I remember the wonderful times going to my grandparents’ cabin on Ossawinnamakee Lake in north-central Minnesota.

Even the ride up was an event. We could start snacking our sandwiches and hard-boiled eggs when we drove near Santa Claus Town in Anoka. If the cabin was chilly, my dad put wood in the old potbellied stove in the main room. Back then we also put wood in the black iron stove in the kitchen. A man delivered ice for the wooden ice box. My Uncle Bert brought milk (with cream on top) from his farm up the hill. The bathroom was a little green outhouse.

There were no televisions at the cabin, so we had to create our own fun. We caught fireflies in jars and fetched water at the bottom of the hill for drinking and washing. My brothers and sisters enjoyed a large swing hanging from the tree, caught frogs near the lake, and hooked sunnies with my grandpa and father. We’d clean them, and they were good eating. We would go into the woods to pick wild blueberries and raspberries for Grandma to make jelly. We had a large barbecue for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. We would go in to Pequot Lakes to the movies if we needed a night out. The cost was 9 cents.

I loved the long walk down the road to get the mail from my friends (we stayed at the cabin for at least two weeks at a time). My dad ordered a Chris-Craft boat kit from Sears, and built it. We all learned to ski behind it. My grandmother eventually sold the cabin and land. I longed to have my four sons enjoy summers like I did, so my husband, Dan, and I bought four weeks of time share at Breezy Point Resort. Of course we had all the extras, from game rooms and TVs to pools, golf and pizza at the Commander. We bought a speed boat, and our sons learned to water ski and swim — as did their friends who joined us for our “family vacation.” About 15 years ago we bought a small cabin within the resort. Now our 10 grandchildren also enjoy “Up North at the cabin.”

They water ski, ride on the pontoons and on a large paddleboat, and swim in the many pools and Pelican Lake. The tradition continues.

Patricia Willette, Edina