Archived Story

Why We Love Lake Martin, Residents share their thoughts in essays

Published 5:46pm Friday, April 1, 2011

The Lake Martin area … no better place to live

By Annette Smith, Alexander City

I can think of no better place to live than here in the Lake Martin area. Where else can one find the same combination of community spirit, beauty, sport, entertainment, worship, and neighborliness? We can go fishing practically in our back yard, and not only expect to actually catch supper, but likely we will meet and greet other fishermen and women who are just as ready to visit as they are to fish.

Maybe you don’t want to fish, but you need to get in a little exercise. Try walking down by the lake, or visit one of the swimming areas that can be found all over our lovely lake. You can get all the exercise you wish. We don’t need expensive equipment to stay healthy in our “neck of the woods.”

Your soul and spirit may need refreshing. Where better to reflect on God’s goodness or His everlasting provisions for mankind than on a beautiful lake which exhibits His creations everywhere one looks? Try sitting on a pier late in the afternoon after the fishermen and wave runners have all gone home for supper.

The lake looks like glass, until a big fish jumps out of the water, or a flock of ducks or geese swim majestically past. The smooth surface reflects the darkening sky, and soon, the moon will rise, sending its twin across the glassy surface of the water.  The quiet, peaceful scene serves as a reminder that we are a small but loved portion of God’s great universe.

If you are seeking excitement or entertainment, you can sit on the bank and watch master swimmers and skiers exhibit their skills or play their games in the deep, cool waters of Lake Martin. On the other hand, nothing beats the thrill of that brisk jerk on the line if you are trolling for stripers and a big one happens to take the bait. Major fishing tournaments choose Lake Martin for a reason, because we have clean water and great fishing.

We in the Lake Martin area also have the privilege of enjoying a great climate which allows some sort of water entertainment/sport for almost the entire year, and if one is hearty enough, all year. I often see fishermen drive down to the boat ramp in weather most sane people try to avoid. We may be having thunderstorms or a tropical heat wave, but when the urge hits, true fishermen go fishing.

The very best thing about living on the lake, though, is its inhabitants. Lake Martin has friendly, happy people who are truly concerned about each other. If the community learns of a need, it is met with Christian love.

Most of us know each other, and if we meet up with a stranger, we depart having made a new friend. That is the best incentive I know of to convince me to stay in this area as long as I live.

‘Grandpa, have you seen the lake?’

By Roberta Klass, Dadeville
We lived in Nashville, Tenn. when our daughter and family moved from Washington State to Alexander City. On one of our many visits to see them, my husband mentioned, “It’s our dream to live on the lake and we are planning to look at property on Kentucky Lake.”

That’s when our granddaughter Tiffany said, “Grandpa, have you seen the lake?”

“What lake?” Grandpa asked.

Tiffany replied, “Let’s get in the car and take a ride.”

Well, it was love at first sight. When we saw Lake Martin we couldn’t wait to move on it. So we sold our home in Tennessee and thanks to Mona Gilliland, the realtor, we found the perfect home for us on Lake Martin, in Dadeville. Our children, grandchildren and friends and now great-grandchildren all love coming to the lake and enjoying the swimming, boating, tubing, fishing and sunbathing.

Living on the lake has brought us a lot of joy. Where else would you see great blue heron walking on the dock,otters sitting on the floating dock eating fish, deer swimming across the cove, kingfishers searching for a meal by standing on the top of the dock and several different breeds of ducks swimming by?

Living in Dadeville and being close to Alexander City we’ve been involved, and continue to be involved, in many activities. We have met so many wonderful people and have made good friends.

It’s been 20 years since we located on Lake Martin and how fast the years have passed. We have a thousand memories of all the “happy times” spent here and look forward to all the “good times” yet to come. That’s why we live on, and love, Lake Martin. And to think, it all began with one question: “Grandpa, have you seen the lake?”

Walking on water, a family tradition

By Tracy M. Donahoo, Jacksons Gap

One of my first memories of Lake Martin is when my husband, then new boyfriend, taught me to water-ski on two skis at Wind Creek. We had only been dating for a few months. He had been a “water rat” all his life. Mike learned to swim at Wind Creek and had been skiing most of his life. He introduced me to the lake and it was love at first sight. I have loved Lake Martin ever since. Love for Mike came later.

I always said Mike could “walk on water.” This was no reference to moral standing just to his comfort on water as opposed to land. A man, who hated to dance, could slalom ski more graceful than any ballerina. The more I saw him ski the greater my passion grew to ski.

Mike instructed me, “Arms straight, knees bent.” Being very determined I held that position thinking any minute now I would be skiing. After drinking most of Wind Creek, he told me, “Let go if you don’t get up.”
I never had to let go, my second attempt on two skis was a success. My passion grew stronger and then came slalom.

Our daughter, Victoria, grew up going to the lake like her father. Each summer we would rent a house from a different area of Lake Martin. She started skiing at the age of 3 and by 6 she had her own slalom. She shares her father’s ease on water and my passion for God’s beautiful lake.

Our life together has had many hills, valleys, U-turns, and curves but our love of the lake and passion to ski always brought peace. When all the world was crashing around, slalom skiing was one place I could be alone with God. Our friends always said I should be a marathon skier because my runs always lasted the longest.

The Bible says God knows the desires of our hearts. His path has put us living in Manoy Creek. It didn’t happen as I had planned or you would see me skiing still. Even so, the lake brings me peace every day. Mike and Victoria still “walk on water” as I cheer.

Water sports these days have expanded to include wake boarding, wake surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking. If it involves water, Mike and Victoria are ready to give it a try.

They even find time to fish and hunt for “treasure” along the shoreline. A piece of drift wood or a mussel shell is always a welcome find.  Watching Victoria retrieve wood from a beaver dam and drag it back home brought lots of laughs. She was so proud she had found the tree Mike had cut down!

Waking up and seeing the beauty of Lake Martin is truly a gift from God. We see deer in our yard and swimming across our slough. The beavers, hawks, blue herons, eagles, and many other creatures keep us entertained.  Each sunrise and sunset brings hope and promise of peace.

‘Lake Lovers’ make Lake Martin special

By John Thompson, Eclectic

The spectacular sunsets and sunrises viewed over the sparkling clean, clear water are truly breathtaking. The beautiful forest and seemingly unending shoreline offers an interesting and different view no matter how many times a boat cruise is repeated. The sight of a fully mature American bald eagle soaring over glistening waters creates a feeling like no other experience can produce. Lake Martin is truly a wonderful place to live and breathe.

But what I love most are the people of Lake Martin. There are hundreds’ of “Lake Lovers” who spend thousands of volunteer hours working to protect and maintain the high standards of Lake Martin. There are many who respond when needed as volunteer fire fighters. These giving souls are called at all hours of the day or night. They enter dangerous situations and perform very difficult tasks while helping their neighbors.

“Lake Lovers” are willing to pick up litter dropped in the lake and on the roadsides by careless individuals.

They are willing to spend volunteer time and endless energy in the placement and maintenance of hazard buoys in areas of the lake that represent potential danger for fellow boaters. They are present at every meeting where controversial issues affecting Lake Martin are discussed. “Lake Lovers” are very social and want others to enjoy Lake Martin but they anger quickly when the peaceful serenity of the lake is disturbed or the water quality threatened.

There are individual “Lake Lovers” who have given enormous sums of money and time to insure the natural beauty and exceptionally high water quality of Lake Martin will be sustained for the generations to come. There are others who have come up with creative ideas that evolved into extensive shoreline projects and offer enhancements to the Lake Martin experience. There are numerous dedicated lake loving school teachers who work diligently in educating our children on the critical value of the lake and the role that young people can play in its protection.

Lake Martin has a natural quality and beauty second to none but without the “Lake Lovers” who have a passion for protecting and maintaining its purity for now and evermore; it would be just another large body of water.