13 July 2020

This is why we should get our ducks in a row

While my fiancé Dan and I were out on Hosmer Lake, eleven ducklings swam toward our kayaks.


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29 June 2020

So you think you know what friendship is?

I have a new best friend. Dan.

We’ve ridden mountain roads on a motorcycle and let our hair fly loose in a Jeep Wrangler. We’ve shared meals and Sudoku puzzles and volunteer experiences. We’ve planted flowers and veggies together. We’ve hiked and kayaked.


Kayaking on Hosmer Lake with South Sister as backdrop (photo: Dan)
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17 June 2020

What if demolition serves a good purpose?

You think your kids are destructive, wait until you meet these boys—my two teenaged grandsons, dismantling and kicking things down.


All photos: Marlys
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1 June 2020

Difference Maker: When small adds up to big

C.S. Lewis wrote:

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.

My friend Jackie has the extraordinary destiny of understanding the hurting heart of a mom who has lost a child, of the woman who can’t carry a baby to full term.


All photos: Jackie
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26 May 2020

4 things I learned while mending fences

In addition to playing outdoors, my fiancé Dan and I have spent these past several weeks getting some things done around his place. Thank you, COVID-19.

One of the tasks checked off our to-do list was mending a pole fence. Fifty new poles. And that’s just the front yard.


All photos: Marlys
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18 May 2020

What if the hard road contains beauty?

“It’s only about eight miles around,” Dan said.

“Lets do it,” I responded with enthusiasm, fully trusting my fiancé.


At the top of the Burma Road, looking down on Misery Ridge (all photos: Dan or Marlys)
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10 May 2020

What does it mean to ‘burn the ships’?

There’s an article posted to a sales strategy website titled “Burn Your Ships: A History Lesson About How to Be a Great Leader.”

The piece drew flack from its readers.


Photo: Pixabay
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27 April 2020

Dirt trails and the 52 Hike Challenge

“Have you heard of this?” my daughter asked. The link was to the 52 Hike Challenge. According to their website, it’s a movement to get people outdoors. (Not sure if that was an intended pun. Movement, get it?).


Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
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20 April 2020

Making a difference, one bike at a time

Peter Howe, a British Empire Medal recipient and retired police officer, has re-furbished more than 750 bikes that have gone to people in need.

Personally speaking, the benefits and the satisfaction come from the fact that I am doing something for someone else. — Peter


Photo by Asya Vee on Unsplash
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13 April 2020

What are you afraid of?

It took a while after stepping into widowhood to begin thinking about dating and possibly remarriage. 

Being an obsessive list-maker, I drafted an inventory of what was important to me: A man who is family oriented, active outdoors, someone who is making a difference in the lives of others.


Photo by Joe Yates on Unsplash


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About Me

Hello, my name is Marlys Johnson. I’m a speaker, award-winning writer, cancer widow, 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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