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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!

Thursday, July 13, 2006


My best friend, Anne, and I are going to have a race next time she comes up for a visit. We’ve decided after we’ve enjoyed a few glasses of wine that we are going to each put a full glass of wine on a badminton racket and run across the campground to see who has the most wine left in their glass at the end of the race. Mike, her fiancé and Dan, my hubby are to be the judges. A couple of issues that I can see with this race is Anne is shy so we have to do it when no one is camping and second, sometimes she and Mike can’t come up until winter. I’m not sure either one of us would have any wine left in our glass if we had to do this on snowshoes….but I’m sure anyone around would feel compelled to watch us!

Don’t ask me where we come up with these hair brain ideas, but we DO have a good time when we get together. Ya know how some girls have “girls night out”?? We have started our tradition of what we call “GNOME” which stands for Girls Night Out Michigan Edition ….only we go for the weekend. We each have little banks that say “Girls Night Out” on them!

The first time we did this, we met in Mackinaw City. We had rented a cabin on Lake Huron for the weekend. It was early October and was beautiful weather; crisp breezes off the lake, just perfect. Anne and I hadn’t seen each other in a long time and we’d been planning this trip for what seemed like forever. I had gotten us free tickets on Sheplar’s ferry to Mackinac Island and had convinced her that one of the perks was that we were actually going to get to pilot the boat part way and actually get to try to dock it! I told her we had VIP passes, which stood for Very Important Pilot. This is her response to the email I sent her:

HOW?!? This isn't going to be on the news, is it?!?

"Two rookie pilots took a hand at driving one of Sheplar's Ferrys to Mackinac Island and back today. As the two were trying to dock at the island, things went horribly awry........."

I can just see it now!"

Well, honestly, I’M not convinced that SHE was convinced or if she was just going along with the gag to humor me.

We finally got settled into our little cabin and the first thing we did was bring out the snacks and the wine and get settled in for some girl talk. We then decided to go to the park not to far from the Bridge and walk around. By the time we got back it was supper time so we ordered in. The owner of the cabins built a nice, BIG campfire for us just before dark so we sat outside and enjoyed it for a while before “retiring” for the evening (translation, more wine and more girl talk).

The next morning, bright and early, we went to the Pancake House for breakfast before our trip to the Island. October is definitely the time to go to Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island. There was hardly anyone around and lots of good sales. By the time we reached the dock, Anne knew that the whole VIP thing was a joke and didn’t seem disappointed by it at all…I think we both would have been bad boat pilots! VIP would have stood for Very Injured Passengers. We had a wonderful, sunny, perfect temperature day on the Island. It couldn’t’ have been any better.

By the time we got back to our cabin, we decided to sit outside by the campfire area for a bit. Of course, we were enjoying some before dinner wine before dinner and talking about our day…just relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet. It was about an hour before dark when we decided to go in. When we got in the cabin, Anne could not find her car keys…and she had borrowed her parent’s car for the trip! AND the car was locked. While she tore things apart inside the cabin, I looked outside in the sand where we’d been sitting. Neither one of us found the keys. By now, she was getting a bit more than vexed. I went to the office and asked if I could borrow a brush rake to rake the pine needles where we had walked through (by now it was getting dark and hard to see). I raked up almost all of the pine needles while Anne was still searching inside…neither of us had any luck. I told her that we could get the VIN # from the vehicle and go to the Chevy dealer in Cheboygan and have keys made. I went back to the office to try to get a phone # and directions to the Chevy dealer. As I was talking with the man, pretty soon, there is a knock on the screen door to the office….there stood Anne with a sheepish grin on her face. She came in the office and said “I found the keys…” “Well, GREAT!! Where did you find them??” “They were in my BRA!!” Did I say that she was SHY???

“OK, sweetie, my best friend whom I just raked half of Lake Huron shoreline for…what the heck were they doing in your bra?? It’s not like there’s a lot of room left in there for anything else, ya know. How’d you finally figure it out?”

“I was sitting on the bed, about ready to cry, with my head hanging down and I looked down the front of my sweater and there they were! The keys I mean! Right next to my cell phone!”

Now, I need to explain that my friend had her cell phone on vibrate instead of ring and the best way she could feel it vibrate was to put it next to her skin and in her bra seemed like the logical place. Needless to say, we all got a good, LONG laugh about that! It shines a whole new light on “reach out and touch someone”.

Next town to terrorize; TAWAS!!! That’ll be more like half way for both of us! And there most likely will be more “Lucy and Ethel” stories to come! As long as my SHY friend doesn't mind!

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