We recently moved back to the Twin Cities, where we both grew up and spent the first part of our 35-year marriage together.
A 26-year absence included raising a family and pursuing careers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. Regardless of where we lived, our cabin in Becker County became the constant in our lives and a place of refuge for our family.
We bought the cabin from a friend in 1990 while we were living in Fargo, N.D. The original 1940s log structure, with four rooms, had been constructed elsewhere and dragged across a frozen lake to a small, wooded lot on a quiet lake. The property had many towering pine trees that had somehow survived the logging that cleared the region at the turn of the century. The cabin needed a lot of work and, as with most young families, it would be a stretch to take on a second mortgage. Nevertheless, Minnesota called.
The decision was a wise one and has provided countless memories, family experiences and spiritual renewal while life brought changes and different home locations. The cabin has touched four generations of our extended family over 26 years. Many things there do not change: the beauty of each sunset over the lake or the wildlife visitors that scatter each dawn as the dogs bound out the door, always excited to greet morning in the North Woods rather than their urban backyard.
Owing to falling interest rates, and an affordable and talented local carpenter, the cabin was expanded to accommodate our changing needs. Yet it still retained its original rustic charm. It is a special place where the loons, trumpeter swans and herons usually outnumber the human neighbors using the lake. The property is safe and enjoyable for anglers from 2 to 80 thanks to an accessible beach. It’s an attribute not necessarily recognized as important for able-bodied 30-year-olds.
We hope the cabin will remain our constant for our family for many years and future generations. We seem to all be Minnesotans at heart regardless of where life takes us.
Peter Thoreen and Jan Marshall-Thoreen, Eagan