View Laurie Levy's profile

A Rose by Any Other Name by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Nicknames

/ Stories

Do I dare to gift myself with my true name of Lauren? Probably too late, and after all, no one calls me “Big Laurie” anymore. Mostly, I go by Gramma.
Read More

COVID-19 Panic – The Best of Times and the Worst of Times by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

Life as we know it has ground to a halt. This is the staycation from hell that no one planned or wanted.
Read More

A Lifetime of Tribes by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Finding Your Tribe

/ Stories

My life has been enriched by every community I have been part of, every group with which I have shared a common goal and a connection.
Read More

To My Fellow Caregivers in the Waiting Room by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Caregiving

/ Stories

Some of the most loving people I have ever seen are the parents and caregivers in waiting rooms of speech pathologists, occupational therapists, play therapists, physical therapists, and almost any place that works with children who have disabilities.
Read More

When Women Do the Asking by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Leap Day

/ Stories

I remember feeling passive and helpless when it came to dating.
Read More

The Real Story Behind my Parents’ Love Letters by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Family Myths

/ Stories

Now that my parents are gone, I realize there were so many questions I wish I had asked them. All I have now are their letters to fill in the gaps in my knowledge of the years between when they met and their marriage.
Read More

Soupy Sales vs Mister Rogers by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

I wish our country’s leadership and values embodied less of Soupy Sales and more of Fred Rogers these days.
Read More

Unretired: How Writing Gave me a Purpose by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Retirement

/ Stories

Now when someone asks what I do, I answer for myself. I’m unretired and I’m writing and having a blast.
Read More

Da Bears! by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Super Bowl

/ Stories

Thirty-five years after the giddy fun of singing the Super Bowl Shuffle and celebrating Da Bears’ victory, this former Superfan is done.
Read More

A Christmas Letter from an Old Friend by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Snail Mail

/ Stories

It’s several pages of blue ink on real stationery that’s crammed full of things I want to know: the health of her husband, the latest project she is working on, what her three sons are doing, and cute anecdotes about her grandkids.
Read More

Who Will Take my Grandmother’s Teacups? by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Moving Day

/ Stories

So yes, it is time to get started. But first, I have to find a good home for this Waterford bowl my aunt gave me when I got married.
Read More

Finding my Lost Old Friends by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

As I age, I reflect back over all of the people who were important to me for a period of time and then lost as our lives took different paths.
Read More

The Button Box and Other Stuff I Should Toss by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Get Organized

/ Stories

My husband has shirts and sweatshirts hanging in this closet that fit into the category of “I thought I had a shirt that I used to wear with this sweater but it’s gone.”
Read More

My Mother’s Art of Tidying Up by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Get Organized

/ Stories

I lack my mother’s passion for tidying up. So I have decided to embrace the clutter in my life and put my energy into things that really “spark joy.”
Read More

Celebrating the New Year Over a Lifetime by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By The New Year

/ Stories

Looking over the ways I have celebrated the New Year, it’s hard to remember why it used to be such a big deal.
Read More

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

I’ve enjoyed some of the movies that have made top ten lists. Parasite, The Irishman, JoJo Rabbit, and Marriage Story are particularly good among the ones I have been able to see. But my favorite movie of the year for pure enjoyment is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It was released this summer, so people…
Read More

Holidays Leave Me Overwhelmed and Nostalgic by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Holidaze

/ Stories

I have no control over the holidaze. The only thing I can control is how I respond to it.
Read More

Annette by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Cousins

/ Stories

Annette was more like the sister I always wished for than a cousin.
Read More

The Sharing Tree by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Charity

/ Stories

I hope the preschoolers we taught remember that charity begins in our hearts and in the way we treat one another.
Read More

Remembering Babyhood with Love by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Baby Books

/ Stories

When I thumb through my mother’s attempt to memorialize my early childhood, it doesn’t really matter what she wrote or what she saved. The love with which she did it is what endures.
Read More

Surprise, You’re Pregnant by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Surprise!

/ Stories

Becoming pregnant was shrouded in mystery back then. There was always an element of surprise when I became pregnant.
Read More

Ok, Boomer by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Ageism

/ Stories

Young people are using the phrase OK, boomer to indicate disdain for folks of my generation.
Read More

My Celebrity Crushes by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By The Crush

/ Stories

In July of 2018, Arthur Andrew Gelien died. I knew him as Tab Hunter and had his picture pasted in a scrapbook devoted to my celebrity crushes. I was my granddaughter’s age when I swooned to his song Young Love and watched him in the movie Damn Yankees. He was cute and, like several of…
Read More

When Hated-Filled Bullying Replaces Hope and Change   by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Bullying

/ Stories

I want to put my grandkids in a bubble to keep them from seeing all of the hatred and bullying out there since Trump descended that golden escalator.
Read More

Grandma and the Mean Girl Dolls by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Bullying

/ Stories

I hoped my granddaughter and her peers would embrace the importance of sisterhood before the Mean Girl games of middle school took over.
Read More

Suicide Mission to the Library by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Libraries

/ Stories

There is nothing I love more than reading to young children. I felt like we had fallen into a treasure trove of great entertainment.
Read More

The Day My Computer Blew Up by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Hacks and Scams

/ Stories

The screen froze. A red, pulsing light covered QuickBooks, accompanied by a loud, persistent beep. I froze in horror, as this old laptop contained all of my husband’s bookkeeping and our personal finances in Quicken. The only thing visible was a Windows logo and a trouble-shooting phone number. I know. I should never have called…
Read More

Suburbia 1950s Style: Little Boxes by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

Suburbia and my mother were grooming me for my future occupation of Mom.
Read More

The American Child Care Dilemma by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

Parents check references and hope the person they hire is caring and competent. If they find Mary Poppins, they have to pray she doesn’t quit without notice.
Read More

House of Cards by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Games People Play

/ Stories

I grew up in a house of cards. Literally.
Read More

Ten Games This Grandma Hates to Play by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Games People Play

/ Stories

I hope my children picture me as a doting grandmother, happily playing with their children, unburdened by the daily demands of parenting. And it’s true that one of the joys of having grandchildren is spending special time together. To me, that means reading books, drawing, going to the park, singing and dancing to Beatles tunes…
Read More

My Micro-Road Rage by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Road Rage

/ Stories

September is National Courtesy Month, so I am making an extra effort to stay calm and be a polite driver. Just wish others would do the same.
Read More

“There are Far Worse Things Than to Steal a Book” by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

Warren taught me through example what it really meant to be a mensch, a good human being.
Read More

Kindergarten over Three Generations by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Kindergarten

/ Stories

My youngest grandchild starts kindergarten next week. Here’s hoping he gets a loving teacher who understands that young children learn best in a play-based kindergarten.
Read More

What’s Today’s Weather? by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Weather

/ Stories

What’s today’s weather? We really need to pay close attention.
Read More

Woodstock, a Movie Best Seen Stoned by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Woodstock

/ Stories

Seeing the documentary movie version the summer of 1970 shaped my Woodstock experience.
Read More

That Family Tree Assignment by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Genealogy

/ Stories

If I were a teacher these days, I would tread very lightly with that family tree assignment.
Read More

Finding a Grandmother Lost to Mental Illness by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Genealogy

/ Stories

Pauline’s life had been destroyed by mental illness and institutionalization. But what had happened to her children as well as her grandchildren and great grandchildren? Was there a way to make something solid and meaningful from this tragedy?
Read More

My Neighborhood – Both Actual and Virtual – And a Lost Tortoise by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Neighbors

/ Stories

When we work together, there is a greater chance we can solve the problem, from rescuing a tortoise to tackling the huge issues that plague our neighborhoods and our country.
Read More

Banishing Boredom for Kids by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Boredom

/ Stories

Boredom is a state of mind that doesn’t need to exist, especially for children.
Read More

Why I Missed the Moon Landing by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Moon Landing

/ Stories

I never actually saw the moon landing on television until long after it happened. On July 20, 1969, my husband and I were on what turned out to be a once-in-a-lifetime, eight-week trip to Europe, Greece, and Israel. We had a vague notion that American astronauts had walked on the moon by looking at photos…
Read More

Summer’s my Favorite Reading Season by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Beach Reads

/ Stories

As an educator, however, summer was always the reading season, and old habits die hard.
Read More

The Bombs Bursting in Air by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Fireworks

/ Stories

I know I will hear those bombs bursting in air every July. And while the fireworks displays are beautiful, these sounds do not feel celebratory. They remind me of guns and war, not patriotism.
Read More

Little Larcenies, White Lies, and Truthiness by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Honesty

/ Stories

Thus, I came to believe in truthiness in politics, a term coined by Stephen Colbert in 2005, which meant, “The quality of stating concepts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than the facts.”
Read More

A Honeymoon Planned by my Mother-in-Law by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Honeymoon

/ Stories

I’ll always be grateful to my MIL for talking us into what was, back then, a glamorous honeymoon trip rather than spending a few days at a local resort or hotel.
Read More

Lost a Friend, Gained a Spouse by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By First Dates

/ Stories

It was also the night I committed the most anti-feminist act ever. I came with Paula but left with Fred.
Read More

I Miss Shopping Local by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Shopping Local

/ Stories

After taking my grandkids to a real children’s bookstore and seeing their excitement, I feel sad that this experience may not be part of their lives as they grow up.
Read More

An English Teacher by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

To me becoming an English teacher was a punchline. And yet, that is just where my college path led me.
Read More

Random Social Media Photo Creates Connections by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

Such is the nature of social media friendships. They can wax and wane. But I still find it remarkable to feel close with someone I have never actually met.
Read More

PE for Girls Over Three Generations by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

I wish my PE perils had been more pleasurable and that I had learned activities I could have done all of my life.
Read More

Exams Once Ruled My Life by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Exams

/ Stories

Exams once ruled my life. Now, having experienced many true tests over a lifetime, I realize that no amount of preparation guarantees a good result. It is what I do with the hand I’m dealt that truly matters.
Read More

How My Mother Taught Me to Drive by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Learning to Drive

/ Stories

I had my first accident before I even had a driver’s license. Armed with my learner’s permit, I cautiously drove a few blocks to the A&P with my mother. When, we arrived, she pointed to a spot and told me to pull in there. I did, but I also bumped into the car in the…
Read More

From Ducking Under Desks to Active Shooter Drills by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Cold War Coping

/ Stories

As part of the duck and cover generation, I despair that my legacy to today’s school children is a country in which they understand that there is no real safety as long as the gun culture persists.
Read More

Earth Day 2019: The Notre Dame Fire by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Earth Day

/ Stories

This Earth Day, let’s keep in mind that our actions today can improve our health and well-being tomorrow, provide a brighter future for the next generation, and have beneficial consequences many generations from now that could never be foreseen today.
Read More

The Taxman Cometh by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Taxes

/ Stories

From my father, I inherited the importance of honesty and fairness regarding taxes.
Read More

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 and Other Poetry in my Life by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Poetry

/ Stories

The first poem I remember from my childhood is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. I memorized it when I was young to impress my father, who was a huge history buff. Not a great poem, but I still remember some of it: Listen, my children, and you shall hear Of the…
Read More

When Spring Break Breaks You by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Spring Break

/ Stories

For my granddaughter with significant disabilities, spring break will literally break her, along with the rest of us.
Read More

Frances Perkins: A Woman I Admire by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Women We Admire

/ Stories

Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor for all twelve years of his administration, was the first female cabinet secretary and a woman you should know and admire.
Read More

Betrayed by a Church by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Betrayal

/ Stories

Ironically, being betrayed by a church led to the creation of an early childhood program based on values to which religious institutions should aspire: community, inclusion, acceptance, caring, kindness, and love for children.
Read More

Starting a Marriage in a Garden Apartment by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By My First Apartment

/ Stories

My first real apartment, not counting the college one with mean notes posted on the refrigerator to clean the bathroom and the dial removed from one roommate’s television so no one else could watch it, was the basement unit (AKA Garden Apartment) my new husband and I inhabited right after our wedding in August of…
Read More

New Beginnings Over a Lifetime by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By New Beginnings

/ Stories

I started writing for MyRetrospect in July of 2018, so I’m a relative newbie. John Zussman found a post I had written on another site and asked if he could use it. Then he asked if I wanted to write for Retrospect. I loved the format and, as a woman looking at her 70th birthday…
Read More

Turning Points on Road to Retirement by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Turning Points

/ Stories

I have been thinking lately about the many different roads or turning points that have made up the map of my life thus far. Sometimes, the choice of path was the more traveled one. Sometimes, I chose the one less traveled by. Looking back on a lifetime of choices, it seems like some of the most important ones chose me.
Read More

My Thing About Gifts by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Gifts

/ Stories

Lately, I have been thinking that, aside from the little ones in my life who love to tear open wrapping paper to find a new toy, the best gift may be the gift of time.
Read More

Leaving Home by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Home

/ Stories

At some point, almost everyone experiences leaving home.
Read More

A Valentine to My Grandkids by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

The thing that connects babies to their parents and children to their grandparents is love.
Read More

For the Many Brown Eyed Girls Out There by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Songs We Sang

/ Stories

When the song came out we all took it as a tribute to brown eyed girls who were in love, and later to brown eyed girls in general.
Read More

Temptation – My Battle to Resist Desserts by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Temptation

/ Stories

My mother loved to bake, a trait I inherited. The only way to avoid sweet treats and baked breads at home is to deny myself the pleasure of creating them.
Read More

My Family’s Ever-Changing Thanksgiving Tradition by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Family

/ Stories

I look at this photo and sigh. This was my family’s Thanksgiving table seventy years ago. I’m the second child on the left, sharing a meal with two generations now gone. In fact, my dear cousin sitting directly across from me has also died. But the tradition of sharing a meal with folks you love…
Read More

Hell No, We Won’t Go by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

Hell no, we won't go. And the truth is most people I knew didn't end up in Vietnam.
Read More

The 2018 Midterm Election: You Can’t Always Get What You Want by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Politics

/ Stories

All of my years as a faithful voter have taught me that it’s important to keep trying. Eventually, I hope our country will get what it needs.
Read More

My “I Like Ike” Pin by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Politics

/ Stories

Actually, even as a lifelong Democrat (my parents indoctrinated me well), I kind of still like Ike.
Read More

I’m the Sucker Who Falls for Practical Jokes, and I Hate It by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

I do have a sense of humor, but please don’t tease me or make me (or someone else because I’m an overly empathic person) the butt of a prank or practical joke.
Read More

Pursuing the Perfect Purse by
50
(86 Stories)

/ Stories

Perfection in a purse is an elusive pursuit I am afraid I will never achieve. For now, I have taken a vow. No new purses.
Read More

Baby Love by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Parenthood

/ Stories

Back in those days, young couples didn’t get dogs first so they could practice their future parenting skills. So my baby son was my proverbial first pancake.
Read More

An MRI to the Tune of The Beatles by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Beatles vs Stones

/ Stories

And so ended my MRI trip down memory lane. It would be a long and winding road to repair what time had done to me. Once — as the Beatles reminded me — I was just 17. Now I am 71.
Read More

I’m the Girl Who Still Loves Paul by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Beatles vs Stones

/ Stories

Yep, my heart went boom. I loved this music, and I adored Paul.
Read More

Sorting Old Pictures – A Bittersweet Effort to Put Life in Order by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Good Riddance

/ Stories

For some pictures, it was easy to say good riddance. But the photos of people I love – that’s another matter.
Read More

The Party That Rocked my Block by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Parties

/ Stories

My first two kids were pretty tame as teens, so when I learned about the ambulance in front of our house and every neighbor standing outside watching, it was a shock. Child #3 was far more social than her sibs, and she threw quite a party in my absence. Of course, my husband and I…
Read More

The Family Dinner Bites the Dust by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By What We Ate

/ Stories

These days, the concept of a family dinner has bitten the dust. My grandkids graze rather than sitting down as a family to eat.
Read More

All the Single Ladies: Going Back to Middle School in Your Final Years by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Middle School

/ Stories

In so many ways, the senior living experience was a reincarnation of middle school. Men caused major mean girl issues, even for women in their eighties and nineties.
Read More

My Summer Job – Hard Work for a Very Small Paycheck by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By My First Paycheck

/ Stories

My first paycheck, and many meager ones that followed, taught me to respect people who work hard but earn little -- something to think about especially on Labor Day.
Read More

Fame is Not the Same as Success by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Fame

/ Stories

Most successful people follow their dreams and achieve things that bring great meaning to their lives. For a very few, lightning will strike and they will become famous. But for most, the satisfaction will come from a job well done and a life well lived.
Read More

My First Experience with a Computer was a Disaster by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By Disasters

/ Stories

Disaster struck. My thesis had vanished. The computer had eaten it and refused to spit it out. 
Read More

Lines of Communication by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By The Social Network

/ Stories

I have come full cycle from the days when the umbilical cord of my old kitchen connected me to my friends. Like my parents before me and my kids and grandkids, I now avoid long conversations. They cost me valuable time.
Read More

Why I Love/Hate Facebook by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By The Social Network

/ Stories

I get why Facebook can be a good thing. Like my mother, I love seeing photos of folks I know (although not so much their food). It’s fun to discover an old friend and learn about the latest news from a friend or relative I don't see very often. It is an interesting diversion as well as a way for me to get my blog posts out to folks who want to read them. But in the run-up to the 2016 election and after, Facebook has become something else: a place to spew hatred and divisiveness.
Read More

1968: The Year Mr. Rogers Neighborhood Began by
50
(86 Stories)

Prompted By 1968

/ Stories

Fifty years ago, on February 19, 1968, one of my personal heroes, Fred Rogers, launched his children’s show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. The PBS program, featuring a kindly man in a cardigan and blue sneakers, introduced millions of young children to the concepts of patience, kindness, acceptance, and caring for their neighbors. 1968 was the beginning of a frightening time that felt much like life does today in 2018. Perhaps this is why people weep at showings of Won’t You Be My Neighbor.
Read More