***Warning! Some of these pictures are disturbing!***

Or at least they are to me because they are the result of my 98 year-old house trying to fall down around me while I was still living in it. It all started around 2012 when a major ice storm came through town. My 50 foot oak tree that used to stand in my front yard fell on my house, striking the chimney and causing more than $35,000 worth of damage.

What no one knew at the time was that the insides of my chimney were about to come outside! A build up of decades of greasy soot had been loosened by that falling tree and about a year after my house was repaired, that unstable chimney imploded. Fifty years of greasy soot roared through my house like a mushroom cloud, settling on every inch of the house and destroying just about everything in it’s path.

What has that unfortunate incident have to do with the pandemic you ask?


The insurance company refused to pay any more on the claim so I lived the next eight years in a home desperately needing repair with no money to do it.

A LOT of bad happened in my life last year. A small fire in the kitchen. The kitchen sink shearing in half and flooding the room before I could stop it. The initial public reaction to the virus threatening to rock my 20 year martial arts career. My fledgling publishing company nearly drowning in the backlash of school visits and other writer events being canceled. Ten of them to be exact that were cancelled almost overnight before I could even catch my breath. The pandemic closed down many contractors and it took almost a year to find one willing to work on my house. At a price I could afford.

But some good came out of last year. A stimulus check to start repairs. A pension plan I could cash out without penalty to be able to finish the work.

At last there was light at the end of that greasy, sooty tunnel that my house would one day look like new again.

What I hadn’t planned on is it taking the contractor six month of hard work to bring my dream of having my own beach themed house to life.

I lived like a refugee for months, dragging buckets of water from an outside faucet into the house because the interior pipes had begun to leak and the water inside the house had to be shut off.

This year has started out pretty rough as well. My old car with it’s 241,000 miles finally had a fatal breakdown and I had to get another car. A family member suddenly died. My writing had dried up like the Sahara Desert and I worried I wouldn’t be able to find the creative will to write again.

But this past month has showered many blessings on my life…on my home…and my writing. Come back on Wednesday to take a peek at my new “beachy” sanctuary and learn about all the good that has come out of living this pandemic life. You will be amazed!!


Hybrid published 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 flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

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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.

9 thoughts on “CONFESSIONS OF A PANDEMIC LIFE: The Old Home

  • April 26, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Looking forward to seeing your progress on Wednesday. So sorry for all your troubles last yea, Debbie

    Sent from my iPhone


    • April 26, 2021 at 11:58 am

      Hi Debbie,

      Thank you for your kind words. Those were just some of the events and obstacles I dealt with last year. There were just too many to list, and at one point I just wanted to crawl under my covers and not come out of my room! But that’s not really in my DNA, so here I am…slowly climbing back up that hill to catch a rainbow on the other side…?

      Thanks for stopping by and be sure to come back Wednesday for my beach house reveal!

      Take care,


  • April 26, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    The pictures don’t do the mess justice. Seeing the damage in person was much more ‘fun’.

    • April 26, 2021 at 3:36 pm

      Janet, only you and one other person ever really saw how bad things had gotten. You know it’s not in my nature to whine about things, but you also know how many times I cried over my house situation. Now I breathe a sigh of relief and shed happy tears at how pretty everything turned out.

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

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  • May 23, 2021 at 5:45 am

    Oh my gosh! Donna I am so sorry this happened to you. And I’m also so sorry I haven’t been around much over the past couple of years. True the pandemic has certainly changed things but I think it will I HOPE make for some much change such as people becoming aware of even the small things and of caring for others. And I can’t believe what you have been through. So sorry. I’m skipping to your Wednesday post now to see your improvements. Much hugs.

    • August 1, 2021 at 10:31 pm


      Just to show how crazy this year has been…your comment didn’t show up in my messages until TODAY!!! My year is slowly getting better. One week left to my summer camp and hopefully cooler weather coming soon. Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!


  • July 16, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    I hope your house is in a better condition now. I know the ordeal of old houses because mine is almost 70 years old. It needs a lot of repairing each year and then again starts leaking from the other end!!
    However pandemic has done us some good, it has put a lot of time on our hands. We have an article that is related to working from home. Do give it a look.'t-a-vacation-the-show-shall-go-on-with-or-without-us/


    • July 17, 2021 at 3:55 am

      Hi Deb and welcome to my blog!

      Yes, the inside of my house is secure now. Saving pennies to address outside repairs.

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!


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