TALES FROM THE BAYOU: My Porch Sanctuary



I had the long-awaited opportunity to sit on my backyard patio yesterday. For someone allergic to the sun and who becomes violently ill from the heat/humidity found in East Tennessee, I take solace in the fact Autumn is finally here, and with it the chance to seek out my patio sanctuary whenever I get the chance.

Growing up in a small, swamp town in southern Louisiana, every porch or patio on every rental house I lived in while growing up held a special place in my heart. Even the long, enclosed porch of the house my parents were finally able to buy on a poor cook’s salary, is forever etched in my heart for different reasons.

Back in the early 70’s when I was much younger, the porch of each rental house was a place where my sister and I could play with our dolls…not cooped up inside, but still under the watchful eye of our mother. I could drag out chairs and blankets to build a fort or clubhouse where I entertained my stuffed toys with grass tea and mud cookies. My sister and I even used those porches as our stage as we sang to an imaginary audience sitting patiently on our front lawn…cheering us on as we gave them everything we had in the way of fashion shows and singing talent.

But it was the last house I lived in before moving to the big city of Lafayette that stays with me the most. It was there I shucked a mountain of corn so that my family wouldn’t go hungry during winter time on the bayou. It was there I could swing on that rickety wooden contraption my mother called a porch swing…squeaking to the rhythm of my toes pushing my self back and forth while buried in the mesmerizing story of my latest library treasure.

So many memories from so many porches…they were all my sanctuaries where I could turn my back on the stark reality of my family’s poverty, or even the cruelty of being ostracized at my school. There, I was the queen of my front porch palace…the ruler of my young writing destiny…and I could imagine a world of MY choosing…all for the cost of a little push of a worn out swing on a well-loved porch…








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Best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, will be released in November.

Donna L

Hybrid award winning author; aspiring sketch artist; and 4th Degree Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor. Host of BOOK NOOK REVIEWS. Member of SCBWI. Mom to fabulous son and adventurer delving into the tricky world of indie-publishing.

2 thoughts on “TALES FROM THE BAYOU: My Porch Sanctuary

  • October 28, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Not all of the porches were good to you, one in particular–the one at the house with the snack bar between the kitchen and dining room. You were still in diapers and on the porch when you walked up behind me; I was standing on the ground in front of the flowerbed that was in front of the porch. I didn’t know you were there when brother tossed a ball to me and I took a swing at it with a bat. I knocked you right off the porch and into the flower bed! You weren’t hurt, but I was. You were my baby and I was mortified. Good times….

    • October 28, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      Lol, good for both of us that I don’t remember it or YOU might be the one getting up from the flower bed this time! 😉

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!


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