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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 15, 2011


Assuming you were an only child in the beginning of your life, did you often wish and ask and plead for a baby brother or sister?

Were you finally “blessed” with a baby brother or sister?

Did you then eventually wonder what the hell you asked for THAT for?? Maybe you should have asked for a dog or a bird, anything but a nagging little person that follows you every place you go and is into all of your stuff!

Such is the case in my life. I begged and pleaded and cried for a little sister. 7 years later, all the nagging and pleading and crying paid off. I had my sweet, precious little sister. Just look at the little bundle all squiggly in a blanket. I even had the honor of naming my new little sister. (And if you have noticed I don’t use my family names in my blog so same situation here; she’ll know who she is). One name that was on the list was Dawn Kay…say that real fast…don-key. Nah….

I really don’t remember a LOT of what went on when my baby sister was growing up. She was not a thorn in my side at all….till SHE got to the point where she COULD follow me around. And talk…which meant sometimes she told things (maybe by accident since she was so little…she couldn’t be mean at that age, right?) that I didn’t want told.

If I had company over, my sister was right there with us. Didn’t matter to her that she was 7 years younger. And my mother wasn’t any help either…”She doesn’t have anyone to play with”, or some such nonsense. When SHE had friends over, I didn’t try to hang out with them. So yep, she was getting to be a thorn in my side.

And it wasn’t just this part of life. Those of you who ARE an older sibling know what I’m talking about, right? If I went someplace, she had to go along (according to my parents). If I tried to hide in the corn crib from her, she eventually found me.

BUT there was one time that SHE came up missing…

I slept upstairs in the small bedroom. She still slept downstairs and I think was still in a crib. I had wanted for her to come upstairs and sleep with me but for whatever reason, mom and dad wouldn’t allow it. So, one night I managed to sneak her upstairs and into bed with me.

I remember listening to mom and dad going all around the house trying to find her, calling her name. I didn’t say a word and neither did she (surprised me there!). Finally, dad called upstairs and asked if she was up there with me. I had to come clean. Back downstairs she went and of course I was in trouble.

A couple of years later when they moved us BOTH into the big bedroom, of course by then, I did not WANT to share a room with her!

She WAS a cute kid, but GEEZ!!! Gimme a break, will ya?!

So being 7 years apart in age plus the feelings of resentment I began to have didn’t give us a close sister relationship growing up. I was finally able to see that many years ago. I was constantly being compared to “your good sister”, “your smart sister”…7 YEARS YOUNGER AND I’M BEING COMPARED TO HER??? ARRGGHHH!!!!

I’m not going to go into all the details of the why’s and what went on because I KNOW it wasn’t my sisters fault that she was the Chosen One. But you can see where even if it weren’t for 7 years difference THAT in itself could cause a big problem in trying to have a relationship with her.

My sister went to college, became an RN, and started trying to establish her own life. By this time I was dating Dan. Sis and I still didn’t really have much of a relationship and I don’t think either one of us felt we knew each other that well. But at least by now I had realized there was no reason to resent her. And in fact, by now, I don’t think she enjoyed being the Chosen One....there was a lot of pressure and expectations put on her.

She eventually married and hoped to start a family of her own. But that was not to be. I know how devastating that news was to her because she came to me and cried in my arms about it.

There has been much devastation in my sister’s life that took guts and fortitude and faith for her to get through; the most recent was a double whammy when our Dad died and then about 9 months later, her husband died of cancer. She hadn’t gotten over Dad before she was dealing with her hubby having cancer. Her hubby’s family HAD become her family so she had a lot of support from the in-laws, nephews, nieces, et.

But it wasn’t the same as having your own kids to surround you. And I could only be with her for about a week.

Let’s fast forward to the present…my little kid sister, the pain in my butt all those years, has found happiness and love and a HUGE family of step kids and a grandson age almost 3.

While we were in Lower Michigan the first part of this month, we stayed with her and her new hubby and the grandson (whom they were watching for a week). It brought tears to my eyes to remember all that she has gone through and to see her with this little boy and to hear him call her Grandma. I don’t think I’ve seen a more blissful look on anyone’s face before…blissful and smiling. There is a laugh in her voice that hasn’t been there in a long time and she has a true partner in her new hubby. (BTW, he makes an EXCELLENT chicken cor don bleu)

I feel we have gotten closer, even though we live so far apart and really don’t get to spend much time together. Hopefully she feels somewhat the same way.

I am blessed to see how her life has turned out. Dan and I still wonder where she got this all giving heart of hers, the patience of a Saint and the way to look at things and see them for what they are.

I love you, Sis….


  1. Okay you succeeded in putting a lump in my throat reading this. I'm so happy for your sister's new found happiness and for your new found relationship with her. I'm dang near tearing up! Wonderful entry my dear friend.
    'love & hugs from afar'

  2. p.s. My husband had no children of his own, but after losing my first husband to leukemia and then his marrying me, he inherited grandchildren. My own children said that in the absence of their natural father, they couldn't ask for a better 'grandpa' for their children.


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