doodle by andre: the journey (+ book giveaway!)

IT HAS BEEN SIX MONTHS SINCE my book about packing up my city life and heading north to the garden was published, and to celebrate I’m offering the chance to win one of two signed copies–and dear Andre’s offering his latest doodled version of my Great Escape, above. (Truth be told, it didn’t all fit in a wheelbarrow, and I just unpacked the last boxes yesterday!) Want to win “And I Shall Have Some Peace There” for yourself, or to give as a gift?
I don’t have to tell you all how glad I am that I made the move to a much-pared-down life in a rural spot…many of you have been witnesses from the start of the adventure. But I do have a progress report on my next book, which I am finally making some headway on. This one will be very garden-centric and derives from the way I’ve always viewed gardening as a combination of “horticultural how-to and woo-woo” (the motto of this website as stated up top). One part skill, one (big) part heart and soul.

Back to the drawing: It seems appropriate to give away the book about my exit from corporate life as a Labor Day “event” here. Of course, the joke is that I now work more than I ever did–welcome to the new economy!–and also have unpaid side jobs mowing, snow shoveling and the like. (Is the grass ever going to stop needing twice-weekly attention this year?). But for me these days, it’s all a labor of love, because it all allows me to finally be here, where I truly belong.

How to Enter to Win

TO WIN ONE OF TWO SIGNED, gift-wrapped copies of “And I Shall Have Some Peace There,” a book about life transitions and making time to be still and reconnect with nature, simply answer this question in the comments below:

Where do you find that little bit of peace you crave?

I know, some of you hate to say much more than “Count me in,” or “I want to win the book,” and that’s fine, too. Be shy; go ahead–your entry will be officially registered for the drawing, even if you say little or nothing. But of course an answer is much more fun, if you feel so inclined.

So let’s make this our Labor Day giveaway–I’ll draw two random winners, using the tool at random [dot] org, after entries close at midnight Monday, September 5. Good luck–and have a wonderful weekend, hopefully to include some moments of peace and time in the garden.


September 1, 2011


  1. Yasmin says

    I find peace in my garden while I’m puttering around, and somehow I’m entranced by all the wondrous beauty in the garden – dragonflies, bees, ladybugs, and spiders. Of course, I also get a marvelous thrill by squashing those cabbage moth larvae, snails, and slugs. Or the slow moving cabbage moth that every once and awhile I can catch. I feel at peace, that life seems so simple in the garden. I love the smell in the garden as I brush by the basil, mint, lemon verbena, and lemon balm. It’s a million little wonderful surprises – yesterday I picked a random stray asparagus spear, delicious! And every year it’s new and different, and perfect. And winter is coming, and I will miss my sweet garden. Soon it will be time to dream over seed catalogs and vow not to plant so many squash.

  2. Susy says

    I find peace in my kitchen; cooking or baking especially when the food products come from the garden. Nothing is more satisfying than feeding loved ones with homegrown food.

  3. says

    I find my little piece of peace in the garden, first thing in the morning, before the traffic has started (I live in a small city right by several busy roads). I love strolling through our tiny yard and seeing what’s happened overnight. Everything is calm, peaceful and alive. There’s no better way to start the day! Cheers!

  4. tracy says

    No matter how I am feeling, volunteering at the local farmer’s market soothes me and energizes me. If we’d had any rain here, I’d say that pulling weeds is meditative for me, but the ground is so dry not even the weeds are growing!

  5. lifeintheshwa says

    With my best friend in either of our gardens, with a drink in our hands. We live about 2000 miles apart, though, so it doesn’t happen often enough. :)

  6. Judy from Kansas says

    My peace usually comes in my Kansas garden, with the corgi at my heels, but for a blessed three months, my peace these days is found on a secluded beach on the island of O’ahu, sheltered by ironwood trees, and with a view to bring awe to the coldest heart. The golden plover, that the Hawai’ians call kolea, have just arrived to spend their winter vacation too, and the hardest job I have these days is counting to see that they are all in their territorial spots, unharmed so far by the feral cats that roam the wooded perimeter of the beach.

  7. rodney says

    Margaret, I either go for a long run, a long ride, or sit on our front porch swing and watch the sunset with my sweetie. Casual talk while watching the sunset and the spectacle it creates over the meadow, puts my soul at rest.

  8. judi says

    After you Margaret , Dan Koshansky is my other hero. I just made my 5th batch of pickles today, Friends and family are crazy for them. Hubby snacks on them when ever he can, Cucumbers are done in this garden and if they keep snatching the jars I might have to resort to the farmers market, for more pickles.

  9. Nancy Abraham says

    Ignoring the heat and dryness of this year’s Texas weather, sitting on the ground among my iris, digging rizomes, and dividing them into bags for sharing and replanting.

  10. Jane says

    I find peace when I’m on my knees digging in the dirt or weeding. I don’t understand how a job that sounds so tedious can be so calming, but it is. I feel relaxed and so connected to the earth…the time just flies.

  11. Julie says

    My front porch, sheltered behind some overgrown yews, with sparrows popping in and out in front of me, children napping/playing quietly, a pile of magazines and some ice-cold water!

  12. Hannah Goddard says

    I find peace in the kitchen enjoying the bounty of my garden! It is so fulfilling to process and preserve all the different veggies and fruits I plant, nurture and harvest. The jars look like a tapestry and come winter they will be a delicious reminder of what is to come in the next season!

  13. Julia Hofley says

    I left my 10 year management job about the same time you did.
    I look forward to reading your story of the ending and the beginning of chapters in your life.
    I wanted more time with my family and to devote to our new home and garden.
    There is nothing like spending a day with my family at the lake house of my sister and brother-in-law. It’s so much fun to act like kids when I’m together with all of my siblings (5 of us), their spouses and
    children. I don’t feel 51- I feel like I’m 10 again and that is where I find peace. Leaving the job to have more of these experiences was the right thing to do. Life keeps going by and i was missing the best parts, because I was always working.
    Like others, weeding and walking are two great ways to hear myself think.
    Happy Labor Day!

  14. Louise says

    I find peace sitting in my kitchen with a cookbook or seed catalogue. I plan either a few meals for the next week making a shopping list. Or I think about color and form and where I would change or add anything in the garden areas of my mountain home. Just recently, peace is looking at the bounty of preserved fruit and canned vegetables on my shelves.

  15. says

    I find my peace in my garden. Doesn’t really matter where as long as I can sit and empty my mind of all the things I try to carry all at once. Even just playing in soil mid-winter is enough to take me to that place where I feel in sinc with the universe.

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