I spent every weekend of my childhood at my grandparents’ cottage on Lake Okoboji in Iowa. It was my favorite place to be. They sold it when I was 17.

Early in my marriage, my husband and I took a financial planning class. At the end we needed to set some financial goals. My husband’s goal was to be independently wealthy.

Mine was to own a lake cabin. Needless to say I got my goal!

In 1984 there were no multiple listings in northern Minnesota. We had to go to every real estate office in towns we had identified within 2 ½ hours from the Twin Cities. We only looked at lakes 500 acres or larger with a high clarity rating.

We were lucky enough to find a cabin south of Alexandria on Maple Lake. It fit our criteria perfectly. It was listed through Edina Realty, yet there was no Edina Realty office in Alexandria at the time so no one was showing it.

We bought the cabin in July 1985. Our friends (all in our 20s) thought we were crazy to miss all the fun in the metro to go to a cabin every weekend. We did not regret it.

We have had wonderful family time, swimming, skiing, and sunning with our two daughters and sons-in-law, a grandson, and my parents, who are still healthy. My daughter and son-in-law from Boston worked there remotely this summer. The cabin always has been our escape, but in 2020 it became our sanctuary from COVID-19.

While we love having family and friends at the cabin, my husband and I still enjoy the peace of the lake and the sounds of the loons all on our own.

Lisa Ahmann, Minneapolis