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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!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I guess I need to shorten this down a bit. But when you feel so strongly about someone or something, especially after 23+ years, it feels right to share it.

I love that man because he took me on my very first hunting trip…for our honeymoon. True we had to wait a month from the time we got married till we headed to da U.P. for our adventure, but it was worth the wait. The only thing we got that hunting trip was being away from it all and being able to be in da U.P.

I love that man because, even though he does not like cats, he stood out in the rain with a 2 x 4 perched on his shoulder and the other end as far up a tree as it would go trying to coax a little kitten down off a limb. The kitty eventually came down the board and to Dan’s shoulder.

I love that man because he has always encouraged me to be everything I can be. He didn’t feel threatened nor did he try to hold me back in my career (while we lived down state and before we bought the campground). He would take care of the 3 kids while I had to be away over night on business trips and he never complained.

I love that man because he would be the first person to give you the shirt off his back, but he would also deck you in a heartbeat if you threatened anyone in his family.

I love that man because he enjoys cooking. He would have a big Sunday dinner just about ready by the time his Mom would get home from church. Dan was always trying “new thought up in his brain” recipes on the kids and me. Now his favorite thing to make is chili. I don’t think he enjoys cooking as much as he use to since it is just him and me. (When I turned 40, I told him there was only one thing I wanted for my b’day…that was for HIM to make a cake. I gave him my recipe for peanut butter cake. The cake came out of the oven and it was time for him to make the home made peanut butter frosting. He came to me with the recipe card in his hand and said “Do we actually have Tequila? I’ve never seen any Tequila here.” I of course asked why he needed Tequila. He said because it was written on the card for 1 tsp of it. I took the card from his hand and said “THAT is VANILLA, not Tequila!” It was a recipe my grandma had written down so the writing was old and faded…I have to give him that! BTW, the cake turned out just fine…and so did the frosting!)

I love him because he is my rock. When I am about worried out of my mind he is the one who remains stable and level headed. He could be just as worried as I am, but if he is he doesn’t show it.

I love him because if I am sick or injured he takes care of me and our home. When I had rotator cuff surgery (and a bunch of other repairs to my shoulder at the same time), he slept on the couch for probably 3 weeks before he felt it was safe to be in the same bed with me. He got up every 4 hours and made me take my pain pills whether I felt I needed them or not (turns out I usually did need them). He did all the cooking, cleaning, helped me with things that I couldn’t do for myself while I was “laid up”. He was very patient with me through all of this and was very encouraging when I started my PT. He could also be a drill sergeant when it came to my PT (which I remembered when it was HIS turn after two knee replacements!).

I love him because he isn’t embarrassed to carry my purse. I’m sure he is glad it doesn’t happen too often, but he does it with no problem (I was on crutches last spring for about 4 weeks so he did a lot of purse carrying at times).

I love him because he has gone to Cedar Point with me 3 times, Disneyworld and Busch Gardens in Virginia. He does NOT like rides and especially not coasters but while we were at Disneyworld, he did go on Space Mountain and Thunder Canyon (is that the name of that coaster that goes through the “rocks”??) He went on some of the “tamer rides” too. At Busch Gardens, he went on the Big Bad Wolf but sat patiently while I went on all the other coasters. ONE trip to Cedar Point, I got him on the Blue Streak, The Lost Mine Ride and Disaster Transport. He did not go on them ever again but he waits good-naturedly while I do my thing. “There isn’t enough beer in Ohio to get me on that thing!” he said when I asked him to go on Magnum. I didn’t even ask about him going on the Millennium!

(When we moved up here and I realized I wouldn’t get to Cedar Point for ages, I started having withdrawal symptoms. Dan told me he was going to get a bunch of balloons and bright flags and attach them to the loader bucket. Then he was going to put me in the bucket…I could stand or sit, my choice…and raise the bucket up and down really fast while driving forward in 3rd gear. Hey, don’t laugh…except for the balloons and bright flags it sounded like a plan to me!)

I love that man because he loved my Little Chewy (my 10 pound Shih-tzu) probably as much as I did. He never complained about taking her for walks when I couldn’t and never felt sissified when being seen by camping guests taking that little squirt for walks. He usually would take her right after he would take Nick (the 60 pound Husky). I love him because when the snow was too deep, he would shovel out a spot for Chewy to “do her thing”. I love him because he built her little coffin and dug through 4’ of snow to get to the ground in order to dig her grave. I love him for letting me take all the time I needed to mourn my little girl (brings a tear to my eyes right now). It’s been slightly over a year since we lost her and it still hurts.

And not even 4 months later, Dan had another coffin to build and that was for his best bud Nick. When we realized that we were going to have to put Nick down (after many tests and valiant efforts to keep him going), Dan asked only one thing of me….if I needed to cry or “carry on” like I did with Chewy, to please not do it while he was around. As with Chewy, the vet came out to take care of Nick…only we couldn’t hold him in our arms while she put him to sleep. We put an old quilted mattress pad on the table,Dan lifted Nick up on the table and we kept petting him while the Vet did her thing. This was one of the hardest losses for Dan. We both loved both dogs very much but Nick knew he was his Dad’s best bud and Chewy knew she was Mom’s girl. I did my best to honor Dan’s request…he doesn’t ask much of me ever.


I love Dan because he isn’t afraid to step up and help in the community. I love him because he is loyal and true blue…and that is all he wants in return. I love him because he makes me laugh, sometimes without even meaning to do so…and I love him because he can laugh at himself. And I love him for all the reasons that I have shared with you.

I am a very fortunate woman to have such a man as Dan. And I don’t tell him that often enough…

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