19 October 2021

What if you could reach for the impossible?

My friend, Sandy, with her gift for storytelling, is currently working on a documentary about my friend, Charity, titled “Reach for the Stars.”

Goosebumps are the first sign I’ve found a story I want to tell.

– Sandy Cummings


Photo by Sandy Cummings
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5 October 2021

How long is your growing season?

“Bend’s growing season begins June 30 and ends July 1,” the old farmer said with a twinkle in his eye, referring to our hometown. We were purchasing fruit at his Eastern Oregon orchard, and we laughed because it was close to the truth.


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28 September 2021

Life’s trials … or how to keep your balance on a motorcycle

We attended a full day of observed motorcycle trials this past Saturday. Dan rode his vintage Bultaco and was the best rider out there, if you want my unbiased opinion.

The only thing is, he wouldn’t let me bring my pom-poms.


Best rider, in my humble opinion (all photos: Marlys)
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21 September 2021

What if you could be a seed-starter?

Back in elementary school, I tried growing an avocado tree from a pit balanced on the rim of a water glass with the help of toothpicks. Not sure what happened to that seed, but there was never an avocado tree in our backyard.

It was Maddie, our 12-year-old granddaughter, who inspired me to try this fun nature experiment once again.


Photo: Marlys
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14 September 2021

Good friendships are like eating breakfast

Longtime friends of Dan’s own a historic cabin on the Metolius River in Camp Sherman. It comes with an invitation for Dan to use it any time.

A few Saturdays ago, we helped these friends with a couple projects: an outdoor covered porch and an indoor rod-and-curtain-hanging endeavor. (And when I say we helped, I mean mostly it was Dan while I cheered him on.)


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7 September 2021

How to manage significant goals

Our almost 19-year-old grandson, Titus, and his girlfriend, Jane, spent the weekend with us. They had a goal of climbing South Sister, which is the third tallest mountain in Oregon—right behind Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson.


Jane and Titus on the top of South Sister looking north toward Middle and North Sister
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24 August 2021

What do you want your home to be?

There are a dozen items that still need to be completed — touch-up paint, a step from the mudroom down into the garage, a gas line to the outdoor fire pit.

But we’ve moved into our refurbished home and all boxes have officially been unpacked (although we may or may not have stuffed things into the closets and pantry so it appears we’re settled in).


My grandmother’s treadle sewing machine and Dan’s rocker, a gift from a brother-in-law
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13 August 2021

Better than the normal story of people I hang out with

“We’ve all come from different places, but we’re still family,” said Dan’s 14-year-old grandson, Jack. “Godfrey’s adopted, which leads to you. And then you married Grandpa Dan who is my grandpa through my stepfather. So there’s three different factors that go into our connection.”

“I actually like having this wonky connection,” chimed in Godfrey, my 13-year-old Ugandan-born grandson, “because it’s better than the normal story of people I hang out with.”


Elk Lake
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3 August 2021

Venturing out or coming home … which is best?

“I’ve got a vacation house for a discounted rate,” said our friend Steve. “Why don’t you join me?” Two days later, we loaded up our gear and headed out to one of the last frontiers in the United States. Eastern Oregon.

Turns out, Steve was the perfect tour guide because he knows just about everything and everyone in this far-flung place.


Painted Hills
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22 July 2021

How much value should we place on relationships?

Relationships aren’t very practical. These past three weeks—as Dan and I have been in the process of moving back into our refurbished house—a lot of people got in the way.

We took a week off from unpacking to camp and fish and kayak with friends—people Dan has known since grade school and high school.


Camping and kayaking with long-time friends
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About Me

Hello, my name is Marlys Johnson Lawry. I’m a speaker, award-winning writer, and Chai tea snob. I love getting outdoors; would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping. I have a passion for encouraging people to live well in the hard and holy moments of life. With heart wide open.

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