While on a trip to Austria, I was taken with the charming little chalets on the mountainside: flowers in window boxes, a bit of “gingerbread.” When we decided to build at the lake, I needed to find such a plan — and I did.

Over decades, our four sons, two daughters, friends galore, and extended family have wonderful memories in our chalet, 150 miles north of Minneapolis, near McGregor. Beach volleyball, horseshoes, elaborate sand castles (moat and all). And fish — boy, do we fish, summer and winter. The fairyland look of winter there is breathtaking, and the snow doesn’t get all dirty.

When grandsons were old enough, they joined their dad and their grandpa in hunting season. This cabin will have every nook and cranny full of jackets, boots, mitts and guns. The stories get bigger and better with each year. They even rigged up a hideout of sorts for Grandpa to sit in when he could no longer walk well. It is a good thing this family knows how to prepare venison!

There is something about the sound and look of the waves. They are the best sort of tranquilizer. Actually, storms are even strangely beautiful, as we have a front-row seat looking out our big patio doors.

I am oh-so grateful for these 40-plus years of our lake home.

Muriel Koskovich, Shakopee