26 May 2019

What should we do about criticism?

A couple months ago—while a solitary guest in a log cabin on a gazillion acres surrounded by high, snow-covered hills—I posted a blog about embracing “aloneness.”



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19 May 2019

The house that JW built

While undergoing cancer treatment, 15-year-old Jan-Willem Knapen (JW) had the idea for a “home away from home” – a welcoming place close to the hospital with overnight lodging where families could stay together during a medical crisis.


JW’s parents and siblings in front of JW House (photo: JWHouse.org)
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13 May 2019

Who are the unsung Mother’s Day heroes?

Mother’s Day. With no children living nearby, I tossed my snowshoes into the back of my rig and headed up into the Cascades.


Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash
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5 May 2019

12 ways to choose happiness

Grand-dog Chloe and I are glamping in an elegant Airstream in a land of sunny skies, craggy mountain ranges, and saguaro cacti. Tucson.

Stenciled on the vintage trailer next door is this thought:

Today, I will be happier than a bird with a French fry.

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash
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21 April 2019

How to lose the day

There was this one sentence, from a book, that made me sit up and pay closer attention:

We lost the day in love.

That’s exactly what happened to these last nine days.


Photo by Suresh Kumar on Unsplash
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7 April 2019

What are you planning for National Nurses Week?

In case you didn’t know, May 6-12 is National Nurses Week, which allows about a month to plan. What if you showed up with a bouquet of flowers? Or some chocolate? Or a gift card to a local coffee shop?

To thank the men and women who made a difference in your life, or in the life of your loved one? How cool would that be?


First-year COCC nursing students, 2016
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31 March 2019

When winter collides into your spring

Where I live, you know spring has arrived when the snow is almost melted off the picnic tables, the footbridges, the trails.


All photos: Marlys
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24 March 2019

How I was wrong

Thirteen years ago, a wonderful job opportunity opened up in New Jersey for my son-in-law, Josh. I was the most supportive mom-in-law I know—Yay, Josh!—until it became clear that he planned to take my daughter, Summer, and our grandchildren with him.


Photo by Daniel Koponyas on Unsplash
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10 March 2019

What if we took one day at a time?

It’s my last full day at this cabin set in the middle of hundreds of acres. The sun is just waking up, painting the sky in pastels, leaving a pink ribbon on the pond.


Photo: Marlys
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3 March 2019

Why rest?

In an article Sarah Thebarge wrote after spending two months practicing medicine in a war zone in South Sudan, she said, “I keep reminding myself that rest is holy.”


Photo by Enrico Carcasci 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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