Andrea Smarrelli (known by her friends as Andie) is celebrating her first anniversary this month of being an official “Full Timer” here at SML. She and her husband first visited the lake nearly two decades ago when they came down from northern VA to stay at a co-worker's home in the area. They fell hard and fast. So much so that the very next week they returned to purchase a house in the same neighborhood! For seventeen years it was a wonderful waterfront escape for their family, and now that their kids are grown and Andie's husband has retired, they are beginning the renovations needed to make their home a comfortable permanent residence as they enjoy this new chapter of their lives. Once worried about how different moving out to a small lake town would feel after living in the middle of a fast-paced, everything's-close-by community for so long, life at the lake seems to have won the Smarrellis over. From their amazing cul-du-sac neighbors to the embrace of the SML community at large, they have been so pleasantly surprised at the friendly, welcoming atmosphere that permeates the area. It doesn't hurt that Andie is involved in the American Legion (as a Marine veteran herself), Artists of SML, the SML Dinner Club, Women of SML, and is on the board for the Charity Home Tour. There is never a shortage of both social and charitable organizations to be a part of around here! Having been raised in a creative family, there are so many genres of art that she enjoys dabbling in. Quick to call herself a “craft artist” (though her talent is undeniable!) she says that she seems to gravitate most to 3D mediums over flat. You likely know her from her fabulous Skeleton Crew (so named by friend Laurie Stuckey), but in just the short twelve months she has lived here full-time there are two other community-sized artistic endeavors she has embarked upon. One was a watermelon centerpiece fundraiser to benefit the SML Good Neighbors organization. The other, a house ornament painting raffle fundraiser for One Forest School. This lady has such a heart for her community and an absolutely contagious spirit to go with it!
The carved watermelons will be making an encore appearance this year for Memorial Day Weekend! This time to benefit the American Legion Post 62. At time of publication (May 5th) there was only one melon slot left to claim. Availability updates will be posted on the SML Residents and Business Info Facebook Group. To keep up with the Halloween shenanigans of The Skeleton Crew, follow them on Facebook and stay tuned to The Current for a feature on these lake lovin', rockin', rattlin' friends later in the year! Keep up to date with Andie's continued adventures by giving her art page a follow HERE.
This story was originally published in The Current; a weekly (free!) e-journal for the Smith Mountain Lake community.