My parents moved from western Minnesota to northern Minnesota in 1963. It was lonesome here without them, and we saw the beauty of the northern lakes and forests. We bought our cottage on Little Pine Lake in Otter Tail County in 1964, near the farm owned by my parents.
Having lived on the second floor of my husband’s workplace for 16 years, I viewed this cottage as heaven on Earth even for just weekends. It had a fireplace, two bedrooms, an unfinished loft and was finished in knotty pine. Our beach is listed as one of the finest on Little Pine Lake.
Five grandchildren (from preschoolers to high schoolers) came for “Gramma School” each summer, growing up spending a lot of time at the cottage.
We now have great-grandchildren who visit. We thought it was time to do some remodeling, making more living and sleeping space for our enlarged family, and decided to let the grandchildren have a say. My son sent out a questionnaire. After considerable time, we did get a few surprising responses:
“No, don’t replace the fold down stairway. We learned how to climb on it.”
“Leave the pink and green bathroom as it is, Grandma. That’s the way it was when we were little.”
“But why would you want to build a new garage with a bedroom above? We want to sleep where we always slept — on mattresses on the floor of the loft which you have already finished.”
“We don’t need a new up to date fireplace that you say will be more heat efficient. We like this open one that burns logs that we can sit or lie by — and be cozy.”
Some grandkids did not answer the survey, possibly regarding it as a threat to childhood memories being erased from their minds by thoughtless grandparents. Does the proverbial “out of the mouths of babes” apply here? Do they know more than we do?
We haven’t begun any form of remodeling. It seems that we are back to square one again!
Dolores Petterson, Wheaton, Minn.