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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!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


1. 11:00 a.m., May 30, 2006 roller broke off from mower deck…mowing interrupted.

2. 10:00 a.m. June 2, 2006 roller welded back on mower deck by local welder…thanks for coming within 48 hours, grass only grew another 8 inches
a) Welder dousing deck with water while welding…too hot to handle otherwise
b). Repairs made, welder paid

3. 2:00 p.m. June 2, 2006 notice deck is smoking…old grass crud and dirt stinks when it smolders
a) Douse between deck shields with water…smoking stopped, still stinks like hell

4. Dan attempts to put mower back together; drive belts now too stretched out to fit properly. Have to order belts.

5. Rush order, over night delivery now takes 4 days instead of 3. Grass still growing, but hasn’t rained recently. Should slow down soon.

6. Belts arrive June 7, kiss UPS man, offer him lemonade. He blushed and beat foot it back to little brown truck.

7. Dan gets drive belts on. Time to mow.

8. Made 3 passes around section of campground, notice it isn’t cutting 5’ swath. Tried to shut mower blades off. New belts tight, not enough strength to push lever down to shut blades off.

9. Dan pushed lever down and inspected deck. Smoldering fire melted one of the three belts. Dan had belts on hand. HOO-Ray.

We now join story in progress….

In order for Dan to change the mower belts, he advised me to make myself scarce. It is one of those jobs that cause the atmosphere in the immediate area of where Dan is working to turn several shades of blue, the prettiest one being indigo. Even though blue IS my favorite color, I took his advice and sought sanctuary elsewhere. You can hear thunder and see lightening when he has to change those particular belts. As I was in search of a place to hide, I asked him if there was any modification he could make to the drive belts so I could shut the mower deck off. I received an icy glare and a muffled response. Dan isn’t one to mince words.

3 or 4 hours later, I was back in business again! It wouldn’t normally take so long but Dan took a lot of breaks to fine-tune his attitude, clear the air and to put ice on his knee. Dan had also tried to make an adjustment to the drive belts. It is easier to lift the lever up, but I still have issues getting it back down.

I finally got all caught up with the mowing. Most of the time I still cannot push that lever back down. I push so hard that it brings me right up out of the seat and that causes the engine to cut out. If it is one of those times that I cannot budge it, I have to idle the engine down all the way and turn the engine off with the blades still going.

A couple of days ago, I couldn’t get the darn lever back down. I was by the barn, swearing under my breath, engine idled down and determined to shut those darn blades off. It brought me up out of my seat which caused the engine to cut out. I got my butt back down in the seat before it cut out, but not before it let loose with a good, LOUD KA-BANG (I’m talking about the mower, not my butt)! It startled me to the point that I ducked and jumped and swore some more. The camping guests who were riding their bikes and “walking” their dog along side their bikes were so startled that they tipped over and the little dog pooped. Birds in the yard flew off in every direction and two mourning doves dropped over dead. Apparently they had heard about open season on mourning doves and thought their number had been called.

Now, I am REALLY gun shy about even attempting to shut that mower deck off! Maybe by the time we get some rain and the grass starts growing again, I will have forgotten about this incident. What I need is to have a hip flask to take mowing with me…I wonder if they come in 2 quart size?

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