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. Cat Wheeler says:

    Dearest Susan: So sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. Having read all your books, I could see how close you were to him. I, too, lost my Dad (in 1989) and he still is with me every day as is my Mom. Dad was a true renaissance man and my sons, my friends and I often quote his wise words of wisdom. One of our favorites: “If you’re born round, you won’t die square”! Yikes!

    Remember we grieve, because we loved. Enjoy your many precious memories of him. Love and Hugs – a longtime fan – Cat Wheeler

  2. Sharon C. says:

    Dear Susan, I finished “The Fairy Tale Girl” and started “Isle of Dreams” last week while on vacation in Vermont. Having been a fan of yours since 1985 when I purchased “Heart of the Home” for myself as a treat, I enjoyed reading your life’s story and filling in some of the blanks that I have wondered about! I am so sorry for your loss of your Dad, and will be keeping him, you, and your family in my prayers! Thinking of you with love, Sharon

  3. Chris in FLorida says:

    Dear Susan,

    Oh! This blog post! Thank you for taking us along with you to meet the wonderful women who celebrate family and friends in this country. For you, a big hug. Since I lost my father in 1953 at a very early age for both him and me, I celebrate all the gals who treasure their dads. Your Dad had such love for you that it will always be with you.

    Hugs and pats to the kittys…..
    Thank you for being our friend,

  4. Barbara says:

    Thank you for continuing your tour through such pain. I understand you not mentioning your loss to us.
    Know that you are cherished.
    Barbara (from Skaneateles)

  5. Susan Modak says:

    keeping you and your family in my thoughts, Susan

  6. sjh says:

    Dear Susan–I have not commented before but the news about your Dad has me
    writing; I am so sorry. Losing parents is one of the hardest mountains to climb in
    life. My father died 48 years ago but not a day goes by that he isn’t remembered
    with love. I read something once that has stayed with me (probably not word for
    word)–Grief is a journey from mourning what we have lost to gratitude for what
    we had. Take care. Heal. Celebrate a long, well-lived life. sjh

  7. Oh Susan – I am so sorry to read about your sweet Dad. He took such pleasure in your success, I know. And what an encourager he was to you. Thank you for sharing the news, and know that you and your family are in my prayers.

  8. Dear Susan, I’m so very sorry for your loss. Your Dad’s comments on your blog always made me (and I’m sure hundreds of others) smile, every time I saw them. Though I wasn’t privileged to know him in real life, just from the loving, supportive (and often funny!) blog comments he would leave you, I feel sure you made him proud, especially in carrying on with the book tour, in the finest “the show must go on,” tradition. How he must have smiled in heaven to see you made the New York Times best seller list! Thanks to your writings, his memory will live on with many outside his own circle of friends and family. That’s a kind of immortality of its own, I think…
    I started reading this way too late last night and finished it today, but you were on my mind through the night. Strange how this web connects us all…even though I only know you through the internet (I had to miss your visit to Vroman’s again, dang it!), you showed up in my dreams (or to be more exact, I showed up at your place in my dreams) and we worked on painting. It actually was one of the nicest dreams I’ve had in a long time. Thanks for the dream hospitality, lol. Don’t worry I won’t show up in a weird stalker scenario – just wanted to share that with you, lest you ever have any doubts about doing what you do, well, that is how much you touch the lives of so many with your art, books, blog and Willards. Some of us even dream about meeting you!
    Sending you many virtual hugs and best wishes for your journeys. Blessings to you and your family as you gather together and journey on. <3

  9. Robyn Brown says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. I know someday you will be reunited with him. Blessings keep you until then (big hugs and kisses mwah!)

  10. salve says:

    You and Joe made us all so happy with this blog, almost with tears in my eyes, and now I will pray a novena for your lovely Dad, who I’m sure is happy watching you! Take care, salve

  11. Mary Jane Gruber says:

    Dear Susan, Felt I had to send you a note to express my deep sympathy in the loss of your beloved father. Didn’t feel this was the place to add anymore comments other than to say that I am just so impressed that you were able to pull off that cross country trip and all of those appearances while carrying such a burden. I hope you are REALLY proud of yourself. (You should be).
    Hope you find peace soon. (And I know you will).

  12. barbara lassiter says:

    Oh Susan, I’m so sorry to hear of your Dad’s death. My dad died in 2013 at the age of 100, and we have reached the point where finally, we can talk about him and remember the good times and the funny things he said or did. He loved boating and at the age of 70, sold his boat because he was too old, he said. At age 80, he let me know he bought a new boat. But then, he had to sell it because he said his friends (and contemporaries), who would go with him, were all too old to help him get it in the water. We love the stories such as this that help keep him with us. The day will come when it’s not too painful for you to do the same.
    God bless you and give you peace.
    PS: I loved your stories from your travels across this great country. There are some naysayers who will say we aren’t great anymore, but that’s not true as your travels across country show!

  13. Karen V from CT says:

    Dear Susan,
    I was so sorry to hear your heartbreaking news, please know that I’m thinking of you and sending hugs. Thanks for sharing the story of your Dad and his life with us through your books and this blog. I always enjoyed reading his witty posts and loved his sense of humor (I tell his Paddy o’ Furniture joke every year 🙂 Safe travels to Colorado, my sincere sympathy to you and your family.

  14. Diane V. says:

    Dear Susan, I was so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear father. Hold on to your memories and talk about him often. I lost my own father 26 years ago, when he was 63. I thought it would be hard to speak about him, but I actually found it freeing. Go to your family reunion and enjoy the stories you all can tell about him….laugh or cry, just remember he is always with you.

  15. Danielle says:

    Susan, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your Dad. I’ve followed you for years and I feel like I know him so well. My heart broke a little and I shed some tears as I read your post. My prayers are with you and your family ♥♥♥ Your guardian angels will get you through this…. : )

  16. Jill Cristao says:

    Susan – I’m so sorry for your loss. Such love you have known and in turn give so give so graciously to others. The example of a loving relationship between you and your dad was another gift you gave to all of us who have read your books. Praying God comforts you as only He can. You are loved!

  17. Deb, in Southwest Missouri says:

    Beautiful post. (said with a smiling face and happy heart)

    I celebrate your success!

    What a road trip! What joyous lines of happy SB followers! Young, old, and in-between. Lovely faces, genuine smiles, beautiful bookstores, gorgeous garden parties, yummy food pics, beautiful views from the A Fine Romance van.
    And, it must have been surreal to stand in Starbucks and see your name and your book as #3 in the NYT Book Review list – IN PRINT! WOW!! Right there! Right in your hands! Right in front of you and Joe! “Look at that!” It just goes to show you that … hard work, love of work, love, and a happy heart will win … EVERY SINGLE TIME. 🙂

    I also mourn in your loss. I waited two days to post this because I just couldn’t do it. (I cry easily anyway.) Reading about the loss of you Dad was overwhelming. (I’m crying now…) I was filled with pain and sorrow for your loss.

    You open the door to your home and your life, you welcome us in, and we walk right in, sit right down, and make ourselves comfortable, very comfortable. But, with that open door and your great big heart, we feel what you feel. My deepest sympathy to you in the loss of your sweet Dad. Dad’s are special indeed. He will always be in your heart and in your soul. And you just have to look around your home if you want to see him. He’s there. He’s everywhere.
    You’re in my prayers.

    God’s Blessings,
    Deb, in Southwest Missouri

    • sbranch says:

      And now you can see why I open my door. Because look what comes in. Thank you Deb and EVERYONE for these heartening comments. They have SO helped me, you will never know! Hearing of other’s losses, and words of comfort from everyone is helping me choose my path through this, and reminding me of the thing I’ve always known, we are not alone. I imagine others besides me feel the same way. Joe and I are on the train now, we’ll arrive in Durango tonight for 5 days of family reunion which I KNOW, because of my singingly happy family, is going to be a celebration we’ll never forget. Feeling very blessed. ❌⭕️ 💞

  18. viv says:

    Wishing I had words….sending a big hug.

  19. Judy in Oregon says:

    Oh Susan, I got interrupted when I started reading this post and only got back to it today and I just cried for you when I read your sad news. I know exactly how you feel. I suddenly lost my Dad 10 years ago and it was the hardest time of my life. I know there is nothing that I can say that will make it better, but I do know that time will ease the pain. You had such a great relationship with your Dad and he was so proud of you and that is something that will help you get through this time. Enjoy your family reunion as you share memories of your Dad together. Thanks for all the lovely pictures in the post. The two of you and your Dad and of Joe and your Dad are my favorite.

  20. Dolores Tabor says:

    Dear Susan
    I am so very sorry about your Dad. He was always such a part of your story to me. Asking the questions that he needed to ask you. Lifting you when you needed it. Encouragement always. Such a blessing to have someone like your dad who even though you may have been lost or unsure about your path at times he never was. He knew you would find it. I loved the tales about your family and especially your Dad and his comments. He felt so much a part of this amazing adventure you carry us along on. I know he will be missed so very, very much by you and all who knew him and loved him, as will we all out here in your blog world. Thank you so much for sharing such a special man with us all. And I hope that your great sorrow about his passing will be tempered by the great love you had for each other. Please know that my love and thoughts are with you.

  21. Tami Sabbe says:

    Oh Susan!! My heart hurts for you! I am so deeply sorry for your loss!! Prayers for comfort and healing for you & your family and for your sweet, sweet father as he waits for the day to be reunited with the ones he loves best!😿💔💗💖

  22. Cathy Hoff says:

    Glad you both made it home safe and sound and had such a wonderful trip. My hubby and I were so happy to be able to meet you both in Massachusetts. We may be making a trip to Cape Cod in the fall and I would LOVE to take my own little sojourn to see your house (ala you and Beatrix Potter) but I want to make sure it’s okay first. I won’t be weird about it…just want to see the outside and take a picture. Is that okay?

    P.S. We’re the folks who live in Saratoga Springs (home of Lyrical Ballad bookstore) – Tim and Cathy. You met SO many people so I promise not to be offended if you don’t remember us. lol

  23. Linda Metcalf says:

    Wow…what a trip! Amazing. So hard to lose our Daddys….we miss them always…but oh the memories.

  24. Amy from Wisconsin says:

    Dear Susan and Joe-
    I am sending you both much love and comfort. It is beyond brave what you both had to endure while doing the book tour. My regret is that I didn’t make it to Illinois for your book signing.
    Enjoy your family. Nature will help heal. Your guardian angel WILL be there.
    Hugs to you all,

  25. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan, please accept my deepest sympathy in the loss of your father, Blog Daddy. He was so lucky to have you as his daughter. You were so lucky to have him as your dad. Keep the happy memories close inside your heart, and use them on the difficult days ahead. It will get harder before it gets better. (These are words my girlfriend whispered in my ear 30 years ago when my mother passed…….I always remembered them……so few, but so true.) Take care of yourself, and may God Bless you and hold you tight and give you and your family strength for each and every day. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Truly.

  26. Connie says:

    Susan, I feel like I know you and your family and reading about the loss of your dad brought tears to my eyes immediately. You brought him to life so beautifully in your books. Thank you for having the emotional courage to share the things that we all experience but don’t have the talent to communicate so eloquently and honestly. Deepest sympathy to you and your family.

  27. Carol in KS says:

    Praying for you and your family, Susan. Thank you for sharing your life and gifts with all of us, which also brought joy to your dad’s life. God bless you.

  28. Sreekala says:

    Dearest Susan,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my Ma this year in Jan after a long bout with cancer. I was holding her hand as she left this world. I wasn’t able to cry although I wrote about it. Rather I was relieved that she was finally at peace after the ravages the disease had left on her body and mind.

    And today, finally, I have cried. Somehow, your words about your father broke the dam inside me. Somehow the words connected.

    Thank you

  29. Dear Susan, tears for you, tears for all of us, tears for my own father who could somehow not find a way to be loving toward his daughters. He died this past winter and we did have some moments of grace beforehand – a blessing beyond words. Even if we think we don’t need them, I found out that we are never too old for loving words from our parents. I worry for you, that you feel you must carry on no matter what. (One of my sisters says, about each of us: The Brave Little Toaster. You know?) None of us are superhuman. However I also understand that good work is one of the necessary tools to help carry us through dark times. In fact it can be a lifesaver, to have something so positive and strong to hold on to and actively do, instead of the many alternatives. So, please keep on with your wonderful work, at your own pace. You lift so many up, with your kindness and all your gentle reminders about beauty, home, art, and love. I will always be a reader and friend. xxoo Sarah

  30. Roseann says:

    My heart is heavy and full of love for you and Joe and your entire family at this most difficult time. I, like all of your other readers, could not wait to devour your latest post……I was so thrilled to see it appear in my inbox because it is always a guaranteed Zen moment for me. I savored every moment and every detail. When I reached the end, I actually had to stop and reread your sad news because I was in shock. And then I cried. And I can’t stop thinking of you. You are strong, and I so admire you. I will forever cherish your bravery, your deep emotion, and your beautiful love for everyone.

    When my mom died 10 years ago, I knew that I needed to be with my sister, the person who has been with me from the very beginning….and, of course, my dear sweet husband. The pain of our loss was deep, but our togetherness was the beginning of slow heal. I wish for you that same slow heal as well as peace and love and serene moments of your many happy memories. And I will leave you with a verse that was given to me a while ago, which I have saved and refer to often:

    Grieve not nor speak of me with tears,
    But laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you.
    Do not let the thought of me be sad,
    for I am loving you just as I always have.
    You were so good to me! I loved you so….
    ‘Twas heaven here with you.
    Isla Paschel Richardson

  31. sondra fox says:

    Awwwww, dear Susan. I wish I could hug you. You were so close to your dad. What wonderful memories the two of you shared. You will be in my prayers.(Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  32. Elske Olijnsma says:

    Dear Susan!

    I won’t be able to make it to the picknick in Great Britain. However, we will be on vacation in Scotland after September 25! I have no idea about your itinerary, but it would be great fun if I ran into you 🙂 But still, what are the chances?

    I have already bought a new raincoat and waterresistant trousers for the trip!

    Love from your Dutch friend, Elske

    • Elske Olijnsma says:

      Dear Susan, only just now I heard of your dear Dad’s passing. I feel so sorry for you. Hugs to you and I wish you lots of strength.

  33. Barbara in NC says:

    Love to you, Susan, and all of your family. What could be better than a father who loves you unconditionally and is proud of you! So sorry I couldn’t make it to Asheville to hear you but was gratified there was such a wonderful crowd there to greet you! Have a good trip on the train!

  34. Elizabeth Winterbone says:

    Dearest Susan,

    Oh, oh, I’m feeling broken hearted for you! 💔💜 I was there to see you in Kansas City and didn’t have any inkling of your home life heartache. I so glad your daddy was able to share in your success and come along with us Girlfriends on your journey. I hope you will get just a little time to mend your heart before your next big journey. Sending you love and prayers for Deep Peace.


    Elizabeth in Wichita

  35. lynn maust says:

    How sorry I am to hear of your deep loss. Life can change so rapidly, can’t it.

  36. Rosemary says:

    Oh how hard it is to lose our Dad’s…the only one who could fix anything, set a mouse trap for me, tune up my car, fix the washer, fix my kitchen sink…and a multitude of other chores that not one person could do for me again. I miss my Dad and I know you miss yours as well. My heart aches with you…but you are blessed to have such wonderful memories to keep in your heart and take them out and remember him with love and a smile. Sometimes they come when we need them most…when we see their favorite cookie or pie recipe…when we look at a sunset they would have loved and when we feel their love fall all about us when we are sad and weary. Enjoy your family at your reunion and celebration of life. You are loved… Rosemary

  37. Debra V. So Calif says:

    Susan, Good to be home and enjoying some cuddle time with your kitties and Joe. There’s no place like home!Sorry for your loss I know you will miss him. It breaks my heart too.Funny when I saw that photo of his hands, I cried, remembering my Dad’s hands and how I missed him…then I read that your father has passed too. He will be missed. You’re right, he’d want you to share all that love of life he gave to you. Bless you Susan, and your family. This trip to be with your family is very meaningful and will help all of you to heal. Have a safe trip.

  38. Carla says:

    Dearest Susan, I am just now reading this and my eyes and heart filled with tears for you. My Dad is 89 and I have been his sole caretaker for the past 8 mos. He has been in and out of the Hospital the past two weeks and all of a sudden is “looking old”. I know he won’t be around forever and am treasuring my time with him, so I can relate to your feelings a bit. GOD Bless you and your family. I know you treasure your time with your Dad deeply and appreciate how close you were. I have even more respect for you carrying out your duties in such a difficult time. BTW, I was so excited to get to see you again in Massachusetts on your first stop. You are such a blessing to all of us girlfriends!!!!!!

  39. Susie (Rocky Point, NY) says:

    Dear Susan,
    My heart just broke when I read of your dear Dad’s passing, our Blog Daddy. May he rest in eternal peace. Celebrating his life in his favorite place with his most beloved family will bring you all warmth and comfort. My first thought was when he made the bomb shelter years ago. How can that not bring a smile to our faces and a chuckle too? He was a wonderful father to you and he will stay near you always. Losing our loved ones is never easy and we are never ready for the change it brings. Sending you and yours HUGE HUGS and LOVE, today and in all the days to come.

    I wanted to also say how much I enjoyed seeing all the smiling faces of all the girlfriends across these United States of America. How they dressed, hats or not, tea parties, freshly baked with love cookies and scones, books in hand, beyond thrilled to meet you and Joe. The happiness could be felt right through your blog page! I am so proud of all you have accomplished and are now sharing with all of us. How fortunate are we? Blessings abound. xo

  40. susan says:

    My heart goes out to you, Susan, on the loss of your Dad. I know what it feels like. I’m so glad you’re going to Colorado to be with your family – you’ll be surrounded by the people who know you best and love you most. God bless.

  41. Kimberly Plasse says:

    Dear Susan,
    I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. I know absolutely about how precious they are to their daughters. I lost my dad in 2012 on my husband’s birthday. My dad was the hero of my life. I cry about everyday remembering certain things or what he taught me. He was so creative and talented and loved life! I miss him everyday!!! I could tell by all your posts and pictures of your dad how much he meant to you!
    Again so sorry for your loss. Sending lots of hugs and prayers your way!

  42. Jeni Behen says:

    Oh, Susan, I was SO sorry to read of your dad’s passing. I immediately began to cry as I remembered the fun my friends and I had when we came to Unity Temple here in Kansas City to spend such a wonderful evening with you…and here your heart was, breaking. We had no clue the burden you were bearing. We all know how you loved your daddy and it was always lovely to read about him whenever he’d pop up in your blog. He was truly an extraordinary man. And he has an extraordinary daughter. And he knew it and told you so. Wonderful.
    You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  43. Mary-Agnes from Long Island says:

    Dear Susan,

    My heartfelt condolences on the loss of your wonderful father. Thank you for sharing him with us throughout the past few years. You and your family will be in my prayers.


  44. Carrie in Medina says:

    Dear Susan,
    I am so very sorry to read that you have lost your amazing father. While reading your blog, Willard’s, and your latest wonderful trilogy of books, coming across references to your father, I would occasionally think things like: Wow, what would it be like to still have your father in your life at this point; where would I be, what would I be like if I still had that support and influence in my life? My parents divorced when I was eight, and we simply didn’t see much of my father after that. And then, I realized, it’s not about having a father in your life (mine wasn’t such a great guy and I’m probably better off), it’s about your father, a very special father, Mr. John Patrick Stewart, Jr. I would like to thank him for supporting you, influencing you and contributing to who you are. Your work resulting in your books and your blog have provided support, inspiration and motivation to me when I needed it. Thank you Mr. Stewart! I’m sure he is resting in peace, looking back on his life’s work, eight beautiful children, contributors to society, passing along the magic! I wanted to thank you for leaving your home, your kitties, your friends, family and garden, for two months (!), at the best time of the year to come out and meet all of us on your book tour. Only to read that you did it with this heavy burden. Thank you so much! Enjoy your rest, it is now time to take care of you! With deepest sympathy and a heartfelt wish that, as time goes by, cherished memories will bring you inner peace and make your father seem still very close to you.

  45. Pat Johnson says:

    I don’t know if you will be reading this – I have been absent for a while – but even in my time away, you are always in my thoughts and I carry you always in my heart. It is July 15, 2016 and I just read the news about our wonderful, smiling face Blog Daddy. It is very late at night (or really morning) and I was in shock. Blog Daddy always brought a smile to my face when you wrote about him. Most importantly, he was your Dad – an amazing Dad who filled your life with joy and your #1 fan. I send love and hugs and recommend savoring all of the wonderful times you had together. I am so sorry…….Hugs & love to you and your family.

  46. Regina Carretta says:

    Susan – well…I finished “Isle of Dreams” last night….I feel like I knew your friends, your MV family…your kitties, your house….Ellie and Myron…..such a lovely book….now I am ready to dive back into “A Fine Romance”….what happens to your wee cottage? Tune in…..
    thanks again for your superb writing and ability to take us along with you!
    Regina, Seattle

  47. Tana G says:

    Oh Sue. I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. He was such a wonderful father to you and your brothers and sisters. You were so lucky to have him for all these years. I lost my dad when I was 20. That was 47 years ago.
    This was a lovely post and seeing your entire trip across the country and back, was so much fun. Now that I am home for awhile, I am going to order your books. Didn’t want them left on the porch while I was out of town!

  48. Sandee M. in ATX says:

    You are the most incredible person. I am in awe of all you do for so many people in the world. Your Dad understood that about you, and the bond you shared will never be broken. I am certain your darling Joe is there to lift you up, and support you when you need it most.
    I was in Alaska, and missed you at Book People in Austin! My timing is always off, somehow. Hope I will get to see you one day.
    Many blessings to you and your family! Much love always, Sandee

  49. Cynthia says:

    Dear sweet Susan,

    I’m so sorry about your Dad. I know your pain and at the same time your grateful heart to have known and been raised by him. I lost my Daddy 6 years ago and there’s not one day that I don’t miss him! But I also wrap myself in his love and KNOW he is right beside me! I hope that brings you comfort.

    Love and prayers , Cynthia xox

  50. Judy Young says:

    Susan, my heart goes out to you. I have been tearfully reading all the comments that have been posted by your adoring fans. The comments are so poignant and eloquent and have a special meaning to me too as my youngest son was killed in a traffic accident on July 5. He was just 35. I cannot write very much right now, but know that I am with you in spirit!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my dear Judy, I am so very sorry to hear that heartbreaking news. No words because there just aren’t any. God bless you dear, and give you strength. Sending love ….

    • Chris Wells. Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      Dear Judy, my heart breaks for you…I cannot imagine! Love and prayers for strength and comfort. ❤️

      • Judy Young says:

        Thank you to Susan and Chris, for your heartfelt words. It has been a rough couple of weeks. Prayers are helping…..

    • Susan (in VA) says:

      Dear Judy, it’s such a terrible thing to lose a child that words cannot even express it. I know all of the GFs here grieve for you.

  51. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    Dear Susan, How very brave of you to hold back this huge sadness and loss so everyone could enjoy your appearances. My heart goes out to you. I lost my Mom this March, and my Dad 16 years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t think of them. I know they are together again, they had such a great love for each other. Your Dad will be watching over you always. There must have been a quote on your blog that your Dad wrote and it said,”the key to a happy life is to choose happiness!” It touched me so much I wrote it down and have it in my daily journal. I will pray for your dear Dad, and think of him when I read that quote. I will also say a prayer for you.
    Have a safe trip to be with your family.
    Love and hugs to you Susan!! XO

    • sbranch says:

      I love it that my dad touched others. He would love to think that he did. We had our “memorial” last night under the tall pines and the stars, next to the moonlit lake in the mountains he loved so much and it was so very perfect. Thank you Lisa, and to all of you. Your words mean so much.

  52. Siobhan in Santa Monica says:

    Dearest Susan, first I cried because I loved your tale of travel and sweetness across the country…then I cried because you saved your sorrow and kept going during such a shocking loss. I remember your dad and I had a mini-connection because he worked at the GE building here in Santa Monica back in the day…it was so sweet to me, to get to know him a tiny bit. God bless you. I’m so glad you can all be together right now, so healing and rich, a balm. I lost my dad in ’91, and my darling husband in ’05. It’s a strange passage. We hold you close in our hearts. You are our dear girlfriend, and we love you so much. I know Blog-Daddy will be with you all this weekend, and certainly with you and Joe in September. I am so sorry for your loss. (hugs)(hugs) and more (hugs).

  53. Siobhan in Santa Monica says:

    I wanted to share my favorite poem with you, about all this, written by Mary Oliver:

    To live in this world
    you must be able
    to do three things:
    to love what is mortal;
    to hold it
    against your bones knowing
    your own life depends on it;
    and, when the time comes to let it go,
    to let it go.


  54. Becky P says:

    Can you ever know how you have seen me through hard times? Today is one of them! I had been saving reading your blog for a night when we had nothing on our schedule(this is a rare occurrence as we are parents of 6) and tonight was that night. What a powerful gift your words have been to me over the years, especially tonight as it is the one year anniversary of my Dads passing.💔 I’m heavy hearted with you tonight as I remember all the good times with him and know the heartbreak of losing your Dad. Enjoy the mountains! As I posted today on my facebook page, nature has always been my band-aid. If you find your way to Colorado Springs, I would love to hug you and Joe and show you our beautiful city. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU❤️

  55. Heather says:

    Dear Susan,

    I had to sit with the awful news for a while before I could write this. It was like losing a family member. I am so sorry for your loss! What a heavy heart you must have had. I know he is watching over you and one day you’ll be reunited and be able to hold his big strong hand again. How lucky we little girls are to have our big strong daddies. What a blessing you were to each other. I hope you find comfort in your memories. God bless you both!

  56. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    OH! Sweet dear Sue, your father! I am so sorry, I understand your grief and know that it is so numbing to endure and so painful, and you managed to hide it! in your numbness you “let the show go on”. I hope you will get back to the normal things in life, and you have so much – your Joe, your kitties, your girlfriends – your real friends, your pen pals and your “girlfriends”. we all love you! Hoping that next tour you will return to Michigan, I keep looking for a real bookstore! so hard to find – I’m serious! no one buys books it seems. I’m still searching. Wishing you only the BEST. xoxoxo love love love to you!

  57. Kim Carter says:

    Oh My Dear….I am so very sorry for your loss. How proud your Dad must be, to see how you bravely went on thru your book tour in the midst of such heartbreak. And I believe he surely does see. May the wonderful memories and love you shared bring you comfort in the days ahead. On the book side, I have gifted my two best girlfriends your books for the past several birthdays and they have loved loved LOVED them, as I have. I wish I was your neighbor on MI! I visited the island in 1992 and fell in love with everything about it. I hope to return again someday. Blessings to you.

  58. dawn ledoux says:

    Susan, my heart breaks for you as i too lost my mom on July 13th. This is also my husbands birthday. A party had been planned which i insisted we still attend. My mom wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. She will live in my heart and memory forever as your dad will for you. We go on because that’s what life calls for. I pray for you as i do for myself, that the pain becomes not so raw and smiles of them will come before the tears.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s right Dawn, we go on. Better for having known our dearly departed and totally at a loss without them. But we do it, because that’s what we do. I’m learning about it now. I’m so sorry for your loss. XOXOXO

  59. Sydney Ellen from Michigan says:

    I am so very sorry. What a wonderful relationship you have had with your Dad. It has been wonderful to have you share him with us. I am a newer girlfriend, but, have taken the time to read past Willards and your past blog posts-a little here and a little their. When a girl can love her dad the way you have…and to have that love in return—-wow—seems like a glimpse of heaven. So much joy.
    Thinking of you at your reunion, in a wood cabin, by a campfire, under the stars, by the lake, hugging, singing and celebrating life. xo

  60. Laurie Nico's mom says:

    Dearest Susan, I am so sorry for your loss. I feel as if I knew your dad from your writing and as Blog Daddy. I lost my father a few years back. Unfortunately he was not himself near the end, which made it more difficult for those around him. Know that all your girlfriends here are thinking of you. “The heart remembers best what it has loved most.”
    And the Fab Five

  61. chris consentino says:

    dear, dearest Susan….and, Joe, and family. to all of you…..such hugs and prayers as never been had before! it has been many days since I read your words, but haven’t been able to write because of just plain tears. I kind of had had a feeling, but I had hoped I would be wrong. your dad meant sooooo much to soooo many of us. I think he had responded to something I had written “to” him some time ago. and, I had felt….how WONDERFUL… really cares!!!! and, he did. what a wonderful gift of love his life, and his words at the end, have been to all of you. take great peace in knowing how very MUCH he loved you. take great peace in your time with all your family this week. take great peace in each other. you are held so lovingly in soooo many of our hearts. thank you….as I often say….for being you!! be patient with yourselves….the grief will subside for a minute…then, wash over you strongly as the waves of the ocean…..try to stand strong when that comes… are held in our hearts and prayers. remember that. all love to all of you. oxxo

  62. Andrea McVety says:

    Oh my Dearest Susan, I am heavy hearted to hear the news of the loss of your wonderful Dad. It is so hard to say goodbye to those you love. You had the kind of father we all wished we had. Sending prayers of comfort and peace to you and your family.

  63. I am so,so sorry to read about the loss of your darling dad.i know you are hugging all your brothers and sisters and mom and Jeanie.Have a wonder love fest with them. Dads are the greatest and you will think of him everyday. He helped make you the beautiful lady you are today. Meeting you in Monticito with my daughter has been the highlight of my year and I’m going to read Isle if Dreams again so I can laugh and cry at the same time. As one man said, You are better than therapy. I’m having a hard time getting your blog on my email recently, after having it for a long time. I’ll keep trying though. Blessings and comfort to you and Joe.

  64. Terri says:

    Sue, So sorry to hear about Blog Daddy…..I am glad that you shared him with us all these years. You were most blessed. Will keep you in my prayers.

  65. Kathie Ferko says:

    Dearest Susan,
    I was so sorry to hear about the passing of your dear father. He gave you the guidance that you needed to become who you are today. I lost my father when I was 44 yrs….a long time ago…he was my best friend and I still think of him everyday… son was only 9 yrs and that was his best friend too. My eyes filled with tears when I read about your news. We were on vacation in Maine when the blog was written and I did not read it til we returned…..I don’t know how you continued with your tour……I supposed it was the strength you gained from him! Please take care and look forward!

    With that said….right before my vacation, I received your revised Heart of the Home… is lovely….those blueberry corn cakes are calling my name! Everything looks yummy!

    Hope you had a wonderful time at your family reunion….I have lost touch with a lot of my family…the ones who remain…reunions are a wonderful way to catch up on life!

    Stay safe and keep dreaming!

    Kathie from Limerick

  66. Mary D. from PA says:

    Susan, I was lucky enough to have attended the first signing for A Fine Romance at A Bunch of Grapes in MV, then for The Fairy Tale Girl in New Hampshire, and finally, I was there for the book signing at Bookends in NJ.
    I’ve been a fan for so long! Was reading along on this last blog and literally gasped when I read the part about your Dad. I am SO, so sorry. You certainly had a great Dad and the thing is, you will always have him with you, in your heart, memories tucked away, he will be with you forever. You and Joe are in my thoughts and prayers. I really enjoyed reading your stories about him~ from how he helped you with your kitchen shelves, and the kitchen at the beach house, to the dressing table in your teenage bedroom. I think he must have been a great guy. Hugs, Mary

  67. Beth says:

    So wonderful seeing all the places you visited. I’m sad we couldn’t come by and see you when you were in Woodstock, GA! My bestfriend was getting married on that Saturday. I will keep any eye out for the next time you hit the road!

  68. Judy in Ohio says:

    Welcome Home, dearest Susan and Joe! And WOW!! What an account of your absolutely amazing Road Trip!! It was so nice of you to let us know how it all went…And of course your incredible ability to tell your stories just made it
    (especially for us who could not be with you in person) 🙁 so much more real! And even a bit a part of it all!

    I am so sorry that I was just now able to finish reading it all. I started it the day after you wrote it, but was not able to read it all at once…and could not seem to get back here until today.

    And now to read about your dad. I know that nothing will make you feel any better…but I did want to tell you something that I thought may help …if only a tiny little bit.

    My dad (it sounds like) was to me as your dad was to you. He too, was just THE most dynamic and special person in my life…and still is even though he has been gone now 22 years. When he died, there was the most amazingly huge hole in my 42 year old life that I thought would never ever EVER gonaway. I honestly had never had that kind of feeling. Like you, I have always been a very happy, upbeat person…(you know what I mean) but when that happened (he was only 65) and so suddenly…it just seemed the rug was pulled out from under EVERYTHING. I did not think I would ever smile or be happy again. Everything else was still the same. I still had my wonderful husband and family (we don’t have children, but we had our little dog,”Kip”) and my mom and brother and sisters. The reason I am telling you this is that, things did get better…and the hole became smaller…and I could finally breathe again without the so incredibly overwhelming sadness and pain. And though I am sitting here sobbing my eyes out writing this, I can be happy now …and think about my dad (usually) without crying. And it really did not even take as long to kinda “recover” as I thought it might, considering the depths of darkness that I was in at that time. And it was at that time I really realized that we (people in general) don’t really get over the passing of a loved one…but we do get past it.

    If this can possibly help you even just a smidgeon, I will be very happy. You have given us all so much, I hope that this can bring a bit of peace to you, dear dear friend. We will all miss him.

    I hope that you have a fantastic time at your “Family Reunion”…What a great idea!! …It will be a great time to celebrate him!!

    God bless you and your dear family.


  69. Audrey says:

    Dear Susan, my thoughts are with you. I’m so deeply sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. Your words about him in this post brought chillbumps to my arms and warmed my heart. How lucky you both were to have each other! May his memory always be a blessing!

  70. SHARON HERMENS says:

    Hi, Susan. I recently finished all three of your books and afterwards was at a loss as to what to do next. I so look forward to your next journey and book.
    I want to tell you, reading your stories has given me hope for a new day. My sweet husband of 48 years passed away May 22. As I post this, not even two months ago. I’ve had trouble getting off this couch. Even tho our stories are different, the grief is the same. I know this is a process I must go through and I am willing to do that. God is giving me strength to take one day at a time. One of my widowed friends said to give myself a year to grieve. I can do that. Meanwhile, you have encouraged me to get back to my watercoloring. It’s been a long time and I’m ready to get started. Thank you so much for being ‘real’ and laying it all out there. You are genuine and I love you for that. I’m thankful God placed you where you are. If not, you would not have met Joe. Perfect plan!
    I actually have your Autumn cook book. I’ve had it a long time. It at my cottage in the country. Next time I go there I’ll be pouring over it with new found excitement.
    Blessings to you and Joe.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry Sharon…but I love your stand-uppish-ness . . . It’s the right thing, and you know that your husband will never disappear as long as you live. xoxo All my best to you.

  71. Sarah says:

    Susan, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I loved reading about him in your books, and I think all us blog readers will miss him, too! He sounds like such a special man.

    My mom got to meet you in Austin–she and my dad drove down from Dallas, and the book you signed was for ME! Imagine how happy I was to open the package in the mail the next week, and see that you signed a book just for me! Happy dance!! (Also–my dad absolutely RAVED about you and Joe; said you two were so classy and kind and normal and genuine. Anybody who makes that impression on my dad is a shining star!!) xoxo

  72. Pamala B says:

    Hey girlfriend, I know you must be so glad to be in your own home! My husband and I were gone for only 6 days, but lots of windshield time, and we could hardly wait to get home.
    I was so sorry to miss your book signing in Austin, Tx ,but I love reading about your journeys. This , as usual, was just as I were traveling right along in the van with you and Joe.
    I love you and am so sorry to hear about your Dad. July 1was the 1yr anniversary of the death of my Dad. I am so blessed to have been able to be a daddy’s girl!!! YOur memories will get us through as well as our family and friends. God Bless you as you continue your journeys. So proud that I am able to continue with you. Enjoy each Day!!

  73. Carol C says:

    Dear Susan, I was at the signing at Malaprops in Asheville. Had a delightful time with my niece, sister and friends but was thinking the whole time that you and Joe were amazing to keep up the cheerfulness and good humor after so many days of travel and book events. Then to find that you had lost your precious father during that time ! You are remarkable!! I pray that you and your family has a wonderful , blessed time together celebrating him.
    I lost my dad in Feb. He had been a widower for 18 years and was still living at home alone at age 91. My sister and brother and I stayed in FL to see to the house and the three of us had a wonderful time telling Dad stories and being together. Champagne every night, too! Dad would have loved it!

  74. Peggy Cooper from Pueblo, CO says:

    Susan, I read this post over a week ago, but wasn’t sure what I wanted to say, so just didn’t. There are no words. I was afraid Blog Daddy’s passing was the reason you hadn’t posted in so long, and that is certainly understandable. It’s funny that we are known as “the weaker sex” because we are so much stronger in so many ways, and you are a perfect example of that. I was a daddy’s girl too, and still quote from his favorite sayings. “In times like this, remember there have always been times like this.”, and “A short pencil is better than a long memory.” That one comes in very handy, especially as I get older!

    This post was well worth the wait. You probably don’t remember with all your fans, but I couldn’t meet you in Denver because my husband Bob (my Joe 😮 the love of my life)) was in the ICU on life support 6 days and in the hospital 16, but had aortic valve replacement and he is as good as new – or newish I guess I should say if I’m honest. Still going for cardiac rehab 3x a week, but rocking those classes. Your sharing all the pictures of the girlfriends made me feel part of it, and I’m so glad it all went so well and everyone seemed to have a good time. You really are such an inspiration, and also a comfort in these times when there is so much chaos here and abroad. Thank you for all you do, and for just being you.

    Hope you have a wonderful visit with family in Durango. It’s been hotter than blazes here in Pueblo this year, so hope you aren’t melting from the heat down there.

    • sbranch says:

      Wonderful news about your husband! No matter how bad it looks, there is always, always, hope!!! xoxo

  75. Penny says:

    I am so very sad to read about your darling father’s passing. I hardly know what to say. How hard it must have been for you to carry in with your book tour, and be brave and bright and wonderful everywhere you went. I am sure you did it all to make your dad proud, and he would have been so very proud. No matter what age we are, once a daddy’s girl, always a daddy’s girl. Your loss is profound, and will stay with you for ever. My dad died 12 years ago, I miss him every day, I think of him constantly. I look in the mirror and see his eyes. I look at my hands and see his fingers in the shape of my nails and the turn of my thumb. I look at my brother’s face, and see my dad as a young man. My grief has softened over the years, and though I sometimes yearn so painfully to talk to him again, hear his voice, or give him a hug, I am more often able to remember him with a heart overflowing with love, amd am comforted that I can do so. We can’t rush grief, and nor should we, but eventually there comes a sweet sadness that enriches our lives, and makes us kinder and more human for our loss. Thinking of you dear Susan. X

  76. Jackie Cavitt says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your dad, my dear. I lost mine almost five years ago…I have a feeling they are sitting on the front porch in Heaven and my dad is telling your dad how much his girl, Jackie, loves his girl, Sue!! xo

  77. Cynthia says:

    Dear Susan, I am just now, reading your wonderful blog. We were away, celebrating our family…and friends…. and today, I had time to sit down and read all about your trip, and the sad news of your loss.
    Grief is deepest for those you love the most. I can only imagine what you are feeling right now, but I hope that by the time you read this, you will have been to the Colorado mountains (our paths could have crossed there), and have had a grand family hug and some great singing. I bet your Dad was singing along with you. My sincerest condolences….and a few hugs thrown in for good measure.

  78. Sue from Simi says:

    Hi Sue,
    I just finally read this wonderful post and wanted to say how sorry I am for the loss of your Daddy. Just reading your books – all the way back to Heart of the Home – I know how much you loved and admired him. You were lucky to have him for such a long time, but nothing fills the hole left by the loss of a parent. My prayers are with you. You are amazing to make it through all your travels with this on your mind. Take care of you!
    Love, Sue from Simi

  79. Gail Kelly says:

    Dear Susan- I’m so deeply sadden by your loss. I know how much you loved each other. He is now your angel on your shoulder always. I know being with your family, will bring you all such comfort. you’ll be celebrating your father’s life.

    I loved your blog!! I felt I was there, but that’s how wonderfully you write. So happy your book signing tour was a great success.
    You and Joe take good care for yourselves.

    Many blessings, prayers and hugs to you!


  80. Maria says:

    I am just 23 pages in to Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams and I am totally hooked. It’s bittersweet to read references about your Dad. And p. 18 is eerily reminiscent of the times we are living in today. So looking forward to nights on my front porch by candlelight and evenings in my backyard around the new fire pit when I can savor each page. Blessings Susan…💖

  81. Cora Maldonado says:

    Dearest Susan,
    My deepest sympathy on the loss of your dear daddy-

  82. jackie bienemann says:

    Dear Susan,
    I am so sorry to hear about your Dad, it hurts so much I know. You have such wonderful memories that will help you through and many girlfriends and Joe! But still very hard, so glad you had such a wonderful tour and have a safe trip to Colorado! It will be so good for you to be with family and celebrate his wonderful life. Thank you for sharing so much and God bless you and Joe.

  83. Susan (in VA) says:

    Susan, I’ve loved hearing your stories about Blog Daddy over the years, and enjoyed it when he would chime in with a comment here. I had a sympathy cry when I got to the end of your post and read that he was gone. In fact, I had to read it several times because I was so shocked and disbelieving. Truly a larger-than-life man. And his love and pride for you was so evident. Life is never the same after you’ve lost a parent, but it’s a comfort that you have a big family that can share such wonderful memories of him. Not soon, but eventually, you’ll be able to swap those stories without the sting of loss. May God’s love be with you and all your family.

  84. Marilyn S says:

    Dear Susan,
    I want to thank you for sharing your father with us through your blog. I could tell he was proud of you in the way he participated in the blog and related so well to all of the girlfriends. You are an amazing, giving person, and I am sure that some of that came from being raised in such a loving close family. I don’t know how you kept going through your book tour and kept giving to each one of us, never letting on the grief you were going through. What a kind person you are to reach out to us while you were going through such a profound loss. My heart is with you. Having had a wonderful parent means you will have wonderful memories to remember him by to ease your heartache.

  85. julie says:

    So sorry……I like what others mentioned about grief transforming to gratitude. There is definitely hope in that.

  86. Darylene from South Dakota says:

    Dear Susan – I have a statue of a golden angel whose hands holds a tea light candle. I light it when someone I care about might need a little, white healing light to find their way. It is now lit for you and Joe, and for your dad. God Bless.

  87. Oh, Susan, I am so sorry to hear about Blog Daddy, a.k.a., the Original Boyfriend! What sad news. What a lucky man he was to have you as his daughter and how fortunate you were to have him as your dad. The fact that he shared his love for and pride in you so openly is a great thing.

    Take care and know that all of your friends are thinking of you and wishing you the very best.

  88. Sandy Artman says:

    Dear Susan,
    I am so happy to hear that your family is having a reunion on the heels of such a huge loss in your lives. Being with so many people who love you is healing. This must have been true as you traveled the country being a fairy tale girl with a heart filled with joy and sadness. The camera captured only the joy.

    I suspect you grew up to be just like your daddy…that what you loved in him lives in you. It’s true, love never dies.

    Prayers of comfort and blessings, dear one.

  89. Cindy Tuning says:

    Hi Susan. I was trying to time this so you would have plenty of reading for your train ride back home. Hope you saw that incredible moon last night, maybe while going across one of the prairie states which would make it even more beautiful. I had what I called tender mercies while caring for my mom and immediately after she passed last month. My body was aching, so tired that I couldn’t think straight trying to take care of every need and make her comfortable . As I tucked her into bed, she said “I love you”. I’m 61 yrs old and that was the first time she said I love you first. I melted. The other mercy happened the day after she passed. We had been hearing the cries of a kitten that was trapped in the storm drain on our corner. Our neighbors and I ,when I could, tried for 4 days to coax the tiny kitten out. The police stopped, an ambulance stopped to see what was happening,Humane Society, city workers and other animal lovers who just wanted to help stopped by. Finally we lowered another kitten down into the recepticle in a cat carrier. The other kitten after a few hours coaxed the stranded kitten out and we scooped her up with a fishing net. I kept her and named her Jessica {baby Jessica in the well in Texas??}. My sister took in the kitten that coaxed Jessie out as she was a feral kitten on loan from a shelter. Happy ending!! Now if we can get Rosie to tolerate Jessie we’ll be all set. Peace to you and our family. Much love, Cindy xoxo

  90. Diane says:

    Dear Susan, How stunned I was to read your sad news. You have my deepest sympathy. When I lost my mom this quote really said it all. “Nothing on earth can make up for the loss of one who has loved you.” Selma Lagerlof I’m so glad you have a family gathering to look forward to. I’ll be praying for all of you. Much Love, Diane in SC

  91. marty from New York City says:

    Dear Susan and Joe:

    So glad that you had the comfort of family and the reassuring rhythm of the train on your ride out and finally back to home. Yours has been an incredible year long journey, with more to come.
    As I read so many of the words of comfort, condolence and sharing and the smiles and joy that your Dad brought to everyone-he was the Dad we adored or the Dad some really did not have before, I wondered when the time comes to think of what you want to do, perhaps you might consider setting up a place on the blog that would contain some of Jack’s words of wisdom, his projects throughout the lives of you and your siblings, and some of his puns, wisecracks and loving thoughts to you. I know that it might be hard to summarize context from which his words came, but it would mean a lot to those who will always remember that he touched our lives and would like to keep that connection. If you do consider it,please be sure to include a picture of his hands-they have always seemed to say so much.
    Wishing you a safe harbor and a good rest once you reach “Martha’s” . ( my parents spent their honeymoon there). Most fondly, Marty

  92. Jean says:

    Read your blog a while back, thinking I would wait and find the “right” words to say upon learning of your Dad’s passing. I am so sorry.
    To have been blessed with such a mutually suppoertive relationship of such love and pride throughout your life is a given not all daughters experience!
    May Blog Daddy’s memory not only continue to be a blessing, but a bubbly, overflowing well of continued encouragement, Fairy Tale Girl! He loved you so very much!

  93. Deb from Dixie says:

    Dearest Susan,
    I know you are on your way back home after your family reunion to celebrate your wonderful Dad. I hope being with your dear ones, in a spot your Dad would love, helped in healing your heart, if just a bit.

    I tried to write you several times when I first read the blog, but the words I tried to send you were covered with tears, so I wanted to try again today.

    The power of love, is an amazing thing. It is a blessing that brings joy in the happiest of times and comforts us in the saddest of times. It is that Power of Love, that is surrounding you and Joe. I read every message from the girlfriends to you, and I know we girlfriends are linked hand to hand, encircling you, sending messages of caring and comfort.

    I am grateful for the privilege of getting to know your Dad on the blog. I always looked for a post from Jack, to see what witty, funny or informative things he shared. Loved the fact he interacted with us; he touched our hearts. Most of all, his words expressed how very proud of you he was everyday.

    It is a blessing your Dad was able to read the blog, it gave him a glimpse into how many lives you’ve touched. He understood the grateful gathering of kindred souls.
    Thank you for sharing your Dad with us all.

    Be gentle with yourself, you have been so brave, so kind, and touched so many of us, while you were in such pain. Your Guardian Angels are with you, as you journey forward, along new unexplored pathways. One by your side, others watching over you, blessings to be sure.

    Love surrounds you… It is a powerful thing.

  94. Laura says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss Susan. I lost my dad 34 years ago when I was 14. He was my hero. Be gentle with yourself, hug your kitties, hold Joe’s hand, sing with your family and glow in the love you all have for your dad. God bless you.

  95. Lynn says:

    Dear Susan,
    I hope you have the happiest of reunions with your family. Being surrounded by loved ones is the world’s best medicine for the grieving heart. What a blessing to have a “daddy” and not just a father… at one of my lowest points in my adult life, my dad wrapped me up in a hug and said, ” Lay the burden on me, I’ve got broad shoulders.” That’s a “daddy”.
    My sweet friend, Denise, and I missed you when you were in Georgia. We had to attend a school function and being the responsible adults that we are, we sullenly complied. Our hearts were with you, though! We will just have to read your book aloud to each other.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Lynn in Georgia

  96. Susan butler says:

    Dear Susan,
    So very sorry for your loss. You honored your dad by your bravery to continue on your heart sunk a little when I read your words as I have lost my mom four years ago. But I choose to honor her each day and her memory by keeping her spirit in me that I may encourage others as she’s always encouraged me. God bless you ❤️

  97. Judi Davis says:

    Reading this post just now. My life has been a bit crazy too. But had to say so, so sorry for your loss Susan! I don’t know how you managed all those signings, I guess your sweet Dad was holding you up (along with Joe). Bless you and your entire family.

  98. Leigh Witherspoon says:

    Hi Susan, Leigh Witherspoon here – the lady who gave you the necklace!
    First of all, I am so very sorry for the loss of your dad. We are never really ready for the loss of a beloved parent. It sounds as if you loved him so.

    I am on page 264 of Isle of Dreams and I love-love it!! As I was recently waiting for my husband, in a gastro’s waiting area, I was making a bit of a spectacle of myself,while laughing so hard at your description of your “dates”. OMG, the ‘beige fellow’…bet he was hard to pass up! Enjoying it so very much and I am very grateful for your journey and how it has led you – through your words, wit and creativity – to be a blessing to me and countless others.

    Loved meeting you in Memphis. If you ever need a place to stay in the south, I’m your girl.


    P.S. Thanks to you, I have just ordered my first book of quotes!
    P.P.S. If you haven’t read Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear, pictures by Julie Morstad, please do yourself a favor!🤓

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, they were all difficult to “pass up!” Hope dies hard! Thank you for the necklace Leigh … it all went too fast, but that was a very sweet thing for you to do. xoxo

  99. Julie Ratcliffe says:

    Susan, I’m so sorry to hear of your sad news. I too lost my hero, my wonderful dad in May. He passed away on his birthday May 8th (aged 86) and although I miss him every single day, more than I could ever really explain, I try to act like a normal person but I don’t always manage it. It’s really hard isn’t it? And for you to have done this big road trip and been (to all outward appearances) your usual self is a very brave thing!! You are such an inspiration. I’ve just given your latest book to my mum, who of course has lost her soul mate and it has given me such joy to see her reading and enjoying your lovely words and beautiful pictures. She especially loves all the quotes, and has started writing her favourites on slips of paper and popping them in drawers and cupboards where she will find them again.
    I pray that your wonderful memories of your dad will bring you joy, and I will hold you and your family in my prayers.
    Much love Julie (Stoke on Trent UK)

    • sbranch says:

      And the same for you Julie. Please give your mom a hug for me! It’s all the way it’s supposed to be, but it’s hard. Now we have to live and find joy for our dads too! xoxo

  100. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Hello Susan~
    I’ve been away from the blog so long~ I’m sorry to hear about your Dad~ How blessed you were to have him in your life for as long as you did~ but it never is long enough! ~ sending prayers your way and a hug ❤️~ Lynn~

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