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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, March 12, 2009


There is a new blog I have started following; you will see it listed to the right. It is the Retirement Chronicles. I read the post yesterday explaining all the reasons she loves her hubby. She “challenged” the rest of us to make OUR own list of why we love our spouse or significant other.

I was thinking about that this morning while I couldn’t sleep (due to that someone special snoring), so I thought this would be a good thing to write about.

Some of the reasons I love and admire my hubby stem from conversations I had with his Mom while she was still alive. I need to go back to that time and share those things with you before I move to the present time.

Dan was raised on a farm. He has 4 brothers and one sister. His sister is the youngest and Dan was the youngest of the boys. The stories his Mom use to tell….if a parent was allowed to “let these things” happen to a child today, they’d be brought up on criminal charges! I won’t go into all of those because there were MANY.

A couple that stick out in my mind are stories of Dan and his brother Rodger playing “out west”, cowboy and sheriff stuff….and the sheriff trying to hang the bad cowboy from the rafters of the old barn in the hay loft. Dan was the cowboy…and a lucky one at that. Or those two boys sitting their unsuspecting little sister on a pony with her Sunday school clothes on AFTER A RAIN. She was bound and determined she was gonna ride that pony before she went to Sunday school. The boys KNEW the pony did not like to be ridden but Jane, being 3, had no concept of that. The boys basically tied their sister to the pony and smacked the pony on the butt. All hell broke loose. Jane ended up in a mud puddle. Let me just say that if child protective services had been around when Luvetta (the mom) caught those two boys, both parents probably would have been put in jail and the boys put in separate foster care homes.

One story that comes to mind is when Luvetta was in the barn milking the cows and little Danny was out “helping”. Of course there were various, assorted barn cats. And of course those cats loved to be around at milking time…especially when transferring the milk from the bucket to the milk can. The fresh milk went through paper strainers as it was being poured into the milk can. The paper strainers were tossed aside into the gutter of the milking parlor. On this particular day little Danny (BOY, does he hate to be called that now!) was waiting for his Mom to finish milking so he was passing time with the barn cats. He noticed one cat had something sticking out of her rear end and he decided to give it a pull. The cat gave an earsplitting, screeching MEOW and Luvetta about kicked the milk bucket over. Kitty took off like a ruptured duck. What he had pulled out of the cat's butt was one of those milk strainers. Maybe it was one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments, but I can visualize the whole episode!

How can you not love a kid that kicks his kindergarten teacher in the shin on the first day of school? He was NOT going to go to school. He wanted to be back at the farm, playing with his little toy tractors and doing important things little boys do. It was bad enough that he’d had to have his hair cut and get cleaned up that morning for his very first bus ride. When Mrs. Gamble took a hold of little Danny’s arm to drag him towards the school, he hauled off and kicked her a good one in the shin.

As Dan got older and was allowed to operate REAL farm equipment, there was a LOT of stories for that period of his life as well. One has to do with raking hay and onion leaves. I don’t know how old Dan was at this time; I’m guessing he may have been about 12. He and his brother Rodger decided to try to make their own tobacco out of onion leaves. Their Dad smoked a pipe. They knew they couldn’t sneak any tobacco but Dad had other pipes they could easily get without him missing one. So they somehow managed to get dried onion leaves crushed up enough to get into the pipe. And I’m not sure if they were doing this while they were supposed to be raking hay or if they had done it right before they were supposed to rake hay….but regardless, Dan (no longer little Danny) had some darn crooked windrows…and some explaining to do. Guess smoking dried onion leaves through a pipe made them a little on the high side.

Dan reached the age where he was old enough to be drafted but he enlisted, even though he could have been classified as what I THINK was F-4…meaning he was needed at home to keep the farm going. But Dan went off to do his duty in the Viet Nam War…which is something he does not talk about much.

I realize this doesn’t explain why I love Dan and why he is my hero, but this is enough to set the stage. And this is only the tip of the iceberg so to speak as to Dan’s life as a farm boy. But that isn’t what I’m going to write about…THAT could fill a book!

To be continued another day….


  1. Thank you for giving me a good chuckle this morning. What a great post! Can't wait to read more.

  2. Ashley, you a welcome! As you will eventually read one of the things I love about Dan IS his ability to laugh at himself!

  3. Thanks so much for the shout out about my blog, that was so nice of you to have others take a peek at my blog...and thanks for continuing the posts about what you love about your husband. His childhood sounds like what my Dad used to tell us about growing up on a farm with 11 brothers and sisters!
    Your husband's childhood sounds amazing...maybe he should start a blog about that too??
    Thanks for joining my blog as a reader, I am so happy you did!

  4. Retired One...Dan doesn't compute. He would have to do an audio blog! He can tell these stories with such a wit...I wish he DID compute!

    And you are very welcome!


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