I couldn’t leave the doors yet. One more needs opened into Young-At-HEART-Ville. Door number four. LOVE. The word HEART is a perfect fit for this weeks post. After all IT’S VALENTINE’S DAY!


When I opened this door a stream of consciousness flash flood surprised me. A torrent of things I loved and love. Words, sounds, sights, smells, and feelings swamped my heart, spilling over the top. I slowed the rush into slow motion so I might watch the crazy collection flow by, one at a time.

Okay, here comes the LOVE stream! You should try this, it’s fun and it’s a freedom. Like unlacing too-tight shoes at the end of the day.

. . . mommy and daddy . . .  riding my bike in unbikeable places . . . playing in the woods, SEEING elves and fairies at twilight . . . making lands and seas from spotted floor tiles that look like there’s confetti all over them and traveling from country to country on ships made of throw rugs . . . sleeping in horse mangers smelling sweet alfalfa hay . . . baby farm animals . . . mommy and daddy . . .  climbing trees, inventing named destinations to visit inside the boughs of a gigantic weeping willow . . . a rounded mailbox named “The Burp” where Janis Lee and I sat for hours playing with “trading cards” . . . snow, especially at night falling thick under the streetlights as i happily trudge home, rope clutched in mittened hand, pulling my “flexible flier” sled . . . indoors after outdoors in the autumn chill . . . mommy and daddy . . . humid humming dark summer nights with lightening bugs taking up the air everywhere . . . ravines, powerful scent of fecund earthy ravines . . . walking fences, especially one we named Mr. Wiggly . . . the country . . . the fields . . . school carnival . . . trick or treating . . . mommy and daddy . . .

fast forward . . . love pounced from the waiting room of my soul into my heart when i held the baby girl i birthed, pollyanna . . .

fast forward . . . god’s implausible, untamable, bonkers love for his kids caused this one to love him back . . .

fast forward . . . the Valentine’s Day when my husband designed an evening’s program and water-colored its cover with a heart. our schedule included times. for instance “5:30–home from work, presented with a glass of wine, suzee relaxes as she opens her mail while steve starts dinner” . . . “6:00–hot bath, then massage for suzee” . . . “8:00–slow dance” . . . “8:15–dinner by candlelight” . . . and so on! it ended with a huge homemade fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie that took up half a cookie sheet served warm to me with orange sherbet on top! . . . and one more slow dance . . .

here is a more recent picture of this romantic man of mine lounging in bed with our sheepdog, Mr. Puzzle . . fast forward . . . a prince named andy sweeps my pollyanna away on a white charger . . .

fast forward . . . a girl grandchild named bowie (buttons and bows). . .
fast forward . . .  babies grow into little persons .
fast forward . . . bowie at 5 years old (you’ve already met her as a dog dentist in a previous blog) playing with my miniature electric stove that STILL WORKS. wow, they used to make things to last . . .
. . . rope swinging with her and getting to feel that age again . . .
 . . . watching bowie pretend to eat “mermaids’ hair” (sea weed from the moving creek, don’t worry, it’s not pond scum!) . . .
 . . . bowie the clown (Bozo? ho ho!!) to make me laugh . . . fast backward and forward . . . family, friends, lovers . . .

So send me a stream of consciousness love list if the spirit moves you! It’s a trip.

Be determined to use the WEAPON OF LOVE! (did Martin Luther King say that? or was it B.B.????)

And in the name of LOVE . . . HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!!


  1. Happy Valentine’s Day to you & your lovely Steve from me and my beau – Russell, alias Gruncle!

    I still remember the feelings I had when I got my first “real” valentine’s card. Not one of those we kids used to send each other at primary school, or that my Dad sent me & Vanessa just to tease us as early teenagers, but the REAL one from Russ that made my toes curl, my heart race, my ears burn, and my whole body tingle like it had never done before!

    Then I remember the ones that followed – big padded ones with not only the words printed in them, but the ones he wrote himself – he of few words, but with those stunning blue eyes and soft curly hair – and the words he hid inside the folded card just for my eyes only.

    – -and I remember spending ages pouring over the cards in the shop to get just the right one for him too. Not squidgy words but heartfelt, gentle ones which would convey my true feelings.

    Now – well, maybe not the cards and flowers, but a few words, long kisses, eyes meeting to express the long-felt love & devotion, contentment, and the enjoyment of this togetherness that we hope will last for ever.

    Love – there is nothing better!

    • oh grauntie marilyn

      those are simply the most beautiful words you’ve shared. i didn’t know you had it in you! and i certainly didn’t know gruncle could be such a romantic man! but what do i know!

      you said it SO well.

      now i want to go find steve and kiss him long and full just like movie stars do in the movies!

      go grab gruncle! cept it’s 8 hours later there. but hey, it’s still valentine’ day!

      suzee B

  2. Oh Suzee, I loved, loved, loved ALL of your memories. Don’t forget “Rock, Fly, Crash, Boom”, the night of the rumble, tobogganing at night under the sparkling stars, and more! My mind is buzzing with memories of you! Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m going to read this to Mom right now.

    • ha ha, i was waiting for nan to bring up “rock, fly, crash, boom”! and the night of “the rumble” oh wow, i see your dad absolutely stunning in the leap over the hedge, he had on a flying bathrobe (wrong, the bathrobe couldn’t fly by itself, it only flew because HE was airborne!) that might have been pale yellow? i love to this day that the rumble between ronnie and fergie was over ME! a red- letter-one-of-a-kind-day! ha ha. (i think somehow, we instigated that, but i don’t remember how?) when i talked about pulling my sled home, it was from the tobogganing hill with you. sometimes we brought our sleds, too.

  3. That’s the stuff man..that is the stuff. I’m still in that “making memories with my kids” stage…but I can’t wait to be a Grandma someday and share this joy!!! Happy Valentines day Suzee! I’m most greatful for the love of our savior today…who is love! XXOO

    • Saint Valentine (in Latin, Valentinus) is the name of several 14 in all saints of ancient Rome. The name “Valentine”, derived from valens (worthy, strong, powerful), was popular in Late Antiquity.[3] Of the Saint Valentine whose feast is on February 14, nothing is known except his name, that he was buried on the Via Flaminia north of Rome on February 14, and that he was born on April 16. It is even uncertain whether the feast of that day celebrates only one saint or more saints of the same name.

      valentinus appears to have been an ancient saint, (OR 14 of ’em) like those saints who’ll go marchin’ in! strong, worthy and powerful in spirit. that’s the kind of saint i wanna be.

      yeppirs, god is love. as elmer fudd would say . . . HAWEWUWWAH!!!!!!!!!!

      and love to you from me, suzee B (good cadence!)

    • mindz my deah girl,

      this russ belongs to pollyanna’s husband, andy. he is andy’s uncle in england and the valentine of andy’s aunt . . . marilyn. bowie calls them gruncle and grantie. they’re actually her great aunt and uncle.

      were you corn-fused my pet?????

      be my valentine?

      i love you
      itcan’thappenhere . . . (but it can!)

  4. Oh Suzee……

    How I LOVED your words and traveled their with you in so many ways….have some of the same ones and I AM going to take some time to write down my strong childhood memories….your words…which flow like water over smooth rocks in a stream (heavily laden with trout of course)….. have inspired me yet again……

    My latest greatest memory…..last night, a dinner with my two teenage sons. With Mark out of town, I set a beautiful table with flowers and candles, and grilled filet mignon and their fav foods…..and we talked….about romance!!! We talked about the first boy I ever kissed; and I shared with them all the things girls love in a boy…..and the things I love in their father…..I shared that while pregnant with them how he would grocery shop with me and suddenly here a song come over the grocery store speakers and dance with me around the produce dept!!! People would stare and point and children would laugh…..but mymark was just looking into my eyes and twirling me and my big fat belly all over the floor as Frank Sinatra crooned Fly Me To The Moon! They shared how glad they were that they weren’t there….but I could see the twinkle in their eye. Jake said…”Mom, you and dad still dance alot around the kitchen and kiss alot,,,,,I thought all parents did that…but I have never seen other kids parents do that….you guys have a great relationship don’t you?”

    Better yet, they shared with me their crushes….who flirts with them….and what they did on their Valentine Day. At school last week they were selling roses to be delivered on VD to that special person. Sam received FIVE at lunch time,,,,,but he revealed that he had purchased them all for himself…and each were signed by one of his friends girlfriends!!! Of course, these are friends he sits with at lunch….and after some pissy-ness….they all learned to appreciate Sam’s humor just a litttle more. And my Jake received two,,,,shyly,,,,,truly from 2 smitten girls….such different boys……two such beautiful souls who are gifts to me……and I am the first girl they will ever love….how incredible blessed I am!!!!

    I love each day and how it unfolds…..they would all be perfect if only your blogs were DAILY……no pressure.


    • reesa roo

      you have been, remain and always will be a wonder of wonders to me and for me in my life.

      and i also will be forever grateful that you have given me rights to your husband, allowing me to call him MYmark all these years. don’t think for a second i didn’t notice how you just had to throw “mymark” in. you big taunter!!!

      i don’t know anyone right off hand who would make a valentine’s dinner for their teenage sons and reap the reward of such an unheard of COOL time together. sam is great, love the way that young man thinks. jake is a shy little heart throb. they have no idea how blessed they are to have been given the parents they have. but it sounds like the very beginnings of that awareness are starting to sink in at least a sixteenth of a millimeter deep. which is A LOT considering . . . they ARE young teenage men! eeek.

      i can picture the three of you sitting around the table in love. i wish 1,000,000 people would read your comment. SERIOUSLY> and you should write a book. no pressure.

      thank you gobs for sharing that.
      give MYmark a big kiss from suzee
      your fiend, the only child. (don’t i get to have everything i want? always? and win every game at cards and stuff?)

  5. THE SUZEE SONG ( the ‘Tune’ is ‘flexible’ )
    Suzee, Oh Suzee,
    You make me so Woozie….Woozie
    Makin’ days so sunny….sunny
    Cause you’re happy and funny, funny

    Now listen here Suzee, Suzee
    Keep sending those doozies, doozies
    Your memories of Living, Living
    Are truly so giving, giving

    You and Steve are bananas, bananas
    The two of you are like Mama, and Santa
    And your Ranch in Montana, Montana
    Is a heaven with you… two… there

    So thanks for all of the warmth and the smiles
    Keep up with the thoughts They can go for miles
    I’ll keep bringin’ them Into my Life
    And I’ll share them with my….harried wife

    Cause sometimes Life’s too dull, baby dull
    And we get too much Dull, in our Skull
    You bring the air that we all need to breath
    Thanks for being there, Suzee Baby, Cheese

    Darth and Kathy

    • aw geez, i think that is the darth song. cuz you, darth veeder, writed it!

      i’m having a wee problem with the tune. but don’t worry, baby, i haven’t given up. the perimeters to search for the melody are rather broad is all. maybe someone else will “hear” it.

      i think my favorite line is about me and steve being like mama and santa. wow, man. that’s deep and thought provoking. talk about pressure. living up to being Yo mama ( or am i someone else’s mama?) and steve shouldering the magical essence of santa himself . . . well, we’ll do our best.

      it is an inspirational hershey’s kiss cookie of a song. honest. how many people get a song written just for them! stevee likes it, too.

      hope your entertainment career is spreading grins wherever your gigs take you.

      you are special.

      suzee B (and all my other alias’ . . . good grief, i could bwog, er i mean blog about THAT!)

  6. Suzee, you would love Ann Voskamp’s book ONE THOUSAND GIFTS.
    She has a beautiful poetic book. Read a page or two on Amazon to see what you think.
    Love this post of yours. Love is it!

    Susan H.

    • susan

      i will go to amazon and check that out right now!

      thanks for checking in on my blogs.

      you’ll like today’s new one i think.

      suzee B

  7. Wow, I think I just figured out who Darth is. I’ve been wondering about that. And what a joy to read Teresa’s story about her boys and their beautiful Valentine’s dinner. I am in awe of God’s perfect plan in our lives, how he pursues us so relentlessly to pour out his incredible, astonishing LOVE so generously all over us. Just reading this has taken me back to Meadowlark Drive and the tumultuous, crazy, exciting and life-changing years we spent together and how much I love and miss everyone who God gathered together to share the magic. It is a time I will always treasure, a portion of my journey that contained so much pure fun and enjoyment, and it gave me courage to go on to face the deep, dark issues of my life and to place them trustingly in the hands of Jesus. So here is my stream of consciousness about living next door to Suzee and Steve Branch on meadowlark drive.

    What a nice neiborhood, like this house, let’s move here, how beautiful the big sky and the meadows and mountians surrounding this place, perfect for little kids to grow up, healing after our hard time, blonde lady walking to the mailbox, lotsa bracelets, she looks interesting, oh, she invited us for dinner, many dinners, grace at the table, cross country skiing, long walks and hikes, a dead elk on the trail in the springtime, Bible study at the picnic table, daffodils, christmas cookie parties, classic christianity, salads from the garden, sleigh rides, neighborhood dinners and game nights, you want me to do what? blues sistahs? what the…write a play? you’re joshing! christmas dinners, the sacred romance, patterning Matthew, lip syncing my two front teeth, pollyana, shakespear in the park, summer thunderstorms and lightning, movies on main street, dinners on main street, mom and dad build a house, hiking at the “m”, christmas stroll on main street, bo-zone opera, suzee ina play, two-feet of snow in may, pine corner antiques, my friend grammy, mexican dinner party, eaglemount, so many wonderful neighbors, mario is singing on the hill, sweet pea salad bowl, murder mystery with 5-course dinners, the kids are growing up, amaryllis is graduating from high school, time to move on, chris makes a movie, tears and laughter, the house is sold, i’ll miss you forever.

    Your friend,

    • dear meadowlark rose

      i don’t see how you could figure out who darth is! it’d be revelation of the highest degree!

      you are the best, you always take me up on my suggestions! like the way you sailed straight on into the harbor of stream of consciousness play!

      and it gave me joy to roll around in your memories like rolling around in a meadow of buttercups. (i’m certain fairies drink out of those little yellow cups, or used to anyway)

      i believe you will appreciate the next blog. you will understand.


  8. Must say…I loved the “LOVE stream” of Feb 14th. Just fabulous…think you must of extracted it from my memories…truly appreciate the nostalgia!! L&K’s………..BILL.

    • dear billy warfield!!

      i know you could add to that stream of consciousness, i’d love to hear what pops into your mind.

      we were there together. we’ve been together since kindergarten, have we not!

      and THAT IS A VERY VERY LONG TIME!!!!!!!!!

      come visit us in montana. pleeeeese?

      suzee B

      • SUZ…some dementia these days, but vivid recall , when as a kid, enjoying fun things, doing bad things, but certainly grabbing everything life had to offer. This is a first installment of my memory. Want more???Thomas Jefferson School,the merry go round, teeter/totter, square ball, jacks,softball ; if not in school-I was outdoors from sunrise to sunset, playing kick the can at dark with my friends until mimi’s screaming compelled me to go inside…teaching the girls(nancy, peggy, suzie, bonnie,barb) to hit a baseball in my front yard, smacked a ball into the ‘picture window’ of the house across the street…loved raking autumn leaves into piles, jumping into them, then lighting them on fire, but trying to make as much smoke as possible-loved the smell and loved to flood the neighborhood with smoke. Unfortunately, I liked fire and accidently started my bedroom closet on fire, the garage on fire, the back woods on fire…fire dept must of been on call. Dad was a siren chaser, so whenever there was a siren, all the kids ran to our house in a hurry or missed the bus to see what was going on! To this day I still have nightmares from what I saw,i.e. terrible accidents, house fires, a private plane crash…Dad used to get this huge roll of extra tough string and I would fly a kite that would drift so far out, we needed to get in our car to go find it…needless to say, the kite had a oneway trip.

        • oh wow oh yeah, i forgot you taught us to hit a baseball! but i can hear your mom, mimi, screaming. was she the prototype for a screaming mimi?? kick the can. yay! that is REALLY funny about your infatuation with fire and smoke. well, it’s funny now anyway! and your dad the siren chaser. no wonder our group of kidlets from moline all turned out, should we say, skewed? or interesting? or peculiar? or? or? or?

          and yes i want more!

          tell barbie to get my blog, she’d love it.

          i forgot about bonnie! where is she?

          more . . . more please!

          suzie carson morphed into suzee B

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