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Stories by Gwen Rockwood

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Doing the spring thing

Clean two closets, call me in the morning

Subscriber onlyToday was the first day of spring, but no one told the sun. It was an overcast day whipped around by a cold wind, so I stayed inside and did what people are supposed to do in spring. I cleaned. Continue reading...

No need to drive

Mother of teen stuck in neutral

Subscriber onlyThe night before I turned 16, I was so excited I could barely sleep. I knew that when I woke up the next morning and got ready for school, I'd pull out of the driveway and cruise into a new life -- one in which I'd never again need to ask my parents or older brother for a ride. It felt like I was on the verge of something big and important. Continue reading...

Cooper the Corgi goes crazy

After house training comes testy teenager

Subscriber onlyHere's a little fact I didn't know until today: Puppies -- like the one we brought home last summer -- turn into "canine teenagers." It can happen as soon as 4 months of age and can sometimes last until 18 months of age, depending on the breed. Do you know what that means? It means I now have THREE male teenagers in my house, as well as one girl hovering in the "tween" stage. Lord, help me. Continue reading...

The stroke he forgot

Good moments are wonderful gifts

Subscriber onlyToday, I told my dad -- for what is probably the 20th time -- that the reason he's having trouble talking is because he had a stroke. It happened on Feb. 10, but he doesn't remember. He also doesn't remember the trip to the emergency room or the way a team of doctors and nurses descended on him to quickly assess what had happened to him during the night. Continue reading...

Truth comes out

The year I meddeled an election

Subscriber onlyToday I confess a secret I've kept for more than two decades. In 1991, when I was co-editor of my high school yearbook, I rigged an election -- sort of. Continue reading...

Parents get slimed

Teen defense mechanisms similar to those of hagfish

Subscriber onlyAbout seven years ago -- before I had teenagers of my own -- I got an opportunity to interview a child psychologist for an article I was writing. During the interview, I asked the doctor for tips on how parents could better relate to teenagers. What he said stuck with me: "Parents need to remember that almost all teenagers have the same No. 1 fear, and it influences nearly everything they do and say." Continue reading...

Full-grown toddlers

Why are we so angry?

Subscriber onlyThose of us who have survived the toddler years know a thing or two about rage because we've seen it up close and personal. Even though my kids are tweens and teens now, I still vividly remember that tricky stage of development. It's not called the "terrible twos" because of its healthy spirit of cooperation. It's called "terrible" because you're basically dealing with toddler tyranny. Continue reading...

Bless our home

Household address asks for cooperation

Subscriber onlyHusband, children, dogs, cat, my fellow housemates: Continue reading...

Splish, splash, shed

Puppy doesn’t like baths

Subscriber onlySplish splash Continue reading...

There's no place like home

Confessions of a homebody

Subscriber onlyI have a confession that will make me look supremely uncool. I'm a homebody. It's not an easy thing to admit in a go-go society where "more is more" and social media favors movers and shakers. Continue reading...

A tale of two ski lessons

30 years make the slope look steeper

Subscriber onlyThis is a story about two ski lessons -- one that took place nearly 30 years ago, and one that happened last week. Here's what happened. Continue reading...

The night we forgot our phones

Mom grateful for slow end to busy year

Subscriber onlyAn amazing thing happened to us on Christmas Eve. We went to church that night at 6 p.m., and as the service was ending, Tom suggested we take a family picture in front of the big Christmas tree in the church lobby. Continue reading...

Celebrating with a merry birthday countdown

Subscriber onlyHere in the Rockwood house, we celebrate three birthdays during the month of December. We didn't plan it that way. It's just the way it turned out, which adds an additional layer of party and present planning on top of what is already a month crammed full of holiday hoopla. Continue reading...

Tales of a freelance flocker: 'Tis the season for a side hustle

Subscriber onlyOne of the things my dad taught me about the working world is that it's always good to have "multiple revenue streams." That way, if one stream dries up or slows to a trickle, you'll have another one to keep you going. Continue reading...

Finding a good man

Creeps, criminals, you’re on notice

Subscriber onlyAn open letter to good men: Continue reading...