Memories of Martha's....& What It's Like

As many of you will know, we recently went away for a week to celebrate our first proper American Thanksgiving with our darling friends Susan & Joe in their gorgeous home on the little island of Martha's Vineyard. Most of you will already know and love much about Susan Branch, who is an amazing author and artist. If you don't already follow her blog, then I'd urge you to hurry straight there (don't pass GO, don't collect £200....!) Just click HERE for the magic to unfold (but finish reading first,'ll be gone a LONG time when you start reading her posts!)

There isn't much that I can add to what she's already written about our time I thought I'd just treat you to some images of our no particular order and fairly random...but all radiating, I hope, the peaceful, fun, glowing, food-filled, hilarious, restful, joyful days we spent in the company of these generous and wonderful people...

It was very hard to leave, and I'm sure that you can see why! We are already planning our next meeting - the four of us may have been separated at birth, we think!

So, the next few weeks will be filled with more joy and celebration...I'm so looking forwad to the holidays and to posting about our version of them! Lots of happiness to come, but first a little poignancy. I was so touched by your comments on my last post, about the anniversary of my beloved Mozart's death. He and his music mean so much to me...are a huge part of my life...and I am happy that you listened to and enjoyed the piece so much, whether it was new to you or not. I decided that music is a brilliant way to convey my emotions to you, when they are particularly powerful. So in that spirit, here is more!

You will all know what my sister Esther means to me...and it's so very hard to be apart always but particularly at this time of year when everyone is making plans to be together over the Christmas holiday. It's her birthday this weekend especially difficult. This piece of music - from a singer I adore - sums it all up for me (it's also very beautiful in it's own right)...

I'm sure that it will resonate with every one of you in some way, and I really hope you enjoy it.
I'm dedicating it to Esther this weekend....with all my love, always...



  1. Thank you so much for sharing these pictures of your visit with Susan and Joe :) Susan is such an inspiration to me; I would have never fallen in love with New England (or have made my blog!) if it wasn't for discovering her Autumn book... I owe quite a lot to her!

    So glad you enjoyed your time there; I read a lot about it via Sue's blog, and it seemed to me perfectly magical!

    I hope you're having a lovely holiday season, and I'm sorry you can't physically be with your sister for it, but I know the love you both have for eachother will resonate however far away! ♥

  2. Your montage of photos of Susan and Joe's gorgeous home on Martha's Vineyard is stunning....what a wonderful friendship you have. It's absolutely beautiful. I know that you love your sister Esther and it's so kind of you to dedicate this song to her. You know that Sarah is one of my top three performers. I was lucky enough to see her twice in 2011 in Colorado. I was in the 2nd row in a very small venue and she was amazing....her voice is unlike any I've ever heard and I urge all to see her if possible. She is appearing in Toronto to our Canadian friends...check out her website. When will you be traveling to see Esther? I know not soon enough.....
    Cling to the wonderful times you share dearest Rachel....
    Joann in Colorado

  3. Dear Rachel,

    I really enjoyed seeing photos of your first "proper" Thanksgiving with Sue and Joe. I only wish the photos were larger, so I could see every little detail. Everything looks gorgeous, especially the cranberry sauce. I love that photo!
    So sorry you and Esther are apart in distance, but I know you are ever so close in spirit! Happy, happy birthday to her. BTW, I listened to the music and watched the video. Such a beautiful voice! Thank you for sharing it with us. Have a wonderful weekend, sweetie! xo

  4. oh how gorgeous. I'm surprised you came home! I often make SB's garlic mashed potato, one of my fave mashed spud recipes ever!

    It must be hard to be apart from your sister, particularly at this time of year, and knowing it's her birthday too.

    Glad you find solace in your beloved music.

    I was thinking about you today, when I was thinking about music. It's our wedding anniversary,and we had a string quartet playing. Once married we walked out to the sound of Boccherini's Minuet, and I am certain you are one of the few people who would not only have known it by name, but have found it slightly amusing because of the name of the film it was known for! Perhaps I should have been worried!!!

    Have a glorious weekend. And I wish your sister a very happy birthday


  5. Oh, I didn't know that it was Susan Branch that you visited! I will have to go and read her blog tonight.
    Martha's Vineyard is supposed to be really, really lovely. Glad you got to enjoy an American Thanksgiving there!
    Happy Birthday to your sister, Esther!

  6. OMG, how lucky are you to be friends with Susan & her hubby! I've adored Susan for years! How did you like your American Thanksgiving? It seems the central theme is turkey - of course! Then families have all sorts of specialities for their veggies and desserts. We are a "pie" family on Thanksgiving!

    Thank your for sharing your lovely photo of your visit! Also, I'm a live long Massachusetts resident and I've never been to the Vineyard! LOL!!! It's on my bucket list! LOL!!!

  7. How fun to revisit your vacation via lovely pics of that special interlude. It's too bad the Atlantic is so big and a trip is such a big journey. Music is beautiful--I'd never heard of Sarah M until I saw her once on Martha. Glad you have many more fun events to look forward to and to enjoy!

  8. Darling Ray, Can't hear the music, but I know it was lovely. Am typing this during a particularly busy shift, and I'm one hour 32 mins in to my birthday. Boy do I feel old! Thank you so much. Beautiful pictures, I can smell the cinnamon! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  9. Rachel, what lovely photos from your time on Martha's Vineyard! We took vacation there in October 2010, and I want to go back! I know you had a lovely time with Susan, Joe, and the kitties.:-)

    Mozart's early passing leaves us to wonder what other great music we would have had from him. I've a picture taken by one of our daughers on a visit to his gravesite. She captured the emotions of their choir director as he stood at Mozart's grave. I share your feelings in this.


  10. You remarkable girl! Happy Birthday, Esther! Mine's Wednesday. Us December girls are special (:0)! Rachel-dare I tell you that Sarah M is here alot, even gave a concert at my church not long ago! Love her. I know it's not Mozart, but... Your pictures are beautiful and capture the Vineyard perfectly. When I lived in NYC I got there often. Now it's rarer. It's a place I've loved a long time, though I loved England first. Hug yourself tight. Thank you for sharing this magical post.

  11. What a wonderful time you had with Sue and Joe. Thanks for sharing some pictures, they were great.
    I want to wish Ester Happy Birthday and I think your tribute to her was lovely. Sarah's song was beautiful and made me a little teary eyed. You have such a special bond with your sister that distance cannot break. You may be far in physical distance but close of heart for sure. Sending a big hug and a wish for a wonderful Christmas!
    Yes, Mozart was a genius that was taken way too soon. I was listening to a bit of a new CD being played on our public radio station. It was magical!

  12. What a lovely post, sweet Rachel! Forgive me for being away from your blog for a bit!! Thank you for sharing your time on MV with Susan and Joe with all of us...what a dear time you all had!!! A belated Happy Birthday to Esther!! Sandy is right that you both share a very special bond in heart that distance cannot break!! Sending you the biggest hug, Sherry xoxo

  13. I'm so happy you had such a wonderful visit, and it looks charming and of course the food looks amazing!
    Here's to a beautiful holiday for you


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