..

    Thank you for all that you do for all of us. For many years, I have enjoyed your talents but I heard you speak in Ogden, Utah at the “Women Create” event
    and was so moved by your “down to earthiness” and humility. If you ever come this way again, we have a guest room in Liberty with your name on it.

  19. veronica says:

    The houses were wonderful! The cupcake scrumptious! But the ‘garden gate’?
    I’m exhausted ,full and satisfied and dreamily happy…. Thank you once again,’sweet Susan’. veronica/sumerduck,va.
    And to you Miss Kristina? I’m deliriously happy! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  20. Katy Noelle says:

    I find these old homes in New England really thrilling, too. Here in Vermont, though, they don’t seem quite as old or grand until one gets towards the coast or farther south, towards your way. I guess, at first, these green mountains were still the frontier. 😉 Anyway, when we go out, we have such fun with very, very similar adventures. This post makes TOTAL sense to me!!! =]

    Your quotes from Elinor Roosevelt were like they were hand picked for me – even the ones I already knew. Perfect timing and meaningful. Thank you ever so much!

    Katy xo

  21. Georgie says:

    Congratulations Kristina!

    Oh Susan, what a beautiful picture tour! Such charm… each house with its own beauty and character To imagine the joys, the celebrations, the homecomings, the LIVES that each home sheltered. All those pictures coupled with Eleanor Roosevelt’s quotes opened up such parallel comparisons in my mind. My own life, homes I’ve lived in, life’s journeys. This one spoke volumes to me.

    You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror; I can take the next thing that comes along.’ ♥ Eleanor Roosevelt

    Yes, we CAN take what comes our way, and we can offer hope to others as they journey on their paths as well.

    I feel as though I’ve been MIA! We’re getting our home ready for a 16th anniversary celebration, inside and out. I’ve found the bulletin, favors, invitations, and have been reliving the moments through my look back. Your journey through “the most beautiful main street in America” came just at the right time Looking at the porches, lawns, windows… visalizing a celebration. It’s amazing what planning a party can do for sprucing up the place!

    Hmmm, instead of serving wedding anniversary cake, I may need to make some Hostess cupcakes! Mmmmm!

    Georgie in Yardville, NJ

  22. Monya says:

    Susan- what a lovely treat! I live in the NW but my mom grew up in Cohasset, MA (another town you’ll have to visit) and so I’ve spent many summers visiting the South Shore (my grandma lived in Hingham for many years). Derby Street Shoppes is a nice addition to the area, but historical downtown Hingham is my favorite. Isn’t it beautiful? I love visiting Brewed Awakenings for breakfast 🙂 And Nona’s Homemade Ice Cream, the Hingham Lobster Pound, and The Upper Crust Pizzeria are three other local favorites I always hit up when I’m there. Now you make me want to try out The Snug! A fun fact- Marc Brown, the author/creator children’s book and TV series, Arthur (the aardvark) lives in Hingham and based the adorable fictional town in Arthur off it. I bet you can see why!

    • sbranch says:

      He actually moved here to Martha’s Vineyard a few years ago. He has good taste in town choices!

  23. Karen says:

    I grew up in Norwell, which is next to Hingham. Love it and the coastline, all of this history and architecture. Although I live in Amherst now, and have for decades, your pictures felt like home. A couple of additions…Hingham is the location of the first Talbots…the famous red door graced the charming downtown all these years, and for a future trip, World’s End is a must hike or bike ride through rolling trails in a landscape originally designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. For all of the years that I lived nearby, it was after moving away that I discovered this piece of heaven. The access road is in Hingham, but if you don’t know what to look for, you could easily miss it. I offer this tip to your blog readers who will surely be tempted to visit Hingham and environs after your informative, inspiring post.
    Finally, for anyone who might be venturing to the Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts in the next few weeks, a must stop is the North Hadley Sugar Shack; we just got home from a late breakfast in the charming, rustic restaurant and shops that is next door to their maple syrup making operation.
    That’s enough spring for anyone!
    Happy spring!

  24. pat addison says:

    hello again everyone, have a question for susan. susan, i have a very dear friend who lives in Dover, MA. and i would love to sign her up for your blog and the drawings, is that allowed for me to do??? plus have you ever been to Dover??? ever hear of the Dover Demon???? thanks…..hugs….. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, Pat, go right ahead and sign her up; there’s always something at the bottom of every willard that says, “click here to unsubscribe” — just in case!! No, never been to Dover.

      • pat addison says:

        thanks susan, will definitely sign her up, she’d love this. so you never heard of the Dover Demon, i’d find out about it until this past Halloween, my friend in Dover told me all about it and she lives about a mile or 2 from where folks see it. doen’t make her feel to good to say the least, if you want to know about the Dover Demon, look it up on google, and then let me know what you think…. come around late summer and fall i’d definitely be getting spooked about seeing that. hugs….. 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          I think I’m glad I live on an island with a moat and a boat that demons are not getting on!

          • pat addison says:

            LOL!!!! glad all we have to deal with is Bigfoot!!! at least that you have some warning when he is around!!!

        • Janet says:

          Is the Dover Demon anything like the Jersey Devil? I saw something about that on the History Channel once. Quite an old story [1600s] and supposedly based in fact.

          Write us a story!

  25. Donna Ray says:

    Oh, the baby waving from the window……and your wonderings about all the other babies who had lived in that house…….that was my favorite part of
    “our” trip to Hingham. Susan, you live in an especially historic and lovely part of the country….but the truth is that no matter where we live in the USA we can find loveliness and history in our backyard. Sometimes we have to move away, then come back to really see the beauty, though.
    As always, DonnaRay on the NY shore of Lake Ontario

    • sbranch says:

      This is so very true! Joe and I have driven across country several times and no matter where we are, there is something wonderful to see.

      • Kirsten Anne Wichert of So. Calif. says:

        Ahhhhhhhhhhh, but it’s not so much the places, but the people! O.K. I’ll stop lurking now.

  26. Barbara says:

    Sigh!! Just beautiful. Thanks for taking us on the house tour.

  27. Susan Bryza says:

    Lovely tour! Thank you so much for sharing. Hingham is one town I haven’t visited. I love all things Colonial (addicted to Williamsburg, VA), so this was a special treat.

    Just an fyi for the girlfriends… I purchased some old Country Living magazines on ebay in hopes of obtaining some Susan’s handwritten and painted recipes. I found some in the 1989 magazines, but alas, none in the 1985 ones. The ones I located in the 1989 magazines were very faded. Probably better to purchase her cookbooks on ebay. They have held up extremely well!

    Congratulations to Kristina ~ and to Joe for surprising Susan with such a yummy treat! Wonder how he was able to hide the cupcake?

    Beautiful blog. Thank you!

    Susan in Dallas

    • sbranch says:

      I didn’t start writing for Country Living until ’89 I think, I believe they run from 1989 to 1991. Joe is tricky, we carry a big bag for all our stuff when we go off island, he just slipped it in there and I didn’t notice.

  28. Carol C says:

    Years ago we found Hingham because that’s where Talbot’s was (before it went global there was only the catalog from Hingham) and Cohasset Colonials with make it yourself furniture kits which are so much fun and make really good furniture. Anyway, I was ready to move there! Thanks for the wonderful tour!!!

  29. I just got back from my visit to my Dr. and ended up having to have an extra very uncomfortable test and now the wait….I don’t want to worry myself sick and that is always the case and hopefully will finally hear something soon. I really hope they find the culprit because so many people never find out what they have because test come out negative and that is very discouraging. I just read a passage “If the Lord brings it to You, HE will bring you through it”…..I’m trusting this will be the case. Hope everyone is enjoying this warm weather and HAPPY SPRING tomorrow to all!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Good Luck Deborah, I hope all that’s required is more spinach in the diet — something easy.

    • Carol C says:

      Deborah, I don’t believe the Lord gave me cancer 4 times but he has DEFINITELY carried me through it. Since you art trusting in this it will be true for you—-but I’ll be praying for good test results for you instead.

    • Debbie P Weedsport, NY (near Syracuse) says:

      The waiting and the unknown are the most unsettling, aren’t they? I’ll be thinking of you as you wait and praying for the best.

      • Thank you ladies I must say I’m a bit scared and was hoping to get the results today but guess not. Susan, I already eat spinach and have always tried to eat healthy and do. I just think health issues are genetic and of my other 3 siblings who are healthy I am the youngest and get everything. I always tease my parents that I was their genetic dumping ground….Carol, bless your heart 4 times now I feel bad for the WHYS….it is just the word Cancer sounds so scary and vile…I read an article once that said it (Cancer) is within all of us and it is just a combination of things that brings it out. I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers it really does help. Blessings

  30. Lisa says:

    What a great blog entry! There’s nothing in the world like New England!

  31. Valerie Johnson, Fort Worth, Texas says:

    Well that was fun! Loved the little tour. Longing to see New England through my own glasses some day. LOVE history! Who got the side of the cupcake with the white frosting swirls? What a peach he is!

  32. stephanie says:

    Best blog post ever! (I say that every time…)

    This was fantastic. I yearn for New England and MA in particular. When I am in MA – particularly around Boston I feel at home. I sneak up there (from NY) whenever I get the chance.

    This was a gem – now I have another town to visit. I so enjoyed the pics!

    (and just as an aside … I am adding “man who will secretly buy a chocolate cupcake for a sweet surprise to share later” to my vision board for my future husband. We may need a whole fan club just for Joe if he keeps this up. Very sweet!.)

    • sbranch says:

      Smart thing to write down, those are the details that end up mattering!!

    • Debbie P Weedsport, NY (near Syracuse) says:

      Hi, Stephanie~
      I have a 30 year old niece who hasn’t found “Mr. Right” yet. She, too, is developing a vision of what he will be like and I love that she shares her dreams with me. During one of our recent conversations, we came to the conclusion that she is just too awesome for the men she meets….(she really is awesome). I bet that’s the case with you, too!

      • sbranch says:

        They need to start having “awesome men” conventions! So we know where to look!

      • stephanie says:

        Debbie – You made my day – how sweet! Tell your niece from me that I read somewhere that it’s better to have “Mr. Right” rather than “Mr. right-now”. I’ve been a bridesmaid many times already for brides who wanted a wedding and not a marriage – and 3 of them are divorced already! She’ll find her awesome match I’m sure.

  33. Jennie Lavezzo says:

    Thank you Susan! This was a wonderful read, and armchair trip. I loved all the old beautiful homes and history. What fun! and that is so cute that Joe got the cupcake, I just love it. Happy Spring! 🙂 All of my tulips have bloomed and it’s beautiful…but a little too warm already here in Georgia.

  34. Jack says:

    PS : can I throw this pocketful of grass away now ?

    • sbranch says:

      I kind of think maybe you should put it in your diary! 🙂 you are too funny!

      • Jack, may I say to you that you appear to be a very special Father and I’m sure that Susan feels this….I miss my Dad who lives in FL and is 91 years old and just now starting to decline and it is so hard to watch a man who was like a strong Oak Tree and has weathered all types of storms along with the sunshine……on behalf of all the daughters out there we truly do appreciate ALL that Dads bring to us….your comments so much sound like my precious Dad Bill who is also precocious and quite the character.

  35. Debbie P Weedsport, NY (near Syracuse) says:

    Good morning, Sue!
    Thank you once again for a beautiful picture-book glimpse into your life. I love that you are continually uncovering the often overlooked beauty around us. Don’t you just love the churches of NE? I especially marvel at the intricate roofing in the first picture…Wow…what planning that took! Your photos have captured so many details….the garden gate…I think I’d frame that!

    I have to admit that I don’t know much about Eleanor Roosevelt other than some of her quotes but you’ve peaked my interest. I’ll be on the look out for an autobiograpy. So many amazing women in our American history!

    It’s a stunningly beautiful morning here….skies of blue and a concert of bird melodies outside my kitchen window…hope you have the same thing.

    Enjoy the blessings of today!


  36. Joan Lesmeister says:

    You juice up from dreamland mighty fine, dear Susan! Love this blog!!!! The armchair tour was wonderful, thank you for inviting us along! I’ll let you & Joe be my tour guide anyday. You two love the tours that we love! Someday, we’re heading to the East Coast to actually see those beautiful homes up close & personal! Friends have really chuckled at our pics from travels – old homes, churches, graveyards & gardens!!!! And, anytime we can tour inside an old home, we’re thrilled!!!!! And, that Joe, sneakin’ in a yummy treat – whatta guy! xoxoxoxo

  37. Jack says:

    Also just for the record our perennial big red Cardinal is back plus a smattering of those little blue birds and still the hoard of wild caneries– we soon will be seeing those black and yellow Oreoles , I bet during this next weeks warming trend …..

    • sbranch says:

      How wonderful dad!

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Sounds fabulous Jack! We’re thrilled when we see the yellow finches, & a robin occasionally, here in NorCal!!!

        • Janet says:

          When I was little my mother always said it wasn’t officially Spring – despite the date – until you saw a robin and that has stuck with me. Fifty years later I still start to “troll for robins” beginning in the middle of February – right around the time the boys start Spring-training in Florida and Arizona. Haven’t seen one yet this year but know lots of people that have – so it should be soon!

          • sbranch says:

            LOL, troll for robins! We have a bird bath and the other day we saw seven robins crowding their fat selves around it. My girlfriend took a picture of a shad tree in her backyard that didn’t even look real, it was so full of robins. I’m going to shoo some of them your way!

  38. Glenda says:

    Loved traveling with you to Hingham! Such a neat trip. Thank you so much. It reminds me of my trip to MA several years ago and brought back such fun memories. Hope I can check out this little town one day. Also, the quotes to Eleanor Roosevelt are just great. I recently (after all these years) read her autobiography and wow what an amazing lady! Just love your blog Susan! P.S. That man of yours is pretty terrific too…to save you a little treat for a surprise! 🙂 You two sure have a lot of fun.

  39. Pegeen Alexander says:

    Wonderful pictures Susan, as usual! Your photos always bring me back to the summers of my childhood, spent with my great aunts in New Bedford, Mass. We spent those happy times exploring towns like these (including the burying grounds) and looking at your beautiful pictures is like a stroll through my memories…thank you.

  40. Mrs. Joan Keller says:

    Thanks again for a trip down familiar roads. We have been through Hingham many times. I miss New England. I was born in Mass. I really appreciate your trips. I enjoy EVERYTHING on your blog!

  41. Hi Sue!
    My husband’s ancestors arrived in Agawam, Massachusetts in 1634 and mine a year later. We’re still trying to prove that the two families knew one another but our private joke is that it only took 334 years, (in 1969), for a boy from one family to marry a girl from another. lol Hope to venture there some day!

    As far as old homes, they’re our passion and we previoulsy lived in one that dated from 1840. A Western Reserve Greek Revival with charming “eyebrow” windows, and a front door dividing the whole house in perfect symmetry!

    In NE Ohio, land was given to the Revolutionary War Soldiers as payment for military service since the newly formed Government had a bare coffer. Those soldiers heading into the Western Frontier of Ohio, built their houses just as they had in New England. Most of the men were barn builders, so the houses of the time were built as such, with post and beam construction and narrow clapboards. We were quite struck with the horse hair plaster too.

    Several years after we had taken up residence in our antique house, a local builder contacted us and asked if he could stop by with one of Ohio’s leading primitive designers, Nancy Kalin. It seems one of the owners of a local sports team wanted to build a “new old house” similar to ours. The newly constructed house turned out lovely and the duplication was remarkable. One thing lacked; however, and that was the spirit that comes from crafting hand hewn boards, hand cut nails and hammered thumb latches; the very “soul” of the house!

    We reluctantly sold that house almost 20 years ago and now live in an 1890 farmhouse. The creaks in the floors sound different and the doors aren’t quite so crooked but does it have soul? Indeed, and that’s all that matters!

    Thanks for a glorious Old House tour!
    May there be many more to come!
    Hugs, Bunny

    P.S. Still searching for the scratch and sniff button for that cupcake!

  42. Julie says:

    Such a beautiful town.

    Love all the quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt. When my dad was serving in the Pacific during World War II, he was part of the honor guard that accompanied her when she visited the troops. Dad, never one to bestow undeserved praise, always said that “she was a fine lady!”

  43. CAROL OLIVER says:

    Hello Susan,
    WOW…thank you for the Drive thru town….that town is awesome….all of it…
    I have been to New England 2 times, and do not remember Hingham….but remember Quincy….and thank you for taking me back…Burying Grounds and all…I love to go there…so interesting….I miss it…infact most all towns in New England look a lot like Hingham, but that was really beautiful, and you are so lucky to have spent the day there. But I thank you for bringing me with you, and no I have not moved there yet, although I said I would someday. The locals told me…I need to spend 1 Winter there first before I make the decision.
    Congrats Kristina…!
    Carol O. in So. Calif.

  44. Audrey Patterson says:

    Hi there Susan, Here is a poem I wrote myself, it can be sung to the tune of”When Irish Eyes are Smiling. Feel free to use it in any way you might find useful.
    Thanks again for all the time you put into this site it really does lift my days.
    Audrey Bernice

    Oh I wish that I was Irish, that I was born that way,
    I’d kick up my heels and celebrate, on their St. Patrick’s day.

    I’d sport the wearing of the green and get others to sing along,
    We’d all join hands and dance a jig, to some dear old Irish song.

    Chorus….. But I guess I’ll have to face the facts,
    The truth I’ll have to see;
    I was born on the isle of Newfoundland,
    I’m just an Irish wan-a-be.

    I can sing Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra, and Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Lis,
    Kiss the Blarney stone, drink Irish cream and sing Irish lullabies.

    Though I’m proud to be a Newfie,and I sing old Newfie songs,
    And when they strike up” Oh Canada ” I faithfully sing along.


    I’ve searched and searched my family tree, for my roots, from wentz they haled,
    But me fathers came from England and me methers came from Wales.
    I bought myself a Shillelagh and I binned my Shamrock on;
    And I though I’d found a pot of gold when I married a Leprechaun.


    My husband of 50 years, is 5′ 6″ with white curly hair, a beautiful beard and he’s as cute as button and worth his weight in gold also. He’s as close to a Leprechaun as I could get.

  45. Mary Pritt says:

    Hi, Susan,

    Oh my gosh! I think you really live in New Castle, KY. We, too, have wonderful weather (maybe too warm). Everything blooming is so full and lush this year. I pull over if I’m driving and happen upon a beautiful tree, shrub – anything with blooms. Last night my husband and I went for an ice cream and we stopped and listened to the “peepers.” I sell cut flowers and perennial plants at a local farmer’s market in the summer and I want to gather everything blooming and run to the market today! Since we open April 28, I’ll share with others for now. I read Willard early this morning and love it! One of my favorite artists was Tasha Tudor. She, too, was an avid gardener. She was a treasure! I also remember watching Diana’s wedding in my kitchen while I made apple jelly that day. Have fun with Jack and go outside and smell those blooms. Thank you for your entertaining columns and Willard. Mary

  46. Lnda says:

    I’m just catching up on my blogs after being gone for a few days. Thank you for the house tour. Never visited New England but you certainly make me want to.

  47. Jackie Vanderhorst says:

    Thank you for the lovely house tour, as I’ve never been east of Chicago I have no idea what that part of the world looks like, but thanks to you, I do now. It is so nice that you share so much of your life with us and I’m especially looking forward to your England trip! I have been there a few times and in the spring seem to get ‘homesick’ for England. Have a great time. I am also wondering about using your hat with bunny peeking out for a quilt block pattern? I thought it would make up so pretty with large floral prints and polka dot ribbons …..what do you think?

    • sbranch says:

      I think it would be adorable! If you feel like it, send photos of the finished product to my FOSB Facebook page — people will love to see it!

      • Jackie Vanderhorst says:

        Thanks for approving of my idea. I have a head full, but they don’t always work out, so I’m sure you will be home from England before I manage to do anything. But at least now I feel I can go ahead and see how it might look …..p.s. love Willard!

  48. Tara Grosso says:

    Hi Susan!

    I cannot believe you were in Hingham, I live on North Street (not far from the Snug)! Just this weekend I made skip-n-go nakeds for me and my neighbors for Memorial Day weekend. I would have gladly met you for a “perfect pint” on St. Patty’s Day. I run by all of the houses in your pictures on my morning runs and evening walks. It really is a great town to live and I am blessed! So excited for your post. I have had your cookbooks for almost 17 years now! and still making your recipes. I still have never been to the Vineyard, maybe by this fall.
    Thanks for sharing my glorious town. Eleanor was right, and we think of her often.

  49. Alexander Macmillan says:

    Just googling around and a picture of our house popped up via your blog! 217 Main Street in Hingham! I happen to be Town Historian and we are always looking for new and old pictures of Hingham for the Facebook page: “Hingham Then and Now”. We just put up a link to your blog! Those interested in more pictures of Hingham and learning about its history might want to visit:


    • sbranch says:

      How adorable — to know the baby’s name is Christian and that he’s now four! He was so darling that day. Just amazing, this Internet world of ours. Thank you Alexander, for saying hello! Hello to Hingham from us!

      • Megan says:

        I’m Christian’s mother, and what a surprise seeing these photos! He remains an incredibly friendly and happy little kid: he loves meeting people and talking to them. The windows in that room are only about 18″ off the floor (old house with low ceilings means low windows!) so he used to stand there for ages watching the trucks go by and trying to say hello to everyone who passed. It must have made him so happy that you noticed!

        I loved seeing these photos! The house was originally built in 1695, and sometimes it is a little overwhelming to think of all the babies born here, lives lived here, and probably even some deaths. I love that my children are growing up in the presence of such history. Someday I’d like to do more research into all of the families that have lived here.

        I’m a big fan, by the way… I think I have all of your cookbooks, and it’s not Christmas Eve in my family without your coconut shrimp. Feel free to stop by any time you’re back in Hingham! You’re right in your post: it’s even lovelier in the summer!

        • sbranch says:

          Oh yes, he waved. I thought he was a doll at first. What a little cutie! Isn’t amazing that we are speaking to each other? I really can’t quite get over it. I took a picture of a Jack Russell dog in a window across the street from Jane Austen’s house in England, and a few months after I showed the photo on my blog, I got an email and a letter from the dog’s owner!!! How can that BE? 🙂 It’s just amazing. How fun to think that my cookbooks are inside that wonderful house with the baby! On top of everything else. We live on Martha’s Vineyard, in a very young house relatively speaking, only built in 1849, but I feel the same way. Honored to live in an old house with echoes of other families everywhere. Thank you Megan, for writing. This connection to the world is a very special thing. xoxo Kiss that little guy for me!

  50. Joe Salamone says:

    Stumbled on to your website. Very enjoyable. I lived in Weymouth and Hingham
    for the first 35 yrs of my life. Your photos brought back some warm memories
    I have of Hingham. The graveyards of old give you a taste of what reality must of
    been like for these folks. I can’t imagine the heartache of losing multiple babies
    in there lifetime.
    You must take a walk down Main Street during the Fall in the late afternoon when
    the leaves are still on tha maple trees. It borders on a religious experience. It will remind you how magical New England is in the Fall.

    Thanks for the memories….

    Joe S

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sure you know that Eleanor Roosevelt said that Hingam had the most beautiful Main Street in America!

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