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  • connor4343

Stadium Not Required

My wife loves football Saturday’s…… on the lake.  in October. 80 degree days with water temps still in the 70s.

Low humidity nurtures the best sunsets of the year. The seasonal water level draws down on Lake Martin, Alabama exposing our favorite beaches. We share the same opinion, unless somehow I have scrounged up 2 tickets to THE monster SEC game of the weekend and fostered a plan to show my oldest daughter the meaning of the big game:

Auburn vs LSU

The idea of boat up tailgate vision evolved in the acceptance stage of my grieving over our Saturday rouge outing being vetoed by the other three members of our family. To celebrate the magnitude of the game and combat our grief, we initiated to load my 1971 Searay SRV 190 with the essentials then day tripped to our favorite island.  I could visualize an Italian lake picnic: cooking over a camp fire while listening my school hopefully getting one step closer to a national championship game… sometime during my lifetime.

The plan would fulfill a couple of items on our lake bucket list: having a fall island beach fire at sunset while cooking dinner camp-style without having to go camping. In a weak moment the girls also agreed to terms that there would be no return trips to our house for anything forgotten or bathroom runs.

We moored the stern toward shore to make loading easier. Then we set up our day camp, and got down to the business of the boat-up tail gate.We love this island in the fall.  The annual draw down at Lake Martin exposed a large south facing mica sand beach with rock outcroppings at both ends of the beach.  Our kids play in the sand, dive for freshwater mussel shell, and explore around the 3 acre island. Meanwhile, us adults catch up on our reading while monitoring the small child’s sand ingestion.

Island on the lake
fruit and cheese platter

The cheese board before the vulture descended.

I could faintly hear the stadium roar from Cam’s Heisman run 35 miles away… Although I would have loved to have been there –  in your radio mind you can imagine..

I also admit to having a lap top and air card for game streaming.

scrabble at the lake

No outing is complete without a quickie game of scrabble.

In my favorite cookbook Tuscan in the Kitchen, Pino Luongo tells a story about outdoor crazed Tuscan picnickers finding a loose piece of fence to use as a grill on a country outing.  I love the simplicity of finding a way to cook anytime, anywhere.   My piece of fence was the grill top to my Weber.


Playing my roll as cook for 4 women and also head of provisions, I headed to the Pig for grillables.  I had the butcher cut a 2” thick Delmonico steak to go with some chicken legs and thighs and some T-bone pork chops.

I love shopping at the pig… the price was $7.49 a pound for our steak.

The Jones girls enjoy the sunset light on the end of one of the beach’s bookend rock outcroppings.  The CBS afternoon game time coordinated perfectly with the sunset and packing up.

lake sunset

Mission accomplished: our team won, lake bucket list items checked off, and the gift of an amazing fall sunset.

Bryan Jones, Principal Jones Pierce Inc. An Atlanta based architectural firm specializing in custom home transformations.

A tailored design with a winning process creates life sustaining results

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