13 October 2019

How to create margin

A week ago—when my daughter, Summer, and I were looking at houses for her family in Albany, Oregon—we stopped for hot beverages at Margin Coffee in the old downtown area.


Photo: Margin Coffee website
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6 October 2019

Does your perspective need tweaking?

Thirteen years ago, Daughter Summer and SIL Josh packed up the grandkids and moved away from the Pacific Northwest.


Multnomah Falls above the Columbia River Gorge (photo: Marlys)
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29 September 2019

What are you waiting for?

The floor is still swaying gently beneath me. I’m back on solid ground after a week-long cruise from Quebec to Boston. But the floor is still swaying.


Home base for the week—the Zaandam (all photos: Marlys)
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23 September 2019

Welcome, Autumn! 50 inspiring thoughts

This question went out to girlfriends, daughters, sisters, nieces: In one or two descriptive sentences, what are your favorite things about autumn?


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23 September 2019

Random reflections from Old Quebec

I’m sitting in a park in Old Quebec surrounded by ancient buildings. Bells are ringing with abandon from all directions and a nearby fountain is whispering, “Breathe deeply, my friend.”


Photo: Marlys
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15 September 2019

Do you get to pick your family?

Two weeks ago I drove to Ferndale in northern California—over the Cascade Range, through the redwoods, and then turn left at the Pacific Ocean.


Oregon redwoods
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1 September 2019

The break-up letter every widow wishes she could send

Stepping into a new season of life can be exciting and breath-taking and dream-engineering: Graduation. That job you’ve always wanted. A new love. Your first house. A much-anticipated baby.


Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash
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25 August 2019

5 things worth slowing down for

Slow isn’t my normal speed. I walk quickly, type quickly, clean house quickly, stack wood quickly.

None of those are necessarily bad. But there are some things worth slowing down for.


Photo by Benjamin Combs on Unsplash
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19 August 2019

10 best tactics for dumping depression outdoors

“Depression — you’re welcome to hike up to Tam MacArthur Rim with me,” I said out loud after waking up on the blue side yesterday, “… but I doubt you’ll be able to keep up.”

Even though my life is good and full and there’s no reason for it, depression and anxiety often wake up with me.


Heading up to Tam MacArthur Rim from Three Creek Lake
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7 August 2019

Why not a brave-making date?

My husband, Gary, and I had several favorite trails in the Oregon Cascades. And one of my brave-making goals is to eventually re-hike all of them. Alone.


The moraine lake tucked into Broken Top at 8,150 feet (All photos: Marlys – none enhanced)
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About Me

Hello, my name is Marlys Johnson. I’m a cancer widow, author, speaker and blogger. I love getting outdoors; would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping. I have a passion for repurposing old junk into cool new stuff. And an even greater passion for showing people how to navigate life’s challenges. Tenaciously. And with heart wide open.

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