Just Being Kids in 1954

Following is an excerpt from Mary Zigan’s new book, An Upside-Down Heart, which was published last month.  In keeping with our August picnic theme, she has selected the following vignette from Chapter Five of her memoir.


The Big Lake


Sundays in the summer after morning farm chores, we could hardly wait to head north. Heading North meant being at Grandpa and Grandma’s cabin on Mille Lacs lake along with other relatives. Usually, Sharon and I would be singing in the car all the way because our first stop was the little community church in Cove Bay.  When we walked into the church–typically, about 15 people made up the congregation—invariably somebody would say, “Here come the Sorensen sisters.  That’s our music for today.” We would proudly sing one or two hymns.

Mother would always bring food to the lake in order to add to everyone else’s supply in the family. One thing we kids dreaded was the “one hour wait after lunch to go swimming” restriction. No one was allowed to break this rule!  We would walk through the woods to get to the Big Lake for swimming.  The big lake was the larger side of Mille Lacs and had a public access with more beach front. We detested the blood suckers we encountered while swimming, but knew they would come right off with salt when we returned to the cabin. At one time or another, all of my cousins, Jan, Gloria, KD, Pat, Kaye, Dean, Jack, and Jay, played in those waters. We often ended up with beet-red sunburns.  Noxema gave some relief!

Our times spent at the lake with cousins and family are happy remembrances.

©Mary Zigan, 2015

NOTE:  Mary Zigan will be the keynote speaker October 2-3 at a Faith & Fellowship God Chicks Conference for women, hosted by Advent Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, MN.  If you are in the Twin Cities area, and would like to attend, email for additional information at GodChicks2015@yahoo.com.