Vineyard Views

Vineyard Views

We’ve walked out this dirt road every morning for about twenty years…we’re up-close and personal with every stick, nest, and bump on it. We play a game while we walk called "Morning Science" — because we are the opposite of scientists, so we think it’s funny. Here’s a video where Joe finds quicksand …


This is where the road takes us; a strip of land with old fishing shacks overlooking the sound.


September moon on Spring Street.


Fall leaves in our backyard


Winter squirrel feeding — In this video, I’m returning from visiting my girlfriend across the street … to favorite little critter waiting for me… it’s true, we bribe her with cookies . . .


A fence in our neighborhood


Summer night band concert at Owen Park overlooking the harbor


The ferry coming in . . . in this video, you’ll get a taste of the ferry ride.


Tell Todd (the Captain) and Leah (the Boss) I sent you! These lovely people will take you out on their beautiful sailboat, Magic Carpet . . .


Twinkle lights decorate the arbor for summer eating outdoors


Grand Illumination night happens every August in Oak Bluffs (since 1868); the little gingerbread cottages are decorated with Chinese lanterns . . .


. . . it all lights up just after dark….and the stroll begins.


Light sticks add magic to all the Vineyard night time events.


And then, speaking of magic, the sunsets. Impossible to choose just one photo! Check out this video for another one… they’re different every night.


Hope you loved seeing the island! We’ll know we’ve really made it in computer world, when I can send you salt air, the hum of bees, the breeze off the harbor, the waves lapping on shore — and one really exciting blizzard for frosting on the cake! But, for now, imagination is everything.

182 Responses to Vineyard Views

  1. Linda Pintarell says:

    Loving it from San Diego (not a bad place to live either) – but this is on my list of places to visit…due to your gorgeous BLOG – it just moved up several notches on the list!

    • Debbie Gray says:

      Loving it from La Verne, CA. I enjoyed viewing your BLOG and fell in love with all the adorable cottages that everyone decorated so nicely in Oak Bluffs. As I sat here with my cup of coffee ~ I finally made time to view your videos on youtube and was swept away by the wonderful music that was playing in your home. Thank you for sharing your hometown and all the wonderful touches that fill up ones heart. 🙂

    • Sherry says:

      Happy Days! your blog has finally arrived. I love it. Love the pictures and
      and everything is just “Perfecto!! I enjoy sharing my lunch time at work
      by visiting you on the website and reading all the new exiting things going on in your life and shopping online to find my “Just Gotta Have Susan Branch Treasure. Many Many years ago,I wrote you a letter and shared
      photos of my kitchen wall where I lovingly hung framed Susan Branch cards. And one day on a visit to my mailbox I found a special envelope which had been handwritten by you especially to me and inside one of your
      signature cards a ladies hat with flowers on it and written inside a special note thanking me for sharing my pictures. I treasure that card and still have it today placed inside one of your books along side all your books in my enchanting Susan Branch library. I’ve wanted to thank you for such a long time making me feel special and for taking the time to actually write me a personal note. I remain always your loyal and faithful fan and thank you for the New Blog where I can espress my feelings to you!

      • Meg Schwanke says:

        I have placed the watercolors away for a few years….having a knack for drawing & colors I would never want to do anything else. I’ll put the quilting down to pull the watercolors out of the drawer to continue on this sweet journey! Thank you Susan for the new breath to a Mn. winter.

  2. Tricia B. says:

    OMG!!! How beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing. The photos are gorgeous and you do live in a magical place. I agree with Linda; Martha’s Vineyard is a destination to move to the top of any travel wish list. Thanks for the “Susan State-of-Mind” in photos too!! XO, Tricia B.

  3. Judy Doezie says:

    Hi from So. Calif… Visiting Martha’s Vineyard is on my bucket list!! It looks so wonderful… I’d love to live in a town where steeped in such tradition as it is there.

  4. Lori says:

    In land-locked Loveland, Colorado – even with our beautiful weather and view of the mountains….this makes me home-sick for New England. Thank you so much for sharing Susan!

  5. I am pretty sure this can’t be real – it is like a fairy tale!

  6. Nancy says:

    I love looking at your pictures! It’s such a homey quaint place. Just the kind I would like to live in – except for the snow!!! Brrrr

  7. Carol Grossman says:

    Your house is beautiful! I love when you show photos of it. I agree, Martha’s Vineyard looks magical!

  8. Dee Van Ingen says:

    You’ve OUTDONE yourself again!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing……I LOVE your blog!!!

  9. Gert says:

    Oh Susan..if anyone ever questioned heading to MV would certainly be assured now by seeing these photos and videos that it is a little ‘heaven on earth’ !! How beautiful!!! Thank you…thank you!!

    xoxo Gert

  10. Ginny S. says:

    Thank you Susan for such lovely pictures of the Vineyard. I am a born New Englander and I put “seeing MV” on my “bucket list”. I am so happy that in August my husband and I and another couple are making the trip over for the day with a AAA motor coach tour. I know it is just one day, but what kind of New Englander would I be if I couldn’t say that at least I spent a DAY on the Island! It looks grand!!!
    Ginny S.

  11. joanne takatsugi says:

    a visit to martha’s vineyard has always been very high on my “bucket list”… and knowing that my favorite author/illustrator lives there (at least part-time) makes it that much more special! i got close a couple of autumns ago… i’m hoping that i won’t wait too much longer! so from the islands in the middle of the pacific… to your island in the atlantic… “aloha!”

  12. Nancy says:

    My husband and I did our bucket trip to Martha’s Vineyard a couple of years ago. Seeing pictures of the ferry and sailing ships, Susan’s lovely home and yard, her fenced garden, the beach, the park, the old homes in Oak Bluff, etc. brings back pleasant memories – as if we’re there again. 🙂

  13. Rachel Lucas says:

    Making me homesick…..xoxo

  14. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Bunch of sighs Branch…loved it all! ♥ is pitterpatting…pics are great…I’m there, in spirit anyway! Loads of thanks dear one! xo

  15. Janis Barber says:

    Loving the enchanted Martha’s Vineyard from Tulsa, OK. Thank you for sharing a little piece of Heaven with us. LOVE your new blog!

  16. Carein says:

    We were there on Martha’s Vinyard back in Sept of 07, it was only for a Day (what a tease of a trip for me) , and my husband thought a bus trip of the Island would be the best way to see it, what a horrible bus ride, was going so fast I wasn’t able to take one pic of anything, and the Driver/tour guide was only interested in taking you to where he wanted to go. My husband has promised me another trip there that will last more that a few hrs. , this is also on my Bucket List.
    Thank you for all the Pix that I can now look forward to seeing someday.

  17. Cathie says:

    Hi from St. Louis. OMG!!! This is the best blog. Love to look at your pics. I whispered, whined, and begged my hubby to please take me to Martha’s Vineyard in our next vacation. Would love to visit in each season. Keep up with it as I enjoyed looking at them with a cup of my hot tea.
    Thanks soooo much!!!

    P.S. How about Susan Branch magazine! That would be GREAT….. 🙂

  18. cepet says:

    you are now my favorite blog out of MANY many out in cyber world. We’ve been to Martha’s Vineyard twice and after looking at the lovely pictures you shared, will hopefully get back out there soon. Post more pics and videos..I know when my husband see’s them, he will be convinced to make a return visit too.
    Thanks for sharing with your friends and fans!

  19. Carmel says:

    It’s so, so you, Susan to post such gorgeous photos. They have such warmth and life in them. I’m a transplated Californian living in the Washington, DC area for many years. I’m finally making it to MV this summer even if it’s only for a couple of days. I told my friends after a tough year I need to be near water and cute. Looks like my wishes will come true!

  20. Andrea Mcvety says:

    Martha’s Vineyard is pure HEAVEN! Thought of it on Friday when I spent the day with two girlfriends in Stonington Conn Village at their garden tour “Seaside Gardens”. I grew up in that area and never realized how beautiful and special that Mystic, Stonington area is until after I moved away. The Borough of Stonington has many similarities to MV. Lovely old homes, a small Main St with such a variety of fun stores, and seaside views to die for. At one house, you could look over at Watch Hill and I know MV was just beyond that, so i blew you a kiss…………………….XXXOOO

  21. Joan Lesmeister says:

    MmmMmmm, now I can get on with my day after revisiting Susan at M.V, & England. Lovely. Thank you! Hugs.

  22. Janis says:

    Love your blog Susan, and loving that breathtaking view on video. It’s indescribable and a true blessing to behold

  23. Diane Pino says:

    ~sigh~ I *finally* made it to the Vineyard for a day back in August 1998. I savor every sweet memory of the island so very much! We were lucky, I guess ~ we had a charming, funny, and very accomodating tour bus driver – and still had time left over to explore the wonderful town of Vineyard Haven on our own! I hope to come back again some day with the love-of-my-life (my hubby <3)! Love, Love, LOVE all the photos Susan, thank you for sharing! The pic of the fishing shacks reminds me of the "Summer of '42" cottage you have/had (?) and decorated so adorably ~ Susan, do we get to hear more about that too? (please?!)

  24. Joann says:

    Susan, This is absolutely adorable–having been there for the first time last Fall, I know some of the spots and can just imagine them in the different seasons. The blog is precious, just like you—you do so many nice things for all of us; I want you to know how much we appreciate it!!!

  25. Brenda says:

    All I can say is beautiful!!! Wish I were there.

  26. Val Westberg says:

    I’d love Illumination night! So wonderful to see your island! Thanks, V

  27. Crystal Sunday says:

    Hello from Lenhartsville, PA….I just adore your pictures of Martha’s Vineyard. I would love to visit and maybe live there…so beautiful. I especially love the chinese lanterns lighting up the night and the awesome sunset over the water>

  28. Gail Rose says:

    I just finished reading Girlfriends Forever for the 3rd. time.LOL.. so wanted to drop by to say HI !! I love your work so much, and can’t get enough. My husband of 40 years asked me today to tell him all about this Susan Branch. Thirty mins. later I’m still….. Have a nice day….

  29. shelly matter says:

    Was finally able to visit MV a few autumns ago and it was magical! I felt so “special” buying my sb calendar at the little book store on the island:) Illumination night is now on my bucket list, lol! Thanks for sharing your pics!

  30. Barbara says:

    Oh, thank you for the lovely tour. From here in Florida, it seems like just a hop, skip, and jump up the East Coast. Seeing this lovely place is at the top of my vacation list. Who needs European vacations when we have such beauty from coast to coast across the great USA.

  31. Cheryl says:

    You have made me fall in love with The Vineyard all the way from the Olympic Peninsula in the Pacific Northwest! It’s just the life I have dreamed about but didn’t realize it until now. Thank you so much for making it so real and charming, just like everything you do. I feel like I know you, like you’re a good friend who I love but don’t get to see — sisters of the heart. Blessings.

  32. Pamala Dunbar says:

    I would like to know when Grand Illumination on Oak Bluff happens in August? Is it the whole month? Also, do you have any campgrounds there? I would love to come to Martha’s Vineyard but would need to find affordable accomodations. I am one of your fans from the very beginning and I, like Cathie, would like to know if you would ever consider a magazine in the future? I LOVE magazines and books and the books you have covered. I love your blog and I am not even a blogger….

  33. Melanie says:

    Sigh..Lovely pictures. This is the first year in >10 yrs I am not going out to the Cape for a vacation..and I’m already dreading my summer w/o a week of fresh scallops, Christmas Tree Shops (yes, I have one where I live but it’s just not the same!) , taking in all the hydrangeas, Sundae School ice cream, and of course, sitting at the beach with a pile of magazines that go unread because I’m too busy just staring out at the sea….

  34. Ann Sehlmeier says:

    Greetings Susan from Australia. I am enjoying your blog and your website. Love the photos of Marthas Vineyard and hope one day to make it over there. It looks to be a very beautiful part of the world. God bless.

  35. Suzy says:

    Oh my goodness – what a breathtaking place. It’s exactly what I have always dreamed of, every since I was a child. I’m a Montana girl – have lived here my whole life. Your little slice of heaven has moved straight to the top of my bucket list. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  36. *•-:¦:-•:* Eye *:•-:¦:-•* Candy *:•-:¦:-•*

  37. Lillian says:

    Thank you Susan for bringing back memories of the Vineyard for me! I had my honeymoon on the Cape and visited both MV and Nantucket…20 years ago! We’re going back again to the Cape this July. Hopefully I’ll get to see your beloved island again 🙂

    Thank you!

  38. Priscilla says:

    Oh how I miss New England…love So. Cal, but nothing like the wonderful changes of seasons. I forever continue to beg my hubby to move back but to no avail!! Next lifetime!!! Love your blog…great photos.

    • CATHERINE says:

      I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL! Even though i have lived in Virgina almost all my life, I still love New England. I spent my summers and Christmas’s on Cape Cod, and went to High School in Concord, MA. (I hate the word-
      Boar—- School. I want to live on the Cape all year, my husband said no, so I said, “Well I will be gone from May to October to the Cape.” He said fine. We have a good marriage, but there is no NEXT LIFETIME.
      Good Luck! Catherine

  39. Kathy Phenix says:

    I so miss New England and the Cape at this time of year. We always had 2 weeks at the Cape, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown when I was growing up. As an adult it was at least a week on Nantucket, while my grandparents were loyal to MV for many decades. I was on MV only one time and that was at least 55 yrs ago. Your pictures are beautiful. I can almost smell the ocean!! Thanks for offering such lovely pictures to spark many, many wonderful memories.

  40. Linda Hoenigsberg says:

    I live in Montana with a mountain and stream loving husband, but I grew up on the West coast and miss the ocean! Always wanted to go to Martha’s Vineyard. Your blog is the next best thing to being there. By the way, one of my favorite haunts in California…Sharon Lovejoy’s Heart’s Ease in Cambria. Don’t know if she still owns that but it was my all time favorite place to shop when I lived there and I ended up inspired enough to start my own business, Little Fox Farm, on Fox Island in Washington where I grew a formal herb garden, dried herbs, and taught women to make wreaths and topiaries in the “barn.” Such fun!

  41. Michelle says:

    OMG,….this beautiful pictures make me crazy with envy!….I would love to go back…there. I must say, I do not like where I am currently living, but my duty calls. I am originally from St. Louis Mo. and believe me ….it may not be the Cape but it has it’s own little quaintness! Send more….always love to see your pictures!

  42. ruth tallman says:

    my relatives owned your house on martha’s mother and her family have been going to martha’s vineyard since she was 5 years old…she is now 92. her father bought a house there because the cape was getting too touristy..what would he think now. because of her age and the way the economy has gone we no longer go and it saddens me every summer. i think my soul is there and i miss meeting with it. with your pictures i can feel the breezes and smell the water and all the gardens and feel the lovely air…oh how i miss it, but am so thankful for all the beautiful memories i have and my children was camelot.

    • sbranch says:

      What were their names? I knew the people who owned it from 1949 to 1980. Yes, camelot — for happily ever-aftering . . .

      • ruth tallman says:

        The name was Endicat Marean..he apparently was quite a character and my mother loved him.,,,our house is in West Chop and is still in the family, just not THIS side of the family:)..always thought of you as we would go into the village via Franklin ave. and would wonder what new book would be out. Loved going to the Bunch of Grapes and hunting for new children books and yours. I loved the smell of that store.

  43. Marianne McCarthy says:

    OMG! Those pictures brought me back in time when we vacationed every summer on the Island. When you’re a kid getting up @ 430 am to catch the first ferry from Woods Hole was a thrill. Life was simpler back then. I sit here remembering watching the boys diving for quarters when the ferry pulled into Oak Bluffs. Sliding down Gay Head on our feet was a blast. Coming off the beach and my parents would grill up some fabulous linguisa (yum). Taking walks around the docks peeking into the yaghts and wondering was there a movie star in there. Back then Giordano’s had the best pizza. We would stay at the little place on Circut Ave (I think) and we called it Grace’s (after the woman who owned it. Not a fancy place but we felt welcome there. Mom would pick some Beach Plums and make jelly. Boy was that good. I loved the crunching sound of all the sea shells under the tires in people driveways. So many memories. All wonderful. I am sitting here with a smile on my face just thinking about it. Susan, I know why you love it so much down there.

  44. ROXANNE FINCH says:

    You brought the love of country to me.Iworked at a store called Hodges Country store emporian.It was in crystal city Va.
    I wondered if I drew in my drawing book,would you mind? also please think about a magazine!

  45. Martha says:

    Hi Susan – After coming to MV every year for 25 years, I have missed several years. I am coming in August with my 2 daughters and we can’t wait. Luckily we will be there for Illumination Night which is one of my favorite things. I grew up in Mt. Tabor, N.J. which is also a former Methodist Campground (like Oak Bluffs). We had Children’s Day every August – actually a weekend – the houses were decorated and we had parades , dances, parties – it was wonderful. We are counting the days until we arrive in Martha’s Vineyard!

  46. Chris of Fort Collins, CO says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed your pictures of Martha’s Vineyard, having been born at home on Daggett Avenue 84 years ago. I last visited when 13 and stayed with a friend of my mother who was called “Aunt Gussie” and believed she was very close to or across the street from the church in one of your pictures. I especially remember Aunt Gussie showing me the soap she was making in her backyard. Also, attended a puppet show at the dock area. My mother made sure we saw all the sights of the island and now am convinced that a return visit is in order, so perhaps I’ll be returning to my birthplace in the fall of 2012. Enjoyed your blog !

  47. Michele of Nebraska says:

    See ya this fall!!! First time visit to Marthas Vineyard.. I can’t wait. Have visited New Port with my hubby and fell in love with it. Can’t wait to be at Vineyard. By these photos, I think it’s gonna be fabulous!!!

  48. Pamela Phillips says:

    Susan, what a lovely life you enjoy–thank you so much for letting the rest of the world in.

  49. Susan:
    I am sitting in my garden room located in Arlington,Texas. The temp has reached well above 100 degrees. Nothing can be worked on in mid-day with numbers like these…
    Thankfully, your blog arrived and gave me “My Nestea Plunge”!
    Your photos took my breath away!! I closed my eyes and felt the warm summer night, smelled the salty ocean air and was instantly transported.
    I have visited Martha’s Vineyard and am currently planning a trip there with my daughter, Katya.
    I hope your readers know that it takes a “special person” to share these intimate thoughts and places.

    Thank you for caring and sharing with all of us!

  50. Kathy Scott says:

    I am so excited you now have a blog…I love, love, love Martha’s Vineyard. As a matter of fact at this moment I am sitting in our rental cottage on Curtis Lane, Edgartown. Without a doubt this is my favorite place to vacation. We don’t get here ever year, but at least every 3 years. We visited Gay Head and Memesha this afternoon – had a great lunch at Larsen’s fish market, warm and cold lobster rolls, plus clam chowder. Hard to match.
    Love all your cookbooks! I have given them to my loved ones for gifts for years. My favorite “Girlfriends Forever”, favorite story “Pancakes”.
    Thank you for sharing all your pictures, you are a special person…..

  51. Marilyn says:

    Looking through your photos, I can feel a tug at my heart. Even though I’ve never been there, there is a part of me that longs for New England (must have come to me through my powerful New England ancestry!!). I seem to feel right at home looking at your pictures. Keep ’em coming!!!

  52. Rachell says:

    Wow! What a beautiful place to live!! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  53. Susimuse says:

    Love your pictures! Greetings from Fairfield county in Connecticut! Sunset pic reminded me of Hawaii… breath-taking!

  54. Anna says:

    Susan, loved these pictures and had them in mind when I visited Martha’s Vineyard last week. It was the day after a big rain and the best summer day during my 7 day Cape Cod visit. I absolutely loved it, thanks to you and your blog. BTW, I live in Lompoc, CA and visited your store in Arroyo Grande when it was open. I have been a fan for quite some time. A friend introducted me to your Heart of the Home cookbook when it first came out and I’ve been hooked since. Thanks for sharing your talents and wonderful spirit.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh I’m so glad you got a good day; we’ve had a beautiful summer this year, I’m happy you loved it! Say Hi to California for me. Hi to the Jacarandas.

  55. Barbara says:

    Would you ever consider doing a book on Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Cape Cod in the future? I am sure your readers would love to experiece your island through your own eyes.

  56. Ruth from Pennsylvania says:

    Having been a long-time admirer of all things Susan Branch, since the days of the first snail-mailed Willard, I had to introduce my sister and her sister-in-law to the Blog. This is a difficult time for them and I just knew that a visit to Susan’s land would give them a small respite from reality. The pictures and descriptions of life there are the best medicine you could ask for. Thank you, Susan.

  57. Louise Laflamme says:

    A cousin from California sent me your address today and I’m just beginning to go through your lovely blog !
    I am a French Canadian, from Quebec City, our city is pretty lovely too…but you make me dream to go and live a little while in MV !

    Thank you for sharing all of this !
    Sorry for my English….

  58. Hello! I just discovered your blog through Madam Sam’s and what a nice surprise when I see Martha’s Vineyard! My husband played Irish music here a few years ago and he told me about this lovely place. Now I can see it is really beautiful! I’m glad I found you, you have a really lovely blog.

  59. CATHERINE says:

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures. I take a “vacation” in my mind for each photograph, for they remind me of my summers as a child on Cape Cod. I am looking forward to beautiful foliage pictures. thank you again!
    Catherine in HOT VIRGINIA

  60. Cecelia says:

    Last year my friend (since 7th grade) and I turned 60 and were fortunate enough to spend a week at the Cape to celebrate. It was just heavenly; we did get to spend one whole day on Martha’s Vineyard and especially loved the cottages. They are even more special lit up at night. Thanks for the memory of a great week.
    I,too, am in Virginia but it’s lovely tonight

  61. Patricia Strain says:

    Dear Susan,
    I LOVE your books, products, Willard’s etc etc. you are an inspiration, I get finished reading Willard and then I get off my duff and get busy creating something… You always share classic movies that you enjoy, have you ever seen the original black and white movie “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” (with Rex Harrison) it is PERFECT for a stormy autumn day (or any day for that matter). Been wanting to tell you this for quite awhile and since I don’t facebook or “tweet” this is my chance to get this info to you. Please keep up the good work!!

  62. Sindee Glenn says:

    As I sit in Texas on this record breaking day of 100+ degree heat I am drooling over the pics of MV. I have always thought it was a magical place and have longed to visit, but never as much as I do right now! Hope all will be safe with Irene taking aim at your little paradise.

  63. Kristen says:

    Thank you so much for your blog, Susan! My husband and I, along with our kids recently, have traveled to the vineyard from Michigan every August since our first (honeymoon) trip in 1999. You are bringing me my “fix” now that I’m back at home! We’ve never been for Illumination night– the photos are enchanting and the children were so delighted to see them!! Thank you thank you thank you!!

  64. Pat Bryce says:

    My first visit to your blog and I love it! Our summers are spent on an island in the St. Lawrence River (the Thousand Islands) and we love it; but MV looks like heaven! In the ’50’s we lived in the Berkshires and at some point we will find our way to MV. Thinking of you this evening as “Irene” makes her way there. We’ve had “her” winds all day today! Love your work. Thank you so much!

  65. Pam Bradley says:

    Susan … Visiting my dear sister, Rhonda, here in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Both of us are HUGE fans of yours … your blog is the brightspot of our day … no matter what is going on in my life, I take a moment to relax, take a BIG breath and read your blog, and it never disappoints in providing pure relaxation and putting a smile on my face. Sitting here ready to turn each page of the AUTUMN book and dream, dream, dream! Thanks for being YOU … from Pam and Rhonda

  66. Sandy Yarber Dixon says:

    Thanks for all the wonderful pictures. We love the shore and have been to Cape Cod but never MV. Again, I hope you got by with little damage last week. With your sunny disposition, you’ll bounce back quickly. We’re in Gettysburg, but were very concerned about all the coastal areas that were in jeopardy.

    • sbranch says:

      I feel so bad for the other parts of the country; normally we are such sitting ducks out here, but this time, we were SO lucky….very windy, but no real damage. Not even limbs coming down. Hurricanes do one other thing…they come at the end of summer usually and if you really get hit, they tear all the leaves off the trees, so there isn’t any fall. To a place like Vermont, that’s more devastation as they rely heavily for their economy on the tourists who come to “leaf peep.” We were really lucky.

  67. Rita Baker says:

    Susan, I love your artwork, books and this blog, and the photos from MV. I am in the planning stages of our vacation for next year and guess where it’s going to be – Martha’s Vineyard! I am so excited that I will finally be able to see in person all that you have written about all these years. It will be hard to wait until next spring, but meanwhile I have this wonderful blog to check everyday. Today – here on the prairies of northern Illinois – we kissed summer good-bye – as it’s going to be cooler next week. Last swim today – I realy don’t like this happening now! But I’ll be able to take my dog Andy on long walks and ride my horse Nicky more often now that the weather’s going to be cooler. So, welcome autumn! So glad you came through the hurricane o.k. Best wishes, and enjoy your trip across our beautiful country!

  68. Robin says:

    One of these days I will get to Martha’s Vineyard…. until then, I will enjoy seeing it through your eyes with your photos! You inspire so many of us daily, thank you for that!

  69. Rosemary says:

    Having spent many vacations with friends on MV, your pictures brought back such fond memories. It is such a special place, each of the towns having its own personality and scenery. Now that we’re living in landlocked Tennessee, we miss the ocean, the seafood, the beaches, the architecture, etc., etc. Must get back there soon…………………….Thanks for the inspiration – Merry Christmas, too! (Have you ever been there for the Christmas parade? Saw that once, too – lots of fun!)

  70. Nancy Reilly says:

    Thanks for the gorgeous pictures! It’s such a fairy wonderland! I can practically smell the sea! And I love the decorated cottages and Susan’s house! I’m in Michigan and I’d like to re-create all of them right here at home!!!!! Adorable!

  71. Such a lovely visit to your neighbourhood. Love skipping over to the YouTube VT clips too . . eeeek! Quicksand . . not funny. I love all the pictures, but I think I like best the one with the lovely paper lanterns around the veranda . . I love lanterns anyway . . oh, and yes, sunsets are wonderful . . a different gift each magic twilight . . Thank You, Susan . . I will be back again soon!

  72. Bobbie Ann Picard says:

    Beautiful!!! Love the island and so much want to come and visit…hope it will be soon!

  73. Debbie Prifrel says:

    Hello dear Susan!
    I would love to follow your path….what road do you walk? I will be spending the day there soon. My 5th visit to the island and it is my favorite place!

  74. Pamela Goldsbro says:

    Here I sit in boring Brisbane, Australia dreaming of the day when I will get to visit the Vineyard again…my most treasured memories and the only place in the world I want to be.Living simply and enjoying the change of seasons.Fingers crossed for a new job or a little lottery win.I really want my son to see it with me before he gets to old or too “cool”.

  75. Jan Hammond says:

    Susan, I love seeing your island through your eyes. It is beautiful. I have visited there and thought of you. Thank you for your wonder blogs, music, artistry and the great person you are. Sincerely, Jan

  76. Candace Moakler says:

    So excited that I will see and experience it first hand tomorrow! Thank you for sharing.

  77. Ingrid M says:

    Yay Susan. I can post a comment. We met when you had a quilt show in Arroyo Grande ,Ca.going out towards Lake Lopez. My most fondest memory of that quilt show was the entries and the fabulous luncheon you served to all “for free” We miss you out here on the west coast. And talk about you often. May our paths cross again. I would love to see MV in the fall. BTW your home is so CUTE! I own many of your books but do not have the most current. My favorite is Girlfriends…..reason my best friend(Lucy) and I were doing the same thing as you were with Karen at the same time in the SF Valley where we sowed our oats. And Lucy got to see the Beattles just like you and Karen but I wasnt there that night. Thank you for keeping the peeping bird in your blog….and I just love your website. England is on my list to visit and thank you for sharing it with us.
    Hugs from AG,Ca. Ingrid
    Your website is my ultimate favorite to visit because its MAGIC!

    • sbranch says:

      How sweet you are Ingrid .. I remember that wonderful day at our Farm Stand with all the darling quilts everyone had made. What a fun party that was! I’ll be out in CA at the Remnants of the Past Antique show at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo on November 10, in case you’re nearby, you could come — I’ll be doing a booksigning there. Nice to hear from you!

  78. Ingrid Marchese says:

    oooops I didnt follow instructions on how to send comments. I completed the request and hopefully you were able to read my prior comment

  79. Jean Burns says:

    My husband and I will be on MV on Aug. 19 for the entire day. What are some “not to be missed” places? It will be our first time there. So looking forward to it! I love your Blog, the Willard newsletters, and especially your
    cookbooks (I own 6 of them 🙂 ) Hoping for more!

    • sbranch says:

      Pick a town you like the look of, or close to where you come in, and just get to know it. Maybe a drive up island too. Lobster for lunch? Something with nature, a walk on the beach?

  80. Misty Strickland says:

    My whole mood changes each time I read and browse over your photo’s. It makes my whole wonderful, I catch myself smiling all day. I have many of your books, fixing to order your newest to my collection. Keep doing you, because you touch many hearts. Thank You!

  81. Alli says:

    Hi Susan: I just discovered your books & I love the joy & beauty you portray in the world. What a great outlook. I picked up Girlfriends Forever in a used book store today & it’s a treasure of wisdom, humor & beautiful art.

    I’m recovering from an illness & your books have inspired me to live well & be happy again – to look on the sunny side. Thanks for the great reads!

  82. Nancy Jane Shaner says:

    I love your pictures of MV. I just saw an article on CBS Sunday morning that the lighthouse there is in danger??? Please tell us about and maybe a picture or two? I know you are busy busy and what an exciting time for you with the book and the tour and going to California. Just thought I would ask. 🙂

  83. Jayne Parsons says:

    I have just found your web site. One of my favorite places in the world is Martha’s vineyard. I have been fortunate enough to visit there on several occassions and have fallen in love with the place. I was happy to see the picture of the cottages at Oaks Bluff on the Grand Illumination night as I have always wondered how they looked all lit up with the paper lanterns. I put then around my porch at home every summer and have noticed some of my neighbors have started to do the same thing. I am an avid scrapbooker and have used many of your items in my books. Just thought I would say Hi.

  84. Francie says:

    I have just finished a family history and my maiden name is Gosnell and found to
    distantly related to Martha’s Vineyard. It is now on the bucket list. I have to visit.
    Hopefully this summer or fall. I am sure it is everything I think it is!

    • sbranch says:

      Bartholomew Gosnold is the “discoverer” of the island … first European to come here! How wonderful Francie! You’re going to love it.

  85. Fran says:

    I can smell the salt in the air and the waves lapping against the shore. You live in a truely lovely and charming place. I try to travel there every yr for a week or two. I love the water and I just love the people there…so nice and friendly. The sunset are to die for and wish I could afford a place there. It is one of my favorite places to vacation. Sending hugs from my house ouin Tennessee to you. May your day be beautiful!!!

  86. Joan Price says:

    Thanks for the share! Looking at these pictures really takes me back to last summer! My family and I got one of those Martha’s Vineyard vacation rentals for a week or so and let me tell you, I had the time of my life. I truly believe that everyone needs to go there and visit at least once in their life.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s very special. My friend owns the Hertz car rental place and was telling me the other day that a group of young tourists came up and said “How do you keep it looking like this?”

  87. Liz Engel says:

    Dear Susan,

    My long-time adult home is New England – Boston suburbs & the South Coast,
    near the Cape. I’ve been to the Vineyard several times, & just love it!!
    Having grown up in N.J., the coast has ALWAYS been in MY veins too! And
    so I really feel like a misplaced soul here in Colorado, where I’ve been since
    2007! I do return to visit my friends AND to paint @ the coast most every
    year, and really hope to move back to the coast next summer of 2015, Lord willing! Tho the winters are mostly dry out here, I find myself less acclimated to the cold climate – I’m 3 yrs. older than you! So I’m looking into VA & NC for my LAST cross-country move, having done 3 since I was 47, between MA & CO!!

    ALSO, I’m about 1/2 way through reading your incredible book A FINE
    ROMANCE!! As an artist myself, and a librarian in my 2nd career, I love
    the way you hand-wrote and illustrated the entire thing!! It’s truly a photo
    album, scrapbook, & travel journal all in one! Fantastic!!

    Your marvelous book inspires me, as I too, have just barely started to
    write my own memoires, including European travel!! Never wrote a book
    before, so have gone to 2 workshops to get my bearings – it’s all pretty
    overwhelming right now!! Any suggestions you can give me?!!

    I really look forward to hearing from you!! BTW, I was in England myself,
    back in 1973 – also going to Scotland and Paris, so I only saw London while
    in England. Your book makes me want to do the English countryside, as did you!
    I’m “devouring” your travels as I eat my meals – what a great companion you

    Bless you for writing such a wonderful collector’s edition! The owner of the
    beautiful English-style shop where I bought your book, Bernideen’s in
    Colorado Springs, is also enthralled with A FINE ROMANCE!!

    What an idyllic life you have there, on the Vineyard!! Am I envious – YES!!

    Pining for the sea again, Liz

    • sbranch says:

      So nice to hear from you Liz! I understand your pining. I hope you get your dream of coming back to the coast. As for the writing, you are doing the right thing, taking workshops. I think if I was just starting I would definitely join a writing group. I have two friends who’ve done that and it makes such a difference. SO helpful!

  88. Andie Graycloud says:

    that last picture of the two sitting on the beach looks so relaxing. Seems like a wonderful place.

  89. Mary Ethel says:


    Thank you so much for all the lovely things you have shared with us. I have your book “Falling in love with the English Countryside”. I have read it and re-read it. Whenever I feel “blue”, I read a passage from your book and I feel glad again. My husband and I honeymooned in England, one week in London and one week driving around the country (it wasn’t the most romantic of times be-cause we wanted to see all we could see), but my wonderful husband has promised when he retires in another year or so, we will take a slow drive in England. We will try to rent cottages in an different areas and see that area, you have inspired me sooooo much. Before we go, I am going to reread your book and take “college-style” notes.

    Did you see the estate, I think it is call, The Great Tews? It’s now broken into a very small town with a post and a pub. It was one of those places you want to never leave.

    I hope you have something to enjoy as much as I am enjoying your book.

    With many thanks,

    Mary Ethel

    • sbranch says:

      I have — the houses! So darling! Try if you can to stay for two weeks in one place. You can go out and drive everywhere, but you don’t waste time moving, and you can take some days off, stay home, re fuel, cook, be real, then go back out! We’ve decided if everything is new to us, what difference does it make what we see … it’s all good! One week sounds good, but you barely get settled and it’s time to pack up!

  90. Rosie Herdman says:

    we visited EKONK TURKEY FARM OVER WEEKEND- it was tour blog that we foud the place. enjoyed yummy orange pineapple and vanilla ice cream while there. have a wonderful time in Calif.

  91. Sylvia Marie says:

    God’s creation is in every state, every snowflake and sunset will all be different, Thank you so much for posting!!!!!!!

  92. melanie says:

    When will this magical illumination night take place this year? I would love to drive up, but I must know when to take off.

  93. Mikki harkin says:

    I just finished your book and decided to look you up on the Internet. I loved the fact that you just posted about what happened to Holly Oak as I was wondering the same thing! Perfect timing! My only taste of MV is twice a year for a day trip. For the past 5 years we have been dropping a child off at the Vineyard Arts Project for an incredible Musical Theatre Intensive with some extremely talented Broadway people. (VAP right by the stop and shop in edgartown). We always go to espresso love for lunch and take the bus #13from the ferry so we can see all the beautiful water views. If I ever win the lottery, I will certainly be buying a Holly Oaks for myself! Thank you for putting all those great memories and pictures about MV in the book. Made me feel as if I was there!

    Mikki H
    Ps we also love mad Martha’s ice cream
    Pss my daughter has a thing for Corgis and fell in love with the picture that you drew in the book!

  94. Vickie Adams says:

    Hi Susan. We just returned from Martha’s Vineyard after reading your book, Isle of Dreams. I have most of your sweet books, and just needed to see some of the things you talk about. We stayed in Vineyard Haven, walked by your home, ate at the Black Dog, and watched the ferry come and go. Loved hearing the horn blow at night as it came in and went out. I had hoped to find your walk through the woods so we could take our morning walk, but no luck. We toured the rest of the island too, but I think Vineyard Haven is special. I hope to come back, maybe with my granddaughter sometime-so many things to photograph, and she is taking photography classes. Enjoy your trip, and enjoy your homecoming. I can see why you decided to stay all those years ago.

  95. Marny CA says:

    My beloved husband and I very much enjoyed Martha’s Vineyard – when we lived on Long Island and then also once we moved to the San Diego area.

    Gay Head lighthouse – and the surrounding shops – and Dale and our friends renting bicycles and me using my bike money for a delicious lobster lunch while viewing the ongoing parade.

    The ferry ride – and the gingerbread houses – so much to see and to enjoy.

    I miss my beloved but bountiful beautiful memories daily.

  96. Denny & Martha Wozniczka says:

    We enjoyed coming to Martha’s Vineyard on our honeymoon after our wedding in Colorado in early September. Our four-night stay near Oak Bluffs was pleasant and sweet. On the evening we landed there, we were in the outskirts of Hurricane Hermine. Our drive in a rent-a-car from the airport was rather challenging in the storm. Barnes Road wasn’t well identified on our way to Seaview Avenue.

    After the first night, it became dry throughout the rest of our stay. On the first full day we visited Oak Bluffs. We’ll always remember Circuit Avenue and gingerbread houses. Then the next day took us to Edgartown; and on the day after, we drove around the island coming to the South Beach, Aquinnah, Chilmark, West Tisbury, and Vineyard Haven. On the last day before flying from the Vineyard, we stopped back in Vineyard Haven for lunch. It was all beautiful, with luscious green vegetation, my newly-wed wife’s namesake isle. Are you still living in Martha’s Vineyard?

    I enjoyed reading your journals and experience in “Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams.” I thought I wasn’t going to like it from the second to last chapter through the end with Cliff coming in your way. Then the story became better when you told him off. It was a very interesting book.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so happy you enjoyed yourself. Yes, I still live here, I laughed to read your comment about Isle of Dreams! Yes, the story got better! Thank you! Happy new marriage and all the luck in the world to you both! xoxo

      • Denny & Martha Wozniczka says:

        Susan: Thanks. Martha’s Vineyard remains a memory to us. When it was time to fly from there, it was bye-bye Martha’s Vineyard.

  97. Lori Lathrop says:


    I’m being nosy, but I can’t imagine you selling your “Holly Oak,” house. I hope you still have it – I fell in love with that little house in Isle of Dreams and I can’t imagine the house without you. I keep looking at the pictures from when Agnes left it and then you made it a home and each time you changed something it got better and better! Women do buy houses because of stoves and bird houses! : )) I enjoyed your story so much, so many lessons in there for all of us! Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t have it anymore, I’m sorry to say. When Joe came along, Holly Oak turned out to be a little too small for two. We found Spring Street, where we’ve lived since 1989. It’s an old Captain’s House built in 1849. I wish I could get Holly Oak back . . . I would sub-name it “My Toy.” And that’s what it would be!

  98. Kristin Murphy says:

    Susan, a quick line to thank you for sharing your infectious love of life. No matter how dreary the day, I’m cheered up by your delightful watercolors and quotes and generous sharing of your life. I’m blessed, like you, and am inspired by pretty much everything. Born the same year as you and can’t help but feel we are kindred spirits. You’re able to express my feelings and joys much better than I. My sister Jan and I are headed to New England this fall for her son’s wedding; he’s had the good sense to fall in love with a Vermont girl and the wedding is going to be in the Beetlejuice church in East Corinth, VT. After the wedding, we’re heading to Cape Cod and the islands. My sister has never been, so we’re going to both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket to get our ‘fix’. Haven’t been to the Cape or Nantucket since 1981 but have dreamed of going back with my sister one day. And now we’re both starting to pack our bags!! Thank you for sharing your life with all of us . . . you’ve added such a delightful element to mine and I am so grateful for it. Am an Anglophile like you; don’t know how I managed to be born in the desert of Texas!!! Can hardly wait for your next ‘treat’ for all of us; know it will be wonderful. One of your legions of fans, Kristin

  99. Tracy Allegrotti says:

    Enjoying Martha’s Vineyard for the first time ever right now. Sitting in a little inn listening to the crickets and fall wind….nothing could be better. Love your little island.

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