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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, November 30, 2006


So, tell me…where you live…3 hours after Thanksgiving dinner, did you turn the radio on and hear CHRISTMAS SONGS???!!!! We don’t have too many stations that we can get in our area, but one of the three that we can get seems to have dedicated itself ALREADY to 24/7 Christmas songs! Don’t get me wrong; I DO enjoy Christmas music, but I prefer it closer to Christmas…or at least after the 1st of December. And there is only so much “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” that I can take.

Honest, I’m not a Scrooge and I’m not a bah-humbug person. I have some Christmas CD’s and my favorite one is all instrumental entitled “Smokey Mountain Christmas”. Heck, I use to go caroling and my favorite Christmas song is “Oh Holy Night”...all 3 or 4 verses of it.

AND the Christmas candy in the stores!!! That came out as soon as they put the left over Halloween candy on sale! I won’t even start making candy for another 15 days or so!

But all this early Christmas stuff has gotten me to remembering some past Christmas’s. One year, I think I must’ve been about 4 or 5, Grandpa and Grandma got me a plastic bow and arrow set. The arrows had suction cups on them. I’m sure you’ve seen them or at least have an idea of what I’m talking about. Do you have ANY idea what kind of suction can be created by first licking one of the suction cup arrows before applying your tender age skills to the process of shooting that arrow?? I DID ONE BETTER THAN THAT! I did not bother shooting it! I figured by the time that arrow flew, it’d be dry anyway so I applied it directly to my forehead (after I licked it first).

I thought I was rather clever and ran to the kitchen to show my mom. She didn’t think I was as clever as I thought and told me to take it off. That thing would NOT budge! I pulled and I pulled with all my 4 year old might and all I did was extend my forehead about 3 inches over my brow. Of course, that brought me to tears; I didn’t want to walk around with an arrow suctioned to my forehead! Mom tried to get it off and she couldn’t budge it either….but instead of crying along with me, she was laughing…which made me cry all the harder. By the time she was able to peel that thing off my forehead, I had no desire to play with anything else that day.

Mom told me to go in and wash the tears off my face. After going through that humiliation and having my own mother laugh at me; I couldn’t wait to leave the room. As I recall, she had tears running down her face too! I was rather panicky about someone who could laugh maniacally and still manage to cry! I ran to the bathroom and slammed the door. I pulled my little stool to the bathroom sink, grabbed the wash cloth and looked in the mirror….and I had A PERFECTLY ROUND RED SPOT RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF MY FOREHEAD…and my mother knew that when she sent me in there to wash my face! The next day, that round red spot turned into a lightly colored PERFECTLY ROUND BRUISE! I don’t remember how long that bruise lasted and I’ll be darn if I’m gonna give my mom the satisfaction of asking her for that information.

Another Christmas, I think I was about 7 or 8, Mom and Dad got me a farm set. We opened our presents Christmas Eve and then we had Santa’s presents Christmas day.

We had had our Christmas supper with the Grandparents and my one and only sister, Christy. We opened our presents and Christy and I played with some of our toys before being told “Go to bed or Santa won’t come.” I didn’t want to leave that farm set! I had the barn, the fences where I wanted them, but I didn’t have the animals all in the exact spots yet. But, I was sent to bed. Sometime during the night, I got up and came downstairs to get those farm animals placed where I wanted them. Dad must’ve heard me out in the living room because then HE got up and told me to march right back up stairs and get to sleep. I snuck down again later and this time, no one heard me. SANTA HAD BEEN THERE!!!! GOSH DARN!!! I WOULD have to go back to bed, but not before arranging my farm in a different way.

Christy and I got up the next morning and headed downstairs for Christmas day! My Dad KNEW the farm animals were not in the same spot as they had been when he sent me to bed and he made mention of this (in no uncertain terms). I looked up at him from where I was playing on the floor and said “Well, it must’ve been Santa then because you sent me to bed!” He guaranteed me that Santa had NOT been playing with my toys. It was a few years later when I remembered the vigor of that tête-à-tête and how confident Dad was that Santa was not the guilty party. I’m sure I wasn’t the first kid to frame Santa for something!

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