In the spring of 1972, my husband, Andy, and I decided to look for our own lake lot. We had toured the United States in our travel trailer, and just wanted a place to settle down. We found a lot on a secluded lake in Crow Wing County. There were then only seven cabins on the lake. The lot was thickly wooded, and we spent several years camping in our trailer while we cleared the land and waited for the lot to be debt-free.

The day finally arrived, and we contacted a contractor to put in a septic system and foundation. The rest of our dream was up to our family. We did everything ourselves. We did not want a mortgage. We enrolled in a class on how to build a house, and with the aid of a blueprint, books, our sons, and a lot of hard work, the cabin began to take shape.

It was on a cool weekend in September when Andy and I danced on the roof. We had just nailed down the last two shingles, and we could move into a dry cabin. “Handy Andy” did all the inside work as well, including plumbing, electricity, sheet rock, cabinets, painting. Our sons and I helped as much as we could.

We have enjoyed many happy and memorable years there with family and friends: swimming, boating, walking in the woods, picking wildflowers and berries, and making s’mores around a fire. We also listened to the call of a loon, watching her carry her young on her back. There, too, were sunsets and sunrises to enjoy, and sky-gazing.

Andy died in 2011. His dream was to leave the cabin to the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. His wish is getting fulfilled.

As for me, my days at the cabin are few and far between. I can still manage to get down to the lake with the aid of a walking stick. No one can take away my memories. They are precious!

Dorothy Reine Anderson, St. Louis Park