Beautiful cool morning here, quiet, foghorn and boat whistle . . . I’m in my studio, listening to the birds drinking my first cup of tea … How are you? I’ve been missing you! This post is a book, prepare yourself, go get tea and get comfy, while I rev up the MUSICA ….

Home sweet home


July 08 Vineyard 1339

Joe and I left home for our cross-country book tour on April 30, and last Sunday, we drove off the boat and made our way through the familiar streets of home, and finally, into our own driveway, with 9,800 brand new miles on the Fine Romance Van ~ and wonderful memories of an amazing trip we will never forget.

Our House with the flag

First thing we did was hang our 4th of July flag, and ever since then we’ve been unpacking, stepping over piles of stuff (and THIS ⬇️ was just the beginning!),


Taking naps💤, walking the dirt road through the woods to the sea, shaking road noise out of our heads (it’s like the rocking you can still feel after getting off a boat), collapsing boxes, rearranging, cleaning, making lists, filling the fridge with deliciousness🍒🍊🍓🍉, and putting our house back together.

Home Sweet Home!We couldn’t wait to get into the garden, trimming back dead things and filling in the dark spots with blue and orange flowers and peach Brandy roses,

photo 2

Because, after all, first thing’s first.  Ahhh dirt. How I love thee. Pure road-noise expunger.gardeningphoto 3

And tomatoes and marigolds and roses and lots of other things . . . it’s July, the Island is in bloom, green and lush . . . and we can’t let this season escape us!garden

my frog is green now

I put out my favorite garden decor . . . I even had him at Holly Oak . . . he seems to feel a lot like I do about life.💞

photo 4

Flowers accidentally broken off during planting . . .get-attachment.aspxIMG_2198

Come inside for the little vases . . . garden 101IMG_2176

This is what I call bang for the buck, takes less than a minute to pop a flower in there, easy to change,  and looks just wonderful ~ perks up everything! Even the Queen is enjoying it!


But mostly, it’s undivided attention for you know who! We unload the car and Jack makes himself King of the Mountain. Who? he asks looking at me with wide-eyed innocence, What did you say your name is? He might not recognize me, but I’m sure he recognizes the camera.


The children. Don’t they look happy?  LOL. I look in vain for a change of expression. But no. It’s just me. I’m the only one doing the happy dance.  They keep their feelings buried deep inside. But I know they’re there.


Jack was on the ironing board in front of the kitchen screen door, watching the world go by when I came in. I walked up very slowly and reached out, he Kitty Lovesniffed my hand, then furrowed his forehead with quizzical eyes and sniffed me again, what could this be? With each sniff, he seemed slightly more interested ~ that’s the best I seem to get from this puff ball that I adore from the tips of my toes to the ends of my hair! But for me? No problem. I touch foreheads with him, I circle him in my arms and whisper sweet nothings in his ear.


I pick her up and cradle her in my arms like a baby and walk around the house rocking her and cooing to her . . . She’s 15 years old now . . . I always worry about her when I leave the house. She never likes it when I’m away. And shows it by not eating. Very scary. Do I go or do I stay. But ever since I walked through the door she has been STUFFING herself, 2 or 3 cans a day! Plus taste treats.


And here was my first view of the house from the car window as we were turning to back the van into the driveway. The excitement was tangible. Opening the car door, putting foot on terra firma, getting out of the car, was surreal. It all smelled exactly the same. Mixture of boxwood, linden trees, and ocean air.  The house has been here since 1849. Nothing about it had changed. My house since 1989. 😘home Home

But before I go on with the future, and all the news I’d love to share, and will, when I can, I need to celebrate a little more of the recent past . . . this book tour to celebrate the completion of this … my memoir trilogy of booksSBAutobiographicalTrilogyFour years of concentration (or something like that) to write the story of my first little house on the Island where I tried so hard to figure out who I was and how to make my dreams come true, and when the writing and watercolors were all done . . . for better or for worse . . . there was a reward:

R O A D    T R I P !


I chronicled about half of it in the last post, so we’ll start here, with sweet kitty “Sasha” on top of some of the art binders on a shelf above Kellee’s desk at my Studio in California.  It was good to be at our other-coast “home” and  reconnect with our faraway friends and family, and meet our wonderful west coast Girlfriends.

California garden

And see my garden out there . . . and just settle in for a week after a month of serious country-crossing to get here . . . Seeing this photo makes me think of changing my Vineyard garden from blue and orange back to lavender and pink next year . . .get-attachment.aspx


Loved meeting my good friends for lunch, darling Elizabeth on the left, her sweet aunt Marion and dearest Diana (Elizabeth’s cousin, and daughter of Marion), in Danville California, perfectly apropos because almost every bit of this book tour has been a family affair 👩‍❤️‍👩 . . . sometimes mine but for sure, everyone else’s! Moms and daughters, grandma’s and granddaughters, husbands and wives, sisters and best friends, aunts and nieces have all come to the book signings together . . . and I have to say, it was a total Love Fest! Right? I saw lots of YOU there, was it NOT a Love Fest??? Oh it was!


Speaking of which, for starters, here’s Aunt Susan with her two beautiful nieces, Karis and Trisha, in Morro Bay, California. Love fest.Family faces


Karis was there with her husband Henry, and  this little doll, the newest addition to our family,  Xavier ~ I’m his great aunt, and he is even cuter in person, if you can imagine that! He’s the joy of so many people’s lives!


And there’s  Kellee and Sheri from the Studio on either side of me, plus, my best friend Diana (if you’ve read my last three books you know all about Diana💞), and Bonnie who also works at the Studio during moments of supreme emergency (like when books come in and we need strong hands and good hearts to help out 📚). They were my perfect welcoming committee for this event, which was also a benefit for the San Luis Obispo Women’s Shelter (thanks to the great energy of Joanne and Linna at Coalesce Bookstore). 👏


This was on the wall where I gave the talk and did the signing . . .THINK! Is it kind? Good advice, don’t you think?


I have to mention, I could not have done any of this without my beloved intrepid pathfinder, guardian angel extraordinaire who is true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind 💖.


One by one, I got to meet and shake hands with all our Girlfriends who came to Rakestraw Books in Danville, CA … And this, as you see it here, was how it was everywhere we went. Roomfuls of happy, interesting, funny, friendly, kind, people, moms, sisters, best friends ~ if they came as a stranger, they went away as a friend.


Mom and daughters and the Fine Romance Van featured as photo bomber!


The line kept going, we took tons of photos, signed lots of books, and…


By the time we finished, it was dark outside!


Our girlfriends are so cute!


The smiles never ended . . .beautifulfacesIMG_0098

I think you can see why we were honored to be there . . .


Mostly Joe took the pictures, but every so often the tables were turned. He loved meeting everyone as much as I did . . . he was always roving around the line where there was always a buzz of talk and laughter I could hear from my seat at the table.


But then, once more, it was time to move on, and look, the California fog is rolling in . . . all those old volcanos are peeking through . . .



It was a constant change of scenery as we traveled from place to place across our beautiful wonderful country full of good and kind faces . . .


See what I mean . . . this is Pasadena, at the wonderful Vroman’s Bookstore where my grandma used to shop! If you ever need a suggestion for a wonderful new book to read, your Independent Bookstore will send you in the right direction! That’s what they do. The caring human touch. Always a good thing.


It would take several blog posts to show you how much fun this was.  See the girl in blue standing up in the back, almost in the middle? That’s Kris, I went to high school with her! See what I mean? And I got to meet everyone here!


Mom’s and daughters . . .


And whole families!!!


And husbands and wives.


The guys, I have to say, were a blast! Funny! One thanked me for being his wife’s therapist! He thought the price of the books was a deal! LOL!


I could see “guardian angel” in their eyes.


While waiting, these two made posits to commemorate the end of the long line, and those posits are now  in my diary. Kind of what Joe and I are saying to each other now! “We did it!”happy?IMG_0204

We hated to leave the ocean-views, brunch-with-wine, and joie de vivre mentality of Southern California . . .waves


Private blend lavender teaBut onward and upward . . . we were people on a mission. I thought you might like to see how we packed. There is method to this madness, never fear. Two ice chests in the Fine Romance Van, one on the floor between our seats where I could access it anytime, and another one in the way-back for staples and an extra bag of ice . . . plus, we had my favorite earl grey and lavender tea, the tea kettle, cups, spray starch, laundry soap, a zillion quarters for the machines. No stone unturned, we had it all!


Hither and yon we go. At this point heading through Arizona, and for the following month we never saw the underside of 90 degrees again! One time, in Texas, we got in the car in sunthe morning and the car thermometer registered 132 ridiculous degrees!! You know how we (in Northeast USA) “warm up” the car in the winter? Well, out here, we’d go to the car early to turn it on to ice up the air conditioner!!! You go from freezing-cold, air-conditioned hotel room to the hideous heat, hurry to the car, and just about the time you get there, you begin to thaw out. In the nick of time, you jump in, slam the door, and ahhhh, saved by the bell.


HOT. But interestingly, the desert was “in bloom.” If that is what one wishes to call it.


But then we went to the High Desert, to Prescott, Arizona for a lovely tea party . . . here is just a tiny hint of the deliciousness that awaited us! They made them!!! And they were gorgeous!


Clotted cream and jam and homemade scones! And sandwiches too!


They set up tables on the lawn of a beautiful old house ~ it was a tea-party, fund-raiser, book-talk and signing hosted by one of our Girlfriends (up there on the porch with her husband), Mary Heiland, benefitting the local library and Hospice . . . and it was so beautifully done! Flowers and party favors on every table.


Everything was  in bloom . . . still warm in the mountains but with a lovely breeze through the draped bunting (white, like on Downton Abbey) and the weeping willow that gave the house its name, Willow Tree Manor, swayed gracefully in the wind . . .


They welcomed us, and everyone, royally . . . (and gave us the sign to take home! It’s already hanging above the door in the wood room!) …


Hats! (Hi Dianne, Bev, & Merci!)


These girls knew how to celebrate . . .


Much as I loved ALL the hats, this baby-pink one had to be the winner . . . might have had something to do with that little face . . .baby


On each side of this group is a Mary . . . these two Mary’s are the best friends who are responsible for the gorgeousness of this party ~ and those are their beautiful daughters who’ve known each other all their lives. We met both Mary’s at the Madonna Inn in California about three years ago, where there was a drawing to see who would be our dinner partners for that evening. Mary’s name was drawn, and of course, she brought Mary! And now here we are, experiencing one of the tea parties they have each year ~ pure serendipity! I think this was their 23rd!


This is Mary Heiland’s (the Mary on the left) 97 year-old-mom, and so now you know where this family got its beauty . . .beautyIMG_0737

Here’s the winner . . . both for the auctioned-off quilt that made $600 for Hospice (whoever bid on it, gave it to her, I told you, the most wonderful people were there) AND the hat ~ I think she was having a red letter day!


And to complete my red letter day, I received this!


To put in my keepsake box along with this . . .


Joe has gotten so GOOD at taking pictures of the things he knows I’ll want to see when we get back to the hotel and I get my hands on the camera again! I get to see everything I missed!


And then, down through southern Arizona, near the Mexican border and miles and miles and miles of beautiful Texas . . . wildflowers and desert and hottest heat in the world . . . Too hot to stop and shop in Fredericksburg … so now we have to go back! Need to shop at Magnolia Pearl!  Too cute to miss.


A little intimidating to make this left turn, but we survived . . .  (yikes!).


We loved every mile of it . . . (look at the little orange sign on the left)


And we knew we’d entered the weird world (their words not mine)) of Austin when the first thing we saw was this. It is a bar that moves as the customers PEDAL , it has no engine . . . it drove across the road while we were sitting at the light ~ and I scrambled for the camera! We don’t have one of these on the Island.


We went to dinner at the historical Driskill Hotel and sat directly across from that romantic little table on the left (pushed together for a larger group) where President Lyndon Johnson proposed to Claudia Taylor, better known as Lady Bird, on their first date!


She made hime wait a full six weeks before she accepted! Ahhhh, young love. 💘 Later the people for whom that long table was reserved arrived . . . a woman sat in Lady Bird’s seat (as I imagine it would have been) with her back to the wall, her partner was across from her in the chair and it was ALL I could do not to rush over there and tell them DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU’RE SITTING? Joe was a little embarrassed when I asked the waiter to tell them. I couldn’t help it. They had to know. I would want to know, wouldn’t you???


And now, here we are at BookPeople in Austin, with my Twitter Girlfriends! Wonderful to finally put the real people with the names!


And dearest Texas Girlfriend from many years ago, whose name I just love to say in my fake Texas accent, Mary Alice Yelverton (try it in your fake Texas accent and you’ll see what I mean, even better if the accent isn’t fake!), 97-years-young and still writing her column for the Boerne Star Newspaper, which is how we met, when she called to interview me for her paper because she liked my cookbook Heart of the Home! We go way back! I was so touched that she came.


And another warm welcome from a room full of kindred spirits! I have never felt so loved. You girls, you should know, it was heaven for me.


One of our long time Girlfriends, very creative Rachel, made packages of cookies for everyone at the Austin Book People signing from my recipes . . . that’s Annie Hall’s Butter Cookie made into Texas cutouts, and my mom’s Potato Chip Cookies were there too, which is also one of my favorites! It’s on page 209 of The Fairy Tale Girl, but in case you don’t have it yet . . . here you go!

potato chip cookies


That’s our cutely dressed Girlfriend Kat on the left,  and there’s Rachel with a to-go box of cookies on the right… xoxoCookiesIMG_0954Different kinds of cookies, but still very sweet: mom’s and daughters,

IMG_0929Fairy Tale Dudes and their Fairy Tale Girls . . .


It was a long trip, but look at these smiles, how could I not love it? My feet were about 3 inches off the ground the entire time!


A Fine Romance Lacock EnglandWe had a surprise, unscheduled, “pop-up” book signing at The British Emporium in Grapevine Texas ~ mainly so I could shop there! I’d heard about this wonderful store for years, and there we were, so close, how could we not stop! So we called them and told them we were coming, and they invited a few of their customers for an impromptu signing. Also I wanted to THANK them for selling so many copies of A Fine RomanceI did a whole lot of Christmas shopping there 🇬🇧😃 and signed a bunch of books to leave behind! And then, it was time for . . .


Tennessee! Off to Memphis and the Booksellers at Laurelwood.


And don’t think that we didn’t keep ourselves correctly hydrated throughout our trip!! That’s not Coke, it’s just ice, into which I poured fresh cold water from our cooler, with just a splash of lemonade to keep it interesting.


And the food was really good everywhere we went, look at this crisp, icy, crunchy iceberg wedge with all the trimmings. Just delicious.  We also discovered that Wendy’s makes a perfectly wonderful fresh salad with not a limp bone in its body. We became road food aficionados!


In Memphis we had breakfast at this famous (it’s been in lots of movies) old Arcade Restaurant . . . (that’s not our suitcase back there, we kept ours in the van!).


… Where nothing’s changed since the 1950s.


And where, for the first time, I was able to sit with the new book and look through every page. Of course, there’s Joe with the camera.paintbrush


So I showed him some new pages. I really love this book. It was fun to do it, like remembering all the years it took me to get the nerve to write it in the first place . . . and giving it a brand new outfit with new pages and perky new art.hearts and flowers


Are you sick of this yet? I hope not, but if so, stop now and save some for later!  So, anyway, Here I am at Channel 3 in Memphis getting ready to go on TV. Don’t I look relaxed?  Well, I’m not. In case you missed it, here it is. 


And later that night, here I am with such hardworking girls, Nicole and Macon, (who treated every one of their customers like they were the most important person in the world) at The Booksellers at Laurelwood. I felt so proud to be at all of these independent bookstores, proud of how hard they’ve worked to keep afloat in these changing times, and proud of everyone who supports them.


Were you there? Can you see yourself . . . ? Wasn’t it fun?


Here’s another angle . . . See the dark-haired lady way back sitting next to the woman in the black top? See her necklace . . . I told her it was cute . . . scroll back up and you’ll see that she GAVE it to me!!! And she did it through the bookstore owner so I couldn’t even say no! She was already gone! So I had no choice! And of course, I love it!


More wonderful Girlfriends . . . I would speak for a while, then I’d take questions and that was my favorite part because my Girlfriends ask the best questions!


Smiles I loved meeting . . .


It was a pure treat and the pleasure was all mine!


Then through the cornfields . . . to Woodstock, Georgia ~ close to Atlanta, to an event put on by FoxTale Book Shoppe. Talk about Southern Hospitality!

XXX FoxTale Woodstock GA

You guys tried to make me cry by giving me a standing ovation!!!!  I’m sorry, but this was verklempt-ville for me😂.


Love you!


Cutest things, and a black beret in honor of Joe!


Joe took perfect pictures of these three . . . adorable . . .


Baby sister is feisty!IMG_1488

But big sister wins for most adorable shoes and socks!


Bambi’s enthusiasm could seriously move the world! And the world could definitely use some moving! Believing there is hope for the world (as Gladys Taber said) is a way to move toward it. Believe and Vote.What we do matters


Everyone . . .


Was just adorable. And I . . . was just lucky.

And in Woodstock we went to Starbucks to get the Sunday New York Times because that’s what we always do on Sundays on the road, and  saw this for the first time . . .


In print! In the New York Times Book Review for the first time in my life. (See? Number 3 under Travel! That’s us Girlfriends. Because it’s  your wonderful word-of-mouth and your kind comments on GoodReads and Amazon and to each other that made this happen! You have rocked my world! I’m eternally grateful.💕)fairy tale girl

ohhappyday Those customers at Starbucks were just LUCKY I didn’t run to every table screaming because I definitely wanted to. I know I did leave the ground for a few seconds. Then Joe and I high-fived and stood around glowing (hearts leaping) wondering when someone would come up and ask us why we looked so happy while we waited for our iced mochas! This kind of thing doesn’t happen every day . . . and I have to say, our whole trip was like that, just amazing, profound in its own way, lengthwise, and spirit wise, not to mention event-wise and beauty-wise.Exhaustthelittlemoment


And on our way again, to Malaprops Bookstore in BEAUTIFUL Asheville, North Carolina. You really have to go see that charming city . . . 💖 You will love it!


magicAt Malaprops they did some sort of magic, and moved all the books and displays to the side to fit all the Girlfriends in.  Their shelves must be on wheels, because when we left, this room looked NOTHING like this! Every chair was folded up and gone, and the space was filled with rows of bookshelves!

             Where there’s a will, there’s a way. 👏


Hello everyone! 💏

IMG_1779As usual, lots of fun in the line!fun is good


The woman on my right is a star of my Twitter world, @NellieBragg, with her husband and their daughter . . . They brought us a quart of fresh picked blueberries from their garden ~ the best we ever tasted and provided us with a healthy breakfast for the rest of the way home!blueberries


Here’s the funny Fairy Tale Boy who thought I  was a good therapist! And his darling wife Becky who made us a teacake and embroidered this precious thing . . .


which is now hanging in our guest bathroom! (Teacake is LONG gone, YUM! 😎)


Thou shalt not covet. I tried to remember that when looking at that HAT with the little pink flowers. Covet-Ville USA. And more Fairy Tale Girls and Boys!


Daughters and Moms, I felt so honored!


And now hill and dale, from North Carolina to New Jersey . . .


Past fields of wildflowers . . .





what a wonderful world


Little churches . . . houses and barns . . .


with country roads we’re just dying to go explore . . .


We got off the main roads as much as we possibly could . . . no traffic, could hear birds, see people, very gentle way to go . . .


It took a little more time, but it was so worth it . . .


Here’s a little bit of the Blue Ridge Parkway . . . 400 miles of this beautiful country.


With views to everywhere . . .


We’d leave early mornings for the long drives . . .


And were rewarded with amazing sunrises . . .


And lovely roadside views, truck free . . .


To famous Bookends Bookstore in Ridgewood, New Jersey with store owners Pat and Walter Boyer who were SO MUCH FUN!


where I got to meet another lovely crowd of Girlfriends . . .


and Boyfriends with good attitudes . . .

And now it was starting to get a little bitter sweet . . .


Because we were getting so close to home, and this had been so fun, yet we were getting close to HOME, and I really needed to be home . . . with only one more stop to go!


A welcome home party at wonderful Titcombs Bookshop on Old Cape Cod. It was 4th of July weekend. You have to drive over a bridge to get to Cape Cod and of course traffic was backed up, because that’s the gateway to the Islands, Provincetown, and Hyannis and all the lovely old towns on the Cape . . . I didn’t mind a BIT, it was the best traffic jam, I enjoyed every moment of inching toward home!TheSweetLifeIMG_2119

My camera tried to break right about here (like saying my hand fell off! Still dealing with it!) . . . But it was a gorgeous afternoon, and look, there’s Elizabeth . . . she, and everyone who works at Titcombs, was wearing a beret on this way too hot day, just because they are darling. I left one and a half billion signed books here . . . in case you are looking for Christmas Presents or any other thing!giftsIMG_2143

Home And now, the end of this manifesto, and the beginning of the next phase of life, which is obviously going to be just as crazy as the last phase, as I will tell you all about when next we meet. Joe and I are taking the train to Durango, Colorado on Tuesday, for a family reunion. We’ll be staying in a wood me and my dadcabin in the high mountains, under the trees next to a lake around a campfire and under the stars. Sounds like a prayer and for my family, it will be. 🌲 My brother will be singing “I’m so Lonesome in my Saddle Since My Horse Died” ~ we will all sing along and tell family stories and I wouldn’t miss it. With all the beautiful things that happened on this trip, there were other things I wasn’t able to talk about (even though I was sometimes asked by audiences, I had to lie, I’m sorry, it was too fresh and I would have dissolved), and I still have trouble, and will always have trouble, but we lost our dearest Cozy flannel familydarling daddy in May. Blog Daddy to so many of you. Dad to his eight children. I’m sorry, I didn’t want to upset you, but I knew I had to tell you, he was your friend too. I will save a eulogy for maybe next Father’s Day when I hope it’ll be easier. Impossible this year. Life goes on. I’ve been so spoiled to have had him, wide awake and smart as a whip, for as long as I did. I do most everything I do, most probably for my dad, and I know that will never end. So my family is getting together for a group hug.💔 And some singing. And Joe and I are packing . . .

me and DadMe and my dad watching my brother sing in Durango a few years ago.CountingBlessingsXOXOXOXOXO

LOVE YOU GIRLFRIENDS, thank you for everything! ❤️ Hug your loved ones tight. If the TV news is too hurtful, turn it off, and right after you call your congress person and demand they do something about gun violence 🌎  (because we are the world and what we do does matter), settle into your favorite chair with your kitty or dog, and watch a wonderful old movie. Make my mom’s Potato Chip Cookies and take half to a friend. Put a flower in a tiny vase on your kitchen sink.💐

Little things, old movies, baking smells, petty pets and girl talk, I promise, will restore your hopeful heart. 💖 Blessings to you and yours from us and ours.The little things in life SBLater . . . P.S. I’ve just finished reading somewhere around 400 comments on this post . . . and wanted to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. My dad loved reading your comments too, Blog daddyhe would talk about them with me on the phone as he was slowly getting to know you. My prayer is that he’s reading them right now, he would be honored!  Your words are so comforting, I can’t thank you enough for sharing your stories and really, your hearts.  Our Girlfriend Mary S. left a quote I love . . . “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” I know this is true. Because yes, Gabi, my dad did raise me to be a trooper, just like he was.

“I love you too, Sue. I love everything about you.” 💞 Dad, just 2 days before he was gone.

Those words were all I ever wanted, and all I’ll ever need. How can I mourn when I had such love. I’ll celebrate his life every day of mine. As for Joe, while he drove, I cried, and there was my get-attachment.aspxguardian angel, reaching across the ice chest with his comforting hand to hold mine. I smiled through the book signings and wondered if anyone could tell. I knew what my dad wanted me to do and I did my best to do my best. Looking forward to the dad and melaughter and the music I’m about to share with my family! I know it will be a celebration we will always remember. Thank you so much everyone. And yes, off we’ll go to England and Scotland in September! And we will have so much fun!  So get ready. I’ll be sending out a brand new Willard filled with new news and gifts and fun things next month!  Life is for the living. My dad’s greatest gift was his love of life. He revelled in it. I want to be just like him when I grow up. XOXO

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1,009 Responses to REEELY BIG ONE, reeely

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

    Dear Susan, Just read your post and wanted to tell you how sorry I was to hear about the passing of your father. Losing a parent is not at all easy, I know. It still gives me a kind of peace to talk to my mom and dad every day, and they’ve been gone for a long time now. Your are so lucky to have had such a loving, wonderful dad. Not everyone is as lucky as you to have the love, wisdom and presence as you have had of your father in your life. I am keeping you and your entire family in my prayers. xoxo

  2. Ruth thomas says:

    Dear Susan, So sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers. You are so brave to give so much to us at a time when you were heartbroken. Love to you.

  3. Marie Fluck says:

    Oh Dear Susan; I just finished you blog and my tears are flowing so much, I can hardly write you of how my heart breaks for you and yours. Cherish the memories and know he is with our Maker and His loves continues to flow down on you. God Bless you.
    Marie Fluck

  4. sylvia in seattle says:

    . . . His phone is just broken . . . 🙂 Love that. Believe that. I’m writing down so many of these lovely messages from the girlfriends to you Susan. Are you already at the train station? ” Mind how you go”. LOVE that one. It’s an emotional blitz on my end here. Thinking of my own Dad as well, long gone but I’m seeing a whole gathering of departed Dad’s connected to the daughters (and sons) who blog here, receiving this great wave of love . . . I like to think of you riding the train with Joe, not having to make any appearances except to be with your family. Some well deserved R&R. I’ll go gaze at Puget Sound now, play a CD of old stride piano music and put in a call to my own Dad. It will be a little party in the big bubble above my head. I think it’s quite normal. xxoo

  5. Terry says:

    Dear Susan,
    I am so very sorry to hear about your dad. I am giving you a great big hug in my mind right now. I got to meet you at Bookends in Ridgewood, NJ. You are amazing! Meeting you was a dream come true for me. And, once is not enough. When you write your next book and go on a book tour I will be there! Thank you for showing and explaining to us how you write your diary. I went out the very next day and purchased a blank journal and have been writing and drawing boxes for my pictures and then taping in the pictures. I have three daughters and one son, they are quadruplets (I may have told you that before.) and baby D, that would be my daughter Tracy is getting married next July. She is the first of my children to get married. So, again I thank you for teaching me how to keep this wonderful journal of this precious year as we all prepare for her wedding. I hope you have a wonderful family reunion in Colorado singing and dancing with your family, and I hope you and Joe have a marvelous trip across the ocean. I dream of doing that one day too.

  6. Starr miller says:

    Sweet Susan,
    I’m so very sorry that you have lost your dear father. You were so brave to dry your tears and put on such a happy face for all those who love you. We all thank you and understand how very hard that must have been to do day after day. Clearly he was a most excellent dad.
    Your time with your family will be wonderful- there’s nothing better than reminiscing.
    Thank you for sharing such a lengthy post with news and photos.
    All your very hard work has paid off- # 3 on the NT Times- congrats.
    I’m sure your dad is looking down upon you and smiling. You have made him so very proud.
    Thinking of you and sending prayers.

  7. Margaret Naluai, Honolulu, HI says:

    Dearest Susan, I am so glad you were surrounded by so much love as you went on to all your book signings….head held high and love in your aching heart. How proud your Dad is of you….knowing you put your best foot forward. He’s gone to Glory and his children will be together in a special place in Durango to celebrate his life. “Those who have given of themselves to others, will live forever in every single heart they have touched.” Your Dad touched a lot of lives….including all of us who love you so much. Blessings to you and your family.

  8. marty from New York City says:

    Oh Susan-all your girlfriends weep for your loss and smile not only at your loving memories of your Dad, but at how frequently his love for you, his quick mind and his sense of humor came through in his messages to you and to us in your blog.
    Grief must have its time, but someone once told me that it was also a selfish emotion- that it is the love ,the encouragement, the example and the joy of life that we should hold on to always. Let love and memories fill the void.
    I am so glad that your family will join together in Colorado and celebrate your father’s life. How fortunate to have a true guardian angel as your life’s companion and love.Hugs to you and Joe on your bittersweet journey to your family. Marty

  9. Jan says:

    Susan, there are no words to express such sorrow as losing a Dad. I wondered if something had happened while you were on the tour, when the question came about him I noticed a definite shift about you. I am so very sorry. I travelled this path when my Daddy passed away, it was the hardest thing, I was his girl! And he was my hero.
    Know that I’m praying for Gid’s peace and comfort for you.

    Peace and Love,💕

  10. Lori C. says:

    Susan, I am so so sorry to hear about your precius Dad. What a special man – and one of the Greatest Generations That Ever Lived! I feel so awful now, when you were here in Prescott on your tour and I asked you if he was able to make it over from Cottonwood. And no, I could not tell at all by your response! And all the time you probably just wanted to be off somewhere with Joe and your family. You held up beautifully! You darling brave girl! You did your Daddy proud! You will love Durango. If you can, please post your brother singing his silly song for all of us to share with you! Love and tears!

  11. Sheila Fuesting says:

    Dear, dear Susan, I read your long newsy happy blog with a smile on my face, such fun, so many wonderful new friends to meet and things to see. But that smile was wiped away and a tear took its place when I got to your sad news about your dear Blog Daddy. I’m so sorry. How brave you were to keep it all inside at the time. I know he’s watching over you and delighting in all that you do. Have a relaxing train ride and a wonderful family reunion hashing over old memories, and singing your brother’s funny song. So good to be home again, I know. Big hugs,

  12. Heidi says:

    May the love and sweetness you share with all of us comfort you. Blessings and peace.

  13. Beth says:

    Your Dad was beautiful. So are you. Thank you for sharing this post. Every word sprinkled my soul. It was just what I needed today.
    Bless your heart,

  14. Oh Susan, I’m so very sorry to hear of your dear dads passing. I always enjoyed reading about Blog Daddy and the special relationship you had. I know your dad had to be so proud of the ray of sunshine his Sue has brought to so many of our lives. You are comfort in a crazy world and I wish there was some way we could comfort you. Just know you mean so much to us girlfriends and in my heart I’m giving you a hug and a slice of Kentucky Rum Cake. It makes everything a little better. ❤️

  15. Marjory says:

    Dearest Susan — All my most heart-felt sympathy to you and your family at this time. You were all so truly blessed to have had such an amazing dad who could build or fix ANYTHING — including the broken hearts of his children. How lucky you all were to have enjoyed him for so many full years! I never had the pleasure of actually meeting him, but I feel like I knew him from his comments in your blog and from your stories about him — one of the truest representatives of the Greatest Generation — how we truly NEED them in these troubled times. Wishing you a safe journey and a family reunion filled with laughter, tears and poignant memories.
    P.S. I was at your signing in Morro Bay and was just a few feet away from little Xavier — what a darling little bundle he is!!

  16. Jennifer Berg says:

    Dear, Dear Susan,
    It was a honor and a dream come true to meet you in New Hope, PA in April. Next time I promise to bring the triplets. I am so sad to hear the news about your Dad. Hugs, prayers and positive thoughts to you and all of your family. My heart aches for you.

  17. P.J. says:

    Dearest Susan,
    I was rereading Isle of Dreams (for the third time!!), and had just finished the chapter where your Dad, and Jeanie, traveled cross country, ‘like Superman coming to the rescue of his girl’, a scene that resonated with me, because my Dad was like that, too. Decided to take a break to see if you might have posted a new blog, at long last. You had, and I was thrilled until I read the sad news about his passing. My heart is broken for your loss. My Dad died 35 years ago, and I couldn’t imagine how life could go on without him, but somehow it does. My deepest sympathy to you and your family and Jeanie. I’ve admired you ever since discovering you, but am in awe of how you were able to carry out your book tour with such a weight on your heart. May you be comforted by happy memories and the love and support of your family as you gather together in Colorado.

    It was so nice to see the photos of your nieces. You share so much with us already, that I almost hate to ask, but can you tell us which sibling(s) Karis and Trisha belong to? They are beautiful girls and Xavier is adorable. There’s much comfort to be found in the coming generations.

    Travel safe and know that you and Joe will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  18. Mare T. - Oregon says:

    Dear, sweet Susan – with deepest sympathies for the passing of your Dad. I don’t know how you did the remainder of your book tour. Please know your Dad is proud of his little girl. You, Joe and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. So sorry for your loss.

  19. Donna Watkinson says:

    Dear Susan,

    I just wanted to say how sorry I am for the loss of your beloved Father “Blog Daddy”. My heart goes out to you and your family. Sending deepest condolences to all and a big hug for you.

  20. Judie G says:

    Dear Susan
    I am so sorry to hear about your dad. It’s as though we’ve gotten to know him and your family from following you all these years. You were so lucky to have had such a wonderful dad and he was lucky to have had such a wonderful daughter. There is not much one can say to ease the pain of loss but you have so many people keeping you in their thoughts. Just want you to know I’m thinking of you too. 💕

  21. Dear Dear Susan,
    Thank you so for coming to meet us in NJ, it was something I had looked forward to for some time. You and Joe are very generous folks.
    I hope you are ok and gathering strength being home for a bit.
    I was sad to hear about you dads passing, he has been so much apart of the story you have shared with us ( as well has your mom, of course).
    You got that pioneering spirit from your dad (so I think) and the road trip shows that. love to you and all the best Hillaire

  22. Susan Ekins says:

    So sad for your loss, Susan. I’ve lost both parents, and it was much harder than I ever expected. Take care of yourself during this difficult time.
    We, your girlfriends, are SO glad you’re back. Really missed your delightful blog posts.

  23. Cindy in Paso says:

    I am nearly inconsolable after getting to the end of your post. I have always felt a kinship with you; our precious daddies working for their respective telephone companies after honorably serving their country, being raised in southern California in the Beatles/Beach Boys days, and now living in SLO county… so many things to which I can relate… and now this. I lost my precious wonderful Daddy on April 27th. He was 91 1/2 but was able to live every day to the fullest until the very end. My family was able to be all together with my Mama for a week afterward for a beautiful service and to love and comfort each other. You will love when I tell you that he was a prolific poet, rather closeted, but I found dozens of poems two days after he died. We like to say he wrote his own service, because his children and grandchildren read his poetry relating to his 5 great loves; God, our mother, his family, baseball (Go Dodgers!) and fishing. It was incredibly meaningful speaking his own words. We truly felt he was right with us! Go safely on your journey to be with your family. Sharing hugs and stories is the very best way to heal! I mourn with you, but I find joy every morning! 💔💗💔


  24. Betty Birney says:

    Susan, my deepest sympathy to you on losing Blog Daddy … he will still always be with you, as my dad is, too. My English friend, Nicky, just lost her husband and she is grieving mightily but said, “It helps to be English.” They have stiff upper lips in their DNA and I thought that might make you smile through your tears. Message to Joe: the photos are phenomenal! Fashion magazines: please take note that real people, people who live and love life, are absolutely beautiful. I never saw so many gorgeous people shining from within. But I’m sure their beautiful reactions had a lot to do with the two of you. Sorry I missed you at Vromans, but I spent a whole day with Emily Hall going to schools and speaking and signing books (I’m a children’s book author) and the joy of going to that bookstore in St. Charles. It was nice to see her smiling face one blog post back. (I’m a St. Louis native transplanted to L.A. for 30+ years.) Your books and blog mean the world to me ! Sending healing thoughts ….

  25. Bunnifer says:

    I love hearing about all of your adventures on the road. And you sure do appreciate all your fans. That’s so sweet.

    So broken hearted that your Daddy is gone.
    Prayers for you and your family. I hope there’s a lot of comfort in getting together with your family.

  26. Peggy Mayfield says:

    Dear Susan,

    I am so very sorry about your Dad, and so thankful you had him as long as you did. He was so proud of you and loved you so much – you could tell that in every story, every photo. He will always be with you – but its gonna take some time before that begins to feel okay. Know that we all love you too, and are here for you.

    I was sick as a dog when you visited Austin, and didn’t make it to BookPeople because of that – had been planning to be there since the first of the year, as I have 2 scrapbook cookbooks I was hoping to get you to sign- one for my daughter, and one for by son’s girlfriend (a daughter-in-law in the making we think) – I couldn’t go and infect everyone though, so perhaps next year. Maybe if I work on it we will have less than hot hot hot weather for your trip – of better, come see us when the wildflowers are in bloom and the weather is lovely – late March!

  27. Laura says:

    Oh, Susan, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what it’s like to lose a father, but I could tell how much you loved, respected, and admired him by the words you used in your blogs and books. And I loved him too-it would have been a dream to have a dad like Blog Daddy. I cried with you tonight, dear friend. Rest assured, he was well loved. <3

  28. Lucia Ann France-Bryant says:

    Dear Susan, When I read the end of your post I cried out and started to cry. My husband asked what was wrong and I said; “My friend’s Dad died.” My dad died 21 years ago and I still see him in my thoughts and hear his voice. He was a real “character”. My grandchildren, who were born years after his passing, repeat stories about Papa as if they knew him. We keep his memory alive by telling funny stories about him and laughing together at almost every family gathering. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Keep telling the stories!

  29. Nancy R. says:

    Susan, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. I lost my Dad 9 yrs ago and my Mom 4 months later. I think about them every day. My Dad and I shared a birthday. I was born on his Birthday and it was Father’s Day that year. After he died I did not have Birthdays for many years since it was not the same. But time heals, as you know, and now I can honor him on my birthday. Your memories will keep your Dad in your heart.
    God Bless, Nancy R.

  30. Julie C says:

    Dear Susan, I knew when I saw the picture of your Dad hugging you. So sorry for your loss, I would scan the comments just to see what “Jack” had to say. I will miss that. I lost my Sweet Dad many years ago, but I know he still watches over me, as Blog Daddy will watch over you. Love to you and your family.

  31. Patty in Michigan says:

    Susan,, my deepest sympathy in the passing of your dad. Thank you for often sharing him with us. He was a special and beloved father. Wow this was amazing to read. Thank you for such a wonderful post of your travels. So many love you and I love how they showed you they do. I was a bit jealous not being able to be at one of book signings. Maybe one day you will return to the Mitten (our little nickname for our great State of Michigan). Love to you and Joe and kitties!!

  32. Dear Susan, I am so sorry about your dad. I lost my dad seven years ago. It’s not an easy time for sure. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed meeting you in Woodstock, Georgia.
    I brought my sister along and now she’s an avid fan too!!!! Your book Isle of Dreams was remarkable – I loved every word and every page — I hope you write more and I sure hope they make a movie based on your life and books!!!! Also I wanted to say this to you – I am so happy that there is someone who is an author or a public figure if you will, that stays the same! So many people just change with the times and trends, but you have remained true to yourself and I believe that is why so many of us “girlfriends” adore you and can relate to you!
    Thanks again for your work and efforts to bring beauty to us. And oh my goodness – your Joe is soo soo nice 🙂

  33. Kirsten in So. Cal says:

    I am so sorry to read of your Daddy Jack’s passing. I wondered why your book trip did not include a visit with him. At the very last moment I was unable to see you at Vrommans this time. I’m one of your girlfriends who ALWAYS cries when I talk to you because you’ve lifted me up through your writing during some dark times. There are many times when I am just 12 again. I wish I could give you one hundredth of the comfort and support you’ve given me! You are a very special person! 🌹😂🌸

  34. Rosemary Monk--Near Boston says:

    Dear Susan,
    I read all your blogs but don’t write much, don’t seem to get posted once I do. But I had to write tonight. Just finished about reading your wonderful, beautiful trip all over our country. I loved all the photos, all your words, all the love you have given us through your art and heart. Your books and your life as you share it with us are proof there is beauty and good in the world, and in our troubled country, if we can but see it and act on it, and share it with others. Thank you. And then I read that you lost your Dad, and my heart broke for you. As hard as it had to have been, to forge on through the miles, I hope and believe the love you received at each stop provided a cushion, even if temporary. And then I read through the Comments, and was very, very glad that so many girlfriends opened their hearts to you, sending thoughts, prayers, hugs and love. I send the same. I have no wisdom to share, only my own love for you. You will find Peace, and you will find your that Dad stands beside you each day. Know you are loved.

  35. Barb Gentile says:

    Sorry to hear about your father…they are special!
    Thank you for sharing your travels, etc. Magnificent!

  36. Carolyn says:

    Sending much love and heartfelt hugs on the loss of your sweet Daddy. Thinking of you and Joe and your family and glad you will all be together in CO soon.

  37. Diane Jeffries says:

    I’ve just read the trilogies, hug book, sigh.
    Plan to read again, and then again.
    We met in Cincinnati on May 7 th., my Mother’s Birthday 💓
    You have inspired me.
    Just a few weeks ago, for the first time in my life, at age 64 !
    I have started drawing and painting with water colors 😊
    My parents, age 85 and 84 were so moved by my first attempts that they have encouraged me to take water color classes . I have enrolled in a seven week class, 21 hours, starting September 1. But, I am not waiting and have begun painting more in my own.
    Thank You for being my inspiration.
    Love, Diane Jeffries

  38. PaulaJ says:

    Oh, Susan, What a shock it was to hear of your precious, fun, funny, spunky, talented, lovable, Daddy’s death. I am thankful that I got to know him a bit through your blog and other writings about your childhood~and even more when I read how he came to visit you the first time on Martha’s Vineyard and made your home more comfortable and asked you what you were going to do (or was it be[?]) when you grew up! I am thankful you have treasured memories to recall in the days/years ahead. I hope you cried buckets of healing tears during the drives between bookstores. I pray that you will have a blessed, healing, comforting time with those manly brothers and beautiful sisters of yours!

    Your blog was delightful, as always. Please thank Joe for his great job of capturing the girlfriends’ smiles and the joy that permeated each book signing.
    Each photo was an encouraging bouquet of faces; we do have the best girlfriends through you, Susan!

    God bless you and comfort you in the days ahead.

  39. Mary in Colorado says:

    Losing one’s parent is like no other loss we will ever experience… ,no matter how old we are or how long we’ve been fortunate to have them…life without them on earth is unimaginable until it happens. William Shakespeare wrote”When he shall die,let them cut him out in little stars and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night”. I so love that! I live across the mountains in the San Luis Valley and will be thinking of you somewhere in the mountains near Durango celebrating your dad’ s life and comforting each other. You are a very dear person Susan Branch..

  40. Teresa G., Lafayette, CA. says:

    My heart has been heavy all day. I found myself tearing up throughout the day thinking about Blog Daddy. Wow. Do you know how incredible that is?! You have made us such a part of your family that we are all mourning with you. You allowed us all to know your dad so we know how exceptional (and handsome!) he was. Because he has touched so many, through you, his spirit will live on. When my sweet daddy passed away just shy of their 60th anniversary, my mom carried this quote around. It gave us all strength and I hope it does for you as well: “They whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we are.” – St. John Chrysostom. How wonderful to have been loved by such a father. Sending love and hugs to you and your family. It’s so wonderful that you will all be together soon to celebrate his life and his love. XXO

  41. Cassandra says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your dad…. My heart dropped when I read your post.. The bittersweetness you must’ve been going through on your tour.. Your dad is absolutely proud of how strong you are. I know you two were very close, and still are.. And I believe you find comfort in knowing that he is still with you, all of you, sharing in all the memories to come. What a blessing you had with your dad and all your years together… Beautiful. I love how you said you wanted a Leo like your dad.. and then Joe came along.. Kindred spirits. XOXO

  42. Lori says:

    Aw, big hugs to you.

  43. Ruthie P says:

    Susan,I just now read your blog,I couldn’t believe what I was reading at the end.I am so very,very sorry for the loss of your Dad.I lost my Dad when I was twelve,I am now 61,and I can tell you that you never ever forget them,the love is always there.I want to thank your Dad for giving us you.My sincere sympathies to you and your family.xoxo Ruthie P

  44. Becky in Burbank says:

    I surprised myself by bursting into tears as I read your dad’s words to you. He could have said nothing better. I know it is little consolation, but it really is such a blessing that your dad was able to be in your life for so long and see how happy and successful your life was.

    I was in my early 30s when I lost my parents within a year of one another. I still miss them every day. When I was caring for my mom in her final days, I wanted so much (young as I was) to have long conversations about “meaningful things.” She held my hand and said, “You know how much I love you, and I know how much you love me, and nothing else matters.” Now that I’m older, the truth of those words becomes clearer and clearer, and they still make me cry.

    Love you, dear friend that I have never met. Thank you for your bravery and strength, and for always choosing to embrace the positive. You are what the world needs more of.

    Enjoy your time with your family! Maybe one of these days you’ll have to get an RV so that the kitties can go along. : )

  45. Candace Stevens Job says:

    Thank you Susan for sharing your travels. It’s been the next best thing to actually being there! I cherish all of your books that I own.I have my original Heart of the Home Cookbook and look forward to the new edition. I think we shared the same kind of fathers. I’ve missed mine everyday for the 5 years he’s been gone, but feel so very blessed to have had him for my dad. I’m sure you feel the same about yours! We are lucky girls!

  46. What can I say Susan except that you and yours have my sincerest sympathy on the loss of your precious father. I’m still blessed to have my 83 year old Dad ( and fellow phone company retiree ) with me, and though he’s healthy and active and kept young with the help of my dear step mom, I know that anything can happen in a heartbeat and we could lose the wonderful head of our family. So the next time I see him I’ll be giving him an extra big hug and kiss, counting my blessings and thanking God for the best Dad a girl could wish for. Have a beautiful family reunion in honor of that special father of yours.🌹

  47. Kay Cox says:

    Susan I wanted to tell you how much I admired your ability to carry on with your trip and book signings, it looked liked you met the most wonderful people. thank you for letting us know about your Dad. I lost my Dad in January this year, he was 95. I ‘m sending you lots of Hugs. Love Kay

  48. Susu S says:

    Dear Sue,
    You have such an amazing capacity for friendship. You give so much of yourself. Of course it is right that you always choose to share things with us when it is right for you and in ways that are good for you. I am praying for you as you grieve and remember your dear Dad. And I’m giving thanks for him – because through this blog he touched my life too.
    On another topic, I never thought I ‘needed’ to read ‘A Fine Romance’ because I enjoyed reading about that trip (on this blog) while you were doing it. Wrong! A friend here in Cambridge gave me the book and I’ve hardly put it down. Wonderful, fun, thoughtful and thoroughly readable! I will pick up the other two books at The Bunch of Grapes when we visit my sister at the end of the summer, if I can wait that long! Thanks again for all the ways you brighten up our lives.

  49. Ruthie P says:

    Also I want to say,what a blessing that your Dad saw your trilogy completed and knows how much you loved your childhood,that is such a wonderful gift for any parent.He had to be so proud of you and all you have accomplished so far and all the love people have for you ❤️

    • sbranch says:

      I rushed to get it done for him, and he waited for me. xoxo

      • Anne Miller says:

        Susan, Do you realize that in addition to all of the inspiration to find beauty and happiness, your work encourages us to be better daughters (sons) and honor and treasure memories. Thank you.

  50. Andi Geary says:

    Hi Susan,

    I’m so very sorry to hear about your dad. Big hugs. x

  51. Laura says:

    So sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. He had such a wonderful life and will be always remembered with smiles. Sending love to you and all your family💗💗

  52. grace thorne says:

    nothing prepares one for the death of a parent……life goes on but very differently…deepest condolences…and thanks for a lovely long and fun-filled blog post…and that joe–he looks like a vineyarder for sure!

  53. DGreene says:

    I want to say thank you to Blog Daddy😄for raising a beautiful girl and giving you his obviously loving DNA that you share with us. My heat aches for you, because I am sure you are like all little girls no matter our age we think our Daddy is the best.xoxox much love and prayers to you, but most important the strength to continue to honor and celebrate his life by continuing to LIVE, LOVE, CHERISH, and INSPIRE.
    Thank You

  54. Rebecca Walsh says:

    I am so very, very sorry to read of your Dad’s passing. He provided the world with a wonderful individual who brings joy to so many of us. I send you a theoretical hug.

    Rebecca W.

  55. Marianne in Mo. says:

    I don’t know if I can even see to type right now, so if I mispell, that’s why. My heart breaks for you, I know how much your Dad meant to you. May you mend, and keep him close to your heart, but move on. They don’t want us to stop living because they did.
    I lost my Dad when I was five, so I never really got the opportunity to know him really, like you got to know yours. I like to think I would have been the apple of his eye. My family always said I was the most special of all the kids (cousins included), so I think I would have been devastated to have him as long as you, and then lose him. As you say, we should count our blessings – me for not knowing the feelings you have now, and you for having had your Dad around long enough to be able to remember his presence. May you find peace and joy soon!

    Love, Marianne

  56. Debbie Johnson says:

    Oh my, I am so very sorry.
    The words he left you with is the most beautiful words in the world a parent could say to their child. I wish my parents would say them to me.
    I WILL say them to my grown sons and the 8 grandchildren we have…
    Thank you for sharing your life with us. You are always a Blessing to me.

  57. Sharon in So. Calif. says:

    Loved your new blog post and seeing all of the smiling, loving faces of all the GF. Such an outpouring of love ♥. Then I got to the bottom and couldn’t hold back the tears. I don’t know how you were able to go on with the book tour, you are so very brave and strong. I will miss Blog Daddy’s comments, loved his wit and humor, he reminded me of my dad so much. I hope you and Joe find much joy and comfort with your family in Durango. Have fun dancing around the campfire, take joy in his wonderful life and know that he will always be with you all. Sending much love, prayers and hugs. (((♥♥))) those are hugs 🙂

  58. Biz G says:

    Susan, what a ride you had!! And all while missing your Dad. Sorry for your loss. I’ve been missing mine since 2001. It WILL get easier, but you will always think of him, remember him, and love him. This was a long blog, but wonderful! Enjoy family time in CO. Until the next time.

  59. Linda... Gardnerville, Nevada says:

    Dearest Susan, I’m so sorry for the pain you feel from the loss your dear father. So hard to say good bye to those you love with all your heart. I hope your sweet, funny, charming memories will be a warm comfort when you need them most. I could always tell what an inspiration he was to you & your siblings by the way your words sparkled when spoke of him. I’m sure the best medicine will be gathering together with all your brothers & sisters. You will gain strength & courage from each other, those who loved him most.
    Loved reading about your journey across the states as you got to see so many of those who love what you write, what you paint and what you exude! You are a girl’s girl! It had to be hard to hide your deep sorrow & pain so all those could enjoy celebrating your latest magical books.
    May your next few days ahead be filled with warmth, love, fond memories and wonderfully sweet stories. Best Wishes, Linda

  60. Liz says:

    Thank you for your wonderful post, as always, love, love, love it! I was so sorry to hear about your Dad “Blog Daddy”. There are no word….it is so hard to lose a parent. Your family is special. Have a wonderful celebration of his life during your reunion. Love and hugs!

  61. Judy F. - Orange County, CA says:

    First, I’m so very sorry to read about the loss of your darling Dad. He actually replied to a comment of mine a few years ago on your Blog. and I will never forget that. Evidently he had the SAME denim pants and jacket set that my Dad wore in the 50’s and he told me that! <3 I know the loss you feel very well, I too lost my Dad in 1968 but the wonderful loving memories I have of him have brought me many smiles throughout the years without him. I've always felt he's been watching over me and my family as your Daddy will be doing for you.

    Second, but not least, WELCOME HOME to your beautiful Martha's Vineyard. My sister and I had the pleasure of seeing you in Pasadena at Vroman's Bookstore. What a day of "adventures" that was for us….it could be an episode of "I Love Lucy" – too long to go into here. We were standing along the wall, waiting for your arrival, all of a sudden my sister turns her head and THERE YOU WERE, she "blurps" out…."Susan"!! Standing right behind her, waiting to work your way to the front to begin your talk. Hopefully, she didn't scare you but we felt like we had met up with one of our "girlfriends"…which we did!! We couldn't stay for a signing of our "Girlfriends" book since we had a long drive home back to Orange County (with more adventure) and it was getting late. We also were able to get up close to Joe and he took a quick pic of us (probably because he thought to himself, who ARE these two? "Lucy & Ethel"!! What a wonderful day, one we will remember for many years to come. <3

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful life with the rest of us! (((Hugs)))

  62. Eileen Ammendolea says:

    My heart goes out to you and your family on your Dad going home to God. He will be with you always.

  63. JoyPence from Ohio says:

    Dearest Susan, I have no words to express how sorry I am for you.

    Psalm 34:18
    The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

  64. Kathy Korb says:

    Hi Susan and Joe,
    So sorry for the loss of your dad. So glad you heard the words that you needed and wanted to hear from him. May you find peace as you grieve. I loved your post so much as you showed pictures of your bookstore visits and the people who joined you! so fun! Safe travels to you both and you know, as I have heard, they all lead you home. God Speed!

  65. Linda says:

    Welcome Home (for a short while) Susan & Joe . . .

    Great Blog – Thank you for sharing all your Joys and Tears . . .
    Praying your family and friends have a wonderful time celebrating Dad’s life . . . Happy Trails : )

    Linda C. of So Cal

  66. Lois Rehm says:

    Dear Susan,
    What sadness to learn about your dear father’s death. I join all the Girlfriends in sending my deep sympathy to you, Joe, and your family. Your father reminded me so much of mine who died in 1994–strong, working hands and talent, creativity, and intelligence that weren’t fashioned in a classroom but through dint of their own labors and devotion.

    May God’s love and all the love and affection of your many Girlfriends surround you with comfort. Godspeed as you journey to Colorado to join your family in group grieving and celebration–side by side. We all love you and thank you for your cheer, love, and generosity–a prescription that the country and the world need in great plenty at this time.

    Lois from Westchester, NY

  67. Barbara S. says:

    Dear Susan, You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Hugs from Barbara S.

  68. Laura says:

    Dear Susan,
    I am so sorry to read of your Dads passing. My heart dropped and I wept as I read. You are living proof of his goodness. We DO feel like we knew him too, as you said. I’m happy to read you are celebrating him as a family in Colorado. So beautiful. Sending love love love and prayers for comfort to you and yours.

  69. Susan says:

    Hugs and Prayers to you and your family on the loss of your dad. His special qualities indeed live on in you. Relish the wonderful memories and know that you will be together again when your journey here on earth is done. He will be with you in spirit as you and Joe travel the many roads ahead. Bless you.

  70. Suzanne says:

    Dear Susan,
    I’ve been trying to write this for a day but the words just didn’t want to come. My heart just broke when I read that your Daddy had passed. I know how precious he was to you and you to him. He will never truly be gone as he lives in you and your brothers and sisters and his legacy will be passed to generations. My own dad just turned 92 and my mom is 90 and truly I thank God every day that they are still here with us, but it get’s harder every time I leave them and I always make sure I tell them I love them with hugs and kisses. I just loved all the stories you told about your dad, he was such a family man, full of life and generous with his time and skills and I thought it wonderful that even in his later years he learned how to use the ipad! I think it is so wonderful too that you are all getting together to celebrate his life and I think that is what he would have wanted. My sincere sympathy to you my dear Susan and your family for your loss, but I would like to celebrate his life with you too….I always loved this saying, and wanted to share some of it with you…. He is a thousand winds that blow, and the diamond glints on fallen snow, the sunlight on ripened grain, and he is the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the mornings hush, he is the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight and the soft stars that shine at night. He will always be with you Sue. ~ East Longmeadow, MA

  71. Jeanette in Illinois says:

    Oh, Susan!!!!
    I am so, so sorry for the loss of your precious Dad. I lost my Dad 1 1/2 years ago, he lived with us for three amazing years and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss him – I believe we always will…

    I knew something was amiss when you hadn’t mentioned him or a visit to him as you would on a trip across the country and out west. I gasped when I read the end of your blog post – as I know all to well how hard it is, for I too as SO close to my Dad.

    I fervently believe the breadth of our grief equals the breadth of the love and although that can be so hard, it’s really a blessing to have such a capacity for love.

    You honor him each day as he lives through you – for the many, many impacts he has made – for the unabashed love, support and pride he had for you and you for him. What a gift!

    I’m sending oodles of love and the absolutely squishiest hugs. More prayers come your way as you make your journey to honor the man, your Dad who etched so much good into your heart and life.

  72. Shellie L. says:

    Your Dad and you shared a father/daughter bond that a lot of people are never privileged to experience. What a wonderful example of a father he was. Truly.

    I wish I had the words to say to bring about comfort but will simply say what you already know, cherish your memories and hold to those endless moments of joy that the two of you shared together.


  73. Troy Louise says:

    Welcome home Susan & Joe! What a beautiful blog post. I enjoyed every word of your long journey. My heart broke to hear about your Dad. I loved reading about him through the years. My own father passed 2 years ago at the age of 92, and I too was lucky to have him so long. Let your memories sustain you and your family, and I know he will be with you in Colorado. Travel safely. Much love & many hugs.

  74. Suzanne Kuhns says:

    Just had a chance to catch up on all your doings and read about your Dad. Please accept my heart felt sympathy. I lost my Dad 15 years ago and I think of him every day. Keep you treasured memories close, be prepared for little things that will bring tears to your eyes, and remember he’s watching you and sending his love. Sending warm thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  75. Beth Keser says:

    Susan -I hope you know how much joy you bring into so many peoples lives everyday and know that you are in all of our thoughts. Enjoy your family time and have a safe trip XOXO Beth

  76. Jennifer in Camarillo, CA says:

    Dearest Susan,
    I loved this post and all the photos! What a great trip! I am so sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing. I liked him so much…I feel like I knew him. I know how much you loved your Dad. I am praying for you that the days are getting easier. I know you will miss him. May God bless you and keep you. Your Dad is not far away and you will see him again someday. With love 🙂

  77. Audrianne Hill says:

    So worth the wait. Thank you for attempting (and a very good one at that!) to share every minute of your adventure with us.

    I recently purchased a copy of To My Daughter…with Love to give to my niece to write memories for her daughter but I don’t think it is going to work unless you can help me see how. Ella is adopted and many of the questions/memories are around the moment of conception through birth of which my daughter didn’t experience. I couldn’t think of ways to reword the prompts either; I tried. Have you ever considered writing such a book for adoptive daughters? Just a thought.

  78. Charissa says:


    Normally I try to comment on anyone that mentions an illness or death or just something sad and seems like they could use a little bit of support. I can’t do it this time because there are so many. I just wanted to say to all that commented what wonderful people you are to share your grief with Susan, to take time to cheer and support her and to give tips, poems, and quotes. Even though I have never met any of you, I feel like we are such a community and I am overwhelmed by the the love and support shared here. You are all a bunch of beautiful people on the insides and my heart is sent soaring by your generosity of spirit. I know this is because Susan herself is so wonderful and like draws like. I just wanted to send you all a big hug to comfort you in your grief and to tell you how wonderful and inspiring you all are. I have not lost my parents yet, but I know when I do I will use what I have learned here.
    Thank you.

  79. Erica C says:

    Dear Susan,
    Welcome home from your big adventure! I was very sorry to read of your father’s passing. Thank you for being there for all of us while you were quietly coping with one of life’s greatest challenges.
    My grandmother passed in May, beautiful at 93. I read many quotes in preparation for her memorial, and one of my favorites is from Mother Teresa:
    “I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, He will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ Rather He will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?'”
    You reflect the love your father put into your life. What a wonderful tribute you are to him.
    Wishing you the best.

  80. Nancy B. says:

    Darling Susan,

    Many hugs to you dear one and to Joe and your family. I am sorry to know that Blog Daddy passed. Love never stops and feeling Love never stops. Just like you are loving your daddy, he is loving you. All that love will always be felt. He is with the same Father as you are here, still one together. How brave you have been, sharing so much love, kindness, joy, strength, and love to all who were blessed to meet you on your book signing journey from coast to coast. How very unselfish of you. What a blessing you have spread across the USA! All that good is supporting your dad on his new journey. He would want you to express all the good you have been and you surely want the same for him. How proud he must have been, and is, of you. He is never further than a thought away. You are lucky to have family to share and remember with. My husband is the only family I have. I think of my parents and loved ones all the time and miss them so much.

    With love and many hugs,


  81. Katy/Oklahoma says:

    Welcome home, I just returned from 2 weeks in England. I spent time in London, and then the gardens and castles of Kent and Sussex. Sissinghurst was wonderful. The roses were spectacular. Wisley gardens were also a favorite. I felt like I had you with me. I am sorry for your loss. My dad has been gone for 10 years now, but I was blessed to have him till he was 88. Celebrate a great life in Colorado and then enjoy your trip. You will love Scotland!❤️

  82. Freda says:

    Sweet Susan I was so happy to see your blog, we missed you.but I knew when I listened to the musica you put up, that something very sad had happened to you. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear father. I know all the girlfriends are holding you in their thoughts and prayers, so I hope in some way that will lift you up. God be with you and your family.

  83. Priscilla from SoCa living in SD says:

    Dear Sue, so sorry to hear that your dad passed away in May. It is a shock as we all feel like we knew him too. I hope you take comfort with all your lovely memories of him. He was a special man and I’m glad I got to know him through his comments on your blog. Have a wonderful family celebration of his life.
    With love,

  84. Gwyn Whelband says:

    Oh Susan, I’m so sorry to read of your dad’s passing, it must have been so bitter sweet to learn of this as you travelled, many, many hugs… need a teddy, I hope you have one….besides Joe, of course.
    This morning it snowed in my city of Canberra, Australia, so exciting, it happens about every 10 years or so…wide awake at 5.30 am! Wish it could happen more often but it’s infrequency makes it all the more special.
    We returned a few weeks ago from our once in a lifetime trip to Britain, inspired in part by your wonderful book – Sissinghurst is every bit as lovely as you said. Magical!
    I pray a thousand blessings upon you and Joe, thank you so much for the joy you bring.

  85. Elaine Depo says:

    Dearest Susan, it’s abundantly clear how much you are loved, adored by all the girlfriends and guyfriends ~ the photographs say it all. Faces smiling, beaming, hands clasped to hearts and faces, eyes sparkling in happiness to meet you, to be near the one who brings so much joy to so many. I wish I could have met you too ~ perhaps next time around. My heart and voice joins all the others in wishing you a safe trip Tuesday, please know I’m sorry for your great loss, it’s so very difficult to lose not only a great Father, but a kindred spirit. God be with you, and Joe, too.

  86. Kristin E., Burlington, WA says:

    Dear Susan,

    So sorry to hear about your sweet Pop. I just loved all the great tales you shared that involved him and he was such a great supporter of his little girl Sue. I missed you these past weeks but couldn’t help thinking some kind of sadness was involved. Now I know. Sending hugs and again, thanks for sharing so much of your life with us and making our worlds brighter and more joyful, even if our joy has a few tears in it tonight. Safe journey for you and your family as you gather to celebrate that pork chop dinner that started it all.

  87. Suzette Shoulders says:

    Dearest Susan, Happy to read the tale of the rest of your fun road trip, but then sad to read of your father’s passing! I lost my dear daddy in 1991, and there hasn’t been a day I haven’t thought of him, before or after he died. He was a wonderful person, like your dad, and although the passage of time makes it easier to think of memories and times spent together without crying, the missing is always there. Because we humans love, and yet part of life is losing the loved ones, the paradox of our human existence. I send you girlfriend hugs, and much love. The joy you share is so important to so many, I am sure your dad knew what an honor it was to have sweet and talented YOU for a daughter! hugs, Suzette

  88. Oh my goodness Susan. I am so, so very sorry to hear the sad new about your dad. Blog Daddy will be missed by all of us. And I will miss his fun words here on your blog so much. Please know that you are JUST LIKE him, Susan. Your love for life and beauty is contagious and has touched us all in so many ways. . . . just like your dad. Sending big hugs your way across the miles. !!!!HUGS!!!!!

  89. Vida Howard says:

    God bless and Love you through your heartache.
    Life is BtrSwt always. We gain and we lose.
    Thank you for sharing your talent and life with all of us. It makes us better people to know you.

  90. Regina Carretta says:

    Susan – I am midway through “Isle of Dreams”, at your first Christmas in your cottage…..your writing takes me there, every moment, smelling what you are cooking for comfort, descriptions of the wind and the snow, the kitties, Myron and Ellie…..I can barely put the book down to walk my dog!! I don’t know yet if the cottage is still there? Is it still yours? (Don’t tell me, I am sure when I continue reading, it will all become clear)…. so just a note that your writing skills truly transport the reader, and we are there with you….and we have all experienced some part of your life that you are writing about so we are right in it all with you!! Isn’t it such a symbol of incredible strength on your part that you explored and jumped into a new life? Look where your Isle of Dreams led you….you should be so proud…

  91. monique says:

    I am sorry for your loss:( Never easy to lose a parent..
    I envied all my friends who had their parents much longer than I did..some still have them..
    I would have loved them to know our daughters..
    think of my mom at least once a day:)♥

    Have to say..look how loved you are everywhere you go:)

    So many thoughts with you..

  92. Christy Etter says:

    There is nothing I can say that the Girlfriends haven’t already said so beautifully and sincerely.

    Somehow I feel so selfish having been a small part of the reason that you had to mourn for your sweet daddy on the road. My heart goes out to you and your family. I hope the reunion is cathartic for you all.

    Once again, safe travels. I know you’ll be glad to get home and stay for a while.

    All my best,

    Christy in SoTex

  93. Anne says:

    Dear Susan, I bet it feels especially good to get home. You were away for a long time. Thank you for all you do to make this world a better place. I love your art work and enjoy it in so many ways; from the calendar that hangs on the wall to the paper my “to do” list is written on, and the cookbooks that are always at hand . I was so sorry to hear about your Dad; I feel I owe him a big thank you for without him, we would not have you. Safe travels to Colorado.

  94. Elly says:

    Dear Susan!
    I am so sorry for your loss! You worked hard at keeping the hurt to yourself while touring, so as to not put a damper on meeting with your “girlfriends”! I am glad to know you now have time to share the loss and memories of your dear Dad, with your siblings.
    It was 30 years ago June 1, my father died while on vacation in Austria, and there’s not a single day goes by I don’t think of him! It’s truly special when we have received such love from a parent we hold onto them in our memory. Take time to grieve, it is good for the soul!
    Love and (((hugs)))

  95. Bebe says:

    Dear Susan: Even with your sad news of your father’s passing, your blog post(s) are always interesting, lighthearted and comforting to me. No matter what, you sharing your life with us “out here” has always been a bright spot in my day and in my heart.
    I mourn with you and celebrate with you in my heart today. I thank God you are in the world and have given so much happiness to so many. You are truly blessed and gifted. XXOO, BB

  96. Linda Ishmael says:

    So sorry to hear of your father’s passing. I lost my father 40 years ago, when I was 19 and it’s still painful. So my thoughts and prayers will be with you in the days, months and years ahead!!! Take care and enjoy this very special family time.

  97. Elizabeth says:

    I was going to ask more about the cute necklace and then I got to the end and read the sad news! Somehow a necklace no longer seems very important. You were/are so fortunate to have had such a wonderful relationship with your father.
    I was lucky enough to see and hear you in Salt Lake at The King’s English. Now that I know the story behind all of your quotes I think I would like a book of quotes. Do you have any recommendations?
    The last time we went to England I missed some of things I really wanted to see (we were traveling with another couple whose interests weren’t similar to our’s in some areas). My sweet husband said we could go back to see those things and more! We’ll be there in September, too. I’ll keep my eyes shining is case we cross paths.
    Have a wonderful time with your family in Durango!

  98. Janice Kirk says:

    Susan dear,
    So many sweet sentiments written here for you in your time of sorrow. It was good for me to read them also, as your father would have done, what a lesson in kindness. You will, my lovely friend, continue to have your Creator, our Father in Heaven, to seek as time travels on.
    With sympathy and love for you and your beautiful family.
    “When an old man dies it’s like a library burns to the ground.” -African proverb

  99. christine says:

    Oh. Sad. So very sorry for your loss: your safety net, your anchor in the world. Your place in the world has shifted. It is a blessing for you to be the oldest with young parents. You’ve been together in life a long time, though never long enough. And now, the long living without. What can we do but look around us at the beautiful faces of those we love so very dearly and hold and keep them close to us both physically and in our hearts. And be grateful.

  100. Lori March says:

    Dear Susan and Joe,
    Hello from Loveland, Colorado. So enjoyed your visit to Denver when I was able to bring my best friend forever to your event. We had no idea you were suffering the loss of someone so dear. I lost my dad in Jan of 2014 and I still think of him every day. Something I see…something I know he would say in response to whatever is happening…the colorful and humorous commentary he would have had on the present day events and race for the presidency….he’s always on my mind. I pray that the Colorado sky and beautiful scenery here will comfort your broken hearts and that you will continue to see your daddy, as I do, every single day. Love, Lori

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