See more of the story

Our cabin is truly that — a one-room log structure built in 1937 on Tea Lake in northern Wisconsin.

The forest around the lake was logged in the 1920s and then burned for regrowth. Cabins were built from the newly emerged trees, including ours, originally a changing spot for swimmers using the beach.

I’ve enjoyed our log cabin for all of my 60 years; my wife and sons have for more than 30. The closest electrical line is 6 miles away, so using a rain barrel to collect water and an outhouse for you-know-what are a way of life.

My sister and I slept in bunk beds as children. I got the top and remember her kicking my mattress whenever I bugged her (frequently). We sometimes heard a porcupine gnawing on the outside lower logs in the middle of the night and Dad heading out in the darkness with his .22-caliber rifle to scare it away.

Today, we play Yahtzee and Scrabble in the evenings by the light from kerosene lamps. The haunting sound of the loons on the lake reminds us how precious our cabin is and that some things never change even as we grow older. Our sons now are young men and we hope they will enjoy our little cabin for years to come with their children and friends.