After 40 years of marriage, two children and retirement years upon us, my husband and I dared to dream of a log home Up North. So at our phase, the question was, do we go for our desires?

We contacted a Realtor, and he sent us a list of 15 cabins in northern Minnesota.

No. 15 was the log home of our dreams. As we drove up to the property, I had to catch my breath. The home was stunning and constructed with the utmost care.

I raced home to put our house in Stillwater on the market and prayed for a buyer. Within hours, our home had sold. I left my hometown and felt a great sadness. My great grandfather, aptly nicknamed “Dynamite Johnson,” had blown up logs on the St. Croix River and was known to be good with a stick of explosives. Despite my historical connection, the town had changed, with tourism clogging the streets downtown every weekend. The Ben Franklin and Thompson Hardware stores were just memories of long ago.

My new town has everything my hometown had when I was a little girl. There is even a Ben Franklin! I feel like I have stepped back in time and am reliving my life in the small, quaint town I now call home. As I view the lake from my cabin windows, I am thankful for finding this hideout. The loons call to me, and the eagles circle high above my head. This is where we have found our true happiness.

Marlene Smith, Park Rapids