Frightful Weather we’re Having . . .

Oh, the weather outside is frightful . . . but we are cozy because we have the perfect MUSICA.

Good morning Girlfriends . . . While you are heating up your ovens and baking your pies and making your houses smell like heaven, I thought you’d like another thing to be grateful for . . . that you aren’t here . . .

Because leaving Albuquerque, trying to get to Oklahoma City for our last book signing, was icy, freezing and slippery, and snow was blowing everywhere.  The only thing that was good about it is that we found a radio station that played only Christmas carols!  Joe went slow, he’s been driving in snow all his life and knows how to do it …  we sang with the radio and it started to look a lot like Christmas!

But we did not care for the fact that fog would descend and trucks would “disappear.”

So when we got to Amarillo, we stopped and stayed two nights waiting for the storm to pass.  Cozy and warm in our room.  Let it snow.

When we left, it was still pretty bad, but a little better and we had to go; I started singing the words to the song Oklahoma (where the wind comes whistling down the plain) but this way!

We cheered ourselves up immenesly when we stopped for hot chocolate with whipped cream and this little dog was in the car next to where we parked.  Mmmmm, hot chocolate!  Cures what ails you. Tastes like home.

Which was good timing because just before Oklahoma City, all traffic was diverted off the slick highway and onto a one-lane side road.  We inched along and finally got to the reason why I40 was closed … six tractor trailer trucks and everything in them was spread all over the highway.  Uh huh.  You don’t have to say a thing. I was happy not to see any ambulances there … hopefully everyone made it out of this alive and well and home for Thanksgiving!

We made it to the book signing on time and had the BEST time with everyone … and this was our day yesterday…. the storm had blown by, the roads were clear and dry, the weather went east where I see that it’s wreaking Thanksgiving havoc with the east coast.  We are behind it now, feeling so lucky and grateful, and that’s where we plan to stay for the rest of the way home.

Despite the fact that it was clear sailing, we got nowhere yesterday.  We slept in, then had lunch at WONDERFUL Cattleman’s Restaurant (in business since 1910), just the cutest place, all booths and counter, so old fashioned, the wait staff is elegantly dressed and the food is delicious… go there if you are near Oklahoma City!  Then we went antiquing at the BEST antique stores.  So much fun, we could barely leave.  And I found something for YOU!  I’ve been wanting to do a give-away present when we get home and I found the perfect thing. So excited, you are going to LOVE it.  We didn’t even get on the road until 4 pm yesterday, and only got as far as Tulsa, which is where we’re waking up this morning.  We should be home by Saturday or Sunday unless there are lots more antique stores on the road!   Peace in your hearts dear Girlfriends, for you and your families, I’m wishing you a very

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225 Responses to Frightful Weather we’re Having . . .

  1. Christabelle says:

    Your travels with Joe are as fun to read as Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley.” Hoping that the rich warmth of your storytellng melts any icy obstacles along your path as you wend your way home together. Always a treat to read.

  2. Mary Anne Helms says:

    Happy Thanksgiving wishes wherever you end up!! The worst is over in the NE and it wasn’t nearly as bad as forecasters said it would be. ( they do tend to scare us all!!). Some morning ferries to MV cancelled but OK later. I think you got the worst of this storm. I cannot believe you will be home this weekend!!! It seems that you have gone so long. Have fun on the way, drive carefully and think positively. I would be so impatient at this point wanting to be home with my kitties again. (BTW it has been incredibly warm but it is supposed to get cold again starting tomorrow) Wishing you Godspeed and a nice meal tomorrow.

  3. Ann Y in PA says:

    Been thinking about you on the road in all the weather and glad to hear that you are fine, cozy, and singing Christmas songs ! Here in PA it was rain and just turned to snow…and I just took 24 Cranberry Walnut Muffins out of the oven – house smells WONDERFUL ! Enjoy Thanksgiving wherever you are….if you are a Cracker Barrel fan ( and I mean, the biscuits and corn bread lure me in…) they are serving Thanksgiving all day ! Thankful for you and this blog that helps us celebrate life !!!

  4. Francine Werlinger says:

    Dear Susan, be safe! It sounds like you are making wise decisions, and taking your time. I know you are ready to be home for the holidays with your kitties!

  5. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe!!! so sorry you won’t be home. I bet you just can’t wait to get there. I love all the pictures you have shared with us all. So glad you and Joe are safe. Keep being safe the rest of the way home

  6. Cathy McC. says:

    Hi Susan – so relieved you are safe and can pace yourselves going home. My heart breaks for those poor folks in accidents, on standby, on “hold”. Here in South Bend we’ve had about a foot of snow, but what a delight to come in from shoveling and sit down with a cup of tea to a NEW SUSAN! (That’s what Lucy and I text each other when we make that wonderful discovery.) Kids drove in from Kansas City last night and didn’t hit any bad weather til they met up with “the lake effect” coming across northwest Indiana. That’s what we are getting today. But it’s beautiful, I must say. We had about 40 robins huddled under our blue spruce today, and our grandson (19 mos) was fascinated with mama cardinal pecking at the crab apples in the tree by the front door. I could just go on and on cuz I LOVE sitting here, watching it snow, and listening to the music you selected for us today. Good thing Wed. evening supper is made and is waiting to be put in the oven! Enjoy the antique shops as you travel home. I think all the girlfriends will breathe a huge sigh of relief when we know you are safe and sound back on the island — all in the name of love! Have a blessed Thanksgiving, friend. Ethel

  7. Marianne in Hidden Meadows, SoCal says:

    So glad to hear you’re both safe and sound! After having lived in Denver for 15 years, I know those icy roads can be TREACHEROUS!!! But you’re having fun adventures….can’t wait to hear where you’ll be for Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve gotta go check on my pies….smells like they’re done…..Safe travels!


  8. Chrissy Thrower says:

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING to Susan and Joe! Wherever you end up..I know it will be cozy and wonderful!what a very wonderful year to be thankful for..for us all. A peaceful cozy blessed day to you and all the Girl Friends!
    My stove was ‘condemned’ by the gas company who came to dig up a gas leak my Lee smelled one day outside our house..leaking into the ground! We could’ve blown up to Timbuktu because they say (by the hardened ground) it has been leaking a while! Then they cut the gas line by mistake and had to fix that. Came inside to relight furnace and stove. The man said my stove burner was cracked and probably leaking underneath and could build up gas and blow up some time. Too costly to repair.,new stove doesnt arrive until SATURDAY! Yikes!
    So, lugging all the food to cook and bake at my daughter, Jamie’s house! Luckily, she is thrilled to host us all! So, you see..we are alive and very blessed!
    Again, Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels if you please! I’ll feel better when you finally get home! XXXOOO

  9. I hope that you and Joe have a very Happy Thanksgiving on the road, Susan! Happy antique hunting, and I really, really hope you have pie with whipped cream! You’re almost home… Hooray!!!

  10. Shauna Woodall says:

    Stay safe, you two! We will raise a glass of punch and a big spoonful of Grandma’s stuffing to you and your journey — what a year it’s been for you! Congratulations!

  11. Chrissy says:

    Happy Thanksgiving dear Susan to you and yours. May your blessings be bountiful.

  12. Sherry says:

    So glad you hung around OKC for a while. We DO have some awesome antique stores here. Wonder what you found?!? Can’t wait to see it. Please be careful on your continued drive. Praying for dry roads and lots of hot chocolate!

  13. barbara miller says:

    dear sue and joe, I am thankful that you missed that mess on the freeway!
    I am thankful I can live through you on your travels . ( I am a co-author of a book and there has been no book tours. although I did get my half of the royalties! a big eight bucks!). can’t wait to see your surprise. b

  14. Starr miller says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Susan and Joe. Can’t wait to hear where you enjoy your feast.
    Wishing you a safe trip home. What an adventure you’ve had.

  15. Kathie says:

    Gosh! What a journey! You and Joe are soooo brave. But, I keep looking for the answer to the question, “Where will you be for Thanksgiving?” If it’s in a truck-stop diner, they will be lucky to have you there. It will be THEIR treat. If I were on your way, you could come to my house, please. But I’m in that other corner of the country. So, where will you be for Thanksgiving? And does it matter, as long as you’re together?

    I’ll just tell you, one time, when I was twenty-something and newly separated from my partner for life, I had Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant. It was one of the worst experiences of my life; unexpected; I thought I was tough. I COULD have gone home (about 350 miles away), but I couldn’t face my family, yet. They didn’t know. Everything was so raw and awful. So, in the words of Scarlet O’Hara, “I’ll never (eat a holiday dinner alone) again!” And you won’t either. You’ll be with that wonderful certain someone.

    Sidenote: I’ve been happily married to my second and best soulmate for many years. Those horrid, early days are just distant memories.

    My friend, Shari, and I have finished your book and loved it. We couldn’t get it until the end of October and spend no time at all devouring it. So lovely. My husband is reading it now! We’re all anglophiles here, which does sound rather strange, but accurate.

    Safe journey, you two…..and God bless…..

    from cold and almost snowy Odessa, WA

  16. Barbara Faylor says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Susan and Joe…have a safe trip home. It is so funny how you can love people you have never met and feel such a kinship with them. You two are inspiring!! I’m thankful for all that you have shared this past year and the way you touch peoples live with a little spot of happiness.

  17. Val says:

    Safe travels and a sweet holiday to you and Joe, Susan. ♥ I’m sure we’re all thankful for the many fun moments this year when we found a new post from you here. 🙂

  18. Lorrie says:

    Safe travels, dear Susan and Joe. And Happy Thanksgiving from Canada, where ever you find yourself tomorrow.

  19. Mo'a says:

    I have been thinking about you and Joe a lot as I listen to weather reports, hoping that all is well. It is good to see this post and that you are safe.
    What an experience you are having…scary fog and trucks of the road…eeeeeek!
    I lovelovelove the little dog…I wonder if he is a Schnauzer…looks like one…I have never seen one so light in color.
    Have a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.

  20. Linda in Texas says:

    So glad you stopped for hot chocolate and missed that truck wreck on I40. Ick. Your guardian angel must have been whispering “hot coco, hot coco.”

    Your trip sounds like so much fun, in spite of the bad weather. Glad you have Joe the expert icy roads driver and all around great guy at the wheel. The antique stores sound like fun. We’re less than a couple of hours from Oklahoma City and yet, I’ve never been. I think a road trip is going to have to be planned.

    Enjoy the rest of the trip home and let us know where you have your Thanksgiving spread.

    God speed.

  21. Julie Marie says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe dear Susan!… I feel so very blessed with the gift of being one of your “girlfriends”… and all of the beauty in life you share with us… you inspire me daily, and remind me of all the good in the world around us… I am glad your weather is better now… my sister is arriving in Albuquerque today… texted me last night from Durango and said they had been driving in snow and fog all the way from here… (Utah)… but that all was well… sending lots of love and hoping you find that perfect little spot by the cozy fireplace to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal tomorrow… much love, xoxo Julie Marie P.S.. Happy Thanksgiving to all of the girlfriends!…

  22. Robyn Genau says:

    Glad to hear you are out of obynweather. We live in No. Ky. and the really bad stuff just missed us. My son drove up from Richmond [EKU] a day early just to be safe. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe. Hope the rest of your trip is fun. Robyn

  23. Bethie says:

    Just this morning, as I watched the national weather report, I said a prayer for your traveling journey. I told my husband, “Susan Branch and her husband are traveling in this storm…oh my goodness!” It was like you are my dear friend and we needed to pray right then. So, we did. I am happy to hear of your antiquing fun. Isn’t it great to find those places along the way.
    Blessed Thanksgiving!

  24. Linda says:

    So glad you have found better navigating weather. And I’m so glad I am out here in CA away from those awful storms.

  25. Marianne in Mo. says:

    So glad to get a post to hear you survived the storm. If you are overnighting in St.L., and in downtown area, lots to see and do, and our antique area is on Cherokee St. The Brewery has lovely outdoor lights, as does our Botanical Garden, and Forest Park has a free zoo, and a skating rink should you wish for some exercise!
    Wherever you are, Happy Thanksgiving, and you are welcome to join us at 4pm at sister-in-laws house!! ;-))

  26. Toni from Sylvania OH says:

    What a sigh of RELIEF I breathed when I read your message this AM!!! Won’t repeat what everyone else has said, just to add my Deo Gratias! Rest easy,
    kid-lets…the rest of the way SHOULD be a BREEZE:-))) Keep us posted and we’ll keep you in our prayers.
    Toni and Jim xoxoxo

  27. Diana from Ancaster says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you both….and please drive carefully….
    get home to the Vineyard soon.

  28. Sandra Gillanders says:

    My thoughts have been with you when I saw the terrible weather out in OK. So relieved to hear you are well and on the way home. Guess it is going to be a very different kind of Thanksgiving but you will be home just in time to start decorating for Christmas. Sure wish I had been able to make it to one of the signings. Love hearing from you. Be safe and fair travels to you both.

  29. Paula B. says:

    Phew, glad you guys have safely navigated this awful storm. And, happy to hear that by the weekend you will be home on the island. Will be thinking of you both tomorrow, I hope you find someplace special to have your holiday dinner. Watch out heading into New England, today’s balmy temps will be steadily getting colder over the next few days – guess that was inevitable given it’s almost December. We’ve had so much rain in Rhode Island that many of the high school football games on tap for tomorrow will have to be cancelled. (My husband’s in his first year as A.D. at our high school, so we have our fingers crossed for playing tomorrow. It’s one of the oldest rivalries in the state…. always great to see the kids, their families, and alumni on Thanksgiving morning!) Guess I’ll be putting your Autumn book away for this year and then it’s on to a Christmas one. Here’s to speedy your homecoming!

  30. Beth T. says:

    It seems you were brilliant and built a little “cushion” of time into your travel plans. Good for you and Joe. So happy and thankful you have traveled safely. This will be a memorable Thanksgiving, wherever you spend it.

  31. TJ says:

    If you do come through KY, swing on through Bowling Green. There will be plenty of turkey and all kinds of goodies at my house, and we’ll have room for two more! 🙂

  32. Regina says:

    So good to see your post today and that you are safely making your way home. My Thanksgiving plans were changed when I had a major problem with my knee on Tuesday, the day we were to travel to Texas (10 hour drive) to see our daughter and her husband. I had things all packed, meat platters, serving spoons, cookbook, Thanksgiving decorations, serving bowls, and even a pretty autumn apron I had made to surprise my daughter with. We were so looking forward to cooking together and making the day special. This is their first Thanksgiving in their new home. We had been texting and calling about what to bring, what to cook, etc. My knee had been a problem for over 2 weeks but I thought it would be fine and I had planned to see the doctor next week. Anyway, something popped going down stairs, pain increased, couldn’t put weight on it, ended up at the doctors and will have further tests on Friday. Running around (?) on crutches. So my daughter and I were visibly disappointed, crying over the phone together, but we are feeling better now. She will still have other friends over for Thanksgiving so that will be nice. It will just be my husband and I here, other children aren’t available. But once I got through the pity party I feel grateful and blessed for everything I have and thankful that my knee incident happened at home. Not sure why I’m going on so much, but it is nice to post it here. Happy Thanksgiving to all the girlfriends!

  33. ReNae says:

    So good to see your new post! I have been thinking of you traveling and hearing the weather reports! Glad you are safe and sound! Wishing you safe travels getting home! Love your musica…just made my day! Thanks for keeping us updated!!

  34. Barbara says:

    Susan & Joe, Glad you’re taking your time and are having a slow, steady, safe trip home to the island. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving in what ever town you’re in tomorrow. Love, love, love my Fine Romance book, happy to say I was smart enough to pre-order my copy! A first edition is always a fun thing to have! Safe travels, and Happy Thanksgiving!!

  35. Sharon from AB Canada says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Sue and Joe!!. Praying for you and the drive HOME!!!!! Safe travels.

  36. Janet in Rochester says:

    Glad you haven’t had to deal with chock-a-block iced-up highways. So far the huge snowy-blowy slush storm being predicted for upstate New York has not materialized. And no complaints here!! A steady misty snow, maybe 3-5 inches in my neigborhood. But warm enough so that a good solid thunk of a door will clear all snow off one whole side of the car. Hope you have a good recommendation for your Thanksgiving dinner spot. I guess the iPhone can do that now too! Brave new world we’re living in. Here’s wishing the turkey is moist, the apple pie is ala mode and the gravy is hot and good!

  37. Gina Ortega says:

    Hi, Susan, we so enjoyed seeing you at Bookworks in Albuquerque and regret that the weather wasn’t more welcoming for your visit. Safe journeys and Happy Thanksgiving!

  38. sherrill says:

    Sooooo glad to read that you and Joe are safe! It’s nice to know that you are enjoying your trip home. It was awful to see those tractor trailers in a heap; hope and pray no one was injured!
    Looking forward to your next blog and may I say ” safe journey” and be safe!!

  39. Sara McKeefer says:

    So good to hear from you, Susan… my, you and Joe sure are having an adventurous trip home, but the two of you seem to be making lemonade with all those blustery lemons. I really admire how you and Joe just take it one day at a time with a happy attitude. You two are great role models!

    We’re getting lake effect snow here but not a lot, thankfully. It will take some extra time to drive the 70 miles to our family Thanksgiving, but I wouldn’t miss it. I spent all day today copying my mother’s recipes to assemble into notebooks for the 9 women in our family. I wanted to do something special since Mother, who lived to 102 and lived on the family farm, passed away two days after Thanksgiving five years ago. I’m thinking I may have to pull an all-nighter to get them finished, which isn’t too smart, since I’m responsible for making the date pudding and oyster and turkey dressings! Too bad you’re not here to help me!

    You kids be safe out there! Someone is already working on your turkey dinner! ~ Sara

  40. So very glad for the safe journey and God speed for the remainder. You and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

  41. Nancy says:

    Travel news is not good…..praying tonight for you & Joe to arrive home safe and sound! Happy Thanksgiving!

  42. patti says:

    Well you are inspiring me to take a road trip !!! I am trying to convince the husband we should hit the road after Thanksgiving and head out to Richmond and see our boys dancing in the Nutcracker. They could not make it home from Richmond as they only had a short Thanksgiving break b/c it’s Nutcracker time and that is all they do at this time of year. It is a magical story and I have been blessed with seeing my boys go from “Dancing Boy” to “Snow Pas” and finally the “Cavalier.” Since they moved out to Richmond (Richmond Ballet) I have missed seeing them in the Nutcracker. Well I am hope we will able to sneak away and see them this year. I will pack my tea pot and some tea. You made staying at a hotel sound perfectly heavenly <3. Safe travels, Miss Susan and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. btw, I just got my package from Susan Branch and it is absolutely wonderful. Can hardly wait to start writing my story to my Granddaughter <3

  43. Mary Pat says:

    Dear Susan and Joe, I am hoping you have a safe rest of your trip home to our great home state of Massachusetts! No more storms, please! You make my life happier each time you send out another update! It forces me to stop, grab a cup of tea, and spend time with you! Thank you for thinking of us girlfriends as you travel home! I do not know if I could be as faithful as you are! One of my things I am thankful for is you!!! ( The lady grins!)

  44. patti says:

    I just want to know are you going to be getting anymore Yankee Magazine’s ? 🙂

  45. Happy Thanksgiving Susan and Joe (and Petey)! Glad to hear you were able to cozy up and let the weather pass a bit before heading on east. You are so sweet (of course!) to think of us GF’s at an antique shop. Oh the excitment you create! I cannot wait to hear what this treasure will be. I just know Jack and Kitty Girl are going to be so thankful to have their family back home. Sending blessings!

  46. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    SNOW KLAHOMA! Love that, but I wouldn’t want to be driving through it like you guys. Can’t wait to see what treasures you have found as shop your way back to your cozy MV home. I’m trying your baked cranberry method right now for my contribution to dinner tomorrow.
    I can feel Christmas coming . . . :-).
    Safe travels to you and Joe. Once again thank you for sharing the road with us. It is so much fun.

  47. Debbie Rockholm says:

    Been thinking of you and Joe. So glad to hear you are doing okay. Say hi to my peeps in St. Louis. That is my hometown. Safe travels for the rest of your trip. Happy Happy Thanksgiving and Blessings dear Sue and Joe.

    Debbie R from Valencia, CA

  48. roberta says:

    Happy you two are safe, enjoying yourselves while slowly travelling back home. Your lovely stories keep me close to the Vineyard since I have moved away. Just got off the phone with relatives there, they had a good day but the cold is returning, I hope the home fires will be burning, warming you as you warm our hearts….
    be safe, Happy Thanksgiving…….. from NC!

  49. Jamie says:

    Glad to hear you’re safely behind the storm. I had planned to be in OKC for the book signing, but the weather forecast from Austin to Dallas (where I was meeting up with my sister) and then to OKC was questionable at best. So, my sister and I are in Austin baking pies, sweet potatoes, cornbread for our Texas-style dressing…you get the idea! Our next plan……if we can sneak away without our family noticing, we’ll see you in Edgartown!

    PS: I have the cutest Christmas lights on the block thanks to you!!!

  50. PJ says:

    So glad you arrived safe and sound. We will be heading out that way in the near future to Kansas to visit our friends in celebration of their 35th anniversary. Miss those antique malls, we lived in KS for 12 yrs. It poured rain all day today in Maine; super glad it was not freezing rain. Be safe in your travels home. Thank Joe for driving slow.

  51. Bless your heart, Susan — the Lord’s taking good care of you and Joe! Have a happy Thanksgiving, and may you arrive home soon enough. (I know that there’s no place like home!)

  52. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    Just sat down to rest my weary feet from cooking all afternoon, and here you are! So thankful you and Joe are safe. You are so thoughtful to buy us girls a gift while on your travels. Can’t wait till you are home safe (I know you feel the same). Looking forward to some Christmas decorating posts :-). I bought an inexpensive fake garland today so I can add fresh greenery to it, just like you said. I am putting around the front door with lights! Happy Thanksgiving to you and all our girlfriends! Love, Joy.

  53. Martha says:

    You take care on the rest of your trip home!! We worry about you on the road in this weather! My son is flying in from Chicago tonight for Thanksgiving – hoping he has no problems either. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get back to MV safely!!
    Martha from CT

  54. Linda Pintarell says:

    So glad to hear you are behind THE weather now; travel safely. I flew out of Dallas on Sunday after a wonderful cousin’s reunion – first ever…great fun – but I got out just by the skin of my teeth before bad weather set in. Love the road trips you and Joe take; I’m envious. Just moving along through our beautiful country…what a life! Wishing everyone a lovely Thanksgiving day…however you choose to celebrate it. We are all fortunate to be in our great country.

  55. Carol Osborn says:

    It has been interesting following your booksigning journey. Next time come to Oregon!

    Wow, I agree you can’t beat stopping at antique shops along the journey.

    Have a good Thanksgiving whereever you will be and a safe journey home.

    Looking forward to reading about your Christmas preparations.


  56. Dee says:

    I like many others have been concerned where you were in the midst of this storm that seemed to FLY from west to east!!!!!!! Continued safe travels…….will be glad to hear that you and Joe are home SAFELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. Tana says:

    Scary! Scary! Scary! So glad you are behind the storm now. Travel safe. Prayers are still be said for you and Joe!

  58. Becky Farnsworth says:

    I’m so glad to know you are safe. Have a happy Thanksgiving and a lovely drive the rest of the way. This is a great country and it is a blessing to get to know it better. May fair weather be yours!

  59. Jackie P says:

    Oh Susan, your adventures continue! Be safe, so glad you are heading home to the island. Always so glad to see a blog from you. Have a wonderful day tomorrow and know how thankful the girlfriends are that you are in our lives! Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe. You are both such special people!

  60. Elaine says:

    We here In Ontario Canada had our snow storm last week and it has been very cold windy and snowy ever since ! I hope all are safe and all have a wonderful Thanksgiving !

  61. Wendy Louise says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! I just finished all my preparations for a wonderful family day tomorrow and thinking about you and Joe. The house smells amazing and the fire is a blazing. My puppy is asleep and I am in domestic bliss. I am excited for you and your home coming, Jack and Girl Kitty waiting patiently for your arrival. There is “No place like Home”. Your travels are so romantic with the two of you together, so cozy, taking your time and being safe. I am Thankful for wonderful people like you and the girlfriends in the world, so happy for all your friendships. Safe travels and I will be thinking of your wonderful home coming.OXOX

  62. Pat Stansel says:

    I believe in guardian Angels now more than ever—-that stop for hot chocolate,the timing was ironic ! Hope you have smooth sailing all the way home !!! Lots of love, Pat

  63. Mary Ann now in TN says:

    A Very Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe! I’m sure you’ll find a perfect place to celebrate.

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

    So thankful to hear that you and Joe are BEHIND this terrible weather system! Your “happy gene” is in full working mode! I continue to pray for SAFE travel, CHEERY inns for your overnight stays, and a memorable Thanksgiving meal. I can’t help but smile while thinking that IF any Girlfriends knew you were in the vicinity, you, Joe, Petey, and mini-Jack would be inundated with invitations!!! ♥ God bless you mightily for Thanksgiving 2013, sweet Sue and Joe, too! ♥

    • Debra Gibbs says:

      Hi Charlene…it’s Debby from So. Cal. and we met that wonderful afternoon in Pasadena with Susan. I look at the pictures I took and think about how truly special that day was. Happy Turkey Day to you and your family.

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

        Debby! Good to connect here! Yes, connecting via Susan Branch is very special, indeed! We all know that we share a love of kindness, home, family, and friends…and you are a new one of mine!!!
        Thank you! We did have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Hope you did, too!

  65. carmel says:

    So glad you and Joe are safe. It looks like the tractor trailer folks are safe too. Please return to us on the east coast soon. Your babies (kitties) are waiting for you. I love my bobeche (I never spell it correctly!) set and will put it out tomorrow for the holidays and beyond. They’re just beautiful and such fine quality. I used to see yours in your photos and tried to find similar ones without success. Can’t believe they are gracing my home now – thanks to you, Kellie and Sherry. Ever grateful for you, Joe, your mom and dad and friends all of whom you share with us so generously. Grateful for the blog girlfriends too. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  66. Willa says:

    Oh Susan….we road the train for the first time!! Brownie and I decided to take Amtrak from Alexandria VA to Greenville SC instead of driving. It was A*W*E*S*O*M*E!! We had a roomette and loved it. Yes, it was crowded, but once we figured it out we would do it again in a heartbeat!! Our train pulled away from the station at 7:00PM. We had a perfectly marvelous dinner and then learned how to reconfigure our two seats into two bunks. I was on the top and could not sleep all night long. It certainly wasn’t because it was uncomfortable, but more because I was just so darned excited about the trip that I had to watch every town that floated past my window and they were all decorated for Christmas! I thought about you often, especially when I plugged in my electric tea kettle for tea…at 3:00AM!! We arrived at 4:54AM and if family had not been waiting for me it would have been hard to get off that train! We go back on Sunday – no sleeper this time, but it’s a train and it’ll be wonderful!! Glad you are keeping safe and taking your time getting home to those darling kitties! Happy Thanksgiving! Hugs!, Willa

  67. sandy says:


  68. Beth Keser says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! Have a safe trip home. Girl Kitty and Jack will be so happy to see you 🙂

  69. sandy says:

    oops, hit some wrong key…as I was saying, Happy Thanksgiving Susan and Joe! I’m so glad, Susan, you have Joe on your side escorting you thru the snowlands and to share the cheeriness you seem to put into everything. I trust you two will have a smashing dinner and celebration somewhere tomorrow and will most likely make the day of the wait staff. As I tell the Lord what I am thankful for, you will be on the list! blessings, sandy 🙂

  70. Marybeth Ferrie says:

    Yay! So glad to hear you are safe and happy and to see how many people have been praying for your safe travels! Funny and beautiful to see how connected people can be…I too am thankful for you and how much you have blessed my life. I may have said this before but when I found the Girlfriends book in Barnes and Noble I sat down in the aisle and wept (the postpartum didn’t help the situation much). That book was a lifeline for me and I have gifted it to other friends many times since.Thank you for having the courage to share your gifts and life with us. You will be getting home to cold but sunny weather this weekend. Godspeed to you.
    Love and cat fur,

  71. Susan says:

    Do you think one can create a cozy nest in an RV? Kay Peterson, founder of Escapees, has said that RV woman are the “best homemakers because they create a home wherever they go!”
    Rainy and cold here in Williamsburg, VA! My 93 year old father, who travels with us, has been in the hospital the past three days so I’m a bit behind with Thanksgiving preparations! It will be a challenge to cook everything in my Airstream kitchen. I have to be very organized with the capabities of the refrigerator and pans/ dishes I brought along. I’m making your grandmother’s stuffing, a 12 lb. fresh turkey (butter basted) and your sweet potato casserole, along with a few other family recipes! My son has to work on Thanksgiving, so I have an extra day that I really need! He and his wife and our one and three year old grandsons
    will spend Friday with us.
    We leave Sunday for Fairhope, Alabama. Ready for some warmer weather! So glad you two were smart enough to stay to stay behind the storms! Also glad you only travel 5 hours or so a day. We limit our travel time to around 250 miles per day and take the back roads whenever possible.
    I’m thankful for my dad, retirement, ability to travel, and YOU! Your magic has made a huge difference in my life for nearly thirty years!!:-). May God bless you and Joe!

  72. Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

    Hi Susan & Joe,
    What an amazing journey! So glad the wild weather is behind you for the moment. It’s incredible to think that during your Chicago area signing at Anderson’s Bookshop, the temperature was 100 degrees! Now you have snow and ice. Spending so much of your time to meet so many Girlfriends is a true gift from your heart. You are such a blessing in our lives, Susan. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to thank you again for making the world a sweeter, gentler, cozier place for all of us! ♡ This will be a Thanksgiving to remember for you and Joe! Enjoy every moment, as your adventure leads you HOME!

  73. Oh Susan and Joe, been sending up prayers for you! We got a little snow and wind today near Asheville NC, but the heavier snow is west of Asheville. Glad you’re taking your time and antiquing even though you want to be home, antiquing is always fun! Much better than creeping along a snowy interstate! Thanks for letting us know you are ok! I havent been outside in 2 days! I did nothing today but read a mystery I got from the library, How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny, I can’t put it down! It is set in Montreal Canada, main character Chief Inspecter Gamache, very on the edge of your seat exciting!
    Hugs, be safe, PLEASE let us know when you get home!

  74. Susan (Grayslake, IL) says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Susan and Joe. All of your BFFs are so thankful that you were able to get through that snow storm safely. Enjoy the rest of your trip … here’s hoping for smooth sailing 🙂

  75. Kate from WA state says:

    Stay safe on your way home. Enjoy your quiet Thanksgiving with your best friend!

  76. Dinahsoar says:

    Glad you are safe and hope the skies are clear and good weather the rest of the way home now that you are behind the storm. Our kiddos flew out of Dallas today for Thanksgiving with friends in PA–the weather was bad but they had no delays. We had several inches of snow here in TN….looks like a winter wonderland. Be safe and God speed as you continue your journey. I pray God will keep you safe and sound the rest of the way home.

  77. Cyndi in NC says:

    Travel safely and enjoy the last few days of your trip. I must say I love great antique shops so I understand the fun. Can’t wait to see what you found!!! Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  78. Mona in Riverbank CA says:

    Driving through the snow and fog is beautiful and terrifying at the same time! I hope you have clear weather the rest of the way home.

    It was so fun seeing you and Joe in Bakersfield this month at Strawberry Patches. And as if being able to see you and talk to you (and you signed ALL my books!) wasn’t wonderful enough, as my husband and I were leaving I turned to look back at your van and saw Joe. We went over and visited with him for a few minutes. He is so friendly and gracious (what a smile!). When he shook my hand as we left, my brain was about 15 years old (“OMG!!! Joe Hall just shook my hand!!!). You two are my favorite celebrities.

    Wherever you are spending Thanksgiving, I hope you have the best time. I am thankful for people like you and Joe. =^..^=

  79. marion Rose says:

    Good evening Susan and Joe,
    Glad you are safe. Storms are terrible to travel in. The wind and rain arrived on the Cape today. I was in my kitchen all day cooking, getting ready for Thanksgiving. The ferries couldn’t run to the Islands because of the storm. I hope they will run tomorrow. Travelers want to join their families on the Island for Turkey Day. Maybe they could run tonight, I didn’t hear on the news if the wind and heavy seas calmed down. You shouldn’t have any trouble
    by the time you get here. Have fun with your hunt for Antique Stores!
    Enjoy the rest of your trip, Marion

  80. Donna H says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for taking us along on your trip, again! Safe travels for all of us.

  81. Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

    Thursday, 7:36 CT
    Happy Thanksgiving, Susan, Joe and all The Girlfriends. I hope everyone’s day is blessed and I hope everyone eats way too much……after all it is Thanksgiving!

  82. Kristie S. says:

    Happy Thanksgiving as you go “over the river and through the woods”! Thank you for always taking us along with you and making us feel like friends. Sending you blessings this holiday season.

  83. Minette says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe! I know it wil be special for you both whatever you do because you will make it so! One thing we are all greatful for is you and all your creativity and inspiration! Hope you have a pleasant and safe drive back to MV and look forward to your holiday posts this year when you are back home with the kitties!

  84. Maggid says:

    I’m so happy your adventure went well . . . safe and bright.
    Happy Thanksgiving to YOU!

  85. Debra Gibbs says:

    Happy Turkey Day to you, Susan and Joe. I am thankful for you!!

  86. paulie says:

    Dear Joe and Susan:

    Wish you could grow wings on that van and appear in MV with the blink of an eye. Everyone of your girlfriends are wishing you and Joe a very safe and speedy trip across the plains and home to MV. You have been in our continuing thoughts and prayers for a safe journey. Warmest of Thanksgiving wishes to you both! Paulie

  87. Happy Thanksgiving, Susan and Joe! Safe travels. xxoo

  88. Christine Aschbacher says:

    I hope the remaining portion of your trip is smooth sailing. I’ve enjoyed reading about your trip cross country. Sounds like a lot of fun! Safe travels I bet Jack and girl kitty can’t wait to see you

  89. Ann says:

    And, you got to see Linda Vater!!!

  90. Joy says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe, too! Travel safely home.

  91. Bonna Nichols says:

    So glad you enjoyed my state! We love the cattlemens and I hope you got a peek at our “new” brick town area. If you didn’t have time to go to the Memorial of the Murrary building please come again and take time to go there. I could go on and on about our state.

  92. Donna Miller says:

    I loved meeting you at Full Circle! Y’all come back soon!

  93. Hello,
    Wow! I am so glad you made it safe. It is so fun to travel, but winter travel can be a true adventure.
    We drove in a big snow storm here in Wisconsin. We were so happy to get to our destination. It truly does make you stop and say “Thank You”!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too.
    Love, Carla

  94. sondra fox says:

    How in the heck did our little Wired Hair Terrior, Jack, get in that car in New Mexico? The picture you took of that little dog in the car next to you, looks exactly like our Jack! Our Jack has those tell tale eyes that your kitty Jack has. While on our way to Lake Tahoe for the holiday, we stopped for lunch in a restaurant, leaving our two family dogs in our motorhome. When we returned to the motorhome, we found the mirrors out of alignment (done by doggie paws on buttons), & a bag of muffins empty & chewed up. We KNEW the older Chocolate Lab (the other side of the family’s dog) didn’t have anything to do with the mess, as he never ever does anything naughty. We looked at Jack, who had a weird look on his little face. Presley (the Lab named after someone famous) was cowering, thinking we’d think he performed the mess. We patted his head & told him we knew he hadn’t eaten the muffins, then we admonished ourselves for leaving the bag where Jack could reach the contents. We were afraid Jack would get sick, as he never eats anything other than dog food, unless he discovers people food. He was just fine for the rest of the trip. The dogs love going to Tahoe & sniff their heads off while on walks up there.
    Happy journey, Love you. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  95. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I missed this post. I am sooo glad that you two didn’t get into that mess!! I hope that you are home safe now. I need to get a dog like that one. 🙂

  96. Sharrieboberry says:

    Oh my! What antique store(s) did you visit in the OKC area? My in-laws are in a suburb there and I’m always interested in checking out the antique stores in the area. Maybe I should consult Yelp. How do you find places to visit during your travels?

    It’s so nice that y’all stop and check things out. That’s not how my husband rolls. Gotta get going!

    I have some vintage reproduction “stamps” from Dover publications. They say “Snow-klahoma” on them and it cracks me up every time.

  97. Paula Kirner says:

    Dear Susan & Joe,

    So glad that you made it home safe and sound. I am going to order your book on Grandma tell me your story. Have you and Joe thought about a book called Grandpa tell me your story. My husband is soon to be 80 yrs old and I was thinking of having him tell his story to our grandchildren.

    Love, Paula Kirner

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