Author Archives: Mary Jo Doig

About Mary Jo Doig

At the turn of the millennium, I arrived at a cross-road that brought me to 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 found so many opportunities to grow: 10 year facilitator for an online writing circle of women writers across the country; thirteen year editor of the "True Words from Real Women" section of the quarterly Journal; a reader and reviewer of women's memoirs for the SCN Book Review site; program chair for two Stories from the Heart national conferences in Austin, T. Presently I'm teaching Women's Life-Writing and Older Women's Legacy workshops in my part of the world in Central Virginia and facilitating the ongoing Circle of Memories Writing Circle (formerly an OWL workshop that continued on) at the Crozet Public Library. I am blessed with three wonderful children, a son and two daughters; a small, huge-hearted family; dear friends; my beagle Addie and cat Button. 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. All these years later, I'm scheduled to publish my memoir, Stitching a Patchwork Life, in 2018.

Hello from Addie!

Hi Everybody, My mom’s quite behind in life at the moment, so I thought I’d say a quick Hi until she gets back to the next chapter of my journal. She’s been especially frustrated this week because her computer crashed … Continue reading

Posted in Animal friends, Courage, Grace, Gratitude, Kindness, Mystery, Nurturance | 1 Comment

Glorious Autumn Harvest Muffins

Between working on my memoir, taking long and lovely autumn walks on quiet country roads with Addie, time with family, my lovely writing circle, reading, and the many other things I love to do, I realized this morning as I … Continue reading

Posted in Animal friends, Family, Health, In the Kitchen, Nurturance | 6 Comments

Addie’s Journal, Chapter 7 – Celebrating the One Week Mark

A week has passed since Addie moved in with us. As I’ve watched her closely, her small daily changes  in adapting have given me much joy and so this day I’m taking measure of the growth I’ve seen. After Flower … Continue reading

Posted in Animal friends, Change, Courage, Gifts, Health, Nurturance | 4 Comments

Addie’s Journal – Chapter 6

The next morning when I peeked around the hall corner toward Addie in her crate, I said, “Addie, Good mor-ning! I’m so glad to see you!” I couldn’t resist clapping my palms together and raising my shoulders with joy. She … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Addie’s Journal – Chapter 5

On Addie’s second day, our walks were delightful. On our first morning walk, I fastened her leash, opened the sliding door, scooped her up to take her down the three steps to the yard. As soon as she stood on … Continue reading

Posted in Animal friends, Compassion, Gifts, Grace, Gratitude, Mother Nature, Simplicity | 1 Comment

Addie’s Journal – Chapter 4

Dear Reader, The horrific events in neighboring Charlottesville a week ago profoundly impacted my recent writing. Today I pick up the thread where we left off awhile ago: Adelaide’s arrival at her new home. Mary Jo *** Staff at the … Continue reading

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Addie’s Journal – Chapter 3

“Hi,” Flower said happily to Polly and me. “I’m so glad to see you both. Adelaide’s room is back here.” Polly and I followed her through the shelter into a small hallway with lines of rooms on both sides. Large … Continue reading

Posted in Animal friends, Compassion, Gifts, Grace, Gratitude, Kindness, Mystery | 4 Comments

Addie’s Journal – Chapter 2

Flower, the adoption counselor, had emailed the evening before Polly and I visited the shelter, a note that well-prepared me for the visit. I’ll bring some boiled chicken for you to give her and I’ll have a little stool in … Continue reading

Posted in Animal friends, Courage, Family, Grace, Gratitude, Kindness, Mystery, Peacefulness | Leave a comment

Adelaide’s Journal – Chapter 1

She was first known as Puncture Dog. Found in a ditch by Animal Control in Nelson County, VA, the tiny tri-colored stray was dehydrated, emaciated, covered in ticks, and infested with parasites.  Taken directly to the Lovingston Veterinarian Hospital,  she was … Continue reading

Posted in Animal friends, Compassion, Courage, Gifts, Grace, Health, Kindness, Nurturance | 6 Comments

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