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Four generations have enjoyed spectacular sunsets at aptly named Sunset Haven since it was bought in 1942. Its location on Lake Minnewaska never required that we join the crowds going Up North. We just headed “out west.”

The one-bedroom cabin with an outdoor biffy has transitioned to a three-bedroom lake home with a lake-protecting septic system. Kerosene lamps, an ice box, and windows that swung open and latched to open rafters have given way to a houseful of modern conveniences.

After the first little rowboat with a small Johnson motor (ALWAYS Johnson motors), the entertainment required by teenagers required moving to faster boats with bigger motors. My mom bought them with a purse full of cash earned from her textile painting business. The kids got too busy to come to the lake, and eventually a small grandchild-safe rowboat with a Johnson motor was again needed. That boat eventually became a wading pool on shore, filled with warm water by a doting grandma, who later used it as a flower bed-boat!

Soon another generation of family proudly bought their first speed boat, which would make way for an easy-to-board pontoon boat. Then, once again, a small fishing boat with a Johnson motor was bought for another generation of grandchildren.

Now, that health-conscious generation enjoys paddleboards and kayaks.

Nearly 80 years of lake fun has been possible because my parents bought a little cabin on a large lake on the prairie. Our Sunset Haven has remained just that — a lake haven for generations.

Judy Johnson Carlsted, St. Cloud