Win a copy of “And I Shall Have Some Peace There” — Margaret’s drop-out memoir

and i shall have some peace there collage

Yesterday was my birthday — and it was really special, because I was able to help my dear blogging friend Margaret Roach mark the on-sale date of her new book, And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road. To launch the book, Margaret gave a lecture to benefit the Berkshire Botanical Garden. I attended, and was totally mesmerized by her garden lecture, an extension of her blog, A Way to Garden. 

Margaret’s new book is equally mesmerizing. It is her “corporate dropout memoir” — and I can surely identify, because I am a corporate drop-out, too. Margaret writes beautifully — all that you would expect from a former reporter and/or editor for the New York Times, Newsday, Martha Stewart Living and ultimately, Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Margaret is one strong woman — a role model in so many, many ways. But in her book, which chronicles her first year after leaving corporate life, she peels away any veneer, and exposes just how frightening it can be to walk away. Also, aside from Jack the Demon Cat, there is no partner to pull up any slack. Margaret is a tough cookie — but sometimes the cookie wants to crumble. Her honesty itself is brave, but it also is sometimes painful. But, it’s real. I appeciate that.

Margaret lives in the country, on the edge of the wilderness, actually. The parts of the book I actually loved the best were her descriptions of all the creatures that inhabit and share the landscape around her. There are frogboys and snakes, lots and lots of birds and Jack, of course, enemy to them all. She has escaped to a magical, green utopia. Will she find peace there? You can guess. :)

In December, when I did the Love The House You’re In contest, the winner never responded to emails from me and Mel. So that month, instead, I asked Mel to make a collage for Margaret, featuring her little piece of paradise. You see, Margaret and I started blogging within three months of each other. We were introduced by a mutual friend, who thought we would have a lot in common, and we did. In the three+ years since, we have shared many of the ups and downs of blogging together. But gosh, Margaret is always a couple steps ahead of me, so I always feel like more of a taker than a giver. So, how about I give her a collage by Mel?!

So Mel made the collage. And the story gets even better, because Mel spends time on it and writes back:

Well, here it is….Margaret’s collage.  This was a doozy!!!  I don’t think I’ve ever crammed so much detail in a piece before.  Oh, how I PRAY that you (and Margaret!) like it. Brian called it my “masterpiece” last night.  He’s nice to have around.  I really studied Margaret’s book site and I feel, in some small way, that the three of us are sort of taking the same path – quitting corporate land and putting all of our energy into our passions.  I even got a little farklempt when I watched the video.  :)

Gosh. Another intersecting journey. In fact — Everyone Here Reading This has, by definition, an intersecting journey. I’m farklempt, too.

Mel, I agree, this is your masterpiece. You are the best.

Win a copy of And I Shall Have Some Peace There

I know we just had a contest. But this calls for some more sharing. I bought three copies of Margaret’s book on Amazon. I took them with me to the lecture, to have Margaret sign. #1 for me. #2 for Mel. And #3 — for a lucky reader. To enter to win, just leave a comment — Where is it that you find peace? Or, do you ever want to just walk away? Or, if that’s all too mushy and personal for you, just say something nice. It’s all good.

Usual contest rules apply (sans need to send photos); read them here.


Get our retrolicious free newsletter.



  1. Annie B. says

    Mel, this collage truly is your masterpiece. What a wonderful way, Pam, to celebrate Margaret’s inspirational new book. Congratulations to you, Margaret.

    Happy belated birthday, Goddess of Retro Knowledge. Hope this is your best year yet.

    For me, peace is found through the courage of my convictions; Save the Pink Bathrooms is a mild example. To explain:

    It took a lot more time than I’d originally imagined to shake off the demons of the Raleigh rat race mindset and to adjust to life in a small, rural, coastal town. Although this relocation had been my heart’s desire for so long, my initial difficulty in making the transition made me wonder if we’d done the right thing.

    And then, one day, it hit me: Bloom where You’re Planted. The cliche’ is true and I am grateful for the satori from the blue which opened my eyes.

    I’ve forgotten who said that “the only true success is to be able to live your life in your own way”. This, to me, is peace; therefore, I am blessed to find peace everywhere.

  2. says

    I find I am blessed with moments of peace when I’m really present in something… usually something artistic, like creating a collage or designing some art work on the computer or rolling ink onto a plexiglass plate… in those moments a shift happens naturally were I can mentally see myself in the moment and enjoy what it is I am experiencing… in that exact moment. It’s kind of like watching a video of yourself and enjoying the movie. I always feel a rush of peace and faith in myself and my connection in those moments.

    Another real place of peace for me is the rooftop of my eight story apartment building. It’s specific location on a hill with 360 mountain views… I go up most mornings before sunrise and each morning the air and the clouds and the sunrise is different. That experience brings me such peace.

    As does getting off the phone with a loved one. I feel so satisfied and peaceful after every positive conversation.

  3. Sharon McNeil says

    Luckily, I was moved to a beautiful home in the country when I was 5 yrs old and except for college and a two year stint working in a big city, I have lived only here.
    I am thankful every day, nagged however, by the thought that I should move out into the world to offer my skills to whoever might need them, some measure of payback for my peace here.

  4. Carla James says

    Wow – double wow! I am so blown away by Margaret’s story, Mel’s collage and Pam’s telling of it. Simply profound.

    I’m so blessed to be living my dream, currently in MT but soon to be OR, with the wild creatures, my garden and my goats. Oh yeah, the hubs, too And yet, most people think we are……….deprived? If they only knew it is the other way around.

    The tile of the book is so perfect – “and I shall have some peace there” – oh, I do..:-)

  5. MaryLou says

    Hello Pam,
    I first learned of Margaret Roach on Martha Stewart and via her magazine. I have not had the pleasure of purchasing her new book “And I Shall Have Some Peace There” but it is calling out to me. I have, however, found her wonderful gardening book “A Way To Garden” and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.
    Peace wears many faces. You can find peace in knowing that you have treated people with respect, dignity and learned the art of forgiveness. And, there is the peace that comes with being true to yourself, not putting on pretenses and living up to others expectations. I also find peace through beautiful music, it lifts my spirit and makes it fly. It transcends me to a place of peaceful existence. Margaret seems to have found total, 100% peace. What a wonderful mentor for those who are searching! Thank you Margaret for sharing your gardens, your recipes, your life. You are a bright star in an ever changing world.
    I live on the Erie Canal with my two cats and am blessed to have woodland creatures and some gardens. However, I work in the ICU in a large Metropolitan hospital and find my time to commune with nature is very limited. I contemplate an early retirement to pursue my peaceful existence and to also volunteer to help others who are not as fortunate as myself. I am searching for the courage.

  6. Anne says

    What I have learned is that the challenge is not in finding a place of peace, but in finding peace at the place you are in.

    Not able to chuck my job or pull up roots, I continue to create a peaceful house and ample garden in this very urban setting, and to experience the peace of family and friends in other places.

  7. renee says

    When I lived in Los Angels, I found peace at the Huntington Gardens.
    I now live in a rural midwest county and find peace in the streams and hardwood forest of my own backyard

  8. says

    Mel’s collage is such a sweet gift for Margaret, Pam! I’m sure she’ll treasure it! I couldn’t wait for you to have a contest to read Margaret’s book, so I pre-ordered it and I’m finding it just as insightful and satisfying a read as I expected.

    I always find peace working in my garden, whether I’m zen-weeding or breaking up hard soil to make a new bed. Because we both are gardeners I read Margaret’s blog just as often (usually daily) as I do yours: in different but wonderful ways, you and Margaret both feed my needs for fun and beauty in my life.

  9. says

    I find peace in nature! I grew up on the side of Tiger Mountain in Issaquah, Washington. I had a creek running through my property. Now I live in a nice mobile home, that the previous owners rocked in all the ground. I find peace planting flowers in pots, even weeding, and especially taking trips to walk in nature…it brings me back to myself every time :)

  10. says

    hello pam,

    i find peace in my life in general. i love to take photographs and love the fact that each photo tells a story. i also am trying to move into town(currently living surrounded by corn fields.( not much happening.) but also being 22 im still living with my mom and no place is hiring. ( hoping to change that really soon) i also find peace in writing i may not get a lot of writing done at a time but it’s nice to clear my head and write stories. when i do move into town i will love to take walks, ill be able to be inspired more and more at ease all together.

  11. Laurie Ann says

    I read an excerpt from “And I shall Have Some Peace There” in More magazine and I immediately added it to my amazon wishlist — her writing is so lovely and dreamy and addicting. I’m a fairly new re-locater to The South, and very homesick for my California roots. I always found peace at the shores of La Jolla, Del Mar, Encinitas…..I haven’t found my spot here yet. I’m still looking and hoping (and dreaming of home).

  12. says

    I go to the beach for that peaceful, easy feeling. Since I’m a Cancer, the ocean just naturally soothes my soul. Sitting on a bench (especially in the off season!), I close my eyes, breathe deeply and just listen to the waves. No matter how crappy I may be feeling, I’m renewed easily by the sound of the surf. And if I’m feeling good, I walk away feeling even better. The power of the sea always reminds me of how small we really are in the grand scheme of things. Puts thing into perspective, ya know?

  13. says

    I like to hike. I find peace out in nature. It is wonderfully spiritual and comforting to be out in the open, with my camera and dog and good health, and usually an amazing friend along as well. :)

  14. Julianna Verboort says

    I can’t wait to read Margaret’s book. The older I become, the more I feel the need to connect with nature – I’ve always been an urban person, but I need to get away from the city and the sprawl more frequently now. That said, I find peace in painting – as in painting walls, painting rooms, and painting murals. For me painting is like meditation. I love the freshness of a newly painted room. I like the physical work too. Painting in a room by myself with music, it is very peaceful, and rejuvenating.

    I wish Margaret great success with her book and I hope to read it soon!

    Julianna in PDX

  15. Mel K. says

    Monday morning, crowded train
    hurls me toward my job. Too soon
    I’ll don my game face.

    Commuting into the city, first workday after springing forward for Daylight Savings. That’s worth a haiku! Glad I read your post today; I’m ready to work another day toward my drop out day!

  16. Ellen says

    Watching Margaret reading from her book on her blog reminded me of all the good parts of making my first garden. I left behind that 14-year-old peaceful space, full of every plant I loved and its abundance of birds despite its urban location, when I sold my house and moved to an apartment last spring. Now I walk the streets near my new home, searching for those first signs of spring: the haunting fragrance of daphne, the little flirty species tulips, the pink flush of the redbud, and the electric yellow of forsythia. I am trying to find a new place of peace.

  17. Melanie says

    Since finding this web site last Dec, thanks to the article in the NYTimes, it has brought me and my house much comfort. Having left the corporate world 18 years ago and going thru a painful divorce 9 years ago, it’s just me and my house (and a couple of fur balls). My house is so grateful to Pam for keeping it’s pink bathroom and I’m so grateful not having to tell people I can’t afford to remodel………..we’re keeping it ‘cos it’s retro!

  18. Holly says

    I find peace in my home on the days when it is calm, quiet, and clean, when the light peeks in through the sheers and a light breeze comes in through one of the windows that still opens. :)

  19. Ali Bahler says

    Dear Pam,

    Happy Belated Birthday!

    I just aquired a cute liitle one bedroom round house that has a devine get away from it all back yard with a deck. Most friends describe my little sanctuary as the cement yurt, the mushroom house or, the flyng saucer. I just call it groovy.

    Once I walk up the curved cement steps and shut the curved round front door behind me, I open the 17 foot long patio doors and let the outdoors indoors, have a seat on the deck and relax with the spring time blossoms in the trees above me.

    I’m currently working on a 27- 29 ft x 144 ft mural, so to have a guide to create a garden would be bliss upon bliss to reboot and recharge in. My backyard would be even better with the help.