The Light at the End of the Tunnel


I may have some sputters and starts (holidays coming up, full house in a tiny house!), but I am ready to be BACK. This year has been fraught with complication, trouble, turmoil, disaster, joy, and miracles. This year has overtaken me time and time again. I have repainted almost the whole house, remodeled the studio (thank you again and again to the angels among you who made that happen), repaired most of the existing fencing and added much new fencing, recoated the barn roof, built a milking parlor, got my cow (cows?) bred, suffered painful losses, seen gains, learned to ride a horse (really!), and written a book. A HUGE book. The most important book of my life. By myself, I took on the great job of bringing this farm BACK to a farm. And I have struggled, and through it all, inhaled your encouragement and support with every breath while I have let you down time and time again with lack of postings. I have learned that I truly can’t do it all. But as this first year at Sassafras Farm winds down, I come around the curve. The “worst” of the work is over. Oh, there is so much yet to do! But it’s not so pressing as it was. And my book is done. Really done this time, I believe. My book is expected to go to the copy editor in a few weeks. I shouldn’t see much more than line edits now. I am so happy, by the way, with HarperCollins. I feel so spoiled by them. I have been in and around publishing for a long time. They have treated my book with tender loving care, and a great respect for the story and its characters–which include you, my readers. I hope so much that when you read it, you will understand how important you are to me.

This website is the most important thing I’ve ever done. It will be my lasting impression on the earth, for every person I have inspired to do anything whether it is bake a loaf of bread or can a jar of jam. If I make you laugh when you have a bad day, teach you how to make a cake, or inspire you to walk down the road and cut wildflowers, that is all I could ever hope to do and why I do it. I love your comments, and your emails, and just knowing you are here even if you are completely silent.

I’m back. Pinkie swear on Glory Bee’s flower petals! And I am so glad! Thank you for bearing with me through this time–not just the past few weeks, but the past year. It’s been rough and tough and amazing, but I am on the other side.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I am standing in it.


  1. MousE says:

    Oh Suzanne! A hearty CONGRATULATIONS on finishing your book! :snoopy:

    That’s fabulous news. :dancingmonster:


  2. TeaCup says:

    Good for you! Glad we were whatever help. Thank you for what you do!

    All of the above, squared — several times. :sun:

    Blessings —


  3. amateisgal says:

    I’ve been following your journey since you were a romance writer, before your move to West Virginia and all that followed. You continue to inspire me with your strength, your courage, and your resilience. I’m so proud of you, Suzanne, for everything you have done!

  4. DFW says:

    I have been following you for about a year, didn’t realize it was your anniversary. But, enjoyed meeting you at CITR & more personally at the party at your farm (I was the one needing help opening my wine).

    Congratulations on making it this past year as well as on your book!

  5. Rose H says:

    Many, many sincere congratulations on finishing your book Suzanne. You have no idea just how inspiring you are…
    Rose H

  6. brookdale says:

    Suzanne, I am one of the many whom you have inspired and taught to make a loaf of bread AND can a jar of jam. And many other things as well. Both DH and I really enjoy reading your blog every day. He especially likes the animal stories and pictures, plus all the goodies from FarmBell recipes that he gets to sample!
    Thank you so much for the inspiration, pictures, laughs and tears, and the chance to peek into your oh so interesting life. Waiting patiently for the book!

  7. yvonnem says:

    Awe, Suzanne…you made me cry! Thank YOU for writing this blog, I get so much joy from reading it (except for when bad things happen, but I appreciate you sharing those times as well.) :heart:

    …Oh, and you forgot to mention all the plumbing/septic problems you had to deal with! :dancingmonster:

    I will buy your book as soon as it is available! :hug:

  8. grandeb1956 says:

    Love your writing. Can’t wait to read the book!

  9. Julia says:

    *I* don’t feel let down. I love your blog, and it’s free. How could anyone complain about how often you do or don’t post? You have a life to lead, and it’s that life that provides the content for the posts. The life has to come first, then the blog.

  10. STH says:

    I’m with Julia. We’re friends here and friends cut each other some slack when life gets tough. Post when you can and we’ll be happy to hear from you.

    I learned how to make whole grain Grandmother Bread from you–which we eat every day and I get compliments on all the time–used your pictures when I learned how to can, made LOTS of your recipes (and every single one has been great), and was inspired by you when my own life was tough. I’m so, so happy for you and all the success you’ve had!

  11. PattiLynn says:

    As much as I love and appreciate your website, I think the most important thing you’ve ever done are your 3 kiddos. They’ve turned out to be wonderful successful intelligent human beings. 3 outta 3, that’s almost unheard of these days.

    Pls know, CITR is my 1st stop each day…I LOVE it! I look forward to buying your book!

  12. CarrieJ says:

    It has been an honor to ride this ride with you. I was just looking at my CITR 2011 retreat pictures….and I have done a TON of canning this weekend 🙂

  13. Luann says:

    BRAVO……well said and love, love, love your heartwarming website. I will be a follower as long as you write. You brighten many of my days. Thankyou

  14. SuzieQ says:

    You couldn’t run us off with a stick! We all love you, some of us from a distance, and can’t wait for the book. Everyone in my family will get one for a gift…I want them to enjoy your journey as much as I have. Now…for your next project..a book of all your animal stories and photos….in your spare time, that is! :heart: :heart:

  15. Marge_in_Michigan says:

    I read your blog every day, Suzanne, and love, love, love it! You are such an inspiration to me. What you have accomplished in a year is nothing short of amazing! I can hardly wait for your book to come out…I know it will be fantastic as you are!

  16. quietstorm says:

    SO happy for you!!!!! I’ve been quiet around here too, but I’m still here. It’s still my first stop every day as it has been for the last 4 (if not 5, is that possible!!!!!) years. I LOVE being here (its on my “HappyCard”) & have learned to make my own biscuits (FINALLY!!) cheese & bread and have started dehydrating and canned a few little things. I cant wait for the book!!! Keep scattering your joy…..

  17. gingergoat says:

    Congratulations . :heart: I’ve been with you since the early days at Stringtown. I’ve laughed and cried, but mostly admired your efforts. You are with me every morning when I have my coffee. You are indeed an inspiration. Looking forward to reading your book. Gingergoat.

  18. Joell says:

    “GoD bless the child that has it’s own”

    You have worked so hard over the years and especially this past year, you certainly deserve to bask in the sunlight, it shows what hard work will bring you.
    I do hope you will consider installing a standby generator at some point— wilh all of the power outages you have, it would be a huge help to you as well as give you peace of mind.

  19. marrypoppinz says:

    ditto all the comments above….I have been inspired by you to bake bread, can jelly/jam, raise chickens, and plant a garden. I’ve never felt that you’ve neglected us by lack of posts, because each one of your posts is so rewarding to read. Congratulations on all your accomplishments. As I have said before, you are doing exactly what I’ve wanted to do for years: living your dream!

  20. mamawolf says:

    Congratulations on the book Suzanne. I look forward to reading it as soon as it is available. I look back over the last 3 years I have been visiting here daily and what you have accomplished is nothing short of miraculous. So many times at Stringtown I wondered how you stood up to the hardships but you are a very strong person and have come out of the darkness into a beautiful farm. I would miss you and your website if I lost my laptop! I will be reading CITR as long as it exists.

  21. Diane says:

    You have been an inspiration to me. I tried new things like canning and new recipes. I have enjoyed all your stories, watched your kids grow up, heard your struggles and joys. And watch you succeed in the last year. Though you I realize I can also achieve my dreams as well. I think if Suzanne can do it so can I. And slowly I’m taking steps to get there. While my dreams is not owning and running a farm its how you go about your daily life that inspires me. You shown us that if you work hard enough anything is possible. Cant wait to get your books as well as everyone here. And I look forward to reading your next daily adventure tomorrow. 🙂

  22. thimblevee says:

    I, for one, am soooo glad you are BACK!! I still hung in there and checked daily even when your posts were scarce. Now I’m looking foward to more frequent and fun posts from your lovely farm!

  23. grammyscraps says:

    I have so enjoyed your journey…the highs and the lows and am so proud to see you standing in that light. Having lived on a small farm with dairy goats and beef cattle, geese and chickens (yes, in the road) and cats and dogs, I so love sharing in your story. I am nearly 70 now and we have given up all those things..or the bodies did. But we are VERY happy with the life we have now..and the sweet memories.
    Thank you for allowing us into your story.

  24. oct4luv says:

    Awww! You are an inspiration. :snuggle:

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