CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Dave Shaffer pulled a bottle of sparkling water out of the refrigerator, twisted the top off and leaned against the wall as he raised it to his mouth.
"It's just like home," he said.
Tacked to that fridge were newspaper clippings and family snapshots. There were dishes in the sink, a sleepy hound dog on the floor - all the things one expects to see in a lived-in family home.
But when Shaffer looked out the window, there was no lawn or street. All he saw was water.
Dave, his wife Linda and their dog Maddie, were in their houseboat on Sutton Lake for Memorial Day weekend.
That boat has all the amenities of house on water: a full refrigerator and stove, three beds and a bathroom. The Shaffers spend practically every weekend between April and September on this boat. When they were younger, their three sons did, too; the entire family can sleep comfortably on the 43-foot-long boat.
"I don't know how many hundreds of people are here but those people are like our neighbors," Shaffer said,
gesturing out the boat's windows on either side. "It really ends up being a community."
Indeed, other families who also spend most of their weekends at the lake were in the houseboats docked on either side of the Shaffers.
There's Steve and Gina Silbough, of Hurricane, in their boat, the Black Pearl. And Delbert and Zerelda Blosser, of Spencer, in Summer's Promise. (They worked all winter to restore the boat, looking forward to having it finished by summer, so the name seemed appropriate.)
Many of the people on the dock last weekend have been coming to the lake for decades.
Dave Shaffer has been coming to Sutton Lake for more than 20 years: he can remember when the dock at the Sutton Lake Marina only extended as far as his own boat - now it's been extended hundreds of feet. There are dozens more boats docked there these days.
"They kept adding and adding," he said.
Sutton Lake, in Braxton County, has a thriving community of houseboats - dozens of people pay to keep their boats docked there each summer, and the three that are available for rentals are regularly booked. It's large enough to allow for large boats, unlike some of the other lakes in the state that won't allow boats longer than 35 or 45 feet.
It also does a swift business with other types of boats: you can rent a pontoon boat or a day boat, kayaks and paddle boats. But it's the houseboats that foster the long-abiding sense of community that it's known for.