REMEMBRANCE

Hi Everyone! Welcome! Your Willards start going out today! Perhaps by the time you read this Blog about Remembrance you will have yours already! MUSICA?Willard goes out in groups, twice each day, today, Wednesday and Thursday (we go gently in order not to break the Internets) ~ if  you’re signed up and you haven’t gotten yours yet, you will soon. And when you do you’ll find out we have a Giveaway of lots of new products!

These to be exact!  I thought I’d help out with someone’s holiday shopping this year! You’ll read more about it in the Willard, but for now, all you have to do to enter is leave a comment at the bottom of this post (look for tiniest words at the bottom, “leave a comment” ~ click there, leave a comment, and you’ll be entered).  In a few days Vanna will pull a name, I’ll announce it here, and let the winner know via email! And now, on to our regularly scheduled programming . . . 

Would you like your story for today? That’s why I’m here! Storyteller Blog lady! It’s almost November … and I’ve waited a whole year to tell you about this wonderful thing that happens in England in the first weeks of November, which Joe and I discovered last fall when we were visiting. 🍂 And now, I figure, we’re close enough!

It’s actually a lovely tradition that started in America in 1920 when the Poppy flower was proclaimed by the United States to be our national emblem of Remembrance.  For Armistice Day, for never forgetting and for the prayer of peace.  See Joe?  See that red poppy on his jacket?

Here he is again, walking home from shopping at Blenheim Castle in Woodstock Oxfordshire, with a poppy on his jacket. Because in England in November . . .

You rarely see anyone who isn’t wearing one . . . I wish I’d taken a photo in a train station, so you could see how popular it is. You get used to it, then you start to fall in love with it, and especially the idea behind it.

This is Joe and Paul ( Rachel’s adorable husband, English man extraordinaire, one of your funnier and more charming humans on the earth), both poppy-decked of course.

We went to a dinner, and everyone was wearing a poppy . . .

Me too . . .

And Rachel too.

Because they are everywhere you go, and for a donation to the Royal British Legion ~ a pound for a poppy, you can pin one of these to your coat. The appeal raises millions for the care of British Veterans and their dependents, and by the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the whole country is decked in solidarity-red for remembrance, and silence is observed to honor those who were lost.

We read the paper and learned the significance of the Poppy.

As the years went by, other wars and all their memories have been added to what was the war to end all wars, the first world war. Flanders Fields were the battlefields in France where so many were lost,  the “western front”. . . is now covered in poppies for remembrance. And a beautiful heartbreaking poem was written:

The first Poppy Day was celebrated in England in 1921, and has continued every year since.

There will be no forgetting . . . the whole country shows their gratitude and old men wear their uniforms on the street with pride. I think maybe because when bombs literally fall on your house and your neighbors house, you have a different relationship to war than others that don’t.You turn on the radio, and there’s Vera Lynn singing We’ll Meet Again back in the day with the voices of servicemen and their sweethearts singing along, and you can feel the heart in the moment . . .

Poppies are everywhere, including pillows and sachets in the Blenheim Castle gift shop!

And we ended up with a bouquet of them for our kitchen counter.

You would find them on the street in simple little places . . .

And in the cities too . . . these are part of the Field of Remembrance, a small graveyard set up each year next to Westminster Abbey in London.

And there are remembrances in every small town . . .

Here we are in downtown Woodstock where we were staying, a small town in Oxfordshire with a population of 3,000, just around the corner from Blenheim Castle where Winston Churchill was born.

XOX

We had just come walking back to the High Street from the Castle (staying in the Bear Hotel ~ some parts of it 900 years old, you can see it on the right), and didn’t know what was going on when we saw a crowd had gathered, families, babies, and dogs, people of all ages, clergy and soldiers too.  It was 11 am on Remembrance Sunday, and the village had stopped to honor Armistice Day as they had done for 95 years, for all those who served and died in war since then ~  this quiet remembrance was happening in every small and big town in England at this same moment. MUSICA.

Afterwards we discovered that Winston Churchill was buried nearby, in a tiny churchyard in a small village called Bladon. So off we went through the golden air of the English Countryside with this music playing in our car to find Churchill’s grave. 🍂

When we found Bladon, we fretted about leaving our car parked halfway in the street that was only a bit more than one car wide, but it was the best we could do and still be in the town. How they could have had a state burial for one of the most famous people in the world in this teeny place with zero parking lots is a mystery.  But look at that beautiful house.  See the roof line, all curvy and crunchy from age? It’s a miracle that they managed to hold onto the beauty of the architecture as times changed and such things as bathrooms and electricity were invented ~ how they did it is beyond me, but they did!

Nothing in the town had changed since the day the Prime Minister was laid to rest, except the people. The generations have turned over more than once.

We walked through the quiet streets of the village looking for the church listening to the birds singing . . .

 . . . enjoying cottages and curtains . . .

. . . and people who brought nature inside.

We peeked in the windows at the far end of this house with the amazing vine . . .

. . . and saw these! It was the Studio of a sculptor . . . ohhh, I wanted in so bad!

Open Daily 10-6 (EXCEPT while we were there) said the card in the window . . . but another sign said, Closed!

So I was happy to take pictures of stone houses with names on them . . .

and of course, the little charmers out for a walk . . .

And there it was, the flag flying over St Martin’s Church . . . where the bells had just rung for Armistice Day.

A small rather austere church . . .

with lovely details

And a sweet peaceful graveyard, these being my favorite, family gravestones held in nature’s embrace.

Next to Churchill’s grave were simple memorials, and benches for sitting . . .

with rather an amazing drain in the stone path ~ I had to take a photo of it!

Churchill’s grave sort of broke our hearts. Everything so real. I couldn’t help but think of my dad who had fought in that war and had died a few months earlier. 😢 We’d been to Churchill’s wonderful house called Chartwell and learned about him and his fascinating wife Clementine ~ and here they were, buried together. History of the world,  just waiting for us to find and remember and learn.

Sure and certain hope.

Afterward we stopped at a nearby pub to read our paper and eat “Sunday Roast” ~ which most British pubs have every Sunday ~

a glorious menu consisting of your choice of beautifully cooked roast beef, roast chicken or roast pork ~ with Yorkshire Pudding, stuffing, roasted carrots, parsnips, and potatoes with gravy.

And poppies on the mantle . . .

After lunch we drove to Oxford to see Carrie and Stuart, who took us on a wonderful tour ~ here we are in one of the churches.

Then back to Carrie’s kitchen which was in full-remembrance mode. We had a wonderful visit with them . . . but when we got back to our rental house, I noticed I had lost the poppy from my jacket. wah.

We spent more weeks in England, taking long walks under blowing leaves, enjoying the fall, and did not return to America until late November ~ celebrating Thanksgiving on the ship!

And finally home, where our sweet kitty Jack was waiting, and of course we brought our poppies home with us . . . And a few days later, a package arrived from England.

A book gift from Carrie, along with the poppy I’d dropped at her house! Total perfection!And that’s my story for today, Girlfriends . . . in a couple of weeks, it will be  November 11 … Veterans Day, I hope I see some Poppies to buy!

Here is my kitchen this morning, sparkling with light from the sunrise…It’s our time now . . . and one of the gifts of remembering is the gift of knowing the real and important things of life, and passing  them to the ones we love . . . 

Clothespin caught a leaf, and I got to make a wish.  So I think we can all make a wish!Ah yes, time for tea! Hope you enjoyed our trip to England . . . now, look just below here, see the tiny words, “leave a comment?” That’s where you enter for the drawing! Have a wonderful day! xoxo

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2,908 Responses to REMEMBRANCE

  1. Lin rader says:

    What a heart warming post! My uncle Was in the Pacific during world war 2…and both my great uncles served in world war 1. All returned with grievous injuries…but they returned..thank God. We cannot comprehend the dedication and sacrifices of our soldiers..then and now. Bless you for reminding us. I have a vase of silk poppies in my kitchen year round in their memory. The vase was my moms from the 40’s…so appropriate. We also fly our flag daily to honor those who serve and our precious country. England proudly flies her flag also…God bless and sustain us all.

  2. Kim says:

    Cherish your posts particularly this time of year. Since I live in Southern California, I love experiencing the seasons through you! Thank you and Happy Fall!

  3. Rachel Anna says:

    I’m so glad you got your poppy back! I will be sharing the poppy tradition with my little ones on Veteran’s Day. I hope they will always remember those who served when they see these lovely flowers.

  4. Dena says:

    Perfect timing with this post, Susan! I’ve been recruited to put my amateur cake designing skills to work for my church’s Veteran’s Day celebration and have been looking for inspiration. I can’t believe I’ve never heard this about the poppies. I think I’ll make some paper poppies to hand out as well for people to wear in remembrance. Lovely, lovely!

  5. Debby says:

    Hi Susan, not sure if I signed up! Happy Friday. Debby

  6. Bren Leyland says:

    Dear Susan,

    As always, your post is beautiful and informative and a delight to read.
    I’m wearing my poppy this month every day — my uncle served in WWII.

    Thanks for offering us yet another lovely giveaway. Keeping fingers crossed.

    Wishing you a wonderful day…
    Bren xox

  7. Phinium says:

    Susan,
    I was introduced to your writing by a dear friend who gave me your book, A Fine Romance. After reading that, I moved on to the other two books about your wonderful life. Then I shared them all with my husband who also fell in love with you and your books. After that, I began giving them as gifts to all my friends. So, thank you for continuing to do your good work. During these hard times, your words and drawings remind me of the sweetness of life.
    Thank you. Claudia

    • sbranch says:

      So sweet Claudia, thank you very much. Word of mouth is my very favorite thing about my books . . . brings lots of wonderful kindred spirits here to the blog ~ the connection is the best! xoxo

  8. Sandy Manning - Plano, TX says:

    I clearly remember when poppies used to be handed out here in America when I was a little girl. All of the new dishes you have been making are so neat. I love ALL of them!

  9. DGreene says:

    I finally had a minute to stop and enjoy this beautiful post. Thank you for spreading the words of kindness, goodness, rememberence, and love in all your post. I get a feeling of calm and a belief that more is right than wrong in the world today.

    P.S. PLEASE DO NOT SKIP THE TURKEY, NOVEMBER, AND FALL IN YOUR FUTURE POST. THE STORES HAVE AND I AM COUNTING ON YOU FOR MY FIX. 😂

    • sbranch says:

      More is right. It’s just very quiet, minding its own business, raising its children, being sweet to its neighbors! Are you saying the stores have skipped the turkey and November and fall? We won’t be skipping any of it! xoxo

  10. Mary S. says:

    Love, love, love the little trip to England! Thank you, dear Susan!! OXOX From Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  11. Mame says:

    Your words and work always inspire me, Susan! Have a blessed holiday season with those whom you love.

  12. Barbara Livdahl says:

    What a fascinating story, Susan, thank you!

  13. Karen Lawson says:

    Susan, I just love you! Everything you write about resonates with me. I love and agree with all your “Reasons to go on living.” Your my true twin. even though I already have a real one. Thank You for chronicling (hope I spelled right) all your observations and joy, so that we can appreciate too and all celebrate together. I so want to go to England one day. I would love to go on a Crowns & Tiara tour! If there ever was one, I would believe England would be the place to offer it. I just celebrated my 50th Birthday in Cambria, Calif. I would have loved to pop in the shop you used to have. I forgot exactly where it was but I believe it was on the way to Cambria. Big Hugs my friend.

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Birthday! I celebrated my 50th birthday in Cayucos! We picked nice places to have our birthdays! My store was in Arroyo Grande, but it’s long gone now. xoxo

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        oh I hope you popped into that wonderful shop that sells pewter ornaments and other wonderful things made from pewter… I love that shop. 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          My whole huge family was there, we didn’t have time to shop. But I’ve been there many times . . . I don’t remember pewter, but I LOVE the antique stores there . . . and a darling little gift shop called Happy Go Smile.

  14. Angie Burroughs says:

    Pick me! 🙂

  15. Brenda Schwieger says:

    I just found you! I’m just finishing A Fine Romance and I fell in love.You make so easy to “be” in England with you. /Thank you for your beautiful writting and drawings. Look forward to reading more of your books.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Brenda, nice to meet you! Going to England in the spring, and taking everyone on the blog, virtually, along . . . please join us!

  16. Janet in NC says:

    A blessed remembrance, thank you for sharing!

  17. Vicki Kasper says:

    Thanks, Susan, for all you do for us!

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

    Good afternoon Susan, that movie I was talking about, “The Mortal Storm” with Jimmy Stewart and Robert Young, well it will be on this next Tuesday on TCM at 10:00 pm EST!!! I hope you watch it, I know it was in reference to the lobbyist blog, but you asked how could people knowingly allow Hitler to come in and this might help you to understand that. I know this is not the blog, but I promised to tell you if I ever saw it coming on, please watch it. I think then you will have your question answered. and did you hear about Target stores not putting out their Christmas stuff until after Thanksgiving??? they received numerous complaints from their customers about the “Christmas creep” coming out long before Halloween was even here and people were just plain fed up with it, so Target is waiting until after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas, and they are also not participating in shopping on Thanksgiving so their employees can enjoy the holiday with their families. a small win for the take back my holidays movement!!!! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I do understand how it happened. Sadly. But I’d still love to see the movie ~ love Jimmy Stewart and Robert Young. I’ll record it … I’m an early riser and not usually ready for movies at 10pm! Good for Target! Black Friday ~ I heard it called “a tradition” last year and I wanted to call the tradition police and have it arrested! Really good! Thank you Pat!

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        you’re very welcome. my most of my family was in Europe when the war was on, in Sweden, Norway and in Denmark and I can tell you a story of how some young kids (we are talking school-age kids, about 6th grade level) saved Norway’s gold by sledding it out right under the Nazi’s noses and burying it under snowmen so the men could find it and dig it up and get it on a ship in the Fjord, the ship was hidden under snow and trees, took them about a month or so to get all the gold out and aboard the ship, but they did it. no one ever made a movie about that, but sadly they never will. to protect those kids and their families, no one ever said word, no awards were given to the kids but they knew what they had done was very brave and right to do.

        • Ruth says:

          Oh, I remember my Scholastic Book that told this story!! It was one of favorites! It was so very well told, amazing to me. The gold under the snowmen was dug up during the night and taken to the ship, hidden in the Fjord under a camouflage of tree branches in plain sight. The gold was taken to America, and returned after the war was over.

  19. Gina Miller says:

    Poppies are a tradition here in Orange, Virginia as well. I usually purchase one at our Veteran’s Day Memorial Service, on in front of our grocery store. 🙂

  20. Leslie Gammelgaard says:

    I love the story of England’s poppies. America needs a poppy to go along with Veteran’s Day. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story of remembrance.

  21. Charissa says:

    Ha! The tradition police!! I am dying over here🙂🙂🙂 And I totally agree, but I guess there could be some mother daughter thing going on or something You never fail to brighten my day and my life. I wish I could show you the cute vignette I made with your Count Our Blessings print. Everyone comments on your print. Don’t worry, I tell them where to get it. You are all around my house and make it so happy and cozy because I could really use it right now. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I think I have to divorce Tom, Susan. My Tom, the one who is so sweet and funny and nice and the one who I Loved with all my heart and thought we would grow old together. I kicked him out. I am in such shock and pain that I can barely breathe. So I came to the blog for help and you took me away for a while and made me laugh. Maybe I will have to run away somewhere and start over like you. I sure am glad to know it’s possible. For now, we are in counseling and I am trying to do all the right things for myself, but there are days when getting out of bed is impossible. I just want you to know the difference you have made in my life and the hope and happiness you provide me. I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL, as I said on twitter about your Girl Scout card. A truer Girl Scout there never was! It’s nice to have kindred spirits around xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Oh dear Charissa, I’m so sorry. One day at a time ~ you know you’re not alone. I hope all the right things happen for you with this. Deep breaths and be good to yourself. Sending love xoxoxo

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        oh Charissa, I am so sorry to hear that, I hoped things would themselves out but know you are not alone, we are all here for you and pulling for you. if you need to come on in and lean on us awhile, we all big enough shoulders to carry the load. take good care of yourself, be good to yourself and know you are not alone. send loads of hugs and love your way…. HUGS……. 😀

  22. Rhonda Jen says:

    Love this post. My father and my husband both served in war times. Hope you are enjoying a wonderful autumn. I so enjoy receiving your Willard’s too.

  23. Connie Howard says:

    We are Nana, Daughter and Granddaughter happily living under the same roof in N. CA. To us, you are friend, mentor and therapist ; ) We love your beautiful, insightful blogs and would LOVE to win your great giveaway. Hugs from Connie, Karen and Julia

  24. Eileen says:

    Always make sure I stop to donate to the veteran’s when it’s poppy time. Bless then all!

  25. Kathy H says:

    Thank you for writing about the poppies in England. Two years ago I was in London for Remembrance Sunday and was filled with emotion when I saw the little graveyards at Westminster Abbey. So very moving.

  26. Janice Vega says:

    I love all your new designs. I can’t wait to try making the redwork Christmas ornaments.

  27. Teri Hall says:

    I loved the little film snippet on Remembrance Day in England. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. It’s wonderful how they all wear their poppies with pride there! I do see veterans handing out red poppies in front of local businesses here as well, I will take the time to stop and make a donation so I can wear my poppy with pride for all the soldiers past and present.

  28. Lydia Alejandro says:

    Buenas Dias Susana!
    Tu “Blog” esta muy interesante! I enjoy reading about Autumn’s specialness, its my favorite season. The tree colors alone are so magic… and the smell of leaves in the crisp air makes me thankful that I am alive and well!
    Thank you for the time, energy, and love you pour into your blog. Its lovely.

    Con Carino,
    Lydia

  29. Susan Bochman says:

    My Dad would always buy a poppy when the Veterans were selling them here. Some way, even as a little girl, I knew that what he was doing was very important to him and our country. The quiet buying of one poppy taught me the meaning of valuing our Veterans who have always sacrificed for our country. Thank you for your wonderful upholding of this tradition and its meaning in the UK and here. Happy Veterans Day coming up…my Veteran Dad is 97 and I love him so for all that he has taught me about life.

  30. Debbie McFarlin says:

    Have admired your work since my children were little. Last year I was able to meet you with my now grown daughter at a book-signing in Ct. Please enter my name for drawing !
    Thank you , Debbie M.

  31. Lois Robinson says:

    Hi! My first time reading your blog and I loved all of it! Here in the Philadelphia PA area, we are very familiar with the poppies at Veterans Day. What a surprise when I found them in Tuscany, Italy last Spring, so beautiful in the fields.
    Looking forward to the next blog and enjoy Willard all the time. Thanks for the photo’s of England, especially Churchill’s grave and all the beautiful colors of Fall!

  32. Glenna says:

    Hi susan..i have several of your books..would love to win anything….i met you in cinti.ohio.l 💘 your books and illustrations.best girlfriend. Glenna

  33. Nancy L Myers says:

    What can I say to add to the 2800+ comments already here? First, I’ll have to say that these comments keep me company during the days when our wonderful Susan isn’t posting another blog. (My other strategy is to reread older blogs, say from 4-5 years ago. Still so meaningful!) Second, we also have poppies for sale in Wichita, KS too – from veteran groups at grocery stores. But Susan’s ability to combine history, memory, nostalgia and “musica” provides a special focus. I’m grateful!

  34. patricia hewitt says:

    Thanks for sharing your precious memories. You make us all smile, and we are grateful that you are our friend anytime we need a “hand up” and a big dose of “positive”.

  35. Susan says:

    Beautiful post. My grandfather and father and brother served.
    Poppies are a tradition in Canada as well. There is a moving YouTube video by Bell Canada
    Remembrance Day TV Commercial: Poppy. Thank-you to all who served?

  36. Marcie says:

    I remember wearing poppies when I was a little girl. The Smerican Legion handed them out.

  37. De Hunold says:

    Oh my gosh did your post bring back fond memories. I’m 60 and was raised in San Diego, CA. Up until about 20 years ago, red poppies were available just outside of groceries stores. Veterans groups would sell them. As a child I remember people going door to door selling them. My mom would always buy and we would wear them to school. I haven’t seen poppies sold in these parts for years. Thanks for a great post Susan!

  38. Deborah Norling says:

    I simply cannot not believe this…earlier today, while washing dishes, I was thinking about Veteran’s Day and remembering that when I was a child in California in the late 1950’s and 60’s, almost everyone wore red paper poppies in remembrance.
    Was wondering how and why that tradition no longer exists and feeling rather sad.
    Several hours later I think, gosh, haven’ t “checked in with Susan” for a while, so check out your blog and simply cannot believe my eyes…POPPIES!!!!

  39. Beth from Iowa says:

    Hi Susan,

    We are busy here raking, blowing and crunching leaves – I love them but they do create a new fall hobby😏! We’ve been busy packing up Halloween – only six weeks between our annual Halloween party and our Christmas party. We do leave the dining area decorated for fall so Thanksgiving is not neglected – our motto is “no holiday is left behind!”

    Thanks for sharing your very beautiful life!!💕

  40. Elizabeth says:

    Dear Susan, your readers might want to know that red poppies are still worn for Veterans Day! They are called “Buddy Poppies” and are available through the Veterans of Foreign Wars – there is even Post 9621 at 14 Towanticut Ave on Martha’s Vineyard! You could probably get poppies for everyone you know there!
    Thank you for reminding everyone about Poppies and Veterans.
    Here is a link that will remind everyone that poppies are still worn to honor our Veterans.
    vfw.org/community/community-initiatives/buddy-poppy?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkcWuzPik1wIVCW1-Ch0mCgg8EAMYASAAEgIuXPD_BwE

    • sbranch says:

      Just this year the American Legion changed Poppy Day to May . . . for Memorial Day rather than Veterans Day. From the comments it seems that our Girlfriends can still find poppies in some parts of the country ~ but many haven’t seen them in years. Seems to be pretty hit or miss. We’ve been to the vets parades here, but they don’t seem to wear poppies. We do! But it doesn’t seem to be happening here. Thank you for the links!

  41. Elizabeth says:

    I found 2 articles for you about the Veterans on Martha’s Vineyard!

    mvmagazine.com/news/2015/11/11/they-were-there

    mvtimes.com/2013/11/06/deon-vfw-best-kept-secret-oak-bluffs-17911/

  42. Joyce says:

    What a beautiful writing about remembering, and the poppy. So enjoyed reading it and the lovely pictures.

  43. Anne Cox says:

    The memory of all who fought and gave their lives is so wonderfully captured in your post. A day of remembrance and a celebration of life.

  44. Wendy Z in MN says:

    Thanks again for your good company and lovely giveaways. Happy Fall.

  45. Susan Webb says:

    So glad you included some time for a visit to see Churchill’s grave. I’ve wondered where it was. He loved to paint, you must know, and I’ve got a copy of his book written on his affinity to pick up a paintbrush. The dishes that you’ve designed are just lovely.I especially love the Santa cup. Our family works on Christmas Lights for the community each Christmas season, including procuring a Santa to visit the kids on certain nights in the community park. It’s a lot of work and I’d love to have a Santa mug as we celebrate all year long as we start planning for the next Christmas Light display on Jan 1. Enjoy fall and the Christmas season and keep designing!

  46. Nancy says:

    With gratitude to all of the men and women who have given their lives for our freedoms. May we always remember. And, thanks to you for retelling the tradition of the poppies. I remember them from my childhood.

  47. DeLores E Johnson (from Minnesota) says:

    I just received the Roses Counted Cross Stitch picture and I am going to start on it today. Looks so nice. Thank you for having quality!!!

    DeLores Johnson (Minnesota)

  48. Bevely Stone says:

    The story and pictures are great, my Dad and Brother served in the Army and Navy…..this is all very close to my heart. Thank you for sharing!

  49. Karen Musser says:

    Love all of this communication… Very inspiring… Thank you

  50. Naomi Jones says:

    Did you know that the poppy is the birth flower of those born in August? Two in my family.

    And seriously can England get any more charming?

  51. Sheryl Kirk says:

    It’s just a week until Veteran’s Day. I will be looking for a poppy to pin on my coat. It’s a tiny reminder of the sacrifice so many made so we could be free.
    Please put me in the drawing. I don’t know what it is, but anything from you is heaaven.

  52. Kathie from Bartlett, IL says:

    Love the poppy story. I remember them here in I a when I was a kid. Thought they were really neat. Still hoping to be a China drawing winner.

  53. Donna says:

    Almost as good as being there. Thank you for the gorgeous pictures and special memories that you share with us. xoxo

  54. michele white says:

    So nice to be reminded of something we, too, used to do–buy poppies from veterans. Why did we let it slip away? These are the important things of life.
    Remembrance, respect, honor.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s SUCH a celebration in Britain, everyone is wearing a poppy, it brings the whole country together in remembrance, a very powerful message. I don’t know why it isn’t everywhere here. Maybe because our country is so large … because I know we have that remembrance, respect and honor in our hearts! Just better to show it.

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

    Hello Susan just to let you know I goofed.. “The Mortal Storm” is on tomorrow night at 10 pm est. sorry about that, I love that movie, especially with Jimmy Stewart, Robert Young, Robert Stack in it. a good movie and I hope you get to see it.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh dear, I missed this yesterday … I just went to 10 pm tonight and it’s not there! I’ll have to catch it next time!

  56. Annie (Sydney, Australia) says:

    I loved your post, Susan. Remembrance Day is also huge in Australia and poppies are always sold to raise money for the veterans, the widows, and their families. A minute’s silence is held at 11 am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, so if you happen to be in a store, school etc. everyone stops for the remembering. I’ve kept my poppies, over the years, and have them pinned to a light shade – a beautiful sight when the lamp is on.
    I’m busy knitting poppies for the Australian War Memorial because next year is the centenary of Gallipoli and the ANZACs (1914- 1918) and they need around 100 thousand poppies for an installation. That should be a pretty sight. You can look -up the group who organised the knitting of the poppies, if you are interested, they are on Facebook and called 5000 poppies (I don’t know why they are called 5000 poppies when they need over 100thousand!).
    We take remembering our vets extremely serious and they are held in the highest honour, always.

    • sbranch says:

      I adore this Annie, to think of all of you knitting at the same time, making this happen, very beautiful! xoxo I went to the website, for anyone who wants to see it, here’s a LINK

  57. ~Del Gato gordo y descarado~ says:

    Many thanks! Just read this again-
    !You are sunshine!
    http://www.susanbranch.com/2016/12/hygge-for-the-holidays/

  58. Annie (Sydney, Australia) says:

    P.S. Susan, there’s a wonderful, but really sad song called ‘The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ by Eric Bogle (it’s on You Tube) and it describes the battle at Gallipoli (Gal-ip-olly) and the futility of war.

  59. Annie (Sydney, Australia) says:

    Ahhh, Susan. Isn’t it unbelievable? There you are at the top of the world, and here’s me at the bottom of the world and we are actually on the Internet at the same time – makes me feel like we are practically neighbours. 🙂 xxx

  60. Lynn says:

    I love to read your messages. The things you talk about are timeless. Thanks for sharing 😊

  61. Cathy B says:

    I love the Inspiration/Reasons to go on living house at the end so much. I have a friend who is sick, and I’m going to share that with him. Perfect timing.

  62. Christy N. Coy says:

    Hi! Susan,
    Bought multiples of the little blue pocketbook calendar for xmas presents!!
    They are delightful and soooo useful….I was always saying “I will have to call you back after I look at my calendar….!!!
    Also, the fall pictures and posts were GREAT!! The full moon here on the beach over the ocean was magnificent as well….!! :))
    GOD BLESS YOU……Your light is definitely on a Lampstand!

  63. Kathy Grashoff says:

    Beautiful blog! Saving this for when I have more time to really look it over! Happy Thanksgiving.

  64. Corky Olander says:

    Although I am the proud and happy owner of all of your first editions of “From Heart of the Home” books, and used to avidly read your periodic newsletters, and still have one postcard from the collection of your postcards, I only recently discovered your website and blog, etc. Now that is exciting and has made my day already this morning!!

    As luck would have it, I have been re-reading your books, which I do several times a year when I take out the one for a particular season — of course, that season is Autumn so you can probably guess which book is by my “reading chair”!

    Anyway, it is such a thrill to discover that you are still beguiling your readers and collectors with your wonderful books, your dishes and updated recipes — and of course your brilliant, adorable drawings continue to be the best!

  65. Elaine Anne says:

    My Dad was born in August, poppy being the August flower, and he served in WWI, I miss him very much. My sister, who still lives in England (I came to America in 1994), saves a poppy for me to wear on my next visit home to my lovely England. Thank you for this very nostalgic blog Susan. I am so blessed to have you in my life, especially your special blogs about England. Much love, Elaine

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you back Elaine! My dad was born in August too . . . and also served in WWII … Good that your sister still lives in England and you can go visit! xoxo

  66. Elaine Anne says:

    Correction, my Dad served in WWII. My iPad has a mind of it’s own, I distinctly typed WWII.

  67. sarah lynne murphey says:

    Love your photos. And the charming dishes.

  68. Jenn Barker says:

    One of my favorite quotes of Churchhill’s is: We are all worms. But I believe I am a Glow-worm.” Makes me smile.

    Thank you for the wonderful stories of your travels.

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