Hi Everyone! Would you like to be in England for Remembrance Day? You came to the right place!  MUSICA

I want to show you this wonderful thing that happens in England the second Sunday of November which Joe and I discovered a little bit by accident when we were visiting. 🍂 

It’s actually a lovely tradition that started in America in 1920 when the Poppy flower was proclaimed by the United States to be our national emblem of Remembrance.  For Armistice Day, for never forgetting, and for the prayer of peace.  See Joe?  See that red poppy on his jacket?

Here he is, walking home from shopping at Blenheim Castle in Woodstock Oxfordshire, with a poppy on his jacket. Because, in November, all over the United Kingdom (Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, too) . . .

. . . you rarely see anyone who isn’t wearing a poppy at this time of year. For some reason the tradition didn’t catch on for America’s Veterans Day, but it is huge over there. I wish I’d taken a photo in a train station, so you could see how popular it is, these little splashes of red hurrying hither and yon. You get used to it, then you start to fall in love with it, and especially the idea behind it.

This is Joe and Paul ( Rachel’s adorable husband, English man extraordinaire, one of your funnier and more charming humans on the earth), both of them poppy-decked of course.

We went to a dinner, and everyone was wearing a poppy . . .

Me too . . .

And Rachel too.

For a donation to the Royal British Legion ~ a pound for a poppy, you can pin one of these to your coat. The appeal raises millions for the care of British Veterans and their dependents, and by the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the whole country is decked in solidarity-red for Remembrance.

We read the paper and learned the significance of the Poppy.

As the years went by, other wars and more loss, “between the crosses, row on row, that mark our place…” to what was the war to end all wars, the first world war. Flanders Fields were the battlefields in France where so many were lost,  the “western front”. . . is now covered in poppies for remembrance. And a beautiful heartbreaking poem was written:

The first Poppy Day was celebrated in England in 1921, and has continued every year since.

There will be no forgetting . . . the whole country shows their gratitude and old men wear their uniforms on the street with pride. I think maybe because when bombs literally fall on your house and your neighbor’s house, on your church, in your garden, you have a different relationship to war than others who were mercifully spared that experience.You turn on the radio, and there’s Vera Lynn singing We’ll Meet Again back in the day with the voices of servicemen and their sweethearts singing along, and you can feel the heart in the moment, and your own connection to it . . .

Poppies are everywhere, including pillows and sachets in the Blenheim Castle gift shop.

And we ended up with a bouquet of them for our kitchen counter.

You would find them on the street in simple little places . . .

And in the cities too . . . these are part of the Field of Remembrance, a small graveyard set up each year next to Westminster Abbey in London.

And there are remembrances in every small town . . .

This particular Remembrance Day found us in downtown Woodstock where we were staying, a small town in Oxfordshire with a population of 3,000, which is just around the corner from Blenheim Castle where Winston Churchill was born. Now Winston Churchill has a special place in my heart, for more reasons than one. The marriage between his American great grandmother Aurora Murray to Isaac Jerome produced a granddaughter, Winston’s mother, Jennie Jerome. That’s her in this picture. My grandmother is Irene Murray, and through her lineage I discovered that Winston Churchill is my 8th cousin! (If you go sideways far enough back, you’ll find everyone is related to everyone!)


We came upon this solemn scene by happy accident. We were just walking back to the High Street after visiting Blenheim Castle (we stayed at the Bear Hotel ~ some parts of it 900 years old, you can see it in the video on the right), and didn’t know what was going on when we saw a crowd had gathered, families, babies, and dogs, people of all ages, clergy and soldiers too.  It was 11 am on Remembrance Sunday, and the village had stopped to honor Armistice Day as they had done for 95 years, for all those who served and died in war ~  we learned that this quiet remembrance happened in every small and big town in England at this same moment every year, the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month. MUSICA.

Tradition is such a beautiful thing. Honoring the people who built the world, who came before us is such a right thing to do. Afterwards we discovered that Winston Churchill was buried nearby, in a tiny churchyard in a small village called Bladon. So off we went through the golden air of the English Countryside with this music playing in our car to find Churchill’s grave. 🍂

When we found the tiny village of Bladon, we fretted about leaving our car parked halfway in the narrow street, only a bit more than one car wide, but it was the best we could do and still be in the town. How they could have had a state burial for one of the most famous people in the world in this teeny place with zero parking is a mystery.  But look at that beautiful stone house.  See the roof line, all curvy and crunchy from age? I always stop to marvel that they kept the beauty and history of what came before as times changed and such things as bathrooms and electricity were invented ~ how they did it is beyond me, but they did!

Nothing in the town had changed since the day the Prime Minister was laid to rest, except the people. The generations have turned over more than once.

We walked through the quiet, echoing streets of the village looking for the church listening to the birds singing . . .

 . . . enjoying cottages and curtains . . .

. . . and people who brought nature inside.

We peeked in the windows at the far end of this house with the amazing vine . . .

. . . and saw these in the little panes of glass! It was the Studio of a sculptor . . . ohhh, I wanted to go in so bad!

But it wasn’t to be . . . “Open Daily 10-6” said the card in the window, but another sign said, “Closed!” Travel is all about the serendipity!

I was perfectly happy wandering the lanes, taking pictures of the stone houses with names on them . . .

and of course, the little charmers out for a walk . . .

And there it was, the flag flying over St Martin’s Church . . . where the bells had just rung for Armistice Day.

A small, rather austere church . . . an unassuming village church like so many others wherever you go.

with lovely details

And a sweet peaceful graveyard, these being my favorite, family gravestones held in nature’s embrace.

Next to Churchill’s grave were simple elegant memorials, and benches for sitting.

with rather an amazing drain in the stone path ~ I had to take a photo of it!

Churchill’s grave sort of broke our hearts. Everything so real. I couldn’t help but think of my dad who had fought in WWII and had died a few months earlier. 😢 We’d been to Churchill’s wonderful house called Chartwell and learned about him and his fascinating wife Clementine ~ and here they were, buried together. History of the world,  just waiting for us to find and remember and learn.

It’s actually his family burial ground, his mother, Jennie Jerome, Lady Randolph Churchill is buried in the center grave surrounded by the hedge.

Sure and certain hope.

Afterward we stopped at a nearby pub to read our paper and eat “Sunday Roast” ~ another wonderful old tradition, served in most British pubs every Sunday,

. . . a glorious menu consisting of your choice of beautifully cooked roast beef, roast chicken or roast pork ~ with Yorkshire Pudding, stuffing, roasted carrots, parsnips, and potatoes with gravy.

And poppies on the mantle . . .

After lunch we drove to Oxford to see Carrie and Stuart, who took us on a tour ~ here we are in one of the churches.

Then back to Carrie’s kitchen which was in full-remembrance mode. We had a wonderful visit with them . . . but when we got back to our rental house, I noticed I had lost the poppy from my jacket. wah. I know, I had another four in my poppy bouquet, but I hated losing even one.

We spent more weeks in England, taking long walks under blowing leaves, enjoying the fall, and did not return to America until late November ~ celebrating Thanksgiving on the ship, going home the old way, past the statue of liberty into New York harbor, dreaming our memories in the rocking of the boat.

And finally home, where Jack was waiting, and H❤️ME was waiting, and of course we brought our poppies home with us. A few days later, a surprise arrived in the mail from England.

It was a book-gift from Carrie, along with the poppy I’d dropped at her house! She found it and sent it back to me! Total perfection!And that’s my story for today, Girlfriends . . . Celebrate  November 11 … Remember our Veterans. Study history, see how we got here. With life’s vagaries it’s a pure miracle we are!

Here is my kitchen this morning, sparkling with light from the sunrise…It’s our time now . . . and one of the gifts of remembering is the gift of knowing the real and important things of life, and passing  them to the ones we love . . . 

Clothespin caught a leaf, and I got to make a wish.  So I think we can all make a wish!Ah yes, time for tea! Hope you enjoyed our trip to England! Have a wonderful day! XOXO

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2,908 Responses to REMEMBRANCE

  1. Cate says:

    Love this, Susan. It was beautiful reading on such a sorrowful day for me. We had to put our little 13-year-old dachshund to sleep last night. I had one piece of my heart left and he was it. I feel like my heart does not exist now at all. Your blog is always an enjoyable read (until you get political 🙂 ) Thanks for lifting my spirits when I needed it the most.

    Cate <

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry Cate . . . Your heart may be broken, but I bet anything there is still room in there for a new petty pet to love. xoxo Sending love.

  2. Julie Lee says:

    I love your blog!

  3. Anne DS says:

    Those who served and gave their lives in the Great War must rest more contentedly knowing that their sacrifice is not forgotten, and is, indeed, remembered with great ceremony and national pride. Aren’t you glad that you got your official poppy back! Thanks for your give-away generosity.

  4. Tammy in Colorado says:

    Darling Susan, you’re my Gladys Taber! Loved the quote from Martha’s Vineyard isle of dreams in your autumn post. It made me think of her and how I’ve learned to appreciate so much beauty around me thanks to you and to her. Just think, someday someone will be quoting you as they create some kind of joy for others. So wonderful!
    PS ~ please pick me! 😘🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

  5. Helen Nitschke says:

    Thank you for sharing – always enjoy your blogs! I absolutely love all your new items & would love to be entered into your drawing!

  6. Ginnie says:

    I first heard the John McCrae poem set to music and sung at a Memorial Day service put on by the high school seniors of a very small town in Wisconsin. I fell in love with the music as well as the poem. I can’t remember if links work in these comments or not – so if this one doesn’t work, search for “in flanders fields choir roger emerson” on Youtube.

  7. Terry Helbing says:

    Happy Halloween!

  8. Donna Lynn Kawano says:

    Hi Susan, I can’t wait to receive the new mugs and little heart dishes! 🙂

  9. LaDonna says:

    Love curtains & cottages. Love dishes. Love honoring Veterans. Love old churches. Love that God reveals sure & certain hope. Thank you for the lovely pictures!!

  10. Jean Ramsay says:

    Dear Susan,

    Four countries make up the UK.
    Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales as well as England and we all wear poppies in remembrance.

    • sbranch says:

      I know, I just happened to be in England when I discovered them . . . I didn’t mean to leave anyone out. 💞

  11. Carrie says:

    Good morning from Oxford. Mwah! xxxooo
    I can’t believe it’s been a year since you & Joe were here; what a wonderful time we had. I’m so glad Jack (the Oxford one) & I found your poppy in our summerhouse and The Wise Robin very kindly delivered it for us. And now the countdown to spring & being in the same country & time-zone again… another picnic. !!!!
    In the meantime, may each day be sweeter than the next. And another Mwah! for good measure.

    • sbranch says:

      Mwah back to you Carrie! 😘 It really was such a good surprise to get that poppy back. Silly how attached you become to them! I just pulled out my little poppy “bouquet” … thank you again, and of course, for the adorable book. Hope your moving days are going smoothly . . . can’t wait to be in your neighborhood once again! xoxo

  12. Lorie Hartsig says:

    Gone looking for a poppy. Loved this blog about Remembrance Day. Thank you!

  13. Lynn Marie says:

    I am just reading your blog–after being on “holiday” in the Holy Lands. It was something wonderful to come home to. My dad, who passed away in 2002, was born on Nov. 11. He fought in WW II. I love how all of England stops to remember those who have fought and died for the freedoms we all enjoy.

  14. Patti says:

    As a Canadian I grew up with poppies in November for Remembrance Day on the 11th but I’ve always loved the British ones with the added green leaf! Canadian one’s don’t have that.

  15. JanW says:

    Finally getting a chance to catch up on my email: hope I’m not too late to be entered for your draw! Sometimes life just gets too busy!!!! Thanks for reminding us to slow down and notice the little things around us.

  16. Gwen Gooda says:

    Good Morning Susan – perfect way to start my day and November 1st. I am from Canada and we honour our soldiers past and present along with England every year by wearing poppies. My Dad was stationed in Ireland during World War II and every November 11 we have 1 minute of silence at 11:00. May we never forget.

  17. Alicia Webster says:

    When we lived in Australia, poppies and Remembrance Day was a huge deal. They observe a moment of silence during the day, and it is lovely as the whole country becomes silent and respectful, even the little children know to stand still and bow their heads. “Lest we forget…” On a separate note, we just moved (all five of us–Ack !) into a new rental home, and the kids now each have their own rooms. For the first time ever, they don’t all have to share one room–and as my 12 yr old, my 11 yr old, and my 10 yr old will tell you–It’s a joy like no other. Peace for Mom and Dad too–Woohoo ! The only downside is that now neither Hubby nor I can miss a day of work, for any reason, ever, even in cases of death and dismemberment, so as to not fall behind on the bills/rent. Ah, such is the price of children with audible sighs of contentment:) P.S. My son asked us what he might be getting for Christmas, and we said “a room of your own” and he said, “No, really”, and we said, “No, really.” HA !

  18. Pam says:

    Hi Sue, well we have been away and I have two blog posts to catch up on and a Willard. Lovely.
    Yes, it’s poppy time again. We have ours and our village remembrance service is 12 November this year. We all gather round the war memorial and sing hymns and have a band to play the music. Then everyone heads to the pub, if you can get in there, as it gets pretty busy.
    Christmas time we have carols round a tree in the centre of the village and after that it really is like sardines in the pub!

  19. skyheart in new jersey says:

    This entry was a delight, Susan. Thank you for sharing some of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. I’m in the middle of the latest Willard right now and it makes me smile.
    Please enter me in the new dishes drawing. Bright blessings to you and Joe and the kitties!

  20. Mary Jane Gruber says:

    I’ve been in love with that teapot shaped serving plate since I first saw it on one of your blogs. Here’s hoping…:-) Have a wonderful week, Susan.

  21. Rhonda P in Texas says:

    Just a thought…I missed out on the Autumn cup and see where you have the Winter cup ready for pre-order. Might it be possible for you to sell a set of the 4 Seasons once they have all been released? That would be awesome!!

  22. Joanie W, Sanford, FL says:

    Susan, one of my father’s favorite poems was “In Flander’s Fields” and I memorized it as a young girl for a school project. I still can remember most of it! I loved seeing it here, and the beautiful remembrance of our veterans-our dads. Your topics are so timely and thoughtful. Love reading your blog!

  23. Joan says:

    RIP to all the brave men and women who served in every war! What a tribute your story was to them, Susan. You bring peace to our hearts!

  24. Marva says:

    I love all the new dishes! Just beautiful! I also am very excited about the new cross stitch patterns. I have just recently taken up cross stitch again and would love to stitch some of your designs.

  25. Carol Delmonico says:

    You always brighten my day! Thanks so much!

  26. Cindy B says:

    How does anyone not LOVE autumn??! What a lovely post and Willard! Thank you! Hoping to win your beautiful china creations!

  27. Bobbie Calgaro says:

    Took me a while to get back to this post but it was lovely and Willard was fun too! Thanks for taking me to England again. My only regret is being gluten free, I can’t make your lovely cookies, Boo!

    • sbranch says:

      I bought gluten free flour from King Arthur, it’s “measure for measure” and every time I’ve used it, things have come out perfectly. I didn’t use it for these cookies, but I feel sure I could have!

  28. Regina says:

    As always loved your post and Williard. The elementary school where I work has an awesome Veteran’s Day celebration honoring our local veterans and also celebrating those deceased. This year it will be Nov. 10. Makes my heart swell with proud.

  29. Judi says:

    Would appreciate your help with Christmas shopping…wonderful & generous offer…sign me up! <3

  30. Jean from Kentucky says:

    I grew up in Virginia and I remember the veterans handing out small artificial poppies for your lapel, I had almost forgotten! Thanks for the reminder.

  31. Martha says:

    Hi ~ I loved seeing your info about Remembrance Day ~ as a child (in the US) there would always be poppies given out on Veteran’s Day ~ though I have not seen this tradition in recent years. It’s always such a joy to read your blog!
    Martha from CT

  32. Ann Marie Murphy says:

    Dear Susan:
    I enjoyed reading the story about the poppies. The last time I had an opportunity to purchase a poppy from an American Veteran was a few years ago in a Home Depot parking lot. Our country should make the sale of the poppy more available on Veteran’s Day and we could raise money for our Veterans.
    Thank you always for your thoughtfulness. Ann Marie

  33. Brittany Bashus says:

    I LOVE the idea of remembrance on 11/11. With 11 being my favorite number since I was young, I shall never forget such a special day. Also, I find your posts on Winston Churchill quite timely. I have become fascinated in his life and accomplishments after watching “The Crown” on Netflix. Your posts always send me warmth and coziness, especially with a cold nip in the air. How I love Autumn!
    Thank you Mrs.Branch.

  34. Heather says:

    such a darling selection of ceramics!

  35. Andrea Bailey says:

    I remember poppies when I was a kid. Don’t remember seeing them for sale after the Viet Nam war. Maybe we forgot?

  36. Barb Urbank(from Ohio) says:

    Hi Susan, wonderful post about Remembrance Day and remembering our veterans as Veteran’s Day is coming up fast. Just turned over my calendars on this first day of November. It is hard to believe Thanksgiving is only three weeks from this Thursday, but our days lately have been much colder and raining today so the weather is finally matching the date. Good weather for snuggling, warm fires and plenty of hot drinks, and curling with a good book. I love all of your beautiful new things, the heart shaped dishes the best! Please include me in the drawing. Enjoyed reading Willard too and always look forward to a new one.

  37. Cindy B says:

    I always enjoy your posts! Thanks for bringing England to us. I hope to visit there some day.
    Blessings to you.

  38. Virginia Opisso says:

    So enjoy all of your products! Please enter me…

  39. Oh, what a lovely journey through Jolly Ol’ England. Yes, we need to remember all these souls who have gone before us. Blessings to you and your family. I am looking forward to my first Willard.

  40. Robin C says:

    What a lovely blog and Willard, dear Susan..I just now got to reading it–thank goodness for the little flagging capability on the computer…I am in my happy place when I read your blogs and see all the wonderful ‘goodies’ you create for all of your girlfriends.
    Happy Fall right back at you,

  41. Pam kay says:

    I think of all the seasons, you do fall best.

    • sbranch says:

      Well, if you like cozy, and beauty, if you like all your senses to be touched, it’s got it all, hygge to the inth degree! Thank you Pam!

  42. Susan Chicas (Daffodil Tea Lady) says:

    Thank you for the autumn post and Willard. I especially liked the Remembrance Day stories. If you have an American Legion post in town or other veterans’ organization, you can probably procure some poppies through them as Veterans Day approaches.
    We live next door to Camp Pendleton Marine Base, and our local cities have strong organizations/programs to support the troops and recognize service personnel. On Veterans Day, a lovely ceremony is held annually at Pines Park, overlooking the ocean from a palisades bluff. There is a roll call of the fallen in the current year (including veterans), and 21-gun salute with taps, as well as flowers being placed on empty boots/helmet/rifle memorial set up for the occasion. It is truly heartfelt and a sobering, but gratifying experience to attend each year. Anyway, wanted to let you know how to obtain poppies for your lapel. I so appreciate your fall messages and photos!

  43. Judi Davis says:

    I loved the story about the poppies! I don’t think I had heard it before. As always, love everything you write!

  44. Christine says:

    Hi Susan,
    Please enter me 🙂

  45. Maggie Giltmier says:

    How beautiful! Precious memories never to be forgotten! Thank you is all I can say. Please enter me in the drawing.God Bless Us All. Maggie

  46. Cindy Davis says:

    I love everything you create. I want one of each! Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful travel memories. Feels like I am getting to travel along with you. So appreciate your light and generosity!

  47. Sue says:

    Susan — such a lovely “tour” of Jolly Old. I remember as a child that an organization (possibly, the American Legion…?) used to sell poppies in my hometown and surrounding area. Those were made of crepe paper and everyone wore them in a buttonhole.

    Veteran’s Day is special for me. Not only do I remember ALL our wonderful veterans, but especially my dad (USN, WWII & Korea), my grandfather (an airplane mechanic with the AEF in France in WW I), and grandfather veterans all the way back to the Revolution. And…that date is also my birthday as well as my late grandmother’s! I must have been 10 before I figured out that the flags lining Main Street weren’t for me!

  48. scottygrrl says:

    A beautiful post, and how I love that poppy red color!
    Now I’m in the mood for a lovely cup of tea…

  49. Sherry Garcia says:

    Thank you for the reminder to take time to remember.

  50. Sherry Garcia says:

    I don’t understand. My name and email address are there

  51. Sherry Garcia says:

    “Required fields” seem to be NAME and EMAIL. Do you not see them?

  52. Patti Fitzgerald from Skippack, PA says:

    Hello, dear Susan . . . . We just returned from a two-week trip to Spain, and oh, how I’ve missed your blogs and Willards!! I’m cozied up on the sofa right now, catching up with Autumn and Remembrance and Willard, and I’m in Susan Branch heaven!!! Thank you for bringing me back in touch with what really matters in life . . . . I would so very much love to win your beautiful dishes! It would be a dream come true for me!
    P.S. Have you ever considered publishing a quarterly/seasonal magazine?? I would be your first subscriber!! xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Welcome home Patti! I would love to be able to do that, but this blog will have to do…I’m too small and there aren’t enough hours in the day. I do love you for asking! xoxo

      • Patti Fitzgerald from Skippack, PA says:

        I just checked the blog to see if you answered me, at the very moment that you actually posted the answer!! Coincidence?? I think not, my Kindred Spirit Girlfriend!! Divine Providence!! Love you (and Joe and Jack) to the moon and back! xoxo

  53. Valerie says:

    Thank you for the reminder of how important November 11th is. I’m going to be on the lookout for poppies so that I can wear one, too.

  54. Helen Edwards says:

    What a special post.

  55. Regina says:

    I also wanted to mention we had our first snow of the season on Halloween! I live in the Midwest but it isn’t the norm to have snow this early. Last time this happened in our area was 15 years ago. It sure was beautiful on the colorful, fall leaves.

  56. betsy from San Bernardino says:

    Every year my dad bought a poppy and gave it to me and I continue the tradition and honor veterans day in this way. I love the tradition of remembering Flanders Field although it seemed so distant for a girl growing up in southern California. Now as an adult I understand more the huge overwhelming sadness of war and how it changes everything …I have recently been watching Ken Burn’s series about Vietnam — the war you and I grew up with… Thanks for the stories and photos. I appreciate you so much! You have added so much richness to my life and I will think of you and all you shared with us when I wear my poppy.

    • sbranch says:

      Of course the loss of life is beyond our imaginations, but also, the architectural history lost in so many cities, from Russia, to Germany, to Japan and to England . . . is a loss to all of humankind. One little world is all we have. xoxo Thank you Betsy.

  57. Molly says:

    An excellent Willard this time around. I love, love, love autumn and have always wanted to see New England in fall. The closest I have gotten is through your posts. Whoever is the winning winner of the give-away will be a lucky duck, as we used to say as kids.

  58. Sharon Silva says:

    Just back from our daughter’s wedding and I got to enjoy 1 blog and a new Willard! Thanks for the quiet time with musica, your words and art-my virtual hug from Martha’s Vineyard!
    John and were very touched by Winston Churchill’s grave-so simple and loving; just as he wanted. Hard to imagine that magnificent palace just up the road was where he got his start in life!
    Must go check out the embroidery kits! Yay for new crafts.
    Hugs to you all!

  59. Sherry Johnson says:

    I always enjoy your posts. I have made 3 trip to England and felt this way on the plane ride home the first time…”I can die happy now, I’ve been to England.”

  60. Margot in Sister Bay says:

    I hope the kiddos left you some 🎃 👻 candy. Remembering your dad and my auntie today. We have been painting the new Sunroom, so tired.

  61. Janice B Smith says:

    Hello Susan, Joe and Jack….and of course the FOSB,
    I remember seeing the poppies on the trips to England that I took with my Mom. Wreaths at memorials, and lots of other spots. Such attention to those who serve. Thank you for reminding us of those sacrifices. They should never be forgotten. I also love your last post on your Maine trip. It’s on my “to do” list. Getting closer to those times when we can take off and not be back until we want to. Well, thank you again for all the inspiration.
    Jan from Northern CA

  62. Rosie from Illinois says:

    Hello, hello! Haven’t been online much lately, but here I am just in time to throw my hat in the ring for some wonderful goodies, yay! I have a new grandbaby, our very first. Her name is Savannah Rose (blush!) and she’s around 6 weeks old and cute as can be. She’s helped distract me from an otherwise pretty sad year – lost my beloved husband of 30 years in February, and my Mom only last week. I wish Hubs had seen our first grandbaby, she’d have had him around her little finger in no time. But Mom did get to meet her, and she’s the first great-grandbaby for her. Mom was 87, and had gotten to where she couldn’t always remember much about who was who and such, but she sure enjoyed playing with the baby, and loved seeing the nice pictures over and over. So there’s that sweet memory of her to help me smile a bit through the tears. Anyway, I keep keeping on, and have a quilt planned for the new little one for Christmas. Hug your loved ones, you just never know. Love to all! ♥

  63. Sharon Reid says:

    November is a very important month here in Nova Scotia, Canada. Starting November first we can wear our poppies with pride (I’m always losing mine too!). Then on November 11, in our small town of Mulgrave, we attend a service, lay wreaths in remembrance of family and those that served in the military, and observe a minute of silence at 11:11. I will proudly lay a wreath that sits in the library I work at during the service. Lest we forget.

  64. Jelli says:

    Thank you for your beautiful posts!

  65. Caroline says:

    I am responding again because I was thinking,this morning, of how many ways you bring light into Life. It is nice to think that you are up when I am up at 5:30. Makes me smile as it makes me smile to know the Dali Lama is up when I am up at 3am:) We are all in this Life together! So I light a honey candle from our nun girlfriends and drink tea out of my blue bird mug, and write all abundant blessings in my journal.

    I made your recipe for tiny pumpkins stuffed with sweet pot mousse and they were such a big hit!!! and so adorable! I am now on a mission to use the left over mousse for a sweet pot pancake! Any advice? They keep getting all soupy and not flippable. I’ll try adding an egg and some flour and see what happens:)

    Blessings on your day Susan and all the perennials:)

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I think the cream cheese and butter will make it melt ~ love to hear if the flour helps … but you can just reheat it and eat it like a casserole. Makes me smile too, to see us all in this together. For three years my grandma shared the planet with Mark Twain, and HE shared it with Abraham Lincoln ~ and my mom and all her friends breathed the same rarified air as Beatrix Potter (I missed her by five years) … it never ceases to amaze me! And now it’s us!

  66. Lynne says:

    Thank you for raising our Poppie awareness! I can’t remember ever seeing any poppies for sale (California), but now I will be on the lookout (or make my own!) Lovely post.

  67. barb bucher says:

    As always you are very inspiring!!

  68. Jane Grayson says:

    Hi Susan,

    I loved your poppy post. It makes it all fresh and new when you write about it!
    I’m really excited for the BYO Picnic next May!

    Love Jane

  69. Dorothy Stapleton says:

    My husband was born in England so I’ve known about Remembrance Day for quite a while. But reading your blog I just remembered I had clipped a lovely nature print of the red poppies and was going to insert it in a glass vase for all to see on future Nov. 11ths–I’m going to dig that up right now and DO it. Our family visited Blenheim, Chartwell, and the London war rooms on our last trip to England–we have such respect for Churchill–now we need to visit his gravesite. Thank you for your meaningful blogpost!!

  70. Sue G says:

    You are so much fun Susan Branch, you always make me smile!

  71. Rebecca Mercer-Ward says:

    Oh Susan. You always touch my heart and I am grateful. I remember, as a child, the veterans sitting on corners or in front of stores, selling paper poppies to the people passing by. My father, (WWII and Korea) would always buy several and stand to swap stories with the vets. Then, he would give each of us children one to wear proudly on our jackets. I didn’t fully understand the meaning behind this tradition until I grew up some, but wore the little flower like a medal because it seemed so important to my father. Thank you for warming my heart with a tiny forgotten memory of my father and his sacrifice for our country.

  72. What a treat to be reminded of days when I actually stood on a corner in Milwuakee, WI and sold poppies….not much money and it went to a Veterans organization. I think I was 12 (yes, child free labor for sure).

  73. Susan Morgon ( Ohio gal from SoCal ) says:

    Your beautiful blog has made me realize that it’s been a long, long time since I have seen anyone wearing a poppy here. Is it done anymore? It’s too dear to let pass into nothingness! I loved listening to the snippet of “Abide with Me ” in the video. I love the heartfelt old hymns.
    Now isn’t Jack the handsomest fellow!

  74. joni says:

    Another lovely post, thank you.

    A bit of travel, history, home and always love:)

  75. Elizabeth McCrea says:

    I love your blog…it always, always lifts me up and makes me happy!

    As the daughter of a veteran, I remember when, in this country, we used to find/wear poppy pins for Veterans’ Day. I think we should revive that tradition. Would it be possible to source poppies from GB and make them available in your store? I would buy a bunch for everyone I know!

  76. Collette says:

    Your blog is always a vacation for the mind, to be read slowly and savored. Thank you, Susan for such a lovely tribute to the military. You put joy in so many hearts. The heart shaped plates are beautiful. I’m drawn to the one with the old fashioned white mixer, reminds me of my mom’s back in the 50s.

  77. Kathy Fletcher says:

    Your blog is a mainstay in my life- i stalk it to see if a new post is up yet. Like you have time to do one everyday- hahah. I love it- love your art- your books- everything…..and most of all like all the others here- we all love you dearly. thank you for making our days brighter with your wonderful stories and tales. Have a wonderful day…….xoxox

    • sbranch says:

      I’m going to try to do a new blog today . . . may not get it up until tomorrow, but it’s coming Kathy! xo

  78. Grace Thomas says:

    always a good reminder of those who gave their lives. my dad was a veteran of WWII.

  79. Carol G. says:

    Loved growing up with my bedroom windows facing east to let in the morning rays of sunshine!

  80. Thank you for reminding me to wear my poppy! My son, a !st Lt. in the Army stationed in Hawaii, sent one for each of us last year. It will make him smile to receive a selfie with the poppies pinned on us <3 And just because of you….mahalo iā ʻoe [thank you in Hawaiian] 🙂

  81. Bee Stevens says:

    I remember poppies and learning the poem “In Flanders Field” but haven’t
    seen them in years. A good idea for VFW posts to do again.

  82. Donna S Lee says:

    Thank you for sharing your autumn experiences through your writing and images on your blog and in Willard. I just moved (after 13 years in one place), then broke my leg! It would be easy to sit and cry, but I’ve found that since I’m having to shelter in place, I might as well make the best of things and plan my decorating, baking, and holiday fun. You cheer me up. Now, I need to do some online shopping at your place!

    • sbranch says:

      Grrrr! Isn’t that just so irritating!? I broke my wrist a few years back, and the very first thought that went through my mind while I was laying there on the floor was “I don’t have TIME for this!” Then I thought of John Lennon, “Life is what happens when you’re busy doing something else.” YUP. Oh well, you’re doing the right thing. Getting things planned. Come out of it better than you went in! xoxo

  83. Saartje says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say I have been rereading “Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams” and loving it just as much, if not more, than the first time I read it. We are having a lovely autumn in Belgium this year, quite warm, until this week (but still not cold). I have started meditating again after reading your book, and it’s really helping me, so I just wanted to say thank you for inspiring me to enjoy nature, even in autumn. In Dutch (I live in Flanders and speak Flemish, which is a lot like Dutch, especially in written language) we say “Ik heb last van het vallen van de bladeren.” which means “I suffer from the falling of the leaves” and describes a typical melancholy feeling that a lot of people suffer from in autumn. And thank you for the meditation advice (in your book). Your books and blog are like little cheer leaders in my life.

    • sbranch says:

      We have it here too, but our name isn’t as pretty as yours … we call it SAD disease (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I used to get it too, depression in the autumn having to do with lack of light and shorter days. I used to sit with a very bright sun lamp on me, but then I learned about Vitamin D3, I take about 2000 mg a day and that REALLY helps a lot. Meditation is a great help for what EVER your life is doing. It’s wonderful to hear from you Saartje! Thank you! 💞

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

    Good afternoon Susan and Girlfriends. been out most of this gray day with raking the leaves up off the front lawns and trying to get handle on that, no luck the wind blows and down they come, looks like I never even was out there. and it is a gray cold day, we have rain and snow storms moving in by tonight… BRRRR!!!! got the towel load going in the washing machine, and I still have to get up on the roof and blow the leaves off and out of the gutters…again. might as well add to the mess already out on the front lawn. we had a wonderfully fun Halloween, lots of visitors to the graveyard and lots of treats given out. one of our cats, Tabitha, added to all the fun on Halloween night. we kept one pumpkin inside for the cats, and she decided to perch on it and bristle up and hiss at the kiddies as they came up to get treats. the kids loved it and thought we trained her to do that.. we didn’t but it was a nice touch. and yes she got treats for being so spooky that night. right now I am enjoying watching the wild turkeys roaming around in our back yard, they come over every day now, about 2-3 times a day and eat up the acorns under the oak trees. plus they just spend all afternoon lounging around the yard until evening then they head for their roosting place. I still try to put out some extra scratch for them to eat so they don’t go away hungry. ed comes home from work and there they are lounging in the back yard, he gets a big laugh out of that. a lot of people where he works tell him to shoot the birds and get some meat, he won’t do that. he believes it is not fair to do that as the birds trust us and we sort of protect them while they are on the property. they do no damage to anything so why not enjoy them!! I’m already at work getting the Thanksgiving menu planned out and getting things stocked up for that and for our barn party coming up in a couple of weeks. I just love this time of year, so beautiful and so busy. well off to run the blower and get those leaves off of the roof. Happy Fall everyone!!! hugs….. 😀

    • sbranch says:

      After we do the gutters, we have a rule about the leaves on the roof! Let the wind do it! LOL! Happy turkey watching, Pat!

  85. Janie Scholes says:

    Thank you for the uplifting and informative post. I remember red poppies in California when I was a kid in the 50s. I think the veteran organizations sold them.

  86. Beth Keser says:

    Thank you for a wonderful post. Are the red poppies available anywhere on line? They are so much cuter than than the American version! Your blog always makes my day 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I know they’re all over England right now . . . do you have a friend over there? That would be the way to go!

  87. Lynne says:

    Hello Susan,
    I enjoy your beautiful books and have recently found your blog. Thank you for sharing your trip to England with us and for your lovely post about Remembrance Day. I will look for poppies when I am out and about this weekend.
    I would love to be entered into your generous giveaway. Thank you!

  88. Kimberlee says:

    I am going to wish on that sweet little leaf -stuck in your clothespin- that I will be drawn as the winner of this most beautiful of bounties!!! 🙂
    You make my seasons breezier, sunnier, Fall-ier and cozier Susan Branch…thank you.
    ~Kimberlee in Idahoooo (definitely **NOT** Kimmi 🙂

  89. Aimee Miller says:

    I’ve been a follower of yours since I was about 16 or 17 when my Grandma was gifted a Heart of the Home cookbook after it was first published. I poured over it until she finally gave it to me and I became a fan friend for life. Now 46 I still have the same peace, camaraderie and excitement reading your books, Willard and blog. Thank you and what a great reminder of the meaning of poppy’s and another way to celebrate and honor Veterans Day. Always hoping to see you when I am out east!

  90. Denise Baca says:

    Hi Susan,

    Autumn is a lovely time of the year. All the leaves blowing to the ground and the wind kicking up with a cool breeze compared to the summer days in Southern Nevada.
    The teapot dishes are so cute and adorable. It is always amazing how you think up of these things to add a little touch at teatime.
    I am so glad that you are adding cross stitching and embroidery to your items to buy. I love to cross stitch and embroidery myself most of the time during spare moments of” me time”.
    Have a wonderful week and enjoy your Autumn walks. I can feel the chill in the air. Only not as chilly as you are over there.
    Take care.

  91. Juli says:

    O dear Susan
    Thank you!
    Just once again being so grateful for you and ALL you and dear Joe do!
    Thankful for all the love you share and give
    for the things you teach and show us
    for being our girlfriend and inspiration
    for being a light and lifting us up
    for the laughs and deliciousness
    and for so much more!
    I/we thank you and love you!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Juli, it’s my pleasure and honor, thank you for your sweet words … we have such wonderful kindred spirits here!

  92. Doris waggoner says:

    Now I understand why the poppy was my father’s favorite flower. He was born 1908.

  93. Sharon Adams says:

    Thank you Susan for reminding us what great sacrifices many made so we can continue to live in a free world. In Aus we do stop & remember them on the 11/11

  94. Cynthia Pfledderer says:

    What a beautiful idea, the poppies. They create remembrance and community. ❤

  95. Treese says:

    I miss visiting England. I loved Guy Fawkes night.

  96. JoEllen Bendall says:

    We used to have veterans selling poppies on Main St. In Indiana when I was a child. So lovely. And so important. It’s a beautiful memory, Sue. Thank you.

  97. Nancy says:

    What a beautiful post! I’m thrilled that my husband and I get to tour lovely England, Scotland, and Wales next fall! You are my inspiration! Thank you!

  98. Johanna Collins says:

    Beautiful dishes!! I hope it’s me, I hope it’s me!

    And I hope it’s all of you, too!!

  99. Sherry A Winchester says:

    Greetings once again, Susan! Such a lovely history lesson! Thank you for sharing your stories, your warmth, your imagination. We are blessed every day for having you as our “girlfriend”! Have a lovely November,….. you, Joe, and the most wonderful Jack. ^..^

  100. Cathy McCann says:

    Hi Susan — It’s been ages since I’ve left a comment and I’m way behind on reading your blogs and Willards, but I’m so glad I took time for this one. I lost my brother in May, and life has been quite tough. He was a Viet Nam vet, a Purple Heart recipient, and a victim of PTSD who remained so very loyal to his country. We phoned each other regularly, but always had a special conversation on the 4th of July and on Veterans Day. We had a full military honors burial ceremony for him in July at Fort Snelling in Minneapolis. I made sure all the attendees had poppies to wear — I obtained them through the VFW Ladies Auxiliary here in town. They gave me about 40 poppies and could have gotten more. As Veterans Day now approaches, I’ll look for the guys handing out poppies at our local stores. I hope others are as fortunate to find poppy bearers and can make a donation to their cause.
    When I taught elementary school, we always decorated the hall with cut out poppies and yellow ribbons and sometimes had an afternoon tea to honor those family members who had served. “In Flanders Fields” was always part of the program. It’s so important for our youngsters to understand that part of our world’s history and tradition, don’t you think? I really appreciate you sharing so much of its history.
    Thanks for letting me ramble — part of the healing process, I guess.
    Glad to be getting back into the mainstream … Cathy (Ethel)

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss Cathy. Your brother was a hero, as you know . . . and I know you’ve worried. He is with God now. Lovely that everyone wore poppies in his honor. That was a beautiful gesture. Welcome back, and happy fall to you and yours. xoxo 🍂

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