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All Hands on Deck Coming Together to Save a Family Landmark
My in-laws live near Grand Forks, North Dakota. If that wasn’t remote enough for your tastes, they also have a lake house at Island Lake in Minnesota. Bemidji, the largest “city” near the lake house, has a population of just over 10,000. The entirety of Beltrami County, where the house is located, is about one-third the land area of the entire state of Massachusetts and has a total population under 50,000. Needless to say, we’re talking about a place far removed from many of the creature comforts of 2019. When we travel to the lake house, we first take a flight to Minneapolis, followed by a 3 1/2-hour drive northwest to Island Lake. Getting to the house requires a good bit of effort. That’s not a big deal when it comes to family vacations, but it does make maintaining the cabin quite a chore. Most construction companies aren’t too keen on bringing equipment to the middle of nowhere for relatively small projects. But the house itself is getting up there in years and needs some serious attention. Therein, as they say, lies the rub. My in-laws built the cabin themselves in the ‘60s and are very independent people. As a result, repairs to the house over the years have been scattershot. The support beams and stringers rot over time. When they do, the normal fix is to get under the house, pull some new wood in, and attach it to what’s already there. Eventually, though, those new boards get infected by the old ones and develop rot themselves. It’s not a sustainable solution. The house was getting too far gone in terms of the work needed. This year, we finally decided to do something about it. “Why don’t we just go out there and do it ourselves?” my husband, Ken, suggested earlier this year. His sister and two brothers thought it was a long shot because his parents were never going to agree to us coming in there and getting the job done. But when my mother-in-law called us saying our yearly fall trip to the lake may not be in the cards this year, we realized it was the perfect opportunity to offer our services. Ken’s always been very handy, and my son, Ethan, does site work with construction equipment, so we’ve always had the skills to get the job done. All we needed was permission. Once we got it, we set plans in motion to head to the lake house as a family to get the cabin in tiptop shape. It wasn’t the most relaxing trip in the world, but it was incredibly rewarding. The younger generation got to show their grandparents how much they care about the house and how equipped they are to be responsible stewards of the property. We all came
together to show our love and appreciation for a very significant place in our family history. It’s a house we hope to enjoy for decades to come, and it means so much to be a part of the team making that goal a reality. The trip to repair the lake house was more than the chance to give the place some much needed TLC. It brought us all together in service of a common goal. It made us realize just how special Island Lake is and how much we all care about it. That’s more than worth the bumps and bruises.
– Dr. Stacey Raybuck Schatz
Professional Physical Therapy | 508-528-6100 • 1www.proptinc.com
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