Night Moves ♥

It’s hot isn’t it, hot hot hot.  Going to be 97 degrees in Boston today.  The daytime is useless to me now. Or, actually, I’m useless to it.  I can’t seem to move until the sun goes down and takes the day with it.

After dinner last night we walked out our screen door into the dark,  and, because I have become voyeur/photographer extraordinaire, (no neighborhood is safe from spy cam ever again), I get to bring you along!

Let’s head down to the harbor through our vintage neighborhood of old houses … under the ancient trees that arch over our narrow little streets — it’s a bit like being under water, splotchy moonlight comes through, all soupy and green in the soft air and cool humidity.  I thought, with the “heat dome” as the weatherman is calling whatever this heat thing hanging over us is, you might enjoy a cooling walk in the dark.  Grab a little sweater and let’s go!

Because I wanted to give you the true feeling of the night, I didn’t use a flash on my camera . . . and in order to do that, one must be very steady, and apparently, obviously, one is not. Just wanted you to know all the out-of-focus isn’t YOU.   (If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air, you are going to want music to go with this . . . )

Off we go . . . Joe’s asking if I have my camera!  Yes, honey; click; I do, darling.

Ahhhh, a breath of fresh air, a breeze comes up from the harbor, only a block away. We whisper when we talk to each other . . .  it’s so hushed, we don’t want to break the quiet, we think we might be invisible. No one can see us, they hear only the muffled crunching sound of feet on pavement as we wander down the street. We could be squirrels, couldn’t we?

As soon as I was old enough to find out about it, the heart magnet of New England, started drawing me toward the island….My inner self knew I just couldn’t live life without being near houses that looked like this . . . 

Our neighborhood offers probably the same thing any neighborhood does on hot summer nights, families going about their business, pitter-pattering and doing the little things in life, exactly the same kind of thing I found when I was a girl walking ’round and ’round our block in the Valley, under the stars, trying to figure out life with my best friend. And up in the sky, the same old moon looks down on us . . .

Nothing’s really changed, it’s still the best kind of quiet; the sounds of domesticity that make the world seem right; the clinking of dishes being cleared up, strains of music drifting from windows, people in rocking chairs outside with yellow porch lights and a halo of moths, someone shuffles the cards.  Through windows there were glimpses of old wallpaper; through screen doors, we saw hallways lined with family photos. All of this works especially well when you’re invisible.  Saw a kitty on a window sill catching the harbor breeze.

There were lightening bugs along this fence I was hoping to capture for you, but they’d blink and I’d snap, missing them by a mile . . . all the way down the street they seemed to follow us, under the hydrangeas, in the ivy,  in the darkest places, little blinks of fairy light flitted along with us. 

Our walks always take us down to the harbor, where the boat comes in….to hear the water lap on shore (pretend you hear it, it’s instant cooling!).  See all those little boats tied up there?  They belong to sailboat people who’ve come into town off their boats anchored in the harbor to have dinner.  They could trail a hand in the water as their little boats motor to shore.  I think they do.  I would.  Doesn’t that sound like the perfect life?  Ship to shore?  At least for one night?

And a half block up is the most wonderful ice cream store, Mad Martha’s is famous on the island; we each got a cone (I’m having a pistachio yen this summer, Joe goes for coffee chocolate chip; we are both sugar-cone aficionados :-)) and we brought a whole different kind home, because my next post is going to be a recipe for the most amazing, almost criminal, ICE CREAM SANDWICHES. And that’s it, we’re almost home now, but not quite . . .  first we were serenaded . . .

We pass the church across the street from our house, just in time for choir practice…out the doors, the music comes, just for us . . . ♫  And He walks with me and He talks with me and he tells me I am His own ♪ . . . up to the sky it went, musical notes that turned into stars.

And then, up the back driveway . . . and home to the Heart Magnet . . .my own personal Love Ground Zero. And that’s it, a night in the ‘hood.  Come back for some ice cream later girls…until then, stay coooool . . .   xoxo me

34 Responses to Night Moves ♥

  1. Carmel says:

    Susan, I love the evening stroll through your lovely town! There’s something so cozy about homes lit at night. I was in Martha’s Vineyard (Edgartown’s Harbour View Hotel) for a couple of days over the summer. A dream come true for me. I had a pineapple-orange ice cream cone at “Mad Martha’s”. Oh my, just delish! I did make it to “Bunch of Grapes” to look especially for S.B. goodies. I picked up some of your gift tags and such. I was hoping that I would run into you there, (smile) but even if I did, I’d be so blown away that I would only babble and ramble because there’s just so much to talk about and you’ve been such as kindred spirit for me for so many years. And by the way, the ferry ride took my breath away. I let the wind just whip me about as I enjoyed the sea, the boats and the church steeple as we approched the dock. By the way, have you noticed lately that a few of the lily ponds on the island look just like Monet paintings? I see lily ponds in many places, but not with the pink tinge as he paints so often. In the mornings I opened up the balcony door and let the sea breeze in and listened to the chirpping birds (some were so happy, I think they might have had laryngitis for the day!) The island is so healing. Well, this is a blog, not a hand written letter so I will stop rambling. Sending light to all there.

  2. Karen P says:

    Susan, I LOVE the picture you posted of your backyard with brick paved driveway and the arbor and the circle of adirondak chairs….my, what fun conversations must go on there! Love it!

  3. judith says:

    umm-umm love the song “Old Cape Cod.” Reminds me of the first night we spent on M.V. many years ago. We walked Edgerstown late into the night oohing and aahing. It was enchanting. Thanks for the memories. Look forward to your blog each month.

  4. Carol says:

    You have just lessoned my anxiety and strengthened my resolve to make this weekend one of joy and pleasures! Thank you!

  5. Denise says:

    I love all aspects of you website iam discovering all the nooks and crannies with delight. The night moves segment brought a flash to my mind of the film ( one of my favs ) Little women staring Winona Ryder and the great Susan Saradon it must have been the house designs and the vintage. 🙂 Denise

  6. Joelle Tapia says:

    This makes me so Homesick for my hometown Wolfeboro NH, it’s so charming and peaceful too. No ocean just a Big beautiful Lake.

  7. Gail Buss says:

    Must say I loved this whole video…….I too love the lights that shine from within homes…..makes it look so cozy and inviting. “Old Cape Cod”…..I could listen to that song forever since its so very peaceful. Pistachio is a favorite of mine and I used to love Maple Walnut from Carvel but can’t find it anymore. Just wondering though and hate to put a damper on these beautiful pictures, are there any mosquitoes in the evenings. They love me I’m sorry to say so I think I would be eaten alive and maybe that’s why you had the jackets on for a warm evening. Of course, we have tons of bugs in Fl but they spray for mosquitoes so its not a problem…………….noseeems though, that is another matter. Just wondering especially being near the water. It is the perfect live…..I’m sure neither of you has high blood pressure! Enjoy every minute!
    Gail & my Joe, Beverly Hills, Fl

    • sbranch says:

      They love me too, and if I hold still, like when we eat outside, they will come find me; no one who is around me has to worry, I am their favorite food! But if I’m moving, for some reason, they aren’t so bothersome. The nights are often cool here, outside anyway, because of the ocean breeze.

  8. Melissa says:

    All of posts and blogs are stunning, make me miss the place
    I called home for nearly 15 years: Oak Harbor, Washington.
    It’s in the middle of Whidbey Island…. O’ what a beautiful place.
    I miss the beaches, ocean sunsets, ferry rides, seagulls, and the beautiful
    Mountain views. Look in one direction you could see Mt. Rainer, look in another direction
    You could see Mt. Baker. I know what you mean by it pulling your heart.
    I just see a beach scene or hear about anything Washington related and I have this overwhelming feeling of wanting to be there. We want to move back there someday….. Still hoping. Thank you so much for the beautiful things you write about. It truly brings much inspiration and encouragement in bad times as well as good times. Love you and your family, love reading all about Girl Kitty and Jack. Blessings to you .

  9. Robin says:

    Heart magnet of New England! I never knew what to call the feeling my heart feels everytime I look at a picture of Maine until I read this. And that is exactly what the feeling it, only my heart magnet takes me to Maine. The phrase brought tears to my eyes and your pics of the island tug at my heart for the east coast. Thanks!

  10. Carole Kirchner says:

    Oh, that walk was just what I needed. I’m confined to the house for two months and have been so upset that I’m missing the rest of the summer 🙁 Now I feel as if I just took a trip!

    • sbranch says:

      The internet is a very good place for taking little trips! Just think, fall glorious fall, will be there for you … go to my movies page and get some good treats for yourself!

  11. Meg Davis says:

    You have a wonderful heart……sharing this stroll with all of us.

    I read and re-read WILLARD. Thank you for your efforts and hard work to share your life with your readers.

  12. Lisa Nelson-Jones says:

    Can you tell me where or where did you find the most precious, darling, (cutest-thing-ever!) bunny rabbit on your banister (Pic of Joe coming out the door)? LOVE LOVE LOVE him!!! Must own him!!

    • sbranch says:

      Had this bunny for too long Lisa, sorry, I don’t remember where he came from . . . all I can tell you is that he’s iron.

  13. Ingrid Marchese says:

    Oh Susan I just enjoyed this leisure walk with you. Did you enjoy our “Blue Moon”?
    The village in AG is my favorite stroll. Especially during Christmas. Sometimes I wish I lived closer to the beach but then Im so happy out here on the east end of town by the village. Its me ag

  14. Ingrid Marchese says:

    oooops I goofed up again with the response comment section…:”) Well again its me Ingrid just dreaming again of one day visiting your precious village and harbor. Fall is arriving soon. Hopefully you will share a few pictures with us. Your the best Susan I feel your inner spirit in your heartfelt writing. Thank you for being YOU

    • sbranch says:

      I think fall has arrived on Martha’s Vineyard! It’s sweater weather this morning, although our windows are all wide open, it’s crisp and clear. Thank you Ingrid — nice to hear from you.

  15. Ann Jane Koerber says:

    Even though I’m a New Englander (born in Maine, raised in Connecticut and now living in Western Massachusetts)……..I’ve only been to Cape Cod once – in 1969… I feel like I’ve been to Cape Cod twice…. thank you, Susan for the tour! I admire your dedication and drive to keep this blog so interesting…’s a full-time job!

  16. Maggie Flynn says:

    I enjoy and appreciate everything I find on your website. I’ve been a follower for years and have many of your products. The scrapbook cookbook that I wonder if I will ever finish, your “girlfriends” book and even your colored pencils! I also feel like we must be kindred spirits in some way in loving the same things. Thank you for all your sharings. You are an inspiration.
    Love, Maggie

  17. Kathy says:

    Susan, I’m currently binging on your website and blog! I’ve been an avid fan for many, many years (since Country Living – how could I not love your work, especially since my last name – before marriage – was Branch and my first born niece was – SUSAN BRANCH – LOL). Anyway, I’m blown away by EVERYTHING here and I’m currently dreaming a dream I have long dreamt – a visit to Martha’s Vineyard. Oh, some day, some day . . . .

    Thank you for EVERYTHING here! I am still enchanted by your talent, and it is a gift that gives so much joy.

    Kathy (Branch) Spicer

  18. Lynn C Maust says:

    Oh my…such a lovely walk in the dark of night….I am envious! Thanks for taking us with you both!

  19. Cindy Taylor says:

    I was just introduced to your page and oh my! I’m devouring every word. What a lovely walk this was, in the middle of my day, in the middle of the Great Pandemic of 2020. ): This made me feel at peace, thank you!

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