This Week's Prompt

Recipes (13 Stories)

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Recipes can be treasured and passed down from generation to generation, or they can begin in your kitchen. They can be closely guarded secrets or happily shared with anyone who asks. Some of us still have collections of favorite recipes on cards or in cookbooks. Others have tossed these in favor of Internet searches. Think back … What are some of your favorite recipes? Where did they come from and what memories do they evoke? Is there one you would share on Retrospect? Share your recipes stories forward.
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Upcoming Prompts

Memorabilia (3 Stories)

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Memorabilia translates as “things to be remembered,” and most of us have saved items with sentimental value such as photographs and letters. Some of us have also saved favorite concert and theater programs, and a few of us have even saved report cards, children’s baby teeth, and long outdated address and appointment books. Think back…did you or do you collect autographs, travel souvenirs, trading cards, political buttons, military medals, or collectibles related to an important person, organization, or event? Have you displayed your memorabilia in frames or is it collecting dust in storage? Share your memorabilia stories forward.
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Aunts & Uncles (11 Stories)

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Dorothy, Em, & HenryAunts and uncles can play a special role in our lives—adults, yet without the complication of being our parents. Think back ... to a favorite or important aunt or uncle. Did they mentor you? Give you advice? Were they eccentric with extreme political views? Did you have "virtual" aunts and uncles who weren't related? What's it like to be an aunt or uncle to a favorite niece or nephew? Share your aunt and uncle stories forward.
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Magazines (2 Stories)

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Whether they came in the mail or were purchased from the newsstand, magazines were a part of our lives. Perhaps they are still part of yours. From My Weekly Reader to the Utne Reader, from Teen to Time, from Mademoiselle to Mad, we learned about our culture and society from magazines. Think back … what were your favorite magazines? How did they influence you? Do you read magazines today or have you given up paper for digital versions? Share your magazines stories forward.
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Embarrassment (2 Stories)

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In our youth, Reader’s Digest had a popular feature called "Was My Face Red," where people sent in their embarrassing stories. We’ve all been embarrassed at one time or another, either by something we ourselves did or said, or by somebody else’s words or actions. Think back . . . Do you remember a time when an incident left you red-faced? Wishing the earth would open up and swallow you whole? Or when you caused embarrassment to another person? Share your embarrassment stories forward.
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Past Prompts

Superstition (11 Stories)

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It’s natural for us to want good fortune and avoid bad outcomes, but what’s the difference between that and superstition? When we were younger, we might have steered clear of black cats, tried not to break mirrors, found four-leaf clovers, stroked rabbits’ feet, or worn hamsas. Maybe we still do. Think back … What was your most powerful superstition? Are you still superstitious now? Or, if you weren’t or aren’t superstitious, why not? Share your superstition stories forward.
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Fragrant Flashbacks (11 Stories)

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The sense of smell is closely linked with memory, probably more so than any of our other senses. You might be walking down the street and pick up a scent that takes you back in time to a particular moment. Think back . . . maybe the smell of batter reminds you of your grandmother's pancakes, or just the thought of a scent conjures a recollection of a certain summer, or a special someone. Share your fragrant flashbacks stories forward.
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Pandemic – Pandemonium or Panacea? (14 Stories)

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Just checking in … how is the Covid-19 pandemic playing out in your life at this point? Are you actively grappling with the difficulties brought on by changes in schedules, cancellations, loss of work, financial worries, loneliness, or too much togetherness? To what degree are you keeping up with the news, or have you shut it out altogether? Or, perhaps the initial shock has worn off and you’re finding yourself content to spend yet another day at home, taking leisurely walks, enjoying the slower pace, the simpler pleasures, and connecting more deeply and thoughtfully with the one or ones you love. Do you think Zoom and InstaCart will remain staples in your new normal? Think back . . . to the first days of the pandemic. How have things changed for you? Share your Pandemic stories forward.
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Door-to-Door Sales (9 Stories)

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Long before the internet enabled us to shop at home, there were door-to-door salespeople who rang the bell and came into our living rooms with a case full of products. The Avon Lady, the Fuller Brush Man, and many others traveled around the country selling their wares. Think back . . . Did you ever buy products from a door-to-door salesperson? Did you ever try to support yourself selling products door-to-door? Would you allow a salesperson into your house now? Share your door-to-door sales stories forward.
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Dreams (13 Stories)

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Freud told us our nightly dreams represent our unconscious desires and thoughts. Disney's Cinderella sang "A dream is a wish your heart makes." Eleanor Roosevelt told us, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” But not all dreams are beautiful. Everyone has had anxiety dreams, those repetitive dreams about being naked in public or showing up for an exam in a course you never took. And nightmares, so frightening that you wake up in a sweat or in tears, thankful when you realize it was only a dream. Think back … What were the dreams that were memorable to you, either for good or for bad? Share your dreams stories forward.
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