“This is my place”

The sun greets my window and touches my face.

The hum of Mom and Dad’s voices chatting over coffee

The spicy aroma of newly laid wood paneling

The tap, tap, tapping of Oreo’s claws on the wood floor.

This is my place.

The lake sparkles as each golden ray meets the water.

The curtain of trees surrounds the rocky shore.

Splashes and shrieks as my cousins twirl through the water.

Diving through the rust tinted water, I feel closer to the earth.

This is my place.

The crunch of gravel beneath my feet.

Scents of pungent pine and sweet wild raspberries

A tunnel of trees reaching to touch the pristine sky

Three cozy cabins: First us, Then Mark and Janis, Then Rich and Tami

Family as neighbors on Aune Lane.

This is my place.

(Poem by Sonja Aune Bontu, 2005)

 

 

The youngest Aune brother, Tim, bought a 21-acre lot on Kjostad Lake in northeastern Minnesota from friends Dan and Sue Monroe in 2000. The lot was subdivided into four, and all Aune brothers and wives now own a lot.

Julie Aune was unable to make the trek for the first property viewing and asked husband Greg (oldest Aune brother) to describe the property. “Perfect,” he said. Perfect, it is.

After camping for three years, cabin construction began with Greg and Julie in 2003, Mark and Janis Aune the next year, and then Rich and Tami Aune. Construction has varied from small log cabin kit to transporting an already built log cabin. Cabin projects have been time and energy intensive — hours and years of staining, pounding and learning new skills. The creative process has been rewarding. It has included planning rooms as we go, rock work, and incorporating family treasures such as beams from Great Grandfather Ole Aune’s 1800s barn. Our Norwegian heritage is reflected in rosemaling done by a local artist, use of Scandinavian colors, and a Nordic-looking sauna. In the spirit of the Voyageurs (and because of money!), we had no electricity or running water until 2014-15.

Early summers spent building limited time to explore the area. But projects have become less urgent, and we have discovered an added bonus: We are close to the gateway to the Voyageurs National Park.

The structures on our land are important but more so are the connections with family. It’s family as neighbors on Aune Lane.

Together, we work, swim, fish, eat walleye and ebelskivers, play spoons, host Aune Olympics, pick blueberries, listen to the loons and eat s’mores.

This is our place.

 

Julie Aune, St. Peter