Athens Review, Athens, Texas

February 6, 2014

Filtering my mouth would not be a bad thing

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

CEDAR CREEK LAKE — Cedar Creek Lake is the fourth largest lake in Texas. The lake is one of the few lakes in Texas that allows private docks and boathouses.  The lake has 32 acres and 320 miles of shoreline for  great fishing, boating, water skiing and other fun water sports. Who wouldn't  want to visit the lake on the weekend?

I recently made the mistake of referring to people who come to Cedar Creek Lake for weekend fun as “weekenders.” I personally did not understand that what I had said may be wrong.  But then again, I am not a weekender.

It all started very innocently. I was having a conversation with a person whom I met through the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. She and her husband are very involved in the lake-area civic scene.

Since becoming part of the Chamber of Commerce,  this couple has contributed a lot to our community. I don't take it lightly – They have made great efforts to make Cedar Creek Lake a better place.

We were talking about how our community relies so much on weekend traffic. Or, in my term “Weekenders.” 

My comment was, “We need to find something else to drive our economy, other than the lake and weekenders.”

I only said that because two out of the last three years, we have been in a drought. No one could  get their boats on the lake. It made for a miserable summer.  We love the lake, but it’s not much fun when it dries up.

 Most of our the businesses believe that the weekend traffic during the summer months is what keeps them afloat all year.  I believed that is true for some businesses, but not for all.

I hurt this woman's feeling so bad, she had tears in her eyes, because I referred to people with lake houses as “Weekenders.” Truthfully, I didn't even know this  couple was ever considered weekenders.

 She told me she took offense to the term, because she has been referred to as a “weekender.”  I felt bad. She told me they split their time between Dallas and Cedar Creek Lake. That's not exactly what I consider a  weekender.

When I use the term, “weekender,” I mean a person who comes down on Friday or Saturday, and leaves on Sunday. The normal weekender has a weekend house at Cedar Creek Lake. They live within a  1 to 2-hour drive, and are here only for the lake atmosphere. As most call it, it’s “a weekend get away.”

Of course, the weekend population does contribute to the local economy. I also believe most people here for the weekend go straight to their lake houses, and don't leave until they return home. They are here for the lake.

Being a weekender is not a bad thing. I would love to have a second home for a weekend getaway.

I have lived in the lake area for over 30 years, and I am still considered an outsider. It doesn't really hurt my feelings. That's just the way it is. I wasn't born here, didn't attend school or grow up in this area.

People from Cedar Creek are very proud of their roots. That’s especially true to those who were here before the lake. And they will tell you how it was before Cedar Creek Lake. 

I still believe the cities at Cedar Creek Lake need to come up with a plan for when the lake levels are low. But for the near future, we still depend on the weekenders to keep us thriving. And we appreciate their contribution to our little community.

My conversation with this couple was not intended to hurt anyone's feelings. 

Lange Svehlak, Publisher of the Athens Review, says “I need a filter on my mouth.”

My problem is a thought enters my mind, and out my mouth it goes.

Please accept this as my apology for anyone I may have offended. There may be many,  with my unfiltered mouth.

Kathi Nailling is a Staff Writer for the Athens Daily Review.