This is a blog where we keep you all updated on what's new and what's timeless at Lloyd's Landing on South Twin Lake.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Door with a View

When it was first built in 1952, Lloyd’s Landing was a wee little rectangle with a door on the North side.  With a cabin that small, there was no need for a second door.  In the seventies, Maurie built a porch and decided that the porch needed its own door, so he installed one on the North side, just 15 feet from the original door.

Since 1952, the most spacious land, the place where families set up their lawn chairs and watched the sunset, was on the South side of the cabin.  Grandma Anne’s giant wooden glider was on the South side.  The Aas’s installed a fire pit on the South side.  The pristine State Forest is on the South Side.   The North side has the strangely-named Bath House and a dull view of the neighbor’s cabin.

In short, the South side is where the good stuff is.  In 1970, it seated 50 people for a Mass:

And yet, since 1952, the Hyldens have been coming and going from the North side, employing a screen door that has that familiar squeak and slam sound of a hot summer day.  There is no pathway between the doors and the South side, so in every vacation, a small child is scolded for tracking mud or pine needles into the house, by virtue of circling around the front to get from the good stuff to the door.

And so it has been for 60 years at Lloyd’s Landing: slamming screen doors, chiding children, padding across pine needles, all in the pursuit of connecting the necessities of the indoors with the perfection of the outdoors.  And yet, as our relatives have told about the evolution of the cabin and the goals of its varied caretakers, no one ever relayed a story about a desire to change the entryway to the cabin.

Enter the Andersons.

It started on a warm summer night, as we watched the sunset and talked about the next phase of our windows and siding project: the South Side.  How much siding did we need? how lopsided was that long span of building going to look? could we find a replacement window for the slider in the living room?  And what about those flimsy combination windows in the porch, they’d have to go for sure. 

The porch.  Wait.  What if, we thought, we made it easier to access the South side?  What if--gasp--there was a door on the South side of the porch?  We could access the great view, the fire pit, the best place for a circle of lawn chairs, all from a simple access point!  We could have more privacy!  We could someday build a deck!

It didn’t take long to get from concept to the window & door department at Menards.  The choices weren’t onerous, since we needed to keep it simple and accommodate the dimensions of the porch.  So without much debate, the supplies were purchased and Dave’s reliable brother Derick was enlisted to help.

While I stayed home resting my back spasms, I received this status:

And although my back prevented me from being helpful, we got to this point by the time we closed the cabin for the season in October:

To paraphrase an old saying, when the Andersons rip out a window, they open a door.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Museum of Bad Knife Design

Kitchen utensils are always interesting.  Archaeologists study them, women throw parties over them, and urban snobs collect them.  Lloyd's Landing holds three generations of utensils, so there are bound to be a few worthy notables in the drawers and cubbies.  Although one might write a PhD dissertation on the need for three generations to hang onto rusty egg beaters, the most remarkable feature of the collection has been the assortment of strange and badly designed knives.

Exhibit A in the collection is actually an ingenious design that Dave mistakenly took for bizarre and useless: the grapefruit knife: it's a little bit floppy and curves up at the end.  When we were young, my dad loved to demonstrate how exotic and worldly our family was by explaining that he had siblings in both Texas and California who shipped him fresh grapefruit.  That's right, we didn't just know people in faraway lands, we were related to them.  And to demonstrate how savvy we were to consumption of fresh produce, we ate our grapefruit on the half-shell, as it were, and delicately sliced the individual sections out with a grapefruit knife.  There is also a grapefruit spoon, serrated at the edge, which can serve the same purpose.

Truth be told, Uncle Harold probably delivered a crate of grapefruit from Texas once, and maybe Aunt Audrey brought a box with her on the one driving trip she made back to the midwest, but no matter.  It was the elegance of consumption that counted.

Exhibit B in our collection veers sharply into the category of useless and quite possibly dangerous.  Here is a single instrument that includes a grater, a slicer, a bottle opener, a serrated knife, a smooth edge knife, and some kind of creepy pinching mechanism at the tip.  The grater is too small to be helpful, and the slicer is too far from the handle to provide any level of accuracy.  And the blade is so thin and wide that neither side of the knife is ergonomically comfortable.  But it's a multi-tasker's dream, and that says it all about multi-tasking.

But the piece de resistance in our collection is Exhibit C: The Spife.  We can only hope that this was a Boy Scout project where the Scout Master spotted immediate trouble and confiscated the object before somebody got hurt.  I have to believe that no merit badges were awarded in the manufacture of this device.    With a long sharp blade at one end and a gentle little spoon at the other, it beckons the yogurt eater and fish cleaner alike.  Seriously, how many children lost an eye while eating their cereal with this thing?

On the advice of our insurance agent, The Spife was turned over to White Earth Sanitation.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Out Behind the Tool House

The Tool House has been a continual source of wonderment and fear.  It’s become a bit of a game to extract at least one odd object from the Tool House every time we make a run to the dump.  But the Tool House has always been a little bit scary—it’s definitely a place that makes you double check that your tetanus shots are current.

This year we ventured into the Tool House, determined to clean out enough space to store the windows and siding that were this year’s project.  For this job, we outfitted ourselves in long sleeves, long pants, and sturdy gloves.  Safety glasses and respirators would not have been overkill, but that didn’t become apparent until later.

I have marveled at the many uses for shelf paper in the cabin, but in cleaning the Tool House, we may have found the ultimate application of shelf paper.  As I pulled out a bunch of scrap wood, I noticed one plank that was probably once part of a bookshelf.  It looked slightly strange, and as I brushed the dust and mice droppings off it, I realized why: this perfectly fine plank had been covered in—wait for it—wood grained shelf paper!  Why cover wood with an artificial material made to look like wood?  Out of curiosity, I pulled the shelf paper off, and sure enough, the wood underneath it was just fine.  Clearly, shelf paper was the miracle product of the modern midcentury.

But the Tool House held other wonders of a bygone day.  When we dug deep enough to find the old workbench, we of course found a dozen glass jars full of rusty nails and screws, most of which conformed to no modern standards in either the metric or American measurement systems.  But there, nestled amongst former peanut butter and jelly jars, was a bottle of actual DDT.

Apparently the Diazinon is just as toxic and offensive to the average environmentalist.  We thought briefly of calling the EPA and asking how to properly dispose of these items, but we quickly concluded the neighbors wouldn’t appreciate living next to a Superfund site.  And as it turns out, White Earth Sanitation has a system for disposing of hazardous materials.    Later, more than one person suggested that we lost an opportunity to make some money on eBay or Craigslist, where DDT is in high demand.   I’ll pass on that opportunity any day.

By the end of the afternoon, we’d filled the trailer with junk and created a great space to store our siding and windows.  It will be interesting to see what the mice think of our efforts.  Many mouse homes were destroyed in the reclamation of the Tool House.  Hopefully the mice can go back in the forest where they belong.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Prepare to be Boarded

Welcome back!  This blog has been woefully neglected this year, not for a lack of content.  It’s been a busy and productive year at Lloyd’s Landing, so there is more than enough to talk about.

Last year we learned that our friends on the lake often thought about boating up to our dock, but never did because they couldn’t tell whether or not the folks they spotted on shore were us, or some renters.  This seemed a tragic shame, so we resolved to find a big, obvious way to letting our neighbors know we were on the lake. 

Neon was definitely inappropriate.  Flares are too brief.  Semaphores require too much thought.  Thankfully, the best option was already available: a sturdy flagpole is firmly planted on the waters’ edge.  So I spent a few winter nights surfing online flag sites, in search of the perfect representation of Andersons on the Lake. 

At first I thought I’d try a “design-your-own” flag site, but couldn’t find anything that didn’t require a lot of money and a bulk order.  Focusing on parrots and pirates, I found that many of the best designs are for the little flags that people hoist on the masts of their sailboats. 

Finally, I discovered a treasure trove of pole-sized pirate flags.  Pirate flags are relatively simple to choose: they are either red or black.  There are only two or three graphic designs, all centered around the skull and cross bones.  And given the purpose of our flag, the saying on the flag was obvious: Prepare to be Boarded.

So now when the Andersons are on the Lake, the flag is hoisted.  And any boats docking at Lloyd’s Landing will surely be boarded.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CousinFest 2011 a success!

Even though a few of you (a-HEM, Eric, Heather) thought you had more glamorous places to be, those of us who came to the Lloyd's Landing Open House enjoyed a picture perfect day, decent food, cold beer, and of course, engaging and lively conversation from some of the most fascinating people you could hope to meet.

Kathy Adams joined us on Friday afternoon, so it was great to get the extra help getting ready, but even more enjoyable to get so much of her undivided attention!  We caught up on all the family, shared stories, and swapped recipes. 

Betsy and Mike Kileen brought Aunt Loretto, and it was great to catch up with her.  Uncle John came with his daughters Mary Jo, Sara, and Laura, and son-in-law Ken.  They were tickled with the improvements since they last saw the cabin, and didn't seem to brokenhearted about all the 70s wallpaper that is no more.

Chris Nelson came by with his friend Lorne and dog Lily, and shared some insights about the "Maurie years."  We also shared Paul Roy's version of the Canoe Incident, which both Chris and Loretto enjoyed. 

My sisters Breta and Julie were both able to join as well, with Breta brilliantly reducing her drive time by flying to Fargo and driving from there.

We will definitely do this again, and hopefully even more Hyldens will be able to join.  Thanks to all of you for the love and support you've given Dave and I as we have transformed This Old Cabin into Lloyd's Landing.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ready for Renters

The first renters of the season are arriving tomorrow!  It's never as ready as we want it to be, but we're pretty pleased with the cabin overall.  Mostly, it's a beautiful thing to have a roof that doesn't leak.  Here's a view of our stunning new roof, which is steel in Hunter Green:

We had been planning to have my wonderful brothers come and help install some new windows over Memorial Day weekend, but unfortunately, the windows didn't arrive until June.  Adrift without windows to install, they kept mumbling something about never getting in a sailboat on this lake and they wandered around the property until they found something useful to do: put a steel roof on the hapless little Tool House!

Every time we make a run to the dump, we take at least one interesting item out of the Tool House.  There's just so much to choose from.  Who amongst us would clean a fish with a rusty curry comb?  So I take that to the dump.  I think my favorite item was an oddly shaped piece of heavy canvas that was imprinted with "Reward. If found, call Joe Schmoe, 555-2525"  I say Joe Schmoe because it was a name I didn't recognize at all.  I first wondered which Hylden was attempting to claim the reward, and then I wondered who would offer a reward for an oddly shaped piece of canvas.  Dave studied it for a minute, and then wisely concluded that this was actually a cover for a boat motor.  Judging from the age and wear of the canvas, the motor was no longer worthy of a reward, even if Joe were alive at the number listed.  So it went to the dump.

When my laptop is reunited with the camera and a USB cable, I'll post more photos of the many improvements to Lloyd's Landing.
Enjoy, Amy

Monday, May 9, 2011

We are Legit in the 'Hood!

We are back in our comfy, mostly bug-free home and reflecting fondly on that unfinished place up north.  I don't have photos of staged rooms, but I am proud to say that we have a legitimate street address!  This is harder than it sounds.  Wild Rice Electric can deliver service to the cabin and properly bill us, but they didn't have a correct address.  When we looked into that, it turned out that the cabin has never had a street number.  This never bothered anybody, since most people figured street addresses were for receiving mail and unwanted guests, neither of which were deemed necessary for a lake place.  But in today's world of safety-minded paranoids like us, we are partial to the notion of having a 911 identifier, and this turns out to look an awful lot like a street address:
But the Mahnomen County Sheriff's Department shall not be rushed on such matters.  After all, in a real emergency, anyone within 50 miles knows that the address of our cabin is "Two Doors Down from Paul Roy."  In fact, if you said anything other than that in an actual 911 call, the responders would be delayed while the dispatcher looked up your silly street number address.  So it was a full year from the time Dave first called upon the Sheriff's department until we were granted our 911 identifier.  We find it helpful.  I don't think it ruins the ambiance of the place.

We are most excited about the new roof that will go on the cabin next week.  Look for more pictures, proud descriptions of how the porch doesn't leak any more, and glowing reviews of our contractor.  I know I can't wait!
Eagerly, Amy