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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, August 21, 2006


It seems impossible that almost 5 years have passed since the terrorist attack of 9/11/01. The way I view life and people has been changed forever.

Do you remember what you were doing that day when it happened? Kathy Kish from First National Bank, Melissa Ronquist, who at the time was the Newberry Chamber Executive Director, and I was seated at our kitchen table, doing an audit of the Chamber books. Next thing I remember the three of us were standing in front of the TV with our mouths hanging open and tears in our eyes. I don’t know how it happened that I had the TV on when it was first reported. From time to time we talk about that day and how it affected us and also how it changed us.

Many of our camping guests that day decided to “get home”, even though home might have only been southern Lower Michigan. One guest in particular, an older gentleman from around the Washington D.C. area was about beside himself. His son worked at the Pentagon and he had not been able to reach him. We both were in tears while we were talking about this. It was hard to try to “calm him down”, when I felt anything but calm myself….but he had a son to worry about. He came back in the lobby about an hour later and his son had managed to contact him and he was OK but many of his co-workers were not OK or were just plain missing. Mr. Smith decided to finish out his stay here and figured it was safer here than being on the road.

It seems to me that things in America have gone downhill since that time. I’ve read all kinds of books about how this could have all have been prevented by Bill Clinton having done things differently, blame being placed everyplace, fingers pointing at certain politicians. Regardless, it DID happen and now we have to live the rest of our lives with the real possibility there could be other terrorist attacks in our back yard, be they big or small. But, I think the 9/11 attack is still happening, or at least it got the “ball rolling” as far as destroying things Americans hold dear. As I stated, it seems things have gone downhill since that time; THAT is the ball that got started rolling by this attack.

I tend to not get political on you; I figure every one has the right to think and feel what they want. Just as everyone has the right to support and vote for whom they want. So, this is just my humble opinion…if the attack hadn’t happened, would we be at war someplace else?? Would we be constantly looking over our shoulders??? Would we be paying over $3.00 a gallon for gas?? Would Americans be loosing their jobs?? I think OBL got a big portion of the effect he was hoping for…the domino effect.

On a lighter note;

What Democracy Means to Me"
by Johnny Carson The Tonight Show 11 September, 1991
To me, democracy means placing trust in the little guy, giving the fruits of nationhood to those who built the nation. Democracy means anyone can grow up to be president, and anyone who doesn't grow up can be vice president.

Democracy is people of all races, colors, and creeds united by a single dream: to get rich and move to the suburbs away from people of all races, colors, and creeds. Democracy is having time set aside to worship — 18 years if you're Jim Bakker.

Democracy is buying a big house you can't afford with money you don't have to impress people you wish were dead. And, unlike communism, democracy does not mean having just one ineffective political party; it means having two ineffective political parties.

Democracy means freedom of sexual choice between any two consenting adults; Utopia means freedom of choice between three or more consenting adults. But I digress. Democracy is welcoming people from other lands, and giving them something to hold onto — usually a mop or a leaf blower. It means that with proper timing and scrupulous bookkeeping, anyone can die owing the government a huge amount of money.

Democracy means a thriving heartland with rolling fields of Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Spanky, and Wheezer. Democracy means our elected officials bow to the will of the people, but more often they bow to the big butts of campaign contributors. Yes, democracy means fighting every day for what you deserve, and fighting even harder to keep other weaker people from getting what they deserve.

Democracy means never having the Secret Police show up at your door. Of course, it also means never having the cable guy show up at your door. It's a tradeoff. Democracy means free television. Not good television, but free.

Democracy is being able to pick up the phone and, within a minute, be talking to anyone in the country, and, within two minutes, be interrupted by call waiting.

Democracy means no taxation without representation, and god knows, we've just about had the hell represented out of us.

It means the freedom to bear arms so you can blow the "o" out of any rural stop sign you want.

And finally, democracy is the eagle on the back of a dollar bill, with 13 arrows in one claw, 13 leaves on a branch, 13 tail feathers, and 13 stars over its head. This signifies that when the white man came to this country, it was bad luck for the Indians, bad luck for the trees, bad luck for the wildlife, and lights out for the American eagle.

I thank you.

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