2 August 2018

How to become wealthier

Leaving behind Oregon’s impossibly green trees, driving southeast through California and into Arizona, Elisha and I were on a mission: To get our friend, Charity, settled in Tucson for astrophysics grad school at the University of Arizona.


Charity, Elisha, Bug (a PomChi), and me


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22 July 2018

Supercharge your caregiving batteries

A friend asked if she could give my phone number to her cousin, Michelle. Michelle’s husband was recently diagnosed with late-stage cancer; they have a young daughter, Olivia; and Michelle is dealing with some serious health issues of her own.


Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash


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18 July 2018

How to know everything there is to know

Today — January 18 — is “Winnie the Pooh” Day. Who knew?!


Photo: Pixabay


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8 July 2018

Why Misery Ridge isn’t all that miserable

Yesterday I hiked up to Misery Ridge and sat for a while, doing absolutely nothing. Well, except for munching fistfuls of nuts, and crunching on fruit, and slugging back cool, refreshing water.


All photos: Marlys


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1 July 2018

Food and cooking: Sacred things?

A browse through a local Farmer’s Market yesterday gave me a fresh appreciation for living in the United States — we who rarely miss a meal and if we do, it isn’t from lack of food. (Let me just say that if your hometown doesn’t have a Farmer’s Market, you might want to consider relocating.)


All photos: Marlys


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24 June 2018

Random thoughts on turning corners

This girl in the graduation cap: Charity. Probably the grittiest young woman I know.


L to r: Niece Brittany, me, Charity, and Elisha (photo: Lynn Frohnmeyer)


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17 June 2018

Celebrating life … while the patient is still alive

An email arrived recently from a friend — her grandfather died, and a week and a half later, her grandmother was diagnosed with late stage cancer.

“My grandma went through such a long, rough time being a caregiver for my grandpa,” wrote this young woman, “… and now this.”


Photo by Jake Thacker on Unsplash


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10 June 2018

Alphabet list of cancer caregiver tips

Being a caregiver was one of the most challenging and sweetest roles I’ve ever held. The challenging part was in the beginning, when terminal cancer was dropped on us from a high-flying bomber we didn’t see coming.

A year later, after Gary finally admitted his feelings of failure as a man, we sorted things out, determined to live more fully, found ways to give back, and made more fun and memories. That was the thunderous, sweet, majestic part.

If given the assignment to share tips from my cancer caregiving years, and if the assignment required an alphabetized list …


Photo: Pixabay


… it would look something like this:


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4 June 2018

How to keep the familiar from becoming routine

Author Anthony Doerr spent a year in Rome on a writing fellowship. One of the things this ancient, spellbinding city taught him was how dangerous habit can be when it causes the spectacular to become routine:

Imagine if we only got to see a cumulonimbus cloud or Cassiopeia or a snowfall once a century: there’d be pandemonium in the streets. People would lie by the thousands in the fields on their backs.


Photo by Cédric Dhaenens on Unsplash


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28 May 2018

Crew, posse, network: Do you have one?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said this:

No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing.

That’s because a crew needs to be in synch; to pull together at equal strength. Connected. Coordinated.


Photo by Quino Al 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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