Mommy, Patsy, Popsy, Pooples

The whole quote from my mom’s letter is “Bye ~ Your very own Mommy, Patsy, Popsy, Pooples . . . ” That’s how she is. 😇 Here comes Mother’s Day, thought I’d play you one of her favorite songs ~ she sang it when I was little as she walked through our house, collecting clothes to do the laundry or while stirring soup …  MUSICA 🌼  

As of yesterday I finished writing the words for my new Christmas book🤣 ~ that’s how I’ve been keeping busy! And there’s Joe, not letting the rain get him down, going through my pages to make sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Now I get to start painting and putting it into my “good handwriting.” I’m thinking I’ll call it a Susan Branch Christmas Story. All the other titles have been taken. Would LIKE to call it A Christmas Carol, but that perfect title is definitely gone! It’s been lovely writing this book, spending so much time with my mother at least in my imagination ~ the book is about the joys of Christmastime at our little house when I was young, circa 1957, the oldest of eight children, and my mom’s right-hand person.I don’t think I’ve ever written a book that wasn’t an ode to my mother. She and her simple, down-to-earth, practical wisdom are between the lines of every page.

Yes, she’s between every line … I’ve tried all my life to show her what her sweet devotion to her family has meant to me . . . I could never find enough words, but I’m pretty sure most of you know . . . you have mothers too.💞

No, you never get over it. Another of my attempts to tell her . . . for her 80th Birthday Party, our family came together to create for her an album of love… I sent blank pages of a large photo album to our family and friends so everyone could contribute pictures, stories, poems, quotes, and memories to her book. Of course, this book became her most-loved thing. It had her whole life story in it, told by the people she loved most.

This was one of the pages I did for her … I have pretty much every card and letter she ever sent me, my mom was a prolific letter-writer for as long as she was able . . . I pulled out excerpts from just a few things for this page … so she could actually see some of what she’s put out there all these years. She will never know, it all seems so normal to her. There, in the middle, you can see who she is: “Bye– your very own Mommy, Patsy, Popsy, Pooples.” My very own. That tells me she knew.💞

Wishing all you moms and grandmas, you nurturers and caregiver-types who make something from nothing every day, a very  

H A P P YHave I said thank you for what you do? This world would be no good without you!💞

So what else is new in the House of Creativity? Calendars are humming along … I just received the proofs … the calendars aren’t assembled yet, but the manufacturer asks me to approve the colors. They look beautiful if I do say so myself… Approved!✅ For all of you that have ordered, we should have them in the Studio by July. (I wonder what the world will be like in July?)

Outside, Nature is doing all her creating the old-fashioned way! Painting the world my favorite colors of pink and green!

Making me hum old songs like Lida Rose …🎶  

For several years, kind of quietly, whenever I feel like it and have time, or if Kellee asks, I’ve been designing prints to put in our web store. First there was one, then there were two, and over the years, slowly but surely, they kept coming ~ but I’ve never looked at how many we had and never wrote about them. Recently Kellee suggested, “Let’s weed out our prints, and see if there is anything new you want to add.”

So I did . . . you’ll recognize some of them because much of the art comes from my books . . . but lately I’ve been inspired . . .

to add some new ones … and put them all on sale in honor of Mother’s Day ~ And the Dam Panic, and being trapped, and perhaps needing a light-hearted hug. Starting today and for the whole month of May! Might as well get them out there where they can bring cheer rather than have them in a dark corner of our shipping barn! Some of my prints were inspired by what we’re going through now…💙 

Many of the prints have my favorite quotes . . .

To make it easy, I think maybe all but two fit into a standard 8″x10″ frame.

This one, “New Rules,” you might remember from A Fine Romance . . . (I see my mother here, especially #7).

My Grandma’s Pie Crust recipe (along with “Pie Craft,”) both from the 30th Anniversary of the Heart of the Home ~ it’s pretty easy to see my grandma here! Proof that no matter how far I’ve traveled, I’ve never gotten too far from home.💞 

There’s also Bathroom Art, the art from these two is from Girlfriends Forever.

You can see close-ups of the rest of the prints HERE!

Oh yes, can’t forget this one, perfect timing for Reasons To Go On Living . . . Have faith Girlfriends (and boyfriends, too), life will come back to normal, despite all the yammering on TV (A reminder: you own it, it doesn’t own you💞), there are a LOT of brilliant people out there working day and night to solve this thing. And while I’m thinking of it, my prayers join yours for the suffering, the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, and for those that have lost loved ones. Such a scary time. My tears join yours for the tremendous acts of courage, compassion, and selflessness we are learning about daily ~ and our gratitude goes out to all those who are sacrificing so much for the greater good. This is America. It’s what we do for EACH OTHER that matters. Be strong, as Queen Elizabeth put it so perfectly, “with quiet, good-natured resolve.” And listen to your Governors. Unless they are insane. Then listen to yourself, you with the common sense.♥️ The sun will come out, tomorrow.

And don’t forget … I put a pattern for this crown in my last post . . . there’s a link there with instructions you can print out to make your own Mother’s Day crown (just scroll down to next post) . . . It’s free, and fun to make someone’s day (there’s my mom again😍).

Oh! And something else I wanted to give you ~ this is the BEST recipe!

Next forage-trip to the supermarket, don’t forget to get the ingredients for these delicious pancakes… you will love them! Banana Fritters would be a wonderful Mother’s Day treat, too … that recipe is in the post below this one.💞

Remember the photo of Joe in the last post? When he was going to rob the supermarket? Barbara Cummins, one of our darling Girlfriends, saw it and decided to sketch it and send it to me . . . isn’t it cute? I printed it out and put it on our fridge! 

Then Barbara saw a photo of me wearing my mask . . . and she did it all over again! I don’t think we could ever forget this Dam Panic, but this assures it! Thank you Barbara!

I know, don’t be afraid! It’s only Jack! So Kellee gets this idea to make a Jack-mask from a painting I did of him with a rubber band in his mouth… she made this paper mock-up just to get an idea of what it might look like, thinking she could probably fix that rubber band if we decided to do it. But when I put this thing in front of my face it was so frightening, we realized that unless it came with matching ears we would scare everyone at the supermarket. Might even be worse with ears, might need a tail too. So, no … we decided we love it, but we’re never going to make it! Gone, but not forgotten!So, one more gift from me to you with love . . . GREEN, the color of spring, of life, renewal, nature, energy, growth, harmony, safety, and the environment …  I think we need some of all of that … so, from my “Green” file . . . I give you . . . GREEN!

This is what we’re waiting for . . . this is the green of a New England Spring just after the leaves open.🌿

This green matches the New England green perfectly, but it’s a door on a cottage in the Cotswolds.

Joe’s showing me my iron bunny rowing his leaf through the snow…

Green beans . . .

Peter Rabbit Room dressed for winter.

Beautiful green tea set that was a giveaway here on the blog a couple of years ago…It’s gone, but it’s almost as good just to have the photos!

Me, as a tree-hugger, walking in the woods around Lake Winnipesaukee.🌳

Saw this little car in England… I think they were advertising astro turf!

Two greens: the screen door, and Jack’s eyes!

If you’re painting words about Ireland, you have to do it in green! It’s a rule!☘️

Old books had the BEST covers! Works of art!

Quilts airing on the line last fall.

Green trim on a very old house in Hingham, MA … there is a little baby looking out the top-right window!

Me, in the backyard of Holly Oak, when the neighbor’s cows surprised me with a visit!

Found a heart rock on the beach!

Self-explanatory … green!

Darling old magazine from 1934 found at a yard sale.

Glass creamers and sugar bowls make very nice votive holders! Second hand stores, antique stores, yard sales!

We still have this pattern for my chair pillow in our Love to Sew section … looks darling on kitchen chairs.

This green-roofed hotel in Long Beach California is where my mom met my dad at a dance in 1945.  He was wearing his sailor uniform …I took this picture from the deck of the Queen Mary, (the old one that’s permanently docked there).

Great garden book! Sometimes we have copies of this in our bookstore… it’s old, but so full of inspiration, it makes your hands itch to start gardening.💚

My first painting ever! What a shock to learn, when I was 30, that I could paint! What a surprise! ~ guess you just have to try, because who knows? The original hangs in our dining room.

Postcard from Joe’s collection sings Spring!

My Girl Scout sash (the missing star was lost on a beret sometime in the 80s). Some badges are still pinned where my mother put them “till she had time to sew them on.” Everyone in my troop took horseback-riding lessons which I do not remember! I don’t feel very much like a horsewoman, so that first badge is a quandary. But the rest of them are the story of my life: Storytelling, Child Care, Homemaking, Pen Pal, and Cooking.💚

Here I am, laid back in the Fine Romance Van on the boat going back to the Island.

A cake to celebrate my new book in 2012, in the Before Days, when we could all eat from the same cake!

My boy.

My other boy.💚Hope you loved the green, it’s like a deep breath of all the things we love. If you find yourself with time on your hands look at the top of my home page, click on HOME SWEET HOME, or I LOVE ENGLAND, ABOUT ME, or VISITING MARTHA’S VINEYARD ~ for more little stories, things you may not have noticed. I’m getting lots of questions about art lately, so you’ll find information about drawing and painting under ABOUT ME.🎨

In a recent post, one of our Girlfriends, Carol Wilson, sent this interesting-looking recipe for Wild Violet Jelly. She called it a “Labor of Love” and I can see why. But read the recipe and see what you think… might be worth a try. Some of us definitely have the time . . . and if you’ve got the violets . . . why not! I think they’d make make an outstanding gift! Perfect tea-party material!

My problem is, so far, I don’t have enough violets. They’re coming up in our lawn, but not very many and the recipe calls for 8 cups of unsprayed, pesticide free, well-washed, common wild violets ~ petals only ~ Eeek. Send your kids to do this! Wash the petals well, divide into two glass bowls, 4 cups in each, and add 4 cups of boiling water to each bowl. Let sit 24 hours. In the meantime, sterilize 1/2 pt. jars and lids (she didn’t say how many, probably 4). Pour petals and water through a sieve, pressing down the petals to get all the water and flavor from the flowers. Keep the flower water, put the used petals in your compost. Boil the flower water with 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice (no seeds), and 3 c. sugar till sugar is dissolved. Add one box (1.75 oz) powdered pectin and boil 2 more minutes. Ladle hot liquid into clean, sterilized jars, leaving a quarter-inch headway, put on lids, cover with water and boil for 5 min. Take them out and make sure they are sealed tight when cooled. “Delicious” Carolyne said, “Beautiful purple-pink color. Spread on homemade biscuits, toast, or cornbread. Enjoy!” Let us know if you try it . . . Thank you Carolyn!

 Happy Mother’s Day dear ones.💞 I hope you’re all okay and staying safe . . . I’m thinking about you! 

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482 Responses to Mommy, Patsy, Popsy, Pooples

  1. Patricia Macias says:

    Such a lovely post, my mother and I were not as close as I always craved or wished she could of been . In your post of your lovely Mom , I fantasize that it was my Mom you were describing . My mother has Alzheimer’s so she will never be the Mom I wanted but she loved me and cared for me that’s all it matters. Who would of known I would be the one to be her Caregiver now! Thank you for your lovely stories of love and care, they help and heal the hearts that need it 💗

    • sbranch says:

      I think it’s supposed to be that way, they took care of us when we were helpless, and later, the tables turn, and it becomes our gift to give that care back to them. It’s hard though, I wanted my mom to be here with us, but before the dementia she refused, for lots of good reasons, even when I threatened kidnapping. And later, we just wanted to keep everything very gentle and not confuse her. It ended up as it has, I’ll always be grateful to my sister who has done such a phenomenal job.

  2. Stacey Nugent says:

    I didn’t know your mom was in hospice. I hope my comments about being with my aunt didn’t hurt you in anyway. The book that you all have your mother is so wonderful, you have all been able to let her know how much she means to you. What a gift.

    • sbranch says:

      Not at all Stacey, don’t worry. Writing about my mom yesterday was amazingly cathartic. And with this blog, I guess I can do it anytime I want for the rest of my life! 😘

  3. Barbara says:

    I went to bed after reading your post and fell asleep thinking of my lovely Mom. I can’t think of a better way to doze off. Thank you for helping me remember the love she showed the four of us. I am grateful. So sorry to hear about your Mom. My Mom was cared for by a loving hospice team and by my “baby” sister at her home. Prayers for you and your family, Sue. 💕💕💕👭

  4. Mary from Oregon says:

    Violets are coming up in my lawn also! I’ve only lived in a 4 season climate for 3.5 years, and everyday there are new surprises. While in quarantine, I’ve been slowly (because I don’t want to be done with it) rereading A Fine Romance. I was under the impression that you were writing a second England book from your 2018 trip there. Is that still in the works? Basically, I’m trying to figure out how slow I have to read. Thanks for contributing to my sanity in these weird, crazy times.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve lived here almost 40 years (can that be true?) 😃 and the season change STILL comes as a surprise. I think when you grow up without them, you never can quite get over the changes! They were created to delight! Yes, I have another England book in the works … but I got stopped for several months last year and the first months of this year … first off, by a broken right wrist, and then thing after thing. And this will be a long book, so I thought I wanted SOMETHING for Christmas THIS year … I’ve had this other book in mind for years, it’s shorter (but very sweet) and I can have it finished in time, and then I’ll get back to England, which as you might guess, I can’t wait to do!!!

      • Mary from Oregon says:

        And I can NOT wait to read it! However, I will now look forward to the Christmas book as a TMO. Well … that and the fact that I’m a huge Christmas fan and grew up in your same generation. The nostalgia will be amazing. 🎄 Thank you for answering my question.

  5. Hilary Jones says:

    Thank you, as always, for your wonderful Blog! Just got home from a late shift at work and it was just the treat I needed! Looking forward to reading your book—congrats on getting it finished—what an accomplishment! Love the beautiful array of greens—it is just what we need in these anxious, scary times to help us calm down and stay focused on all the beauty that surrounds us…Stay well and healthy!

  6. Sheryl Ross says:

    Many of us are painting rocks and leaving them all over Lane county in Oregon for children to find. some are beautiful like your pictures and some look like 4th grader painted them (mine). The children seem to love them all. One of my granddaughters is leaving them in Prosper, TX and another in Phnom Penh. It’s a lovely idea

    • sbranch says:

      Making magic! Like Easter eggs that won’t spoil and the skunks won’t eat them! It IS a lovely idea.♥️

  7. Karen Saunders says:

    You have written a new illustrated book for Christmas????? OH MY😱 I NEED SOME!!! Please say it’s TRUE!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • sbranch says:

      It’s TRUE and I’m as excited as you are!! 🤣 xoxo

      • Christine Blount says:

        Thank you for the post of your Mom ! I love reading your letters and Finding out what is new and what you are doing in your life! The prints are just beautiful, I could hang them in each room of my home.
        I am fascinated that you just found out you could pain at the age of 30!
        I visit Martha’s Vineyard often in the fall, when it’s quiet, I always hope
        I see you somewhere! I have followed for years! I buy your calendar every year, thank you for home and family it represents! I love it as I do you! 😘Chris

  8. This will be my second Mother’s Day without my own dear sweet mother. I think our mothers were cut from the same cloth, so to speak, they sound so much alike. I agree with Abe, all I am and all I hope to be I owe to my mother also. She taught me much. Life lessons that you never forget. Like you, I have saved every letter and card, etc. she ever sent me. There’s quite a few, plus letters she sent to my children. I have not been able to bring myself to read them yet, maybe this Mother’s Day. We’ll see. I am still at the stage where my heart breaks again every time I think of her. Perhaps it always will. Its a very overcast day here today. We have had several weeks of brilliant sunshine, so I guess the rain had to come eventually! I will be glad when this whole dam-panic is over, but in the meantime I have been using it to learn some new skills. I finally successfully was able to grow a sourdough starter and bake some bread from it. Yes! My house has never been cleaner. Spring Cleaning done in a flash. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger! My mother used to tell us to wear clean underwear whenever we went out also. You made me smile, but then you always do. I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOUR NEW BOOK (S)!!! (sorry for shouting, but I am just so darned excited about them!) You bring so much joy into so many people’s lives. You mother us all, so Happy Mother’s Day to you as well as all the girls! Are we not all mothers in one way or another! I think we are. xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Look at you! Your own sourdough starter! That’s an accomplishment! Thank you so much Marie … such sweet words. Enjoy that clean house! Sending love from over the sea . . . xoxoxo

  9. Julie Eden says:

    I also have a lot of letters from my mom. Just included them in my memoir..It was fun reading them and trying to date the years….usually she just put a month and date..But some clue was in most….

    • sbranch says:

      Isn’t that wonderful? Little snapshots in time … and usually so full of just very little things. Real life. xoxo

  10. Stacey says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you, once again, for a delightful and uplifting epistle. And they always arrive when we need them most. I especially love all the lovely green you included. I live in Green Bay, WI, which is not showing too much green yet, but I am hopeful. The trees are finally getting that feathery look to their bare branches before they finally leaf out! And as I was washing the morning dishes I looked out the window over the sink and what did I see? Not green, but my neighbor’s forsythia bush had popped out overnight in all its blazing golden glory! Spring is finally making a mark up here! I did get a giggle out of the Astro turf car. My first thought was why on earth would anyone in England think they could make a living out of AstroTurf?

    I am so sorry to hear your mother is in hospice care, especially in this DamPanic time, when traveling is truly hard to accomplish and the whole issue of visiting loved ones and possibly exposing others to vile viruses becomes so problematic. Know that prayers ascend for you and your family from my little domestic church. 💕🙏🕊🙏💕

    • sbranch says:

      My mom suffers from dementia, she really doesn’t know us … she is safe, warm, treasured, in a family surrounding ~ I don’t think we are allowed to ask for more than that. 💞 And I had to laugh when I read your comment about astro-turf in England, coals to Newcastle! So true! Thank you for your kind words. Happy Spring! xoxo

  11. Dd says:

    This makes me wonder, what happened to your book about Ireland and Scotland. I hope I didn’t miss it!

    • sbranch says:

      No … last year a series of events beginning when I broke my right wrist kept me from working on it … Because I knew I couldn’t get it out this year (it’s long!), I decided to do the Christmas story I’ve been thinking about for so long. I’ll get it back on the front burner soon!

  12. Mary V Driver-Downs says:

    Love the song… I love that you share with us your thoughts about your sweet mom. Hope you and Joe are doing well and staying safe and healthy!

  13. Ann Y. says:

    What a lovely post with so many things that tugged at my heart! So great to see your Girl Scout sash…and recognize some of the same badges. Cooking! Remember getting together with some girls from my troop at my friend Joy’s house and cooking a dinner with her mother to complete the requirements for the badge. Her mom was younger than mine, and glamorous, and they had a new kitchen ( which I am sure we made messy) and I remember thinking ” this is so great”!!! Your Mother’s Day memories and thoughts about this pandemic and looking forward to good things reminds me of the story my mother always told, and I used it when giving her eulogy. In the fall of 1918 my grandmother ( who, with my grandfather immigrated from Slovakia, worked in the coal mines, and eventually opened a saloon) was in her late 30’s. She had three children ( my wonderful aunts Katie and Annie, and my Uncle Joe) and worked hard, and suddenly felt very ill. At the height of the Spanish Flu pandemic she went to the doctor and thought she was dying with the flu….and the doctor told her she had “the flu with arms and legs!”. She was pregnant with my mother who was born in January 1919. So, yes…even in terrible times there are good things waiting to come to us! Thank you Susan, for reminding us of all the wonderful pleasures of HOME…and to enjoy them even when we are back out in the world! Sending good wishes for good health to you and Joe…Hugs !

    • Care Woodard says:

      Thank you Ann for your beautiful story about your grandmother. How beautiful people are! and all we handle with grace, love, and laughter.

  14. Emily from the Berkshires says:

    Happy Spring, Susan! All of the green photos were… delicious! It’s such a good (and my favorite!) color. My grandmother always had a funny saying for this time of year: “It’s comin’ all over green.” She heard it from an old timer from Vermont back in the 1950’s and it stuck with her. I carry it with me now along with so many other cherished memories. Speaking of cherished memories, what a lovely ode to Mother’s Day and your dear mother. As I perused through the comments I noticed you mentioning that your mother is in hospice. I will pray for peace and her comfort. The wild violet jelly sounds amazing! Thanks to Carolyn for sharing. Sadly, I don’t think I can procure enough violets to try it now. Maybe someday! I do love violet flavored treats, though. Have you ever tried violet creams? I’ve been fortunate enough to get them in the past from Harrods and Fortnum & Mason. There’s also these funny little British candies called Parma Violets which are very similar to our Smarties. And, the Connecticut based tea retailer, Simpson & Vail, has a violet black tea. Mmm! I could go on and on (rose creams are good, too!)!

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Thank you, Emily, for the list of violet flavored candy and tea. Our wild violets have not peeks out yet, but I know it won’t be long now. I have these teeny, tiny little glass bottles that my multi-talented neighbor made. They are just perfect with the the violets in them. They actually last 3 or 4 days. Debbie in Maine

  15. Cheryl Grieb says:

    Dearest Susan,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful post. I am a Massachusetts girl in Florida. Oh how I long for my lilacs and forsythia. The spring brought the crocus and daffodils peeping through the snow. Your photos are so beautiful. They have brought me some hope and peace. Life is so fleeting but always an adventure. My Mom has been gone some twenty years now. Our birthdays are the 8th and 9th of May. Many times they fall on Mother’s Day. She would not have dealt well with this DamPanic. My Aunt and Uncle are in separate Rest Homes on the Cape. What a name to give the Homes. No “rest” now. Just another day to fight for survival. I pray for them both every day. Thank you for bringing us a little piece of Spring. So pretty. So green. So full of hope for a beautiful new year. Happy Spring Dear. Love your recipe pages. Looking forward to another gorgeous Christmas book. Wish I could see your beautiful home, but at least I have the photos. My honeysuckle is in full bloom and the smell is wafting in the window as I write to you. So sweet.

  16. Susan Smith Bryden says:

    Tender lovesong to your mother. Many prayers and much love to you as she’s on her way home. Love never fails. God knows. Shalom, dear Susan. Shalom

  17. Tender lovesong to your beloved mother. Many prayers and much love as she is now on her journey home. Love neverfss. Ever. God knows. Shalom, it dear Susan. Shalom ❤️

  18. Rhondi says:

    Your lovely posts always lift my spirits. I feel like I’m having a chat with my best friend and you always say just the things that touch my heart. Thank you for all the beauty and joy you share with us. The world is so full of negativity. You are a breath of fresh air! I hope the sun shines for you today 🌸🌿

  19. Lynda Schneider says:

    Thank you Susan! When I think of you or see your calendar in my kitchen each day or pull out one of your cookbooks, I think of my dear, sweet Mom. I lost her almost 14 years ago. She introduced me to you. 🙂 She loved your art and your cookbooks. She always gave your calendars for Christmas and now I do the same. Your corn pudding is now a tradition at our Thanksgiving feast and a summer can’t go by without your delicious Peach pie on our table (My son’s favorite) and so many more. My mom would have loved your novels. She was an old fashioned, hopeless romantic. She loved lace, flowers, china and pearls. I miss her but I am so thankful I was blessed with her as my mom. Thank you again for doing what you do. You and Joe stay safe. Mmwah!

  20. Karen Wills says:

    Thank-you so much for your lovely blog post full of hope, great memories of your mom, the color green, and the kitchen prints(and a homemade crown)!! Thanks again for all you do.

  21. Charlene Boyle says:

    Love your blogs! Sitting at the dining room table, looking out the window at another spring morning, drinking caramel coffee and enjoying your blog! It’s a very good day! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and creativity!

  22. Linda Michael in PA says:

    Thank you for this delightful blog – and homage to your mother, and all mothers, really. I have my 99 year old mother living with me right now during this Dam-Panic. She has dimentia and some days remembers me and others not. She wakes every morning thinking she’s at the sea shore in New Jersey, (she used to vacation in Avalon, NJ every May and September with my stepfather). What a lovely way for her to wake up, I think. There are definitely challenges for my husband and I (as we are elderly) caring for her, but – she’s my mom. I’m sure there were many challenges for her through the years, raising me! Take care. xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Blessings on you all Linda, sending love … and yes, how lovely she finds herself near the sea … 💞

    • Linda Michael in PA says:

      Ps: I couldn’t decide which of your wall calendars to get – so I just purchased both! One for kitchen and one for craft room – twice the enjoyment. And also purchased your “New Rules print. I’m glad you mentioned them in your blog.

    • Sarah says:


      Reading about your mom makes me think of that Rascal Flatts song “Ellsworth, Kansas 1948” about how his grandma can’t remember anything about today but if you get her talking about her youth she comes to life. “Tomorrow she won’t remember what she did today,
      But just ask her about Ellsworth, Kansas, 1948” It’s a heartbreaking song, but so beautiful. I cry every time I hear it. Blessings to you and everyone caring for an elderly parent.

  23. Dawn in Maine says:

    Thank you for another beautiful post Susan! We are having a little snow shower up here in central Maine this morning, so it is lovely to see all the GREEN!!! Happy May and Happy Mother’s Day to all.

  24. Ginny says:

    Love your posts, they cheer me up! Love all of you beautiful art work. My mom and I were not as close as you and your mom seem to be, but I still miss her. I miss my Grams even more. I hope to be able to see my daughter adn Grand Daughters this year, but we will see how that goes! Thanks for the wonderful sites to see, and all the green that you provided! It was a nice break and great way to start my morning!

  25. Jeanie says:

    I love reading about Mom’s. My sweet Mother passed away when I was 11 years old and I’ve missed her every day since. She taught me to cut out paper dolls, play jacks, jump rope and roller skate. I wish that my children could have known her but in a way they have through me. Thanks for your post, lovely photos and paintings! They really speak to the soul! Happy Spring Susan!

  26. Grace says:

    Thank you for sharing your mother with us, Susan! Your relationship with her is so beautiful. And thank you for a long (that’s a good thing) and inspirational post. Loved all the green!

  27. Donna Huckabee says:

    What a wonderful way to start my day–reading your blog. and, learning about a new book! I usually send one to a friend, so Christmas is done. My mom was caring but strict and nurturing in a hand’s length away manner. Only when she was near the end, did she say how proud she was and how much she loved me. What matters most is that she said it. I was able to be with her and my sister at the end of our mother’s life. When I became a mom, I was determined to be more of a loving, hugging, demonstrating, talking mom. I am rewarded with 2 daughters who are wonderful. I am so glad that you have the happy gene and that you share so well. Take care and stay safe!

    • sbranch says:

      Being the mom you wish you had solves many problems for your children and actually for the world. Good job Donna!👏

  28. Biz G says:

    The violet jelly sounds interesting. I definitely have a bumper crop of wood violets in my garden this year. But don’t know if I have the energy to pick that many. LOL I love the idea. I also have loads of wild strawberries. It looks like a cozy faerie haven back there.

  29. Ailene says:

    I can’t wait for the new Christmas book!!eeeee. You could call it A Christmas Branch

  30. Ailene says:

    I can’t wait for your new Christmas book!! Eeeeeeee. So excited. You could call it A Christmas Branch to you

  31. charlotte m. says:

    Another wonderful post full of love and hope. Thank you, dear Susan. After your last post, I decided to see if I could make your mother’s day crown from fabric, as I am a quilter and sew everything. I was able to take your directions and translate it into fabric, with Velcro to hold it together. Once it worked, I made one for each of my two daughters who are moms, back in NC. I have sent them and hope to get a photo of them wearing them on Mother’s day. I will be wearing mine. I thought they deserved something special during the Damn Panic. They are working from home and raising children and homeschooling all at the same time and it’s exhausting for sure, and very stressful. I pray for all the parents who are doing this right now. What a blessing your mom has been for you. So lucky. You and Joe stay safe and healthy.

  32. Tammy Neuls says:

    Susan, thank you again! Your soul and love and joy of all the little things dance all over your pages and I’m so ever grateful the read your blogs and share in it all!!! life will get back to ‘normal’ and I hope we will appreciate our freedom and being able to hug loved ones so much that we took for granted. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms still with us and in memory to those gone by. Blessing to all, Tammy

  33. Cindy says:

    Thank you for your blog today about your lovely mom and the wonderful colour green (my favourite). Today is my mom’s 91st birthday. We are practicing social distancing (hard to go without hugs for so long) but try to walk outside every day that is warm enough. Look forward eagerly to each new blog that you write. Take care during these interesting times!

  34. Susie Kilgroe says:

    Love green……loved the post!

  35. Kathy W says:

    Perfect time for your blog. I was feeling a little teary-eyed yesterday about not being able to visit my 97 year old Mom. I am usually a more positive person but was having a down day. Your words & pics cheered me up as usual. Your Mom is such a gem as is mine. Love your tribute. You have such a wonderful outlook on life and are able to capture beauty in everything. Love green & sunshine. I have many of the same Girl Scout badges as you. Fun to look at my sash again too. Take Care.

  36. Susan Cardot Lance says:

    Thank you for a wonderful way to start the day. Loved the pick of the green roof on the building in Long Beach that you took from the Queen Mary. My hubby and I went walking this past Sunday by the aquarium in Long Beach then over the bridge to a very quiet Queen Mary.

  37. Jennifer J Lauri says:

    Dear Susan, Your mother sounds very much like mine. Mom Ruth continues to use her beautiful handwriting in calligraphy and makes handmade cards with dried Vermont flowers. Thank you for, again, helping me to appreciate people and memories even more than I do.

  38. Care Woodard says:

    Thank you for a beautiful post. I ordered my print of The New Rules right away!!! The green is as soothing to our souls as your words always are. I have a tiny, slightly sad, slightly hilarious problem that I need the girlfriends advice on…It isn’t really important in this challenging time, but still, I would be SO grateful for any help. Yesterday, My FAVORITE mug for Spring and summer, your England’s green an pleasant land mug, sprang a leak! Hairline crack. Not a defect! Snow flake girl(Anna) sent it flying by accident. We went on the computer and lo and behold! There is a method that uses milk to fix hairline cracks in favorite mugs so that they can still function!!! I was so excited and already proud of myself… I got the milk, filled the sauce pan to cover the mug, let it simmer away for the prescribed hour, let it come back to room temp and I now have …..My favorite mug absolutely GLUED to the bottom of my favorite pan!!!!!! I mean it is as if I cemented it!!! I can not get a razor blade between the two! Oh dear! Anyone have any glimmer of a solution?!!!! I told my sweet Mom about it and we could do nothing but laugh!!! Have a wonderful day everybody!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m trying not to laugh … 🤣🤣🤣 but failing miserably. What a nightmare!!! I was so excited about your “cure” … almost printing it out before I finished reading. I can’t wait to hear if this fixes itself. xoxoxo

    • Rachel Scott says:

      Care, pour some milk in the pan and reheat slowly and see if the cup will release from the pan.

      • Care Woodard says:

        OMG!!!!!! Darling Susan and Darling Rachel Scott!! Your comments cheered me and gave me some hope…. I went out to the garage to retrieve my FAILED crafting project….which I had to bring out there so it wouldn’t drive me crazy, when I looked at it. It got some good laughs out there; I brought it out for my husband’s mom too to see and giggle over when I turned the pan upside down and the cup stayed glued!!! I did what Rachel said…got the courage to clean all the gross old milk out…Anna and I had filled it with baking soda…loaded some new milk in, heated it until just warmed, and I felt the first slightest give!!! I twisted a little…crazy to think I actually might still save the mug!!!! And it came free!!!! It isn’t exactly water tight, YET!! But I am going to try this milk fix again!!! This time, I’ll lay the mug ON ITS SIDE!! in a NON favorite pan!!!! I’ll let you know!! I have a lot of hope… cooked milk really is like glue!!!

        • sbranch says:

          LOL, this is such a happy outcome!!! You’re making me laugh with “cooked milk really is like glue!” 🤣 I learned something too. Let us know the final result! Thank you Rachel, you brilliant girl!

        • Rachel Scott says:

          Cara….wahoo….it worked. I hope it works by trying your cup on it’s side….”in a non favorite pan.” At least you know what to do if it sticks again. Ha!

          • Care Woodard says:

            Well, I tried and tried and tried again. I really thought the third time would be the charm but sadly, my cup sprung a leak right away with this morning’s tea. It is OK! I will put a little flower in the cup and use it as the sweetest planter:) I am VERY excited about the Christmas book you made for us and Very touched to hear that my Anna wrote to you:) (I think she posted it on an old blog you will never see but it was SO sweet of her! It warms my heart to see my daughters and Mom becoming your girlfriends too!!) I am keeping you, your Mom, and your whole family wrapped in my morning dock prayers and meditation. Happy Mother’s Day to ALL! I agree with our beautiful girlfriend that said we are all mothers.

          • sbranch says:

            Oh darn, I thought you had it! How sweet, you, your mom, your daughters, we’re a family affair! Happy Mothers Day!😘

  39. Lori W Hamilton says:

    I always love it when I open my email and there’s a new blog notice from you like there was today! And I went to the hospital this morning for a check (bone marrow transplant) and all was very good praise God! And the sun is shining and the birds are out ~ it’s a RED LETTER day!
    I’m 65 years old and blessed to have my mother still with me – both parents, actually. Daddy will be 90 next week! They’re in their same house and both independent so far. Your blog paid such respect and love to your mom. It warmed my heart! We who love simple things and the beauty of home and creativity and family are what America is made of. That’s what I like to think anyway. It’s what I see when I look around my home and town.
    Prayers for your mother and her care-giver. And I look forward to your new books and calendars! Take care!!!!

  40. Paula Clark says:

    Thinking of you dear Susan at this time in your life. Oh our “Mom’s” beloved for all our life., and beyond. I always hope that when a person has something like dementia that they have some lovely thoughts of past times in their life that were so so happy. As Linda in PA was saying that her Mom wakes every day thinking she is at the sea shore. My Mom didn’t have dementia but had Emphsema (sp?). in which the lack of oxygen made her confused sometimes. I recall walking into her hospital room one day and she said, “Hurry Paula, help me find my red shoes! Vic (my Dad) is picking me up in a few.” I just went along with it, her being in such a time in her life again. God Bless you Susan, and God bless your Mom. I betcha she got as much love and joy from having you as a daughter as you do from her being your Mother. Can’t wait for the Christmas book. Yay!! XOXO

  41. Rose Ann Bacher-Giallombardo says:

    Hello darling Susan, I wrote a nice note to you yesterday (4/27/20 at 5:50 PM)
    but it didn’t come through 🙁

  42. Ginny Wagner says:

    Your blogs are always loved, so much so that I save them for a special quiet time. My mom has been gone 16 years now and I do miss her. She and I used to read in companionable silence. I volunteer cooking breakfast in our hospice and have always found the staff beautifully sensitive and caring. I know your mom is in good hands.
    In another vain I watched your Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit video this morning and smiled the whole way through. It’s my birthday and what a fun way to spend 35 minutes. I think we are all children at heart. Thanks and prayers for you and your loved ones.
    Ginny on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

  43. Mary Julienne says:

    Such a beautiful post with inspiring thoughts, gardening green and reminders to enjoy life daily no matter the circumstances. We often think of what we cannot do and what we are missing rather than looking inward at what we can do and are doing each day for personal happiness! I love your blog and ideas!

  44. Verna Heavner says:

    Susan my own Mother died when I was 18 months old so I have no lovely memories. I’m 66 years old and I still long for her. It was lovely to hear the memories of your mother. Blessings to you!verna

  45. Karen H. says:

    My dearest, sweetest Susan, Your beautiful posts about your mama make me smile and tear up thinking of mine❤️ Listening to the musica always reminds me of my mama…last year you reminded me of a sweet memory of my mama singing “Playmate”. That was one of the first songs I remember mom singing. Awww! Those are precious memories from a 70 year old girlfriend. Wishing you and your mama a blessed Mother’s Day ❤️🦋🌸🌹🦋

  46. Christine Anderson says:

    My mom always sang around the house as she took care of us. I knew all the 40″s songs and lyrics by hering the.. There were six of us and she worked so hard to make our lives fun. Our PB&J sandwiches were cut with cookie cutters! always a treat for lunch. She is gone now, but what a remarkable woman!

  47. Lynda Dixon says:

    How interesting that you mentioned Violet Jelly, as I just made some last Saturday! It’s a Victorian recipe that was included in an order I received years ago from Amazon Trading Company in Iowa. It was printed on a lavender colored card and included another recipe for Cream Biscuits. I was enchanted. My eight- year- old daughter and I made it the following spring – she is now 38 – and it was such fun. I decided to make it again this year and I certainly missed my little girl with nimble fingers helping me fill a ” tightly packed” quart jar, but I plan to send some to her in Oregon from Illinois ! I wish I could include a picture for you, as the jars are beautiful. I put them in 1/4 cup jars, making them perfect for the tea parties we had together. The ingredients are the same as the one you posted, but the instructions are a bit different. Luckily, we have a large yard and lots of wild violets, in fact, I think the violets sold me on the house as a young newlywed 47 years ago! Fun to know that someone else is making it, too!

  48. Thank you so much for the 30th Anniversary Heart of the Home book. Was so excited to be 1 of the 3 chosen to receive a copy. It arrived today, on my 65th birthday and made the day all the more special for me. I knew the day would be different with this Dam Panic, so I can’t thank you enough.
    Reading through your blog brought so many happy memories of my dear Mum, when we used to visit London and make a bee-line for Laura Ashley. We always came home with a new dress each and new ideas for decorating! Making nursery items in L.A. fabric for both daughters was so much fun, so many years ago now! I do sympathise Susan, as my Mum developed dementia, so now I treasure our shopping trips and sewing projects together even more.
    I loved reading about your Peter Rabbit bedroom; I am sure I have read it before but enjoyed reading it again. I have a Peter Rabbit bedroom, but there is no room for a bed, just a desk – it’s now my study.
    I love reading your blog and especially all those ‘little items’ you link in. I get so engrossed and feel like it’s been a short trip across the pond! It must be time (hopefully not too long) for another visit!

    • sbranch says:

      Hi again Caroline, here is the missing comment, 👏👏👏 Yay! And once again, congratulations on being our Over-the-Pond winner of Heart of the Home! XOXO

    • Dianne says:

      Congratulations Caroline! I am so glad that you are enjoying your book and that it arrived on your birthday. I love reading the comments section of the blog. I always wonder if the person writing was one of the many attending the various “Susan gatherings” I’ve been so fortunate to attend. I was at the picnic at Castle Cottage- maybe you were there as well! It was such a lovely day. At breakfast the following morning, I was talking with another attendee (from Holland, I believe her name was Nicola. I think she is the owner of a Petey doll mentioned in a previous post). We both mentioned that there is never a “negative” person in attendance at the gatherings. That says a lot doesn’t it? Susan spreads so much sunshine; I think that her many followers try to do the same. Treasure those memories of your mom. Stay safe and healthy. If we keep our fingers crossed, maybe Susan will have another gathering across the Pond (I’m in the U.S.) when her next travel book is published.

      • sbranch says:

        It’s Nicoline .. if you watch the comments you’ll see she comes to visit the blog quite often … a doll of a woman! And Yes, let’s try to make that dream come true! xoxo

  49. Laurie Mannino says:

    Thank you for another lovely blog entry. Your beautiful voice and charming pictures are a balm for the soul in this trying time. This is the first Mother’s Day for me without my mom, who died last September. But as she was an abusive mother, I always hated Mother’s Day, even after I had my own kids. Maybe now I can make my peace with both the holiday and myself as I spent the past few years making my peace with her. Your writings have helped me through much of the past few months and I want to thank you for being a gift to the world. I hope we can meet up in England sometime, as we travel there frequently.

    • sbranch says:

      You’re the mother that she couldn’t be. You’re the mother they made Mother’s Day for.♥️

  50. Roseann Copeland says:

    Thank you Susan once again for your inspirational blog.
    Our mom’s are about the same age. My precious mom will turn 87 on May 11. So thankful to still have her in our lives. She is the sweetest thing ever and is my inspiration as well. For her birthday and Mother’s Day I surprised her with a painting I did years ago, one she always coveted. Don’t know why I waited so long to ship it to her. It arrived today and I got the sweetest photo from brother of her opening it. Her expression was priceless.
    I love creating happy memories. Be well, keep creating and blessings on you ALWAYS!
    P.S. I can’t wait to receive my 30th anniversary copy of your first book. I have the old one, but wanted the new one too🤗❤️🌷🌸🌺🌹

  51. Diane C says:

    My mother is 91 and recently told me that she’s been writing in this book my niece gave her. A book that gives you things to write about. Now I know she’s had this book at her house for quite a few years and since she’s not going anywhere she’s started to use it. I had seen it before and asked if it said Susan Branch on it. Of course it did and its your, Grandma, Tell Me Your Story. She asked how I knew about you. I don’t think she would have asked if she had known all that I could tell her. Thank you for all of your lovely books, sayings, artwork and joy that you spread.

  52. Judy says:

    Thank you for sharing your positive heart. I pray you receive double the joy you give out! Anyone that reads your blogs will feel better about life when finished!
    Judy from Wisconsin
    P.S. Tell Jack he is a wonderful boy!!! 😻

  53. Judy from Wisconsin says:

    My mom passed when I was 3 months old but my wonderful Grandma and Grandpa raised me my whole life. I’m 71 now and so thankful they picked up the torch. Blessings to you and your Mom, Susan. I feel like I know her personally from all the beautiful stories you have told us. 💖💖💖💖

  54. Gwen Walter says:

    You could name your book “Susan’s Christmas Carol”.

  55. AB says:

    What a lovely post. I wish my mom and I were as close. I try to reflect on the fact that she had me WAY too young, she was a child herself and not mature. So being a very young mother also meant not being patient, understanding or nurturing cos sadly her mom had her much later in life and by then my grandmother was worn out and had a traumatic background. So my mom just didn’t have a great example. But either way my relationship with her is different, it’s not like what you have. I love her, I know she did her best, but we are very different. She and my father now live near us and I thought maybe that would help our relationship, it has a little. It won’t be like you and your mom. I enjoy reading and seeing your love for her.

  56. Dixie says:

    What a lovely tribute to your Mom.
    Green is so peaceful. The spring green are just starting to show here too. Yes!
    Beautiful artwork, Susan.
    Thank you for another wonderful post.

  57. Barbara Anne says:

    It’s always utter bliss to find a new blog post here and I thank you for taking the time to cheer us up with your upbeat words, quotations, photos, drawings, and recipes. This time, just before Mother’s Day, thoughts turn to home, to moms and to family recipes. I was lucky and blessed to have a mother-in-law as dear as my own mother.

    I’m happily sewing as I’m a quilter with time, fabric, thread, batting, ideas, and imagination. It’s also my 69th birthday and somehow, I thought I’d be taller by now.

    Everyone, be good to yourselves and stay safe.


  58. Kate says:

    Happy Mother’s Day, Susan. Your writing about your mother made me miss mine so badly. I, too, was blessed with an amazing mother who taught me the joy of reading, how to sew, make a bed correctly and to be independent, among other things. She loved dressing us up, too and she never went to “town” without being dressed well and having her makeup on. She is an inspiration for my life and I’m truly thankful I had her for a mother. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

  59. Maria Penner says:

    Dear Susan….It meant so much to me to read all your sweet comments about
    your Mom….mine has been gone for 20 years, and it feels like yesterday that
    we chatted on the phone…My Mom was so giving, talented, smart and yes dressed us with care at Easter. I have a photo of me in my Maryjanes and straw hat with
    berries on top! She made all our clothes and dressed my twin brother and me with such lovely home sewn clothing….Proud and so patriotic ….she even passed
    away on July 4th…and my Dad…seven years later on September 11th. They were
    both my inspiration for crafts, woodworking and just plain being a “handymama”
    Thank you for the Harry James and Helen Forrest music….my dad played trumpet for extra money at weddings….We were born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and she moved us to California our senior year in high school so that we could establish residency, and both go to college. My heart is full of love for
    both Mom and Dad and know that they are better in heaven than going thru this “dam panic” with us….Sending love to you and Joe and Jack…I love and
    admire all your work as it it done with such heart, mind and soul. Maria

  60. NANCY ROBINSON says:

    Like you, I had a WONDERFUL mother. I always say she was the original Martha Stewart. She did everything, beautifully, and happily! I wish I could be just like her when I grow up (I’m only 71!!!) LOL

  61. Janet in Pittsburgh says:

    Thank you for the beautiful post. It makes me think of my own precious mother. She has been gone now for nine years. I miss her so much. I have been dreaming of her lately and it is such a comfort. I think if you have a close relationship with your mother, it is one of God’s greatest blessings. I will always be thankful and now I am so thankful for the close relationship with my own daughter. I am especially thankful for all the happiness you bring to your blog readers and book readers. I have been following you for as long as I can remember. You bring such joy and contentment. Thank you. Blessings.

  62. Debbie Boerger says:

    Oh, so warm and comforting. Thank you, Dear Susan. Love reading all the comments, as usual. It was very chilly today, but the pretty dusting of snow we had in the wee hours did not stick. Tom just made the evening fire and has settled in to read another of the Master and Commander series of books by Patrick O’Brian. I’ve got an easy supper in the works.

    Have you ever watched Home Town. I grew up in north Mississippi, so it caught my eye. Amazing that Tom fell for it as well. We have TV set to record when any of the episodes run. Ben and Erin Lyman from Laurel, MS are the hosts. Even a friend who lives in Michigan watches, and actually went to hear the couple speak on saving old houses in hard luck towns. Erin has gotten so much better with each house. Anyway, it’s funny what entertains a man you figured you knew so well.

    Chit chatting email with a writer pen pal, now for over 15 years. We’re so hoping to go to England in the Fall. They have moved out to Isle of Wight and would like to show us around. I was there in 1977, but spent just one night. I have not canceled my Airbnb flats in London and Oxford. Just wait and see what happens. They guarantee refunds if you fear traveling.

    So excited about the pages you are letting go to loving homes. I am besotted with my old clawfoot bath tub here in Maine, which is why I love the one of your toes peeking out of the soap bubbles. Last soak lasted an hour and a half, complete with very loud singing along to various music. Tom timed me! Gets even better when you can leave the windows open and listen to the birds!!!

    And last, I’m so thankful for your mother. She lovingly shaped you to be the woman who gives, and gives, and gives. You have her eyes.

    Much love to all the ladies who love you,
    Debbie in Maine, where the iris are just peeking up.

  63. Lynne Luna says:

    I loved seeing Jack looking out the screen door. A priceless picture. Blessings to you. Thanks to your Mom for bringing up such a giving daughter. You are loved by many!!!

  64. Terri Brewster says:

    What a beautiful blog post, I grab a cup of tea and settle in to read every blog post and it brings a moment of quiet and joy into the day. I loved all the green, it is such a happy color. So excited for the Christmas book, can hardly wait. I am so glad to hear that you and Joe are safely tucked into home and well. We are staying home and while I am itching to get out and about, I don’t. I have been spending time in my beautiful office working on the family genealogy book I am writing. The writings of your Mom are so sweet and must bring you so much joy. Unfortunately that isn’t the mother I had. While she cared for my needs as a child, her words were hurtful. I am not complaining, she isn’t perfect as none of us are and I had a grandmother and godmother who filled in very well and I treasure the memories I have of them as we are quickly approaching Mother’s Day. Stay well and safe and this too shall pass.

  65. Paula says:

    Thank you for giving us such Joy during these odd times. In God’s timing it will be all over!
    Lovely post to remember your mom . My mom also had Alzheimer, and the five years of her life was so very sad. Like you, it truly is a blessing to have such a loving mom. To think want she did for us six , and the things she went without so we could have. I have very wonderful memories of our special moments together.
    . The picture of Jack looking out the screen door is the hoot !! giggle giggle.
    How exciting a Christmas Story book, and all the new calendars wow !! I will have to check out your shop !!
    Good health to you and yours !!
    xoxo Paula

  66. ~ Del gato gordo (kinda) y descarado~ says:

    Did you do that on purpose to match the Oak Tree story?

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, I guess I didn’t because I’m not sure what the Oak Tree story is!

      • ~ Del gato gordo (kinda) y descarado~ says:

        Your birthday gift, posted your last blog…

        • sbranch says:

          I am dense this morning … I see the giant old oak tree, but I don’t get the relationship between the tawny cows and the tree.😂

          • ~ Del gato gordo (kinda) y descarado~ says:

            you posted a picture and asked a question-
            I wrote an oak tree story for your birthday to you, something created from the heart, not store bought….
            posted in your last blog….you commented on it- its all good/ok, will give me a second time to wish you happy birthday….here…have some tawny milk cows….

            It has been so long that I am unsure of the point in time, but I do know that I was planted into the island‘s sandy loam by a portly, and very determined grey squirrel, tightly snugging me far downwards. Then hastily covering me with rustling piles of gold and scarlet leaves that were diamond tipped wet with dew. I drowsed then slumbered. I awoke pushing upwards, then, surrounded by velvety green grass ruffling in the wind. Beyond me lay several white houses, a clovered pasture with tawny milk cows, then, dashing past me, wayward gang of motley chickens chasing leaping crackling grasshoppers. My first year was a battle for existence being a lane graded in front of me. I met with more than one fast buggy or child ridden bicycle…not to mention when a dog happened by. One Blackberry Summer day the warm breeze blew, a schoolboy was rolling a hoop along my lane. Far behind him, a small girl child straw hat cockeyed upon her head, was trudging along barefoot, hollering to “wait up” and “Mama said.” She clutched a large wad of knotted string with dangling of a single skeleton key. In her other hand a misshapen yellowed paper kite with its long raggedy pink tail trailing along behind in the dust. They stopped, debated greatly about the skinned marks on my sides and Sunday School teaching of the Book of Isaiah, whatever that might be. He pointed finger to her tan, skinned knees pronouncing judgment, that she was in fact “just a mere sapling.” When they left together, I was ringed with tall, stout rocks and watered well. That was the last I saw of them. Years passed, blazing comets light up the night, the sun darkened in the sky, a waterspout birthed from old ocean’s eccentric mood whirled inland escorted by roars of thunderclouds filled with the downpour of sheets of brined rain and fish. My trunk slowly nudged away the rocky ring of protection as I entered the seasons marked with Blue Nor’easters, pealing of Christmas Eve church bells. The perpetual tides threw their bounties of splendor onto the sand, the quickening rising of maple sap, running of smelt, moons waxed and waned as my boughs widened. With the changes of nature, I endured and recovered; those who were unable, failed to thrive, perished. As I gained stance my roots grasped the tumbled ring of tall, stout rocks and ever so gently embraced them and the kindness they left behind. What a glorious feeling to stretch, searching to the blue heavens, to welcome each sunrise and bid every night sweet farewell. In the measure of my days, houses turned to homes, rambling fence lines straightened, the congregation of families flourished.
            Windy days of Spring young fledglings rode my branches turned to the release of gold and scarlet leaves with abundant showers of acorns. My highest branches used well for a lofty look out. Blue snow cloaked my thickening trunk as I cradled nested grey squirrels that slept away the long freeze.
            The day the dirt lane was paved it left a sudden, tightening stiffness. I recalled when I was ringed with the tall, stout rocks for protection, struggling to grow and gain my stance. Thus, I did once again with renewed strength and weighted balance I began to tower upwards and increase my strong hold. I glimpse the harbor, which for countless years I heard the metal clang of buoys sound from. I watch the lighthouse white beam circle round cutting through the sliding fog creeping inland to quietly blanket salty marsh nurseries of fish and fowl.
            My immense canopy provides bountiful shade and welcoming shelter, a gathering of respite for all. I have been graced by many a person, young, and old. More than one faithful and beloved pet of yesteryear rest in peace as I eternally watch over. Within my grey gnarled trunk, reside one or two children’s treasures, a wax-sealed declaration of love never delivered, the shining regards of a raven family, all carefully placed for safekeeping but now well forgotten. Sacred vows and blessings have been announced under my boughs. I have witnessed many circles of time, seasons of life.
            Yet still the island breathes its ebbs and flows of past, present, and forthcoming of future.

  67. Mary Ann in Mid-Missouri says:

    Another great blog post. Thank you. I have a crazy idea for you. I was asking you recently if you were still working on your book “Enchanted.” Well, I remember you had made up a little teaser book of the first chapter, that you gave away to people at some gathering you were speaking at. I’d like to suggest that you have more copies of that printed up and sell them in your online shop. That would help us get through until your next book comes out. What do you think? 🤗🙏

    • sbranch says:

      I am thinking about that . . . but I do have a Christmas book coming… maybe in the dearth of next winter I’ll be able to do that!

  68. Gina Crozier says:

    Dear Susan, My son is the Navy Captain that was on that ship where so many sailors got CV-19. He’s getting over it himself after his dismissal. It’s been a hard time for all his family, but as his mother, especially me. You must know that I have been following you for as long as you have created books. We share so many things. I am the oldest of six children and have had a similar California childhood. I have 35 years of journals that I have been keeping, and all your cookbooks and published books. These have brought me immeasurable comfort all these long days. Plus, I am feeling my dear mother’s support when I read your this latest post. Thank you so much for your lovely post.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Gina! I hope he doesn’t feel abandoned because all America watched and thought of your son as a true hero for protecting his guys. It was awful how he was treated. I hope things are getting straightened out. The love his men showed for him when he was getting off the ship was just how I felt, with tears in my eyes. Thank you for saying hello … Lord I do hope this too will pass!🇺🇸 You tell your son we love him. xoxoxo

  69. Carol says:

    It’s delightful to read your lovely tribute to your mother. You were so fortunate to have such a wonderful person as your mother. I wasn’t as fortunate, as my mother was self-absorbed and taught us only a few of the life lessons my sister and I needed. We survived and thrived despite her, I’m happy to say! I’m glad that you have a lifetime of happy memories with your mom!

  70. Carrie Bouler says:

    Susan, thanks for putting the art prints on sale. I just ordered one for Mom, since Mother’s Day is around the corner, and this Dam-Panic has her feeling rather out of sorts. I hope it puts a smile on her face–she loves your art. 🙂

  71. Kari O'Brien says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for this love letter to your Mom and all of the Moms out there! Your words are so true about all of the love we feel for our Moms. Each day that goes by I feel like I have written a letter in my mind at least to My Mom as she is always, always in my thoughts. My Mom is a letter writer and journal writer also. As her eye sight has failed her, she found she could write with a black Sharpie and the words flowed again.
    Your words flow off the page and into all of our hearts! I am ever so grateful for the goodness you put out into this world!
    Happy Mother’s Day to you and all of the Girlfriends! Thank you for this bouquet of happiness!! xoxo Kari

  72. Lynda H. says:

    Good Morning, I am looking for a recipe box. Do you have any or would you consider releasing one?

  73. Lynette Strohbach says:

    Green is my favorite color and my birthstone is Emerald for the month of May. Hopefully I can get to the British Isles in the near future, it’s calling my name, the land of my ancestors! I just finished A Fine Romance for about the tenth time, I find all of your books give me comfort in times of strife. I am so looking forward to reading the Christmas book and it will be good for gift giving.

    I’m so sorry to hear of your mother’s illness, I know she means the world to you and take comfort in that since you can’t be with her. Through your books she has become a mother figure to us all, you have been so blessed! Love and best wishes to you and all of your family❣️

  74. Elizabeth says:

    All of your books are my favorites, but Isle of Dreams would travel with my Bible in my backpack if I had to be deserted on an island somewhere. I love it, not so much because of Martha’s Vineyard (although I do love it for that!), but because of the way it makes me feel. Your heart in that book – every syllable from your soul – makes me feel like the world is good and ultimately, everything is okay and is going to be okay. I cherish every single word for the meaning that collectively they carry.
    I wanted to ask about Holly Oak. I recall reading once somewhere (here?) that you bought it again? or were considering buying it again?
    Am I just imagining this?
    Also, I recall that, years ago, you and Joe bought one of the “shacks” on the beach, but you never talk about it or show photos of it, so I was simply curious if you let it go?
    Perhaps you’ve mentioned these things here in the past and I’ve missed them somehow.
    Anyway. Thank you for being wonderful you. I love you!

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhh, so sweet Elizabeth, I’m touched. 🤗 I WISH I could have Holly Oak back, but it’s probably not going to happen , unless some little miracle happens. I would so love to play with it and turn it into a Hill Top so I would have some place to put all the stuff I’ve acquired over the years!! We bought a beach house many years ago, and only had it for four years. It was a dream come true, but I also found out that two houses is one house too many (for me)! Two refrigerators to stop working, two sets of plumbing problems, 2 houses that need to be cleaned … cream was always bad in one of them! I loved it while we had it, it was like a toy, we had a wonderful time fixing it up, but pretty soon, it was just too much. I have a few pictures of it, I should do a blog post about it someday. It was the sweetest little cottage. Thank you so much Elizabeth! XOXOXO💞

      • Elizabeth says:

        Thank you for letting me know these things!
        For the exact same reasons, I have never desired more than one house. One is enough!
        But as far as Holly Oak is concerned…Your life is a miracle and you create little miracles for all of us ALL the time – seriously, every word from your mouth feels like a miracle…accompany those words with your quotes and your art, and everything feels possible! So let’s just put it out there into the universe that Holly Oak must come back to you someday, soon, so that we can all go back there with you.
        🙂 xoxo

        • sbranch says:

          LOVE that . . . life is so interesting, you just never know what is next around the corner!

      • starr miller says:

        Yes. Please Susan a blog about the beach house and puzzles. Are you thinking of designing puzzles. All your girlfriends would buy them – send as gifts. ❤️ You and Happy Mother’s Day

        • sbranch says:

          Puzzles are still on the front burner … the manufacturer is getting things together. Happy Mother’s Day to you Starr!

  75. Dot Heimer says:

    Loved your post.My Mother and I were never close but I knew she loved me just could not show it.There were many things I wanted to learn but she could not let herself show me.I have shown and in return gotten great love from my Daughter.My heart changed the day I saw her.I was able to hold my Mothers hand as she was dying and saw the twinkle in her eye and felt all the Love she wanted to show me.Great Memories.

  76. charlotte m. says:

    Just pre ordered my wall calendar. I know I will forget that I ordered it, so it will be a nice surprise for me when it shows up. lol I need it to hang in my sewing room, so I will know what day it is. Plus, all the fun art work.

    • sbranch says:

      I love those kinds of surprises, like, oh! Where did that come from! Someone is sending me presents and that someone, is ME! 👏🤣

  77. Beverly Armani says:

    Your tribute to Mothers was beautifully rendered..I lost my mom
    in 2016 and miss her every day…as a mother myself, I laugh at some
    of the words that would come out of my mouth that sound like her!
    Happy Mother’s Day! Stay safe…be well….

  78. Anne Bertram Endler says:

    What a lovely post, and what a tribute to your lovely mom, and to mothers everywhere. I was teary throughout! I lost my amazing mom 19 years ago, and it feels like yesterday. All mothers go about the job differently but the underlying love is the same. I am one of six, and my mother was tireless in her love and in her support for each and every one of us… and we did not make it easy for her. She was the light in our family, and oh, how she is missed. Thank-you with all my heart for this post.

  79. Jane M Alexander says:

    Guess what! My first gardenia opened this morning in Houston Texas. And THAT is all about my mother! She put them all through the house when her Tennessee sisters and mother came to visit. Since then, they have been in all bridal bouquets,and, of course in funeral wreath at our home, when she died and went to heaven 45 years ago! How lovely to have my first one from this year, already on my counter where I can lean over and catch the fragrance. I’m sending your blog to my daughter as she has especially loved green this spring in Seattle Washington, along with ALL of the spring flowers, especially the dogwood trees which just opened this week. Much love to you!

    • sbranch says:

      Gardenia, what an amazing flower. I adore them, even wrote about them in my Love book …. they don’t grow here, can’t make it happen! Lucky you! xoxo

  80. Deborah Metzger says:

    Check out youtube for Alfie Boe’s famous rendition of Bring Him Home from Les Miserables. Also a group “at home” performance from current and former Jean Val Jeans all singing the song. They are performances that raise money for the stage performers who are out of work for the duration.

    I think our broadway performers are also presenting various treats on youtube to benefit the same plight. I don’t get to go to these shows in person but I appreciate the fact that this on stage art is available year after year. At least I get to see them on the Tony Awards!

  81. Patricia Edde says:

    Dearest Susan,
    Another day, another “shelter in place” and yet we do go on doing the best we can because everyday matters. My mother passed on 11 years ago and had Alzheimers but she knew me until the last 3 days of her life. We didn’t have the best of relationships probably because she had a broken life – father an alcoholic, mother taking to her bed when times got rough and she being the 4th oldest of 8 felt a responsibility to take care of the younger ones. She had dreams that were never realized because back in the 40’s a woman was expected to get married and have children. She held out until she was 28 but then married my dad and had me 9 months later. Both had served in the Navy during WW2, he in the South Pacific and she in the states (because her oldest brother – who was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed- said no sister of his was going to serve overseas because he knew how men were, period, end of story). My dad was 4 years younger than she and he was 6’3 to her 5’3. They were a good looking couple. We lived in Decorah,Iowa until 1956 then moved to Reseda, California in search of better opportunities. My father and mother both worked and bought their first home on Chastain Ave. ( I know that you lived in Reseda also but don’t know if you know where that is – it was a straight 5-6 blocks to Cantara Elementary School). My father always loved my mom but looking back, I wonder if she ever really loved him or only married him because that was what was expected of women then. Because of her upbringing, she was angry much of the time and we walked on tiptoes around her. I always said that I loved my mother (which I did) but that I didn’t like her and I felt that I had to be the grown-up where she was concerned even when I was very young. My father was my salvation growing up because he was the kindest, most loving man – a true “gentle giant”. He left this life far too soon at the age of 68, the day after the Northridge earthquake, and I miss him everyday. There is a happy ending (yea) to my story with my mother. At the ripe old age of 48, I told her that we had to go, as a family, to counseling where I finally got up the courage to speak of childhood hurts and why I was so distant with her in my life. She truly surprised me because she actually listened to me. Now was I right about everything I said, no, but at least we were able to have a conversation for the first time. Mom was raised a Norwegian Lutheran in a very staid “don’t show or share your feelings” family so for her to listen to and hear me and actually try her damndest (maybe not a word but it feels like one) to change meant the world to me and from then to when she passed at 87 I not only loved my mother but I liked her too. So HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to my mom who I feel is with my dad and her family drinking one of his margaritas and playing cards with the gang. Boy, that was a bit of a therapy session for me. I hope that I didn’t bore you, I guess it was just something I had to get out after reading about your wonderful family and that of many of your girlfriends too. I am so happy that you and the others had such great relationships with your mothers but not all of us have and it left a big aching hole in our lives. I am not saying that as “boo hoo, poor me,” just as a fact that everyone has struggles in life and this was one of mine. That being said, thank you for sharing your joy and sprinkling a bit of that on the rest of us. Happy Mother’s Day to you too because of course, Jack is your very precious son as are Livvie and Bix for me.
    Til next time, much love.

  82. Pam Butterick says:

    Wonderful post. Brought my mom, long gone, front and center in my heart again. I was so very blessed to hear you talk about your mom at a Mother’s Day Tea (2 years ago? Eeeek!) and I could have listened for hours and hours. Tears occasionally running down my cheeks, of course. Because you remind us of beauty everywhere, and good and decent values, loving and lovely things. You remind us that each day is a gift. Especially in the dam panic. Our hearts are all so broken for those who are fighting or have lost this viral battle, but you are right that brilliant minds are working and we will conquer this! And in the meantime, beyond our masks, the green is beautiful. Thank you so much! 💚😷💚

  83. Deborah Hatt says:

    Thank you, once again, dear Susan, for helping us think on what is lovely, honest, pure, and “of good report” (Philippians 4:8). It is not easy to think of what is beautiful and timeless during such difficult times – but you have certainly helped me in my endeavors to do so. As always, your photos are so wonderful, and your memories of your dear mother are heart-warming and delightful.
    My own mama is still living (88 years young), and she is called “Mom” and “Grandma” by countless people, besides those of us blessed enough to actually be her children. Like you, I am the oldest child of a large family, and Mom counted on me to be her “sergeant of arms.” A job I never asked for, and did not relish – but the responsibility was good for me, that I know. Mom and I have always been sympathico – always been able to find the humor in things. So, like you, I am very blessed.
    Thank you for all you do to brighten the corner where you are, Susan. God Bless!

    • sbranch says:

      I didn’t know I was my mom’s right hand person until years after I moved out of the house! I thought that’s the way it was in every house! But sooner or later my siblings made it clear that I was no longer the boss of them!🤣 xoxo

  84. Bebe says:

    I was lucky to grow up with my mother’s mother, four aunts- whose primary job was to be a mother, they didn’t work outside the home for a paycheck. Later, I also had two cousins I wrote to for over 30 years, until they passed, one earlier this month. They have all passed, so I don’t have “pen pals” anymore. Feeling a little “lost” at the moment. So this is where you come in!
    It’s always a pleasure to read your posts, and you never fail to cheer me up. I love all your little paintings and projects and stories. You are a realll blessing.
    Take care, from Bebe

    • sbranch says:

      You were lucky! Not sure you’d want this, but we do put pen pals together on my Facebook page . . . every so often Kellee puts up a notice about it … Thank you Bebe!

  85. Kay Bennett says:

    Dear Susan,
    This is my second posting as I don’t see the first one on your blog. If it’s somewhere in the cloud, that’s ok. I just wanted to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day in honor of your wonderful mother. I lost my mother 3years ago to Alzheimer’s. I know what you’re going through as your mother slowly leaves you. The saving grace for your mother and mine is that they are in their own little world and are not sadly affected by this horrible disease, as you are and I was. She is still there though, so love and cherish her as long as you can. Loving thoughts to you and your family.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sure it’s here . . . and yes, you are so right … my mom is home thank God, and my sister is very careful with her social distancing. Thank you so much for your sweet words Kay. xoxo

  86. Penny Carpenter says:

    Dear Susan,
    I have written many replies but none are ever posted. What am I doing wrong?

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sure nothing Penny … I’ve just had too much to do the last couple of days ~ I haven’t had time to read everyone’s wonderful comments, but here I am this morning… I bet I’ll come upon your other comments soon. Thank you for trying, sorry I’m late!

  87. jennifer imperato says:

    you are living the life i dream of, love your photos and drawings! so much!

  88. jennifer imperato says:

    you are living the life i dream of, love your photos and drawings! so much! am preparing for a work day, thank you for buoying me this morning!

  89. Autumn says:

    My mother just finished making a batch of Violet Jelly last night. It’s truly remarkable stuff- and full of magic (as my 8 y.o. sister would say).

    If you don’t mind me asking- what brand are those lovely brown shoes you are wearing in your Fine Romance Van picture? I have been looking for a pair of shoes like that for ages and I’m in love with yours!

    • sbranch says:

      I got them in England… they are Clark Shoes, so comfortable too … which we can get here in the US, but so far, I haven’t found them with the slightly higher heel you see in the picture.

  90. Nancy Williamson says:

    Just love your Mother’s Day post. If you are blessed with a good mother, you are blessed indeed and I was. I was very close to my mother and she left me too soon at the age of 69. When my first daughter was 15, I was full of disappointment as I knew I would never be close with this selfish, arrogant, self focused teenager. How wrong was I ? Very! She grew into the sweetest, kindest, most loving and giving daughter, mother and now grandmother and we are very close. She is the best mother to her sweetheart of a daughter and now the most loving grand mother to my two lovely great grandchildren. She has been a Susan Branch fan from day one when she had to explain to everyone who you were. Her nearly best day of her life was visiting you on Martha’s Vineyard. She is a nurse and I recently sent her your “courage” charm and she was moved to tears. She has every book you ever wrote, and lots of your other stuff. So reading your post reminded me of my own wonderful mother and what an honor it has been to be a mother to my Stephanie. Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      Just lovely Nancy … Please say hello to Stephanie for me, and big virtual hugs to you both!

  91. Susan, your beautiful book arrived on my 65th birthday; Tuesday 28th April; it made my day so special….so I wrote you a nice thank-you etc on the day, but it hasn’t come through!! I also emailed you, with a photo so I wonder if you got that? xXx

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Birthday (a little late!) Caroline … What perfect timing. I’m so glad it arrived! Your comment is probably here, I have lots of comments to read right now, perhaps your note is in here! I’ll have to check my email! Busy busy! xoxoxo

  92. Christie Levin says:

    I have decided to take little breaks today to re-read this post – a few pages, and then back to work, and then a few more pages, and then another hour of work. You’ve filled it with so much green goodness, sweet memories, darling everything. Do you have a video ~ a looonnnnggg video of your quilts or sheets or towels or all of the above blowing in the ocean winds that move through your yard? If you do, I would make it my screen saver, or at least watch it many times, especially on a day like today when the sunny morning breezes are coming through my little apartment windows. Photos of that particular spot in your yard are like memory magnets, and it is so easy to sit on the grass, listen to the freshly washed sheets blowing and snapping in the wind, watch the branches above moving and the clouds above them floating. Pretty soon I can hear your birds, and smell the lawn and feel the sunlight dapples on my arms. My mother hung the wash on a clothesline in our yard on Daniels Street in Vancouver before we moved to Seattle. From 4 to 8yo, I would swing on my swing set at the other end of the yard and watch her pin sheets to the line while Smokey our cat made figure-8s around her ankles. Memory-conjurors like your blogs are very good medicine during times like these. Thank you, again. And again.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t have a long video right now but I will make one on the next beautiful windy day and put it on Youtube! It’s the same for me, like a meditation in memories, watching everything blow and flutter. I think I was 10 when my mom finally got a dryer!

      • Christie Levin says:

        Oooo, I would truly love that! Now I’m remembering the fragrance of clothes on the line. When we moved to Seattle, we got a dryer. Mom had just found out that my sister, Cricket, was on the way, so I guess that was a deciding factor. After that I couldn’t hang clothes on a line till I moved to the country. How in the world did your mom manage it for 10 years with 8 children ~ all that heavy wet laundry to carry outside, hang each item on the line, take everything down and carry what must have been basketfuls back inside (and half the time she probably was also carrying the newest member of the family) ~ and then she probably ironed alot of it like my mother did. Mothers are definately miracle women. Still, the memories of occasionally helping Mom take down lovely smelling clothes, sunwarmed sheets that wrapped around you while you unclipped them. See, there I go back in time again. Ahhhhh xoxoxo

  93. Cyndi in NC says:

    Love the whole blog espically the green things as green is my favorite color. But the end was the best, at least for me. I have wild violets that I have transplanted in my living room flower bed. I love them and as far as I’m concerned they can fill the whole thing up. Along with my shamrocks it’s a wonderful thing! Oh, that and my Lily of the Valley that is from my great grandmother’s back in Ohio. Ok, three of my favorite things!! *LOL*

    Stay safe everyone. Virtual hug to all.

  94. Cyndi in NC says:

    Love the whole blog especially the green things as green is my favorite color. But the end was the best, at least for me. I have wild violets that I have transplanted in my living room flower bed. I love them and as far as I’m concerned they can fill the whole thing up. Along with my shamrocks it’s a wonderful thing! Oh, that and my Lily of the Valley that is from my great grandmother’s back in Ohio. Ok, three of my favorite things!! *LOL*

    Stay safe everyone. Virtual hug to all.

    • sbranch says:

      Just putting these other two in so you know I got them Cyndi … I understand this blog doesn’t tell people that their comments have gone through … I don’t know why! It used to, but something changed! xoxo

      • Cyndi in NC says:

        WOW, what’s crazy is I only remember hitting the post button once! *L* Oh well it was a great blog post! Sorry for the repetition this time. I did remember the delay in post showing up this time. We’ll see how the next one comes up.

  95. Cyndi in NC says:

    Love the whole blog especially the green things as green is my favorite color. But the end was the best, at least for me. I have wild violets that I have transplanted in my living room flower bed. I love them and as far as I’m concerned they can fill the whole thing up. Along with my shamrocks it’s a wonderful thing! Oh, that and my Lily of the Valley that is from my great grandmother’s back in Ohio. Ok, three of my favorite things!! *LOL*

    Stay safe everyone. Virtual hug to all.

    • sbranch says:

      Such wonderful growing things! Our Lily of the Valley are poking their leaves up now . . . such a delightful flower!

      • Debbie BoergerA says:

        They are, aren’t they! Ours haven’t yet peeked up. Getting good rain today, along with lots of wind.

  96. Susie (Rocky Point, New York) says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your Mom and all Moms everywhere. My mom has been in heaven since 1980 (taken too soon) and I think of her each and every day, as she made me who I am today. Gratitude personified. Loved seeing our lil Jack in the pictures. He always makes my day! I cannot wait to see your Christmas book! Wow! I just know it will be heartwarming. Wishing everyone well as we forge ahead with HOPE for a healthier, back to normal upcoming month. Hugs~

  97. Betty Young says:

    I am looking forward to your new Christmas book. How is your other book coming along? I just love your posts, and I read the posts over and over again.

  98. Stefanie Price says:

    Thank you as always for a very heart felt post!!!…LOVE IT!…and such a tribute to Mom!…I believe every woman everywhere is a mother to someone…(mothering comes so very naturally for women!)…so HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all!!!

  99. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    I love reading all these comments, especially relate to the not-so-loving relationships with Moms since that was the case with me. However, when my former husband left me and three kids she (having just been widowed) welcomed us into her home and was a ROCK to my kids as they watched me go through some pretty far out changes. We traveled together in later years – road trips through California and the Southwest. She lived to 101 and they still miss her. I am forever grateful to her for being there for us. I was the oldest of her kids, with three younger brothers, the first being 5 years younger than I, so I did a lot of Mom duties along with her. We helped each other raise our kids I guess. Then I was able to help her in her “old old age” as she called it.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so glad she was there for you … it probably made up for a lot of hurt ~ and then you were there for her. 101! Wow!

      • Sylvia in Seattle says:

        I mostly envy your experiences with a Mom who sang around the house! This was truly a blessing I think. I never heard my Mom sing. She had a rough childhood so I forgave a lot of her hard edges. This is what my Dad told me, and he of course played the piano! So there WAS music – which still means the world to me . . .

  100. Lucia Ann France-Bryant says:

    Thanks for this awesome post. My mom is 95 and still going strong. She lives at Oakcrest, a retirement community in Baltimore, in her own apartment. They are taking such good care of the residents! I’m so grateful. She has a great outlook on life because of her love and devotion to her God. For her 85th birthday, I made a scrapbook using your calendar and put pictures of family members whose birthdays were in each month. She gets it out often and shows it off to her friends. For her 90th, I used your scrapbook papers and made one with each family member telling stories and writing about “Mama”. The stories are so loving and funny! I talk to her every day. We dropped off peanut butter and candy bars at the gate of Oakcrest and she called later to tell us she got the package. I’ve never heard someone be so excited about peanut butter!

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha ha, probably more because they were from you, and the “outside world!” xoxo

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