Caroline Rock

Caroline Rock

Caroline lives in Maryland with her husband, Boris the cat and Harpo the dog. She loves finger painting and reading books with her six grandkids, and she takes long walks to think about all the other things she should be doing. Her writing has appeared in St. Anthony Messenger magazine and Catholic Digest.

Prying plastic straws from our cold, dead hands

plastic straws, girl in red shorts with soft drink

When we would go out to lunch with my in-laws, the children were fond of passing Grandpa plastic straws for his beverage. They loved the way he would scowl and say, “I don’t need that. I been weaned,” drawing out the last word a little longer than necessary. Grandma would take the unopened straws and [ keep reading ]

Worst Halloween Candy: Is there such a thing?

worst halloween candy, many bins of candy

Apparently there is such a thing as a worst Halloween candy. This is the candy a Trick-or-treater will throw away or trade first. Each year, different organizations take polls and surveys to come up with the top ten best and worst candies, supposedly in an effort to help parents when they go out shopping for [ keep reading ]

If not for the bee sting, I might join your cause

bee sting, bee on wood surface

At first I thought I had grabbed some thorny weed that pierced my work glove and into my finger. The pain intensified with the realization that it was a bee sting, not a thorn. I won’t lie: when the bee stung me, I let go with a diatribe of profanities as if the little bugger’s [ keep reading ]

Don’t go to bed angry. Are you nuts?

go to bed angry, angry wife in bed

Probably the worst marital advice I ever got was never to go to bed angry at my spouse. And I’m sure I heard it from more than one person. If I had taken that advice, I would have spent the first 10 years of marriage in a sleep-deprived haze that would likely have meant the [ keep reading ]

If eating out is stressful, you’re doing it wrong

eating out, woman sitting alone

Three or four in the afternoon is a stressful time for me. It means it is getting close to time when my husband will be coming home, and I should stop my work and think about what to fix for supper. Unlike many women, and a growing number of men, I do not like cooking. [ keep reading ]

Bad or good: Unsolicited advice can get on your nerves

unsolicited advice, girls comforting friend

We’ve all been there. Maybe it was a time when you were talking about some challenge you were facing, or maybe you were trying to quietly deal with a private situation. Then someone comes along and says, “I have some advice for you . . . .” Americans spend over $10 billion a year on [ keep reading ]

Getting out of this state I’m in

getting out, hand on map

We are in our fifties, my husband and I. From the day we met, we have talked about getting out of this town. We have spent years wondering where our perfect place would be, flipping through atlases and travel books, browsing the internet for our dream spot. He loves big cities. I prefer the shore. [ keep reading ]

Is your sense of smell really that important?

sense of smell, girl smelling flowers

I have no sense of smell. I know, you have a lot of questions. In elementary school, my friends passed around tiny bottles of perfume samples their mothers got from Avon representatives. They critiqued their fragrances. But when I sniffed, holding each bottle closer, I began to suspect there was something different about me. I [ keep reading ]

Dying in the bathroom: Everyone has to go sometime

dying in the bathroom, girl in bathroom

I keep a volume of Billy Collins poetry next to the toilet. It has never been my habit to spend time reading in the bathroom. When I was growing up, seven of us shared a single bathroom, so leisurely reading on the toilet was out of the question. Not much changed as I became an [ keep reading ]

A bank error in your favor is not your ship coming in

bank error, hands counting money

We’ve all done it: fantasized about what we would do if we won the lottery. A cool million would easily divide among us and our kids. With our cut, what would we do? Pay off the mortgage? Take a trip? Throw a party? Well, for one Pennsylvania couple, a bank error felt like winning the [ keep reading ]

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