Grandfather Mike started this whole adventure. He purchased a large section of land and beach property in 1948 near Grant's Point on Madeline Island on Lake Superior. Fifteen years later Mike sold a parcel to my mother for "one dollar and valuable consideration." Fifteen more years passed before my family got the building bug.

We tore down a barn on the mainland and shipped the lumber to the island to use for framing and siding. With the help of family, friends and local expertise, the house was built in about one year and over time it evolved to our wants and needs.

Kathy and I started our family, and memories are etched in all of our minds: walks on the beach; sitting by the wood stove; dogs and children running; wind and waves, sailing; weddings; sightings of bears, eagles, fox, deer, the howling of coyote packs near by; sleeping on the porch; outdoor showers; sunsets; wind through the huge pines; solitude.

Our kids have grown and started families of their own, adding a new set of memories. As the visits and memories piled up, the foundation of the house was slowly sinking. Everyone had a stake in this: Do we raze the house and start over? It was a resounding "No!" The house is too loved to replace.

This past fall we had the house lifted 12 feet in the air to install a new foundation. Come spring, families will join together to build the new deck and stairs. Memories will continue to pile onto a foundation, which should last well into Mike's great-great-grandchildren's lives.

George and Kathy Weed, Afton