Archive for Change Posts

published in Change, Dreams/Goals, Fear, Gardening, Inspiration, Playwriting, Travel by Maryanne | June 18, 2019 | 6 Comments

To Be Happy At Home


“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.”

– Samuel Johnson

Yes but now I don’t want to ever leave my home…

Just kidding. You can’t keep a good Gypsy grounded.

Not for long anyway 🙂

I am pleased to report that I am absolutely loving my new home, garden & community of Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. Yay!

Thanks to the previous owners, who obviously had very green thumbs, my garden is an explosion of colour…roses as far as the eye can see. And best of all, I can finally putter, prune, pot and poke around in my garden…without having to wear ear protection!

Instead of the thumping bass of a neighbour’s stereo, the screech of a band saw or the roar of trucks rumbling past, I get to listen to…birds chirping. And for this exquisite peace and quiet that I have so longed for – hoped for, waited for, prayed for – I am beyond thankful.

Not a day goes by that I don’t sit in my backyard and listen to the sweet silence.

I look back now to the seven LONG years of neighbourhood noise at my Sidney home and I want to smack myself upside the head for staying way too long in that situation. But I cannot change the past. What I can do, however, is write a play about the experience…which is exactly what my friend, Lynne, and I have been doing over the past few years.

The play, Bungalow by the Sea, will be a comedy – even though in real life the relentless irritations were anything but funny. That’s one of the great things about writing…we get transform our experiences into something useful (or at least entertaining) for others.

Although the play is about noisy neighbours, what it is really about is the danger of staying in an unhealthy situation – be that a marriage, a job, a home, a way of life – because the fear of the unknown keeps us stuck.

But this much I have learned: I would rather deal with the unknown than tolerate a lousy known.

I often wonder if my less than stellar experience in Sidney is helping me appreciate the peace & quiet I now have in my new garden?

“Sometimes you have to experience the bad, so that you can learn to appreciate the good things that enter your life.”

– Leon Brown

At any rate, here are some glorious garden pics:

And now I’m off to…Equador!

A tremendous last-minute travel opportunity (with a study tour group) recently came up and my friend, Lynne, and I are heading to Equador, including the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon. The Galapagos is pretty much at the top of my travel bucket-list so this gypsy gazelle is taking this opportunity and running with it!

And yes…I strongly suspect this experience IS on my path 🙂

I would love to hear what’s on the top of your travel bucket-list…where on earth do you HAVE to go? 

I won’t be taking my laptop with me to Equador, so no blogs until I return in mid-July…and then look out – here come the travel pics!

Till then, take care and enjoy summer!!

“The opportunity of a lifetime needs to be seized during the lifetime of the opportunity.”

― Leonard Ravenhill

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.

Until We Meet Again Podcast – Elizabeth Fournier Interview with Maryanne Pope


“When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.”

– From the poem, When Great Trees Fall, by Maya Angelou

On Thursday April 11th, 2019, I was very honoured to be interviewed by Elizabeth Fournier, host of the KKPZ-AM radio show, “Until We Meet Again,” out of Portland, Oregon.

The show gently opens up conversations about death in a culture where people are often left wondering what to say or do after the loss of a loved one, or when supporting someone who is grieving.

Right before my interview, Elizabeth read Maya Angelou’s poem, When Great Trees Fall, in it’s entirety. It is a beautiful piece of writing…and was a perfect start to our candid and heartfelt chat about death, grief and life after loss.

For this blog post, I chose to use the above image of the ocean, as well as the starfish excerpt from my book, A Widow’s Awakening, because Elizabeth began our interview by asking me about my new home in Parksville on Vancouver Island…and whether I had a view of the ocean. As you’ll hear in the podcast, I told her no, I didn’t have a view of the water but I do have a lovely garden view and am a 5-min drive from the sea.

Now that nearly 19 years (can you imagine?!) have passed since my husband John’s death, I can safely say the tide HAS returned for this starfish…I am happy again 🙂

To listen the 30-minute podcast with our interview, here is the link.

My interview will be played on the radio show in 6 weeks (so late May/early June 2019). In the meantime, if you’re interested in listening to the show, Elizabeth has some really neat guests. The show can be heard every Thursday at 2 pm (PST).

“Maryanne’s book is unlike any widow book I’ve read due to her honest nature of stumbling her way through the relationship with her husband while he was alive, and after his death. Her outlook is pragmatic, courageous, and I believe quite helpful for widows to feel they are not alone in their journey becoming the awakened person they were meant to become. A Widow’s Awakening offers a wonderful balance of practical knowledge and inspiring advice that will give its readers a sense of peace and hope.”

– Elizabeth Fournier, Until We Meet Again radio host

To purchase A Widow’s Awakening, please visit BHC Press for a list of on-line retailers.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.


published in Change, Inspiration, Synchronicity by Maryanne | March 6, 2019 | 4 Comments

I’m In Love With My Car


MA’s new CRV (2017)

“Synchronicity is the Universe saying you’re getting warmer.”

Michelle Risi

Have you seen Bohemian Rhapsody

I finally watched the movie the other night with Ella (10) and Paige (16). We loved it!

Paige and I got Ella on the Queen-bandwagon good and early in life. When she was oh, maybe 6, her Dad, Davie, came home to find Ella (under my Auntie-supervision) singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of her lungs on the Karaoke machine…”Mamma…just killed a man…put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he’s dead.”

Davie looked at me (can’t imagine why) like I had horns growing out of my head.

At any rate, if you’ve seen the Bohemian Rhapsody film, you may recall the cute scene when one of the band members wrote the song, “I’m in Love With My Car,” and everyone else in the band thought it was odd and kinda stupid. But the songwriter held firm and the song made it onto the album. It is odd but millions of fans love it – myself included.

For all my concern about the burning of fossil fuels being a significant contributor to climate change, I do still love my car. Enough so, that I drove my old CRV (2001) for eighteen years.

Love this shot of Sadie in the old CRV at Pebble Beach, CA, 2018

If I had it my way, I would have kept driving it…until it drove no longer. But when the odometer passed the 350,000 km mark, I finally gave in to the many chirping men in my life who kept asking me when was I going to get a NEW car?

If you are a regular reader of my blogs (or know me personally), you may have noticed I have technical difficulties with the concept of “letting go.” Whether it’s men, dogs, couches, TVs (I still have a TV from 1990…you can just imagine what guys say when they see that?!), books or china, letting go is something I have to really work at.

So it probably won’t surprise you to hear that I didn’t really get rid of my old CRV when the new one drove into my life. I mean, yes…I gave my old CRV away (to Paige) but I can still visit it anytime I want 🙂

Paige at the wheel of her new CRV


Me in my (borrowed from Paige & Ella’s sister, Taylor) Freddy Mercury Adidas, in an early morning driving lesson with Paige

As for my new CRV (2017), it’s kind of neat how it found it’s way to me. Over the past two months, I had been researching what type of vehicle I would like. In January, I test-drove the Tesla Model 3…loved it (but not the price tag)! I considered getting a less expensive electric car but decided to wait a few more years for more super-charging stations to get built. If I had to do a regular commute, an electric vehicle would have made sense. For my big road-trips, I wasn’t quite as confident…yet.

I considered the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid but didn’t want to buy a used one because then I couldn’t be sure of the remaining battery-life. And a new one was out of my price range.

Then I thought about a brand new CRV (because I loved my 2001 one so much) but it was also a bit expensive. Then I thought about a slightly used CRV with low kilometers. Getting warmer…

It just so happened that in the middle of all this research, I was visiting my cousin in Victoria and he suggested I pop into the car broker, Noble Car Buyers Ltd, and hear what they had to say. Several of his buddies has recently used their services and had excellent experiences.

So I did just that…and if you’re not familiar with a car broker, what they do is charge you a flat finders fee (at Noble it is $750) and they find your vehicle – new or used – for the best price. They negotiate the price with the seller and have the vehicle delivered to their office…you just show up, pay for it, get your insurance & registration right there, then drive away in your new wheels.

Now, if you are like me (and many other people, I suspect), the prospect of negotiating with a car salesman at a car dealership (for a new or used vehicle) is not something I look forward to. In fact, I avoid it all costs, mainly because price-negotiations is NOT my strength. Just ask the carpet salesmen in Morocco…they loved me!

So there I am…getting the scoop from the Noble Car Buyers guy in the front office, when out wanders the big cheese (the owner, Russ Noble) from the back office. Russ joins our conversation and the next thing I know, Russ says to me, “Well…if it’s a slightly used CRV Touring you really want, I suppose I could sell you my wife’s car. It’s a 2017 with 21,000 km.”

To which my eyes lit up like fireworks on the Fourth of July. Then I remembered my manners.

“But what about your wife?” I said. “Doesn’t she want her CRV?”

“I’ll ask her,” he said. “In the meantime, you need to test drive the 2019 CRV Touring…it’s exactly the same as the 2017.”

And wouldn’t you know it, my very next appointment that day was to do just that. And let’s just say, it was love at first sight 🙂

Ella & MA on new car day!

A week later, I drove away in Russ’s wife’s 2017 CRV (she was a-okay with it…being married to a car broker, I suspect she’s used to getting a new vehicle on a rather regular basis).

Thanks for reading & may the week ahead bring YOU closer to whatever it is you need! 

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Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here