Hey Girlfriends! Our world has turned to marshmallow fluff, it’s been snowing here! I knew you’d like to see it! Let’s turn on the  MUSICA . . . my mom used to sing this!

This, through the kitchen windows, my room with a view! Birds make such nice kitchen decor!  This window is like a fish tank, but the fish are birds, squirrels, and turkeys!

From window to window I go . . . camera in hand.

Standing back, you get a better idea of the situation.

Snow is good night and day! A person needs a change, and snow is a good one, because when snow comes EVERYTHING changes. The way we dress, eat, live, how many feather quilts are on the bed. Everything.

And then there’s this! Joe put some apples outside.

From the bathroom . . . there’s the arbor where we have summer dinners.

Our flying Valentine . . .

Here comes the dawn . . . I’m standing on the kitchen porch.

But we’re keeping warm . . .

Background TV is festive . . . I don’t even remember which movie this was … but it had Bette Davis in it. But this room with the Christmas tree was wonderful . . . I got all my decorating ideas from old black and white movies! I wanted to grow up and live in one, and I kinda do! Mrs. Miniver’s house was one of my favorites. Also, the house from Holiday Inn! Wonderful fireplaces and curtains, not to mention music . . . so many great old movies! 

I’ve been keeping up with my reading . . . Love the King Arthur catalog. Lots of baking, warm-up-the-kitchen holiday-inspiration between these pages!

Plain, quiet, nothing much, perfect end of an extraordinary ordinary day.💞

Still eating my delicious healthy (plain) (whole) food . . . that’s bean salad there, I used balsamic vinegar with the olive oil and it turned the white beans dark, but tasted great!

Good Morning Moon! Me, before dawn . . . wearing my winter warmies.

I had to go out and take pics of the Long Night’s Moon. (Did you all get your 2020 full-moon bookmark? Here you go, it was in the last Willard!) The one thing my camera can’t do justice to is the effect of a full moon on a blanket of snow! It’s so bright, it wakes you up! It looks lit from within ~ I peek out the window to see moonlight bouncing off snowy roofs and church steeples, illuminating picket fences and white chimneys, sending patchwork light through window panes to make square reflections on the floor. Here it is peeking through the bedroom curtains. ⬇️

Days are shorter, nights last forever, I’m decorating, but I’m loving the feel of quiet in the house. I filled a table with Christmas things, and it suddenly became noisy, so I took it all away, and now it goes well with the marshmallow world.

I’ve been writing a Christmas Story! I’ve been thinking about this idea for years, but recently I saw The Man Who Invented Christmas again, my newest most favorite Christmas movie, the story of Charles Dickens, and it inspired me to try to put my story down and make it real . . . It won’t be HIS Christmas Carol, but it will be mine. If it turns out, maybe I’ll publish it for next Christmas. I would have a lot of little children to paint! It would be a story for little people that big people would like too. Writing it has been a lovely place to live during this most wonderful of seasons. 👏

See, peace and Christmas can co-exist. I know it won’t last, soon this old tablecloth will be covered with candy, cookies, and cards, but while it does, I’m taking pictures!

I love it when her slip is showing.

Little bits of color are seeping in . . .

My bird tree looks wonderful on the kitchen table against the snowy window!

And the top of my stove is decked with my favorite traditional decorations.

There are little bits here and there of times gone by . . .

Yes, our old stockings are hung by the chimney with care.

Our history shows if you look real close.

Then the sun came out! Sun on snow is JUST as wonderful as moon on snow!

Time came, as it always does, for napkin counting and dresser-scarf ironing!

This is the curtain from the bathroom. I wrote about it in my book Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams . . . remember? It was a tablecloth I bought in Cambria. I turned it into curtains for Holly Oak and this, after all these years, is the last surviving fragment, cut in half and remade into a curtain for our downstairs bathroom. I keep stitching it back together, starching it the old-fashioned way, ironing it stiff as cardboard.  When you like something, you like something. I never want it to go away. Mas Musica?

This scarf goes on the little table in that same bathroom. The one with all the photos on the wall. The one my friends don’t come out of!

We’re going to have a party, can you tell by all my preps? Two parties to be exact, a little one and a big one . . . I’m getting ready, the long slow way. Ironing, doing dishes, looking at recipes.

Time out for the best apple ever invented, the juiciest most delicious “Honey Crisp,” so good, it must be a miracle!

I invited my dearest girlfriends to a gift exchange at my house and asked everyone to bring a “healthy appetizer.” I made coleslaw . . . chopped two honey crisps into matchsticks, mixed them with thinnest sliced white cabbage, sliced almonds, golden raisins, celery seed and chunks of lobster to make it just a bit “more.” I tossed the salad with mayonnaise thinned with fresh squeezed lime juice and zest, salt and pepper, and sprinkled over radish sprouts for a Christmas touch . . . The recipe is on p.66 of the 30th Anniversary edition of Heart of the Home, in case you’re yearning for something healthy and delicious ~ and just as good without the lobster!

While I was cooking, I tried not to trip over my shadow. My small treat blends too well with the kitchen rug!

Getting ready for my Girlfriends . . . fire is lit!

Here they are! It’s definitely what’s on the chairs that counts! I’m now 30 years knowing these wonderful, talented, creative, positive, livers of life. They are all artists in their own ways, moms, grandmas, volunteers, small business owners, hard-working girlfriends. They are the gift that keeps on giving. When they’re not at our house, we’re at theirs. Winter on a small island is perfect for this. WE are in charge of the entertainment!

We drew names, and watched as each received their gift. I gave Annie a pair of bobeche! Jaime gave Margot a poem she’s reading under a candle held by Lowely (you can read it here, it’s called Enchanted!). ‘Twas a wonderful evening. Big parties are good, but small parties connect.

You remember Margot, I’m sure . . .

I wrote about Margot before, but in case you’re new here …this is such a good story ~ she’s the mural artist who took on the challenge of returning the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown to its original splendor by repainting the flat walls with a complicated trompe l’oeil design originally done in the 1840s. It had faded away to nothing over the years, and was painted over. All she had to go by was one very old photograph. In the photo above, she’s in the middle of the job. Hard to believe that wall is really truly completely and perfectly flat.

The only surviving photograph . . .

We came on a winter day to check out her progress. Contemplation. Awe.

She painted 60′ in the air. Margot-angelo. That’s her coming down. Fearless, committed, passionate, talented, and generosity personified.

It was all shades of gray to get lights and depth … she’d visited another church that had been painted by the same artist, but in a different design, so she had an idea of his choice of color ways and style of art. 

Gray and gray and more gray, but this paint won’t fade.

See the board at the very top? Yes, she sat up there . . . makes my hands clammy just looking at it.

How old is Margot? I forget but this was two years ago, so I would say maybe 65. She took her gift, her years of self-teaching, her wisdom, and did something pretty darn wonderful.

This is the Old Whaling Church from the outside, built in 1843, six years before our house was built, when Nancy Luce (the chicken lady) was 29. Connecting little teeny dots.

They have lovely events in the church, now that Margot’s work is done. We went to our Community Chorus Christmas Program the other night (I waited until everyone was gone to take this photo). It’s truly hard to know what on these walls is real, and what is just paint. The windows, are real! The rest of it? Not so much.

And what a backdrop it makes for one-hundred-and-twenty-voices raised in song that sound like prayer. There is something moving about small-town events like this, where everyone has a job, as either entertainer or audience, and everyone does her part. I can’t say enough nice about it. It makes you believe and know the old values survive. Look in your newspaper, see if there’s something spiritual going on, go, be a good audience, have community connection. Appreciators are a wonderful thing! 

I took this photo inside from the window of the church looking out over Edgartown, the old buildings, all silent night, lit up for Christmas.

The Bishop’s Wife was on the other day🎥, so I had to paint these touching words from the Bishop’s Christmas sermon, spoken in the clipped and perfect English accent of David Niven. “The stretched out hand of tolerance . . . “ Isn’t that JUST what we need? For peace on earth, nothing less will ever do. Let’s make it a stocking stuffer! TCM is knocking me out this time of year.🍿 Such goodness. It’s on right now (6 am), there are about 60 women dressed like fuzzy “kitty-kats” tap dancing and singing about sitting on “a back yard fence,” in 1933 Footlight Parade. Pure silliness, good for what ails you. The charming antidote for an angry world gone wild, wearing us all out with our boring one-note news media. And the perfect background “musica” for Christmas-Story writing!💖

It’s Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.

And this is where I find it!

We’re still out there walking, it’s COLD, but fresh, smells like pine and salt air, and the sun on our faces feels so good. Joe is trying to make a dog shadow with his hand.

On the way home we popped into the Christmas tree lot on Main Street . . .

Joe’s trying to figure out if this is too tall for the living room . . .

Big decision made . . . off to see the wizard . . .

Some of our one-way side streets are too narrow, we had to go around the block to get this baby home. But imagine this on the LA Freeway! Ha! They would arrest us!

I LOVE looking out my kitchen window this time of year and seeing the barn light on and knowing Map Man is inside making something work for our house . . .

Yup, there he is!

And there HE is . . .

All is well in La-La Land. I hope things are good at your house! Be sure to stop and smell the flowers . . . sing those jay-i-en-gee-el-ee bells!🔔And think about the most wonderful gifts 🎁, the ones that keep on giving, most of which are FREE!

Merry Merry my darlings.

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480 Responses to MARSHMALLOW WORLD

  1. Bethany says:

    Haaaa—that’s how my dad measured for the tree, too!

  2. Janice hearns says:

    Hi Susan
    The recipe looks great but I’m confused by something. You say it ore heat the oven to 200.
    But does something bake in that oven? It seems like all the cooking is happening on the stove when you sauté.
    When you get a minute, can you clarify?
    I hope you have a lovely Christmas.
    Janice Hearns

    • sbranch says:

      The 200º oven is just to keep the chicken warm while you make the sauce . . . You don’t want to overcook it ~ you want it to stay tender. Merry Christmas Janice!

  3. Deb in Wales says:

    oh, how I needed to read this today, Dear Susan! We all need buckets and buckets of a marshmallow world to soften the raw edges right now.

    I have those exact owl trivets too. They were a gift from my centenarian Aunt who loved owls. I use the large one for my teapot and the wee ones for mugs. Waiting patiently for the annual airing on telly of The Bishop’s Wife, which I dearly love. I own a copy, but even so it must be watched in real time on telly at Christmas, even if they do show it at some ridiculously unearthly hour!

    Just reflecting that in another lifetime, on this week after 8 weeks or more on the road we arrived in Ferndale CA after driving coast to coast and took possession of an unfurnished house. We were still camped out in an hotel for a few more days until our possessions arrived, but late on that cold Northern California afternoon, with deepening dusk and gentle snow falling, we drove out to a little tree farm in the nearby hills and cut our Christmas tree. It was all alone in our house for a few more days, but oh, what a lovely Christmassy thing it was to do to help us get settled in our new home.

    ~~~Waving~~~From Across the Pond~~~Deb in Wildly Windy Wellington~Wet Wuthering Wonderfully Woolly West Wales xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      We have these TV remotes so that if we see a movie we want that isn’t showing until the wee hours, we can click “record” on the remote and “own it” in a sort of special TV file accessible from the remotes! I have already watched Bishop’s Wife twice, and I will again when it’s cookie-baking time!😄

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Oh, My, Deb,
      This Deb just loved Ferndale when Tom and I were there on our first looog camping trip, 4 months, around N.America in 1989, in a veeery short camper. They were having a festival in the little town’s streets. I remember the Gumdrop House, trees trimmed like gumdrops, and the Swedish community, buying Kringle, and a tiny hand carved elf. He is on my mantel now, nestled into the greenery from Maine. East Coast – West Coast. Thanks for the memories. We’ll not mention the earthquakes.
      Debbie, in Tampa

  4. Lillian Olmstead says:

    Dear Sue
    What a lovely peaceful post, just what this week needs. Thank you and happy Christmas wishes to you and your boys.
    XOXOXOfrom snowy Northfield,
    Lillian O.

  5. Donna Crouch says:

    Thank you for this lovely, calm, beautiful and thoughtful post. Made me happy and sad all at once. Merry Christmas to all.

  6. Mary Revercomb says:

    Thank you Susan for the wonderful blog. I wanted to mention to you a new apple 🍎 that was just released this past week. It is called a “cosmic crisp” and it is so good. It is about 20 years in the making and is a cross between a Honey Crisp and an Enterprise apple. It is firm, crisp juicy, tart and sweet all in one. Also it can keep for up to a year and doesn’t brown when cut. It is kind of special to me as it was developed at Washington State University where my son just graduated on Saturday. I picked some up while there for his graduation and tasted it for the first time along with WSU famous Cougar gold cheese 🧀 . Yum, yum!! Next time I come to the Vineyard I will bring you a can of the famous cheese (yes it come in a can, google it). Wishing you, Joe and Jack a very special and wonderful Christmas 🎄. With love from my island to yours, Mary💞

    • sbranch says:

      I think you’re the fourth Girlfriend to tell me about the Cosmic apple. I can’t wait to find it! Fun! Love to you Mary!😘

      • Lynn Marie says:

        Speaking of new apples, you must also try the Lucy Rose! New this year. It is a cross between a honeycrisp and another variety I had never heard of before. It also does not brown, is very crisp and is rosy red inside–makes a beautiful addition to a fruit tray!

  7. Tami says:

    Gosh, what a beautiful and calming heartfelt post. Thank you. I’d love to read your Christmas story, does this mean the book is finished? I’ll be happy even if it isn’t since the anticipation is wonderful. I’m the one whose daughter in college broke her wrist, unlike your wrist, her saga continues, still has a sprain and a cyst developed. No surgery required, still in a brace after the cast, going on four months. She needs rest but has one last exam. Obviously, wedging a pencil in the cast and carrying on wasn’t the best plan of attack. Sigh. Makes me glad I’ve earned middle age and the opportunity to slow it all down.

    • sbranch says:

      Enchanted still has a ways to go. SUCH a wonderful story to write, but a long story, and when I broke my wrist, I was slowed down for months, and this idea of a little Christmas Story took hold, and now I have to do it! It won’t take too long, and then we’ll have something for next Christmas while I go on working on ENCHANTED. I like the whole Idea! I feel for your daughter! It’s all so clumsy, and certain things like, for me, ONION cutting, will be a while in coming back. Send her my best wishes. This too, we all know, shall pass.

  8. Peggy Willoughby says:

    🎄 Thank you once again for bringing such love and cheer into this holiday season. The snow is soft and beautiful. We don’t get much here in No.Carolina, but when we do I am always in awe. ❄
    I remember our 4 children romping in it when we lived in New York along the Hudson River. ⛄
    You are writing a Christmas book!!! How wonderful! I cannot wait to read it.
    Entertaining this time of year is so festive and fun. Thank you for sharing. I have a few events with family and friends these next few weeks. so adult children will tease me about the cardinals and tomtes around the house that seem to multiply every year. I will post on Twitter.
    The Bishop’s Wife is my favorite Christmas movie. David Niven’s sermon contained everlasting words.
    Thank you again for your happy blog. ❤
    🎅 Merry Christmas, Susan, Joe, and Jack. 🎅

    • sbranch says:

      Isn’t David Niven’s voice the most reassuring thing you’ve ever heard? I could listen to him all day. Will be watching for the photos on Twitter Peggy, as always! xoxo

      • Peggy Willoughby says:

        Yes, David Niven’s voice and demeanor were always do soothing.
        So busy having fun with kids yesterday that I forgot to take pictures. But I have posted my tomtes/ Christmas gnomes on twitter. I gave one to my daughter and another to my daughter-in-law. I got lots of grandchildren hugs and that was the best part of the day.
        I admire the artist painting in the church. An old friend’s daughter paints set designs and murals. She is currently working on a set for a tv show. Such talented women!
        Love you

  9. Cynthia says:

    Just what I needed on this cold, brisk morning. Getting ready to fill the cart with wood to bring down to the house, but some inspirational reading first, because it is best to get started with a warm heart. Just got your Heart of the Home from my local bookstore, and that will be started this weekend.

  10. Susan Havey says:

    Thank you, Susan, for a heart lifting post after watching the impeachment vote. You always share love and beauty when we need it most. Sharing time with long time friends is priceless therapy in trying times. Blessings to you, Joe and Jack for a glorious Christmas season!🎄

  11. Barbara Irvine says:

    Merry Christmas Susan, Joe, Jack and all the Girlfriends! Thank you for another year of inspiration, recipes, travel on Martha’s Vineyard, and wonderful photos of past and present life. I remember earlier photos of Margot’s incredible work at the church, but I don’t remember seeing her 60 feet up on that ladder! I have a fear of heights and I am in awe that she could go up there, and am also in awe of her incredible talent. The tree Joe selected looks fabulous, and I can’t wait to see you post a photo of it all decorated and ready for your next party. We need details and photos, of course! I remember your last Christmas when Ray and Paul were visiting … I’m going to go back to that blog post and read it all again. Cute photos with the Christmas light necklaces!

  12. Debbie Boerger says:

    Dearest Sue,

    I’m still tingling from reading this new Post of yours. I can not help but notice how our Guardian Angels led us to wash up on the New England shores!! You, with your giant, very brave leap of faith, from California to Martha’s Vinyard. I, from the steamy South, always dreamed of being there. And along came Tom and his ties to Maine. My best friend and I, who moved in next door to us when I was in Jr. High, were so full of dreams. We used to plan our lives with her writing mysteries, and I painting. She became a well respected newspaper woman, Editor, and I got to study History and Art, and teach!! I can not know for sure, but I’m a believer in Dreams, write your own life script, and then do what it takes to live it. Open up your heart to good things that come along.

    The big balsam wreath first filled our house with that wonderful smell. Next comes spreading out the huge box of Maine greens. Takes me forever because I have tocrush some of each, white pine, cedar, spruce and balsam, and stand transported to our little spot in Maine. Deep breath….Ahhhhh. I always find places for my collections….nutcrackers nestled in the greenery in one spot, Santas and elves on the mantle and under the wreath. They are always so happy to be out of the boxes for a few weeks. Then we dust them, carefully wrap and box them up to sleep until next year.

    I have all of Gladys Tabor’s books on my shelves in Maine, and I lend them out to friends who love old houses and having beloved pets in their laps and at their feet. Just as my bestest Maine friend made sure I was introduced to those and all writers Maine, I try to do the same for other transplants “From Away”.

    And, just like your Joe, my Tom is Mr. Fixit. He just left for his Disney Land, AKA Home Depot, to find plumbing connections and shelving to put our new laundry closet back in business. I have Dean Martin in my Christmas collections, along with 18 other CD’s that rotate all day. No snow, but inside it is…..well, it is chaos right now, but it will be lovely when I finish. Tom has to make cookies for our daughter to take to Maine, where she will spend her holiday from teaching. No nuts for her, nuts for her brother. And of course I make banana bread. Last but not least is the real egg nog, or Bourbon Nog. So very yummy. Very old recipe. Have to make it in small batches, so as not to have it spoil. Last thing we do each night the week of Christmas, is to sip a small cup with nutmeg on top.

    Enjoy giving and going to the round of parties. Aren’t we lucky? Thank you, dear Sue, and Thank you, my Guardian Angel. When I read the comments from the Girlfriends, I feel the Kindred Spirits of women through all the ages, keeping old tradition alive and making new ones.

    Very Happy Christmas, Dear People,
    Debbie in the land of twinkling palm trees

  13. Christie Levin says:

    Thank you for our lovely Christmas present of this Happy Christmas 2019 Blog ~ your gift is the second I have received this Christmastime, and my heart filled up to the top while unwrapping both. I will print this so I can re-read it like a little book. I’d like to tell you about something I’d wish I could ask Santa for ~ a book containing all your blog posts (including all the comments); or, if that would be to bulky, a set of volumes containing all your blog posts by year. There could be a section in the back with everything you provided a link to printed out, and then a blank page or two where the reader can comment to herself and that future readers of the book can read (children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, nieces and nephews and next-door neighbors). And a really nice aspect of this for you is that you wouldn’t have to write much more to make this book(s) complete ~ only organize it to your satisfaction, and VOILA! Instant best-seller! If the numbers aren’t there to make producing hard-bound volumes practical, maybe they could be like the little Willard volume you made available a few years ago. Meanwhile, Happy Christmastime and Happy Snowy Martha’s Vineyard/New England Wintertime, and Happy Cozy Home Time, and thank you again for sharing it all with us. xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I wish some sort of publisher that understands how you could take a blog and turn it into a book would suddenly appear and make that happen! I’d love it too, but there’s a sort of ebb and flow size issue with print and photos, they’d have to be big enough to see, would have to fit on one page, with writing laid out to flow around them . . . I do like the VOILA part of your vision dear Christie! 😘 xoxoxo ♥️

  14. Diane from New Hampshire says:

    Thank you for the lovely tour of your home and island this wonderful time of the year! It shows what is most important – family and friends. Merry Christmas!

  15. Paula Clark says:

    Hi there!
    What an inspiring happy post from you. I wish you could know how much they mean to me. It’s making me tear up just to think what to say. But….. I was reading and noticed I was sitting here by myself with my two little puppy dog blessings with a big old smile on my face. You are lovely! You make us strangers feel special, and I see how special you are with your friends and family too by the pics. I am so excited about the Christmas story you are working on. I hope it has the story of your Grandma driving up in her car!! I asked you about that story that I read on one of your blogs once, and I think you said you may write a Christmas story one day. Can’t wait. Must tell you, I have lived in my home for 33 1/2 yrs. and have had the same kitchen curtain/swag. Bought at Montgomery Ward when they were “one of the places to go”. They look like the ones at some of the shops in Solvang CA. I wash ’em, and hang them up wet, they are dry in no time. Still look great after all this time. This is long, but wanted to tell you about a new apple I tried from Trader Joes. I too love Honey Crisp, this one tastes almost as good, but you bite in to it and it is blushed with light and dark shades of pinkish red. Its name is “Lucy”. (After Lucille Ball maybe?) Thank you for all you do!! Merry Christmas to all. xoxo

  16. Beth Wilson says:

    Sigh, another wonderful gift of words. I am always so sad to come to the end…

  17. Cheryl Walsh says:

    This is absolutely PERFECT Susan!
    Brings tears to my eyes..
    Merry Christmas to you and Joe!!!

  18. Edie McAdoo says:

    Always – a wonderful post. Thank you so much. What is Jack getting for Christmas (besides a lot of love)?

  19. Jeannette from the Central Coast says:

    A most beautiful post of things seen through your windows and lives! Wishing you & Joe the Merriest Christmas and Happiest of New Year 2020!!

  20. Anne Miller says:

    Thank you again, Susan for making me realize we don’t need to set limits on our happiness or the happiness we share with others. I hope you know that your generous heart makes me want to be more generous. Merry, Merry Christmas and please write that Christmas story!

  21. Isabel says:

    Hi Susan,

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe and of course, a special rub behind Jack’s ear. Can you list in your next post maybe the exact things you are eating? I might want to give some of them a try. It seems like you have adopted it as a new way of eating and have had great results, not that you needed to lose weight. Sometimes we just want to eat a little healthier. Thanks.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll do a little here. Breakfast is oatmeal with blueberries, nuts, seeds, and chopped apple, with almond milk and cinnamon. Lunch and dinner can be these: scrambled eggs with black beans, avocado and peas. Sweet potato with salmon, green beans and spinach. Usually one protein and three veggies. A salad with everything on it. Homemade spaghetti sauce with ground turkey over shiritaki noodles (not flour, they’re made with root of konjak plant) and lots of Parmesan. Hope this helps!

  22. Julie says:

    Friends tell me they are jealous that I moved to Florida a little over 2 years ago and got out of the nasty snow and cold. Yet, when I read your post just now, I find myself jealous of your winter wonderland, especially the lovely and joyful Cardinals! Thank you, dear girl, for sharing the beauty of simple things that are free to all who have eyes and hearts open to receive.

    • sbranch says:

      There is good about everything, in and OUT of the snow! “Eyes and hearts open to receive . . .” Sweet! ❌⭕️

  23. Regina Carretta says:

    thank you thank you….did I remember to thank you? these past few days have been spent with dear dear friends…..lunches, breakfasts, laughter, venting, knowing these wonderful people, and their critters are in the world… cousin just agreed to foster Mrs. Beasley, a cat that looks like Jack…foster for as long as Mrs. Beasley needs to be with her and Bon Bon (another kitty critter)….my little Maggie Mae, a mix of red golden retriever and maybe shephard? maybe collie? a rescued dog from 2 years ago, chewing on her knotted socks, where I hide treats….TCM yes, as background, and seeing “Love Actually” Sunday at a local neighborhood theatre, that serves food to us in cushy couches…. the small things…..the older I get, the more I KNOW it is the small things, the actual time spent with loved ones, those are the real wonders of our world……no waiting in lines for flat screen TV’s… noise….only the silence of snow, the dog yawns, the laughing of someone on the street struggling with their umbrella…..have I thanked you yet for your new blog?

  24. Alice Dennison says:

    Your tree in the car reminded me of a Christmas years ago. My ex-husband and I some how stuffed a 14 foot tree into the trunk of a 68 I will never know. It didn’t fit the trunk and it didn’t fit the living room !! We didn’t have enough ornaments or lights but we made it work.
    Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and give Jack a hug from me.!!

  25. Robyn Brown says:

    That’s a fat squirrel! 😂

  26. Grier says:

    The other Christmas movie with the New England house to die for is Christmas in Connecticut! And I’ve always wanted to do the sleigh ride Barbara Stanwyck does. Sigh! The happiest of holidays to you and Joe!

    • sbranch says:

      One of the inspirations for our sleigh ride in Vermont . . . from childhood I wanted that ride! Inspiration, a gift from God. xoxo

  27. Sarah says:

    I remember when you did that story about your friend painting the inside of the church. Truly breathtaking. And her work will stand for the next generations to enjoy.

    I loved your tablecloth with her “slip” showing. 🙂

    Have a wonderful Christmas, sweet friend!

  28. Reina says:

    Happy Holidays! Thanks for the joy you spread in the world! And the movie is The Man Who Came to Dinner–my sister and I watch it every year. <3 It's delightful!

  29. Nicole says:

    I lived in upstate New York my entire life. I recently moved with my husband and 11 of our 15 kids to North Carolina to be close to my parents…on the coast where it doesn’t snow. I miss home and SNOW so much and so do my kids. My 25 year old daughter is back home. Your post made me sooooo homesick lol. I want to move back home, but also want to be near my mom…I loved your book and wonder how did you handle living so far from your mother? Our family just wants to go home, but I will miss my parents!

    • sbranch says:

      Just like you, I am always homesick, no matter where I am. If I’m in California I’m homesick for here, if I’m here, I feel homesick for California. But here is where I was meant to be. I know that, despite the losses. Nothing is ever perfect, it’s just the best it can be. You have FIFTEEN kids? That means you win! Merry Merry Nicole, come for a visit, get a bit of winter. XOXOXO

  30. Monique says:

    All the very best to you both🎄🎄🎄🎄💙
    In our bedroom the toppers on the windows are from one tablecloth my grandmother..who I never knew embroidered..I cut and pieced etc..and like you..wash iron and starch and never want them to go away.My dad would be over 100 so she would maybe be 135..old old fabric💕

  31. Idelsy says:

    Thank you for this post – really needed it today. You always make the day better!

  32. Kathy Branch Spicer says:

    I cannot tell you how many times (as I have mentioned before in comments) that I have had the thought enter my head “I need a Susan Branch blog today” and like MAGIC (because what ELSE could it be?), POOF! into my inbox is a Susan Branch blog. It happened again today. It was as if my heart just KNEW that a blog was on its way to me, just when I needed it most!

    No snow here in the big woods of southeast Ohio, so I enjoyed your photos VERY much. I am hoping for snow soon. My Shadowy Hills (what I call our couple of acres of heaven) look extra pretty in a covering of snow. Soon, perhaps, while I have time off of work (university’s winter break). That would be the BEST!

    Happy Christmas to you and yours.

  33. Gail Sjelin says:

    I LOVE your beautiful, homey Christmas musings💕🎄💕. Full of love and nostalgia 💕🎄. Thank you, and Merry Christmas🎄⛄️💕

  34. Jan Ash says:

    I loved everything about this, the pictures, the quotes, and your wonderful insights. Thank you for making my day much Merrier!!!

  35. Fran Vella says:

    How beautiful your world is with the snow at this time of year. I also love that you celebrate the season with your dearest friends. Here in Northern California the weather is rather dreary gray. No snow to brighten up the day. Shouldn’t complain since the weather got up to 68 degrees yesterday. Thank you for your wonderful stories about life on the Vineyard. Hope you make it up to the Bay Area for a book signing next year when your latest book comes out.

  36. Dd says:

    Here in Europe listening to all t Brexit news, looking forward to making my way back to NE this WE. Need a tree and some snow!

  37. Barb Murphy says:

    Another fun blog. Here in eastern Iowa we had snow earlier in the week. Then the temp’s got into the 40’s and away it went. Christmas decorations are up in our house, tho not as many as there used to be. Somehow the less clutter there is the better. Like the “noise” you describe. My husband, Jim, and I can sit and enjoy the lights of the tree but not feel overwhelmed. A nice time to sit back with a cup of Lady Grey and say “Ahhhhh”… Merry Christmas and Blessings for the coming year to you, Joe and Jack. At Christmas and always, what a blessing you are.

  38. Nicole says:

    Merry Christmas Sue and Joe! Stay safe and warm ❤️

  39. Susan Miller says:

    Christmas, the most magical time of year! Thank you for sharing your marshmallow world! So very peaceful and quiet 🙂 Merry Christmas 🙂

  40. Susan Hebert says:

    Hope you and yours have a Happy Holidays, Susan. Your marshmellow world sounds wonderful, as a California girl, I get a green one, but a bit too cold for me.


  41. Marilyn Rogers says:

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe!! Hoping by next Christmas you might have your Christmas story written!! Love all the lovely, homey pictures you post.
    Blessings for a healthy and happy New Year!

  42. Charlotte M. says:

    Merry Christmas Susan and Joe and wee Jack. Thanks for the lovlee pictures of the snow and all.

  43. Nancy T. says:

    Thank you for such a beautiful post. We wish you and Joe a beautiful, old fashioned Christmas. 🙂

  44. Louise Cavanaugh says:

    On top of all the beautiful photos and decorating ideas you gave us Mrs. Miniver, Mr. Bates, and Cary Grant all in one newsletter! Taking a break to sew a stocking for my daughter-in-law, then reading your blog all over again. So calming and inspirational to read your words. Thank you and Merry Christmas! 🎄

  45. Jennifer says:

    Have you tried a “Cosmic Crisp” apple? They are delicious!!!

  46. Vicki says:

    I love your marshmallow world! The snow brightens up the world, even at night! I love Honey Crisp apples too, and have just tried a new apple called Cosmic Crisp. It’s part Honey Crisp and Enterprise apple. Delicious! Merry Christmas to you, Joe, & Jack!

  47. Beverlee Moreno-Ring says:

    That was absolutely wonderful! Loved this blog.. you are the perfect antidote, helping us all remember the wonder of the little things and the joy of life. Your friend who is painting the church is absolutely amazing.. Can’t imagine how someone paints on such a large scale, let alone 60 feet in the air! Her work turned out so beautiful. Your friend get together looked really fun. Doing one next week for my girlfriends. Can’t say it will be healthy foods. More like sweet nibbles and tea. All good!! Always want to say Thank you Susan for your blogs. This one is especially lovely..❤️❤️. Beverlee

  48. Evelyn McKenna says:

    Merry Christmas Susan! Thank you for your gentle, loving blog which is in beautiful contrast to today’s discourse. Your blog refreshed my soul.
    Your friend Evelyn
    P.S. Please pet Jack for me. 💕

  49. Janice Henkel says:

    What’s bobeche?

    • sbranch says:

      If you see the candlesticks in my photos, you’ll notice, especially this time of year, that there are dangling stars on them. Go back one post and you’ll see that I gave a pair of them away in a drawing . . . pictures are there.

  50. Lisa Loch says:

    Merry Christmas Susan!! I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for years. I always feel happy and cozy after reading your blog. Thank you!

  51. Helen says:

    Another chance to escape to the world of beautiful images 💕 thank you and Merry Christmas!

  52. Jody H Wallem says:

    Sweet Susan, I feel like I get a little hug from you as I read each of your blogs. Thank you! I love the photos of your snowy world, the “flying Valentine,” and your friends love painting in the church. Have a very Merry Christmas!

  53. Kathy Phenix says:

    As usual Jack steals my heart. Kisses to his furry little face

  54. Catie V says:

    Oh< Susan! Yes… PLEASE write a Christmas book! How lovely that would be… I can only begin to imagine how wonderful it would be! Can I pre-order????

    Love all of the photos. And, like you, the house from Holiday Inn is nothing short of spectacular. We live in the Northwoods of Wisconsin… a LOT of snow… and I am always working toward creating THAT house here at home.

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe and Jack!

  55. Ellen Schultz says:

    Susan–I love this blog! Have been in Arizona for 14 years and once in a while I do miss seeing the snow we had in the Buffalo, NY area. Wishing you and Joe a Very Merry Christmas and Happy 2020.

  56. Dawn Bartlett-Brown says:

    Hi Susan,
    I wonder if that movie is “The Man Who Came to Dinner”?
    Ps…Loved the Willard!

  57. Jane says:

    Your letters bring such peace, such joy. I hadn’t set an intention for today yet, but now that your lovely letter has arrived, I will contemplate those gifts that keep on giving. Thank you once again for a quiet, lovely interlude of peace and grace.

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

    Hello Susan, and Hello Girlfriends, first Happy Sankta Lucia day. its a traditional holiday celebration from my part of the world ( Norway and Sweden) where the eldest daughter wears a wreath with candles on it and a white robe and wakes her parents and family up with the song of Sankta Lucia and hot coffee and hot cocoa and Lucia buns (cinnamon buns). its a prayer to bring back the sun for the long dark days have begun. and to introduce you all to a family custom we keep rolling along.. the first snowball of the season….. and SPLAT I got you all…. LOL!!! we have had snow here over Thanksgiving weekend, and its getting colder so I suspect more snow is on the way… wheee!!! been busy here, got almost all the decorating done, just have the windows to do and this year I plan to keep it simple. plus we are trying to keep the 2 gremlins out of the tree, I keep my slingshot handy and the bean bags to shoot at them. have the fire in the woodstove going and keeping the place warm and comfy, thank heavens we finally got the roof fixed, well a new roof put on and the old one torn off. YAY no more mop and bucket brigade for me.. buckets to catch the leaks ( or pots and pans) and the mop to mop up the water from the leaks. we got some new chickens over the weekend. their owner lost most of the flock over the Thanksgiving weekend and had only 8 left, then last Saturday he lost 2 more so the what was left he gave to us. those poor birds were terrified when they arrived here, now they are much calmer and happy, bouncing out the door to go out in the chicken yard and chase the others around, life is now good for them. guess some raccoons got into the guy’s henhouse and had it’s own Thanksgiving dinner so to speak. sad but true. but they are doing fine now, and loving the freedom of the big yard. they will start laying soon.. still youngsters and our youngsters are finally laying eggs…. YAY!!!! life is definitely good around here. I even got the majority of my holiday shopping done and shipped out early, and my cards are all done…. now to bake cookies for the fire station, the postal carrier and the newspaper delivery and for the cookie swap in the neighborhood… this year I am doing snowball cookies. got to get back to work, have to check on the hens and get the porch swept up, lasagna for dinner tonight. have a great day everyone, stay warm and cozy and remember…. SPLAT…. got you all again… LOL!!! holiday hugs…… 😀

  59. Gayle Hall says:

    Yes Susan you are oh so right, and today your Joy was the reason for my tears. Love Gayle Hall

  60. CindyLou says:

    The movie is The Man Who Came to Dinner, starring Bette Davis and Monty Woolley.

  61. Shelly Stone says:

    So nice to see beautiful things and such peacefulness. Thank u!

  62. Donna Wilson says:

    Dear Susan ~

    Thank you for your wonderful posts all year, so filled with hope and optimism! Merry Christmas to you and Joe!! Here’s to the return of the “Roaring 20’s”

    Love and Joy,
    Donna Wilson xxx

  63. Joyce Shew says:

    I love the random thoughts. They stir visions and memories. Looking forward to following this blog.

  64. CHARLOTTE says:

    Merry Christmas to you Susan! Your post, if I weren’t already in the Christmas spirit, would have certainly delivered me there now. I recognize the feelings you shared with a full moon and snow, early mornings and winter sun rises, Christmas greens, happy memories and waiting for friends and family to come in. I will reread your post throughout the season to remind me of the spirit of Christmas we all share. Happy happy to you and Joe!

  65. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Happy Christmas, Susan, to you and Joe and Jack. You certainly know how to make spirits bright. Mine were brightened considerably yesterday because I found a copy of your “Christmas from the Heart of the Home” (large format) at Value Village, a thrift store near us. It had been displayed on rhe Christmas shelf with children’s books, cds and dvds and other seasonal offerings. You can just imagine my excitement to find one of your books in the wild. I already have a copy but it will go to a friend who doesn’t. And best part, it was only $1.29! Such treasures for only a $1.29. I loved hearing about all your preparations for Christmas. I’m at the wrapping stage – so much fun. My theme this year is decorating each package with an old black and white photo that depicts a Christmas scene or a wintery one. I mount them on the package with gold photo corners, add a line from a Christmas song that is appropriate to the photo, tie with a narrow red ribbon and attach a small Christmas bauble. I’m very pleased how they have turned out. I photocopy the pictures on photo paper and preserve the original. That way, I can use .the same photo on more than one package. Well, time to think about dinner. It’s salmon (healthy) with scalloped potatoes (not so healthy but delicious) and turnip. Hugs, Elaine. Ps I’m so enchanted that you are writing a Christmas story.

    • sbranch says:

      “. . .find one of your books in the wild . . . ” couldn’t love it more! Thank you for the rescue to a good home! Funny to imagine who decided on that 29 cents. Why not just one dollar, or 1.30 or even 1.50. But no, 1.29! 👏 Your packages sound absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Who could open them? From one enchanted heart to another . . . xoxo

  66. Marlene says:

    Your emails are always a delight! Warm wishes, warm hearts that give hope. You have inspired me, and brought back fabulous memories of a Christmas once on MV… 20 years ago. My parents were living and we all sang carols in the moonlight and snow en route to our destination! Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    • sbranch says:

      And YOU made me remember driving in a car on Christmas Eve during a snowstorm and seeing how the flakes come at you so hard and fast that from inside the car window they look like long white needles! Magic!

  67. Lynn C Maust says:

    Love your recommendation for “Honey Crisp” apples….I am new to those.

  68. Liz says:

    Merry Christmas! Thanks for spreading the good cheer! <3

  69. Sara Langley De Costa Graffam says:

    Merry Merry Christmas !!! XXXOOO

  70. Lynn C Maust says:

    I have Mrs. Minever’s movie….it’s very very good….worth getting….

  71. vicki says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, dear Susan…..wishing for blessings and beautiful memories for all the world to rejoice in this magical season!

  72. Toni Bauman says:

    Thank you for the perfect Christmas card. I think I shall read it every day until the 25th so that ribbon lengths and cookie temperatures and must-be perfect gifts don’t scare away the comfort of what’s real and important. Bless you, bless Joe, bless your neighbors on the island, and of course, your cat whom I would be allergic to in real time but can cherish online. Merry Christmas to you all ! Toni

  73. Tracey says:

    I so enjoy your blogs! They are a breath of fresh air and remind me of the important things in life. Nature, nostalgia, friends, food… ahhhhh. Just lovely!

  74. Linda Flathers says:

    Loved reading this post especially since we don’t get much snow in California. So fun to see all the pictures! Reminds me of the winter I spent with my grandparents in the frigid midwest. Thanks for sharing!

    Merry Christmas, Susan!

  75. Peg Ackerman says:

    Hi, Dear Sue! Wonderful blog post! I can actually ‘feel’ the snow…we had our first snow event the day before Thanksgiving! I had never seen snow fly (except, maybe in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life)…totally magical. We were snowed in until Saturday….just in time for Whitney to return home. The grapevine is always a worry…but he sailed thru without a hitch ~ both ways! I was very thankful that the Highway Patrol was escorting over the grapevine! We have our tree up and lots of Christmasy treasures. Being our first Christmas here, we have to relearn how to decorate…rooms & walls are different. I always look forward to your inspirations to help guide me. Have a wonderful holiday and do keep us posted on all that is going on in your neck of the woods! xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Peg, I’m so happy for you! Your first whirly snow! How absolutely perfect. Knowing YOU, I bet you’re in Christmas heaven! Stay away from the Grapevine! XOXOXO

  76. D Word says:

    Merry Christmas from Di and Happiness the Corgi

  77. Shannon(Pennsylvania) says:

    So much loveliness wrapped up in one beautiful post. Love that you included three quotes from Gladys Taber! Our house doesn’t quite qualify as “old” just yet…she’s 49 years old this spring, so I’d say she’s entering middle age…but sometimes she makes the “soft breathing sounds at night” that Gladys wrote about. That’s always been one of my favorite passages from her❤️❤️❤️

  78. Oh my dear Susan, this post totally immersed my heart in the holiday spirit. I love each photo and every word and illustration you shared. I listened to the old Musica songs and wow it took me back to watching the old movies, now I think I will find an old movie to run while I decorate and tidy and make our 1906 farmhouse in the Oregon countryside more festive. I am a blogger too.. but you are truly the most amazing blogger ever. ((hugs)), Teresa 🙂

    *M*E*R*R*Y* * *C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S*!*

  79. blbc says:

    Your postings are “a letter in the mail” … grateful to view inside your life, artwork and Island news. Thank you for all you do with your talent – shared.

  80. Sue in Houston says:

    Oh Susan…you sent us the perfect Christmas picture postcard! I’ve been decking my halls all day and was so happy to find your latest for my break. I do love this time of year; tonight may just be the night for “White Christmas.” It’s not Christmas until I’ve seen that one. That, and “Christmas in Connecticut.”

    With hearty Christmas wishes to you, Joe, and Jack from a lady with a black and white furball curled up on her lap as I write this… my sweet little boy kitty. 🙂

  81. Barbara Jean Murray says:

    Ah, reading your blog lightens my soul every time! Wishing you & Joe the most peaceful of holidays. A New Year will be here soon, and there is much work to be done, yet for now let’s enjoy each other’s existence, and share kindness wherever we go.

  82. Nina says:

    Hi Susan! I’ve always loved this Gladys Taber quote. I still haven’t read Still Meadow, but I have read One Dozen and One:. Short Stories and Country Chronicle. I can’t thank you enough for the recommendation, because reading them made me feel like I was back in my Yia Yia’s 100 year old Tudor house in Westchester. Nothing bad could ever happen there. I was surrounded by the love of Aunts and Uncles and cousins and friends. We slept under warm woolen blankets when it snowed and could always expect a night time tuck-in and a Kennedy half dollar from my Yia Yia( if we were good). The Christmases were always pandemonium with the presents and people filling the entire sun room & living room. (My mom had 4 sisters and 1 brother and there were 13 grand children) And did I mention the food? SO good..and it just kept coming.
    It was wonderful to time travel just a bit. Those days are so precious to me and Gladys brought them all back. What a great gal she was. I miss her and I never even met her. Thanks for introducing me to her, Susan. Merry Christmas everyone! xox Nina

  83. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    I’ve just loved your holiday posts, Susan; thank you. I know it must take you a long time to do a blog post AND a Willard; believe me, I read ’em over several times as there’s so much to absorb and look at, from all the pretty colors and lovely illustrations to the thoughtful, encouraging, uplifting words & quotes. Everything you always send and share with us is its own little ‘book’.

    You have snow! Too cool! (Oops, a pun.) Merry, Merry Christmas to you, Joe and Jack!

  84. Judy Brnes says:

    Mrs Miniver’s…my very favorite house! Merry Christmas to you and Joe and Jack, too.

  85. Stephanie says:

    Hi Susan,
    About the Honey Crisp apple…well, out here in Washington we are enjoying the debut (Dec 1) of the Cosmic Crisp apple, 20 years in the making, grown in Washington! It really lives up to the hype…..just the most amazing apple…perfection! We highly recommend them, and hope you can find them soon on the East Coast! Many thanks for your always wonderful blog posts….they are so lovely! =^..^=

    • Mary Revercomb says:

      Have you tried the Cosmic Crisp apple 🍎 with a slice of Cougar Gold cheese 🧀. Yum yum so good! GO COUGS!

  86. Darlene says:

    I’m 81 about 18 years ago I moved from the Seattle, WA area to the San Diego, CA area and I hope to never see snow except in pictures again in my life time.

  87. Bonnie says:

    A Merry Christmas to you and Joe and of course the lovely kitty. 🙂

  88. Christine says:

    What a Christmas gift this was – A very Merry Christmas to you and Joe!
    Thank you for all your love and art and finding just the perfect sayings we needed to hear and for touching hearts you have never met!

  89. Nan says:

    Oh Susan, thank you for being you! I loved this blog – so much in it I longed for. I had to read it quickly before running errands, but I’ll go back over and over it. I’m so glad you liked The Man Who Invented Christmas. When it first came out, a number of reviewers criticized it. But I said to myself, Oh, no, no, no, no, no, and watched it anyway. Much charm and I want to see it again too. I’ve started keeping a gratefulness log … something for each day. Today, it’s clear I am grateful for your ongoing presence in our lives. Happy holidays to you and Joe.

    • sbranch says:

      The Bishop’s Wife just ended (TV while I’m doing the blog), teary eyed from that and from reading these wonderful comments, and NOW, I’m watching Beatrix Potter’s father from Miss Potter, tell Dickens that people should go to the workhouse. I love this movie! It’s the IDEA of it that gets me. Happy Holidays to you too Nan, Blessings on you and yours.♥️

  90. Kay Bennett says:

    Dear Susan,
    I don’t have the words to express my thanks for all the beauty and memories you share with us in your beloved blog. It truly is a feast for the eyes. Thank you for bringing us into your world. It is a lovely place to be. So excited to learn of your Christmas story. Hope you can finish it by next Christmas. Well I guess I did find some words of thanks. 🙂
    My daughter,Cheryl, and I wish you and Joe a most peaceful and lovely Christmas season and a Happy and Healthy New Year❣️

    • sbranch says:

      Always lovely to hear from you Kay! My Highclere friend, that’s what I always think of! Give hugs to Cheryl, and a wonderful Christmas.

  91. Tam says:

    Thank you for another evening of quiet and comfort. I see your blog in my email but wait for the right moments to read it thoroughly. Then I’ve been sending it to my cousin Sharon who you would probably invite to your girlfriend party.

    Lovely thoughts, warming up to Christmas. Love the journeys you take us on every time, Susan.

  92. Sherry Winchester says:

    A wonderful “let’s get those girlfriends up to date and wish them Merry Christmas at the same time” blog! Thoroughly enjoying your pics, your wonderful words…and my goodness, your friend’s artwork in that church is amazingly beautiful! Thank you ever so much for sharing, sharing, sharing. YOU are a Christmas miracle! Blessings!

  93. Thank you for a lovely post and a glimpse of the Church now that it is done. What a great job. Looks so friendly like one would imagine on an small island. Your tree will look beautiful when decorated. Joe picked a good one. Jack, of course, looks like he will have the last word on all of your efforts in decorating. Have a wonderful Holiday Season. I love old beautiful homes and old traditions and I hope to never lose that feeling that inspires us to keep those feelings in our heart and home. Merry Christmas.

  94. Dawn Jones says:

    Dearest Susan,
    This post made me cry…tears of joy! Thank you for being you! You are a blessing to all of us! We hope you and Joe have a lovely Christmas and know you are loved!
    Dawnie & Hollis Jones from Dallas

  95. Anna says:

    What a glorious newsletter you’ve given us! I want crisp apples and sugar cookies! Please write your Christmas story – I’ll hope to see it next year.
    And you included an old movie still photo of Cary Grant and Loretta Young. I wanted to dress like Loretta Young and marry Cary Grant when I was young. LOL Old movies were shown every TV Saturday afternoon in the 50’s and early 60’s in small town U.S.A.
    Margot’s artwork and gift to the community is jaw-dropping in her skill and the scaffolding she scrambled up and down.
    I hope you have a cheery (and red) Christmas season with Ed, Jack and all of your dear ones.

  96. Ann R says:

    Sue and Joe, Mele Kalikimaka Aloha Ann R

  97. cathy bullard says:

    Susan, as a lover of England, have you read the wonderful novels of Barbara Pym. Just love how she brings those small English towns to life. She died in 1980 & I was bereft because there would be no more of her wonderful writing. The first book of hers I read was Excellent Women 7 I made my way through all her other books & even a biography of her. She went to Oxford & was quite the party girl going from one romance to another. I highly recommend her.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes I have. In fact I included Barbara Pym novels in my word-house picture of “reasons to go on living!” I love her, too, and the little vicar-ish world she wrote of.

  98. Merry Christmas, Susan. As always, you made my heart warm today.

  99. LilyAnn Kranking says:

    Loved your email and the true meanings of Christmas and the ways to celebrate. The work done by your friend,Margo, was absolutely gorgeous for the church.Wishing both of you a wonderful blessed Christmas and a healthy happy New Year.(a Christmas movie about you getting ready for the holidays would be a joy to watch! Loved reading your emails. )
    Gladys Tabor lived in Southbury Ct. where we lived for 16 years. We visited her house and talked with her daughter.

  100. Anita S. says:

    Ah Susan…I’m a long-time reader of Gladys Taber, and can’t tell you how much your writing makes me think of her. Every winter I pull a book or two of hers off my shelf to read again for the feeling they give me. Your writing brings me the same feelings. Thank you for sharing your love of home with all of us, especially those who are too young to have known of her. It’s fun to imagine that among the snowy hoof-prints in my backyard, one might have been a unicorn. I no longer have a fireplace, but in my dreams, I can sit near one, listening to Christmas music. Heaven!!! Love to you and yours…Anita.

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