Words to Smile By

Fence Decoration

FalmouthI love old books and my shelves are full of old treasures that house lovely words and thoughts. One of my favorite writers and poets is Edgar A. Guest, he wrote a little volume called A Heap o' Livin', which was first published in 1916, and renewed in 1944.

London Book Store

FalmouthHard to believe that we could read words written in a different chapter of history and have them soothe our souls in a new day such as this.


FalmouthI was feeling like I was carrying around the weight of the world on my shoulders the other day. So, I did what any Long Island girl would do...I went to the beach.

The red door to the beach

FalmouthI brought Edgar Guest's words with me to remind me that my chapter is not much different than many people who have come before me and many people who will come long after I am gone.

A Bench Waiting

FalmouthI let the sound of the waves hitting the shore remove my worries and the sound of the seagulls cries still my soul. I read Edgar's words in this poem called Take Home A Smile, and let the verses holding words of comfort replace my scattered ones.

Bench in Cape Cod

FalmouthI let his words wrap around my thoughts, as he reminded me of the courage I must have and to leave my burdens at the shore and take home a smile. I had a long conversation with God and reminded my spirit that the troubles often left at a mother and wife's feet can be lifted to the Lord in prayer.


FalmouthThe words in Edgar Guest's poem comforted me just the way my Grandmother's words would often do over a cup of tea. Words can make me feel so safe when the world is spinning out of control.

Take Home A Smile

"Take home a smile; forget the petty cares,
The dull, grim grind of all the day's affairs;
The day is done, come be by yourself awhile:
Tonight, to those who wait, take home a smile.

Take homa a smile; don't scatter grief and gloom
Where laughter and light hearts should always bloom;
While though you've traveled many a dusty mile,
Footsore and weary, still take home a smile.

Take home a smile - it is not much to do,
But much it means to them who wait for you;
You can be brave for such a little while;
The day of doubt is done, take home a smile.

Courage isn't a brilliant dash,
A daring deed in a moment's flash;
It isn't an instantaneous thing
Born of despair with a sudden spring.

It isn't a creature of flickered hope
Or the final tug at a slipping rope;
But it's something deep in the soul
That is working always to serve some plan.

Courage isn't the last resort
In the work of life or the game of sport;
It isn't a thing that a man can call
At some future time when he's apt to fall;

If he hasn't it now, he will have it not,
When the strain is great and the pace is hot.
For who would strive for a distant goal
Must always have courage within his soul.

Courage isn't a dazzling light
That flashes and passes away from sight;
It's a slow, unwavering, ingrained trait
With the patience to work and the strength to wait,

It's part of a man when his skies are blue,
It's part of him when he has work to do.
The brave man never is freed of it.
He has it when there is no need of it.

Courage was never designed for show;
It isn't a thing that can come and go;
It's written in victory and defeat
Ane every trial a man may meet.

It's part of his hours, his days and his years,
Back of his smiles and behind his tears.
Courage is more than daring deed:
It's the breath of life and a strong man's creed."

FalmouthSometimes we carry the weight of cares that are borrowed, and we wear a long face to prove it's heaviness.


FalmouthWe forget that it takes a little courage to know when to retreat to a place all alone.

FalmouthTo return to our day and our lot in life and remember to have the courage to bring home a smile.


To give yourself time to sort out our your feelings and make sense of the day. To bring our burdens to the Lord and have the faith to leave them there.

Blue skies on Cape Cod

FalmouthThe beach is always a wonderful place to leave your troubles and cleanse your mind. So, just in case one is not nearby use this post as a place to renew your spirit and cast your cares to the Lord, build a bit of courage to run the race again...and when you leave remember to take home a smile.

Kathleen Grace said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Karen. I needed it badly. We all have struggles and sometimes a reminder to be strong is just what we need. This was so beautiful I am printing it off. I have never read Edgar Guest, now I will be looking for his work at the library and bringing some of it home to read:>)

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

Good Morning Karen. What a lovely poem. Edgar Guest is new to me too. Thank you for sharing his wonderful words.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Well said and beautifully displayed Karen. You are always an inspiration. We have lakes here and I so enjoy getting away to the nearest one to settle my soul by the calming shores. Thank you for those memorable words. God bless you beautiful lady! Anita

Gabriela said...

Hello Karen,

This is a fabulous post and love your beach photos!

~ Gabriela ~

Kathy at Shocking Pink Thread said...

There's very little faith and a smile cannot conquer in our daily lives. I love the photos of the beach. I'm tucked into a Vermont valley now but I grew up near the ocean. The sound and endless expanse of sky soothes the soul. Thank you for another beautiful post. ~Kathy

Snap said...

Blessings and a smile to you, dear Karen!

Charlene said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS! The poem was good but, the way you put this post together was so uplifting. THANK YOU!!!!!! Your photos were perfect to go with this. And I do not have a beach close by & it does so soothe my soul to go to the beach. Someday I would love to live near a beach. DREAMS are a good thing. Have a blessed day & do let those care go. Stress is a terrible thing.

Vee said...

I've spent a very pleasant while here at the beach listening to the gulls and the waves. My cat, peacefully asleep when my time began, roused up at the sound of the birds, then settled back to sleep. Peaceful, peaceful, and such sweet reminders...

Beverly said...

I am a lover of Edgar Guest, too. And, going to the ocean is like going home for me. It is my "happy place".

I am so glad you refreshed your spirit. And, I am glad you had such a wonderful time with your Judy.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

What a beautiful post and reminder that we can leave our problems and worries at the feet of Our Lord. This is a manificent poem. So filled with wisdom. A smile can make the difference in one's day...Hugd....m..

Donna Longenecker said...

Beautiful post, Karen, and a lovely poem. The sea gulls are music to my ears.


Sharon's Cottage Quilts said...

Karen, what an extraordinary post! The poem is so true, so heartfelt and well written. As usual, you are an inspiration to me!

Tara said...


What great, encouraging words here! The beach pics are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing. I too love books and this poem was just lovely. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures. I love the water ♥ I think all of us will be clamoring to find other Edgar Guest poems :>)

SharDon Exclusives said...

It is the words added to the picture that is so refreshing to my soul. The poem is the frosting on the cake of blessings...tk U

Laurie said...

See, this post is a perfect example of why I've left a little gift for you on my blog today!