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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, April 10, 2009


Dan is not the only one counting the days till Monday. He doesn’t know that he is not the only one with a red marker crossing off “days gone by” till Monday. Although my red marker and my calendar are in my head.

He actually had done VERY well considering that this chewing thing has been with him since Viet Nam. I have a 13 gallon trash bag full of yellow cellophane wrappers from butterscotch disks and Wrigley’s stock is the only one showing a gain in the past several days.

Dan has been very easy to be around and I haven’t resorted to drinking wine straight from the box. However, yesterday was a different story.

Neither one of us slept well the night before and we had to be up and leave here by 7:30 a.m. So we already had one strike against us, but we both seemed to be doing OK.

We headed to Cheboygan by way of Trout Lake (to get to Mighty Mac and point beyond). It was a dazzling day, even though it was cold. Big chunks of ice floating around the bridge, a couple of freighters far off in the distance…just picture perfect.

We got to Cheboygan just fine and then started the search for the Dr’s office. After 3 times around the block we finally saw the office and found a place to park not too far from the office. Dan was still in a good mood. When it came his turn to see the Dr, I went back out and sat in the truck (wanted to do a little light reading, so I tried to educate myself about the exhaust brake and hauling our 5th wheel home today!!)

When Dan got into the truck, his disposition had slightly changed and from there it got worse. It is a long story, but let’s just say that due to the outcome of the appointment, we had to make a trip to Kinross where his VA Dr is. (If you aren’t familiar with the VA system, this might not make sense because I have written about going to the VA hospital in Iron Mountain and now I’m telling you he has a VA Dr in Kinross/Kincheloe). So from there we went to the Soo to pick up my computer (which was an easy fix after all). His mood was getting worse and he “needed a chew”. He was getting to the point of Monday seeming like 5 more days away instead of 4…and he was beginning to show signs of coming unglued.

It was a very long ride home from the Soo; seemed like 176 miles instead of 76. But then, it’d already been a long day. By the time we got home, he was fit to be tied. Dan is such a very generous person, but his generosity was about gone. He has a sense of humor that won’t quit, but it had.

He tried to entertain himself outside in the shop by cutting a coconut in half and nailing each half to posts in the yard where the bird feeders are (the woodpeckers LOVE those coconuts!). He removed the finch feeder because he had found another dead pine siskin in the yard and saw another one that looked sick. (BTW, we heard on the news about a week ago that some areas downstate were finding sick and dead birds. They figured it was due to salmonella which can easily happen this time of year. So they were asking people to stop feeding birds. We bleach our feeders pretty often and keep the yard raked up, but it still is happening, so keep track of your birds). By the time he came in he seemed in a better mood.

He had already fixed himself a ham sandwich before he had gone outside. I was busy getting my office and computer back together and uploading photos to my computer. While he was outside, I made myself a sandwich, grabbed a bunch of grapes off the stem and added those to my plate. I was still eating (in the living room, shame on me) when he came back in. He stopped in the kitchen and said, “What the hell did this? You got a dog in here I don’t know about? Are you feeling OK? Do you have a problem?” I said “WHAT in the world are you talking about now?” (By now, I was getting a little exasperated by his mood and thought he was really being picky about something). I looked at him and he was pointing to something on the floor by the fridge that looked for all the world like a little dog turd (pardon my language…no polite way to put it). Then he said again, “Do you feel all right? Should I check your drawers?” and then he started laughing. I HAD DROPPED A LARGE DEEP PURPLE GRAPE ON THE FLOOR .

DAN WAS BACK!!! AND READY TO GO ANOTHER 3 DAYS WITHOUT A CHEW! I think he plans on inviting a bunch of his chewing buds over Monday after his physical so they can have a chew off. ARRGGHHH!!!

And, we ARE BRINGING OUR 5TH WHEEL HOME TODAY!!!! We’ll be leaving for Escanaba sometime later this a.m. and hope to have it parked in our yard by later this afternoon! HOW EXCITING!! Dan wants to use it when we go downstate next week (time to do our tour of duty and visit the kids, grandkids, etc) but I just want to take the pop up. This may end up being a coin toss…but I’m not gonna argue with him about it…at least not till after Monday!


  1. Can't wait to hear about your 5th wheel. I'm waiting for Tom to get home right now. He spent the night at a Sleep Clinic to see if he has sleep apnea. I could have saved them the trouble and told them that he does. This might help with snoring too. I'm excited. But I imagine he won't be too happy after having spent the night hooked up to wires and monitors.

  2. I absolutely love that you can be so honest and candid about your grumpy trip home and your hubby and you!
    I am sure as spring gets closer and the two of you go out camping, things will lighten up for you!
    Hang in there...and if nothing else,carry more grapes with you. ha!
    Have a great Easter!!

    The Retirement Chronicles

  3. SBW...good luck with hubby. My Dad had that and had to use that machine. I think I've got it too but never been tested. My first husband thought I was dead one night!

  4. Retired One...I have a new acronym...GOF. Stands for Grumpy Old Fart. We've been sitting out in our 5th wheel for the past 40 minutes. I'm ready to sleep in it tonight but Dan said he didn't want to turn the heat on. I replied we'd make our own heat...no comment yet from GOF.


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