Friday, September 23, 2016

Stalking Susan Branch....

I admit it, I can be a stalker at times.

 But let me be clear - I am a friendly stalker, not one of those mean ol' stalkers who can scare the bejeebers out of someone.  I know how to be a respectful stalker, and I know when to back off.

My most recent challenge was in March in Charleston, SC - you might remember me stalking Patricia Altschul's home?  She is in the reality show, Southern Charm (read about that stalking adventure here).

So, the other day I went to Martha's Vineyard to stalk Susan Branch's home. 

 I took the Island Queen to Oak Bluffs....

...and then hopped a bus to Vineyard Haven.

Vineyard Haven is a community in the town of Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard, with about 2100 residents.

I knew where she lived and I practiced my trek on Google Earth.

I found her street quite quickly...

...but first got distracted when I spied MacKenzie-Childs items in a boutique on the corner! 

 That little distraction cost me a few dollars!

I walked up the street and all of a sudden THERE IT WAS:

Susan's lovely home!

 I knew Susan had just sailed the QM2 to England, and I also knew there was a house sitter.

I want to apply for this position!  I would make the perfect house sitter for Susan - I love cats, I love the Island,  I would clean and garden and cook and take walks to the beach- and especially keep my eyes peeled for future stalkers!

Yes, this is MOI, on her front steps - pretty brazen of me, huh?

Off to the side I spied her van.  I leaned over the fence and peered through the bushes for this shot.  Sadly, I was on the Cape this summer, a week before her book signing and missed meeting her by only a few days.

BUT, what I really wanted to see was her kitchen garden.  As I slowly and quietly began to stroll up her driveway, I practiced what I would say to the local policeman if I were to be picked up for trespassing  ("But Officer, I thought this was a public path to the next road") and then what did I hear?
WHAT?  The house sitter has a DOG???   
Those poor, sweet cats have to be terrified daily while Susan is away?!! 
Another reason WHY I should be the house sitter!!

It was enough to make me recede - but first I needed a quick photo!  Isn't this the sweetest garden, protected by a white picket fence?  Who wouldn't want this in their yard? 

I walked around the block to get a view of her back yard, which is LOVELY!  

I could imagine sitting out back with a glass of lemonade with fresh mint from the garden...

...right in this very spot:

...or under this tree: 

Again, I didn't want to walk to close to the house (dogs and I don't tend to get along, especially when trespassing).

As I walked back out to the main road, I also spied this cute little home across the way.  Imagine if I lived there?  Susan and I could be BFFs!

I became a fan of Susan's artwork from the beginning.  I found "Heart of the Home" by accident.  I was in the bookstore, searching for a cookbook for my students, when I saw the "heart" and lost my focus as I flipped through the pages.  I have purchased every one of her books, some for gifts, but mostly for me.

Her art work and handwriting is easily identifiable and her "personal stories" are delightful! 

I often use her books in seasonal kitchen vignettes -  keeping the autumn recipes for cranberry apple crisp, spiced cider and gingerbread cake close by!

So, this was a fun stalking day - an enjoyable adventure, but too bad Susan wasn't home (I probably would have knocked on her door to say hi).

Stalking, if done properly, can be exhausting, so I walked back into town to have lunch at the Black Dog Tavern:

You can't go to MV without stopping here!

It opened in 1971....

...and has a lovely view of Vineyard Haven Harbor.

Sadly, my stalking day had to end so I hopped the ferry back to Falmouth!

When I arrived back in NY, imagine my delight to find this sweet gift in my mailbox from a dear friend:

And just in case you have been living under a rock and you are not familiar with Susan:

This will go down as one of my favorite days ever!!

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Patti @ Pandoras Box
Patti @ Pandoras Box

I live in central NY and I am a retired family and consumer science teacher. I enjoy all types of crafting, decorating and cooking


  1. Ohmygosh, you really ARE a stalker, and quite brazen, lol! No doubt you got whiplash on sighting that MC store. You are a funny woman, and I love your quirky tendencies. Have a great weekend.

  2. LOL, I am thankful TTT girls didn't have to put up bail after your day of stalking Patti! Just reading this and I felt nervous! I'm sure you enjoyed seeing Susan's lovely home where she writes her sweet books. I can see being sidetracked when you spied the MC item. I hope you had it shipped, that would have been a tough one to get on and off the ferry. Happy weekend.........

  3. How fun! I've always loved Susan Branch's artwork, but I didn't know she lived in her inspiration.

  4. Patti
    I think you could show the paparazzi a thing or two! I love it!

  5. I wish I was with you while stalking, but I would have been the one giggling over the possibility of getting caught!

  6. Patti, I have walked past her house many times but I NEVER had the nerve to pose or even take a picture! I wish I had been with you! Did you know that her husband Joe used to be the chef at the Black Dog? I think it was during the time she met him. I've also eaten there on occasion but I'm more a fan of the shirts than of the food! I'm willing to give it another try, however, when we all meet there for another stalking! Linda

  7. Patti, I would love to go to MV one day and see Susan's lovely town and home! I have never met her, but I just know I will one day! She inspires so many and I truly believe she makes the world a better place. It's nice to meet another SB girlfriend! ♥

  8. Giggling as I see dear Martha Ellen has followed the link too! Your day of adventure reminded me much of Miss Elizabeth Bennett, when her Uncle and Aunt took her sight seeing and right into the very heart of Pemberly, quite the done thing in that day, so why not today?
    I, sadly, was not able to attend Susan's picnic at the grass bridge while you were stalking her on MV, but one day I know I'll get to meet her somewhere, somehow!
    ~~~Deb in Wales