Horse woman and author Ethel Gardner retired from a long career of breeding, raising, and showing Morgan horses in Pennsylvania and moved to her family owned Spring Lake Farms near Lake Wales, Florida. There she continued to work with Morgan horses on a smaller scale and restored as her residence the old Waverly train depot which stood on a corner of her land.
Gardner also began to concentrate more on her life long avocation of writing. She had written a number of articles for horse breeding, raising, and training magazines while living in Pennsylvania. She continued to produce such articles in Florida and began work on a book length piece on horsemanship.
After her move to Florida, Gardner also began to broaden her literary horizon beyond the world of horses. She had compiled over many years thousands of original observations and inspirational thoughts, which she called her "ditties." Many of these "ditties" began to appear in local newspapers, including the Daily Highlander of Lake Wales under the heading of "Pause and Ponder." She also self-published a compilation of her observations under the title Wind Borne Seeds in 1976. She marketed the book herself and it enjoyed modest success, with some 1500 sales.
Gardner continued to write and compile her "ditties" and to seek a publishing outlet for them through a number of subsidy presses. After much time and effort, she succeeded in publishing a second collection of her "ditties" in 1990, entitled Soarings. She also continued to write for such magazines as Horse and Pony and The Morgan Horse.