There was no time for vacations, especially in the summer, growing up on a dairy farm near New Prague.
Forty-three years ago, my dad told my mom to “take the four children” and find a cabin to rent for a few days to give us some memories. We drove 20 minutes from our farm to French Lake, just west of Faribault, where we found Knippel’s Resort and rented a cabin for three days. That started a tradition of renting one of their cabins every summer — for a few days in the early years, to all summer long near the end — during a span of 30 years. Our family grew as time went on. There were two more children, spouses, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, the loss of our mother, and our dad’s marriage to our wonderful stepmom. Then one summer when leaving Knippel’s Resort at the end of the season, my father said with excitement to us, “The corner cabin is for sale.” The rest is history.
We had always thought that what became the Walker family cabin was the perfect spot on the lake. Lovely sand beach and lakeshore with lots of room for our large family on the lake relatively near our homes. While the word peaceful is sometimes used at our cabin, the better word might be “active.” Days are filled with tubing, skiing, wakesurfing and wakeboarding. The highlight each summer is Dad, at 78, being the first brave water-skier around Memorial Day and usually the last water-skier of the year in early October. We have skied three generations, five skiers at once, had a ski pyramid, and look forward to Dad skiing four generations with the great grandchildren.
Our granddaughter, 3, maybe says it best: “Don’t make me leave the cabin.”
Ann Margaret Hansen, Eden Prairie