RABBIT HOLES GALORE and History too!

Well, here we go my darling girlfriends ~ yesterday, due to timing, I posted this before it was quite finished, but now, It’s all here, the links all work, there are lots of little rabbit holes for you to go down! Have fun! … MUSICA!

The sun this morning! Right where I was standing! Streaming through the windows, beaming light across the rooms and onto the walls . . .

. . . 40º and all is well!

A little bit of spring to thwart the grey and cold, brighten things up, remind us of what’s soon to come! Looks like Punxsutawney Phil might have been right this time! No shadow=early spring!I know, it’s too early, but I don’t care, it’s not hurting anyone if I start the celebration a little early (it’s my house, I live here, I have all the power! Or at least half. The good half!). I like to pretend, so what if it’s freezing cold outside, flowers and sunshine make me happy!😀 Got my Valentines mailed off. This one’s for my mom, something soft for her to cuddle and love, remind her of her babies. She’ll get it with a box of See’s Candy, our favorite “family” candy. (My grandma used to send me a big chocolate egg with walnuts from See’s every Easter💞. They have old-fashioned, red heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolate too ~ if you click on that link, there’s still time to make someone’s day!❤️ ⬅️ this is why I had to hurry to put this up!)

And, in the spirit of “Groundhog Day” (the very excellent movie), I’m still making new art for the new 2021 calendars. Keeping myself busy. I’ll show you what else we’ve been up to, but first, let’s do what we came to do, see what we came to see . . . let’s find out who the winner is for our Great American Cup Giveaway. (stole that from the British baking people!) Just so you remember, ⬇️ there they are. 

For the lefties AND the righties! I hope you win! They would make very nice Valentine’s presents if you already have them!

You ready? The barrel holding all slips of paper with your names is churning away, round and round it goes, mixing and folding in the bits of paper, some of them breaking loose and flying around the room ~ “Barbara” and “Debbie” and “Andrea” and “Liz” ~ and “Carol” just floated by . . . but none of that counts unless it jumps into the beautifully manicured hands of our darling Vanna!And here is the very lucky catch, or winner, not a man, not a fish, it’s:

❤️ LaDonn J. from Iowa! ❤️

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S ❗️ 

I will email you soon LaDonn ~ write me back with your address and those Valentines will be winging their way to you with love from me and all our kindred spirits!💞 Now back to our regularly scheduled programming . . . Joe and I took a little trip off-Island! This is us on our way home:

Look at that moon! With clanging buoys right outside our window. We’re on the “freight boat” ~ cars are not stored inside, so we have a view of the water all the way home.

The Snow Moon followed us to the Island as we were heading back after celebrating the 33rd anniversary of our very first date (that lots of you read about in A Fine Romance,

the moment I was very brave and took a chance that Joe, who I barely knew, was NOT an ax murderer, just a possible friend, way too young for me, and went away with him! (So happy I did!) So last weekend we took a little trip to celebrate our Happily Ever After.

The reflection on the water made a path right to us…

While we were watching, this big black cloud bandaid scooted in front of the moon and covered it!

Our reaction? “HEEYYYYY, wait a minute!”

So we did, wait a minute, and here comes the beautiful moon again. It was a perfect ending for the perfect small getaway. Came home all happy and raring to go! Some highlights of our trip . . .

We love to get a little history wherever we go . . . around New England you don’t have to go far to find it! We booked a hotel in Lexington and spent a couple of days immersed in the past! Saw so many darling houses from the car window . . . I happen to know for a fact that this one has magic in it, it’s Orchard House in Concord, MA, the home of Louisa May Alcott.💞

Lovely old homes are just part of the territory in this neck of the woods, big ones and little ones . . . some old houses turned into offices or stores.

I know you like to see them as much as I do!

Isn’t this a pretty paint color?

This yellow too, warmed the cockles of our hearts . . . it never got over 28º the entire time we were there, our cockles needed some warming!

Sweet old barn . . .

Creamy colors and picket fences . . .

I loved the Robbins House ➡️ click on “History” to learn more about it.

Simple, plain, and clean behind rock walls . . .

Hard to take pics from a moving car, I either get there too late and only catch a corner of the building, or I get just a smear of color, miss the porch, am too close or too far . . . you should see the ones that got away! I never get tired of driving around New England!

Our room at the Inn at Hastings Park had the cutest little fridge! 

And this cozy fireplace I could turn on in the morning by flipping a switch to warm up the room while I made

tea because of course we brought our cups and a tea kettle!  America is not like England, we are not provided with tea kettles in our rooms, we get coffee makers! If you want tea, you have to bring your own kettle!

And just outside our window . . . I see the moon and the moon sees me.

There is so MUCH to see in the Lexington/Concord area … it’s a little like Williamsburg, without quite the organization, but definitely with the history. MAS MUSICA? 

This is Battle Green ~ it’s in Lexington where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired. The statue is called Lexington Minuteman. We heard and read the whole story, where Paul Revere rode and how he was captured, and then the standoff . . . the drama, how the people living here handled the deaths and woundings of their neighbors, the fear, shock, and insecurity now that war with the biggest power in the world had come to their quiet little town.

It’s hard to imagine it happened on this lovely, peaceful open space with the most beautiful church. My fingers were almost frozen out there! Had to RUN for the car to thaw them out!

There are monuments with stories like this all over the park and it’s surrounded with lovely old homes. They have re-enactments here on Patriot’s Day.

Honoring the brave men who stood their ground.

Need I say more? They call our democratic republic “The Great American Experiment.” We have to take very good care of it, 

 for the future of our children.❤️

The establishment of our new Government seemed to be the last great experiment for promoting human happiness.💖 George Washington

These mark the graves of the 1775 Patriots. Reminded again that freedom isn’t free. (Next life, I’m coming back as a history teacher, I love this.)💖

And then we drove over to see the place where the first battle of the Revolutionary War was fought on April 19 1775, the “Birthplace of American Liberty.”

Right here, on Old North Bridge ~ a wooden replica of the one that stood there on the day of the battle ~ it spans the Concord River.

From the Concord Museum, this diorama shows how it looked that day! Massachusetts has a holiday that no other state celebrates called Patriot’s Day. It’s on the second Monday in April and commemorates the start of the Revolutionary War.

Eeeek. Can you even imagine??? There is a confusion here … the first shots were actually fired on Battle Green in Lexington…the British then marched on to Concord where they were met by colonists on this bridge . . . The phrase “Shot Heard Round the World” comes from the opening stanza of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Concord Hymn” (1837) and refers specifically to the first shot at the Bridge, on April 19, 1775.

“By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.”

I tiptoed down this road to exactly here and much as I wanted to cross that bridge (shiny with ice), I didn’t dare, it was the MOST slippery walk just to get to this spot where I was rooted ~ and my wrist had things to say about me trying, like, “Don’t even think about it.”

You can see this memorial to the British soldiers lost that day in the photo above with Joe, but it’s in shadow. 

This historical home was on my left as I was looking at the bridge . . . it’s called the Old Manse. It was built on the banks of the Concord River just up the hill from the bridge for Ralph Waldo Emerson’s GRANDFATHER in 1770 … he was living here when the first shots were fired. Just looked out his window on a sight to behold.

Joe expertly slipped and slid his way across to the patriot side of the bridge just to get this photo of “The Concord Minuteman.” We learned about this statue when we visited the studio of Daniel Chester French (last year with Rachel and Paul), who went on to design the Lincoln Memorial. This elegant statue of a farmer with a musket and a plow was his first full-sized sculpture.

Charming downtown Concord, filled with history, cute shops, antique stores, thrift shops, ice cream stores, a cheese shop, restaurants . . .

This town is a great place to do Christmas shopping (love to do it when we travel!).

All of it, just down the road from Orchard House, so you know Louisa May Alcott and her family saw this same scene, only with horses and buggies (apparently, from the quote below, she wasn’t as impressed as we were) ~ here’s some interesting information about the newest version of Little Women.

The beautiful old graveyard, right downtown Concord, not shunted off to the countryside, these citizens of the past are still part of the action! I imagine they are forever contributing and still have a lot to teach us. Reminds me of a quote by Anne Sexton, “Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”

Dads and Moms, grandmas and grandpas, aunties and uncles, sisters, brothers, teenagers, twins, babies, and oldsters, the days of their lives.

Works of art, a story for each one, and all handmade.

We discovered the MOST wonderful bookstore!! You will love it here. They have a whole long WALL of award-winning books, books that have won the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Booker Prize, the National Book Award. A whole wall of storytelling genius to choose from. I was mesmerized reading the titles. Realized how very very far I have to go if I wish to get them all read. Which I do. Which I won’t. But my favorite word in the English language is still “Try.” So, I chose ONE. Because that’s all I can do, one at a time!This week I’ve been reading a lot and doing little work. That’s the way things ought to be. That’s surely the road to success. ❤️ Anne Frank  

Joe got a book too, and off we went to the Colonial Inn for a nice long late lunch with books. Our favorite thing!

The Colonial Inn is a luv-lee historical hotel, with a restaurant that meanders into several different rooms, some with fireplaces that feel like an English pub.

We loved the food . . .


Joe was good, started with a salad, held this up and said, “What’s this?” We thought, radish? No, wrong shape. Carrot? Also a shape problem. We finally decided it was a beet, but we have no proof. I tasted it, it tasted like a not-too-crisp raw vegetable!  

And here we are, reading and eating, exactly what I was doing the day Joe sat down next to me and asked me to go away for the weekend. Been doing it now for 33 years, happy as clams.💞

This is the book I bought, it won the National Book Award. Isn’t the cover beautiful? The gold parts shine! I’m really enjoying it, but of course! It’s an award winner! It’s beautifully written! Joe got Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. We could have stayed there all day!I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.  💞 Ralph Waldo Emerson

We would never even think of going off-island without stopping at either Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, preferably both! I’m fine with living in a place where there are no chain stores, but the minute we leave home, we make a bee-line for these places (plus Taco Bell!). There’s a cooler with ice in the car, and we fill up with all the deliciousness these places have to offer, including, as you have seen from the beginning of this post, this springtime floral extravaganza!!! They even gave us a bucket with water to take our flowers home with us.

And LOOK at this irresistible thing. Yes, it went home with us too.❤️

I found the perfect card for Joe, but I knew he’d see it at check out, I wanted to surprise him so I just gave it to him in the store. He loved it, and then we put it back! P.S. I found his Valentine in another store when he wasn’t with me. 💞(Shhhhh)

We bought this little bouquet, for our next stop . . .

Yes . . .

I wanted to visit Louisa May Alcott’s grave on this winter’s day, in a deep and dark February, and leave her a Valentine of flowers . . .

We’ve been here before. This area of the cemetery is called Author’s Ridge.

Called that for good reason. Emerson gave the dedication for this garden graveyard and was thinking of all of us when he said, “When these acorns that are falling at our feet are oaks overshadowing our children in a remote century . . .” Thoreau is buried here, and Hawthorne too. Emerson is the quiet foundation of this whole area. He’s everywhere. His words are carved in stone. Such an interesting person, a mentor to the celebrity star of Concord, Louisa May Alcott.The cemetery is an elegant place.

Overlooking everything is a small stone that says, so simply, Lousia M. Alcott. Both times I’ve been here, her grave has been framed by mementos left by other visitors.

I took this photo when we were here in 2015. Always decorated.

Her grave held the only color in the entire cemetery. It was a lovely way to end the day. We left soon after to go look for the Snow Moon. I hope you had fun in Lexington/Concord! But for more history . . . go here!⬇️

I’m so excited to see the new three-night series beginning this Sunday called Washington! It should be wonderful. The award winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin (“I’ve spent my life with dead presidents”) is the executive producer (the movie Lincoln was based on her book, Team of Rivals). Look for it Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday . . . February 16, 17, 18 on the History Channel.   

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw.” 💞George Washington

Yes, Jack was thrilled to see us back home. But not quite as thrilled as me! The little wriggling fur-ball. I will never get enough of that face! 😍Bye for now dear ones . . . Off I go, back to the paintbrush and Groundhog-Day Calendar making! See you soon!

PS Here’s a little rock and roll for us, MUSICA . . .

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484 Responses to RABBIT HOLES GALORE and History too!

  1. Tana says:

    This was lovely to read! It makes me wonder how I can start my day without reading something from you. But I the days I really miss you, I just go into the archive and choose one…or two…or three. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe.

  2. Melanie says:

    Happy early Valentine’s, Susan and Joe! So cozy to read your blog and “travel” with you to such interesting places. 🙂 All from the comfort of my living room here in Texas, with my kitty, Henry, cuddled up on my lap. Happy 33rd anniversary! I feel like I know y’all and your story so well. Nighty night to you both! <3

  3. Pat Harmon says:

    Lovely post. We stopped at a charming, historical looking, tavern type of place for lunch in Connecticut when we were there several years ago. Wonderful food. Your flowers are beautiful! You and Joe are such a beautiful love story. Love getting the surprise of your posts in my email. Thank you💐

  4. Irene Harrison says:

    Your blog is such a balm for the soul!! The lovely photos and your artwork and quotes are so life-giving. In a word, they’re splendid!!!
    Thank you for all you do for us “girlfriends!”

  5. Ellen Collyer says:

    Can I receive your blog? I have read all your books and love your happy approach to life!

  6. Kelly Reid Machnov says:

    You brought back a fond memory of Easter when I was a young girl. My Grandma would get large chocolate walnut Easter eggs from See’s and she would wait patiently in line while the sweet ladies behind the counter would pipe with royal icing my name on the egg. There on Easter morning would be a beautifully decorated See’s egg with my name on it!

    In remembrance of your See’s post, I headed to our local See’s this afternoon and bought a few of the almond chocolate truffle in a lovely little bag. Chopped almonds on the outside and rich chocolate fudge on the inside. Reminded me of your description of your favorite See’s. And by the way, See’s has a lovely mural of photos of days gone by featuring See’s history including one photo where it clearly shows in the window of the store a sign offering 50 cent per pound boxes of See’s!!!

    Thank you Susan for this lovely blog. Loved hopping in the car with you & Joe as you toured such historic sights. By the way, you may not realize but you are a history teacher to all of us who read your blog. From England to New England, you have opened our eyes and hearts to so many stories and historic places.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you & Joe❤️…and all the Girlfriends from here, there and everywhere!

    Love & hugs,

    Kelly from Walnut Creek, Ca.

  7. Sandra says:

    I always feel happy after visiting you here! You have such a beautiful life in gorgeous spot with the man of your dreams! Every girl’s desire!

  8. Janice Lonsdale says:

    Ahh Susan…..I cannot believe how many people, places and things we both love…like great authors, New England, Trader Joe’s, Taco Bell, England, Beatrice Potter, China tea cups, and nature. And I love your books, art work … actually…all things Susan Branch! When I read your blogs I feel as if I’m right there, too. I hope you’re able to use the wooden stirrers my husband made for you, and Joe, from native New Zealand timber. We are back in NZ now; we’ll return to Carlsbad, CA in July.

    Another admiring girlfriend,

  9. Jacqueline Davey says:

    I cant wait…….

    From England

  10. Genie from Southern California says:

    Thank you. Thank you for a lovely valentine.

  11. Jane Lamarre says:

    You are a delight. Wonderful photo’s and words. Thank you.

  12. Kelly B. From Pittsburgh says:

    Good morning and thank you for sharing your date anniversary trip with us Susan and Joe!

  13. Debra Sewell says:

    Fabulous Willard. Wonderful cemetary. Very very Rich people live in Concord and Lexington. I use to clean houses for Molly Maids all over MA. I saw some amazing and very historical homes. Partly why I cleaned..cause I got to see inside these old homes..and make them sparkle. I’m a huge history buff. Take care. Keep taking these wonderful trips to share with us. Happy Valentines Day

  14. Laurie Watkins says:

    Susan for over 30 years you & Joe have brought joy to my heart through your journaling, pictures, art and all the other gifts you share. What a beautiful legacy…you will never know the incredible impact you have had on so many lives. So happy you both were able to celebrate 33 years with the moon light as your gift!

  15. Katy says:

    My meditation today was on appreciation, and asking “what do I appreciate right now” after reading this and looking at all the places you went on this jaunt, of course the most resounding answer was “Susan and Joe.” I am terrified of flying so may never see New England but I’ve seen it through your eyes, the next best thing. Happy Valentine’s Day with love from the bunnies and me!

  16. Cindy Penzler says:

    Greetings Susan! Your post is so perfect. Our book group recently celebrated our 20th anniversary last fall by making a plane flight (alas, not a ferry ride!) from Lawrence, KS to the Concord Area. You captured our time there with perfect detail! We were there in late September so had the added pleasure of hiking around Walden Pond and watching the excellent film at the visitor center built by the Thoreau Society. We read quotes aloud from Thoreau and Emerson as we made little stops around the pond and left a few stones at Thoreaus’s Walden “hut” site to honor our members who could not be with us. And.that.bookstore! We made several stops there during our stay (we are a book group, lol!). Thanks for bringing this incredible area to life! Best wishes to you and Joe for a happy and HEALTHY 2020~

  17. Vickie Wilder says:

    Susan, I so enjoyed your trip to Lexington/Concord, am going to try and visit this year, you have been my armchair travel guide, thank you!

    By the way, received your English Countryside 2021 calendar as a Christmas gift and look forward to changing the month, such beautiful photography! Again, thank you


  18. Vickie Wilder says:

    Susan, just posted a comment on the calendar I received for Christmas, it of course was the 2020 English Countryside one, NOT 2021.

    I love touring cemeteries, so much to learn and imagine there.


  19. Grace says:

    Oh, wonderful post! Full of history and travel! Thanks so much for taking us along on your journey through New England, Susan. Since we woke up to a “marshmallow world” here in northern Indiana, it’s a delight to see the colorful houses you experienced. I’ve always loved the history surrounding the American Revolution. Maybe because I was a child studying history during the Bicentennial. Maybe it’s because I have an ancestor who lied about his age to join the army at age fourteen during the Revolution. Although he was kicked out of the army, he was given a lot of wonderful farmland here in Indiana, which is why I’m here!

  20. Jean Shaffer says:

    Loved this post!❤️ Thanks for sharing your visit to Lexington/Concord. I hope to visit there sometime.

  21. Carol from NJ says:

    Thank you, Susan, for another heart warming post. When you notice the little moments & things around you & photograph them & write about them, you remind me to stay in the moment & appreciate & give thanks for my personal moments. I LOVED & chuckled at your writing “…knew Joe would see it at checkout so I gave him his card in the store & then we put it back.” Earlier this week I forgot to mail my brother’s birthday card in time, so I took photos of the front & signed inside part & texted it to him. Technology can be fun & thrifty!

  22. Patty in Redlands says:

    Thank you for taking us to Concord with you and Joe! We were there briefly years and years ago, and you’ve made me want to go back. Think I’ll save the trip for a warmer time of year though. Brrr! Congratulations to you and Joe for 33 years! Your happiness spreads to all of us. Happy Valentine’s Day to all! ❤️

  23. Liz Hand says:

    Thank you for that trip to Lexington and Concord. My husband and I made that trip over thirty years ago and I loved it and want to go back. Happy Valentine’s day to you and Joe.

  24. Karen Klein says:

    Susan, Joe, and Jack — My favorite travelogue to warm a winter’s day….I’ve been to Concord years ago (over 50!) but so appreciate your artist’s eye to see it more fully than I ever did. Your Words warm my heart and soul.

  25. Lisa T says:

    What a nice trip….you always plan well!

  26. Nancy says:

    that is my favorite Concord shop……..The Nesting!

  27. Laurie A says:

    Such an interesting adventure! And now I will be adding this area for a future trip for my husband and I. I so appreciate you adding all the wonderful details, such as good places to eat, book shops and such. Wishing you a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

  28. Linda Buckley says:

    I always love your choices for “Musica!”…but “Sunnyside” just gave me the best start this morning! It just cracked me up! I watched the video to the end. 😀 Then, Ashokan Farewell? An all-time sentimental favorite, perfect for the Concord history lesson. Martina McBride took us Girls out on a happy note.
    Thank you, for a quite fun, interesting blog and road trip, this morning. I must have needed this. God bless you….Linda B.

  29. Another wonderful trip to share with us who can not visit these places of such great history. It is hard to verbalize how seeing the places where so much happened and the headstones of where these people are now, who gave us the words that are read, and so many people who still show that they are not forgotten. Your story with Joe is what dreams are made of. To celebrate your togetherness is such a LOVE story. Thank you for showing that romance need not end as the years go by but can be lived every day forever.

  30. Kathie B. says:

    Loved the goofy video with musica at the beginning. Also the last song. I sent it to my daughter at a time she really needs it, so thank you for that and the wonderful blog. You are a history teacher because you’re reminding us all about it’s importance in our lives and nation right now. You may be my favorite teacher!

  31. sally tibbetts says:

    That was such a fun trip to take with you – the little commentaries, the insights and the warmth. Thanks for a lovely way to start my day!

  32. Sharon Byars , North Carolina says:

    Thank you soooooo much for posting all this history!! Since moving to the East Coast, we have been exploring up and down. This is now on our “to do List” for later this year. History is amazing and loved your cemetery photos. Often, when we visit areas, we walk through those bits of the past.

  33. Mary Jane Hardy says:

    What a beautiful blog! I felt like I was right there with you. That is the way your photos and description make us feel. What a wonderful idea to go and celebrate your meeting that wonderful man you married. You and Joe are so blessed you found each other. I feel pretty lucky I found you too! Thanks for always giving us such a grand tour of you wonderful travels. Have a beautiful day!

    Mary Jane

  34. Angie Quantrell says:

    What a wonderful trip! I love commemorating special days with trips. We celebrate our 35th anniversary this year, and are calling the entire year “the Year of Kevin and Angie.” My honey is the romantic one. I try, but he beats me every time.

  35. Care with an "E" says:

    As always, your blog brightens days and when I eat my lunch and read, it’s as if I’m having lunch with a whole group of friends. I adore Louisa May Alcott. I just reread Little Women before going to see the new movie, which we loved despite being HUGE fans of every line of dialog and musical score of the Susan Sarandon/ Winona Ryder one. Yesterday I just finished the LUMINOUS netflix show, Anne with an “E”. I wept tears of joy and went right to the book shelf to read Anne’s House of Dreams; which is all about hers and Gilbert’s first house overlooking Four Winds Harbour, with a brook, a gate hung between two pine trees, and a 2 mile walk to town! BLESS YOU L.M. Montgomery for writing the story of Anne’s WHOLE life! Bless you Susan for writing all that you do:)

  36. Laura Brown says:

    Have just finished Our America Holidays – Lincoln, by Schauffler. It made the Robbins house so real and me so grateful Lincoln led our country to resist and rid our nation of the dark mark of slavery. Happy belated birthday President Lincoln (yesterday). Freedom – The freedom Revolutionary heros fought for; the freedom Lincoln and Civil War champions fought for.

    Now I need to figure out how I’m going to compile all these amazing mini history trips you’ve taken us on. lol I’ll have to print a lot of your blog and start a travel notebook! Then when my car points North, I’ll know the sights I need to stop at first. A condensed American History travel book in the making? 😃 You are a history teacher of sorts, already! Teacher/Guide/Friend.

  37. Anne says:

    Oh Susan, such lovely memories you stoked in this latest post. I lived in Lexington for two years during the Massachusetts Miracle days. It is picturesque.
    Your indoor flowers are so dear; I too have little touches of Spring throughout the house.
    The cake looks just perfect for February indulgence.
    The full moon was so peaceful and to think we were looking at it from opposite sides of the country. Take good care today.

  38. Nicoline says:

    Hello Susan,
    Happy Anniversary to you both! May you have many, many more happy years together!
    Thank you for sharing your lovely little mini holiday! It doesn’t look as cold as you described that it was…..
    Happy Valentine’s day to you both, and furry hugs and kisses from Kitty and Katy, for Jack! The girls are now just over 8 months old, and I am happy to say they no longer jump into the net curtains….(knocking on wood as I write…..)
    Have a lovely day tomorrow, and lots of hugs and kisses from Gabri and

  39. Kitty DeMento says:

    Dear Susan
    What a beautiful blog post-
    I had the good fortune to visit Concord last year and it was magical-
    The tour of Orchard House brought me to tears.
    Thank you for this I am going to forward to Jillie in London so that she can relive the time we spent there!! She left a pen at Louisa’s grave- so beautiful and peaceful there.
    Thank you again so much!
    Lots of love
    Kitty D

  40. Patty Walker says:

    When I see your Blog has been quietly placed in my Inbox … life stops and I take the time to read it all the way through. When I read your blog I am always inspired in surprising ways!

    I thank you for your magic! For I decided long ago that life is not worth living without magic in it!!

    Patty Walker

  41. Kay says:

    I always enjoy your newsletters but particularly loved this one. I’m from MA and have been to Concord and the cemetery, museum, Alcott house, Emerson house, etc. It’s such fun to spend time there. I loved Charming Billy (it was a book club book many years ago). Mine has a different cover…love the new one. I’ve never visited that bookstore, so…field trip! 🙂

  42. Katy Wilson says:

    Once again you have transported me to a place of romance, moonlight, flowers and a knowing about the depth of our souls in history. Thank you for sharing your talents and your sweet anniversary. You both scored the perfect partners in life. You two inspire me!

  43. I enjoyed your post very much. I felt as if I traveled along with you. I am from Missouri, but my sister and I took a bus tour a few years ago to Cape Cod. My favorite part was the ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard and a short walking tour of the adorable little houses in the church camp area. And the lobster roll sandwich, of course! Happy anniversary of your first getaway. My husband and I will be celebrating our 48th wedding anniversary in March. Reading your post makes me think I need to plan a little getaway for us!

  44. Karen B. says:

    I’ve only been to Concord once, but it was my favorite city in MA. Filled with history and charm, I loved visiting again via your post. Thank you.
    Karen B.

  45. Debbie Boerger says:

    Oooooh, Your Mary Oliver quote with the picture of the morning sun is Just the most perfect thing! And the reminders to stop and get a few tulips for the little hand made thingy Mr. Tom brought home from one of his extra long bike rides.
    He’ll be driving me to the foot doc, and thanks to you, he can maneover the car into the tight little parking lot at Trader Joes. Need toasted flax seed and some chia. Thanks to you I sprinkle them onto and into everything. Next time you are there, try the Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper soup. It’s bell pepper, so not spicy.
    Thank you for the lovely Concord things. We’ve been talking of spending a couple of days down there this summer….and taking our best Maine buddy with us. Won’t have the lovely fire in the Colonial Inn, but we can enjoy the atmosphere and the food. I’m sure my friend Anne and I will have a load of books from The Concord Bookshop. We are both attempting to buy used books, but we do make exceptions!! Po’ Tom just built a wonderful large book case in Maine, and I filled it almost at once. Only “Book People” can appreciate how walls lined with them surround us with the voices of those authors. And Swiffers are just perfect for slipping into the spaces for dusting the tops without taking them all off the shelves.

    We had to cancel our trip to Pasadena over the New Year, but doing trips closer to home are just as wonderful, aren’t they? Thank you, Dear Lady, for this lovely new blog with all the fun Rabbit Holes.

    Mucho Love,
    Debbie in Tampa

    • Dianne says:

      Debbie, I can’t thank you enough for the mention of roasted red pepper tomato soup. I tasted it for the first time at a pub while in Scotland last summer. If I close my eyes, I can still taste it! It was so delicious ( and best of all, not creamed) I’ve been searching for a recipe, but, in the meantime, I can try the soup from Trader Joe’s. Thank you once again.

  46. Janyce Beyer says:

    Thank you for the tour!! I would love to tour there and your island, as well. I never will be able to, but I devour all pictures and stories about them! Thank you, again! Happy heart day!!💗

  47. Nancy Carl says:

    Love to go along with you on your travels! My niece, Kristin Bierfelt, lives in Cambridge, MA, and has written a book called “The North Shore Literary Trail” that visits the homes of famous authors in New England. Didn’t know if you had heard of it before. I think it is still available.

  48. Joellen Waldenmaier says:

    I truly enjoyed your trip to New England and after seeing the latest movie of “Little Women” it is even more special to see Louisa May Alcott’s home and grave in the pictures you took. Thank you for sharing this and all the other trips you and Joe take. Congratulations on your 33rd date anniversary!

  49. Sherry Winchester says:

    Wonderful blog! Enjoyed all your sharings! Thanks to you, I also shared the “prep and filming of Little Women” with others, via YouTube…kudos to you mentioned, too, of course, as the source. Can’t wait to see the movie now! Hubby will have a bit more interest, too. So glad you and Joe had a lovely getaway….and a safe return home to Mister Jack. Thankful every day for all that you do! Cheers!

  50. Alice Moline says:

    I saw your email come in this a.m. But I saved reading it till just now. On this cold blustery Wintery day up here on the NH border of VT, I went outside and shoveled off our deck so that I could get to the bird feeders and fill them. Happy little feathered friends now. I piled snow on top of one of the feeder roofs. It was great snowman-making snow, so it squished together really well into a neat little pile. The Juncos love standing on this little pile to reach the suet cake that’s suspended above the seed feeder. If there’s a bare roof, they can’t reach it even if they tip-toe, which they do try to do and it’s quite hilarious to watch. I’ve noticed that they love the little snow step stool, so when I get a chance, I pile it up on there for them. I finally came inside and sat to read your email. I cherish reading it every time that it comes in. It’s like actually being able to be on the island………something that’s on our bucket list, but something that we never seem to be able to get to………to scrounge up enough money to take the ferry over…….fixed incomes and all of that. Anyway…….that’s why I savor reading your e’s till I can sit and relax and just get lost in them. And I really got lost in today’s. Concord seems like a very interesting place to wander through. Thank you so much for sharing all of the lovelies…………..old homes, flower shopping, lunch, indulgent strawberry delight, moonlight boat ride………wonderful places to get lost in. Blessings to you and Joe and happy anniversary.

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Hi Alice, We live in Maine for 6 or 7 months of the year. I love seeing the little Juncos! They arrive where we live round about last of October or first of November. Times we or I alone have been in Maine in the dead of winter, the entertainment is watching the birds at the feeders. And you don’t have to worry about the bears grabbing them at that time of year, right? Being from Florida, I had never seen what birds do on the coldest of days….puff their little feathers up. Love the crisp crunch of snow, not so much shoveling.

  51. Susan Morgon says:

    You had me at See’s! I seriously miss it here in Ohio. Susan, this post is full of my favorite things. The moon – Bella Luna! My husband and I visited many of these locations on our New England trip in 2016. I’m a retired English teacher; both he and I love all things literature. I could go on and on, but I’m afraid I would get way too longwinded! I will just say Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe and everyone here. ❤

  52. Barbara Irvine says:

    Susan, I love the cuddly teddy bear you sent your Mom for Valentine’s Day, and also some See’s Candy. I have a wonderful friend in Washington State (Janice) who sends me a lovely box of See’s chocolates every Christmas, and they are soooooooo good! She has been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, so I can’t reciprocate with sweets, but I do send other treats which she can enjoy.

    I loved your visit to Lexington and Concord, and now I want to go back and visit those towns again, have lunch again at the Colonial Inn and tour Orchard House once again. Janice was here for that visit, we had a wonderful time, and I have such glorious memories of that trip. We also stayed at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, and toured Salem. We did a lot, and I urge all the girlfriends to visit these areas if they are able; as you said, that is where our country was born and so much history was made.

    Sadly, I never visited Louisa May Alcott’s grave, and I will definitely find it on my next visit. I love that you brought her flowers, and I will do the same. Several years ago I was able to purchase a copy of “Little Women” illustrated by Tasha Tudor, and it is one of my most treasured possessions.

    We all celebrated the anniversary of your first date with Joe, and have enjoyed your journey together. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Joe and Jack, and I am hoping the Ground Hog was correct with his forecast of an early Spring. I’m ready for warm days, green leaves and daffodils and tulips !!

  53. Paula says:

    As always you give us a travel log that brings to life your travels in such a wonderful way. Even places I have been seem even more interesting as you describe them. I am looking forward to my next trip to the Cape in the fall! I am so lucky to have Trader Joe’s in my SoCal neighborhood!

  54. Rene Marie Foust says:

    Your posts are always so wonderful, everytime I turn on my computer I pray that there will be a new post from you. Thanks for sharing so many wonderful pictures, quotes and traveling tips, you are an inspiration to me. Have a great day and thanks again.

  55. Joanne Richardson says:

    Oh thank you Susan for this lovely “visit” to history!!! I also loved your moon photos. It’s always wonderful to see your blogs waiting in my mail. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your lovely Joe.

  56. Barb Urbank says:

    What an informative post! I love all the pictures of Lexington and Concord, places I have never been but for pictures and descriptions in history books! Such a perfect time to remind us how this country started and of the price paid in lives! Let those that come after see that they died not in vain! Indeed! Lovely pictures of the houses there too, the cemetery, inn! That inn looked like a cozy place to warm up on a cold day. Thank you for this post, I loved it. Congrats to the winner of the mugs! Hugs💗

  57. Linda says:

    Thank you so much for taking us on your trip with you! I love those wonderful houses in Lexington and Concord as well, and also the stone ones in Pennsylvania Dutch country. When we were there in 2009, we noticed most of the homes had white candles in the windows (not Christmas lights). We were told they are called “welcome candles” and are a custom there. I love that so much.

  58. Helen O'Donoghue says:

    I get such pleasure out of your blogs. This one brought back so many memories of the places we went to when we lived in MA. My husband is gone now but we had 32 years of wonderful memories. Thank you for resurrecting some of them.

  59. Patricia Wehner says:

    That was fabulous! I could feel the stillness and history! Louisa’s sweet little stone, small and feminine!! If I ever get to build my tiny house (love the tiny house movement) I want it to be a tiny replica of a simple New England house, maybe painted a soft brown. Thank you for taking us along! Time for tea!

  60. Debbie Anderson says:

    Thank you for the history lessons and pictures of all those beautiful old homes.

  61. Maureen from So. Cal says:

    Oh Susan,

    This post was so thoroughly enjoyable! I love them all, but this one really sparked for me. I would love to visit Concord and the surrounding areas. Thank you so much for giving us a little tour of the area along with a bit of history. I didn’t know there was a memorial for the British soldiers lost that day. That’s pretty special. Ralph Waldo Emerson has been a favorite of mine for ages now. I’m forever quoting him on gift cards and notes.

    And how nice are you? To leave flowers on Louisa May Alcott’s grave. So very kind.

    I have to say, that one picture of the soldier you’ve posted here, struck me as to what maybe your Joe looks like without a beard and mustache. Look at the photo of the two of you from your early days together in this same post and then look at the soldier. 🙂

    I had kind of a disappointing day yesterday, and this has taken that away. I’m relaxed and ready to get to work with a smile. Thank you very much. <3

    Wishing you and Joe a very Happy Valentine's Day, and of course wee Jack as well.

    Blessings & peace,

    Corona, CA

  62. Leslie Naugle says:

    I sure wish I could’ve been right there in your pocket, Susan. You and Joe could be my travel planners! Thanks for sharing your trip!

  63. Susan Ekins says:

    Ahh, thank you, Susan. I’ve been feeling stressed and you just took me with you for a getaway that changed my mood. I loved all the pictures, artwork, and of course, your writing. Going to make myself a nice cuppa tea now and continue to relax.

  64. Sandra says:

    Thank you for another lovely update; yes to keeping on the sunny side! My 9th Great Grandfather served with George Washington; it’s a point of family pride, and my nephew just mustered out of the Air Force. We believe in service.
    We’ve had no snow but rain; oy vey! have we had RAIN. I’m now growing a wonderful crop of moss.
    The Mary Oliver quote is sublime.

  65. Alice says:

    So much fun to travel with you and Joe! Thanks for the history lesson about Lexington and Concord, learning in such a beautiful way about the wonderful history of our country. Thanks for taking us along! Happy Valentines Day to both of you!

  66. Mary Lawrence says:

    I thought how special to leave flowers on Louisa ‘s grave.If we say their name they can hear us,and smile.I always enjoy your goings and counted as my grandmother would say.Thank you once again for an uplifting blog.Happy Valentine’s day to you and darling Joe. Mary Elizabeth

  67. Pam Schmidt says:

    Valentine Greetings! Always love your blog posts. They do make me smile. John took me here twice. Wonderful walking down memory lane with history too . Thanks for sharing your part of New England with us!

  68. Thanks for sharing your travels. I would love to visit those areas, and will one day.

  69. I’m so glad you enjoyed my neighborhood. We have lived in Lexington for many years and the echos of the people who were here before me are one of the gifts of living here. The church on the Lexington Green is my church, built in 1847. I designed the memorial garden in the back next to the old burying ground. I’m imagining in my mind you came on Sunday morning and heard us singing in the choir. How fun to think I could have said hello to you. Concord has stole the thunder a bit of the first shot but so what. Us Lexingtonians know what happened thàt morning. We re-enact it every year on Patriots Day! Concord is my favorite shopping town too. And the Concord bookshop it my go to place for books, such friendly staff. The sunlight is getting stronger and the buds are fattening, I’m with you in welcoming springtime! Thanks so much for your good company with your artwork and writing.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, they did steal the thunder! Was very confusing. Back and forth I went, ferreting out the truth of the first shot fired! Blame that Emerson! I LOVE your church and next time if we’re there on Sunday we’ll come to hear you sing and see your garden. I so wished to go to your burying ground, but we didn’t make it this time.

  70. Jane says:

    Susan— your joie de vivre is contagious!! Thank you for the happy minutes I just spent reading yet another lovely post.

  71. Pam bonina says:

    Thank you Susan for all those yummie New England houses and historic site picts. I grew up in Rehoboth MA in a home built in 1794, so love love seeing your musings and images! We are now retired in New Bern, NC. Much history here and many older homes which luckily were not burned during the Civil War. It took much convincing for me to relocate from the north, but we truly love our new home of 7 years. Come visit. We would love to have you and Joe.

  72. Kathy R says:

    I always love your posts and even more when you take pictures of houses that I love. A beautiful old house just stirs love in me! And glad you are reading Charming Billy – Alice McDermott happened to have attended my high school (ahead of me) so I understand a lot of her NY references! Happy Galantine’s Day to a real gal pal!

  73. melissa q says:

    Oh Susan, what a treat! Last Christmas my daughters gave me a trip to Concord to visit Louisa May Alcott’s home. We went on a frigid day and it was one of the highlights of my life. The bookstore was fabulous as was the chocolate and ice cream store! Thank you for all the sunshine!!!

  74. Sue Welborn says:

    Being a transplanted New Englander, so lovely to revisit the towns and charming homes I grew up seeing! I lived in Boston, where I met my “Joe”!!

    On a different subject, just wanted to tell you that I have read many times your book, “Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams, and on page 210, when you were describing “Goat” (your dating adventures when single) it always cracks me up!! “Goat honey, the car sounds funny.””” just love that line!! Mine, was called “Bear”, and tho a sweet person, was VERY furry! Since we are about the same age, I am so glad we ended up with our “Joes”!! Have a great Valentine’s Day!

  75. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    What a lovely Valentine was this blog. Loved going to Concord and Louisa’s grave with you and Joe. Loved the Flowers, and the great song at the end. I’m going back to enjoy it all again tomorrow. XOXO Thank you.

  76. Harriet says:

    Thank you so very much for the photos of Louisa May Alcott’s grave.

  77. Barbara Jean Murray says:

    The idea of war in your own backyard is quite scary. Let’s hope we never come to that again in this country!

    I’ve also thought how odoriferous it must have been too. The heat of Summer and the cold of Winter, with many unwashed bodies, the latrines, the wounded, the animals. One would have to have had a strong constitution to withstand such an affront to the senses.

    I’ve members of my family back to the French and Indian War fight for this country, all the way to the present, with the exception of the Spanish American War. As my husband and I say, we aren’t going anywhere, even though friends have suggested moving to Canada at times.

  78. Marilyn Ghere says:

    Your very first daffodil photo is a perfect beginning !! Hurray for you and Joe going on a little trip in really cold weather. I enjoy seeing the houses wherever I go just like you. And another thing, I love looking into the history of the area we visit. Once again, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful photos, meaningful quotes and your travels.

  79. Suzanne Sneary says:

    Happy is my heart with this tribute to Louisa May Alcott!❤️ Especially after seeing Little Women recently…. Thank you dear Susan for another vitamin B shot of hApPy! I love how you inspire. Kisses and hugs…..

    New Castle, New Hampshire

  80. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to Susan and Joe, so in love after all these years; it’s precious and good.

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to include us in the ‘tour’; very interesting. I may never get there, so this is the best next thing.

    I felt you wrote this post with a lot of love and reverence and and respect for what came before. We need to remember. Check in with our brain and heart and soul about it.

    Nevermore thought-provoking than now, all the history and some of your quotes & photos/illustrations with it, especially this week on our national scene. For what we hold dear; our beautiful U.S.A.

    “Let us who come after see to it that they died not in vain.” Profound. Prophetic.

    • sbranch says:

      Funny I feel exactly the same way today as I did at 6 years old with my hand on my heart saying the pledge of allegiance to the flag. That idealistic love of country never goes away! You so want all the beauty you learned about to be true. In Concord graveyards, it’s a flag still flying.

  81. Anna Robinson says:

    Thank you for the lovely early Valentine gift. A trip with you through history. I enjoy your blog so very much. It brightens my day.

  82. Cathy Corell says:

    thank you for all the pictures. I look forward to them.. I dont think I will make it best east. so I live thru your journey. god bless.

  83. Karen Carroll says:

    Awww, sweet Jack!
    Your love of See’s candy proves that you are a TRUE California girl. I am a native Californian as well and practically grew up on the stuff. My mother discovered it when she came to California from Iowa in 1943 – it was 26 cents a pound then! At 95 years of age, See’s is the thing that makes her happiest!
    Stay warm!

    • sbranch says:

      It sort of came along with the Chicken dinners at Knotts Berry Farm! I think my mom came from Iowa right around the same time as yours, what part of Iowa was your mom from?

      • Arline in So Cal says:

        There were a lot of girls coming to California in the late 40’s! My Mom came then from Des Moines because her whole family came out to live in the sunshine. She worked at Sears in Hollywood and met my Dad who was from Le Mars. Iowa brought them together on the West Coast. It’s kind of sad that all of the Sears stores in the area are being torn down. We used to laugh that if you couldn’t tell what was inside a See’s candy by looking at it by the time you were 10, you weren’t a true Californian.

  84. Jeannette from the Central Coast says:

    Loved everything in this post! Being the family historian that I am, I especially found beauty in the graveyard. Emerson, Hawthorne, Alcott…what a neat thing to be able to visit their final resting places. So much history in your neck of the woods! Someday I hope to visit the Northeast and see all this history I learned about during school years! I have some photos of an interesting cemetery where some of my ancestors are buried in Southern Minnesota. There are memorials carved into the tree trunks. Just beautiful remembrances of those gone before us.Thank you once again for a wonderful post.

  85. Sarah Montgomery says:

    Concord calls my heart!!! That is my happy place. Thank you for the beautiful winter pictures. I have only been able to see it during the summer and it is just as magical in the winter with the snow❤️

  86. Marybeth Rogers says:

    I watched the Detectorists…terrific! And the behind the scenes of Little Women. Loved it! Thank you!

  87. Jan Jasper says:

    I was thrilled to see your blog this afternoon. While the sun is shining brightly, the temperature is still double digits below zero. Here in the heartland of the USA. I am so blessed to have a roof over my head, and a portable little heater. Too bad it can’t ne trained like a dog or cat to “follow me”, lol!

  88. Regina Carretta says:

    Hi dear Susan…..again, such lovely words and photo’s of winter travel, Valentine’s love, signs of spring…..you have inspired me, once again, my 3rd trip to London in 3 years coming up this summer!!! Two weeks, London-y things, and then spending 3 nights in Lewes (Sussex), our base to go to Monk’s House, Charlston, and if my friend from Ireland joins us and drives us, Great Dixter Gardens….more tearooms, music at St. Martins in the Fields, museums, and discovering more London neighborhoods….your inspiration, ya know…..the NEXT trip will be north, and Beatrix Potter land!!! So thank you, happy Valentines Day to spread all kinds of love,providing us some hope for our country’s future, happy spring peeking through…..I’d love to sit and have tea with you….someday, my dear – it could happen!! love love love to you, Regina, Seattle

    • sbranch says:

      This is what happened to us. We went once, and were so inspired, we just kept going back. SO much to see and learn isn’t there Regina!? You’re going to such a great part of the country this time. Remember, Chartwell, Churchill’s home, is about an hour south of London going toward Lewes and from Lewes it’s 45 minutes … Hever Castle (Anne Boleyn home) is only 4 miles from Chartwell… you’d love them both! And from Lewes, just fyi, it’s about an hour to Sissinghurst (if you haven’t already seen it). Too much good stuff! xoxoxo Love you back, Happy Valentine’s Day!

      • Regina Carretta says:

        we did go to Sissinghurst last spring…..you are correct! “too much good stuff”….. so my friend, Nancy, goes down the internet “rabbit hole” of looking up gardens in the UK….
        (it’s your fault, you know) now look at these little wonders and doesn’t it tempt you?? thegallopinggardener.blogspot.com/2010/08/small-secret-gardens-in-sussex.html

        I have a copy of “A Fine Romance” here in Seattle with me, and friend, Carol, has the other copy at hers in Pt. Townsend…..well the Charlston and Bateman’s sections are dog-eared, plus a book I bought on Charlston, and a library book on Monk’s House……we have our little hotel in London booked…next step – flights!!!! Wanna meet us there? There is a dessert portion of the London Review of Books shop near the British Museum, where the clerk says the chocolate pudding cake is “a situation”!!!! love to you on valentine’s day,
        Regina, Seattle

        • sbranch says:

          Total temptation. I love the small ones the best. My very favorite house will be in your area too … we happened on it by accident and I wrote about it in AFR (p124) … the country house of the turn of the century stage actress Ellen Terry, called Smallhythe …. owned by the National Trust. Go through the garden to the churchyard if you go there, and they have tea out back in her little theater. Isn’t planning the BEST?! xoxoxo

          • Regina Carretta says:

            nationaltrust.org.uk/smallhythe-place you started it!! Now my friend Nancy wants to go here, too! (I tell her “blame it all on Susan Branch”) She also says, “so we are staying in England the entire summer”?? All the gardens, the people that made these historic places home(like you just visited here in the US)……that is the best hope! Thanks again and now we will read all about Ellen Terry and her home……luvly!
            Regina, Seattle

          • sbranch says:

            My favorite small house. You can WALK there from Tenterden, if you want a nice long walk, along a river, among the lambs, the cows, the wildflowers, park in town, and head out … you’ll need one of those walk maps, but you’ll likely have one anyway! Smallhythe is in the middle of basically nowhere! (You can drive there too!)

  89. Shannon(Pennsylvania) says:

    Love all the little rabbit holes you leave for us in your blog! So much fun to explore! Happy, happy Valentines Day💝

  90. Nancye Tuttle says:

    Wonderful blog on my old “neck of the woods,” Susan. I lived in Acton, next-door to Concord, before moving North to Maine 7 years ago. Here’s a couple more great Concord-Lexington tidbits you might like adding to your treasure trove.
    — Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin lives in Concord and is often seen shopping in the stores there. Her late husband Richard Goodwin worked in the Kennedy administration and was involved in uncovering the quiz show scandal in the 1950s. He was involved as a producer, I believe, of the movie “Quiz Show” about the scandal made in the 1990s.
    —- The movie “Housesitter,” starring Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin and made in the 1990s, was shot in Concord and around that area, as well as in Boston. In the movie, Goldie’s character has lunch in the Colonial Inn, where you and Joe had lunch, along with a character portrayed by Dana Delaney. Fun movie to watch.
    —- Jan Turnquist, executive director of the Orchard House, portrays LMA on various occasions. I took my granddaughter to tea at the Concord Museum about nine years ago and she showed up as LMA and completely entranced the youngsters there, including my granddaughter…LMA encouraged her to keep writing and being creative…heady stuff for a 5-year-old.
    —- The Concord Museum has artifacts from LMA’s family including a doll she played with in its collection. They also have one of the lanterns Revere looked for in the Old North Church (One if by land and two if by sea) before he started his famous midnight ride. And there is a new exhibit about Revere, entitled “Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere,” about his other famous accomplishments. It opens this weekend and is on view through early summer.
    Thanks for your wonderful post and bringing back so many memories of a beautiful place to live in Massachusetts.
    Happy Valentine’s Day!
    Nancye Tuttle, Wells, Maine

    • sbranch says:

      Excellent tidbits Nancye! I’ve met Jan … she is the perfect person for that job!!! I’m so happy for her and all the attention they are drawing since the movie came out. I’d heard about the Paul Revere lantern, next time, it’s a must see! xoxo

  91. Pam Gardner says:

    I love New England but have never been to Lexington/ Concord. Now that my dear husband has dementia and resides in memory care not sure I will get there… but just maybe. I still have to live my life even though it is so sad. Perhaps some trips with a girlfriend? Love to you Susan- I enjoy your posts but haven’t written anything back in a couple of years.❤️

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, you do Pam, it’s very sad, I’m sad for you. But you do need to go on living, because that’s what we do. Love hearing from you Pam. Blessings on you both, xoxoxoxo

    • Cindy B. says:

      I went to Concord in part to fulfill a wish of my mother’s some time after she passed. It was wonderful in that I felt like we were seeing it together…..somehow her wish was fulfilled in my going. Just a thought.

  92. ~Del gato gordo y descarado~ says:

    !YEEEEEES! Ohthankyousomuch!
    “PS Here’s a little rock and roll for us, MUSICA . . .”

  93. Susie Durrschmidt says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day Susan, Joe, Jack and all the girlfriends! Thank you for taking me on that wonderful trip with you. Delightful.

  94. blbc says:

    Once again, thank you for taking us along on your adventure. For me it was a memory walk from my youth; now, I must make plans to return.

  95. Sherri says:

    Little Women was one of the first (and for many years my favorite) novels I read as a little girl. I read it over and over, snuggled into a big leather recliner that we got with my step-father and eating Oreos while listening to Scheherazade (forgive any misspellings please) on the Hi-Fi. It was an all-sensory experience.
    I loved the photos and details about Concord and Louisa May’s grave.
    Speaking of reading, I recently read an excellent novel that included some little known facts about WWII. It’s called “When We Were Brave” by Karla M. Jay. It is beautifully written. Look for it on Amazon.com. If you buy the Kindle edition it is very reasonably priced. If you join Kindle Unlimited it is even less. I prefer going to Kindle route as opposed to buying used or new, then I don’t have to find shelf space. All my shelves are filled to bursting and there are boxes and bins of books everywhere.
    Thanks for bringing so much light and joy into my (and so many others) life. I’m so glad you and Joe (and Jack) all found each other.
    Happy Valentines!

    • Dianne says:

      Sherri, Thank you so much for the mention of the book title. I love reading books about both World War I and World War II (especially the role of women) and would love to correspond with someone with similar tastes. We could swap titles- among other things. I can’t quite figure out how to link up with others on this blog, but I do try to attend Susan Branch events in the Northeast. Do you by chance live in this area? If interested in corresponding, my e-mail is basbleudfm@yahoo.com. Dianne Everyone Brave is Forgiven is a title that comes to mind at the moment. My mother was in London during the Blitz. Also, the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear is a must!!

  96. Becky says:

    Thank you so much, Susan, for sharing your magical history tour. It was even more fun for me because my husband and I just returned from our own similar trip. I found my husband a little later in life so we are trying to make the most of each year. On another subject, I recently found that I had an extra copy of “A Fine Romance” so I gave it to a friend who loves to travel. I’m really excited to hear how she likes it!!! I’ll let you know! So happy Galentine’s Day (I guess it is a new holiday on February 13 – basically Valentine’s Day for girl friends. Don’t you love it!)

  97. Amy L. Hancock says:

    Great post Susan, I love the adventure of road trips. I wanted to tell you that “My Jo” and I have been watching as many Little Women movies as we can since we saw the newest version. We have lunch, a pot of tea, a good chat and a lovely movie together. Girl time is one if life’s treasures. Adding your travel suggestions to my Bucket List.

  98. Sheryl says:

    It’s late for me, but as I was just starting to read your blog I got sidetracked on Orchard House. I think I could be up all night watching all you can find when you go to your link. It is really exciting. I hope many of us find this side path you put in front of us. I better read the rest of the blog tomorrow. It sure is a good one. Thanks, Susan

  99. Connie B says:

    I love that you & Joe sit and read together at a restaurant over lunch. So romantic! I’m reading a book right now that I think you might enjoy. It’s called The Tale of Castle Cottage, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, by Susan Wittig Albert. There’s a whole series. My girlfriend lent me her copy. Maybe you’ve already heard of them?
    Have a happy a Valentine’s Day! And thank you for your ray of sunshine in every blog. ☺️

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