Dana Martin Writing

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A [mostly amusing] blog about travel, life, and TSA pat-downs
Dana Martin Writing

“A” is for Abode

Grateful April in the A-Z Blogging Challenge
Being on the West Coast of the United States, I’d better get faster at posting my letter blog for the day during this Blogging from A-Z April Challenge because my writing comrades in the other time zones are already out of the gate. I’ve already had hits on my blog, and I’m barely on my second cup of coffee. I promise I’ll get better tomorrow. Scarlett O’Hara and me.
I’ve chosen the theme of gratitude, and what better way to begin my day than thinking how fortunate I am to be living in a house–a home.  My abode.
It isn’t the biggest house among my friends; in fact, it’s one of the smallest. I’ve been living in the same house for 20 years. It was big and fancy when we purchased it in 1992 but has gotten small and less fancy after raising three kids to adulthood. We’ve had to go through several upgrades to stay modern (the blue carpet is the last to go). We moved in when I was 24 and it was already our second home. Who knew I’d live in the second one for all this time.
My grown children have wanted to move a few times to live in a house without oak doors and brass fixtures, but not anymore. They’ve lived here so long that moving now would be like amputation. They want to bring their own children home one day to the house in which they made their memories. I get that.  My mom and dad did that.
Dana Martin writer Bakersfield Jarret Martin pitcherAs I sit here typing, my oldest child–a left handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers–is at home briefly for Easter Sunday. He’s leaving today for work, as it is Opening Day for Major League Baseball. His fiance is here, his sisters are asleep, and this tiny house is big enough to hold them all yet small enough to know we are all at home.
I’m grateful for the physical blessing of owning a house, but I’m just as blessed that my family enjoys being here in it. My son drove straight through from Spring Training so that he could have just two nights in his own bed, a home cooked meal, and the love and laughter of his family. Seven of us crowded together on one sectional sofa last night and watched the finale to The Bible on the History Channel.
For two nights, all of my chicks were back home in the nest.
Yes, by some standards our home is small. And yet, it isn’t. Without a home big enough to hold us all and welcoming enough for my adult children to feel comfortable, having them all under the same roof would not be possible. For this, I am grateful.


  • Annis Cassells

    Love it! You are off to a great start, Dana. xoA

  • Frances Stiles

    Dana, what a great post! I know what you mean about a tiny house filled with love. My husband Ralph and I live in what used to be my grandparents house, a sort of cottage that were popular as summer houses in our town back in the '20's. It a bit the worse for wear, but we're together and that's what counts. We own a home in New Mexico and are desperately trying to get our lives packed up so we can move there. We went out for a visit in August last year and while there we drove to Santa Rosa, CA for a wedding. We drove through the center of CA (an area I had never seen before.) It was beautiful. We took an accidental detour past Bakersfield when we missed a road sign. All worked out well and we got where we were going and back in one piece. We love driving through CA and especially love Lone Pine. We've been there several times. So glad you found me and I will be back to hear more from you. Have a great day!

  • Jonathan

    Great post and a wonderful theme for the challenge. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. Also, thanks for the kind words at mi blog casa. Good luck and happy blogging!

  • Jenn Flynn-Shon

    What a wonderful theme and a really sweet first post for the challenge. So nice to spend holidays with family in a place you all feel most at home.

    Randomness and Lunacy

  • Lynda Schmeichel

    Dana – Happy A to Z Challenge! Sounds like a wonderful Easter weekend with all your chicks under your roof. Unfortunately, all my children live 15 hours away from me, across 2 provinces, so it was just hubby & me for Easter. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your posts during this challenge.

  • Dana Martin

    Hi all!

    Annis: Thank you, lovely woman. I am enjoying this challenge so far!

    Frances: I LOVED your descriptive comment. Thank you!!! Lone Pine is super great, and what a funny coincidence that you've been through Bakersfield. I hope to hear from you again. 🙂

    Jonathan: I may not be working on my "Abs" tonight, but I'll be working on my "buns." haha Did I pick your "B" topic for tomorrow?? 🙂

    Jenn: Thank you! And thanks for stopping by!! I returned the favor, but I could not comment on your blog. 🙁 I am sorry to hear about your troubling illness. I'll be hoping that "D" is discovery and "H" is totally HEALED!!

    Lynda: Thank you! I'm going to try to find you on here, too. I'm sorry your kids live so far away. It's a treasure having them close.

  • Jer

    Gratitude and Abode, very nice. I'll be reading as many blogs as I can this month, but yours will be a daily stop for sure. Thanks for using your Jedi Editor mind trick or whatever it was you used to get me into this.

  • Sylvia Ney

    Great picture of you and your son! Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I'm returning the follow and I look forward to visiting again!


  • Michelle

    When we bought our current house we said it was going to feel too small as the kids became teenagers, and too big when they move out. It's been 9 years, and I have no desire to move….and that is taking into account we only have one bathroom!

  • Kym Showers

    This is exciting!!! A post every day this month…CANNOT wait!!! I LoVE THIS one. There is NO PLACe like HOME. The HaPPiEST day for the MOM….all sweet little babies in the nest…& sectional:). Love!!!

  • mare ball

    Hope you weren't too disappointed that my blog is not really about baseball! I see you are a baseball fan! 🙂 I've been in my house 20 years too, and love it, despite it's wear and tear. Welcome to the A-Z! Happy to follow. 🙂

  • Nicky

    This post strikes a chord with me…I inherited the house I am living in, when my grandmother passed away; my dad and aunt grew up here, and then he raised me here, and I was allowed to move in when I got married and had my kids, in 1989. Now they bring my grandchildren to visit, and we are surrounded by five generations of memories, if not the actual people. It might be small and old-fashioned, but this house is definitely a home, and we are grateful as well!

  • Dennis


    What a touching and beautiful tribute to your home and family. The feeling of gratitude shines through. Anxious to ready more.


  • Kathy Wiechman

    Wonderful post. You made me think about how much I treasure my own home, even with its flaws. I also treasure my adult children. It seems we have much in common, except I'm a Reds fan. Hope that doesn't put me in the doghouse.

  • Empty Nester

    Our house sounds a lot like yours. We have the smallest of our friends and family but we raised 4 daughters here (the lovelies) and all their friends love coming here. They still say our house is so cozy and all feel welcome here. No one made it home for Easter because they will all be here in 2 weeks for a family wedding (not really family but they are so close to our hearts that we claim each other as family). I can't wait! I love it when the nest fills up from time to time. And it nearly bursts at the seams, but it's fabulous!

  • Elisabeth Kauffman

    I miss owning a home and I miss California… we used to live there and are trying to move back soon. I like your theme for the A to Z challenge. 🙂 Looking forward to letter B!

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Dana .. I think that's wonderful .. you're showing us one big happy family – great to read and to see … so pleased he made it home.

    Enjoy them .. you will and see you around the A-Z .. cheers Hilary

  • Kimberly Gabriel

    What a beautiful family! I love that your son drove home just to hang out for a couple nights. I have two boys – 3 and 7mo. We are just about to leave our condo in the city (that my husband and I love) for our first real house in the burbs. I hope that many years from now, my boys will want to make the same drive interrupting their busy schedules to visit it. We also just bought a sectional. 😉 Ha! Been loving your posts. 😉

  • fruitfulwords

    Hi Dana,

    It is truly a blessing to have all the chicks home at the same time. My two are 28 and 30 and rarely home at the same time.

    I appreciated your reflection on "abode." made me homesick for home with my parents.

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