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?

It’s infinitely more comfortable to wrap the security blanket of my routine around me — with stacks of books and pots of tea nearby — than it is to travel alone without my best friend/tour director/husband.

And so, 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

Daughter Summer and my two granddaughters flew in from the Far East (a.k.a. New Jersey) this week. And we four girls have stories to tell of our time together.

This thought from an author unknown:

Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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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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2 August 2018

How to become wealthier

Consider this thought from Jim Rohn:

Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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22 July 2018

Supercharge your caregiving batteries

When my mother moved in with us, I stumbled into the role of an Alzheimer’s caregiver with zero experience.

Not long afterward, these scary, life-altering words were pronounced to my husband, Gary: “It’s cancer.” And just like that, a double assignment was handed to me.


Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash


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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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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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