Since before I was born, my family has had a place on Lake Mitchell in Clanton. Until I left Clanton as a college student, I spent nearly every day of my summer vacation there, enjoying time on the water. As soon as we had our last day of school for the year, we would pack up and move to the river. Although our “regular house” was only about 10 miles away, we rarely lived there or even visited it during the summer. All of our time was spent at the river. Even as I got older and had events like band practice or youth camp, we would remain at the river house until the first day of school.
I loved those summers. There were no plans. We would wake up and simply see what the day held for us – swimming, fishing, boating, playing in the woods, or relaxing in the air conditioning. Sometimes, we had family visit and would have 10-12 of us in the house at one time.
The freedom we had on the water was amazing. While you have to be 16 to drive a car in Alabama, when I was younger, one could get a boating license at age 12. Therefore, at an early age, I was traveling from one side of the lake to other on my own.
Interestingly enough, Lesley had a similar experience in her youth as her family had a place on Lake Harding along the Alabama-Georgia border. For the first few months of our marriage, we were able to live in her mother’s lake house and enjoyed the ability to step outside and be on the water.
When we travel to Alabama during the summer these days, we try our best to spend a few days at the Lake. It’s relaxing, and our kids now have the opportunity to enjoy some of the same things we did as children.