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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, January 28, 2011


You know that Dan and I neither one like to shop (well unless you consider Dan drooling over heavy equipment that we have no use for anyway). I’ve always thought that Dan should be happy that I was not a woman who had to spend hours in a store “just looking”. The last time I went window shopping, I literally ended up with 5 new windows.

But I digress….

I especially hate shopping for shoes for me. I have such a hard foot to fit so I stick with what I know; New Balance, wide width with a built in rollbar. And there are two models that I swear by, but I can’t tell you which ones they are because one of them is at home and not with me. It is what I consider my summer shoe (white walking/running shoe).

Dan also is hard to buy for. He has very specific likes as far as the height, the sole, how many holes there are to lace the shoe up, etc, etc. He needs a wide shoe too.

But for the last couple of years, he has been purchasing a Merrill shoe…and they do NOT come in a wide, but he was managing. We purchased a new pair for Dan before we left. However, this time, it affected his little, bitty toe.

I looked at it the other day and I told him it was a good thing he didn’t have sugar because he’d probably have to have that toe removed. It looked pretty darn sore to me. He’d been suffering with it all the time we’ve been here, hoping the shoe would fit better.

So, we went shoe shopping for Dan…something neither one of us was looking forward to.

We arrived at the shoe store and before we even made it through the door, we saw all kinds of 40-60% off signs in the windows. That was a good sign.

We walked inside and realized that the men’s shoes were on the right side and women’s were to the left. Before we headed in either direction, we heard a voice say “Welcome! Is there something I can help you with??”

I said “OK, I HEAR you but I don’t see you” (it must be the sunlight that had been in our eyes during our 15 mile drive…haven’t had that in a while). She finally popped up from behind an aisle and said “I’m over here!”

I’m thinking to myself, if we don’t take her up on her offer of help we could be here all day.

“We need a man’s shoe; either walking or running in a wide.”

She replied “I can help you with that but does it have to be white?” I told her that no…and I thought that was an odd question to ask.

The nice sales person picked out a couple pairs of shoes in for Dan and she said if they don’t have to be white she could give us more choices. I repeated again that they don’t have to be white but I didn’t see as any of the shoes she had selected were wide.

She said “WIDE??? I thought you said WHITE! Honey, you shoulda stopped me a LONG time ago.”

We laughed about that and I said something about not being a racist (she is a lovely young black woman), and she was laughing so hard that we couldn’t figure out what she said but laughed to be polite. She was having quite a chuckle out of the whole thing.

Then she said “NOW that I know you aren’t a racist and just want a wide shoe, I can help you. What color would you like?”

Because Dan IS so shoe fussy, I suggested maybe we could find him a nice purple shoe. She laughed again and said “If ya did, he’d fit right in here!”

She brought out 3 different pair of shoes and Dan went with the first pair he tried on. I talked him into getting some casual slip on shoes too (heck with 40-60% off I was going to look for my shoes too!).

We were both totally stunned that he managed to find 2 pairs of shoes that he actually liked and actually felt comfortable on both feet. We were totally amazed that he found all that in less than 15 minutes! It would have been less time than that if there hadn’t been the white vs wide thing!

While they didn’t have any of my shoes, I did end up with nice cushiony socks! They were half price too. I never would have spent $16.00 on 3 pairs of socks!

On a more somber note; we all read about the homeless situation and how people are looking for jobs, but we REALLY see it down here.

At the junction of I-20 and I-75 as you come off the ramp to get onto 20, we have always seen a homeless man (according to his sign) off the side of the road. His sign also says “any kind of money would help”. It doesn’t matter what time of day or what day it was that we happened to go that way…he was always there. Yesterday he was not. We heard a story on the news last night and it sounded so much like this man, same location. If it WAS him, someone beat the living daylights out of him and left him there…and no one has come forward to volunteer info. SOMEONE had to have seen that.

Then as we were driving into the Wal-Mart parking lot, there was a lady standing alongside the curb holding a sign. I didn’t want to look, but her head was turned the other way, so as we drove by I took a quick look at her sign which simply stated “will do any type of work”.

We were almost past her (had to wait for a vehicle in front of us) and she turned her head and our eyes met. She gave me the nicest smile that I have seen in a long time. She was just such a pleasant looking woman and her smile did not remind me of someone who was use to having to beg. Her smile made her face look so pretty and the way our eyes locked for that brief time, I don’t know how to explain it…it was like she was saying “this isn’t the real me”.

We are truly blessed.


  1. sfeutz8:26 PM

    Had to laugh at your shoe shopping. We actually went looking for purple converse shoes for Tom. He said he had some when his kids were in school and he liked them but the children were totally embarressed. Thankfully, we didn't find any! The homeless situation is tragic. And it is so hard to tell the real ones from the scammers. I think there are lots of both out there. It's sad and yes if we are with a roof over our heads, have enough to eat and feed our families and don't live in fear. . we are blessed. So many, even here in our country are struggling for the basics of life. Let's hope the economy imporves.

  2. One time when i was out east i asked for a pop,but she thought i said pot.they call pop soda out there.yes we are very blessed.
    p.s.4" of new snow by sat. am.Dan want to plow for me?

  3. Sandy, we DID see some purple sparkly girls tennis shoes!!! With bright yellow shoe strings! We have wondered how many of the "road people" we see really are in need, but I really felt like both of these people were. the woman looked totally embarrased to be there.

    Tractor Guy, keep the snow!!! We're up to 60 degrees this morning! You missed a song!!! You even managed to find one that I didn't KNOW was a song!

  4. Foot Loose:Kenny Lggins

  5. We saw people holding signs up in Florida too...it makes me feel so helpless. I wish I could have given them all money or a place to stay for at least one night.


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