Five More Minutes With Loved Ones Who Feared He Was Dead

Written by Martha Marino on October 22, 2012

Our frequent contributor, Martha Marino, had an unusual experience on a recent business trip that reminded her of the Five More Minutes With zeitgeist.

Here’s her recounting of meeting up with the uncle of a bride whose wedding could only be termed a disaster. 

Today I took an airport shuttle from the Philadelphia Marriott to catch my flight back to Seattle.

The shuttle stopped at another hotel that was widely reported in national newspapers including USA Today, as well as radio and television news reports.
Last night at the Sheraton, a fight broke out at a WEDDING! Fists were flying, and it was a massive brawl at the hotel.

There was a fatality: the 57-year-old uncle of the bride died from a heart attack.

When we picked up our passenger at that hotel, we asked him about the news story.

Sure enough, at about 1 a.m. (“Nothing good ever happens after midnight,” he said), two men in the wedding party got into a heated argument and threw punches.

It escalated from there.

A bridesmaid took a fist in the face; others were injured; everyone else fled.

Police rushed to the scene to break it up, using a stun gun and billy clubs.

Who knows why it started? Alcohol just made it worse.

The man on our shuttle said he received dozens and dozens of calls.

He is a 57-year-old uncle of the bride – but of a separate wedding taking place in the Sheraton that night.

His friends and family, so distressed that he may have died, were relieved and told him how much he meant to them.

He joked that it was like being at his own funeral, hearing words of love and appreciation.

More stories from: Featured Story,With My Uncle

Inspiring Moment: With Nature

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on October 8, 2012

My dear friend Martha Marino, who has written about her grandmother for Five More Minutes With and also submitted Inspiring Moment photos in the past, makes an annual pilgrimage to Mt. Rainier, a 14,411-foot mountain near Seattle, to reflect, refresh, and set her priorities for the coming year.

Last year she wrote about her journey and sent along an Inspiring Moment photo that I posted.

This year she sent along three photos she took during her annual journey, which are so gorgeous I had to share them with you.

A field of wildflowers.

Snowy arch.

The Mountain (as Seattleites loving call it) and a babbling brook.

Thanks, Martha, for inspiring us with your photos!

A Legacy of Hospitality

Written by Martha Marino on October 20, 2011

One of my very best friends in the world, Martha Marino, describes her Scandinavian grandmother, who definitely new the in’s and out’s of hospitality and died on her own terms.

This post was first published in April 2010.

Martha Marino

Three generations proudly surround Grandma

My Danish grandmother lived all her life in Nebraska, and since I grew up far away in California, our family would visit just twice a year.

When we did, Grandma bustled about with genuine, but soft-spoken hospitality. Meals with the extended family were fun and abundant with vegetables she had “put up” from her garden and fruit trees.

Grandma had a special fondness for her many grandchildren: on the third story of their farmhouse she had built low shelves stocked with a Santa’s-workshop array of toys, dolls, games, dress-up clothes, blocks, puzzles, stuffed animals, blocks.

It now seems bizarre but she even had a toilet in the corner of the room, out in the open, so little ones could “go” without interrupting their play.

She was a gentle soul, a quiet leader, with high expectations of herself (she was born in 1900 and went to college, rare at that time for a woman), her four daughters, and all of us grandchildren.

When she was nearing the end of her life in her 90’s, still healthy in her mind and body, I wrote a letter to her, asking what legacy she wanted me, as her oldest grandchild, to carry on in her memory.

When she died, I was at a loss because I had never heard back from her.

She even died with hospitality. My mom was with her and Grandma said to her, “Janet, it’s my time. Please call the pastor, take the cookies out of the freezer for him, and make some coffee.”

After he had said his words and had his dessert, she was gone. Hospitality even at the end.

When my mom and her sisters emptied out her apartment, they found my letter to her. She clearly had kept it, intending to respond at some point, since she always answered correspondence. My mom sent it back to me and I still have it.

If I had had five more minutes with Grandma, I would have asked her about that legacy. Or perhaps if she had had five more minutes, she would have written to me.

A few years ago when I visited our relatives in Denmark, I heard them use the word hygge frequently, especially when visiting someone’s home. It was the highest compliment.

The word translates most closely to “cozy” but not in a cutsie way. It means warmth, intimacy, cheerfulness, good simple food, relaxation, enjoyable conversation, and a heartfelt sense of togetherness.

I had experienced Grandma as the epitome of hospitality, and I think the legacy she would be happy for me to carry on would be from her Danish roots, hygge.

More stories from: With My Grandmother

Finding Solitude Atop Mt. Rainier

Written by Martha Marino on September 15, 2011


Martha’s photo of Mt. Rainier taken on August 13, 2011

Martha Marino is one of my dearest friends, as well as a frequent contributor to Five More Minutes with in both stories and photos.

Here are her thoughts on finding solace–and time for reflection–atop one of the Northwest’s, indeed the world’s, most majestic peaks.

“Since 1996, I have spent the second weekend in August in a solitary retreat on Mt Rainier.

“Its majesty, steadiness, and ever-changing beauty serve truly as my ‘rock.’

“Countless others have found Mt Rainier a spiritual place, and that’s true for me, too.

“It’s my backdrop for grounding, reflection, and finding a path in each coming year for a more purposeful and joyful life.”



More stories from: Featured Story