After raising two children into adulthood and completing the odyssey of time spent with youth sports, my wife and I decided to buy a lake cabin in 1997. We found the perfect property on a Pine County lake located 95 minutes from home.

I knew the place was special upon arriving by boat. The first thing I noticed was the boathouse sitting at perfect elevation, with a deck atop. The garage in back was huge and the cabin was, well, a project to look forward to.

Since retirement, as cabin neighbor Gene says, we have touched up every inch of the cabin to make it our own.

Our two children and five grandchildren enjoy cabin time, but the reality of youth sports has sunk its teeth into their time at the lake. My wife and I have learned that the cabin is important to us, and we love to share with friends and family, but being here alone does not diminish our cabin time.

During summer, we look forward to happy hour with our cabin neighbors at 6 p.m. on the boathouse deck overlooking the lake and passing pontoons out for the evening cruise.

Five years ago, while enjoying an evening with good friends, Tim and Tina, we had a thought: This would be a great spot for live music and a barbecue. The Boathouse Boogie was planned. We searched out local singer-songwriters, booked them for a summer Saturday, planned a barbecue, and invited friends and family for a day of music, food and conversation.

The fourth annual Boathouse Boogie featured Betty Danger. With music echoing across the lake, pontoons find their way to catch the tunes just out from the boathouse deck. We look and listen in winter and spring for talent to showcase. Sharing our little paradise and music with friends and family has made the perfect summer event.

Gary Livingston, Coon Rapids