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A Lakeside Dream Takes Roots

Story & Photos by: Darrell Hornick

The year was 1985. I was 26, and my soon-to-be wife was 24. Her dad, seeking an escape from the corporate world, bought a charming mom-and-pop resort in Aunts Creek. Over the next 35 years, it became our family’s haven, a place where our two daughters practically grew up on the lake.

Following my father-in-law’s sage advice, we centered our water activities near the White River, the lake’s sweet spot. Countless memories were made there: skiing, tubing, and lazy boat rides.

One that stands out to this day?

Our first boat-trip pizza pilgrimage to Shell Knob’s Pizza Hut, pretty much the only option back then.

As we cruised past Lampe/Baxter and the Point 17 bluffs, a playful dream took root. “Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a house here?” my wife and I would say, tongues firmly in cheek.

Fast forward 25 years. Retirement loomed, and with it, a new chapter. We explored several lakefront properties, but nothing resonated quite like a vacant lot perched high on a bluff in a new subdivision. Unbeknownst to us and completely unplanned, it was the very same spot we’d dreamt about all those years ago.

Today, our dream home stands there, a testament to the enduring power of connection and place. This wasn’t just a chosen retirement spot; it was a destiny fulfilled, a promise whispered on the wind decades ago.

Preordained? Perhaps. But more importantly, it’s our happily ever after.


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