My mother’s side of the family owns a cabin on a lake in northern Minnesota. Lake Vermilion (with an island for every day of the year… unless it’s Leap Year) is beautiful. It is so fantastic I can’t express in words what it is like.
Our cabin is nearly 100 years old – a very rustic getaway from the routine of everyday life. It has been in my family since it was built, although had the original owner/builder not sold it to my great grandparents it would not have played such a big part of my life. Somehow it came by the name Camp Wenamana by which no one ever refers to it. The cabin is set back from the water at the top of a slope. There are a few other buildings – a small one-room building with sleeping space, a woodshed where we put chopped wood to dry out, a pole barn, and an old ice house that we hope to eventually convert into a second cabin.
The cabin has always been a magical place for me. Beautiful weather – warm days in the summer and cool nights. We had a bonfire every night up there when I was a child. Bedtime didn’t apply up at the cabin (which is about 240 miles north of where I live – thus the “up”). C.W. is far from city light pollution and the night sky is dazzling.
I love my cabin, but I don’t always think how lucky I am to be a part of a family with a cabin. Here in Minnesota it’s not uncommon for families to have a cabin – it’ easy to forget that many people in this country do not own (or have, say, a relative that owns) a vacation home of some sort. I am incredibly lucky to have such a place, even one built 100 years ago out of the material readily available – the trees.
I don’t take the place itself for granted, but I do take the simple fact that my family owns a vacation spot for granted. I love my cabin, and I can’t imagine my life without the opportunities that arose from going there. After all, how many girls from the suburbs do you know that have cut down a tree with just an axe?