“My life isn’t really that interesting.” This is the response we received when we told Carol she would be the featured employee this month and would have a blog written about her. “I’m boring! By 9 o’clock I’m in bed. I eat dinner at a certain time, go to bed, and get up, all on a schedule.”
After a 15 minute interview, we discovered that while Carol may believe she leads an uninteresting life, the reality is anything but. First off, she’s funny. Friends say she could be a stand-up comic. She’s also incredibly caring. If a friend needs anything, she’s right there to support or help. She enjoys little moments of peace, too. While she has a dishwasher, she often likes to hand wash her dishes so she can watch the birds outside her window. She sees orioles, gold finches, and doves, not to mention some neighborhood rabbits. She loves photographing scenes that inspire her, from a glowing sunset to playful fox kits and fawns.
One of Carol’s joys is her family. She has two children and six grandchildren, and while all her kids have their own things going on, they are still very close. With her life partner, Skip, she is also parent to two little dogs: a yorkie named Bubba, who is her shadow and protector, and a pug named Lilly, who may not be the sharpest pup but is very loving.
Carol was born and raised in Detroit area, moved to Northern Michigan “a lot of years ago”. At first, she thought “there’s nothing but sticks” but after being here for two years, she realized she was a convert when she visited her sister downstate and couldn’t wait to get home. As a child, her family camped and traveled often. When she was nine they zigzagged across the US to California on a two year trip. Her love of camping has continued, and now when she gets the “camping bug” she likes to go to local Barnes Park or Fisherman’s Island State Park where she fishes and hikes. When she’s not riding on the back of Skip’s Harley, she loves to crochet, knit, and cross stitch. To learn to make the turned heel socks and baby afghans that she loves, she read lots of How to Books.
This can-do-attitude is evident in one of Caro’s greatest achievements: in 2004 she graduated from North Central Michigan College with an Associate Degree in Business Management. She was a displaced worker from the closed Hoskins plant and the State of Michigan offered workers two years of schooling. To qualify for the funding she had to keep a C average. In typical Carol style, she finished with an A- average and was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.
Carol was nervous to go back to school. “I’ll be the oldest person here” she thought. On the first day, who sits in front of her in class but a woman in her sixties. This helped her confidence immensely. Paranoid she wasn’t doing well, Carol asked for a tutor and was surprised to be told she didn’t need one; she was right on track. She relearned how to study and how to take effective notes. When it was time to graduate, Carol made sure her grandkids would be in attendance. She wanted to share a big message:
“If Grandma can do it, you can do it!”
Carol was always intrigued by the old buildings of Castle Farms. She visited it while it was in shambles, many years ago, and watched it be brought back to life. She thought that would be a really cool place to work and decided to apply. She started working at the Castle in early 2016 as our Administrative Assistant, handling invoices, payables, and pretty much anything we throw at her. She accomplishes her tasks with accuracy and no little amount of flair, so she fits right in. Her favorite thing about working at the Castle is the camaraderie of the staff. “It’s really a team environment. From housekeeping to management, everybody does their jobs to the best of their ability.”
Carol’s next big adventure? In the short term it’s a trip downstate to see her niece. They share a birthday and plan to roast a pig and enjoy a few margaritas. In the long term, she’s looking forward to retirement so she can travel more. There are lots of places left for her to see and she wants to go exploring, camera in hand.
We think you’ll agree with us when we assert that Carol is anything but uninteresting. We’re lucky to have found this spunky gem and are so glad she’s a part of our team.