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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!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Today is the day I accept the challenge to explain why I love “that man”…AKA hubby Dan.

I think you need to know that I have a song that I dedicate to Dan. I try to do this at least once a year. The song is Bette Middler’s WIND BENEATH MY WINGS. If you are even slightly familiar with the lyrics you would then become slightly familiar with what kind of a hubby Dan is.

OK…here goes….

I love Dan for the little boy he was, the man he became and the little boy that still resides in him. (You read about that little boy yesterday.)

I love Dan for volunteering to defend his country when he could have stayed home and helped on the farm. I’m sure raking hay while smoking dried onion leaves had to have been safer than going to Nam (the post LITTLE DANNY BOY explains the onion leaves).

I love Dan for trying to keep the family farm going after he returned from Nam. His Dad died while he was in the service, so then he DID have to come home and take over the reins. He stayed on the family farm and took care of his Mom.

I love Dan for taking care of his Mom while she was battling breast cancer in the late 70’s. (By this time he had married and started a family of his own; a son he adopted and a son he and Candy had together).

Something happened to that family and there was a divorce but Dan was still taking care of his Mom (with cancer) and he was operating the farm.

Dan and I first met about early 1983. He had been divorced about 2 years by then and I also fell into that same category. I obviously found out all of these things AFTER I got to know him. By this time, he had custody of his natural son and his adopted son was with his Mom (Candy) in Las Vegas. The oldest son would come to visit once in a while so naturally I had a chance to meet this ‘kid’. I think Shawn was about 13 when we first met. Dan’s youngest son, Ben, and my daughter, Jody, were about 7. The kids got along great so it was always a treat when we could all be together. By this time, due to the divorce, Dan had sold the farm but had life lease of the farm house and I guess about 5 acres. His Mom had survived cancer but she still resided in the family farm home and Dan still looked out for her. She was pretty independent so I can’t really say he took care of her. And around this same time Shawn decided to come live with Dan, Ben and Grandma Luvetta on the farm. My daughter and I spent quite a bit of time there too.

There were of course a couple of farm dogs, both were the family clowns. Old Poocho was about on her last legs and Dutch still had plenty of life in him. I love Dan for the care and respect he gave those dogs.

I love Dan for sending his Mom on a trip to Australia and New Zeeland. A friend of hers had signed up for this package trip and asked Luvetta to go. She felt she couldn’t afford it and shouldn’t leave Dan and the boys to “fend for themselves”. Dan convinced her to go…and gave her most of the money for the trip. This was in late 1983.

In 1984, Dan’s Mom, Luvetta, developed liver cancer. We all knew what the outcome of that would be. She asked Dan to please let her die at home. She did not want to be put in a nursing home. I love Dan for honoring his mother’s wishes, even though it meant the last month or so of her life, he had to quit his job. I helped out as much as I could and his brothers and sisters would try to do what they could. While she still felt good enough to travel, she wanted to go to California to visit a relative she hadn’t seen in years. One of her daughters in law said she would go with Luvetta, so Dan sent her to California. By the time she came back a week or 10 days later and we picked her up in the airport, we almost didn’t recognize her…she had deteriorated that much. But she had a wonderful time and that is what Dan wanted for her. I love Dan for taking care of his dying Mother and letting her have her last days at home. She died during the night in her own bed, in the family farm home.

Luvetta passed in September 1985. Dan and I got married October 19, 1985. I love Dan for trusting me to try to be a good step mom to his boys and for him being a good step dad to my daughter.

I love him for helping me plan the “perfect” 2nd wedding. It took place in an orchard on someone else’s farm and was very unique. Dan wore buckskins, the preacher wore bib overalls, Ben, the youngest son served as best man, Shawn, the oldest son walked me down the “aisle” (both boys carried shotguns), my daughter was my maid of honor. Jody and I were brought into the orchard by mule drawn stage coach. Shawn rode on top with the driver. A blue grass band played “She’ll Be Coming “round the Mountain” as my daughter, Shawn and I walked down the aisle (NOT the traditional Wedding March!). There is a photo in the slide show that shows how we were all dressed…well, you can’t see the long underwear that my daughter and I both had on under our dresses! It was a cold, over cast day!

We are up to about 1000 words and I need to figure out a way to shorten the rest of this up or it COULD become a novel! So, with that said, I think I will stop here for today and pick it back up tomorrow.


  1. How wonderful! You took the challenge and did me proud. ha
    He sounds like a wonderful, caring man who loves you and his family very much!
    What a unique wedding...it is obvious that you both have a great sense of humor, too!

  2. Sounds like you have quite the keeper. Your story brought a little tear to my eye. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Retired one...I'm glad you challenged others to do this! It makes ya realize just what you DO have!

  4. Ashley, Thanks for your comments. Sometimes thinking about what a guy he is brings a tear to my eyes too! Not sure if I'll have time to work on this again tomorrow but I'm not done. Dan's b'day is the 19th. I'm thinking maybe I'll print this off and put it in a nice little book form and give it to him...I should have it done by then! After all, he isn't THAT old!


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