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?

You might be surprised at some of the responses.


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23 September 2019

How to shut down loneliness

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?

On a recent road trip to Ferndale in northern California, I drove over the Cascade Range, through the redwoods, and then turned 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 firewood 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 Creeks 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. 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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23 July 2019

How critical is it to count the ordinary moments?

One of my closest friends from high school, Cheryl—whose brother I married—walked beside her husband, Steve, as he entered hospice care last week.


Photo by Simon Smith on Unsplash
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14 July 2019

Why you should tell the story of the mountain you climbed

My husband, Gary, and I climbed several mountains during his cancer years. The highest elevation we ever reached was a trail ending at an icy-cold lake in the Colorado Rockies — 13,850 feet up.


Rocky Mountain hiking (photo: Gary Johnson)
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8 July 2019

12 benefits of being single

There was the statement that resonated with me: “If we’re not content single, we won’t be content married.”


Photo by Alex Blăjan 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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