“Stop right here!” I exclaimed, startling my husband as we drove down a quiet road in Sweden. There beside the road was a beautiful red house with white trimming. I took a picture, telling him, “I want one just like that.” That dream eventually came true.

More than 40 years ago, we bought a lot on Hardy Lake near Baxter, Minn. We roughed it at first. We took up our camper trailer, the boys dug a latrine, and we cooked on a grill set across a barrel. Some land was cleared, and eventually we decided to build a gazebo where we could have a picnic without bugs. The next step was to construct the little red house.

The inside of the cabin shows our ethnic and family history. My sister-in-law rosemaled the fireplace mantle and bed frame. The cob-burning cook stove from the Iowa farm where I grew up found its new home in the kitchen. Carl Larsson paintings are on the wall. My husband made a huge cannon out of an air-compressor to add to the uniqueness of the place. The cannon sits just in front of the house.

The third generation enjoys this Swedish house and the beautiful lake and trees that surround it. My Grandma Wilhelmina would be proud.

Dorothy Karlson, St Louis Park