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

Prompted By Surprise!

/ Stories

Becoming pregnant was shrouded in mystery back then. There was always an element of surprise when I became pregnant.
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Ok, Boomer by
50
(66 Stories)

Prompted By Ageism

/ Stories

Young people are using the phrase OK, boomer to indicate disdain for folks of my generation.
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My Celebrity Crushes by
50
(66 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…
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When Hated-Filled Bullying Replaces Hope and Change   by
50
(66 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.
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Grandma and the Mean Girl Dolls by
50
(66 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.
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Suicide Mission to the Library by
50
(66 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.
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The Day My Computer Blew Up by
50
(66 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…
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Suburbia 1950s Style: Little Boxes by
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(66 Stories)

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Suburbia and my mother were grooming me for my future occupation of Mom.
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The American Child Care Dilemma by
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(66 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.
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House of Cards by
50
(66 Stories)

Prompted By Games People Play

/ Stories

I grew up in a house of cards. Literally.
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Ten Games This Grandma Hates to Play by
50
(66 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…
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My Micro-Road Rage by
50
(66 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.
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“There are Far Worse Things Than to Steal a Book” by
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(66 Stories)

/ Stories

Warren taught me through example what it really meant to be a mensch, a good human being.
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Kindergarten over Three Generations by
50
(66 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.
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What’s Today’s Weather? by
50
(66 Stories)

Prompted By Weather

/ Stories

What’s today’s weather? We really need to pay close attention.
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Woodstock, a Movie Best Seen Stoned by
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(66 Stories)

Prompted By Woodstock

/ Stories

Seeing the documentary movie version the summer of 1970 shaped my Woodstock experience.
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That Family Tree Assignment by
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(66 Stories)

Prompted By Genealogy

/ Stories

If I were a teacher these days, I would tread very lightly with that family tree assignment.
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Finding a Grandmother Lost to Mental Illness by
50
(66 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?
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My Neighborhood – Both Actual and Virtual – And a Lost Tortoise by
50
(66 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.
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Banishing Boredom for Kids by
50
(66 Stories)

Prompted By Boredom

/ Stories

Boredom is a state of mind that doesn’t need to exist, especially for children.
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Why I Missed the Moon Landing by
50
(66 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…
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Summer’s my Favorite Reading Season by
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(66 Stories)

Prompted By Beach Reads

/ Stories

As an educator, however, summer was always the reading season, and old habits die hard.
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The Bombs Bursting in Air by
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(66 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.
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Little Larcenies, White Lies, and Truthiness by
50
(66 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.”
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A Honeymoon Planned by my Mother-in-Law by
50
(66 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.
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Lost a Friend, Gained a Spouse by
50
(66 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.
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I Miss Shopping Local by
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(66 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.
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An English Teacher by
50
(66 Stories)

/ Stories

To me becoming an English teacher was a punchline. And yet, that is just where my college path led me.
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Random Social Media Photo Creates Connections by
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(66 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.
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PE for Girls Over Three Generations by
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(66 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.
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Exams Once Ruled My Life by
50
(66 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.
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How My Mother Taught Me to Drive by
50
(66 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…
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From Ducking Under Desks to Active Shooter Drills by
50
(66 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.
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Earth Day 2019: The Notre Dame Fire by
50
(66 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.
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The Taxman Cometh by
50
(66 Stories)

Prompted By Taxes

/ Stories

From my father, I inherited the importance of honesty and fairness regarding taxes.
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Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 and Other Poetry in my Life by
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(66 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…
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When Spring Break Breaks You by
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(66 Stories)

Prompted By Spring Break

/ Stories

For my granddaughter with significant disabilities, spring break will literally break her, along with the rest of us.
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Frances Perkins: A Woman I Admire by
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(66 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.
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Betrayed by a Church by
50
(66 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.
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Starting a Marriage in a Garden Apartment by
50
(66 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…
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New Beginnings Over a Lifetime by
50
(66 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…
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Turning Points on Road to Retirement by
50
(66 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.
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My Thing About Gifts by
50
(66 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.
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Leaving Home by
50
(66 Stories)

Prompted By Home

/ Stories

At some point, almost everyone experiences leaving home.
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A Valentine to My Grandkids by
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(66 Stories)

/ Stories

The thing that connects babies to their parents and children to their grandparents is love.
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For the Many Brown Eyed Girls Out There by
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(66 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.
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Temptation – My Battle to Resist Desserts by
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(66 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.
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My Family’s Ever-Changing Thanksgiving Tradition by
50
(66 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…
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Hell No, We Won’t Go by
50
(66 Stories)

/ Stories

Hell no, we won't go. And the truth is most people I knew didn't end up in Vietnam.
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The 2018 Midterm Election: You Can’t Always Get What You Want by
50
(66 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.
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My “I Like Ike” Pin by
50
(66 Stories)

Prompted By Politics

/ Stories

Actually, even as a lifelong Democrat (my parents indoctrinated me well), I kind of still like Ike.
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I’m the Sucker Who Falls for Practical Jokes, and I Hate It by
50
(66 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.
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Pursuing the Perfect Purse by
50
(66 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.
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Baby Love by
50
(66 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.
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An MRI to the Tune of The Beatles by
50
(66 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.
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I’m the Girl Who Still Loves Paul by
50
(66 Stories)

Prompted By Beatles vs Stones

/ Stories

Yep, my heart went boom. I loved this music, and I adored Paul.
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Sorting Old Pictures – A Bittersweet Effort to Put Life in Order by
50
(66 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.
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The Party That Rocked my Block by
50
(66 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…
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The Family Dinner Bites the Dust by
50
(66 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.
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All the Single Ladies: Going Back to Middle School in Your Final Years by
50
(66 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.
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My Summer Job – Hard Work for a Very Small Paycheck by
50
(66 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.
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Fame is Not the Same as Success by
50
(66 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.
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My First Experience with a Computer was a Disaster by
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(66 Stories)

Prompted By Disasters

/ Stories

Disaster struck. My thesis had vanished. The computer had eaten it and refused to spit it out. 
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Lines of Communication by
50
(66 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.
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Why I Love/Hate Facebook by
50
(66 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.
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1968: The Year Mr. Rogers Neighborhood Began by
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(66 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.
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