On the Road . . .

Here we are, on the road, and finally I get to say Hello, so . . .

Here I am!  Verizon came through, I have much more access to the blog, from the road, than I did before.  I thought I’d do a quick update for the last week, it’s all a blur, better catch it while I still can!

Rabbit-Rabbit! September first came and went, but not before I managed to turn over my calendar page and hang up my Autumn Banner.  Because although we won’t be home, life does go on!

And by-the-way, yes, Janie has made us all new Autumn banners which should be in our web store any day now.  Like the others, it comes in its own little handmade envelope; the perfect way to celebrate the change of season.  Look for more of Janie’s darling creations coming throughout the holiday season.  And yes, we have Beatrix Potter Emma mugs coming very soon too, I know some of you are waiting for them!

About this time, we were doing our final packing . . . I made the most delicious thing to take along . . . I segmented oranges and pink grapefruit to put in a jar to keep ice cold for breakfast . . .

For our ice chest, to take on the road . . . Jack watched.  He was wondering . . . you could tell . . . “what is she up to . . . this doesn’t look good . . .”

Because I was running around decorating.  We want to feel at home when we get back.  The seasons will have changed, it will be the end of November already and I will want to jump right into late fall . . . get cozy, cook, be home . . .

 I’m already homesick for my house and cats.  I put up my little collection of metal stars and draped my fruit garland across the kitchen windows.

I put down all my winter rugs.  And by the way, if any of you like the English “Chocolate Box” rug I designed here, I think we may still have a few of them left.

I arranged my owl family on the window sill ~ I found them in an antique store years ago and they are a fall tradition for us.  The big one is a jam jar and the little ones are salt and pepper shakers.

I got out a pile of quilts for the living room . . .

And arranged my new salt and pepper (relatives of Petey’s) with my “new” little metal stove on my stove shelf…

Then our pal Iris from across the street came over to say good bye . . . we love her so much and hope she waits for us until we get home, she’s a little bit rickety these days … there were lots of dog bones and hugs for Iris before we left.

I went upstairs to put some laundry into the suitcases and Jack was ready for me . . . these two hair-bands were right in front of my dresser . . .

And these waited for me on the floor just outside the bedroom door, right where Jack arranged them, where he most loves me to shoot the bands to him . . . Such a smart kitty!

Who me?  You talkin’ about me?

But the clock kept ticking and pretty soon it was a face full of softest kitty neck in the whole wide world . . .

as we kissed them both goodbye . . . and out the door we went, with a tear in our eye, on the road again!

With the perfect MUSICA because you know, there is a kind of freedom when you turn up the music and hit the open road in your Fine Romance Van . . . you get skies full of beauty everywhere you go . . .

And sunsets over corn fields . . . (the corn fields are there, trust me! 🙂 )

And something new around every bend in the road . . .

Here we are, just clipping Vermont on our way to Ohio . . .

Crossing a bridge in New York with a wide lake on both sides . . .

Past old barns . . .

And wonderful stands of sunflowers front the road and topple over picket fences . . .

Charming views every where we look . . .

Cozy houses are everywhere . . . people here are building up their wood piles right now!

And lots of old barns, many of them painted red, dot the American countryside . . .

And here in Ohio, lots of Amish buggies and frisky horses, and every one of them we saw had a mom driving with a child next to her, going to do grocery shopping I would think.  I always wonder how slow life must be without a car, without any TV or radio to disturb the peace.  I don’t think they give them enough room on the road!

The first day, we stopped at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA because we’d heard they had a wonderful display of Winslow Homer’s art . . .

In his own hand . . . we were able to see his early work, and then . . . these . . .

Watercolors, so delicate . . .

They take your breath away . . .

Filled with heart . . .

He made beauty and left it for all to see and enjoy. 

And today, we are here, in Wilmington, Ohio.  In a hotel room.  I just got back from the exercise room where I take this WONDERFUL book I’m reading (it took me a few pages to get into it, I’m so glad I gave it a chance) to ride the stationery bike.  Here’s my book waiting on my bedside table for nap time!

I just thought you’d like to see our hotel fridge.  We took everything from our ice chest and went shopping last night, so we can make new healthy stuff for the road.  I laugh every time I look at this!

And that gives you a small teeny taste of our road trip so far.  You know most of the time I work in my studio in what used to be called “the music room” of my old house.  Mostly my noises are kitty purr, maybe the heater humming, or the fire crackling, or lawn mowers mowing, or the grammar school down the street at recess, or church bells.  Very quiet. Scratch of pen. Clink of paintbrush against side of water bowl.

And then, our Fine Romance Van arrives at the Learned Owl Bookstore, with this as our reception party!  I almost can’t get out of the car!  I don’t know what to say.  Except to all of you, those who were there and to those who were there in spirit and support, thank you so much for everything you have done to make our book a success.  And I have news about it.  You know we went to second printing, which comes in at the end of October?  I think I told you . . . Well, in the meantime, guess what?  Due to demand (probably because of your relatives and girlfriends!) we have now gone to third printing!!!  And in plenty of time for Christmas!  I am verklempt, beside myself and overwhelmed about it all!  I just wrote this book for YOU, and never thought it was going to go further!  We have 130 reviews on Amazon right now, and they are all, all, five stars.  You did that too!

And for our British girlfriends, I have news for you too!  You can now pre-order a signed copy of the book much nearer to home (meaning much less cost for postage) from our friends at Much Ado Books in Alfriston in E. Sussex.  It will also be available at the gift shop at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, Hampshire!  Plus, if all else fails, Amazon UK is carrying it too!  I’m just glad it’s there.  It was one of my little prayers, that my book about the wonderfulness of the English countryside would be available there.

The book still continues to travel without us . . .  Here it is in Washington DC, the photo taken by Victoria and David Smith who come up to be with us at the Learned Owl.  Toot toot!  Next stop Grand Rapids, Michigan!

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

400 Responses to On the Road . . .

  1. Rita Baker says:

    Happy and safe travels, Susan. Love the photos! I look forward to seeing you next week at Anderson’s Book Store In Downers Grove, IL.

  2. See you Saturday! Looks like a great trip for you so far!

  3. Your are living a wonderful adventure with your latest book, Susan. It must be exciting for you. I’m perched here, enjoying the music, and looking at my copy of your calendar. I must make the cranberry apple crisp. It sounds fabulous!

    Safe travels to you both.

    • Make that “you” not “your. I guess I got caught up in Breezin’ Along . . .

    • sbranch says:

      You are going to love it!! It just might be my favorite of all desserts, and that’s really saying something!

      • Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

        Me too, my favorite dessert, warm with vanilla ice cream. It is perfect for its flavor, aroma and homey-ness. My husband is a chocolate guy, so he is happy with your brownies and I get the crisp all to myself (she says, rubbing her hands together gleefully). Crunched into my first organic Honey Crisp yesterday, so fall can’t be far away, and we are finally getting some lovely rain. The grocery checker looked shocked when I bought my apples, but hey, they are good for me and I love them, so they are worth it (and so am I).

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Yup! I 2nd that! 🙂

  4. Elaine says:

    How exciting it must be for the both of you ! Lovely photos and post . Thanks for sharing your on the road again with us . Looking forward to next time on the road again ! Stay safe and have a blast ! Until next time TTFN !

  5. Rosemary says:

    I do not think there is another author in the whole world who is as caring and appreciative as you. The way you are taking your own Fine Romance van around the country, making a total , personable, sincere adventure to meet the people who admire and adore you….well, just not anyone else would do that. NO ONE! Oh yes, and the driver and backstage manager…credit due there, by all means.

    I am so loving the book. I do not read it everyday…am taking my time…out on the porch as the sun is setting (relieving us of our 101* temp.) although, it is hard to put down or to find a stopping place. I am already thinking I will just start over again when I am through. Just a chuckle about your driving “adventures”. OH MY.
    Travel safely. Texas seems pretty far from where you are….but hoping.

    • Suzanne says:

      I totally agree Rosemary! I must tell you Susan called our store to arrange her appearance here on November 7th. As we were trying to decide upon a date Susan asked what would be best for us! Not like a celebrity at all but a dear concerned friend that wanted to make things easy for us. No wonder we all love her so much – she’s the real deal! Can’t wait for our “Girlfriend Party”!

      • sbranch says:

        Me either Suzanne! 🙂

        • Carol D. from Sierra Madre, CA says:

          Where will you be on November 7th? Somewhere in So.Cal.? Just wondering.

          • sbranch says:

            This EVENTS page is in the right hand column of my main Blog page, if you click on that you’ll see my book signing events. I’m not sure yet if we’ll have anything on the 7th, but on the 10th I’ll be in San Luis Obispo at a really great event. Check back, because I’m always adding new things to the page.

  6. Mary from NJ says:

    Hi Susan~
    Loved the post. Happy, safe travels as you head off in the van.
    Just a thought…Have you thought of “A Fine Romance- the audiobook”?
    Having you tell us in your own words your experiences of “falling in love with the English Countryside”—would love that!
    Love your kitties. Your “Girl” looks like my big-old 14year old fluffy boy cat “Muffin”.
    I have the picture you did with the black and white kitty looking up on the wood table with apple pies on it and the black and white checkered floor pattern….it’s over my stove and love to look at it with the punch of red color accents. I got it when Muffin was small–so cute!
    Hope you have a good trip–good weather and lots of happy girlfriend meetings.

    • sbranch says:

      I started laughing about the audio book as soon as I read your comments. Imagine all the “asides” there would be, it would have no resemblance to the printed copy! But fun! Lamb noises, baaaing in the background. Clicks of tea cups and saucers, crackle of wood fire, sound of the wind. Oh the thought of it! How does one go about that I wonder!

    • Linda says:

      I have glaucoma but still can read okay but my Father went blind later in life and loved getting audio books. I know there was an organization that even sent him free audio books from time to time……maybe you could check online for that. Would be a great idea for people who are visually impaired.

      • sbranch says:

        I think it’s a great idea, I’ll see what I can find out, when we get home and time becomes my friend again. 🙂

  7. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    Janie’s new banner…too cute to start of this wonderful blog post! I see, too, that you continue to taunt us with that adorable tea tin! LOL! One day soon, I know it will be here. I can see why you were so excited by your welcome at The Learned Owl! Half of your adoring fans must live in the Ohio area! There are so many wonderful sites to see crossing our great country! So happy that you take joy in the little things like sunflowers and rickety old barns! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! xo…Karen P.

  8. Linda says:

    Oh, my, I have missed your blog–it’s just the best and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to see your cozy home, kitties, quilts, etc. Thank you my talented friend! Enjoy your travels these months. You deserve all the kudos you are getting!

  9. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    Oh! And LOVE “The Unlikely Pilgrimage…”book, too! Our Twitter friend, Patricia, recommended it to me last year. Wonderful story! Tissue-worthy.

  10. Tasha says:

    Hi, Susan
    What a super time you’re having but how can you bear to leave your two furry friends?
    So pleased to hear that The Book will be available in England. But I’m even more pleased that I pre-ordered ….. I’ve just started reading it again for the third time and enjoying it as much as I did the first time!
    Love from Wonderful Warwickshire

  11. Susan on Bainbridge Island in Wa. state says:

    Oh my goodness…the beat just goes on and on…..Over the river and through the woods…….I am thrilled for you and your adventures….I love the pictures from your home…The rug on your floor is just like the rag rugs that my Gramma used to make on her floor loom…She even let me make a couple when I was a young girl!!! nice memories brought back to life, because of your posting….There will be receptions for you everywhere you wonder….I hope you are journaling, just like in the UK….another book, maybe? The success of “A Fine Romance” is of no surprise to me….It is utterly the BEST!!!! so unique and FINE! Keep looking ahead to the next sight and next town..so fun to see pictures of the different places in our homeland too! Hi to Joe too!!!! Keep the wheels turnin’ xoxox

  12. debbie says:

    YAY for the 3rd printing!!!! The book is too wonderful for words. I have been reading a chapter every evening since I got to say hello to you at The Learned Owl! 🙂 Thanks so much for doing the book tour because I cannot imagine EVER leaving your cozy house and mooshie kitties (except maybe to go to England). Happy travels!! xoxo

  13. NANCY JO says:

    Hi Susan.
    Love the update. So happy for you and your book, it must make you all warm inside. I know I feel pretty good. I think I would feel even better if my fridge looked like yours.
    Nancy Jo

  14. carolyn weaver says:

    Love your blogs…..! I am traveling with you….and the crowds….wonderful!!!!!! your book is a dream of a book…luv,luv,luv…..be safe…..!

  15. Patsy-FL says:

    We read The Unlikely Pilgrimage as our book club choice. It is a wonderful read that makes the reader love the English countryside while restoring our faith in human nature. Enjoy

  16. Balisha says:

    How very clever to decorate your house to welcome you back home in Nov.
    I love reading about your preparations for your big trip. Also…a peak inside your refrigerator. Travel safe…Balisha

  17. Christine says:

    As Winslow Homer did, so are you with your lovely watercolors for us to enjoy for the rest of our forevers! Thanks!

  18. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Ahoy Petey’s cousins! Had to run in the kitchen & have a quick look at Petey’s 2nd cousin!!! Only his mate is a darling little girl with a bouquet of flowers, from him, of course! This little set has been in the family for ? years!! They’re sitting about 8 in. from “Chocolate” & “Little Dinners”! Soul sisters my dear! Love this blog & the music (my Dad used to sing that!). I like the way you shop! Pictures are great & the art! And, your gathering of groupies is fabulous! Keep on breezin’ along! xoxo

  19. Audrey by the sea. says:

    Hi Susan,
    Doggies and kitties get even more beautiful as they age. Iris has grown in to a lovely dog. Watched the you-tube video of her greeting you at the door, she truly is a kindred spirit.
    Many thanks from ‘me by the sea’ for creating your dreamy book, it has the most heavenly smell. I love it.

  20. Heartsdesire says:

    I’m so happy for you, your book has made it to a third printing. It is indeed a wonderful book and I envy all the people that are able to make it to the book signings at the various book stores. Wish I could be at one. Yes, it’s hard to leave home when you have such a comforting house and lovely, furry kitties waiting for you, but a road trip is always required when a new book is launched. I’ve just finished reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think you’ll love it too. Your fridge looks very healthy, sometimes being on the road tends to add those calories, but you’ve got all the fresh goodies to keep you going.

  21. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    I cannot wait to meet you in Grand Rapids!!!! I graduated from high school there, well in Rockford just north. and I got married there (33years ago next month) and a BFF lives there, and my brother. I will see you and cannot wait!

    • Barbara, I was married in Kalamazoo and spent the first night of my marriage (44 years ago last February) in Grand Rapids on our way up to the Fox Haus Motor Lodge in Traverse City. We ended up on the East Coast, though, so I will not be there tomorrow 🙁

    • Karen Carpenter says:

      Barbara, thanks so for taking all the pics of me with Susan today. You were so much fun. And I did not know you were from Rockford, thats where our home is and I love it. It was a great event today. Hope your trip home is safe.

      Thanks again, Karen from Rockford

  22. Nellie says:

    What a fantastic journey you are having! Love Homer’s art! Love all the scenery you are sharing with us! Love to hear all about the success of that wonderful book! Third printing! WOW!

    I chuckled at the refrigerator. That is SO like we travel! It never hurts to be prepared.:-)

    I suppose that’s why we take this Verizon wireless device with us when we travel now. We are even able to keep it charged with the electrical outlet in the car! My husband drives, and I just peck away on the keyboard.:-)

    That was a wonderful reception at the Learned Owl, and I know you will have many more just like that!

    Travel mercies to you!

    xo Nellie

    • sbranch says:

      I got a new aircard Nellie! Yay! This one needs no batteries, just plugs in and off you go. Free at last! 🙂

  23. Jan says:

    Thanks for the update. So glad to hear you are on the road to better communication. Enjoyed seeing your countryside travel pictures. Yes, Fall is in the air here too. Will be putting out my Fall decorations next week after traveling to your next book signing. I can’t wait!!! How exciting!! So glad you are having such great success with your book. Safe and happy traveling to you and Joe! See you soon!!

  24. Jean Shaffer says:

    Just came from the book signing in Wilmington, Ohio! What a joy to meet you- you are as sweet in person as you are in your blog. Thanks for being You! Also got to meet Joe-nice guy and very patient. Love you, Susan Branch!

    • sbranch says:

      Very patient. I just told him I think that is his best quality, among many. Thank goodness because I do need a patient man!

    • Susan can’t help being who she is! But she’s precious to share herself with us like she does and that is our blessing. 🙂

      Speaking of patience. I think patience is something you have to be born with (if it’s true patience and not just tolerance), so patience must be Joe’s gift to the world since he expresses it so well. 🙂 It’s not one of my gifts–unfortunately for my husband.

  25. Judy Tracy says:

    Yes the Winslow Homer’s are superb.
    So glad to hear about the third printing. It is wonderful to see such a positive book so so well.
    Continued safe journey. You always bring us such joy!
    Judy Tracy Newport Beach CA

  26. judy young says:

    Lovely to keep up with you guys while you are on the road. Hope you are sleeping well, I know I have a hard time when I am not in my “own” comfy bed, with my bamboo sheets, and so on. I have to say that the photo of Girl Kitty is just beautiful, she looks wonderful and so healthy. I am sure that Jack and Girl Kitty are fine at home, especially since it is all decorated with Autumnous! The computer doesn’t like that word! But you and the girlfriends will know exactly what I mean…….

  27. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Lovely new post, Susan. Hard to leave but such comfort to come home again. I was wondering how Iris was as you hadn’t mentioned her lately. Still remember the card she gave Joe for 60th birthday. Bless her heart. Hang on tight and enjoy the ride. Safe travels.

  28. Martha Ellen of VA says:

    It’s all so very exciting Susan! A third printing—I knew it would happen. A Fine Romance is wonderful! Congratulations girlfriend! xoxo ♥

  29. Melissa says:

    Oh, you’re making me homesick! We used to live in Ohio (I was born and raised there for 50 years) before my husbands job moved us to eastern PA, near Philadelphia. The Amish towns, country roads, small cities you are traveling are wonderful for my memory bank. Thank you so much for sharing.

  30. Barb from Ohio says:

    Hi Susan,
    Glad you had a good time at the Learned Owl Tuesday night; I certainly enjoyed meeting you and so did my daughter (you gave her writing advice). You looked so nice in your gray skirt, blouse and sweater, so slim and trim! You are just as charming in person as you are on your blog. Everyone in line I talked to was friendly and nice and the time passed quickly while we were waiting for you. Laughed when Joe made the grand entrance with his parallel parking in front of everyone watching. Hope you enjoyed your trek across Ohio and Amish country; it is really pretty down there. Have safe traveling as you cross the country and will be looking for your updates along the way.

  31. Jeanette says:

    Susan!!! What a delightful post, as always!!! Following you along this trip is so, so exciting!!! Thanks for bringing us along like you did last year to England! Now we can all celebrate WITH YOU!!

    Your photo of the refrigerator cracked me up! That’s exactly my style of traveling! ;). I just had a conversation with my 18-year-old niece who arrived tonight from FL about traveling with provisions, which she didn’t and I gasped!! Not on my watch!!

    Can’t wait to see you on Monday in Goshen!!! I have my boom ready and name tags printed! I’ll have my invisible bells on too!! For this is a splendid, enchanting celebration!!

    Safe travels! See YOU soooonnnnn….

  32. Jeanette says:

    Should say my, “book” ready! 🙂

  33. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    What a privilege it was to meet you today. You are absolutely lovely! My husband really enjoyed himself as well. He was impressed that you and Joe haved traveled so far to come to a small bookstore just for our little group today. I told him that “it’s just the way you are!” I loved hearing you tell the story of how you met the Beatles. I know you are a great story teller, but it was even better in person.

    I didn’t get to ask my question, (I was so excited about the day, I forgot what it was 🙂
    How did you and Rachel become pen pals?

    Thanks again for all you do. Xoxo

  34. Carol from Connecticut says:

    I am SO unbelievably thrilled that you were able to stay in the Church Landing Hotel at Lake Winnepesaukee, NH. When I saw on your schedule that you were going to the lake, I crossed my fingers. How do you describe those woodsy, comfy lobbies to anyone? My husband Joe and I have made so many memories there that I will always cherish. The sunrise and sunset from a balcony is breathtaking. Congratulations to you on your journey. You deserve everything that is happening to you. Cherish the memories! Love, Carol … tra la

  35. Christy says:

    Your blog made me want to go drive in the countryside and take pictures, go to an art museum, and decorate for fall, all at the same time. Thank you for sharing the little joys and treasures that bless our hearts even when we don’t realize it. Safe travels!

  36. Kathy George says:

    We have Winslow Homer’s “Breezing Up” over our fireplace. The exhibit sounds wonderful but just checked & it ends soon. Darn. One of the best things about your book signings is what you are doing for these independent bookstores. Being lucky enough to attend Innisfree the positive energy and economic benefit for the store was heart warming. Love how this is all unfolding & love all the blog updates. The third printing, you go girl.

    • sbranch says:

      I love this Kathy! I feel like together, in our own way, we’re all contributing to that spirit of US and the little things that mean the most! xoxo Hi to the real George!

  37. Sarah Maldonado says:

    I’m reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage, too! Thanks for your post even while you are so busy! I hope to make it to the signing in Wichita if life’s drama will give me a break for a bit. We’re awaiting carpet replacement after the hot water flood, then my sweet Father-in-law passed away a bit suddenly so we found ourselves in Puerto Rico while at home our house a.c. unit quit working on a 100 degree day. Thankfully an alert neighbor had it fixed before we returned and she kept our dear dog cool in her house. Blessings amid sadness. Hope I can make it in person but like many fans, it may be in spirit! Godspeed your travels. 🙂

  38. Carla TePaske says:

    Hello, Dear Susan,
    Thank you for posting your journey with us. 🙂 I just love your hotel fridge photo! LOL!! We do the same!

    Have a wonderful weekend.
    xx oo

  39. Linda Hurst says:

    Being on your road trip with you is like the pleasure of traveling without having to pack! Thank you for taking time out to write to all of us! Wonderful!

    • Danella on the West Coast says:

      I totally agree, Linda…..all the pleasures of the road trip without the packing AND I get to sleep in my own bed each night. Aren’t we all so fortunate to have Susan as our wonderful travel guide?

  40. Suzanne says:

    Welcome to Ohio Susan!
    I received my book a while ago and have only glanced through the treasure. I cannot seem to find the right amount of free time to begin it because when I do, I do not want to be interrupted. 🙂 Maybe a cozy fall evening?
    I am so happy for the success of your book. You delight us many a days and certainly are deserving.

  41. ReNae says:

    Susan…once again your posts just leave me speechless! Beautiful pictures and your words just make it like a treasure! I have been needing a road trip for a while now but health issues are keeping me home. Guess what?? I get a road trip thru your blog. Thank you so very much for sharing so much of your life with us!
    And…my daughters maiden name was Susan Stewart. Hubby is John Stewart…not the one on tv….just like your dad. Safe travels to you and your hubby! will be watching for that so darn cute tea tin on your shop!!

  42. Cindy Tuning says:

    The day after the Hudson Booksigning,which was awesome,we drove back home and had an appointment waiting for us to take Blake (my little 13 yr old Shi Tzu) to the Vet for the last time. I think it was what he wanted because he normally is trembling in the waiting room and this time he was as calm as could be. The usual routine is Lucy goes up to bed first then we go up and pick Blake up onto the bed so they can sleep next to each other at the foot of the bed. Lucy doesn’t have a voice and never meows. We turned off the lights and a few minutes later we heard a low,muffled meow. She missed Blake sleeping by her and was crying. We made a vow…no more dogs. It’s just too hard to let go. But,we’re still working on Lucy and Rosie getting along. When I saw your neighbors dog come over to visit and that he is kind of rickety I thought of Blakes decline. But if you really want to love them you do it with all you heart and hope for a lot of good years. At least we are able to do this kindness for them. I don’t mean to be such sad sally but there is a lot of happiness and love that gets us to that end.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Cindy, I am so sorry. Yes, it’s just terrible to lose someone you’ve loved so long, and who’s loved you back. Your last sentence was perfect. xoxo

      • judi says:

        Big hugs Cindy and you are a very caring pet owner. We have had (along with 5 kids) 3 dogs, 3 cats, rabbit, white rat, hampsters, robin, baby chicks and prob more. Our animals lived long, loving and happy lives. We decided not to get any more pets since our lifestyle has changed. We enjoy and love up our friends pets now. Happy memories to you and extra hugs for the friend (pet) that is lonesome.

        • Janet [in Rochester] says:

          Oh, Cindy, I’m so very sorry about Blake. I guess Grief is the price we pay for all the love & companionship our beloved pets give us. Here’s hoping your memories will soon be nothing but warm and happy ones. PS – there are so many wonderful animals out there who need the kind of loving home you gave Blake. I’m betting that someday you’ll be ready to welcome a new friend into your now-broken heart. Big squeeze.

        • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

          Cindy, I’ve always said when you get a puppy or a dog, you are signing a contract for heartbreak sometime in the future. But we do it over and over again because of the love, laughter, and pleasure they give us and we give them for their life span. I have to go to heaven when I die so I can ask God why he gave us this creature to love and be loved by and why their lives are so much shorter than ours…our sympathies…

          • Cindy Tuning says:

            You are exactly right Pat. My neighbor told me “all dogs go to Heaven” and when you find a pet that seems more human than canine, you would think..well of course they do!

        • Cindy Tuning says:

          Thank you both and a big hug back.

          • Carol C says:

            I got tears when I saw the picture of Iris because she looked so like our Ginger that we had to let go in March. So hard. Anyway, we miss our girls (Hattie died a few months earlier.)terribly. We’re traveling in the motorhome that we bought so they could travel with us. But as much as we loved them we now know we are ready to rescue a new family—-or should I say let them rescue us?! It does get easier, Cindy.

          • sbranch says:

            It gets easier, and then it gets fun, because a new pet brings such vitality to a household. xoxo

          • sondra fox says:

            Cindy, blessings to all of you, grieving over your little dog. Our dog misses my husband Larry, who passed away the end of July. When Jack (our dog) & I go to bed at night, Jack jumps up on the bed & sprawls out at the foot of the bed, for about ten minutes, then he gets down off the bed & spends the rest of the night in the doorway, looking down the hall for my husband. ;It’s so sad. Our family has never, ever been without a dog or cat. We adore animals. They are such faithful friends. Jack loved my husband so much. Jack & I are slowly starting to put joy into our lives once more. My husband was such a dear, sweet man. We were in love for 58 years. Bless your goings & your comings Susan & Joe. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

          • sbranch says:

            It must be so hard Sandy. You and Jack on your own. I’m so happy you have him and he has you. xoxo

          • Cindy Tuning says:

            Sondra, I am so sorry for the passing of Larry. Nights must be the hardest time for you and I’m sure you are comforted in a small way by having Jack near. So sad though when you see him waiting in the doorway. I still think of you and the love you and your husband shared. You have my sympathy as well.

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      So sorry……it is so heartbreaking to let go of our furry buddies. Hope this little poem, helps you as it did me. The Rainbow Bridge.

      A Bridge Called Love ♥
      It takes us back to brighter years,
      to happier sunlit days
      and to precious moments
      that will be with us always…..
      And these fond recollections
      are treasured in the heart
      to bring us always close to those
      from whom we had to part.
      There is a bridge of memories
      from earth to Heaven above…
      It keeps our dear ones near us….
      It’s the bridge that we call love.

      Thinking of you……

    • JuLee says:

      So sorry to hear of your loss. I have many pets – most are rescues. Some are very old and some are still really kittens. It is Always hard to say good bye and in fact, it was a year ago today that my dearest Sabrina died at the age of 14. I knew when we went to bed, it would be our last night. It still hurts but she would want me to open my heart to all the others that are in need of love and care. There are so many. I believe that all living things return to God and with all the unconditional love and patience shown us by these creatures, surely they deserve a place in heaven. I know I will see Sabrina and all the others someday. Take heart – love sustains us. Animals keep our hearts wide open. Hugs to you and yours.

    • Kim says:

      Oh Cindy, hugs to you! I am so sorry! I wish you lived closer, I would share my Maizie (2 yr old Shih tzu) with you! She could visit like Iris! This must be so hard! I worry deep down for the day this happens. I know it is better to love, than not at all……but, still hurts! We all get so attached. Try to keep busy. I forever keep telling my girls the quote,” Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, love isn’t love til it’s given away!” I read that in Susan’s book so many years ago and I try to think of that often when things go wrong. That is exactly what you did for your sweet Blake! Be strong, you will be in our prayers. Hugs from, Kim, Mike, Ashley, and Lauren

      Ps, SUSAN, hi!! We saw you at Innisfree! I am the one who caused the little vanilla-caramel tea questions! lol! 🙂 I am so loving your blog! It’s the BEST! Enjoy and have fun!! I wish I could jump in that van, you are making so many people smile! I love that!! Hugs to you too! Xo from Kim, Mike, Ashley, and Lauren

      • Kim says:

        Omgosh I just reread my comment….I meant to include this to Sondra too! :((( You will also be in our prayers! Hugs

      • Cindy Tuning says:

        I am so sorry that I missed some comments from a few days ago. Thank you all for your sweet care! What great Girlfriends you all are. Kim, no trouble staying busy. I have had the pleasure of being the guardian for my grandson Riley since birth and he is now eleven and just started 6th grade. The house is never empty. Ted is already talking about getting another dog but I want to hold off. On the bright side..we’re going to New Orleans in a few weeks and for the first time in quite a while I won’t be worried how Blake is and how much he’s missing me. JuLee, I’m on your side about seeing our pets again some day. Betsey and Blake at the door with tails wagging.Kim, I love the name Maizie! Thank you again and now Ted can realize why this Blog and all the Girlfriends are so important to me.<3

        • Cindy Tuning says:

          Meant to say Susan and this Blog and all the Girlfriends..because of course without you Susan..well, I don’t even want to think about it!!!

        • Kim says:

          Cindy, Hi!! I just looked back and found your comment! So happy you have Riley! 11! I have an 11 yr old too (& a 13 yr old as well) Yep, house is never empty! Busy, but really fun! Hope this was a good week for you! You have been in our prayers! Enjoy your vacation! 🙂 I definitely see the importance! This blog is the best! I just adore Susan! I so look forward to it everyday! We all need a little bit of this in life! Have a great weekend!

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      So sorry……it is so heartbreaking to let go of our furry buddies. Hope this little poem, helps you as it did me. The Rainbow Bridge.
      A Bridge Called Love ♥
      It takes us back to brighter years,
      to happier sunlit days
      and to precious moments
      that will be with us always…..
      And these fond recollections
      are treasured in the heart
      to bring us always close to those
      from whom we had to part.
      There is a bridge of memories
      from earth to Heaven above…
      It keeps our dear ones near us….
      It’s the bridge that we call love.
      Thinking of you……

  43. Robin in New Jersey says:

    I was at the Clark Art 2 weeks ago! Wasn’t the Homer collection amazing? I grew up in Williamstown, so I wanted to take my girls on a trip to visit my mom and stop at the museum. They loved it!

    Thanks for taking us on your trip with you!

  44. Sandy says:

    Why am I just now finding you???? Oh my, I feel like I must have been under a rock somewhere. But you just never mind. I’ll be with you from now on. I plan to get my hands on your new book somewhere, somehow. Don’t you fret. I’ll find me one. I am so happy I FINALLY found you. Where have you been all my life???

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Sandy, happy to meet you! I’ve been around! 😉 To make your book search a bit easier, last night I was signing books in Wilmington, Ohio and I left a few signed copies with them … I’m sure they’d ship! 937-383-7323

  45. Jane F. says:

    Oh Susan! Like you I am absolutely mindboggled! But then I think why in the world would I be!! EVERYONE is just in love with the book, and the English countryside, and Beatrix Potter, and Jane Austen. . .and of course, you! Why wouldn’t they be!! They are enthralled, just like me!! Oh, and by the way, my friend Ann (of the miniature English church) went right out and bought your book after seeing mine! (I’m going to write you more later about her, her enchanting house — just as much, maybe even more than the church and barn). I am amazed how you are getting everything done — on the road, sending us updates, making all your healthy food and drinks, meeting everyone, signing books and giving talks. I don’t know how you do it all, because I’m not getting anything done, watching all this with such excitement and not wanting to miss anything!! Well, I take that back. I’m so inspired reading about Beatrix Potter again, and Jane Austen and your own adventures, it has given added adrenaline to my own project. Gene is even asking me, “What’s Susan doing today? Where are they now?” Funny! He never pays attention to things like this! Well, thank you so much for all of it. We are just super thrilled at how the books are flying off the shelves and out the door!! Third Printing!!! Yea!! Woo Hoo!! What an exciting trip!!! And what a great blog!! I can’t tell you how encouraging this has all been these last several months!! Can’t wait to see what happens next!! Safe travels!!

  46. Marsha MacLean says:

    Whenever I read one of your posts, dear Susan, it just brings me right down to earth, as if visiting directly with my good friend! Thank you so much for just being you and Sharing life on the road and ..congratulations on the THIRD printing!,,Hooray!
    Can’t wait for you to come to California!

  47. Jan from Northern CA says:

    Dear Susan and Joe,
    Your trip sounds so exciting! The pictures of Jack and Girl Kittie were so precious. I know how hard it is to leave your home and kitties. I’m in the same situation. I wrote earlier that I was headed out your way the end of September and was sad to have missed you on MV. Well, things in life change and instead of a 3 day road trip to see the fall colors….I’m helping my friend/Sis move back to California. We’re packing her up on the 21st and 22nd and heading out Sept. 24th for California. Sooooo……wondering where you will be that week? We’re headed for Loveland, CO, then on to Northern CA. We’ve decided to have some fun on the way…..expect to take 3-4 days to get to CO….and if you were somewhere in between your Kansas stops and CO….we just might catch up with you? I’ve checked the Events schedule often, but don’t see anything after Kansas until SLO in November. It would be just the greatest thing if we could check in and say hello on our way. Well, I’ll keep checking. I’ll print out two name tags to take with me, just in case. Happy Trails and hope we’ll see you!
    Jan from Northern CA

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Jan … because we’re out of books, we can’t sign after Kansas … we saved books up til then, but after that, we make a big left turn and go see my dad in Arizona. No more signings until second printing, and we’re not quite sure the exact date of that, but somewhere toward the end of October.

  48. Ginny Petitt says:

    Hey, Susan,
    This blog is so inspiring, as they always are! But this especially takes me away from the Arizona heat, that seems to go on forever. When I read your blogs, I feel like I am with you on your trip. Thanks for sharing your talent with all of us, your girlfriends. You deserve all of this recognition for this book! It is beautiful, really special and I am happy that so many others think that, too! Have a safe trip. Maybe some day I will get to see you at a book signing! I can dream, can’t I?

  49. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    Loving your “On the Road” reports, with a little bit of life back at home thrown in for good measure [one of your best-ever photos of Girl I think]. Made my mouth water seeing all the citrus. Hands down, pink [or ruby red] grapefruit is one of my all-time faves [if ever banished to a desert island with only 10 foods for the rest of my life, GRAPEFRUIT would be one of them]. Having a very fall-like day here in western New York State [temp didn’t make it to 70] but sunny, breezy and with a dazzling blue sky and cottony clouds. Perfect weather for me. Can’t wait to get my Fall things out but always sorry to see another Summer slip away [the only season I happily wave goodbye to is Winter]. The Winslow Homer art is just stunning – I’ve made notes on Clark Institute in Williamstown for [hopefully] a future visit. YOUR travels are widening ALL our horizons, Sue [thank you SO much]. And a THIRD printing!!! That’s so wonderful! This girlfriend is not in the least surprised to hear it however [she writes smugly]. PS – I am sticking to my previously-declared prediction of a 10th printing [minimum]. FYI – I took a peek at that country club where one of your signings is being held and oy, such a gorgeous spot! If you can, please include some photos of that event because it looks like it will be just beautiful! OK now, take care you two… ♥

  50. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    PS also – thanks for the photo and update on Iris. Ever since I saw those 2 videos you have of her on YouTube, she’s my lovey and I’ve been thinking about her for weeks. SO GLADS to know she’s still making her visits to your house. Sending her a long cyber belly rub!

  51. Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

    Susan…This is only my 2nd comment since AFR came out. I have read each of your blog postings and have tried to read all of the Girlfriends’ comments, too! And, of course, I have finished AFR!!! How I enjoy ALL that you are sharing with us!!! I am living vicariously through your postings and your photos…the S.R.O. chummy book signings, the highways and byways of our gorgeous country, and the popularity of AFR (in Jane Austen land and the 3rd printing!). I am so happy to watch the outpouring of love and affection come your way. For all the perseverance and stick-to-it-ness of the past twelve months not only in regards to publishing but to your minus 20 lbs as well…I say BRAVO!! (Applause!!!) WELL DONE!! (Cheering!!!) With much admiration, respect, and happiness for YOU…charlene

  52. Carol D. in Sierra Madre, CA says:

    Hi Susan,
    I was feeling it when you were leaving home. I just hate to say goodbye to my 2 kitties. They always know when we’re leaving. So smart! I’m so HAPPY for you, third printing! And…that you get to take such a wonderful road trip with your hubby across this beautiful land of ours. Enjoy it all. You certainly deserve it!

  53. Mary in Phoenix says:

    “By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer.” ~Helen Hunt Jackson

    Happy trails to you … Until the girlfriends meet again 🙂 Thanks for the beautiful glimpses of America! I’m dreaming of road trips tonight. XO

  54. Hi Susan!
    YOU GO GIRL!!! I am joyful that your book is doing so well! I am not surprised, but am very happy nonetheless! I hope to see you in eastern PA soon!!!! Thanks for sharing your travels with all of us!

  55. Sue (from Michigan) says:

    Dear Susan,
    When I found out that you were going to be in Michigan I was over the moon! I remember finding your first cookbook so many years ago and being enchanted by your watercolors, the quotes and of course, your delicious recipes. I’ve collected your books and return back to them often, like old friends. “A Fine Romance” led me on a trip that I’ve always dreamed of taking – thank you! I appreciate your observations, humor, wisdom, artwork and all the great stories that you share. I truly feel as if I’ll meet a friend tomorrow that I’ve known all along and never met – like a pen pal!

  56. Becky Maggio says:

    What a pleasant surprise to see your posting! As always, loved everything about it. Thanks again for taking the “girlfriends” along. We appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to include us 🙂 Continued prayers for a safe/happy journey! After you see your Dad, take another BIG left turn and come on down to South Louisiana…lol Maybe one day?

  57. Jennie says:

    I am new here and couldn’t find your book signing itinerary. Will you be near Evansville IN?

    • sbranch says:

      It’s under EVENTS which is in the right hand column of the blog, but if you just click on EVENTS, it will take you right there. I’m not sure of the geography, you would probably know what is near you better than me! 🙂

  58. Vicki in Cincy says:

    Good morning! I just wanted to thank you for last night in Wilmington. You are adorably charming! It was wonderful to finally meet you, my friend. We all had a great time and I met many girlfriends! Some live really close to me..small world huh? Loved the van and Joe is cute, taking pictures and trying hard to stay out of sight (not necessary, he is part of you and we love to see him) lol. Thank you for taking the time to be with each of us, so we each had special girlfriend time, it really meant so much. You probably thought ‘this woman is never going to leave’, since I was taking pictures for everyone. But Anna from Union, KY (who I had just met) took pictures for me and I wanted everyone to have someone to do it for them. I just couldn’t imagine not having a picture with you! (meaning: I truly was not stalking you LOL and I hope I wasn’t intrusive, I was trying not to be). Have a safe and happy trip and again THANK YOU!! for last night and for sharing all of this, with all of us. xoxo.

    • sbranch says:

      I loved that you did that Vicki! We need an official photographer, and you filled the bill last night. Thank you so much for being there … wonderful to finally meet Vicki in Cincy!

  59. Darlene says:

    All of it beautiful! Thank you Susan for taking us along. I am absolutely loving A Fine Romance, reading here and there a little each day, taking in all the beauty and magic. It’s a treasured gift, thank you. xoxo

  60. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I have always loved the Homer painting of the mother and son with the cows. What can I say…
    If I was still in WI, I would drive to IL to see you!!!

  61. Patty in Michigan says:

    Susan!!! All that love that is coming to you is because of the love you pour out. So looking forward to jumping in the van tomorrow morning for our trip to Grand Rapids. It will be such a blessing to meet you and see all the other Susan Branch friends! Travel mercies for you and Joe!

  62. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Susan, these wonderful posts from you along the way are nothing short of inspiring! The views, the stories, and the sharing is so much fun for me. Like the England trip, it “feels” again like we are all packed somewhere in the van enjoying the adventure with you and Joe. It is Epic!

    Congratulations again on the wide embracement of your latest book by so many girlfriends world wide! Who wouldn’t just love a copy of this most romantic and beautiful book? I ,for one, am so very, very happy for you!

    The September calendar page with the bright apples on our calendar was such a welcoming site to me as I turned the page to a new month. Fall is full of beauty and you so perfectly capture it’s charm and warmth!

    I am off to see if those little garlands are in the shop yet! Whoop!! Take care and safe driving to the next signings. And if you have a chance in Amish country for a stop at a bakery, their pumpkin whoopie pies are the perfect foray into fall deliciousness!!

    Wagons Ho!!

  63. Kim DeMichele says:

    Dear Susan and Joe, It was a pleasure meeting you both last night in Wilmington, Ohio!! My husband(my kind driver) and I enjoyed your talk and the book signing! When I got home I examined my lovely bookmark and realized it had not only a beautiful sketch of an english cottage on it, but on the back was a list written in pencil of your favorite memories of England, wow, what a treasure!!! Thanks again for making this(I’m sure exhausting) trip across country to meet and greet all your fans!!! Safe travels!!! Fondly, Kim and Steve DeMichele, Dublin,OH

  64. Kelly from eastern PA says:

    Hi Susan!

    Thanks so much for “taking us on the road” again! It’s so much fun to experience this book tour with you. Must tell you that I was thrilled to open up birthday presents on Wed because A Fine Romance and the 2014 Wall Calendar were front and center on the goodie pile! I just love that book! And your wall calendar has been hanging in my kitchen for at least 20 years! Take care in your travels! Kelly

  65. Maureen MacKenzie says:

    Hi Susan,
    Love waking up to a new post from you. It’s 60° here this morning…a little taste of fall. The other morning I made a breakfast that you had in one of your Willards….blueberry “pancakes” made with corn meal. It was DELICIOUS…I also made scrambles eggs and bacon (OMG it smelled so good) and topped it off with organic maple syrup. I think I’m going to have to make it again….my oatmeal with blueberries and honey just isn’t cutting it this morning. LOL I’m so jealous of all the girlfriends who are getting to meet you. I feel like I’m missing out….my husband is trying to console me…I want to know what you’re saying and what they are asking. Don’t worry I write this with a smile on my face…..because I just joined the Friends of Gladys Taber and I will see you next year! My husband and I are going to the Red Lion Inn for a weekend in October and we plan to check out all the antique shops on the way up from LI. I’m hoping to possibly find some of her books. Hopefully when my husband hears my squeal of delight in the store he won’t be too embarrassed. 🙂
    Have a great day,

  66. Andi M says:

    Such good news about the third printing! Your mini frige is too funny, enjoy the road trip. I love hearing about it because I get to see more independent bookstores, I have dreams of someday being the owner operator of such a wonderful thing. Happy Book Signing!

    • sbranch says:

      They are all so different and all so personal — like going into someone’s house. What they love is on display. Thank you Andi!

  67. Minette says:

    How thrilled we all are for you and Joe and for this wonderfully creative achievement! Third printing already!!!! Yay! Everyone to whom I have given your book as a special gift has been overwhelmed with emotion and happiness upon reading it and have found it an inspirational and entertaining experience! My friends in the UK were just bowled over with your book and the wonderful descriptions of places in their own backyard! I hope that you and Joe can really enjoy yourselves these next few weeks on your book signing tour and just bask in the tremendous success of your book. You both deserve it so very much, but know you will be anxious to get back home again for the holidays and to the kitties. We all are cheering you on as you make your trip and will be looking forward to your posts as you travel along!

    • sbranch says:

      We are basking Minette, it has been lovely meeting the names I know so well, and new faces too. I am happy you liked the book, it means so much to hear your kind words, and all of them from our supportive and wonderful girlfriends!

  68. Lori says:

    So happy for you Susan! I can’t wait … tomorrow my friends Betsy and her sweet husband Kent are heading on a road trip. They are picking me up at 6:00 to head to Grand Rapids to SEE YOU!!! Can hardly wait to meet you and the other Girlfriends. <3

  69. Diana - from Ancaster says:

    I just received my copy of “A Fine Romance”………… ask me how happy I am?
    (very very happy)

    Thank you for sharing your life and love(s)……
    Safe travels……

  70. Becky says:

    Susan, I read your book very quickly the first time around…just so excited about it. Now I am savoring it!!! It is my go to book amid the chaos at times when teaching at a university. I would love to find a way to make it “required” reading in one of my classes!!! I know that it doesn’t fit “Math Methods for Primary” class. I am thinking “Children’s Literature”!!! Anyway, you are a wonderful author, and I enjoy all that you write. Best wishes to you and Joe on your trip. Becky in Oklahoma

    • sbranch says:

      How about Children’s Books for Big People? 🙂 Is that a category yet at University? Thank you Becky! xo

      • carmel says:

        I took a children’s literature class at UCLA and I’ve been reading picture books and “chapter books” ever since. Even though I teach elementary school and of course use the many wonderful books available to enrich their reading and their lives, I also read them myself for all the magic and wonder they provide for me. Kate DiCamillo has some wonderful books. Many years ago, I wrote you, Susan, and thought you’d also make a great children’s book writer and illustrator. I do think a version of “Fine Romance” can be made into children’s book. I guess I’m taking things too seriously here! 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          Never! We are serious people! 🙂 Love your passion on such a wonderful subject. I always wanted to write a children’s book — after I finished writing my Girlfriend’s Book, a couple of years had passed and I read it again and it struck me as the perfect book for twelve year olds … how much I would have loved a book like that at twelve. But it sounds like YOU are the one that maybe should be writing a children’s book!

          • carmel says:

            You are so kind. Maybe we’ll both end up writing a children’s (or young adult) book! I just realized it’s been a dream of mine. Yes, the Girlfriends book would be great for twelve year olds, but after all, we sure need to awaken that twelve year in us too. It all worked out. By the way, I love that turkey meatloaf recipe in there and read your guardian angel page often to remind myself to feed myself from the well of sweetness. You and the girlfriends are in that well too.

  71. Jean says:

    Sue and Joe,

    Safe travels!

  72. Maureen says:

    Received your book in the mail the other day.
    Showed it to my 85 yr old father. He and I returned from Europe via the QM2 in 2005. He was thrilled to see that covered in your book. He asked me didn’t I already have most every book of yours. I responded yes.
    My mother and I are looking forward to meeting you next week.
    Safe travels.

  73. Cathy from Golden Co says:

    I loved seeing your hotel bed- side table with your little vase of flowers! So homey. You are so creative – even on the road & your fridge cracked me up! We are taking a 3 wk road trip in Oct to NY to visit family, seeing sights on the way there and back. Your fridge gave me some foods to ponder 🙂 I sure do hope you come to Colorado!=

    • sbranch says:

      A jar of those citrus fruits! Yum!!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        A truism I’ve learned over time & by experience: the well-seasoned traveler ALWAYS knows what comfort items to bring along. Only AMATEURS climb into their vehicles with nothing but luggage… :>)

  74. Jack says:

    I liked this blog particularly the picture of Jack looking back from under the kitchen table
    With the steps leading up to the Peter Rabbit room in the right foreground — hit a good
    Memory nerve from past visits …….

  75. judi says:

    CONGRATS . . . wowsie, third printing, I’ll bet it goes to ten at least:) !!!

    I so appreciate your pics AND the video driving down the road as we only fly back and forth from FL to MN now. I loved adventuring on the backroads. Hope you do more.
    YOU LOOK GREAT in that black/white number (saw pic on twitter from signing last night), so trim and lucky you having long legs (in my next life:) Thanks sweet Sue:) bisous judi

  76. Fran says:

    Yippee!! A new road trip and we get to go!! Thanks for taking us with you and Joe. And thanks for the wonderful posts with all the pictures from home, with the kitties, and on the road. Every day is a new adventure and its exciting to join in (vicariously) with you two. We’re so very lucky to have such a wonderful friend sharing her life with us. Congratulations on the third printing (I’m sure there will be a 4th, 5th, 6th and more). Good books are hard to find – especially ones with so much love in them. Have a great trip and again, thanks for taking us along for the ride!

  77. Tricia Neron says:

    We all (FOSB) want to thank you for writing this book, you have given us a treasure. We feel about you, the way you feel about Jane Austen and Beatrix Potter. Your words, your art, your photos, your world, we all want to be a part of it, and through your blog and your books we are. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s my pleasure, I was just thinking how much you all give to me, and how fun it is to be able to give back.

  78. “Tickety Boo” and “Sue-sational” too!

    Happy Trails to You!
    Bunny XO

  79. carolshapiro says:

    I love your blog so much Susan— I feel like I am sitting in an adjacent armchair and you are recollecting all of your adventures just for me-my own personal story teller- you are so gifted! Absolutely thrilled to find one of your remaining new books at Titcomb’s in Sandwich on the Cape over a week ago (probably sold out by now) and have just been enchanted by it…although I have traveled to Gr. Br. twice , I did not realize how “many splendored” places actually existed to visit! And the book you have written- the way it has so captured the “heart” of the English countryside through your artistic lens…. I can remember driving through the Cotswolds with it’s “patchwork” landscape, and the Lakes region… but of all the actual places visited, the only overlap for me was Dove cottage…so if I am ever able to make a third trip, I will have to try to visit some of these amazing places. As informational and as tenderly written as the book is, and despite the fact that my eyes would mist over from time to time, I must say, that when I reached the pages beginning with 247 right up to the end of the book…well, I was just overcome with emotion. I won’t spoil it for anyone else by discussing those endearing pages here- just that you have managed to convey all the little “moments” that make up the bigger picture of our “seasons of living” …just phenomenal…I am so happy to see that your book is in it’s third printing now- hooray for you!!! And I love the “fall” images on this latest blog by the way!!! Happy travels to you. I expect you could put together your own voyage/tour of England if you wanted to and it would also “sell out” within moments!!! ( hmmmm. maybe you should think about this sometime!!! )

  80. Ann says:

    Loved the pics of Jack and the tales of his antics as you prepared to leave for the long trip. Our dogs have such long faces when we are packing for a trip. I am so happy that the book is doing amazing. You deserve all this. Enjoy every minute.

  81. pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

    hello Susan, hello girlfriends. its been busy here, with this fall like weather we are out and getting things done here, like getting our wood all stacked up for the winter, and raking leaves already. plus getting the gutters cleaned out and the leaves off the roof. have the henhouse to clean today, and the nest boxes need new straw in them. also have fall cleaning in the house to finish. I have my flowers, leaves and towels and pot holders out for Fall, just have to get the quilts aired out ( they’re out on the line now) and on the bed and the window design figured out and done. love the old barns, and the Amish buggys, and I love Homer’s paintings, plus all the lovely sunflowers and homes along the way. but its that busy time of year, getting in the last of the summer goodies and getting ready for the Fall and winter to come. anyone get their almanac yet??? I always get mine, and from what I read looks like my neck of the woods is due for a cold and snowy winter this year…. BRRR!!!! good thing we have lots of firewood handy to help us out. well off to go clean out the henhouse, you all have a great day and Susan have a wonderful trip. hugs….. 🙂

  82. Debbie says:

    I’m so happy for you and I hope you enjoy your cross country journey! I liked the “Unlikely Pilgrimage…” book very much and hope you are enjoying it. I am getting ready to read “A Fine Romance” a second time!

  83. Lynn Marie says:

    Thank you so much for taking us all along on more adventures. What fun. Have a blast enjoying how much we all love you and the beautiful bit of escape you give us with each adventure and blog posting. I will see you Monday evening in Goshen, IN.

  84. Alice says:

    Oh, my goodness, Susan, our book group, Bookends, here in Greece, NY will be discussing The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry next week! One member who is unable to attend wrote to tell me how much she enjoyed it even though she, too, had difficulty getting into it initially. She said she had to plod along, just like Harold — which I thought was a VERY apt description!! Thanks for all you do for us! Alice

  85. I love road trips. We just got home from one a few days ago and I told my husband after the laundry was all done that I was ready to go again. Alas, we can’t right now, though, so it’s fun to come along on yours, Susan.

    Do you know if your book is in bookstores in Canada yet?

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t know really, it depends if they have ordered it from the distributors. That’s all they would need to do.

  86. Terry says:

    Hi, Susan!

    Safe travels!

    My sister, the one who lives in England, told me to read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. She said it is one of the best books she has ever read, not counting your book of course. I will definitely read it. She will also be thrilled, when she reads your blog, to learn that she can purchase copies of your book via the UK Amazon.

    I keep praying that you will come to the NY, NJ area. There are not any independent bookstores in my neck of the woods, but a colleague just told me about one in Ridgewood, NJ, about 45 minutes from my home. I will contact them and ask them to invite you. I sooooo want to meet you in person!


  87. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Good Afternoon~
    Finally recovered from all the births and the wedding we have had here in our family over the last several months! But now I’m going to be hitting the road too! To relax!!
    Loved the art work~ my favorites are Georgia O ‘Keefe~ born here in Wisconsin and Grant Wood~ Iowa’s famous son and lest I forget Grandma Moses~ safe journey to you!!
    ~Happy Trails~

  88. JuLee says:

    Thank you for the lovely photos of your kitties and of dear Iris. I have many pets and some are quite elderly. The young ones seem to understand to be gentle around their elders. My older dogs and cats are patient with the boisterous “children”. But, how hard it is to say good bye when that time arives for last hugs and kisses. I believe I will see them all again because surely all living things return to God. Blessing to you on this trip.

  89. Sylvia Faye says:

    Susan Janie should do “A Fine Romance” banner, n’est ce pas? to go along with the book sitting in the bookcase. You are the most kindest, most considerate, sweetest person and I only wish I could meet you in person. Everything you do is for the joy, beauty and love of others and it shines in everything you write and say.

    I have asked my eldest daughter for your book and will in turn give her a set of very lovely wineglasses. Her dear husband died over ten years ago. He had just turned 52. My dear one and I are grateful for “A Fine Romance” of 61 years today. We have been/are so blessed by God and so grateful to our five adult children.

    • sbranch says:

      I think that sounds like a fair exchange. I’m sure your daughter will love them! I’m so sorry she lost her husband when he and she were still so young. Although I can feel you counting your blessings right through this screen. Thank you Sylvia.

  90. Patti Eckert says:

    Please come to the Mall of America…my home town 🙂
    I’ll be there, standing in line with my book, wearing my favorite teal colored shirt, with a big smile on my face, and waving my hands in the air! 🙂

  91. Debs OBrien says:

    Teary~eyed and welling up now. Stiff, British “upper lip” is a wobbly jelly reading this.

    Two years in a row, I was on the road over Christmas and it brings back memories of trying to focus on Christmas while packing up the entire house, travelling across the entire continent of the USA from VA to CA, then repeating it all in reverse the following year!

    I hope she doesn’t mind me mentioning here, but Debbie from Happy Little Cottage blog was somewhere in that queue outside The Learned Owl! She did a lovely blog about it. I’ve been following here for a while, then out of the blue I find out she is a Girlfriend too! It’s A Small World After All~~~

    Sunflowers are my very most favourite flower! Lots of wonderful pictures of your grand adventure across America, so looking forward to more~~bringing back happy memories of my own time spent there~~Until then, the stiff upper lip must wobble some more!

    Waving from Across The Pond
    Debs in west Wales xoxo

  92. Maureen says:

    Missed out seeing you in Hudson..didn’t know they were only going to let a certain amount in..hope you enjoyed that quaint little town…have a safe rest of your trip!

    • sbranch says:

      So sorry Maureen … I’ve been putting up to the moment information in the EVENT section (see the right hand column of the blog)… apparently because it was a little store, they limited the number of attendees. I’m sorry. And yes, what a darling town!! I’m thinking that’s the hallmark of an Independent bookstore!

  93. Angie(Tink!) says:

    First… Hugzzz To You & Joe Sweet Sue….(I Secretly Knew You’d Have A Touch of Being Homesick) ♥ I Love This Blog! The Oranges & Grapefruit in The Jar Sing Autumn! Such A Gorgeous Orange Color! 🙂 & I Love How You Put Up Autumn To Keep The Kitties Happy & To Welcome You & Joe When You Get Back HOME! Yay! 😉 Sue I Actually Feel Like I’m Really Traveling with You…I’ve Even Dreamed About This Trip Not Kidding…. 🙂 I Love All These Bookshops & All Your Friends That Come To Meet You & Buy Your Book & Listen to Your Amazing Stories…. 🙂 & How Driving Across The U.S.A. is Filled with Such Magic! Thank You Sweet Sue For Sharing All This With Us & For Loving Us & For Keeping Us “Up~Dated” (Bravo Verizon!) 😉 Here’s A Little More Traveling Pixie~Dust….Enjoy Your Weekend! Safe Travels & See You At The Next Bookshop! 🙂 xoxo Poof! ♥*¨`*¨♥*¨`*.¨`♥*♥*¨`*♥*¨`* 🙂 P.S. Last night I Baked Peanut~Butter Cookies & Today I’ve Got Chili Simmering in The Crockpot & I’ve Baked a Banana Bread & I Made Cornbread too! Now I Need to make a Batch of Your Corn~Pudding… Yummy! You & Autumn Inspire Me Sweet Sue! Warm Hugzzz & a Lovely Cup of Tea! 😉 ♥

  94. Elly says:

    Only “one more sleep” and you’ll be here in Grand Rapids signing books. Maybe you are already here, and taking in some of the sights our wonderful town has to offer! The weather is perfect for your stay, and I do hope you really enjoy your time here!
    Congratulations on the third printing! So thrilled I got a book from the first printing!
    Looking forward to meeting you tomorrow!
    Until then~Blessings

  95. You get an *Attagirl* for that well stocked ‘fridge; very nice! Be safe, God speed on your travels.

  96. Mary says:

    Harold Fry!!!!!! I loved that book! I could read it again and again…..Enjoy your journey Susan and I look forward to meeting you at Anderson Books in Downers Grove on Tuesday!!!! Can’t wait!!!!! xo

  97. Nancy B says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your quote regarding Winslow Homer, “He made beauty and left it for all to see and enjoy” can well be said of you. What you have done for all of us, just can’t be measured. Thank you so much! (I didn’t read the comments, because I didn’t want to know that someone else might have thought the same thing, though I wouldn’t be surprised.) I haven’t seen the tweets yet. I have fond memories of the area where you are now. My son was born in Chicago almost 48 years ago. My how time flies. Verklempt, indeed!

    Happy Travels!
    Nancy (from Bakersfield)

  98. Deb in Greenville, MI says:

    A dream will come true tomorrow when I get to meet you. Maybe then I will believe you are a REAL person. Do you want to grab lunch after the signing? 🙂

  99. Beverly Brewer says:

    Dear Susan—here we all are again saying how much we love the latest post! The photo of Jack at the bottom of the stairs looking back at you had “Halloween” written all over it without a single prop! Ever so pretty Girl Kitty looking longingly at you is a heart-melter for sure. Loved Iris and who wouldn’t want to give her a big gentle hug and tell her sweet-nothings? You mentioned that after Wichita, you’d be heading to your Dad’s for a visit here in AZ. On behalf of the English Rose Tea Room in Carefree, we hope you’ll manage a tea visit. I know your sweet Dad was concerned that maybe you and Joe would be too tired of driving to add more mileage and we certainly would understand. If you do decide to come for tea, and depending on how long you’ll stay at your Dad’s, do you have a time frame of dates that might work for a visit here? We would most certainly reserve the Queen’s table for you which has lots of Royal memorabilia and photos from Joanne’s collection. Joanne might send advance e-mails to customers about your visit, or if you prefer to come incognito, we’ll just keep it low key. Whatever you decide, safe and happy trails to you both and thank you for the updates that we all enjoy so much!

    • sbranch says:

      We would really like to visit the English Rose Tea Room, but we’re going to play it by ear a bit and see how my dad feels when we get there. Is it really 90 miles from Cottonwood? I love the idea of the Queen’s table!!! 🙂 We’ll call you, most likely we’d come “incognito” because I would want to be with my Dad and Jeanie.

      • Beverly Brewer says:

        We’ll be happy if you decide to come, but yes, it is apprx 90 miles one way from Cottonwood and would be about an hour and a half drive. We’ll wait to see what you decide works best for you and your family—in the meantime, thanks again for your beautiful posts and scenic photos and pictures of the paintings, sweet pets, and all your other embellishments of life that keep us coming back for more!

  100. Kathryn (Los Angeles) says:


    Your book is a treasure! I enjoyed every word and picture on every page and I know I will look at the book over and over again. A big thank you to you – and Joe too for taking you to England!

Comments are closed.