Given Away



A little art book of parenting quotes left in the campground bathroom.

I took several of these with me and had plans to leave them all behind. It was hard. I felt…overly prideful, somehow…stupid. Who was I to think someone would want my quotes, my doodles, my still-new cursive? What had seemed like a bit of spontaneous generosity and prettying-up of the world at home seemed presumptuous out in the world.

I’m glad I left it, though. I hope someone found it and felt the world was a nicer place for a few moments of their day.


I’d like to give some to you, too.  Leave a comment with a quote you like, properly attributed, of course, so that I can add it to my quote journal, and I’ll draw for 3 giveaways.  Contest closes Sunday the 19th at midnight.


22 thoughts on “Given Away

  1. Kika says:

    We studied African American/Canadian history this year and I came upon the following quote:

    We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  2. Belinda says:

    “The times [children] need our acceptance and our love the most are, inevitably, those times when it is hardest for us to give.” From the book “Everyday Blessings” by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn, p.83.

  3. alex says:

    “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass

    I also like this one, more to do with art, but I wanted to share it too:

    “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso.

    Beautiful little book, crossing my fingers to receive one!

  4. grace says:

    “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul
    and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.”

    -Emily Dickinson (first line of the poem Hope)

    And for the record, I think you had a good idea!

  5. Kris says:

    while I so understand your feelings, I am positive that your sweet book left a huge impact on someone.
    blessings friend.
    “Children who engage in creative play in early childhood tend to do better in all spheres of life as they grow older. They excel not only academically but also socially, emotionally, and physically. They tend to be more harmonious and less agressive, and they show a better understanding of other people.” ~ Heidi Britz-Crecelius

  6. V says:

    Enjoy the little things, for once you may look back and realize they were the big things. –Robert Brault

    In a life full of children, nothing could be more true. love, V

  7. molly says:

    what a lovely idea!

    a quote that has been rolling around my brain for weeks and weeks is: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt

    sounds like what you did was kind of scary, but you did it! we went camping last week, and i made stars from sticks to hang on the trees around our campsite as a little gift to the next set of campers. then i started to worry just a little that someone might think they were kind of freaky – like pagan symbols or something 🙂 but i left them anyways. who knows if they’ll be discovered.

    my MIL has been making the market bag from the same copy of Interweave with the sweater you made, and i’ve been thinking about making the sweater. it’s good to see it “in real life” – thanks for sharing!

  8. Charity says:

    This one has been done and done, but I still find it echoing in my head:

    “Tell me what is it you plan to do/ With you one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver

  9. Kay says:

    “The nature of this flower is to bloom.”

    Alice Walker

    Your blog is a source of inspiration. Thank you for being brave and creative and insightful and strong.

  10. Cathy Trahan says:

    Hi! I’ve been collecting quotes on parenting just this week with the plan to print one each week to put in a 5×7 frame by my kitchen sink. I’d love a copy of your book!

    A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe. — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, 1990

  11. Joey says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for years and find it so inspiring. I know I would have loved to find one of your books.

    And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom–Anais Nin

  12. Jen says:

    I know the “deadline” was last night but I wasn’t home almost all weekend and just saw this this morning. But I still wanted to contribute a quote I saw last night on one of those Church bulletin boards on the side of the road (it didn’t give who it’s from): “Kind words make for beautiful echoes.”

  13. Kay says:

    This post is for Joey, who left the Anais Nin quote.

    Thank you! Several years ago, when we were traveling, we came upon an old memorial garden with a somewhat faded plaque. On the plaque was written the Nin quote. The quotation was not attributed to anyone. For years I have wondered who wrote these words….Now, this morning, I saw your post and feel delighted to finally have the answer.
    A mystery solved! By a kind-hearted stranger. Again, many thanks!

  14. camilla says:

    I am SO glad I found your blog again. I used to read it under a different name awhile back. You are so inspiring with your homeschooling, knitting and your exersicing.
    We decided to continue homeschooling again after a pretty sucsessful last year.( 4 children)
    Anyway I added you to my blog list.
    Have a great summer.

  15. Elizabeth says:

    What a lovely thing for anyone to find! I hope those people realize they are holding a very precious creation!

    I’m not much of a quote person, so don’t have any about parenting at the top of my head. And I know I’m coming to this late! But one on an educational note I do have. I read this when I was about 10 or 11, and I always knew I’d never forget. (Helps that I wrote it down and still have a copy–but being a kid, I don’t remember which book it was from–other than it being Irish.)

    “Everything in life is an aspect of education, even if we don’t immediately grasp the lesson.”

    I knew from that moment on, if I ever had children, they wouldn’t go to school. So for me–it’s very important in how I shaped my parenting ideals.

  16. Liz says:

    I have been a lurker on your blog for quite a while. It is a wonderful read and often quite inspirational.

    My quote, while not directly related to children/parent, still seems relevant.

    Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true. -Robert Brault, software developer, writer (1938- )

  17. Lisa says:

    That’s a wonderful idea–and what a nice surprise compared to much of what you find in a campground bathroom!! lol….

    When I went to Ukraine to adopt my kids I left paperback books and a paperback sized Bible and magazines in airport lounges all the way to Kiev and back. I have been “saved” many times on business trips by left-behind copies of Newsweek or some raunchy novel! I’d much rather find your little book!

  18. PS~Erin says:

    I know I’m late for the giveaway, but I just wanted to say what a cool thing this is that you made/did/gave.

    My favorite quote is Plato’s “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

    And one that I recently heard that is staying with me is “Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work” said by Thomas Edison.

  19. Butterflygirl says:

    I know this is past due, but I wanted to leave one(which turned into three) of my favorite quotes, which comes from you, I believe:

    “If living is learning, am I living a large enough life.”

    That has stuck with me.

    And, I’m not sure, but I think we might share a book read: Off the Map (well…zine) anyways….I just ordered five more because I pick it up over and over just to glance through all my pencil marks, and suddenly felt the desire to share it with a few friends. I’ve been on a quoting rage from it in the last week! So many great sentences and paragraphs….dreams….
    This one seems to be one of my favorites (a bit long):

    “We are fed such false messages about sucess in life, made to believe it’s a point of arrival. So most of us spend our whole lives waiting to arrive. We expect that once we get there, the long story of life we just lived will be infused with meaning. But while we’re waiting our voices dry up. They forget how to ask, they forget how to listen, they forget how to tell.”

    And last….another favorite from the movie Rent:

    “The opposite of war is not peace….it is creation.”

    This has been my daily mantra. Beautiful and true!

    So you are truly a peacemaker by leaving your amazing creations to share. Keep creating!

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