Hiiii! We’re home!! MUSICA? Yes! It’s great to be here, and we had a WONDERFUL time in California! It was soooo good to see everyone. And I did bring home that special giveaway I promised ~ you’ll find it at the bottom of this post . . . but W A I T, don’t go yet  . . .  because getting home was the BEST. Here we are racing toward New England in our train room with awesome view . . .

. . . Hoping the whole way that we might still have some leaves on our trees. It was the end of October and normally by then they’re gone. But the way things were looking, we were thinking m a y b e . . . 🍂 🍁🍂🍁

Speeding through upstate New York, I was heartened by the color! Nothing like leaf-peeping from a train window.

We got off the train on Sunday in Albany, rented a car (so we could make the last ferry to the Island that same night) and drove through the gorgeous Berkshires, feeling more and more positive there would still be leaves on our trees at home.

We made the last boat but didn’t get home until after 10, so we couldn’t SEE the trees! Sleeping that night, when we finally got in our very own bed for the first time in a month, was as exciting as the night before Christmas! Would there still be fall when we woke up?

Dawn, from our bedroom window, assurance, and every dream come true.

I raced from window to window upstairs . . .

And down . . .

Then out to the side garden . . .

And around the house to the back . . . sooooThen all the way back for the long view! Fall waited for us! Leaves blowing down, chill in the air, smell of the sea, sound of the ferry horn, church spire to the sky, sturdy house that has seen it all, everything that says Home. Thank you God. Ommmmm.

My own kitchen, and no noise or rocking, just me and the benevolent ghosts of time gone by. And since I’d done a lot of decorating before we left, we were pretty much ready!

AHHHHHHHH…. Home ~ our bed is pure heaven, cold rooms at night, snuggled under covers, mooshing the comforters around my ears, dragging my cozy flanneled legs out in the morning, stuffing my feet into wool slippers, throwing on an old sweater, padding down the stairs, Jack leading the way, tail high in the air, filling the tea kettle, deciding which cup. We are sitting, and we are staying. So this was Monday, our first day home. On Tuesday the dining room curtains came. On Wednesday it was Halloween. So let’s start with the curtains! Ready?

And of course, I know what you’re waiting for, in the category of “everything that says Home,” Jack, furry soft petty-pet and perfect decor. He seemed really happy to see us. Presented himself upside-down, in wiggle formation, for belly rubs, and gave me a very Loooooong forehead butt, a meeting of the minds, the brain exchange. So here are the new curtains for the dining room. And where does Jack choose to sit?

On them. And why not. King of the World can do no wrong. Reunited and it feels so goooood! 🎶 He’s still my shadow, he still brings back the hair ties, he still cuddles next to me when I read. Now Joe and I aren’t going anywhere for the next year and a half, we are 

I peeled Jack off and we hung the new curtains . . . (Jessica, who made them, with Lowely, my darling friend and neighbor)

 And so voila, here they are! What do you think? I’m thinking the flowers make up for the ones we lost when we took the wallpaper down.💞

I’ve wanted “real” English curtains for sooooo long! They make you feel like you live on the inside of a marshmallow! We are now padded head to toe. I couldn’t wait for dark so I could light the candles!

They’re extra cozy because they’re completely lined in heavy flannel (just like the ones in England). They keep your house warm too.

Okay. So here was the problem and the reason I waited so long to show you the living room. I know you won’t think of this as a “problem.” With problems like this who needs enemies? Or whatever that phrase is. These are the curtains we got before we left and I’ve been pondering ever since. They are also very beautiful, thick and cozy, but for me, for the House of Creativity, for US? They feel a little much.

A wee bit too Duchess of Devonshire. I adore the fabric and love the pillows Jessica made to match, and I love the curtains too, they are glorious, but I was afraid after a while I might start doing the circular queen’s wave when I leave the house.

So we tried to tone it down (ps, they look pink in this photo, but they are really a soft beige with pink hydrangeas) . . . the first thing we did was take the decorative trim off the hems of the valances. Which softened things a little and took away some of the formality. This old house is your basic farmhouse with a barn and uninsulated pantry, the bathroom used to be a “three-holer,” and there are rooms you have to walk through to get to other rooms (i.e., no hall).  It’s not a fancy house. It has “good bones,” as a dear friend said a long time ago, and also that New England simplicity I love. You have to give a house what it wants. And I try. But I think my imagination was bigger than my stomach, or what ever that saying is.So next we tried removing the valances all the way. And I liked it SO MUCH BETTER. Back and forth we went, throwing out ideas, me, Joe, Jessica, and Lowely, with the tape measure, up the ladder, down the ladder, measure and pin and hold it up, stand back to see what it looks like, what if we get rid of the floral chairs? What if we change the lampshades? No stone was left unturned . . . and what we sort of decided is to keep the valances but bring them down so they aren’t all the way up to the ceiling, and then shorten the valance skirt by about 6 inches so it just covers the wood trim at the top of the window, to the first panes of glass. Make the valances lower and shorter is basically what we decided. And the other end of the room?

Here they are, the same fabric, but these are simpler and quieter.

Maybe I’m just bad at change! But I have to say, we’ve now been living with them for six days, and they’re growing on me. Most of my life I’ve made my curtains, so I’m used to unlined, crooked, half finished, a bit wrinkled, mostly made out of tablecloths, which is probably the problem! These are too good!

Jessica also made me a curtain for the guest room . . . Which I LOVE. Just a simple little thing, and pillows to match with a tiny blue and white stripe piping.

Just sweet and simple.

So then it was time to get ready for our Halloween party!

It was a pot-luck Halloween neighborhood Open House we were having, after the trick-or-treaters had gone home. Lowely brought cold slaw, Martha made a big pan of Corn Pudding, Carol brought a bowl of Dry Bones, Jaime came with a big green salad, and Barbara brought Brownies. I made Touchdown Chili and

A Pumpkin Trifle

Broken up chocolate cake on the bottom, then pumpkin mousse, then crushed oreo cookies, whipped cream, more chocolate cake, and more pumpkin mousse with a Hershey’s Syrup spiderweb on top!

While I was doing that, my boyfriend for life was outside in the driveway on that perfect fall day, carving away!

Making my favorite star pumpkins for our front porch.

offering me pumpkin seeds . . .

I came back in and did the dishes . . .

. . . then watered plants to stuff into baskets for arrangements for the house, swept the leaves off the porches . . . made sure all the votives and candle holders were filled . . . put Jack’s food and toys upstairs and locked him in our bedroom where no Halloween Cat thieves could find him . . .

We lit the fire,

And lit our ghost in the upstairs window . . . Casper is our “neighborhood watch,” he has a great view all the way up the street.

Bowls were filled with candy ~ We had hot spiced-cider for the moms and dads. We were READY! Bring on those kids! And here they come!

I love this tradition. Parents bringing their kids, waiting behind them, most of them in costume too … Look at this pink princess . . . Adorable or what?

We have friends who live so far out in the country they don’t get any trick-or-treaters ~we invite them to our house to give out candy at our door ~ we share the wealth ~ because, we definitely get kids! From all over the island . . . we are one of the few neighborhoods where the houses are close enough together for kids to get to without walking a mile in the dark! Halloween is huge on our island.

Is it ever! Early in the evening, at dusk, they’re very young, some even babies, in the cutest costumes, cows, and trees and bunnies, oh my!

 As the night gets darker, the kids get older . . .

We stop them to take their picture, and they put up with our 10,000 questions!

By 6:30 our neighborhood is in full Halloween mode. The police close down the streets to cars. It’s not just us, up and down our street and around the corner, its a mad house! 🍁

I got my camera and came around out front to take photos of the door … loved the tree shadows on our house from across the street, whoooo! To see the pumpkins Joe made, I had to wait until the everyone moved aside . . .

Which took a little while . . . everyone running in the dark, superheroes and angels, clowns and unicorns, with bags of loot, laughing, chewing tootsie rolls and eating M&Ms!

Other than the one partially finished pumpkin I saw when Joe was doing them, I hadn’t seen what he’d done. I looked at that one in the middle!  Whaaat?

And I got closer, laughing all the time. Went inside and Joe got a big KISS for this good surprise! Doing his part to make a cuter neighborhood, and a better world!

We had about thirty people for Chili dinner, and I was so busy eating and talking (receiving compliments on my new curtains!!!) I forgot to take pictures, but it was wonderful seeing everyone (remember, we just got back!) and it ended in the living room, where a girlfriend with a ukulele played while the dregs of the party (which would be us and some neighbors), had a sing-along. 🎃 It was a wonderful ending. And since it’s party season, here are a few ideas to make giving a party a bit easier. No matter if it’s a small party or large, formal or casual, Thanksgiving, tea party, book club, or election night party.And, speaking of election night parties . . . Here are some delicious recipes, all tried and true, perfect for a roller coaster ride which this night is bound to be. Won’t it be FUN when
it’s over? Then we’ll all live with the results and can stop thinking about it for a while.  And then we’ll get to do it all over again in two years! Politics seems to be America’s newest sport! I remember when I was in high school, I didn’t even know what I was! Or anyone else. I think my mom was a Republican and my dad was a Democrat, but they never argued and they both LIKED IKE! ‘Course the two political parties were 100% different then, and we didn’t have as much to worry about as kids do now, we were safe at school. It was a simpler and I would say a rather happier time. One of the many, many things on which we are all in perfect agreement, we all LOVE to eat . . . so let’s start HERE:

Yummy, from my Autumn Book . . . in case you have it at home, otherwise you can print this out!

These recipes are from Heart of the Home . . .

Wonderful spiced nuts from my Autumn Book . . .

. . . which I just made! I use them all season long!

Deliciousness from Heart of the Home. We’re going to my girlfriend Lowely’s house on Tuesday night to watch the results come in, I’m bringing Cheese Bites!

Opened my eyes from meditation, and across from where I was sitting, Jack was asleep on the sofa. 

I got the evil eye when I put the camera close . . . I SEE YOU, it says in green technicolor.

When we were in California, I picked up a box of my mom’s papers to bring home ~ I went through some of it this morning ~ it was a treasure trove! Saved birthday cards, old letters my grandma wrote, yellowed birth certificates and fancy engraved marriage licenses, hand-written report cards, and certificates of baptism, priceless to my mom, and priceless to me. Above, is a 91-year-old brushed LEATHER ribbon-tied folder with gold lettering, four pages of names and this . . .

. . . my Grandma’s Sioux City, Central High School Diploma from 1927. That’s her, below, on the left. Her class graduated only three weeks after Lindbergh flew the Atlantic non-stop to France! Those kids must have felt like their generation was going to own the world! Just a few days after they graduated, Lindbergh’s ticker tape parade was held in New York, which they listened to as a family on a radio the size of a refrigerator. I’m sure my grandma and all her 18-year-old girlfriends  shortened their skirts, bobbed their hair, and danced the “Lindy,” . . . they were teenagers during the Roaring Twenties, Calvin Coolidge was president, F. Scott Fitzgerald was the literary star, The Jazz Singer came out in 1927, the first movie with sound! Only two years later, when she was 20, the Great Depression started. She’d already had one World War to deal with as a child. The cards were being dealt. Life was unfolding. And before she fell asleep in her house with a music room on the 3rd floor and nine brothers & sisters, she listened to the most popular song of 1927. I love history, and picturing people in their times. My Grandma shared the planet with Mark Twain for two years. She shared it with Anne Frank, and then she shared Anne Frank with me.💞 Now I have her diploma.

And this! It’s my great grandmother’s 1925 application to join the Martha Washington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, DC. Four pages of family names, births, and deaths back to 1710, all in her lovely handwriting … with “Ancestor’s Services” that tells that her 5th great grandfather (and I guess my 7th), Captain Asa Foster of Andover, Massachusetts, was appointed in 1765 to “oppose the arbitrary measures of the British Government.” Eeeek. My grandma had given me a copy of this when I was in my 20s (part of my dreamscape for New England before I’d ever been here), but it was very different to hold the real thing in my hands. After recently reading a biography of George Washington (Ron Chernow), I realized just how dangerous it was to come out against your government back then. If they’d lost (and there was no reason on EARTH they should have believed they could win against the British Empire!), they would have all been hanged! But hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do and he believed in his cause. His son Abiel graduated from Harvard in 1756, was a minister who represented New Hampshire in the first Congress. I could write a book about these people! We found both of their graves, in Old North Parish Burying Ground in North Andover and in the Canterbury Cemetery in New Hampshire.

And this little slip of paper was in there too, written in my great grandfather’s hand, showing the dates of birth for his parents (my great, great grandparents), and their children. I met Merrill James Orr, born in 1871,  the man who wrote this, the father of my grandma ~ that’s him holding me, my mom’s on the right, my grandma’s on the left. I feel the generations behind me, and I see younger members of my family going on into the future. Such a connection. And the threads of that connection go on and on, out in all directions. Pretty soon, as you research your family tree, you start thinking you’re related to EVERYONE. Then you get your DNA done and find out you absolutely are!

And now it’s my turn to save little old pieces of paper, tiny fragments of a lifetime of memories. I guess I got that from them! 💞 Like here, in the England diary I’m now illustrating and rewriting in my “good handwriting.” You can just imagine how much I revel in the magic I feel when I write, spellbound in the dream of it (hours and clocks mean nothing), about the history we found in Enchanted England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. My pages will be peopled by spirits of the past, Winston Churchill, Beatrix Potter, Jane Austen, hill forts, stone circles, and fairy winds . . . all that and Rachel too! I’ll do it as the leaves blow, as the snow flies, as the cat naps, and when the daffodils come again, I’ll still be here in my old house, fireplace glowing, shawl pulled tight, pen noises scratching, paint brush ringing on the side of the water dish I bought in Disneyland before I knew I could paint, Jack at my side, living the dream with my boyfriend for life, loving the road, because

I kept Joe’s pumpkin for our front window . . . like keeping a light on! Never forget our fathers and grandfathers fought for this right, so that today, no matter how we came to this country, we get a say in the kind of government we want. It was EVERYTHING to them, their lives were on the line, and there’s nothing quite like it in the world. The right to vote. Honor our ancestors. Go vote, and take someone with you. Don’t think you don’t know what you’re doing, because believe me, you probably know more than most! The world has fought for civility since time began, fought to overcome human nature prone to barbarism, it hasn’t been easy, but despite all, we keep bringing it forward, so families everywhere can live in peace and prosperity. They’ve told us that we have nothing to fear but fear itself, and proved it time and time again. Because we can solve all problems when we come together. I know they’ve made it hard to tell truth from lies, the water has been muddied, even on Facebook, where we put our family photos, and share recipes! But it’s not impossible. No source is perfect but we can find a balance. When I have specific questions, I go to websites like Politifact, a Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-finding website. They can answer almost any question, “Did such and such REALLY happen, Did he REALLY say that, Does America have open borders, What is the Caravan made up of, Which members of Congress take money from the NRA, Who IS (fill in the blank)” ~ even old questions, like “Did Iraq have weapons of mass destruction, what was the Fairness Doctrine, what happened when the banks failed?” On and on, they have researched it all. Huge help for lovers of history like me.

“All shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of thing shall be well.” 💞Julian of Norwich, the first woman in recorded history to write a book. And aren’t they the perfect words!SO, we’re going off for a walk to the water, but before we go, as promised, last but not least, NEXT Saturday, Joe and I hop on the ferry to the Mainland for the day, where I’ll be at the West Falmouth Library answering questions, signing books, and reading the first chapter of Enchanted, just like I did at the Apple Farm in California. If you’re coming, or even if you’re not, click here and please print out this name tag/bookmark. Write your name on the bottom so we’ll know each other! And yes, for everyone who’s going to be there, you each will be getting a copy of your own first chapter. I’m sorry tickets for this event are sold out, but I promise I’ll be out again in the future, and we can try again. And if you remember, waaaaaaay back when I started this post, I promised YOU a giveaway!  So here she is! To win, just leave a comment at the bottom of this post (you’ll see tiny gray words that say, “comment” ~ click there and say hello, and you will automatically be entered. And if your name is chosen, you will receive your very own signed copy of the first chapter my new book!

In fact, Kellee made me FIVE 23-page booklets, all just for you💞 . . . so, this time, there will be five winners! Yay!!! I hope one of them is YOU!

I wanted to start at The Beginning with a love story, like I did with A Fine Romance, so I did!  I hope you enjoy it!That’s it for today darling girlfriends. I shall return! Have a luv-lee evening. Keep the home fires burning!

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2,436 Responses to WE’RE HOME!

  1. Carolyn from Canada says:

    Always enjoy your blog, Susan. I am glad fall waited for you on Martha’s Vineyard! Can’t wait for your new book – wished I lived closer so I could attend some of your events!

  2. Kit says:

    So good to see you back! I am glad all your travels went well. And that you’ll get to stay put for a while and enjoy your home. 🙂 Kit

  3. Sandra in Santa Barbara says:

    Welcome home! Yes, please enter me in the raffle…..

    Keep warm, we’re 48 at night in Santa Barbara, the Lilies of the Nile and roses are blooming, a frog croaking (such a sweet sound), and 72 during day.

    Have sunbathed on many a Thanksgiving Day!

    Happy Thanksgiving,
    Grasshopper and Sandra

  4. Dd says:

    Hope you finish t book before my trip!

  5. kathy raley says:

    it’s fun to visit but home is best especially by the sea.

  6. Connie castle says:

    Love the curtains—had never heard lining with flannel. Sure will cut down on draughts! This was a wonderful blog Susan. Thank you.

  7. Bernice Patterson says:

    Snow softly falling here in Victoria Harbour, On, Can. Just love the way your blog brings such a softness to everyday life, to make up for all the hard times.

  8. Susan, I loved that your wish came true and there were still LOTS of beautiful leaves on the trees when you got home from your trip! I am so thankful that you are offering another giveaway and would absolutely LOVE to win one of your TREASURES!!!

  9. Valerie DeMarco says:

    Beautiful as always! Thanks for the chance to win!

  10. Donna Arold says:

    Your beautiful post makes me excited to move to our forever home on the Vineyard in early December! We have been waiting a lifetime! We cannot wait to decorate our sweet cottage for Christmas and take part in how truly magical the Island is at Christmastime! May you and yours have a joyous Holiday Season…thanks for all the beauty and joy you spread!

    • sbranch says:

      SO much to look forward to Donna! You’re moving here? It sounds like it. I’m sure you know how lovely it is in the winter. xoxo

  11. Lonnie - south of Seattle says:

    Susan, so good to know you are back in your cozy home. Can not wait to read about “our” fantastic trip to Enchanted England, Ireland, and Wales. Such a small world, my family just happens to be from the Sioux City area also.
    Hello to Joe and Jack. Keep on keepin on. Lonnie

  12. Catherine Duncan says:

    Welcome home. and thanks for the many wonderful blogs you write.
    Wishing you an amazing Thanksgiving and cheers to Jack who makes us all smile.



  13. Lori Fernandi says:

    I’m hoping – winner, winner, chicken dinner!

  14. Barbara says:

    Always nice to read your blog.

  15. Ruth Steele says:

    Thank You for another warm visit with you. And I would love to be entered into the drawing.

  16. Terri Mc says:

    Love Autumn and your stories!

  17. Deanne Ross says:

    I can’t wait to read your new book Enchanted! Enjoy your beautiful fall days.

  18. Katie malik says:

    Great blog post!

  19. Ginnie Judd says:

    Oh Susan ! Such a beautiful post. xxoo. Ginnie

  20. you fill my house with such warmth as I read your writings. God bless

  21. Dorothy says:

    I’m really looking forward to your new book, Susan.

  22. Karen Dyser says:

    Love the curtains and the cozy warm ambience of your home. Thanks so much for sharing. Of course, I also love the political and patriotic comments as well. So glad you are back and posting pictures and text to warm our hearts. I would love to have that first chapter to add to my library of your books.

  23. Susan Raisch says:

    Autumn is my favorite! Thank you for a lovely post 🙂 Joe’s VOTE pumpkin is the best. Crossing my fingers to win. xo

  24. Mary Ann K Doyle says:

    You are a true gem in a world of craziness! Your beautiful blog is always enjoyed with a delicious cup of tea and a solitary house when children away at school and hubby at work (although our Golden, Kodaline, lays ay my feet). Thank you for all the wonderful pictures, music, train/car rides, travel info and English/Irish countrysides. Many of us are kindred spirits with one Susan Branch! Blessings to you, dear friend!

  25. Nanny D says:

    Glad Autumn waited for you; always a wonderful season of drawing in.

  26. Deborah says:

    Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday !

  27. Bev O says:

    Hi, Susan, and welcome back home. Love reading your blogs and looking forward to your new book.

  28. Linda LaVine says:

    Thqnk you Susan, for being you !!! You bring such sunshine to some very gloomy days.

    Linda L.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s been especially tough lately. Between the fires and the guns and the basic rudeness of our times it can set a person on edge. We need our quiet spaces, our communes with nature more than ever. Blessings on you and yours Linda. Sending love. xoxoxo

  29. Kelley says:

    I know this is a very silly, but I am hosting Thanksgiving and I would like to try to make the Cheese Bites but I am not exactly sure what to do. For the bread rounds, do you mean just cut circles out of regular white sandwich bread? I would first toast on one side under the broiler? Also can it be made ahead of time and just reheated? I have a lot of trouble being a good and calm host like you are, so I appreciate simple good recipes.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, you can either buy a skinny baguette and slice it and use that for bread. Or you can get a loaf of bread and cut out rounds with a cookie cutter. Put them on a baking sheet and into a preheated 350 degree oven (not necessary to be done under broiler) for maybe 5 minutes, to brown them lightly. Take them out, set them aside. When you want to eat them, turn the browned side down, and top each with the mayonnaise/parm mixture, and then under broiler. Watch them because they cook quickly, just until light brown.

      Let me say, these are SOOOOO easy. And people LOVE them. Good luck Kelley!

  30. Janet Williams says:

    Your blog means a lot to me. It reminds me to live well and beautifully. Thank you for all your hard work putting this blog together for women like me.

  31. Jenny Ranz says:

    Thank you for your perspective of previous generations and what they have done for our country. It is so easy to forget the struggles of ones before us but it is good to remember. Voting is a way to respect our history and hopefully create a better future for us all.

  32. Joan Kovach says:

    Susan, your words, your stories, your photographs just snaggle me right into your world and the world I grew up in too…….never forget how much we appreciate all the time these wonderful blogs take to write and post. It is the BEST gift you can give to us….a million trillion thank you’s !!!!!
    XOXO Joan


    HELLO SUSAN BRANCH-If you don’t have another giveaway until next year then it’s Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas! Enjoy the holidays!

  34. Lauren Ash says:

    Hello Susan,

    I can’t wait to read your new book when it’s out! I’ve read all of your others over here in England.

    Best wishes,


  35. Jo says:

    Lovely blog!

  36. Jo says:

    Looking forward t the newest book

  37. Monika Petras says:

    Love reading about your adventures. As an elementary art teacher, I am a huge fan of the fall colors. 🍁🍂👩🏼‍🎨

  38. Patty says:

    Thank you for all of the love and inspiration you share~

    Patty from Maine

  39. Janet Conn says:

    Welcome home to you and Joe! Thanks for such a lovely post and the chance at a wonderful give-a-way. Happy holidays to you and Joe.

  40. Janet Conn says:

    Welcome home to you and Joe. Thanks for a wonderful blog post and for the chance at a give-a-way. Happy holidays to you and Joe! I apologize if this is a duplicate comment as my first one did not appear to post correctly. Thanks.

    • sbranch says:

      They seem to have changed the format so now no one can tell when they’ve posted. I have no idea why! So sorry Janet!

      • Janet Conn says:

        Thank you. No need to apologize. Sorry I didn’t see your reply until now about the comments. I will only leave one comment in the future. I remember when it used to say “awaiting moderation”. That is why I thought I was having an issue on my end. Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving!

  41. Cynthia Tench says:

    Hello Susan,
    I have always been inspired by that quote from the writings of Julian of Norwich. I believe it with my whole heart. This September I felt so privileged to be able to visit, at last, her English city of Norwich and I loved it! Of course it may have had something to do with the fact that I was there, visiting my new English gentleman friend, who has lived in Norwich all his life. I saw Norwich through his eyes. I might add that I met him on the Queen Mary 2. You are the one that set this story into motion and someday I will set pen to paper and tell you exactly how it all began.
    Once again, thank you for being YOU and sharing your happiness with us. I am eagerly awaiting your new book.
    From the Cynthia that wrote once before, that you will be one I give credit to when I am old and gray, for my wonderful life!

    • sbranch says:

      Sounds like a fairy tale! Love it Cynthia! Who doesn’t want to meet someone on an ocean liner! Thank you for your sweet words, but I think you did it all yourself! xoxoxo

  42. Jill L Gantz says:

    I enjoyed your wonderful post as always. Such an inspiration for living a simple life full of family and friends, enjoying the seasons as they arrive.

  43. Lorraine Belinda says:

    Helloooooo! So excited to get lost in your new book! Your books are such treasures, the handwriting, the illustrations, the sentiments, such a joy to read! YAY, a new book in the making!

  44. Janet Conn says:

    Welcome home. Thanks for the beautiful blog post and the chance at a give-a-way. Happy holidays to you and Joe! I apologize if this is a duplicate comment. I am having issues posting comments today. Thanks.

  45. susan K. says:

    Just love the new look of your bright new rooms, just lovely. Sooooo English !

  46. Margie Terry says:

    Welcome Home Susan and Joe!! Just saw your blog post in my email after spending 2 1/2 hours cleaning out my old emails and Facebook postings (2 months worth) so I’m going to take a shower and get ready for the day! Make a cup of Earl Grey/Lavender tea with honey and then read your post!! It’s going to be in the 40’s here in PA – what’s the temp there?

    • sbranch says:

      Around 50! Going off on the 10 am boat to the Mainland today, meeting Girlfriends for a book talk in Falmouth later… it’s a cozy day!

  47. Darlene Mitchell says:

    Hi Susan, I so wish was in West Falmouth to meet you today. I can’t believe that I walked passed that library last May. Visited Martha’s Vineyard after reading 3 of your books & looking forward to reading your new one! Love everything you write about; your life stories are heart warming, and you have a God given blessing to make others feel truly happy! Wishing you lovely holidays! Darlene

  48. SUSAN K. says:

    Just returned from your Island on the 8th of Nov. So peace full since all the vacationers have left. Novmeber and December are my favorite months. Happy to hear you and Joe are back from your travels. Have a great holiday season to you both. Can’t wait for your new book 🙂

  49. Cheryl says:

    Enjoy your blog!

  50. Mary Zinck says:

    you light up the sky and bring sunshine to all

  51. rj chiodini says:

    Welcome home!!!! I hope Vanna picks me for the first chapter of your new book. love your blog, posts, recipes, books and you…Joe too!!!

  52. Gloria says:

    Welcome home, I have missed your blog post. It makes me happy reading those
    lovely post! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  53. Kay says:

    Another wonderful post, thank you! Such a treat.

  54. Anne Hegg says:

    I can’t wait for your new book!

  55. Deb K says:

    Love reading about your adventures and home life on the Island. Thanks for sharing!

  56. Peggy Dooley says:

    I am running away to the Vineyard during one of my very most favorite monts, November. Life is blessed.

  57. Must. Leave. Comment. Am so looking forward to your new book, would love to get more than just a glimpse. That cover and bit of first page is tantalizing! I hope the winter ahead is full of quiet cozy mornings of writing and watercoloring – slowly piecing the book together like a patchwork quilt, for yourself and for us readers too. Looking forward! Happy anticipation, especially for a book, is such a fine feeling… one of my favorites. Best wishes from here, dear Susan and Joe and Jack.

    And p.s. if you ever wanted to write a book about being American – your ancestors, and patriots and historical figures we can all look to, not to mention civic duty and democracy – well, I’d look forward to reading that too, you write from the heart about it all so well. (Gosh it felt good to vote this week. Can’t wait to do it again, frankly.)

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha ha, I know. Such a community kind of thing to do! I told one of our poll workers, “We have to keep meeting like this!” I’ll keep that book in mind Sarah. I would LOVE to write a novel like Poldark only American and better! (If you’re going to dream, dream big!) xoxoxo

  58. Judy Bartholow says:

    Loved having a long visit with you, look at your news curtains, and take a trip to the past when our grandparents were young. I too love history and am cherishing the picture and treasures I’m finding in my mother’s things. Bless you.

  59. Jan says:

    I’m glad I’m not too late for a chance to win! I’d love a chance to read that first chapter. What a wonderful post you’ve written–I enjoyed every word and photo. There’s nothing quite like home, is there? My husband and I travel a lot as well and as much as I enjoy visiting family or seeing new sights, I’m always happiest sleeping in my own bed surrounded by the old familiar stuff!

  60. Janella says:

    The pictures from 1927 reminded me of the book One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson. Have you read it? I think you would like it. Lindbergh’s flight is the central theme of the book.

    I LOVE the new curtains!

    • sbranch says:

      That is wild. I knew 1927 was interesting, but I just went to look at that book, it was kind of an icon wasn’t it? I ordered it! I wish my Grandma could read it! I loved his Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid . . . died laughing. Thank you Janella!

  61. Kelli says:

    Welcome home Susan! Glad you are home to enjoy this fall season! I enjoyed your blog 😊 your curtains are beautiful! Enjoy! ❤️

  62. Gloria Leach says:

    Hello Susan and Joe,
    I had the pleasure of meeting you both at the West Falmouth library this afternoon. Thank you so much for the wonderful gift of the first chapter of your new book. It is a treasure. I have all your books and I look forward to your new book in the future. I enjoy reading your blog as I can see all your adventures and how lovely your home is on Martha’s Vineyard. I wish I could be your neighbor. Wishing you both a wonderful holiday season and I’m sure you are glad to be back in your cozy home. Thank you for all you do.
    Best Regards,
    Gloria L.

  63. Sally says:

    A wonderful part of my day is reading and re-reading your posts. Thank you, Susan, for reminding us all to SLOW DOWN!

  64. Sally Deliberato says:

    We where with you at the Library today. You were superb. Thank you for signing my books.
    Joe signed my book too. Thank you Joe!
    Hope you got home ok. Keep warm!

    • sbranch says:

      We made it home alive, and so did you, all is well! Thank you for being there Sally, it was a wonderful afternoon!

  65. Hilary M. says:

    Dear Susan,

    I heard you speak in Falmouth today and all I can say is what a kind and exuberant soul you are. The gift you gave your nieces is life-changing! What a great aunt and uncle you both are!

  66. Laurel S. says:

    Hello 🙂 Excited about your new book!

  67. Bethie says:

    Welcome Home! We’ve been waiting for you. How lovely to read this post at the end of a glorious autumn day.

  68. Debbie says:

    Thank you dear Susan for this post. Just what the world needs, a reminder of what is good and important. Love to you and Joe and Jack. Glad you are home safe and sound.

  69. Janice M Williams says:

    Lovely afternoon spent at West Falmouth library listening to you read the first chapter of “Enchanted”, loved it. Are there any nicer people than Susan Branch “girlfriends”. You said to message you about A trip to England in 2020 with Mandy?I didnt catch all of conversation but was very interested, any information you could share would be appreciated, Thanks again for a nice afternoon. From Matthews mother who thought we were related.

    • sbranch says:

      I stopped while reading your comment to write Mandy and see if she has plans, and if it’s okay if I give her email address. So, please check back in, and if I get an actual tour date, I’ll put it on the blog . . . and THANK YOU for coming Janice. You are so right, we have the NICEST, most fun and happy girlfriends!

  70. vicki says:

    LOve it all! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  71. Dana says:

    I can not wait for your new book, I love your new curtains they are beautiful.

  72. Barbara says:

    I was so happy to see you had a new blog up, though I read it right after you posted, I never commented yet. All good things in this one! I am glad the fall color hung on for you to enjoy it! Our trees were late with the color show too this year, some still clinging to their leaves, however a light snow overnight plus some wind brought a lot of them down. I love the fabric of the new drapes, they look good with it without the valances but are less formal without! I’m glad you had a nice Halloween and trick or treat night. I envy you that as we don’t have it in our neighbirhood, houses too far apart. Now we have Thanksgiving to look forward to, then Christmas! What a great time to be tucked back at home, cozy and doing what you love! I enjoy following your travels and adventures very much but also what you are up to there in Martha’s Vineyard! Have a great holiday season!

  73. Deena says:

    This most certainly is a lovely post! I truly love seeing them in my inbox, and they are an absolute treat for sure!

  74. Karen says:

    Thanks for your positvity!

  75. Cindy Johnson says:

    Loved this post! I am really looking forward to the new book.

  76. Deb Blackmore says:

    Hello Susan,
    There’s always much to read and absorb in your posts. Thank you for the gentle reminder to be thoughtful and thankful of what my family had to go through to get me to where I am today. And may you never develop arthritis in your hands…what a sad thing that would be for us all! Really looking forward to your new book💕
    Deb & the Welshman

  77. Robyn Genau says:

    Susan. It is so nice to see you and Joe home at long last.

    Thank you for taking us wirh you to California and gor the latest and excellent blog.


    Susan ~ I LOVE your blog! I am 46 (that sounds SO old) and I have been following you since I was a teenager (before the internet, how was that possible?)!! You just get better and better, if that’s even possible! Your kitties are so adorable, we just took in a stray cat and I am overwhelmed with the amount of love we have for her and she has for us. Happy autumn!

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Kim, You’ll be thrilled to hear (from me the peanut gallery) that 46 is not old. When you are 70 you will look at yourself now and realize you are just this moment getting your feet under you! 46 is the baby of adulthood. Before this you were winging it! You’ll see! Thank you Kimberly, you have obviously grown up beautifully. Cat love and all! 😘 xoxoxo

  79. Hilary M. says:

    Dear Susan,
    I saw you speak in Falmouth yesterday. All I can say is that you are a kind and exuberant soul. What a great life changing gift you gave your nieces. You and Joe are a terrific aunt and uncle!

  80. Juli Jacobson says:

    Lovely new curtains! The newly decorated rooms are soooo inviting!

  81. Katy Welty says:

    Hello from Prescott AZ, who against all odds elected Dem. Kyrsten Sinema after all! Bunnies and me love you and all that you write to us. Your “Reasons to go on Living” is still prominently displayed in the crisis office where I work. Hugs to Joe and Jack and one for yourself!

  82. Dede says:

    So happy you made it home in time to see the leaves in all their glory! Nothing is quite so wonderful as autumn leaves… A copy of “Autumn From The Heart Of The Home” and I have spent some lovely time outside together these past few weeks. Today your Pear Tatin is calling my name. The Ginger Crisps are already waiting in the freezer in all their glorious leaf shapes to came out to enjoy with a cup of warmth. Thanks for sharing your talents with all of us!

  83. Paula says:

    I think this is your best post EVER! As a history lover myself, I love looking through old boxes of wonderful family info. I can spend hours out on Ancestry.
    It is just SO interesting. Thanks for your wonderful blog postings!

  84. Sheri Bodi says:

    Hi Susan! As always I get inspired reading your posts and so look forward to them and also now to your new book:) Home Sweet Home!

  85. Tara McClung says:

    What a beautiful post and thank you for the chance at this give-away! Hope it’s not too late to comment!


    I felt as if I was in an English home when I saw how you redecorated your home. I LOVE IT!!

  87. Jill Esbaum says:

    Lovely post. Felt like I was right there with you! 🙂

  88. Marilyn Rogers says:

    Hello, dear one. I so enjoy your blog and love, love all your books. Many blessings on your day.

  89. Marilyn Rogers says:

    Hello, dear one! I so enjoy your blog and love all your books. Many blessings.

  90. JudyRee says:

    Welcome home! I feel exactly the same way because we come & go from our home in Oklahoma to my grandparents farm in the Ozarks I bought years ago. Both feel like ❤️HOME❤️as soon as you walk in the door. Thanks for your delightful blogs…always brightens my day!

  91. Debra Maniar says:

    Thank you Susan – for your blogs!
    They are the ultimate happy reads with happy pictures, creativity, good thoughts, great music and encouragement for me to be more social and enjoy the day.

  92. Mary Jane Nichols says:

    Sweet, heart-warming words on a cold, blustery Missouri morning! Your writings and a cup of hot tea are gifts for body and soul. Blessings, Susan. Love, love, love.

  93. Janice says:

    I love Joe’s “vote” pumpkin. Perfect!

  94. Mary Ann K Doyle says:

    love, love, love to read the blog and escape to your world! been a fan since Valentine’s Day, 1991 when my older sister sent me my first SB book.

    (2nd time to post comment)

  95. Edel Mulligan says:

    Oh Susan how an Irish ☘️ lass would love to win. I’ve got your three books and some of your cookbooks including 🍂 Autumn. I love your blog,your home, your truthfulness in fact all of you and Joe.

  96. Nellie Bragg says:

    Hi, Susan! I read this earlier, though wasn’t able to leave a comment then! I love how you take us along on your journeys! That Jack! He thought he would meditate, too! You are a great influence on him! How clever of Joe with the pumpkin carving! I think you will be able to make peace with the curtain situation. Keep working at it until you get it the way you want it! The lovely floral chairs may be a factor with more floral in the background; may be too much going on there for your eyes to capture. Such a great giveaway! The girlfriends who were able to be at the Apple Farm are very lucky indeed! I have my mother’s high school diploma; should really have it framed to display! Keep on keeping on! We need encouragement to move through these days!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s too much, so right Nellie. I’m going to do something about it, but not right this minute! Blessings on you sweetheart. You are a light to the world!

  97. Thank you for brightening up everyday that read you wonderful posts! Glad you are home just in time for celebrations! Joy and happiness to you, Joe, Jack, and all your friends!

  98. Mary Frederick says:

    So happy that you are home, As always your post is wonderful! I look forward to each and every one. Thank you for the opportunity at a giveaway. Much love!

  99. I think my last comment got lost in the ether too, so just leaving another (shorter!) note to say how much I am looking forward to your new book. Blessings on your work and life over the coming months!

  100. Jane says:

    Great post, really enjoyed reading about your Halloween night!

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