Our parents met at Macalester College before they married and moved first to California and then to other states. In the 1970s, when retirement approached, they asked my help in finding a lake cottage in the Brainerd area. My mother had spent time there as a child. It had to have a sandy beach and face the sunsets. I passed this on to a Realtor, and one cold week in January, he called me and said that one had just come on the market and would not last long. I drove up there from the Twin Cities, where I worked, and was so impressed, I called my parents in Oklahoma and said they should come and look. They said “too cold — you decide.” So we bought it, and they moved in after retirement.

Since then they have added extra rooms and hosted many family reunions over the years. There even was one family wedding. A big raspberry patch, a great swimming beach, and various boats and other toys helped keep everyone active. Now that my folks have passed, two sisters are the owners, and the traditions continue.

Don Janes, North Oaks