A Long and Winding Road

What a summer it was.

First I hope your summer was filled with new experiences, even if you stayed home. There’s always something to learn and enjoy even if it’s only from your front porch.

I’ve neglected Southern Exposure for the past few weeks, so let me catch you up. Mostly in photos. If this feels too much like one of those interminable slide shows of a neighbor’s summer vacation that you were once subjected to, just buzz through. I will understand

long and winding road

Our long and winding road through summer began in June with our annual trip north, just in time to open the house for my brainstorming buddies.

Unfortunately we’d had to do renovations over the winter, and while our contractor did everything required, he did not clean up after himself. So a lot of scurrying ensued but we got the job done.

Some of our family arrived before the Chautauqua season began, and it rained and rained and rained.

You can see this did not stop our youngest grandson.

long and winding roadPicturing nine weeks of Chautauqua’s annual summer program is impossible.

My husband counted the events we attended and it topped 300 easily. That included lectures, worship services, concerts, and other evening programs. You can see, though, that I love my walks around the grounds as much as anything else I do.

long and winding roadMy publisher scheduled two out of state book signings for me while I was in New York.

Here’s the one in Pennsylvania where one of my wonderful readers arrived with a quilt she’d made from a block of the month tutorial created by fabulous quilt designer Pat Sloan to honor my Happiness Key series.

The Beach Boys frequently help end the season here.

This year’s concert was so much fun. One more great Chautauqua season behind us.

long and winding roadFor my birthday this year, after season my husband (Proman) gave me a weekend in Buffalo.

We had a blast. We stayed in a former mental institution, now one of the finest hotels I’ve ever visited, toured a Frank Lloyd Wright house, and yes, ate lunch at…the Anchor Bar, where chicken wings were first created. Yum.

The month of September was nothing short of a whirlwind.

We visited our son and daughter-in-law in California and puppy sat while they were away. Since they live in the middle of some of the prettiest scenery and most interesting sites to visit, we were the lucky ones. We did a different adventure every day, from Salinas, to Monterey and the charming Carmel By The Sea. Here I am at the Steinbeck Center in Salinas. Is that really Steinbeck’s typewriter? I can’t remember. Close enough!

long and winding roadChoosing the perfect photo for Monterey is impossible.

You don’t need to be a photographer here. You just lift your cell phone and shoot. Whatever you capture will be gorgeous. But I thought you might like this one the most. I’m standing on Fisherman’s Wharf where the HBO series Big Little Lies (from the book by Liane Moriarty) was shot. Remember that cute little cafe? It’s actually an Italian restaurant.

long and winding roadWe ended our summer with a week in Maui to celebrate the BIG anniversary that we’d already celebrated with family in January.

But this celebration was just for us. We stayed at the Marriott Wailea Beach Resort and it was truly remarkable. From start to finish we were treated like royalty. 

long and winding road

So yes, summer is over at last.

Our long and winding road through all those happy months has ended, too, and this is the perfect photo to end with. Because here we are at one of the stops on Maui’s Road to Hana, which is truly one of the most terrifying roads we’ve ever adventured on. I would love to tell you we made it to Hana and back, but I won’t lie to you. We went Halfway to Hana and decided that sometimes it’s just better to see where you’ve been and what you’ve left behind than to forge ahead. 

Now it’s time to enjoy the fall here in Western New York, for more visits to Ohio to see family and do a little babysitting, and to visit friends in Canada this week. Our life is not usually so packed full of good things, so it’s been a pleasure to sort through them here and remember.

I hope your summer was wonderful too! Share your favorite memory. We’d love to hear it.


  1. Nancy C Lepri on October 2, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    WOW! Did you have a great summer or what? I especially love that you stayed in an old mental institution turned hotel. I bet that gave you some new ideas for a book! Welcome back home, and I hope you’re getting started on your next novel!

  2. Lynn Ross on October 2, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    You really had a wonderful and well-deserved summer. Thank you for sharing with us. You and Mike look wonderful. I’m wishing you a fantastic fall.

  3. Marsha Markham on October 2, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    What a great summer. Since you are going to Canada you should see a lot of beautiful fall colors.

  4. Pat Kennedy on October 14, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Hi Emilie!
    Leaves turn lovely colors and drop, only to begin again next year…
    I am back to let you know how much I value and appreciate your response to my bridge burning dilemma. I gave myself permission to leave the friendship, that had turned sour, and after I wrote her the note, and did in fact, burn the bridge, I actually had such a feeling of release and relief! It was a load from my spirit. Sometimes we may feel as if we are “un- christian” to cut ties. But in this case,
    it was such a burden lifted. And I feel great. Thanks very much.

    • Emilie Richards on October 14, 2019 at 8:46 pm

      Pat, I am glad this worked out for you. Your relief speaks volumes.

  5. […] We traveled a lot more than usual, but today when I asked Proman what his single favorite memory of one day might be, he came up with the same one I did. A morning when we walked between Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row in Monterey, California and happened upon seals right beside the Coast Guard station dock. Seals, sunshine, scuba divers. […]

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