When you discover your toilet in the bathtub

We couldn’t find our toilet. We noticed it had been removed, but it wasn’t anywhere in the garage. And then later, I walked further into the bathroom and there, partially hidden behind the shower curtain, stood our toilet. In our bathtub.

All photos: Marlys

Should I say yes … or no?

Back when I was a new widow, I adopted the attitude of saying Yes to as many opportunities as possible. “Yes, I’ll join you and the kids in Disney World.” “Celebrating your husband’s birthday in Mexico? I’ll be there!”

And not only Yes to new adventures, but also Yes to interruptions, volunteer respite care, and visiting the dying.

Photo by Kevin Borrill on Unsplash

What if we lived connected?

Dan and I made a number of connections this past month, among them a large Christmas gathering with family, a writers’ critique group meeting, and a last-minute drive to Seattle to catch the premier screening of a film—made by a friend, and featuring another friend.

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

4 intentions to set for 2023

Author Shauna Niequist was featured on a recent podcast where she talked about finding meaning:

I want an assignment. I want can’t-miss-it clarity, a special purpose, the certainty that I’m on the right path doing the right thing, and that it matters.

Shauna Niequist
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

2 last-minute Christmas gift ideas

My heart goes out to all the people who have someone to shop for and haven’t the slimmest idea what to purchase.

I have three words for you: Tea and books. One can never drink too much tea, nor read too many books.

Photo by Jessica Fadel on Unsplash

The gift of thoughtfulness

Before Dan left for a full day of volunteer work, he pulled the car out of the garage, and in its place, he parked Matilda (our affectionate name for the Jeep Wrangler). So when it was time for my morning appointment, Matilda would be warmer than if I had to tromp through the snow, lift the heavy shop door, and start her up.

Photo by Gino Castillo on Unsplash

Invited to the table

There was the Thanksgiving when I was alone at my son and daughter-in-law’s place in Tucson (well … not completely alone, if you count my grand-dog, Chloe). I signed up to help serve a community Thanksgiving meal at the Salvation Army, and by the end of the day I was exhausted. But in a very good kind of way.  

Photo by Nils Stahl on Unsplash

How to enter the zone of happiness

More than a dozen years ago, I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Not because I was unhappy, but because I was curious why it was a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

What season are you in?

This is my favorite time of year, this golden-aspen-football-pumpkin season that extends to turkey-more-football-pie-gratitude season, followed by the snow-falling-tree-decorating-music-lights-gift-giving season.

What if we could enjoy the journey?

“I’m going to marry someone who will stop and play in the snow,” our pre-teen daughter announced from the back seat years ago as we were crossing winter-white mountains on our way to a family Christmas. But the objective of her father was to reach our destination safely and in good time. (Particularly in good time.)

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Copyright © 2023 Marlys Johnson