In the Good Old Summertime

Another beautiful day in Paradise and lots to share in celebration of the good old Summertime!  And a drawing-winner too! Plus MUSICA

From the land of swaying flowers and fat bumblebees . . .

I bring you the glory of summer . . . starting with ripe tomatoes . . .

This was our first taste, one of our favorite days of every summer, the ripening, the picking, and the eating of the first tomato . . . we shared it, very simple, sourdough toast, mayonnaise, sweet, vine-ripened, still-warm-from-the-garden tomato, salt & pepper … heavenly! Summer joy.

Now this is the part of summer I could really live without. We get humidity sometimes (that’s not rain out there), and it’s so heavy and thick, you actually have to chew it before you can breathe it.

This is how I feel on those days. Hideously inelegant.

So, I turn on the air conditioner, and read in my chair with Jack, my kitty, next to me, while the sun flitters over me, and count my many blessings.

Because soon . . . these summer days will just be a memory . . . even on our walk, the leaves are starting to show the strain of having to hang around for much longer . . . 🍂

So we are intent on getting everything out of these summer days possible. This is my great-niece Maggie who came to visit … she’s nine ~ she would say hello, but she’s busy. We loved enjoying a little bit of summer through her eyes!

And my here’s grand-nephew Wyler… he’s 7 . . .

This is Eliza, who just turned 13 … Look how brave they are… jumping off this bridge is a right of passage in a Vineyard summer.  I don’t think I would do it, but they all did! Their parents too!

There goes Eliza!

Family came to visit! From New Hampshire, my niece Jess, her husband Cory, and their two girls …  and from Durango, Colorado, my nephew Ben, and his wife Paige, and their two boys.💞

And so it was . . . we did all the Vineyard things . . . like clamming … this is Paige, married to my nephew Ben, with their youngest son, Beckett, who’s four ~ he’s got clams!

This is Ben, Ben is Paige’s husband, my nephew, and Jess’s brother …😘

Ben and Jess are the children of my brother, Jim. This picture of Jim and Ben has hung on my wall for years, I LOVE it. Colorado, with snow on the high mountains and wild flowers under their feet, and two good boys. Have I confused you enough name-wise? Well, there will not be a test, ignore everything . . .

That’s Jim, next to me (with rollers in my hair) … back row on right… closest to me in age, he was my partner in crime crowing up … 💖

So, it was wonderful to have his children here . . . this is Jessica, Jim’s daughter, Ben’s sister, my niece, and the mother of these two . . . .❤️

. . .Eliza and Maggie, who’s father, Cory, you’ll meet in a moment.

There he is, in the back row, in pink with the hat on! Here they all are. Lovely people! So much fun!

They brought home lots of clams and Uncle Joe showed the boys how to shuck them. Fascinating!

Then Joe taught them how to make stuffed clams (kind of lost the boys here, but definitely not the rest of us!).

I showed them how to make my Dad’s famous garlic bread (their great-grandfather, hard to believe!). Almost ready for the broiler! (P.66 the new Heart of the Home!)

Of course we had the Island food of choice . . .

Bowls full of steaming lobsters . . . Paige demonstrates, while her son,

Brave Beckett, touches lobster (of course, already cooked).

And me and Jess, we’re just happy!

We ate outside every night. Paper plates, candles, and twinkle lights! Corn on the cob rolled in the butter stick, watermelon chunks, hot bread, crispy potato pancakes, fresh swordfish and juicy pink steak. We had it all!

If you’re happy and you know it, say “Rawr,” and show us your watermelon!

My backyard never looks like this. Ever ever.

But I liked it. They told me this was a “rocket ship to the moon!” Looks pretty good! Excellent imagination and creativity! They got an A!

Inside was a human sacrifice. Somebody had to do it. We’re talking science here, the furtherment of mankind. Three cheers for Beckett!

And here? The proud sisters of Mission Control, Eliza and Maggie.

The first morning, while everyone was still asleep, I peeked out my upstairs bedroom window like I always do to see what the weather is like, and was shocked! Where was I? What’s all that stuff on the lawn? Blink-blink. This can’t be my house!

I went downstairs to find the victim taking his revenge on the girls of Mission Control …

Off we go on an Island tour in the Fine Romance Van! Turn up the MUSICA! Because

We drove all over, had lunch with a fabulous view at the Aquinnah Shop above the Gay Head Cliffs. (That man over there, standing, wearing the hat, really liked us!)

And I can see why . . . Ahhh, family!

Here comes the french fry thief …

This is where we were eating. Very good view from the roof for the french fry thieves. See the three jars down there,  on the left on the railing?

Sun tea. My kind of restaurant.

Here we are in Menemsha (where Jaws was filmed) … walking the jetty, looking at the boats …

Joe got us a plate of ice-cold oysters to share . . . (Jess and Cory again, who run five miles a day or so, even in the humidity!).

Delicious! Icy, shivery, like liquid silver! (If you’ve never had them, don’t worry, they taste MUCH better than they look!)

Here we are, Paige, Joe, Cory, Ben, Beckett, and me … al fresco eating at it’s very best!

While Maggie and Eliza looked for buried treasure . . .

. . .and found it, tiny little shells and beach glass, the best sort of Island souvenirs. (Love the color on Eliza’s nails!)

One day we were looking for these two…found them leaning against the washer and dryer in the pantry. Why? We don’t know . . . Wyler’s T-shirt says “Shark Proof.”

Little pile of sweetness ~ Cousins! Maggie, on the right, is going to be a writer. She was telling me about the Warrior book series she’s been reading (by Erin Hunter) … all the characters are kitties in clans (such as Riverclan or Thunderclan), with names like Tigerstar and Squirrelflight.  She was SO excited and animated telling me about these stories, now I want to read them!

We so enjoyed every moment with them . . . and then as quickly as they came, it was over, poof! and off they went …  but the memories, along with summer, stayed …

So we went looking for some more

Freshest air in the world, salty, windy, lovely sound of the waves . . .

We went to visit Joe’s niece Jennifer and her husband Mark … they live in New York, but they’ve rented this “camp” by the water every summer for years. We had gazpacho (con tomatoes!), salad, and quiche! When I see Jen, I think of this quote . . . ❤️

You get to their house by a very (very!) long dirt road through the woods and scrub oak . . .

The house is unfinished inside, has no insulation, it’s the opposite of fancy, but really comfortable, perfect for reading and dreaming . . .  this is the view from the kitchen window . . . there’s nothing out there but the wind . . . I could barely keep my eyes open!

It was a perfect day for a walk on South Beach ~ that’s Mark and me and Jen, Joe has the camera.

Looking back from the beach to the house …

Can you picture yourself here? Deep breath of ocean air, feeling drowsy? . . . ommmm . . . .

Sometimes people ask me what to do when they come to Martha’s Vineyard, and honestly, this is more or less it. You listen to the screen door slam. It’s the opposite of what to do, it’s more like how to be!

And so, you know Girlfriends, it’s time . . . you have been so patient . . . but Vanna has arrived in all her glory . . . and it’s time to give away the luv-lee journal of Beatrix Potter.

And my story of finding her in the English Countryside, at the end of a very long path I began to walk when I was around 22.

Don’t forget, you lucky winner, about the secret that’s hiding in the back of the Beatrix book!  SO, who shall it be darling Vanna? I want you to know, Vanna’s toenails are polished gold, they’re shiny, like earrings, and she is now perched, toes curled and clutching the edge, on top of my art table. Now she’s up, graceful as a swan, and over, and INTO the vat she dives, with all your names, swirling down and down and down . . . scissor-kicking her way to the bottom, a whirlwind of papers, flying around and through the air now . . . and . . . here . . . she . . . comes . . . clutching one fluttery piece of paper, and now, handing it to me . . . the winner of our luv-lee little giveaway, chosen especially by Vanna from over 2,000 entries from all of you darling kindred spirits, is YOU, dear KERRIE FOLEY, (but only if you promise not to DIE if you win, like you said you would do in your comment!). Because you just did win!

CONGRATULATIONS, KERRIE! I’ll email you; you can reply with your address ~ I’ll sign both of your books and pop them into the mail for you.💞

AND, now it’s almost time for me to go write a new WILLARD, because by the time I’ve written it, and you receive it,  it will almost be September, we will be feeling it (eeek with joy), and I have new news to share.  Make sure you and the ones you love are signed up for this little bit of “All Good News” celebrating the change of season, that starts off a little like this (in case you’ve never seen it):And, oh my goodness! Just as I was about to sign off . . . UPS pulled up outside my window, be still my beating heart … I grabbed my camera . . .

. . .  and ran to the kitchen door, because I feel like I’ve been waiting forever, and now, Hooray! It’s my turn! So many of you have been writing on Twitter and Facebook to tell me you got your cups! And I’ve been whining and moaning because mine hadn’t come yet!!! But just as I was finishing this post, here they are! (Yes, three boxes, I told you I was doing my Christmas shopping!)  Sorry, I was too excited to hold the camera still . . . and then I took a big time-out for the grand opening of the cups …

Ta-daaa! First box I opened turned out to be the Bluebird of Happiness. How appropriate! I love it! 

(‘Course the moment I grabbed the camera and began to run to the door, my shadow was right behind me!) What is it, what is it? A cup? Are you kidding? All this for a cup? 🙀

And then, more appropriate timing . . . the next one out was the Martha’s Vineyard cup!  Then the Santa cup, and then the darling new smaller size, Autumn. Which means, I am SET! 💙What a nice note to end on! Blessings to you all…. I hope you are loving these last lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer, these ARE the good old days!  Thank you for all your sweet comments, Girlfriends. More fun for us to come soon. And now . . . I’m going to make a cup of tea! XOXOX

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1,097 Responses to In the Good Old Summertime

  1. Gail Johnson says:

    Thank you for sharing your life with us all. I always feel inspired by your artwork, decor, recipes, travels etc. your generosity of spirit is lovely. Seeing Willard pop in to my in box is like getting a box of banana saltwater taffy at the county fair- just yummy!

  2. Francie says:

    I used your Cream Cheese and Pesto Mold at my son’s high school graduation party, It was a HIT!!! He is coming from NYC in September for his 20th year reunion! Your Lemon Noodles are my “go to” dish when I just need comfort food! I make your French Onion Soup all Fall and Winter! I have given your Girlfriends Book to my special girlfriends since it came out! There is a new friend who is going to receive it this year! And your Summer Book! Oh, this former California girl loves that book with all her heart! Thank You, Susan! And, BTW, I Loved the Martha’s Vineyard Book! The England book got lost by UPS and I was moving and I forgot to deal with it. But I just ordered it again.

  3. Dominique Caron says:

    Love your blog, love Willard, love your drawings, love your island (even if I haven’t been there), love England, love tea, love your home, love your way of life. You are inspiring.
    Thank you.

  4. Kathie Gates says:

    Oh, how I love to read your blog, look at you sales and just enjoy my day with you. When I am gone my children will have so many old calendars (created by you, of course) to clear out they won’t know what to do or to think for that matter. You artwork and writings inspire me to do better things. Thank you for sharing your talents.

  5. Susan Miller says:

    Gratitude can be the fuel that warms special memories from our past. So glad that you are offering a book that can help us focus on being grateful in all things! Thank you, Susan!

  6. Maxine Schartner says:

    I love your books, art and well written words!! Each year I order calendars—some to sell and always at least one for me. I live in the far North, but still I wish your trips included a stop here. It is my dream to visit England sometime…..

  7. Sarah L. says:

    Loving your blog and enjoying your slice of life with Joe and Jack the cat. I just finished making pear butter (a cousin to apple butter!) as we have two pear trees in our backyard.
    Getting ready for autumn and the change of colors. Here in Iowa the harvest will start soon. Can’t wait for apple cider and pumpkin anything!

  8. Sally welke says:

    You have a beautiful outlook on life.Thanks for sharing.

  9. M. Jedski says:

    Fun blog! Always look forward to Fall and some of our autumn recipes!

  10. Nancy Werbeck says:

    I live in Central New York and enjoy all four seasons. Thank you for all your lovely posts.

  11. Gail Graham says:

    Susan, I’ve been a fan of yours ever since I bought my copy of “Heart of the Home” when it came out several years ago. I’ve enjoyed your books, posts, Willard and just love all of your quotes! You make my world even better!

  12. Ellen says:

    Fall is magical to me too! Looking forward to it and hope you’ll pick me as the lucky winner!

  13. Sarah says:

    Just finished Isle of Dreams and I loved it! Your story is magical and I’m glad I stumbled across your books in my library.

  14. Sandra Dacus says:

    I was so excited when my husband said I had an email from Susan Branch! I rushed into the office and enjoyed every word, every photo and every drawing! I’m excited about your new little vases. I already want the one with the C.S.Lewis quote. And I’m so hoping you will write a book on Ireland so I can get one for myself and my best friend in Oregon.

  15. Amy Miner says:

    I love to read your blogs and Willard. They are so relaxing and inspiring. I ❤️ Jack 🐱!!

  16. Kathy Carsey says:

    Love getting my Willard! It’s like catching up with a “old” girlfriend! Thank you xxx

  17. pat trout says:

    Blog? No, your entries are love letters, full of family, friends, food, faith and fun. I am 68 and except for 1 daughter, my family is gone. Readers everywhere cherish every memory, photo, treasure you stumble upon that belonged to someone who discarded it thinking it a waste of space. Love, listen, laugh and live in harmony while you can. Life is precious and you will not pass this way again my friends.

  18. EmJay says:

    Thank you for your lovely blog – it always makes me smile… ☺️

  19. Liz Grundvig says:

    Susan, You are the funnest! You’ve been inspiring me since I bought your Christmas book, all those many years ago. Thank you!

  20. Rosamond Blakeney says:

    Thank you for your kindness and making the day brighter!

  21. marlene badura says:

    I fell in love with you and your stories a lot of years ago, I love that you travel to England, I read every word, looked at every photo, and my heart sings. I had occasion to visit the united kingdom in 2009, did some family geneology, since I found that I had English ancestors in the cotswolds. I spent time at the Beatrice potter home, imagined myself living there with a good book and a cup of tea. I am hoping at my age of 77, I will be able to return there next may. Its someplace I could see myself living for ever. So thank you susan, I feel you are a friend to all of us, and now I am off to read “A Fine Romance” for the fourth time. Stay well and enjoy a CUPPA tea today

  22. Moira says:

    Good morning, Susan.
    I started reading your blog this morning and was suddenly taken with the idea of pancakes. I live alone and don’t often make a fuss for breakfast, but today I just had to. I made the mix, cooked up the yummy ‘cakes and then before they cooled too much, scrambled out to my garden and picked huge handfuls of high bush blueberries. As I sat down with my steaming cup of tea I was overcome with the sense that all was right in my world; at least for the duration of the time it took to polish off breakfast while listening to the birds outside my windows and open door….Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  23. Terri Smith says:

    I so enjoy reading “Willard”-my sister got me started and she has now passed away from early onset Alzheimers- so it is a sweet connection we shared because of you- Thank you for your art and words of wisdom!

  24. Shannon Bower says:

    I just love your blog, books, thoughts, your heart….a little respite from the hustle-bustle of everyday life! Thank you for sharing!!

  25. Cindy Young says:

    Like a breath of fresh air!!!

  26. Elizabeth Levesque says:

    Of all the pics, my two favorites are; the picture of Joe outside cleaning the windows (because he just looks so happy), and the picture of Jack with the rubber band hanging from his mouth (because that’s what cats do).

  27. Jill Powell Nelson says:

    My girlfriend calls the time the kids go back to school Second Summer as the days are still warm and now we mamas get to enjoy a few days together lounging by the pool or sitting outside at our favorite cafe underneath the large umbrella for a slow lunch. Sitting here on a Sunday morning before church reading Willard, I’m beginning to feel it’s time to look forward to autumn rather than mourn the passing of Second Summer as the days are becoming shorter here in southern Indiana. I’m inspired and anxious to see the changing of the shadows and crispness in the air:) Thank you- what a blessed morning:)

  28. Suzanne Burchell says:

    I love you Susan Branch. In my crazy, hectic world you are the still pause that reminds me to stop, to admire the shadows, to observe the new buds in my garden, the last tomatoes on the vine, the soft wind on my momma’s hill. You give me back the privilege to take a break, to pet my kitties, and hold their little paws, that curl around my fingers as if to hold my hand. I love you Susan Branch. You are the creative part of my own soul.

  29. Kathleen says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful newsletter. I am from the Adirondack mountains in New York, and I can close my eyes and see all the same things of Fall that you wrote. The trees getting ready to drop their leaves, the long walks in the woods, and most of all the colors of Autumn.

    Your newsletter makes my heart smile.

  30. Christine Rau says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your writing means so much to me. I read your books before I go to sleep because your gratitude for the “simple” things in life gives me pause to do the same. For awhile I can forget my troubles and escape. Thank you so much for sharing your writing, beautiful illustrations and gratitude.

  31. Nan Rohan says:

    Thank you Susan, for your blog and wonderful outlook on life!

  32. Kathy Theiss says:

    Thank you for Willard, your lovely books, and calendars. I truly enjoy reading about all your adventures, thoughts, and quotes.

  33. Nancy in Colorado says:

    Thank you for all you do to inspire beauty and joy in my life and in the loves of all your girlfriends. You are a treasure.

  34. Barbara Taylor says:

    My daughter introduced me to you only a few short months ago but I already feel like we are kindred spirits. Our growing up years are almost identical! If you had lived down the street from me I’m sure we would have been best friends! And now that we are both grown and had our share of heartaches, I still feel that connection. Although I live in hot California (107 today) and you live on the East coast, I could easily live by the beach…just in the Pacific Northwest! Thank you so much for sharing so much. Give Jack and nice scratch for me.

  35. Gael G says:

    Thank you susan for bringing us joy and beauty.

  36. Kathy McDonald says:

    Hi! I am always smiling after reading what you share with all of us! Thank you!

  37. Jana says:

    I ALWAYS smile when I read your writings, look at your artwork, drool over recipes, and peruse your shop. Thank you for adding special sunshine to ordinary days, treasured days, days full of blessings <3

  38. Patricia Mattes says:

    Susan I think you have outdone yourself this is the Best Willard Ever ! I’m going to your web site right now to find a few treasures as reminders of just what Willard brings to our hearts & home …

  39. Jane Kane says:

    Oh, how we love your books and gifts! Not only me, but my 87 year old aunt. She loves every book and mug and recipe. Thank you, thank you, for giving us so much joy. My cousins, girlfriends, and I all thank you. We look forward to the trip to the Emerald Isle.

  40. Rose Post says:

    Just returned from visiting my closest and best friend in Anchorage, AK who also introduced me to Willard. So as I am reading this Willard I can still enjoy my friend even if I am at home because your publication this month is just so her! Everything you have described is everything she so loves. If I were to be so lucky as to win this I would not keep it for myself but give it to her as a gift and thank you for letting me stay with her. I know she would love this as she loves you and Willard.

  41. Malinda B (Colorado) says:

    Thank you, Susan, for sharing your life with all us readers. Such a source of joy!

  42. Anita Morrison says:

    Hello Susan! In the middle of reading the new issue of Willard you give me an opportunity to win your gorgeous items! Who can say no to that? Drinking coffee from my “Love” mug as I write this. And now, back to Willard! ❤️Anita

  43. Nanci says:

    You can write things that make me swoon. Thank you for keeping us in touch with the joys of life. By the way I got my Autumn mug and am drinking White Mango Tea from it right now.

  44. Susan Knell says:

    I adore your recipe boxes. I have several and have just taken them for granted, so when I read about yours, I’m bringing them out and cherishing them!

  45. Bridget Button says:

    Oh Susan, your writing leaves me rolling merrily along. I can’t draw worth a darn so to watch your talent appear before me is especially welcomed.
    Love your comments – I am also fascinated with shadows but yours were even more special re the eclipse etc. Over the years your calendars, your books, your creations are so lovely to look at.
    It was wonderful to see you and your mother in that photo. My mother is going to be 99 on September 20th and we are so blessed to have her with us – she is in an assisted-living Home in Mississauga, Ontario and, apart from having to use a walker, she is involved in everything.
    Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us!

  46. Lana Hanlon says:

    Thank you for reminding me to step back, breathe, and appreciate!

  47. Pamela Lewis says:

    Love your work so much! You are so natural and inspiring. Your love for life is uplifting. Keep on, Please. The world needs you.

  48. Lynn Braha says:

    Hi, Susan. Sometimes I think we are twins separated at birth! Of course, you are the clever, talented twin, while I am the determined admiring twin! Have an amazing time in England. Wish I could be there!

  49. Tricia says:

    Reading your blog makes a peaceful time in the day. Thanks you for sharing the beauty around you.

  50. Kathy says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and illustrations. Looking forward to 2018 calendar!

  51. Sheila says:

    I love everything about your blog! Thank you for sharing and taking along with you on your lovely journey.

  52. Cathy Womack says:

    I enjoyed reading your Willard, the first since I signed on to receive them. As you know, Hurricane Harvey has hit Texas with a wallop of wind and rain. Here in San Antonio, we have escaped the flooding and destruction, but we fear for friends and family who are closer to the devastation. So reading your Willard gave me some joy in the midst of so much suffering for my fellow Texans. Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      I want to post another blog, but I don’t know how to be happy and talk about buttered biscuits when so many in Texas are suffering so much. It’s awful on the TV. Praying for one and all. Thank you for saying hello Cathy.

      • mary spring says:

        ..I can say this, dear seems like now, more than ever, with all that is going on, we need your words of comfort and encouragement; for us all to be strong to keep our faith, hope, and love.. thanks Susan ..

        • sbranch says:

          I am very lucky because I do have the happy gene running the show here, but it’s something else, now we have this crazy Irma creeping closer, my heart goes out, along with all of us, to the displaced people of the world. Counting my blessings this morning. xoxo

  53. Robin Norton says:

    I want you to know how very much you comfort my heart and calm my soul, Susan. Thank you for being a heavenly inspiration and source of happiness!
    Very Sincerely,

  54. Linda Clement says:

    Loved reading Willard. Makes me yearn for all the lovely things in the world. Looking forward to Fall here in Floyds Knobs, IN and sending blessings your way.

  55. Evie says:

    You have such a beautiful life, Susan. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  56. Laurie Perry says:

    I just had my knee replaced and I spent my time recuperating reading your books! Loved reading about your life and all of the adventures! Took me away from my pain and enjoyed dreaming about adventures to come for me.

  57. Debbie Hackbarth says:

    Now living in Scottsdale, AZ where I grew up, but previously lived in Scituate, MA for 10 years and LOVED visiting Martha’s Vineyard. The Willard always returns me to my favorite days spent on the island and around the New England area. I think once you live back there, it becomes a part of you for life. Thanks for rekindling my memories again!

  58. Marion Bavolar says:

    I wish you could have a television program.
    You could teach us how to paint, photograph,
    Craft and cook. We could watch you work your

  59. Karen Werth says:

    Loved your pictures of the sunlight reflection in your home. We all see sunlight and should take more time to notice those magical moments. The pictures are reminder for us to do just that. Today I made your Touchdown Chili and your Iowa Corn Bread. They were delicious and the house smelled delicious too. Comfort food for our cool weather. Your books and Blog bring such calm to my life. Thank you.

  60. Melanie Miller says:

    I have your summer pitcher of flowers as my laptop background and am looking forward to changing it soon to a fall image from your free wallpapers. Just received the darling Bluebird china cup as a gift for a friend and am tempted to keep it for myself but know how much she will love it. Will be ordering 2018 calendar soon…how can it be even close to time for that already?! Thank you for all of the beauty and joy you so freely share-you make the world a better place!

  61. De Picquet says:

    Long time reader first time I have let any of my fave blog writers know how much light and joy they bring to me with their posts. We have had a long summer here in N.C. but the signs are clear my favorite time of year is on it’s way. One more camping trip, baking and decorting in the near future for me! Love hearing all the goings on in your neck of the woods. I’ll be here waiting for more. Thanks De

  62. Cheryl Brigham says:

    All my senses were engaged as I read through your latest email; from the light flickering and casting shadows, to the crinkle of the leaves I could hear as I began to anticipate the season to come, to the warm cinnamon and cloves in the tea I could smell, and to the gingerbread cake I could taste-warm from the oven, all while listening to the tunes of Frankie.

    I LOVE the idea of scouring for recipe boxes in thrift shops. I’ve always relished the thought of having someone’s old recipes, just imagining where they come from, whose hands they’ve been in, and how old they are. I purchased a vintage recipe book at an antique shop last year. The recipe cards were written in the most beautiful cursive penmanship. I matted and framed 4 of them and mounted them on the wall, along with a rolling pin, and it made for a beautiful and nostalgic display.

    Thank you for sharing your passions w/ us!!

  63. Margaret Downs says:

    I always love reading “Willard” and your blog and wait until I have a few minutes to sit quietly and just enjoy it all!!! You prepare me for the season coming, in this case fall, and I love it. I think today I will make zucchini bread after reading your recipe. I already have my Susan Branch 2018 calendars, one for wall and one for purse. You have already made this day special for me and I thank you (and it’s only 5:16 a.m.!!!) I hope you and Joe have a blessed day.

  64. Denise Watson says:

    Susan, I so enjoy your blog and newsletters! I get so excited to see Willard in my mailbox. I read them over and over, listen to music, click on this and that and pull out all your books, which I love dearly and just to let you know I live in south Florida so I know all about humidity! Unbearable!!! Lol😩 Speaking of living in the ” hurricane belt” a couple of times since I’ve lived here we had to brace and get ready for hurricanes and I have quite a collection of books, the only ones I take with me on the evacuation are all of your books, and Tasha Tudor’s and Marjorie Rawlings. I would be devesaed if I lost any of them!!!!! I have given your books and calendars etc… away as gifts more times than I can count over the years and have started many people collecting them I’m happy to say, who wouldn’t they are so lovely!!! Can’t wait till your new journey next year, I live vicariously through you as England is on my bucket list!!!!!!!! Maybe someday☺️

    • sbranch says:

      Us too, we also live in the hurricane belt, and watch very carefully when one of them is working it’s way up the coast. It’s been bad here, but nothing like Texas or New Orleans, knock on wood. So frightening. Then I look at our house which has been here since 1849, and feel comforted, probably we’d get through it! Thank you for your kind word-of-mouth Denise! XOXO

  65. LeeAnne says:

    I so look forward to email from you! Instead of a cup of tea and a kitty, I snuggle with my new rescued chihuahua mix with a glass of cold-brew coffee. Although the weather is starting to change here in Pennsylvania, so I may have to switch to a hot beverage soon. Thanks for adding some dream-time into my otherwise hectic day!

  66. Eileen Souza says:

    I love reading your blog, especially when you post pictures of Autumn and Christmas on the Vineyard! It looks so cozy and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your world with us! Its like I can actually smell the ocean when I see all of your photos!

  67. Melissa Sprouls says:

    Have a great day Susan❣️

  68. Melinda says:

    There are 60,000 plus of your faithful followers who are happier, healthier,and
    More loving to others because of your inspirations.
    Thank you for adding so much fun and enthusiasm to others 😘

  69. Paula Schendl says:

    Thank you for all the inspiration! I LOVE all of your books and can’t wait for your next one! 🙂

  70. Bethany says:

    To falling leaves…to Autumn’s wonder…

  71. Linda says:

    Dear Susan – so excited about all your news but perhaps most excited about the reprint of the Christmas Memories Book! I am coming to the end of my third, so that’s nearly 15 years of tracking our holidays through your books. They come out every year and everyone takes time to look through every page, every image and every list.

    Also, just got the Autumn mug and used it for the first time last night because – as you noted – the light is changing. And it’s time.

  72. Shirley J. Hudgins says:

    Your blessings are a gift to my heart! Never underestimate the power of love!!

  73. Cindy Figgatt says:

    I had a tour of Castle Cottage last spring with Mandy. She is a lovely hostess and has wonderful stories to tell about Beatrix Potter. You and your friends are in for a treat next spring as you well know already!

  74. Barbara Bucher says:

    it was probably 25? years ago that i read the dust jacket flap of one of your cookbooks about dreams coming true and you were sitting in your house on MV drawing and painting. that rang vibrantly in my heart, soul and body, the inspiration from that little paragraph is still in my head today. i have been an active artist since then, with big dreams (still waiting) and many many happy hours creating. You have definitely touched my life.

  75. Vicki Obenhaus says:

    Thanks for sending Willard my way! You make me so happy with all your share – your words, your photographs, your drawings. Thank you for the encouragement — you have brought light to my day. (And what a WONDERFUL giveaway — whoever wins that will be TOTALLY ready for Fall!)

  76. Vicki Obenhaus says:

    Thanks for sending Willard my way! You make me so happy with all you share – your words, your photographs, your drawings. Thank you for the encouragement — you have brought light to my day. I have my mother’s and my dear aunt’s recipe boxes — they contain treasures! And I also have purchased two from an antique store in the town near where I grew up — a window into my culinary past — I love the idea of collecting them! (And what a WONDERFUL giveaway — whoever wins that will be TOTALLY ready for Fall!)

  77. carolyn mason says:

    thanks for my bluebird cup, love it!

  78. Angel M says:

    I always look forward to your posts! I just love to read them. Thank you so much for posting.

  79. Peeshy Holland says:

    Yes the state of the world does keep me up at times but reading your “Willard” made me smile today. Thanks for all you do for all 60,000 of us.

  80. Stacy says:

    Love everything about autumn. Hope I win! Love how my 11 yr old daughter loves reading Willard with me!

  81. Stacy says:

    Forgot to say, my daughter reads the Warrior series and loves it! She’s reading it right now for the fourth time!

    • sbranch says:

      My niece was totally over the moon about those books, I’ve never seen such excitement about a book!!! It was darling.

  82. Becky Harvey says:

    Thank you, Susan, for your uplifting Willards! My soul feels nourished and I am ready to face another day!! I love autumn time, but a part of me is sad to see summer go. Your recipes all sound delish. Hmmm, I have some zucchini in the fridge… maybe I’ll make some bread. Love you

  83. Sherry Dude says:

    So excited to hear you are re-releasing Autumn and Heart of the Home! I always keep my eye out for them at used book stores and such! They make great gifts – they are treasures indeed!

  84. Brenda Susan Christensen says:

    I have always enjoyed your books , calendars, and recipes immensely!! Then to come to your blogs and read your daily thoughts and the whimsy you add to it…It literally just makes my day! THANK YOU so much!! My love of Teapots actually started when I received my 1st calendar of yours. I now have quite the collection and it continues to grow much to the chagrin of my sweet hubbs LOL.

  85. Diana Thielman says:

    Love the china cups!

  86. Elissa Fisher says:

    Just wanted to say thank you for sharing the magic. Just got back from my annual 2 weeks on the Vineyard, where I was treated to your MV mug (at Bunch of Grapes) by my bestie, who was visiting me. What joy to have my favorite tea in my new cup, and think about all the memories made this summer on the Vineyard. ❤️

    • sbranch says:

      I think that is the one cup that I will probably remake over and over … I figure if I love it (and I live here) other Vineyard lovers are going to like that little memory to read each day with their tea or coffee!

  87. Gayle Weyman says:

    Thanks for reminding us to pay attention and enjoy the little things.

  88. emma cook says:

    Read your Autumn book again last night. I needed to turn off the TV because it got to be too much seeing all the sadness here in Texas. My nephew’s weekend home was in Rockport. Read your blog and Willard again today, too.
    Thank you for using your talents to share good things with us girlfriends.

  89. Lori Filips says:

    Drinking tea in my SB mug, watching it rain here in Michigan and I’m thinking of all the folks in Texas. Sending hugs and prayers.

  90. Joy says:

    Ahhhh! So glad to get home from work, curl up on the sofa with my little dog and read your blog. It was the perfect escape from this crazy world. Your writing has refreshed me through and through. All I need is a cup of tea, zucchini bread and a Cary Grant movie! Thank you for sharing all that you do. It’s so refreshing.

  91. Sheryl from Magalia CA says:

    Hi. If you are having a bad day, anyone, I dare you to read the new Willard or this blog or any SB blog and tell me it didn’t help. Life happens, but when your refrigerator and oven go haywire and stop working last week, 5 days ago, and you wait all day for the repairman and they don’t come and they dropped out and switched you to someone new and now we have to wait until Wed. for repair, you end up having a really bad day. On hold for hours at a time is all part of the scene. However, reading SB’s words have made me feel much better. Thank you. I am putting my name in for the drawing, Vanna, please pick me. Love Y’all, Sheryl

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, yes you do, have a very bad day, when that happens! It can’t go on much longer, fingers crossed, good luck Sheryl!

  92. Mary Calaway says:

    Loved the beautiful pictures! I am looking forward to fall …… especially looking forward to drinking tea in my autumn cup!!🌼

  93. Sheryl from Magalia CA says:

    Your fans really, really love you. I am one of them.

  94. Gail says:

    Made zucchini bread and had tea in my vineyard mug, didn’t get there this year and my heart aches when I see the pictures of it. Had wonderful fish cakes last time I was in menemsha, eating on the tables near Larsen’s.. It’s starting to feel like fall in western Massachusetts , one of my favorite seasons. Looking forward to your next creations.

  95. Lisa H. says:

    I love your willingness to share…your family, your likes, your travels… Because of you I’ve been introduced to Gladys Tabor and other great writers, some really striking old movies, brilliant quotes to live by, places I’d like to visit, and many other “cozy” things.
    Watching the clip of Mama Mia above reminded me of the time my co-workers and I danced to “Dancing Queen” at a friend’s retirement party. Practicing for that kept us laughing and happy. I still love watching Mama Mia every now and then, it’s such a feel good movie.
    Take good care,

  96. Lorraine says:

    Thanks so much…just heard about Gratitude!…read Willard and finally calmed down after a crazy day…you helped me appreciate my beautiful beach and the turkeys that visit me early grandsons just called requesting my banana bread for the first day of school…here comes Fall! Thanks so much…again, again and yet again.”

  97. Debbie Sly says:

    Thanks for spreading happiness and sharing your life with us!

  98. Sheri Bodi says:

    Susan, you bring joy my way whenever I read your newsletters or look at your calendar or pick up one of your books! You are in inspiration to all the good and fun in life. Thanks for sharing your adventures:) Sheri

  99. Chris Marteinsson says:

    Hi Susan from Salmon Arm in B.C. Canada. Love the latest Willard. We have had a very smoky summer from all our forest fires, your blog and Willard is a breath of fresh air! You are so inspiring and lovely. With love, Chris.

  100. Shelley Quezada says:

    So sad I lost my commment – I am writing again! At this moment I am writing after reading your newsletter in a small hotel in Austria at the tail end of a long trip for work. I will return to Massachusetts on Thursday with a heavy heart because if all the terrible news in the world and for what is happening to those affected by the hurricane. thanks for lightening the load a bit with your warm news. It helps in these days of worry about the world,

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a terrible situation in Texas, but you’ll be amazed when you see all the people coming together to help one another. Then, if I may make a suggestion, turn off the news and keep it off for at least a week and just get the normal news we used to get before we had radio and TV… the local stuff, the normal things of life. Sometimes it is all too much to carry around. Remember that the whole entire complex, from government to the media, makes money by keeping us crazy with worry and tuning in for the next installment. We are what we believe we are. And we are the world, we are the children. We are the best hope of the world. Sending love. 😘

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