Growing up in Indiana shaped much of who I am today. After leaving at 18 for college, I moved around a bit. I’ve lived in Indiana, Michigan, South Dakota, California and currently in Illinois. Each stop along the way brought about significant change in my life, but there’s always been one place, one constant that holds true, that’s Chicagon Lake in the U.P. of Michigan. It’s God’s country.

My parents bought a piece of property in 1983. I was three years old. Circa 1985, they

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Nephews, kids, grand-kids

began to build a small log cabin that would become the single most familiar place in my life for the next 35 years. It became affectionately known as “Gasaway’s Vacation Station.”

When I was little, we’d spend weeks at a time there during the summer. My mom was a teacher and my dad was a fireman; so they were able to schedule their work to be away from for long stretches. It was at the lake I learned how to water ski, tube, cut wood, build a campfire, fish, drive a boat, ride four-wheelers and all the other fun things a kid can get into in the North Woods. There were times I would even complain to my mom that I wanted to go home because we were there too long. If I could go back and smack my younger self in the head for those complaints, I would. I would give anything to be able to spend the kind of time up there I used to. It’s just hard for a young kid to understand how important a place like that can become in a person’s life.

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Teaching James how to fish

As I’ve gotten older, I haven’t been able to get up there as much. Life has taken hold. It’s not just as easy as jumping in the car or taking weeks off work to head up to the lake. It takes a lot more planning and effort, but it’s well worth it to take my kids up there to help them gain all those experiences I did.

For over 20 years now, with the exception of a couple here and there, my buddy Josh and I have gone up for the 4th of July. We’ve been going up together since high school. We took our girlfriends, that became our wives, and now we take the kids as well. It’s

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Some of the crew on the 4th in 2016

something I look forward to year in and year out. This year is no different. We’re actually getting to go up for bit longer than usual and I cannot wait. Nearly all the kids are old enough now to make the memories I did and hearing the excitement they have when we go out on the boat or when they catch a fish helps me further understand what a place like that can mean for families.

My parents welcome everyone to their cabin and it’s a place people go to come together and enjoy time away from the rat race of “normal” life. I can’t thank them enough for having the forethought to build such a special place we can always visit. It’s become such an important staple for so many people through the years and we continue to make memories that will last for lifetimes to come.

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James with his favorite treat

There will certainly be a lot of change in the future and life isn’t going to slow down any time soon, but there’s something that will remain constant for years to come and that’s the cabin on the lake. See you soon!

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Drone shot above the pontoon

 

 

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