Before we visited the bars in town and chit-chatted with Barb we searched for my grandparents’ cabin. Had this been five years ago I suspect we may not have found it so easily, but this time I was prepared with technology in the form of Google Maps on my phone. I knew the house was off Ten Mile Lake Drive and had pretty much figured out where it was by looking at the satellite view on Google Maps. I remembered that you drove to the end of Ten Mile Lake Drive, then veered off to the right onto a gravel road and went down a hill. Grandpa always honked his horn as he drove down and up the hill to warn other cars he was coming.
Google Maps led us to Ten Mile Lake Drive and we found the turn-off which looked exactly like I remembered it. We drove down the hill and there, at the end of the drive, was the cabin. It looked so much like it did when I used to visit my grandparents I nearly expected Grandma to walk out around the house to greet us. Even the outhouse was still standing.
I was delighted to see that the house had not been torn down or fallen into disrepair. The opposite, in fact. It looked very well taken care of and I could see a number of improvements. The large picture window on the front of the house was replaced with newer windows — in fact it looked like all the windows were replaced. It may also have been enlarged slightly in the front — the old roof line is no longer visible. The only disappointment was that the woods behind the cabin is gone and is now part of a subdivision.
The lake looked much like it did when I used to visit as a teenager — although I suspect the docks have been rebuilt. I’d forgotten that there was a cabin so near Grandma’s cabin, but remembered going inside it and being surprised that they had a large water pump (the old fashioned kind with a handle) at the kitchen sink instead of a faucet.
No one was at the cabin when we stopped by — I was both glad and disappointed. Glad because I would have been shy about trespassing but disappointed that I was not able to meet the people who now owned the cabin. I left knowing that the cabin I loved as a child continued to be loved by the new family.
I’ve since been in touch with the new owners and showed them photos from the time my grandparents owned it. I feel as if something has come full circle for some reason. I went from not knowing if the cabin would even still be standing to having communicated with the new owner who obviously loves it.
If you are interested, you can view photos of the cabin in the 1960’s and photos of the cabin & Chetek now.