I said something snarky to her like, “Don’t do it like a man and do it halfway, so I won’t let you do it the next time.” (Sorry, fellas. But it’s funny. And bears much truth.) The young woman laughed and said, “I’m putting that in my quote file.”

It was my highest praise ever. I made someone’s quote file. I’m a quote collector, too. I save pertinent quotes that I find in books.

“You get a little moody sometimes but I think that's because you like to read.” (Luke Wingo to his brother, Tom, in The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy)

“Mama made me go to my room while she told Papa what Miss Sarah said Mrs. Snodgrass said Smiley said I said.” (Will Tweedy in Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns)

“It just ain’t a party without pickles.” (Gloria Dump in Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo)

I jot down quotes I hear regular folks say that I find profound. Most of the time, they don’t know I do it. I steal their words, I reckon. I look over my list from time to time and laugh all by myself. Many times I don’t remember the context or even recording it.

“My mama coulda built the Panama Canal, and my daddy’d still be looking for his socks.” (my friend Charise)

“It read like chalk dust.” (my daughter Abby)

“We are practically kin by marriage once removed to the second power when the moon is full.” (my nephew’s mother-in-law Janey)

Can you keep a secret? I also keep another quote file. I call it my keeping file. I keep quotes about keeping on, for a little encouragement, for when I don’t want to.

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7 NLT)

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.” (Steve Jobs)

“Keep on dancin’ and a prancin’.” (Bay City Rollers)

“Keep smiling. Keep shining.” (Dionne Warwick)

“Keep on the sunny side.” (Carter Family)

“Keep on rockin' me, baby.” (Steve Miller Band)

“I'm gonna keep on loving you.” (REO Speedwagon)

“Big wheel keep on turnin’; Proud Mary keep on burnin’.” (Ike and Tina Turner)

“Old black water, keep on rollin’.” (Doobie Brothers)

“My honey, my baby don't keep my love up on no shelf. She said, ‘Don't give me no lines and keep your hands to yourself.’” (Dan Baird)

“Around here we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious . . . and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” (Walt Disney)

Keep the ball rolling.

Keep your hands on the plow.

Keep your eyes on the prize.

Keep me in mind.

Keep on truckin’.

Keep ‘em coming.

Keep it to yourself.

Keep calm and carry on.

Keep right.

Keep out!

George Bailey: Mary Hatch, why in the world did you ever marry a guy like me?

Mary Hatch: To keep from being an old maid. (from It’s a Wonderful Life)

“Barney, you promised me when I gave you that bullet you'd keep it in your shirt pocket!” (Andy Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show)

“I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?” (Yogi Berra)

“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” (Casey Kasem)

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” (Michael Corleone in The Godfather by Mario Puzo)

“It is important to fight and fight again, and keep fighting.” (Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling)

As long as this wonderful and woeful world keeps spinning, we are wise to heed the words of Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain in World War II, who advised his people to “keep buggering on” and of Dory the fish in Finding Nemo, who encouraged her friends to “just keep swimming.”

Come on. We’ve got this. Let’s keep at it.

Celeste King Conner tries to keep her chin up and keep her nose clean. Keep emailing her at celestekconner@gmail.com.

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