It’s early morning at my house on Big Sandy Lake (I live across the street from the lake but have lake view). The moon is a sliver hanging precariously in the sky somewhere over Bell Horn Bay (or Bill Horn). My newly-acquired pond in the yard has a crust of ice on it. It is inevitable, summer is over, fall is on the way out, and winter is coming.
It’s Friday October 25th, and my family is home sick with various chills, coughs, and sniffles. I am sandwiched on a couch between two leaky-nosed kids watching “Its The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on Amazon Prime. Seeing the ice forming on my small pond makes me think about the past summer and how much fun our family had enjoying all that the area has to offer.
One particular moment stands out among the rest for me.
The memory starts approximately noon on a hot mid-august Saturday. My kids have eaten lunch and are determined to go swimming. The only question is where? We have frequented a few of the local beaches Big Sandy has to offer, and I am motivated to explore the lake for more great spots to swim. Having lived in the area for roughly two years we have not explored even half of the lake yet.
But this summer, particularly this moment, I am armed with information from a seasoned skipper (My neighbor) well versed in navigating the lake.
My three sunblock-covered children, my wife, and myself all pile into our 16′ 1957 aluminum boat and prepare for our voyage to the sandbar on Moose Gut island.
It is a wavy day on the lake as we motor our way close to the sandbar. My wife has her hands full with our then nine month old daughter. She is squirming around like a slippery northern trying to escape the grips of a hungry fisherman. The two other kids sit happily munching on snacks. The wind is blowing somewhat hard on the port side of our small boat. The 15 hp Yamaha chugs along churning through the waves as we approach the bustling summertime hotspot. Various boats and pontoons are posted along the sandbar and some classic rock floats across the breeze. I locate a spot and do my best to fight the wind and land our boat in between a pontoon and the tree line. I am about 15 yards out from landing and a stranger wades out without hesitation and grabs onto our bow and guides our boat into the small nook space left to park. I thanked him and began plucking kids out of the boat and placing them in the water.
My kids and I swam and played in the beach and conversed with other sandbar dwellers. As the hours past, boats came and went like an old timey drive in diner. Water toys, stories, and sunburn were all shared that beautiful afternoon on Big Sandy Lake.
As we putted back to the dock, I couldn’t help but feel a strong feeling of happiness; happy to have had a great day on the lake, happy to have created a great memory for my family and myself, and happy to live here on Big Sandy Lake.
My two leaky-nosed kids and I sit feeling sluggish on the couch under a blanket fighting the chills, but the memory of our afternoon at the sandbar somehow helps ease the symptoms.
Circled in the picture is the location of the Sandbar. See you there!