Recent Blog Posts

Looking for the original

I nearly had a frustrated fit in the grocery store today. There I stood, scanning a wide selection of applesauce containers looking for one thing – original. Sometimes I pack applesauce in my kids’ lunches, but they only like the plain, no-frills, honest-to-goodness applesauce. It should be the easiest one to find, right? Because it’s the original. But stores aren’t interested in originals anymore. They want to stock their shelves with...

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A is for Apology

Last night I had one of those parenting moments that make you hate yourself the next day. Tom was out of town on business. I needed to make the kids’ dinner. Three lunches needed to be packed for school the next day. Homework needed to get finished. Several loads of laundry were waiting. And projects from work were still hovering over my head. Then one of the kids came home late for dinner after staying to play too long at the neighbor’s...

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The Best One-Eared Dog There Ever Was

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3 A sad thing happened here a few weeks before Christmas. I didn’t write about it at the time, mostly because it’s not good to coat your laptop’s keyboard in salty tears and also because it was nearly Christmas – which is supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year.” But now that a little time has passed, I can tell you that we said goodbye to our beloved Earless Joe –...

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Might as well jump

You know how sometimes something gets stuck in your head and you can’t seem to shake it? I’m not talking about bad songs or annoying commercials, (although there are a few local ad jingles that keep coming back to me like a bad rash). I’m talking about a thought that circles around and around in your head looking for a place to land. Today that persistent thought is about elephants. Last night I read something about them I never knew. They...

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Your call is very important to us

If you’re on the phone and you hear the following words, you’ll know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what you’re hearing is a big, fat, hairy LIE: “Your call is very important to us. The next representative will be with you shortly.” Yesterday I heard that whopper roughly 67 times while I waited for a non-computerized voice to come on the line and offer what we used to know as “customer service.” But thanks to technology, the...

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The New Year’s Day Downer

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the whole New Year’s shtick. When I was single, I dreaded New Year’s Eve because there was far too much pressure on it. If the evening didn’t play out like my favorite chick-flick movie and end with a kiss worthy of an orchestra swell in the background, the whole night felt like a complete bust. Once I made it through a disappointing New Year’s Eve, I had to contend with the buzzkill that is New...

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A tale of two cysts

When our son started sixth grade this year, he signed up to play the viola in the school orchestra, which is like the little brother to the violin. After a few weeks of learning the basics, Adam started wincing every time he plucked a string. Somehow he’d developed the only “orchestra injury” I’ve ever heard of – a large, red, angry blister on his index finger. I put ice on it and gave him ibuprofen. A few weeks went by and the blister...

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My bra is showing

I’ve been all over town with my black bra showing – and it’s entirely my husband’s fault. Let me explain. It started a few weeks ago when Tom drove the kids to gymnastics lessons in my minivan. I stayed home to catch up on work. On the way home, he hit a deer – a big one. Thankfully, he and the kids weren’t hurt, and, shortly after impact, the deer got up and ran off into the woods. The minivan bumper, however, was not so lucky. I...

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A letter of apology to Thanksgiving

Dear Thanksgiving, No matter how many twinkle lights go up around town or how many holiday songs I hear on the radio, I haven’t forgotten you. November is yours. I have a turkey decoration on the center of my kitchen table, and that bird will stay in its place of prominence until the sun sets on November 28th. I promise. For years now, you’ve been getting the short end of the wishbone, thanks to a phenomenon they call “Christmas Creep.”...

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I plead the Fifth

It started about a week ago – a strange itching sensation on the palm of my hand. No redness, no bumps. Only a pesky itch with no apparent cause. I mentioned it one day to my dad, who said an itchy palm means you’re about to receive some unexpected money. What I got instead was a deluge of other symptoms, not just for me but for two of our three kids. One kid had a low-grade fever, which I chalked up to the common cold or 24-hour virus. The...

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