I was twelve when the original The Poseidon Adventure movie was released in 1972. Although I was mesmerized by the man falling into the gigantic stained-glass skylight as the boat turned upside-down, it was the giant wave itself that permanently imprinted on me. Whether real or on-screen, the raw, indisputable power of water rising up has sucked me in for over 40 years.

I have watched every movie claiming to have the tallest or scariest CGI wave on film (more on that later.) …


December 9th 2019. January 22, 2020. March 4, 2020. I remember these dates because they were all “action” days in my treatment plan for cancer. Blood draws every Tuesday. Radiation starting March 29. A stat scan and kidney flush over Memorial Day weekend.

I suspect all this took root along my memory banks because of the shock of a cancer diagnosis. In truth, I remember it all (or almost all.). My white blood cell and kidney function numbers, the side effects, chemotherapy drug names, tips I’ve learned and what a bad day looks like.

I like to think that this…


When early stories of a new virus were breaking last February into March, I remember a nursing home being hit hard in Washington State and I remember people being stuck on cruise ships around the world because no country wanted to give them port of entry.

But what resonated with me the most at that time were the stories coming out of Italy. The case numbers and nightmarish death totals grew every day. I saw unsettling photos of coffins lined up in churches; there was nowhere else to put them. I remember the jets flying over their citizens, spraying out…


It was mid-September when I sent a text checking in with my sister and she replied “We’re with mom at the hair salon and she says hi.”

This is how I learned that restrictions had been relaxed for my 90-year-old mother Ginny who had been in lockdown inside her senior living residence for 186 days. After all this time, she was suddenly out. Free.

Almost immediately, residents were getting picked up (and driving themselves) for Target trips, family visits and grocery runs. The automatic doors never had a chance to close.

New policies for dining in the dining room took…


Two unlikely circumstances recently collided in my small world which led to the re-discovery of a 72-year-old journal… and this story. The first happening was a six-part documentary series which aired in the early fall titled “Expedition to the Edge.” It was the story of The Infinity, a 40-year-old sailing ship with a stubborn (!) German captain named Clemons Oestreich and his “rag tag group of family and friends” who signed up to sail through the Northwest Passage in 2018.

They set sail in The Marshall Islands (close to the equator) with a goal to reach Alert in Nunavut, Canada…


The power of wind is as varied as the descriptive names for it: Chinook, Trade winds, gale force, Sirocco, the North wind and simply, breezes.

We’ve all felt the sharp change when wind gusts appear right before a thunderstorm, bending trees and blowing lawn furniture. And we have felt the small joys when the wind softly rustles tree leaves or a summer breeze refreshingly sweeps by, and we turn our necks, left and right, to cool our faces a little more.

At its worst, wind has a destructive side such as when a tornado, hurricane or haboob forms. It also…


I had the most interesting talk with my 30-year-old son Will last week. I was sharing how often my brain misfires these days. I mix up basic facts, I can’t find the right words while speaking, and I have forgotten more than once how to retrieve my cell phone voicemail. (I need to dial “1” first before my last 4 digits.)

“It’s no wonder” I told him “that there have been no published pieces for a while because it has become very difficult to think of and follow-through on an idea.” …


I had my sixth and final scheduled round of chemotherapy for uterine cancer almost two weeks ago. Treatment is never a straight path and mine was no exception.

Over the past several months, I have chronicled those experiences, but I realized that I had missed something. In fact, I had missed an entire side of the story. What about the caregiver when something like cancer strikes? What is that point-of-view as they move through the exact same time period and challenges faced by their loved one? …


It was August 2008. We were on the road driving our son Will towards his freshman year in college. On the second day of driving, we had been on the road for almost four hours when I felt it. And heard it. First there was the explosive bang, then the telltale thumpthumpthumpthump. The front right tire had just blown out. My adrenaline was pumping of course, but even more so because I happened to be driving 65 mph on the highway. I wondered whether the thumping could actually be my heart which was racing. I navigated over to the right…

Melanie Stewart

I focus on the bright side of life, but it’s also integral to me to keep it real. I think I’m just a reporter at heart. Part of the cancel cancer club.

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