4 November 2018

45 favorite November traditions

In The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews sang about some of her favorite things: things like, girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, and snowflakes that stayed on her nose like eyelashes. But she forgot to mention anything about autumn, the best time of the year.


Photo by Tereza Hošková on Unsplash


Continue Reading

29 October 2018

How to cure wanderlust

Confession: The title of this blog is misleading. Because once you’ve been diagnosed with wanderlust—that strong desire or urge to travel and explore—there is no cure.


Photo: lovethispic.com


Continue Reading

18 October 2018

Why tenacity matters

My husband, Gary, was stubborn tenacious. Diagnosed with late-stage, slow-growing prostate cancer, there was a two-year life expectancy. But Gary stubbornly insisted on living ten years. Ten far-reaching, astonishing years.


Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash


I loved that I was married to a tenacious man.

Continue Reading

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.

Photo by Zac Ong on Unsplash

Continue Reading

30 September 2018

4 triggers for gratitude

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


Continue Reading

28 September 2018

9 fun ways to be a good neighbor

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


Continue Reading

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


Continue Reading

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


Continue Reading

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


Continue Reading

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


Continue Reading

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.

Read More