November 28, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 32

Broken elbow leads Cheney's Martinssen to dentistry

Of Cabbages and Kings

How does a person decide a life’s career? Andrew Martinssen said, “I always wanted to do something, not just have a job.” His father, who is a pastor in Los Angeles, Calif., gave him a few words to think about it. “When you have to do it you’ll learn to like it.”

Martinssen had it in mind to become a professional pianist. Then in an accident he broke his left elbow. Professional pianist? Maybe not.

Another accident robbed him of some front teeth that sent him to a dentist. Martinssen said, “I like the work he did. But, I thought he should be friendlier with the patient. I went to dental school and began to think I liked it.”

His dad’s advice was coming true. Andrew had to put up with a little razzing when he passed by is old friends. They’d laugh and say, “Remember to floss, remember to floss, remember to floss.”

Martinssen met Lola, his future love, at church. On Martinssen’s reminders of things to do, marriage was far down the list. But one day his eyes saw what his heart was telling him and they were married.

As a married couple, Andrew and Lola moved to Seattle where Andrew practiced dentistry, then on to Tucson, Ariz. for six years. They came to Cheney Oct. 20, 2011 and began to make the adjustment to small town atmosphere. Cheney’s friendliness was a pleasant change to the hustle of the big cities.

They found some rural property with good possibilities. Lola said, “We’re building a little farm.” Their “livestock” consists of three dogs, four chickens and two goats. The chickens have a real homemade coop thanks to the Martinssens. They said, “Next year we’ll build a green house.” And yes, this year they planted a garden.

Two of their dogs are Lhasa Apso, weighing only 15 pounds each. Their black Russian terrier weighs in at 93 pounds and she’s small for her breed.

Andrew has praise for Lola, “she’s a great chef,” he said. Lola likes to cook and often looks for new recipes. She said, “I like to try Asian food or a Thai recipe.”

That’s not her only talent. Lola and Andrew enjoy shooting together. “She’s a good shot,” he said. She’s a busy mother as well as she takes care of their seven-month-old baby, Joy, who is truly their little joy.

Andrew keeps up with snowboarding in the winter and practices three hours a week to keep up his skills. During summers they enjoy water sports and have been involved with local sports teams.

Andrew hasn’t forgotten his enthusiasm and his talent in playing classical music. Occasionally he plays the piano at Christ Our Hope Bible Church in Spokane where they attend services.

Andrew mentioned their employees at Cheney Dental Clinic, “They have integrity and are hard working. We have great patients, too,” he smiled. Here’s his final remark: “Teeth are like fingerprints. No two are alike.” Did you know that? I didn’t.

Luella Dow is a Cheney-area author. She can be reached at

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