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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!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Dan and I have been fortunate in our business to have met a lot of people from many different places.

For example; yesterday a weary looking mom came in with two young kids in tow. When she first spoke I knew she wasn’t from around “these parts”. I had a difficult time understanding her, especially with the two kids who wanted to do the talking, but I recognized the accent. It made me think of lush green countryside and field stone "fences"…IRELAND!!

After finally being able to understand that they needed a water and electric site near the playground with no cable tv hook up, I had to ask how it was that they ended up in the U.P. of Michigan. She told me something that I didn’t understand except the part “from New York” and then I understood the word “Seattle”. She tried to explain how she searched out our area due to the “alan” (not sure how to spell it, but I made note of it!! And I THINK it was a compliment! ) of the area.

I told her we had always wanted to go to Ireland; that we were fascinated by the green, rolling hills and I wondered if it was always that green or if they had snow. She understood the green hills and the word snow. I think she understood me much better than I did her. She let me know that they didn’t have nearly as much snow as we do but the kids were very excited last year because their school was called off for the first time for a snowstorm.

They got their firewood and headed for their campsite in their rented motor home.

As soon as they left the lobby, another couple came in…talk about from the opposite ends of the earth.

“Howdy”, he said. “Ya’ll got any spots left? Me and ma wahf would like ta have a fool hook up.” (No I did not misspell FULL).

I told him that wouldn’t be a problem and asked how long they could stay with us.

“Wall, that all depends on what thar is to see in the area. If ya’ll kin tell us a bit about thangs to do, we maght stay a couple naghts. We picked yo campground ‘cause it seems to be purty much in the middle of thangs.” And the conversation went on from there. This hubby and wife are from Oklahoma.

I converse with a lot of people from a lot of different places. We had one guest from Borneo, others from Greenland, some from S. America, quite a few from India. My problem is not just understanding them but making sure they understand me, otherwise there is a lot of head bobbing and smiling from both sides.

So I have found myself doing the following…as if this is going to help….I speak very slowly, talk a little louder (THEY AREN’T DEAF! THEY ARE FROM A DIFFERENT COUNTRY! BUT FOR SOME REASON I DO THIS). To top it off, I provide over-exaggerated lip movement to enunciate the words better. I’m sure some of them go to their campsite or their cabin telling their friends or family that I have some sort of a physical lip deformity and that I’m probably a bit on the “slow side” because it takes me so long to form my words.

Something that is really funny is when I have people tell ME that they love to listen to “us Yoopers” talk! What is funny about that?? I’M NOT ORIGINALLY A YOOPER, I’M NOT FINNISH AND I THINK THE ONLY YOOPERISM I HAVE PICKED UP IS SAYING ‘YAH’ A LOT. But maybe I HAVE picked up a slight “accent” and I just don’t know it, eh?

Regardless, we have a very enjoyable time meeting all these people and having them put a map pin on our world map. At the bottom of the map it states “WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE YOU FROM??” It has been an interesting 17 years!


  1. It is amazing to hear where people travel from and what brings them into the area, isn't it.

    Glad to hear they picked your campground as part of their destination! Looks like your year is off to a good start.

  2. I am laughing reading your post. I remember when we had our first exchange student come and live with us.
    We picked her up at the airport and within 5 minutes, I was speaking exaggerated and LOUDLY to her.
    My hubby told me the same thing. "She's not deaf!" and the exchange student giggled.
    It is amazing how many people you have had from all over the world. How on earth do they find the U.P.?
    When we were on a cruise about 10 years ago, I went down in the ship to the laundry room to iron something and there was a woman from Japan there. She knew English so we started comparing where we lived. When I told her the U.P. and used the usual hands up to show her "no not in the mitten of Michigan but in the U.P., etc.)...her eyes widened and she said: "You AREN'T from where the singing group THE YOOPERS are from , are you???? I LOVE them, OH my God!" When I told her I was in Rotary with Jim DeCaire who was their head singer, she almost started crying with joy.
    Good grief! Who would EVER guess that a Japanese woman would love their music and know of them????
    Small world!!!!

  3. Ashley, when I have time to chat with the people from "all over" it is usually an eye opener.

    Retired One...THAT is funny!! Who would have thought she would have been aware of Da Yoopers!!?? You should have burst out in song and signed autographs!

  4. I think it's great all the different people you get to meet in your business! I do notice the Yooper accent.....

  5. My in-laws are from Israel and speak limited English. I talk louder to them too-- as if that will help!!!!

    Terrific post! More please.

  6. Shellmo, I love to listen to people from various parts of the globe; especially the Scottish.

    I can detect Yooper accents on even some of the "younger Yoopers" I meet but I am so surprised when someone tells me that I have that accent!

  7. Joanna...YOU have quite an interesting life! I'm enjoying reading your blog too! Thanks!!

  8. Having been born in Ireland (living in England now) and having spent many holidays with friends in Houghton Lake, Michigan, I loved this post.

    I've been to the UP many times too and love the scenery along US-2. Even been to some slot tournaments in St. Ignase and Hessel.

    Hopefully once the economy improves we'll dust off the 5th wheel and get back up there again and who knows, get to your place.

    Great blog.

  9. Silverback, thanks for stopping by! I am always honored when I have someone from far, far away who has stumbled upon my blog!

    U.S. 2 IS a beautiful drive! Please DO stop by if ya get the 5th wheel out and about again!


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