Autograph Books & the gift of hand-written remembrances

This 1884 autograph album is one of my treasures.

Each month of the year is represented by a beautiful illustration.

Most of the entries are written with a quill pen.

“Act well with your heart, there all the honor lies.”

“May the bright star of hope ever guide you on your onward path.”

Enjoy turning the pages of another autograph book from the 1880’s – “hand-written “remembrances” in stunning penmanship… beautiful little sayings from a bygone era.”

Jump ahead with me to 1958. When I was eight, in Mrs. Roundy’s third grade class, my parent’s gifted me an autograph book with blank pages dedicated to Teachers, Class Officers and Big Wheels, Pals, Chums, Buddies, Etc. Those remembrances meant even more to me as those friends were left behind, friends I would never see again, when my parents moved our family 800 miles away to a place I’d never been before.. a place where as an extremely shy little girl, I had introduce myself to a classroom of strangers. I continued collecting sayings and signatures through the 7th grade. Here are some of my favorite sayings.

roses are red, violets are blue, I copied your paper, so I flunked too.

Never B-sharp (music note), Never B-flat (music note), Always B-natural (music note)

Page folded in half: Open in case of Fire > Inside: In case of Fire Stupid! Lots of luck in years to come.

May you life be like a snowflake; leave its mark, but no stain.

Love is something like a lizard; it runs up & down your spine and tickles at your gizzard.

If I were a bunny with fur as soft as fluff, I’d hop into your compact and be your “powder puff”.

Yours til the cow gives shaving cream.

I am right because I know you like me. I am right because I like you. You are one of my best girl frinds.

went you grow up not teach youy kids to spite thrugh a krak.

A sweet disposition and a pretty face will get you almost any place!

Do you have an autograph book or a signed yearbook from your youth? I would love it if you would share some of your favorite sayings in the comment section of this post.

On another note, I have started rereading letters from family and friends that I have saved for years. So much of my correspondence is sent or comes by email that I have been terribly remiss in handwriting letters and genuinely miss the enjoyment of receiving a handwritten letter and some of the thoughtful gifts that come spilling out – autumn leaves, sparkly stars, news clippings….

Has it been a while since you wrote or received a handwritten note? Perhaps you might be interested in reading The Art of the Handwritten Note: A Guide to Reclaiming Civilized Communication.

Would you like to reclaim civilized communication? If you will send me your address, I will personally hand-write you a note. If you would like to write to me, send your handwritten note to L.E. Erickson c/o Crow’s Nest SR 20, Port Townsend, WA 98368 USA.

Living at Large in the World

“I move throughout the world without a plan, guided by my instincts, connecting through trust, and constantly watching for serendipitous opportunities.”

I curled up with Rita Golden Gelman’s book Tales of a Female Nomad – Living at Large in the World for a couple days and read it “kiver to kiver”. Her book was loaned to me at a time when my husband and I had made choices that landlocked us and brought a screeching halt to any travel plans we might have in the near and distant future. We purchased 2 acres in 2004, designed, built and opened a bed and breakfast. The only places we traveled were vicariously through our guests. At the age of 48, Gelman set out on a trip intended to last a couple of weeks that turned into the adventure of a lifetime. She took me places I long to experience, but more than that her personal transformation and the relationships she cultivated intrigued me the most and held me captive as I followed along on her journey.

Although Gelman is a seasoned storyteller as a prolific writer of children’s books (70+), she also excels at telling her own autobiographical story – sharing her vulnerabilities, insecurities, instincts, opportunities and the challenges she experiences along the way. Immersing herself in the culture and community wherever she lands, trusting strangers with her life, embracing the people that graciously open up their homes and hearts to her, Gelman has written a travelogue that is extraordinary. So much so that Tales of a Female Nomad -Living at Large in the World is the number one book on my book list, which I recommend to people over and over again. Gelman has been a nomad living at large in the world since 1986. Her book and life continue to inspire me. She remains a nomad with few possessions and no permanent address. You can follow Rita Golden Gelman via her website.


Wish dreams were softly draped in strands like cultured pearls,

rather than fragments seen through a cracked mirror,

broken bits and pieces of memories,

sojourns to unfamiliar places,

images tossed about on scattered seas,

thoughts like tumbleweeds,

repeating over and over again.

This was a one-sentence exercise. It’s liberating to write a stream of thought… let if flow and see where it goes. Give it a try and add yours to the comment section.

For your listening enjoyment: String of Pearls by Glen Miller.