S: The Cabin
BC: Happy Fathers' Day We love you! 2011 | Love, Marilyn, Shane, Katie, Zachary, Jackie, Todd, Bennett, Spencer, Ryan, Kim, Freddie, Katie, David, Mari, Jack, Donna, Johnney, and Jade
FC: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
1: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24
3: I remember the first time I saw the cabin. It wasn't really a cabin yet. It was a piece of land with a burned down house on it. Dad and I drove up shortly after they bought the land, just to check things out. When we pulled into the pine lined driveway I knew it was going to be a special place. Dad got out of the truck and started running around explaining where the different things were going and did a bit of complaining about some of the junk still on his property. His eyes were as big as his smile. He took me on the long walk down to the lake front. When we reached the end I started to feel what dad was thinking. This is gonna be good. Since that day, it has only gotten better. We've done a lot of learning, like what to do when "we're coming in hot" on the boat. I think we've grown much closer as a family, too. When Kim and I were living in different places, seeing amazing sights, and having exotic adventures I always said my favorite place was that little spot on Big Balsam Lake. love ya dad, Ryan, Kim and Freddie
4: A Man and His Dream Nineteen years ago when we moved to Minnesota, we had our first taste of "Up North" when we went to Madeline Island with Dee's and Dave's family. Almost every year since, we have spent some part of the summer exploring Minnesota's woods and lakes and cabins. Each time beckoned us to return. Whether it was the memory of our roots as kids growing up in rural Nebraska, or the sheer joy of relaxation and retreat from the noise of the city, or the peacefulness that comes from sitting in the midst of the natural world God created, we knew it was good for our souls. The seed of the dream had been planted and the realization eventually came to dad: "We could have a place of our own up here." Dad began his career with the grocery business in 1971 as a night shift computer operator for a mere salary of a few hundred dollars a month. His formal education gave him an Associates Degree in Computer Programming and for most, that would have limited his career possibilities. Dad never complained about starting at the bottom of the ladder but simply went about the business of providing for his growing family. He has told me many times that, without his family, he would never have had the impetus to strive for moving up in the corporate world. He quickly rose from computer operator, to programmer, to operator manager, to warehouse manager, to buying systems manager, to director of buying systems, and now to Vice President of Buying Systems. In the meantime, God allowed us to have an increasing desire to more fully embrace our Catholic faith and all of it's teachings. One of the results of this was that we realized that we are called to give back to God a greater portion of what He has blessed us with. Dad, especially, became very serious about tithing. We don't know why we have been given so much, but we do know it is not ours to keep and that we are only stewards of his money. So, as a loving husband, he patiently awaited my "yes" to the cabin idea. Although I still had reservations about the cost and commitment of owning another place, I finally realized that if this | 2007
5: is where he wanted to spend his hard earned money, I would no longer stand in his way. Since that day, we jointly embraced this idea and, for the past 2 years, have been scheming and planning the details of this adventure. From the beginning, when we were standing on this beautiful piece of land, trying to decide whether to purchase it, we knew that this was bigger than just buying a cabin up North. We fully entrusted our decisions to God. I even jokingly said to dad, "If we see some deer on the land today, than I'll take that as a message from God to go ahead with it." Well, lo and behold, when we drove up onto the property, there stood a herd of deer staring at us. Dad was beaming from ear to ear ... almost as though he and God had plotted together for their presence. I would not be exaggerating a bit to say that, since then, dad has had to attend to at least a thousand details in regard to buying the land, obtaining permits, dealing with the builder, plumbers, electricians, excavators, tree removal, house plans, deck plans, overcoming obstacles with the Department of Natural Resources, etc. And that, in addition to staying on top of his job in the midst of a huge transition with buying Albertsons and also his diligent and time-consuming work on Holy Family's school board and finance committee. Throughout all of it, he has never forgotten where it all came from and continues to get up at 5 a.m. every morning to go to daily Mass before work. I just wanted you all to know that he has not only put his blood, sweat and tears into this venture, but also his heart and soul. When I ask him why, he says, "It's a place for all our family to come together." We both agree that we have been greatly blessed with all of you and want this for you and your families for generations to come. God has provided us with the blessing to be able to build this place and it is not for us alone but to be shared with others. May it be a place where we always give glory to God and be thankful for His grace and blessings. For dad, it is a dream come true.
6: Patience is a virtue
7: "In the newborn child is realized the common good of the family." John Paul II
8: I really believe that life is really made up of just a handful of moments. Obviously, you've got the big ones like getting married or having your first child. Maybe getting a promotion, or learning to read. There are these moments that have an incredible impact on who you are and how you live your life. Sometimes they are snapshots in time, sometimes they might last for a few months. Sometimes they are apparent to everyone near and far, and sometimes they happen inside your soul. Often you don't realize them until you look back in time and see just how profound those moments were. I can state unequivocally that I've been blessed with many fine moments in my life, and one of the finest was the summer of 2007. You see, in 2007, my life was a little crazy. I had just left corporate America and was trying to start a new business. I was 33 and single, living in Saint Paul. I had a good foundation of friends and family. I was not necessarily overjoyed with life, but I was content. In June of that year, my parents were finishing up construction of a little cabin up north. It was 3-4 hours away -- and while I thought it was cool -- it wasn't really my cup of tea. I was a kid born and raised in suburbia. I had so many allergies as a kid that I didn't really enjoy the outdoors much. My recollection of the farm is primarily one of sneezes and sniffles (and Strange Brew and 3-wheelers and deadly chickens). We took multiple camping trips, but those were less than hits on my list. I do remember monsoons in Cheyenne, dropping the cooler lid in the lake, mosquitoes, dad breaking the swing, Ryan falling in a lake, and a 300 pound camping box that we would strap to the luggage rack. I guess there were a few good times, but I was not the kid counting the days until our next camping trip. As a teen/young adult, my interest grew further from the outdoors, and I became even more comfortable on concrete. For a while, the only time I even saw grass was on a golf course. I also didn't particularly care for water or water related activities. I went deep sea fishing and spent
9: 4 hours puking. We rented a fishing boat with the family and, in one week, I was able to (A) pierce my dad's ear with a leech on a hook; (B) chop up the largest fish we (Dad) caught by leaving it on a stringer and starting the motor and driving across the lake; and (C) trying to start a pull start motor with the key to the cabin and exclaiming for all to hear, "Where's the key go?" I enjoyed parts of the whole outdoor process, but I didn't have the patience for the totality of it, nor was I successful at it. If I was excellent at it, then maybe I'd have given it a chance, but I was a poor outdoorsman, and that is probably being too kind. So early June, Dad, Ryan and I went up to check it out and put the dock in. The coolest thing about the first trip up was how exited my Dad was. He, unlike his eldest son, was a farm kid. Some of his fondest memories were miles away from concrete. He could gut a deer and drive a tractor for God's sake. This was a dream come true for him, and even more than that I think. It was like a dream he thought would never come true. You know, like when I dreamed to dunk a basketball, or be the host on Jeopardy/! He was giddy -- and not in a boastful way, like, "Look at my vacation home!", but more like, "This is going to be soooo fun!" My interest was piqued, but I was clearly the third most excited guy in the truck. It was a beautiful place no doubt about it. There were aspen and birch as far as the eye could see. The cabin was perfect, too big to really be a cabin and too nice -- but not too nice. Just right, like baby bear's bed. It was calm and quiet. There were deer everywhere. The water was cool and clear. There were bald eagles just flying around. We saw Great White Egrets! I'd been to zoos with less wildlife. THis place naturally had the zen-like quality that all day spas strive for. It was tranquility and solitude. And for some reason, for the first time in my life, all these things appealed to me.
10: A couple weeks later, I went up there by myself. I wasn't really sure what I was doing, but I got a baitcasting rod for Christmas, and I figured I'd give it a shot. I went out that weekend and threw some lures around and something changed for me. I wasn't out in some fancy boat, and in fact, no one even knew I was there. I couldn't see another human. It was like I had the whole lake to myself. I didn't have any waders back then so I was just wading around in a pair of shorts. I wasn't really fishing, it was more of a casting exercise at that point. But there was a rhythm to it. A physical mantra of sorts. It cleared my head. It opened my eyes. It was really special time for me. I'm not sure I made any great revelations that first time down in the water, but I know that is when I opened myself up to the revelations that would come. Patience was no longer a waste of time, but a virtue indeed. I eventually did catch my first fish that day, and that started a new passion and hobby for me. You'd never know a city kid could find so much joy chasing fish all day. I spent hours on that lake. I bought my first fishing boat in August that summer. I was as hooked as anyone ever could be on fishing. I love to catch fish, but I love fishing even more. Once we had the boat, fishing became more of a family activity for us. We would fish quite a bit that summer, but I definitely led the lake in hours fished. Come to think of it, Ryan casted that first summer while the rest of us fished. I was able to spend weeks at a time up there and really took to the place. I spent probably spent ten times as much time with the family as I would have in a typical summer. Eventually, I realized that as good as my life was, there were parts that were missing. I hadn't yet found that someone special to settle down with, and I admitted to myself that there was a hole inside of me because of it. You see there is something about the place that makes you think long term. Something about nature makes me reflect on the legacy I will leave behind some day. Up to that point in my life, I didn't really
11: have a legacy, nor did I ever stop to think about it. That Fall, I met my wife, Katie, and I knew she was something special. I know Katie will never love the cabin like I do, but she does know how much it means to me. I also know that the time I spent up at that cabin changed me. I'm not so sure she would have fallen in love with the guy I was before then, and I'm so thankful that we met when we did. I've seen quite a few spectacular places in my life, but there is no question, this is my favorite. If I ever found out I had limited time left here, I'd pack up the family and move up there to spend the rest of my days in that place. It is that special to me. Four years later, and we've been married for 2 and have a bouncing baby boy, Zachary Bernard. It's so cool that my son will grow up with a place like this to come to and I can't wait to spend summers with him here. There are multiple times when I think about how good it must feel for my father. He has had this crazy dream in his head for years, and it was a quest he faced alone. Now that it's here, we have a closer family than ever before. It has changed all of our lives for the better. I think about taking my son out fishing one day, and I cannot explain how happy that makes me feel. My Dad is the reason for that, and I can only hope he realizes how special this is to all of us. When you are in this special place, you think about legacy, and my father can rest assured that his is a great one. Love, Shane
12: By Spencer Reid
13: "To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world." | By Bennett Rayner
14: Dear Dad, Each summer for the past few years, we have driven 1600 miles round trip from Muncie, Indiana to Bovey, Minnesota with two little children for family week. Sometimes, we felt each of these miles like 1600 kicks in the shins. One infamous trip for us -- that first summer when Spencey was a newborn -- it took us over an hour to go three miles through part of Wisconsin. Despite this, we never want to miss family week. Ever. I look forward to it all year, thinking about what I want to cook, what decorating I might do, what fun activities we can plan for the whole gang, an dhow many hours I'll get to sit on the big back porch and do nothing. The boys talk about the cabin, too. As little as they are, they reminisce about fishing, the "island", playhouse, trampoline, chocolate wafer cookies, and, of course, Aunt Jade. It is a familiar place for them, for all of us, and it is that I'm most fortunate for. For their entire lives, we've had this amazing gathering spot and a commitment from the whole family to be together at least one week a year. Though we get to the cabin the least of all the family, it enriches our lives while we are there and the other 51 weeks of the year as we dream about next year. Love, Jackie
15: Dear Bernie, I'm writing this letter to express my sincerest thanks for your having me up at the Cabin during family week. I know it must be difficult for a few reasons (you're embarrassed because OU has more National Championships than Nebraska; I always beat you at Cribbage--except for those games I let you win; and I can't fish (I mean I don't even like touching the slimy things), and yet you welcome me with open arms every year. No doubt my charming and cheery personality make it easier to have me around, but really I know it's because I'm married to your very awesome daughter and also because we are the parents of your two smart, handsome, and carefree (And first!) grandsons, Bennett and Spencer. I must say that I love love love being at the Cabin with you and yours. Up there, it's truly a peaceful and serene part of the world. For example, sitting on the deck or going fishing, I can just sit back and look at the awe at the world, the trees, the sky, all of it. I cherish this appreciation of nature. Speaking of fishing, when I am on the boat with you and/or others and fishing, I really love to fish. I enjoy the stories we tell (remember that big bass that broke the line of your pole over there, probably still has the frog on its lip, or something like that) and of course the banter that comes with fishing. Even the bitterer moments sweeten with time, like the one time you and Jeff Berg decided to keep fishing in the cold rain for four and a half hours , all the while raking in big fish while I think I was maybe untangling a knot in my line or something like that, my teeth chattering. I have you to thank for those wonderful experiences. I'm also glad that the boys have a grandpa like you to teach them the ins and outs of fishing and various outdoor activities like skeet shooting. Bennett's face always lights up when we talk about how many fish he and you caught on the dock during the 2010
16: summer. I can't wait for Spencer to have that experience too. The best part, though, is getting to spend time with the Grutsch family, playing games (like Pictionary, water balloon toss, Pitch, etc.), or feasting on food, drinking coffee, and otherwise relaxing as if there were nothing else to do. Cannot beat it! Oh, and I almost forgot, should one so desire, he could take a little ride into Hibbing and visit the boyhood home of none other than Bob Dylan. How awesome is that! Because of all these reasons, and many more I don't really have the space for here (your help with the canoe, your letting me catch the most fish on our last outing of summer 2010, your sharing the occasional cigar, your letting me drive the boat, and so much more), I always look fondly on Going to the Cabin for Family Week. And when life beckons us back to Muncie, I'm already looking forward to the next year, my heart full of joy and gratitude. Love, Todd, the Cribbage Champion
17: One of the highlights of parenthood is introducing your children to your favorite things in life. I will never forget the first time we turned down the cabin driveway with Mari. My heart swelled with pride as we brought her to our home away from home. The same thing happened on Jack's first trip. We can hardly wait for our children to grow up at the cabin And it's not just the wilderness, fishing, and gator rides that we know they will love. As they grow up they will see that the real beauty in the cabin is found in the hours spent with family. It is a place for us to grow together and make memories we will never forget. That is why every time we turn down the driveway I tell the kids, "We're here! Our favorite place on earth!" Thank you. Love, Katie and David
19: "Great souls pay much attention to little things. Blessed Josemmaria Escriva
21: Our Favorite Place on Earth!
22: The most important thing. Is to keep the most important thing... | ...the most important thing. -Fr. Tom
23: He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Malachi 4:6
24: The Cabin by Jade A vacation with no cost, yet its value is very rich. And memories are always made through tubing or through fish. A place that became another home, and time is made to settle down, from our busy and hectic lives, and a moment to relax is found. God has blessed us with this cabin, to share with many friends. And throughout our winters and summers here, I hope it never ends.
25: My cabin is one of my favorite places on the earth! It's a very fun and exciting place for me. It can also be a restful and "in awe of God" place because the scenery is so nice. My cabin is on a hill. At the bottom of the hill, there is a swampy area that leads to a lake. There are woods surrounding the area of the cabin. If you look out, you will see a perfect view of a grand and glorious sight of a landscape. It looks like God painted it Himself. In the woods, we made a fort out of a pile of wood that we found there. I like the cabin because I get to spend time with my family and I enjoy just participating in God's wonderful nature. At the lake, we sometimes cruise around in our family pontoon, the "Philomena". We always bring plenty of snacks and pop along. We can go speeding by and see all of the tiny cabins as we make waves with our engines. Most times, we'll hitch a tube to the pontoon It is both very scary and exciting at the same time. My dad suddenly jerks the tube and sends us careening into the air. Once Donna and I were on the tube and my mom dared us to stand while singing"Happy Birthday". We both fell for it and, as soon as we started to sing, we were airborne, as my dad gunned the engines. At the end of the day, we sit around the fire roasting marshmallows. It's a great way to end an adventurous day. | A Writing assignment by Johnney (2008)
29: Are we competitive?
30: Fun times with friends ...
31: And family
32: We love our neighbors: Bergs and Kistlers!
33: Grandma and Grandpa came to visit | R e u n i o n s
34: In the beginning...
35: CABIN TO DO LIST 1. Lock Mortgage Rates 2. Order Boat Insurance 3. Order Homeowner Insurance (cabin) 4. Get Boater Information/safety guides 5. Order docks 6. Order Trash Service 7. Pay Estimated Tax 8. Order Hole Digger 9. Order Basement Wiring 10. Buy Beds and Mattresses 11. Order Pontoon and Cover 12. Drill Deck Foundation Holes 13. Pickup and Install Docks 14. Order Concrete 15. Buy Appliances 16. Order Walkway Materials 17. Buy Fishing Boat 18. Order Decking 19. Order Propane Tank& Service 20. Order Brush Whacker rental 21. Order Rental Trailer 22. Basement Wired 23. Pour Concrete DeckFoundation 24. Buy Life Jackets | 25. Buy tow ropes and tubes 26. Furniture delivered 27. Pontoon Delivered 28. Order Drywall & Doors Basement 29. Appliances Delivered 30. Build Deck 31. Move Stuff from Garage 32. Use Brush Whacker 33. Painting @ Cabin (Great Room) 34. Build Walkway 35. Close on Mortgage 36. Call Todd Olson - plan lake front 37. Install Drywall & Doors 38. Move Stuff from Kim and Ryan 39. Plumbing 40. Garage 41. Buy Gator 42. Drywall Finishing 43. Install Patio 44. Basement Bathrooms 45. Buy Furniture 46. Build Steps from Deck 47. Build Tree House 48. Continued ... | Though tiredness is beating you down, you will finish it off well; and your works will be pleasing to God." Blessed Josemaria Escriva
36: "For I know the plans I have for you, :says the Lord. " They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
37: A Family Is A Gift That Lasts Forever | Great are the works of the Lord! Psalm 111:2 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009
38: That's one expensive bear! | God saw all that He had made, and it was very good." Genesis 1:1 | It all started with finding a home for the bear ...
40: Winter fun Up North
41: God saw all that He had made, and it was very good." Genesis 1:1