We heard about hunting land available in central Minnesota after looking for a number of years. We weren’t able to get up there to see the land, but my brother-in-law was. “If you don’t buy it, I will,” he said. We bought it, sight unseen.

The existing 12-by-20 shed was small, but it has housed three generations: Dad, four sons and six grandsons for a few deer hunting years. It became increasingly evident that more space was needed. After all, grandsons grow up fast.

We went about cutting timber from the land, near Floodwood, and letting it dry. After a year, we brought in a sawmill and cut the timber into square logs. Then, more drying. We proceeded to erect a 24-by-30 log cabin (with a loft) with the help of the whole family. The growing boys were thrilled when they could stand up in the new loft.

Construction began in May 2007. The cabin was livable by deer season that November. Much inside work still was needed, but the sawmill had made many feet of usable lumber to finish the ceiling, walls, doors, trim work, cupboards — and a large gun rack.

Many hours of bonding are spent at the cabin, but it still is a hunting shack. A few deer now and then is an added bonus. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that two granddaughters also enjoy what has become known as The Shack. It is another place where cousins become friends.

The Shack maybe is more appropriately known as Paradise. It’s there that we view the Northern Lights and extra-brilliant moons and stars. Everything seems clearer in the quiet, calm darkness, away from the bright city lights.

It is our hope and prayer that The Shack will be a simple, safe and serene retreat for years to come.

J. Ledin, Coon Rapids