Why we remember

“If you want to use the cabin to think and talk this over, you’re welcome to it,” said our good friend who was standing right there after Dan got the news of his escalating cancer.

Two days later, on a cold spring day, Dan lit a fire that would begin warming the cabin. We donned layers and walked upriver to the spot where we said, “I do,” beneath towering trees.


The wedding site beside the Metolius River
Wedding headquarters

We remembered our wedding and how it turned out exactly as we’d hoped—this small gathering of mostly kids and grandkids beside a clear and cold river.

Tiny snowflakes fell as we turned and hiked downstream, crossing the bridge near a campground before winding our way back to the warming woodstove.

We remembered where we were standing in the cabin when Dan told me he loved me for the first time and asked if he could kiss me. (Yes, he asked!)

And where we were standing—weeks later—when he asked me to be his bride.


Here is where he proposed

You can see why this is a special place to us.

We lit a candle and heated tortellini soup and ate our sandwiches and smashed an avocado and dipped tortilla chips into the guacamole and peeled mini-oranges and bit into chewy molasses cookies.

Over mugs of cinnamon spice tea, we talked. About Dan’s growing cancer. About our house add-on and remodel. About the timing of surgery and moving back into the house. About our future and what we’d like to accomplish.

It was a magical day of remembering—earlier hikes along that same river, falling in love, reminiscing about the details of our wedding day.

And remembering God’s goodness down through the years. Reminding ourselves that this cancer did not catch Him off guard. That He’s got this.

And I marvel—still—that I get to be married to this man. That we were both given a chance to step into a later-in-life love. Risky. But so worth it. For better, for worse. In sickness and in health.

Right after the giving of the Ten Commandments, Moses instructed the children of Israel:

“Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

– Deuteronomy 6:12

Moses admonished the people that when things were going well for them in the Promised Land—after wandering in desert places for way too long—they needed to remember where all this goodness came from, who brought them to this Promised Land, why they were here.

Do not forget the Lord.

I will never forget the wilderness years of job loss and cancer and financial strain. And I will never forget what I learned in that hard and bleak place, and that it was God who brought me out into this present Promised Land.

I will never stop counting all the ways God has shown His love to Dan and me—here in the now, and in whatever the future holds.

Side note

We were married in Camp Sherman, which has exactly one general store, one post office, one chapel, one restaurant, and the tiniest, cutest little schoolhouse you’ve ever seen.


Camp Shermana two-pump town (my kind of town)

Oh, and one community bulletin board.


So if you come across any stray cows …


Do you know how to have fun?


Will the re-construction be painful?


  1. Praying with and for you and Dan. Much love, Julie

  2. Larry Hess

    It’s interesting how God throws us inside and outside balls, curve balls, fast balls and knuckle balls, plus the way to get a hit every pitch. Thanks for another home run Marlys. You and Dan will be fine. Prayers coming your way!

  3. Such beautiful memories the Lord has given you and Dan. I pray there will be many more. May the Lord touch Dan with complete healing.

  4. Love this Marlys, thank you.

  5. Tanya Neelon

    Will and I are praying for Dan’s full recovery and to bless your sweet soul as well, Marlys!


  6. Kathi D

    Prayers for Dan and you Marlys! God is in control always.
    Hugs and much love, my friend. Kathi

  7. Nancy Darst

    Thanks for this Marlys. We will keep you and our long time friend Dan in our thoughts and prayers. Blessings on you both ❤

  8. Rita Weick

    I will be holding you both in prayer. Thank-you for your willingness to share the sweetness and the difficult all together.

  9. Julie Koon

    Years ago you made me a beautiful cross stitch picture with a quilted border that says, “ Welcome Friends” It now hangs in our work apartment in Sacramento. I see it everyday and think of the blessing of joy you have been in my life and to everyone who knows you!
    I’m sorry for this new hard season but believing the Lord for some joyful bends in the road that you cannot see, including Dan’s healing in Jesus name!
    Love you, my friend!!!

  10. Debbie Daniels

    Marlys, I’m so sorry you and Dan are going through this. I love how your faith shines through your writing. Praying for both of you. Healing and peace. Your stories are so uplifting. Love you!

  11. Nasus

    What LOVELY memories and pictures! I’d LOVE to hug you both!! With tears in my eyes, thankfulness in my heart for you two and God’s bringing you together, I ask Him to deepen your love for each other with each passing day and in that, to draw you so close to Him that you constantly feel His loving presence and participation in all things. Thank you for the great blessing which you two are!

    • Thank you, Nasus, for this beautiful prayer. ” … that you constantly feel His loving presence and participation in all things.” We do, in all things.

  12. Jackie Lipscomb

    Marlys, you are amazing thank you for sharing and I’m praying for your sweet hubby that God will heal him completely ❤ ???? I pray God will give you courage and strength to get through this. ❤❤????????

  13. Barbara

    Love Camp Sherman since visiting before Stefanie was born!
    Am praying for wise physicians and caregivers for Dan and that soon this all will be in your rearview mirror. Sending my love ….

  14. Mary Tomjack

    I have been a silent friend for a season, Marlys. This news of Dan’s cancer has taken away my breath and moved me to quiet prayer for your peace and Dan’s full recovery.
    Many hearts are holding you in kinship and friendship. Be still and know.
    With love and prayers,

    • “Be still and know.” I love this reminder, Mary. Dan and I are both at peace and trusting God for a full recovery. Thank you, my friend.

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