Guest Post: Lake Culture as an Art

Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Note from Ada: This week and next I'm asking some of my bloggy friends to help fill the Of Woods and Words soundwaves. Today fellow Minnesotan, Meri of Meri-Goes-Round, takes lakes and getaways . . . Minnesota style. Enjoy!

One of the things I love most about Ada’s blog is the snippets of Minnesota life that she brings to the blog world. Born and raised a Minnesotan myself, I have spent a good while in urban, suburban, and natural parts of the state.

It’s not uncommon to have a getaway to go to. New Yorkers have the Hamptons, others have country cottages... Minnesotans have “the lake.” This is a strange term because Minnesota is home to thousands and thousands of lakes (no, not a mere 10,000 like the nickname). While non-Minnesotans may have lake homes or cabins of their own, Minnesotans really take this culture to the next level.

So in the spirit of my “listmania” month over at my own blog, I have a list tailor-made for Of Woods and Words:

Ways Minnesotans have made “Lake Culture” an art form:

10. Cabins made of real logs, a la Laura Ingalls Wilder

9. Water so pure you can be in over your head and still see the bottom

8. Spending all day on a ramshackle boat with a fishing line draped over the side, chatting with a friend or family member and slowing it waaaay down

7. S’mores, sparklers, fireworks, beer. The Fourth of July couldn’t be spent anywhere else for me.

6. Card games, board games, and cribbage.

5. Waking up and drinking coffee while mom makes homemade banana cake or pancakes. My first and only crepes from scratch. Man-go-round’s birthday cake one year. Countless barbeques and pasta salads.

4. Learning how to waterski, wakeboard, or “switch” inner tubes with your best friends or sisters

3. Walking with your Dad collecting agates on the side of the dirt road, the smell of pine needles in the air and paint brush flowers near the marsh.

2. The quiet at night, punctuated by one or a chorus of our beloved Loons.

1. No TV, no internet, little cell phone service... but nights of conversation and laughter with the people I love most.

No one messes with my summers at the cabin. I’ve spent the occasional winter weekend “at the lake” ice skating or hibernating, and a Thanksgiving or two by the fire, but to me the cabin means summer. No matter if it’s Lake Superior or the very small lake our current cabin overlooks, this is one of the reasons I simply can’t make myself leave this lovely state!

What do you love about your own state? Do you have a getaway or place you go to relax with family or friends?

Thanks to Ada for letting me guest post! I am honored.



  1. I lived in Michigan and had a little taste of the "lake culture" there, and it's something so wonderful about the Midwest. Thanks for sharing your perspective...I really enjoyed this post!

  2. Thanks again for letting me guest post, Ada!

  3. Traveled through Minnesota --where my mother was born-- back in my teens. It was winter so we had a lot of snow but we took in some of the sights-- saw the original dug out of Laurel Ingalls Wilder's home; that was a highlight!

  4. Love the guest post and seeing a new blog! We have tons of lakes and hiking trails. Summer days on the lake with the family are the best.

  5. my sister's bf is from every other year they go up there for christmas, and they have a cabin by the lake...not sure which lake! sounds wonderful. i may have to go up with them one year! guess for us here it's beach houses...although i like to rent a villa at Ko Olina Resort for the weekend, too. you get the beach & pools.

  6. I agree, I could never leave Minnesota. I love it here, even though winter can get a little long sometimes.

  7. MY family used to always spend 4th of July on the lake growing up, as both sets of grandparents had houses on Lake Winnipesaukee in NH. Both houses are sold now, but the lake holds a special place in my heart :)

  8. Sigh...log cabins made from REAL logs...LOVE! Escaping from TV and the internet sounds pretty relaxing too :)

    xx Cat brideblu

  9. That's a pretty darn good list!! It definitely makes me want to come and visit :)

  10. adventures on a great lake are priceless! I love all those things!

  11. I'm always jealous of people with lake cabins. Maybe one day...

  12. This really makes me want to visit Minnesota. My life feels so sheltered by comparison.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  13. I grew up in New York and in the Adirondacks, summers on the lake sound suspiciously similar to yours. Your post made me miss those lovely summer days!


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