It was 40 years ago when my parents decided it was time to look for a lake lot. They loved being by water, boating, fishing and camping. We had camped as a family for years in different campgrounds in northern Minnesota.

This adventure of finding a spot took them to two places. The second one, on Big Sandy Lake in McGregor, Minn., was affordable, had a lot of shoreline, a driveway and electricity, but the lot had not been cleared of brush, dead trees and the like. Still, my parents decided this was the one.

There happened to be a small, old 14-by-20 cabin on the edge of the property. It had a metal roof and siding, and didn’t have indoor plumbing. My dad and brother partitioned the inside, making two bedrooms and a combined kitchen/dining/living area, and paneled the interior.

The first summer, my family spent weekends helping clear dead trees, brush and weeds. We discovered an old, sunken wooden fishing boat close to the beach. We collected rocks for outlining a fire pit. We encountered quite a bit of poison ivy (two of us got poison ivy shots over the winter).

The cabin was used each summer for 24 years until my parents moved a fifth-wheel camper to the property. Since then, the cabin has been for guests and storage. My family camps there most midsummer weekends, utilizing tents and trailers, and the place hosts an extended family picnic every July 4th. We water ski, Jet Ski, swim, fish, tube and kayak. Several generations have come and gone, but our family still looks to the cabin as a place to reconnect each year.

Karin Arnold, East Bethel