In June 1964, my husband, David, and I joined thousands of Minnesotans with the privilege of owning a cabin. It was on Cedar Lake near Annandale. Traveling in a van crammed with seven children, (ranging in age of one month to 11 years), a dog, plus clothes and food for two days was a challenge and required patience from everyone.

The cabin still was getting built. The essentials of a bathroom and kitchen cabinets with running water made it possible to move in early. A crib, a playpen, two sleeping bags, a double bed-sized mattress, and built-in bunk beds provided our sleeping arrangements.

Undisturbed nature surrounded the cabin. Tall weeds hid toads, frogs, rabbits, turtles and garter snakes. This was the kids’ playground. Once Jonathan had filled a pillowcase with garter snakes. I asked him what he planned to do with them. He said, show-and-tell. I talked him into releasing all but one. That snake escaped and the teacher escaped an exciting presentation.

The family and cabin grew together. The first couple of summers the simple construction of a tree house, a dock and a floating raft provided fun. Later, a garage was built to accommodate a progression of interests from fishing and boat equipment to a sailboat.

My son and his wife, Karl and Mary Leslie, continue lake life at the cabin. Today for me, at 93 years young, this cabin is a retreat for relaxing, reading and recalling happy memories.

Corinne Leslie, Crystal