Author Archives: Mary Jo Doig

About Mary Jo Doig

At the turn of the millennium, I arrived at a cross-road that brought me a splendid, if unforeseen place, almost as if I were a traveler on Robert Frost's The Road Less Traveled. I was single again, my three children were grown and building their lives, I'd experienced a health issue and was working on an improved lifestyle. I also ached to do two other things: (1) change my long human services career in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains, where winter seemed to be at least seven months out of every year, and (2) move to a warmer place in the universe. My decision: did I want to continue on the path I'd been following pretty much all my life, or could I gather my then-fragile courage and start life brand new somewhere else? These were scary thoughts for a single woman in her late 50s. Five hundred miles away, though, I fell in love with a new mountain range, Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, where I knew not a soul except my daughter who was attending college in the Shenandoah Valley, and I moved. I rented a tiny cabin on a mountain in the woods and lived there in solitude for two years, working in a new career by day and, when home, communing with the incredible natural beauty that surrounded me. There I also began to write my life stories, which were aching for release. I joined the Story Circle Network in early 2001, a rich place in cyberspace for women life writers, where I strengthened my written voice and began sharing my stories. I grew there in so many ways and today I'm a long-time editor for the "True Words from Real Women" section of the quarterly Journal, as well as a reader and reviewer of women's memoirs for the SCN Book Review site, another unique place in cyberspace. Then, next year, I’ll again be honored to be program chair for our Stories from the Heart national conference in Austin, TX. I have so many loves: first, my three children: my son, Chip and daughter, Polly, both in Virginia; and my youngest daughter, Susan, in Florida, and also dear family and friends. I must also include my cats Hilary (20) and Button (5). Sometimes I foster cats and kittens for the Humane Society, but Button prefers me not to. My hobbies include reading, writing, editing, cooking, gardening, quilting, knitting, biking, and simply being with the profound beauty of the mountains that embrace my small two acres in the Blue Ridge. The life stories I began writing in 2001 have grown deeper with time, re-writes, and personal growth. Now, all these years later, I believe I've sliced through the layers to reach the heart of my story, and am presently working on the final revision of my memoir, Stitching a Patchwork Life.

Leaving Las Vegas

I’m flying home to Virginia at an altitude of 10,000 feet and climbing. As my eyes drink in the sight of the gorgeous desert mountain below, I feel I want never to forget what I am seeing. I silently whisper, … Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Family, Glioblastoma, Grace, Health, Mother Nature, Mystery | 5 Comments

A Mindful Meditation of our Women’s Life-Writing Circle

We gather in our quiet, secluded space at the recently constructed, variegated-beige stone Crozet Library, bringing the life-story we have written in preparation at home. We greet each other warmly as each woman arrives, and ask how things have been … Continue reading

Posted in Community, Grace, Gratitude, Mystery, Womens' Writing Circles | 4 Comments

April the second

I wake slowly into this Sunday morning and lay still, thinking of earlier years on April the second. This is the day my former in-laws married nearly a century ago. I think of all the ways their union interfaced with … Continue reading

Posted in Bovina Stories, Family, Gifts, Grace, Gratitude, Living Mindfully, Mother Nature, Mystery, Peacefulness, Simplicity | 6 Comments

Simple, Delicious Hard Red Wheat Berry Bread

If you love homemade bread, in particular a dense and chewy, richly-flavored, whole-grain loaf, here’s a recipe I’ve been using lately that’s amazingly easy to make and, oh, so delicious to eat. Almost No-Work Whole Grain Bread 3 cups whole … Continue reading

Posted in Health, In the Kitchen, Living Mindfully, Nurturance, Simplicity | 2 Comments

About Tribes

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging Humans don’t mind hardship, in fact they thrive on it; what they mind is not feeling necessary. Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary. It’s time for that to end. … Continue reading

Posted in A Wonderful Book, Book Reviews, Community, Compassion, Courage, Family, Friendship, Grace, Mystery, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Little Punkins

Although I’ve been making quilt squares in my spare time during the past year, on the winter evenings when dark arrives early, my perennial urge to knit returns once again. This inner prompting reminds me of the Catskill Mountain days in late winter … Continue reading

Posted in Community, Gifts, Grace, Gratitude, Living Mindfully, Peacefulness, Poverty, Simplicity, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Lint and Light

Connie Spittler is a member, as I am also privileged to be, in a dynamic Work in Progress writing group. Recently she shared this story with us and I was so moved by it, I asked her permission to repost … Continue reading

Posted in Grace, Living Mindfully, Mystery, Simplicity | 2 Comments

A Sliver of Light

Following this debilitating post-election week, I found myself aching for solitude and solace. The autumn day is sunny and bright, with few white clouds slowly drifting across the pale blue sky. Below, sun rays brighten the dwindling yellow, orange, and … Continue reading

Posted in Change, Gifts, Grace, Gratitude, Mother Nature, Mystery, Peacefulness, Simplicity | 12 Comments

Those Ten Pounds – Three Months Later

Remember those ten pounds I talked about three months ago that transformed into my wake-up call? The pounds that caused my A1C (a 3-6 month average of blood sugar levels) to elevate high enough that my doctor put me on … Continue reading

Posted in Change, Gifts, Grace, Gratitude, Health | 8 Comments

Gratitude

Gratitude For time to cherish a lovely autumn day on a country road with a good dog, equally as appreciative.   

Posted in Animal friends, Change, Gifts, Grace, Gratitude, Mother Nature, Peacefulness | Leave a comment