17 November 2018


My intent was to honor my husband on this anniversary of his Homegoing. And so I ordered dozens of pumpkin-flavored cupcakes from Ida’s Cupcake Café.


Ida’s Cupcakes (all photos: Marlys)


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12 November 2018

7 surefire strategies for thriving in adversity

Mirriam-Webster says this about thrive:

verb \ˈthrīv \ 3 : to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.

Thriving doesn’t mean we’ve put closure to something and we no longer allow ourselves to feel sadness or pain in our difficulties.

Rather, it’s taking our story and our memories and our hard places with us and stepping back into life while we still have breath.

Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers on Unsplash


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4 November 2018

45 favorite November traditions

In The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews sang about some of her favorite things: things like, girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, and snowflakes that stayed on her nose like eyelashes. But she forgot to mention anything about autumn, the best time of the year.


Photo by Tereza Hošková on Unsplash


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29 October 2018

How to cure the wanderlust bug

Confession: The title of this blog is misleading. Because once you’ve been diagnosed with wanderlust—that strong desire or urge to travel and explore—there is no cure.


Photo: lovethispic.com


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18 October 2018

Why tenacity matters

My husband, Gary, was stubborn tenacious. Diagnosed with late-stage, slow-growing prostate cancer, there was a two-year life expectancy. But Gary stubbornly insisted on living ten years. Ten far-reaching, astonishing years.


Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash


I loved that I was married to a tenacious man.

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7 October 2018

How to move from Point A to Point B

There is this delightful notion from Douglas Pagels:

Some of the secret joys are not found by rushing from Point A to Point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way.


On the Pacific Crest Trail; photo: Kristi


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30 September 2018

4 clever methods for being grateful

Armed with a Chai tea and a map of the Fruit Loop, I rambled through beautiful farmland past vineyards and alpaca ranches and warted pumpkins with Mt. Hood standing guard in the near distance.


Photo: Marlys


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28 September 2018

9 fun ideas for celebrating National Good Neighbor Day

Today, September 28, is National Good Neighbor Day. This thought from NationalDayCalendar.com:

It is a blessing to have a good neighbor, but it is even a greater thing to BE a good neighbor.

What if we made it our goal to be a good neighbor year-round?


Photo: Pixabay


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22 September 2018

How did you fall in love?

Today is my husband, Gary’s, birthday. It’s also our wedding anniversary. If cancer had not stolen him from me, we would be celebrating forty-five years of marriage.

In Fredrick Backman’s novella And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, a young boy asks his grandfather a question about his grandmother: “How did you fall in love with her?”


Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash


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16 September 2018

4 ingenious ways to simplify your life

Speaking from experience, living with less is rather liberating.

When we have too much stuff, then we have to maintain it, and build fences around it, and pay storage fees for it, and we can’t actually park our cars in our garages because of it.


Photo by hannah persson on Unsplash


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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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