This is our cabin, bought in 1993 after a few years of searching. It met our three biggest qualifiers: good fishing, close to our home (17 miles away), and within our budget.

Located on a beautiful lake north of Duluth, it is a small, quirky building. The stairs to the bedroom are so steep that one must descend facing backward. It was built in sections over the years.

A stone’s throw from the crystal clear water and nestled among trees, the building was in extreme disrepair — think rotting boards, dead mice and large spiders. My husband was certain he could fix it up. I trusted him.

Our idea of a cabin involved flannel sheets, wall dripping mounted antlers of all sorts, and lots of old stuff. We wanted our children and our grandchildren to enjoy an old-fashioned cabin experience. The kitchen appliances include the original wood-burning cook stove (that we don’t use) and a 1927 General Electric refrigerator that we do.

Years of repairs, improvements, additions and a lot of backbreaking work have resulted in the cabin that we love.

My husband enjoys the fishing, and I enjoy my kayak. Nowhere but church do prayers tumble more easily than when I am paddling into or floating along with the wind. A wonderful bonus is the friends we have made here over the years.

This cabin is a tribute to the brains and brawn of my husband of 56 years whose goal was to make memories for our children and grandchildren — and for us.

Sandy Nemanic, Hoyt Lakes