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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Monday, June 26, 2006


I’ve spent the last couple of days with heat on my shoulder trying to get my muscles to stop screaming and throbbing. Dan finally had to do some of the mowing this a.m. He had a hard time turning the mower off so I was FINALLY able to convince him to call the company. Why is this guy thing anyway? When you HAVE tried everything else, what else is left to do? Sorry guys, but I don’t get it.

It appears that there is a GOOD possibility that even though they sent the proper size belts, because they are from a different manufacturer instead of the belts we’ve previously been sent, that there could be a SLIGHT difference in the length. I sure hope that is what it is. We just don’t see what else it could possibly be! Hopefully by the end of the week, we’ll know for sure. I told Dan that as much difficulty that I’ve had for the past two weeks that if these new belts DO the trick, I now have so much muscle built up in my left arm and neck that I’ll probably tear the lever right off the mower.

I’ve made no bones about how I feel about spiders so I put on iron clad gloves when I have to get fire wood out of the wood bin for our guests…just to be safe. I am now going to start wearing hip waders….not because we finally got some rain, but because there is now a snake that has taken up residence in the wood bin. And ya just never know where you will find him. Yesterday I found him slithering across the top of my shoe. My reaction started a chain reaction. I had 4 male camping guests standing outside the wood bin waiting for their wood. Once I became air borne and making high pitched noises, all 4 of these GUYS did too…and they had NO idea why! It was a very good group effort. The snake seemed totally impervious by the whole event and actually stuck his tongue out at me as it slithered back into the wood pile. As I’ve said, campers can be so entertaining. I wonder what campers say about campground owners???

Some of you know that Dan served in Viet Nam and among some of the medals he received was the Purple Heart. For the past several years, Dan has been trying to get disability for some of his injuries that have come to haunt him in his “later years”. So far, he is only getting 10%. There have been many trips to Detroit and MANY trips to the VA center in Iron Mountain. There are a lot of hoops to jump through and a lot of dredging up old memories that he would just as soon forget, but he remains persistent. Now, with all of that said, I want to tell you about a letter he received today from the Department of Veterans Affairs out of Detroit. I am going to copy it here exactly the way it is written:

Dear Purple Heart Recipient:
As you know, the United States Postal Service issued a special $.37 “Purple Heart” stamp to honor Purple Heart recipients. Generally speaking, when special issue stamps are no longer available due to changes in the postal rate, they are simply discontinued. However, because the United States holds its Purple Heart recipients in such high esteem, the Postal Service chose to reissue a Purple Heart stamp with the current $.39 postal rate.

We at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit have chosen to salute you as a Purple Heart recipient, by sending you a stamp honoring the Purple Heart. It is a small token for our appreciation to again thank you for the sacrifices you made for this Nation.

Again, we are using this opportunity to express our appreciation for your patriotic service to the United States of America.

Sincerely yours,


And, we did get a $.39 Purple Heart postage stamp and I’m sure many thousands of others got the same letter and stamp. I’m sorry, but I can’t help but wonder if the people who thought to do this did so with their tongue in cheek or if they truly thought sending this stamp and letter to all of the Purple Heart recipients was going to bring peace of mind and comfort to them.

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