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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!

Sunday, September 06, 2009


I’m beginning to think that we will not experience busy Labor Day weekends like we use to “way back when”.

I can’t remember when the last really chaotic Labor Day was, but I do believe it was 2001. Since 9/11 it has been downhill. I’m just exceedingly thankful that May through August was 17% better than last year. Dan and I (and I’m sure many others in “da U.P) were extremely surprised that it was not WORSE than 2008 (when a tank of gas cost you an arm and leg). We truly figured with the economy this summer would be a total farce.

Labor Day use to mean that I pretty much stayed up all night on Friday and Saturday night to check late arrivals in. It meant that we used our over flow area because we were out of campsites. It meant that tired travelers who couldn’t find a motel room within a 100 mile radius would ask if they could just park some place and snooze in their vehicle. As much as I use to grumble about those very exhausting weekends, I would give about anything to see them back.

So far, this Labor Day is WORSE than last year!! And we are totally thrown by it. We let ourselves believe that “as good” as summer was, this Labor Day would be much better than last year. Dan and I haven’t even seen many RV’s on the road this weekend, which means they aren’t headed to the Falls State Park either (our biggest competition).

Then there are some people who arrive without a reservation or information about our park and you are glad that they DON’T want to stay.

A couple, probably in their 30’s, got out of their vehicle yesterday, with their two little hell on wheels girls in tow. They came into the lobby and the girls (probably ages 7 and 11??) were loud, rambunctious and picking on each other. The older one decided to STAND ON THE TABLE that we have some tourist info on….her Dad looked at her and never said a word! The HOWs (Hell On Wheels) girls went outside while I was talking with the parents. Dan was sitting where he could see the girls and had to go outside and TELL them to stop trying to pull the office sign out of the ground. From there, they went to a young maple and proceeded to deleaf the branches they could reach till Dan got after them for that. THEN they went to the backside of their motor home and proceeded to bounce up and down on a large cooler that was tied down to a cargo carrier on the hitch on the moho. By now I had finished with their parents and they had gone on out. THANKFULLY THEY DIDN’T WANT TO STAY HERE BECAUSE WE DIDN’T HAVE A POOL!!! Can you imagine these kids at a pool??? You'd stand a better chance of survival by swimming with a shark!

And on the other side of the coin; a father and his 7 year old, red headed, freckle faced boy arrived to check in. I asked the little boy if he was having a good time. He looked exasperated, took a large gulp of air and let it out slowly and said “I’m having a good time now that I am out of the car and away from my little brother!”. I asked him if his brother was a nuisance. The boy looked up at his Dad with a perplexed expression in his eyes and his Dad said to him “She wants to know if your brother bothers you.” This little red haired, freckle faced boy practically yelled “BOTHERS ME??? HE ABOUT TORE THE SKIN OFF MY FACE ON THE WAY HERE! I’LL SAY HE BOTHERS ME!” (BTW, I couldn’t see any scratches or signs of a struggle!) The Dad quickly explained that the little brother is 20 months old but both of the boys had enough of each other for one day. It was hard not to chuckle out loud; this little guy was so solemn about the whole episode.

Oh, by the way….44 MORE DAYS!!!!


  1. Anonymous12:43 PM

    I owuldn't want your job. I can't stand bratty kids or parents who ignore what those kids do. No wonder you are counting the days!

  2. The freckled-faced boy at the end cracked me up. You retold the story beautifully!

    The other two girls-- Oy, I'd have let 'em have it :-)


  3. Anonymous, THAT is exactly why Dan and I are looking forward to working with 4 legged critters instead of two legged critters!! :-)

    Joanna, The little boy reminded me a skinny Opie Taylor (Mayberry style). He was SOOO cute!

  4. I gotta tell you that it is my pet peeve when parents don't discipline their children not to be hellions.
    I just grit my teeth when I see something like that. I just don't understand it. Can you imagine those girls at 16????
    And the parents won't have a clue that they contributed/caused the problem!


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