We built our cabin with 10-foot white pine logs in 1991 on Lake Vermilion. The idea of it was to create a seasonal and family retreat.

Lake Vermilion was chosen as the eighth-most beautiful lake in the United States back in the 1950s by Life magazine. It is all that and much more: a scenic lake with hundreds of islands, a gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Both of us fell absolutely in love with the relaxed lifestyle and quirks of the locals. Our family — our daughter, Kristin, son-in-law Kevin and grandchildren Gracie and Robbie — also love Minnesota’s outdoors. It was a great surprise when my wife, Joni, expressed a desire to leave behind our Eden Prairie home of 30 years and move “to the lake.”

Still, a move wasn’t that simple. Our existing cabin was elevated 2 feet above-grade with no basement, and needed to be jacked up and moved 50 feet to the west to allow for a walkout excavation and accommodate year-round plumbing and a septic system.

With a finished basement, we completed the move in autumn 2017. It’s definitely the best decision of our lives and all the credit belongs to my better half. Happy days are here again.