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 ways to be 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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15 September 2018

9 signs you might be a proactive cancer patient

I remember exactly where I was when my cell phone rang. “It’s cancer,” said the deep voice I knew and loved so well. “Oh, hon,” I said, letting my breath out, my brain firing in all directions like that little silver ball in a pinball machine.


Photo by Sydney Rae on Unsplash


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10 September 2018

Why brave-making?

For our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, my husband, Gary, and I took an Alaskan cruise. And so, in this anniversary month, I booked a cruise to the last frontier as a brave-making venture. Alone.


All photos by Marlys unless otherwise noted


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30 August 2018

Stories to tell, not stuff to show

Twelve years ago, my son-in-law Josh accepted a job on the east coast. I was OK with that, until he insisted on taking my daughter and grandchildren with him. And then I wasn’t OK.

This past week, my daughter Summer and the two granddaughters left four brothers and one dad in New Jersey and flew to Oregon. And we were tourists in my hometown for the week.

We ate at Jackson’s Corner, and visited Tumalo Falls, and …



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19 August 2018

Are you a criticizer or a contributor?

Is there a difference between criticizing and critiquing? Absolutely.

Criticizers express disapproval and point out their perceptions of our flaws and mistakes. Someone who offers critique is contributing their careful opinions with the intent of helping.


Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash


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12 August 2018

Treasuring the past; living now

My husband, Gary, had a ’66 GTO when he was a bachelor. In all the years of our marriage, any time one of these classic cars came within sight, it was pointed out to me; I know the front grill of this car by heart.


1966 GTO


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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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