1 May 2016

What cancer taught us about traveling lighter

What we didn’t realize during our *wilderness years* — that season of time from Hubby’s job loss through cancer — was this: The paring down and simplifying of our lives was for a larger purpose, for lighter travel over mountain trails and barren places.



Photo credit: Gary Johnson


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27 April 2016

What to do about a redirected path

Back in February, I wrote a blog about why you should tell your story. Today, April 27, happens to be National Tell A Story Day. But what if your story didn’t turn out the way you wanted?



Photo credit: Unsplash


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24 April 2016

An unsent love letter

Before Hubby and I were a couple, we wrote a years’ worth of letters back and forth between Denver and Europe. When I packed to return to America, I left his letters behind. Weight limits on luggage.

I would give anything to have those letters back.

Photo credit: Pixabay


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20 April 2016

How to make something of your everyday life

Pay attention to what doors are opening for you on this new journey that maybe you didn’t want to take but you’re there nevertheless and so why not make something beautiful and purposeful out of the loss and the sorrow — that journey.



Photo credit: Gary Johnson

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17 April 2016

7 reasons for settling in and venturing out

My niece recently posted this to my Facebook page:

She was an adventurer at heart; but oh how she loved drinking this tea from this mug in this chair. Oh how she loved home.



Photo credit: Pixabay


My niece knows me well.

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14 April 2016

Doing what you were designed to do: 4 questions to ask yourself

I was standing at my window and noticed a tiny snowflake land on the deck railing. It captured my imagination. How it must have made its journey down from a cloud and gave no thought to being alone, but obediently plopped down on the deck railing — doing what it was designed to do.

This morning, underneath all this mass, there are those first brave snow flakes, holding up their end of the bargain.



25 days into spring


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10 April 2016

5 ways to live an extraordinary life

Shortly after Hubby died, I read Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life by Eugene O’Kelly. O’Kelly was diagnosed with cancer and given maybe three months to live. His book is about what he wanted to accomplish and how he determined to live those remaining 100 days.




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6 April 2016

What you should know about National Walking Day

Today is National Walking Day and in honor of this monumental occasion, I just finished walking the 3-mile loop of the Deschutes River trail. As I did yesterday. And will do for part of Friday date night. And am scheduled to do Saturday morning with a friend.

Lovely gift – this river that flows through the middle of my hometown with the trail that smells of sunbaked dirt and pine needles, and sunshine that tosses its hoard of diamonds across the water.



Deschutes River – April 2016 (photo credit: Marlys Johnson)


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4 April 2016

8 secrets for becoming more attractive

If you’ve lost something of incredible value — your health, a way of life, someone who is precious beyond words — then it is important to grieve. To take your time and grieve in your own way.

At some point, though, it will be to your advantage and good health to set aside your deep sorrow and take a stab at living again. And while you’re learning to live again, see if you don’t become more attractive in the process.




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31 March 2016

Cancer lessons: How not to take things for granted

It’s New Jersey’s spring break and I’m vacationing somewhere in the United States with Son-In-Law Josh, Daughter Summer and the six grands.

Hint: 1) The tallest brick lighthouse structure in the U.S. is in the vicinity; 2) We are in a house on stilts; and 3) There are quite possibly more seashells on our back patio in plastic buckets than on the entire beach at this point.




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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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