Lots of things at our cabin came from The Store, the drugstore that my grandpa and dad owned for 75 years in Little Falls.
They scrounged parts wherever they could when they started building the cabin in 1950. The picture window came from the drugstore (it had “Mushel Drug” painted across the top when they put it in), the buffet was a greeting card display, and even the sidewalk leading to the lake was scavenged when the city installed new sidewalks downtown.
They put in a fireplace with marble from the old drugstore soda fountain; mirrors on the wall were from the booths. There is also a framed picture of a Swiss chalet that was part of a Kodak advertisement, and every child’s favorite, the large “Custer’s Last Fight” artwork from Budweiser. (It has a close-up of a soldier getting scalped.)
The cabin, on Lake Alexander in Morrison County, is painted a distinct bright yellow with green trim. It appears my grandparents were Green Bay Packer fans, but Dad insists the paint choice had nothing to do with football. Grandpa had a two-tone Buick, and Nani, my grandmother, liked the color combination. Besides, the green was a nod to their Walgreens drugstore.
Some things have changed over the many generations at the Yellow Cabin. Nani and Grandpa used to have a highball before dinner. Now the official drink is gin and tonic, and the big Sunday dinner has become brats from the grill. Our family has grown from just my Dad and his sister to more than 35. But really, Nani and Grandpa planned for this to be a family refuge, and that has been a constant. I wonder if they realized the joy and sense of home they created for us. No one lives here, but it is a home that belongs to all of us.
LuAnn Jarvis, Little Falls, Minn.