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The Club Crashers by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Cliques and Clubs

/ Stories

When does a guest become a crasher? When they either pretend to be a member, or act as if they intend to join the club when they would never do so.
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My Pet Awards by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Naming Pets

/ Stories

Here are some of the pets in my life, my own and other people's, that deserve recognition for their names or other notable attributes.
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Eco-Freaks Meet the Mob by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Recycling

/ Stories

The offer we couldn't refuse: the Eco-Freaks needed a large truck, and the mobster had one.
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Impressions: Radios by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Remembering Radios

/ Stories

Two little Sony's and a tabletop radio in my bedroom.
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Stuck-at-Home by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

Stressed, unhappy parents create stressed, unhappy children.
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From Sugar to a Shot at Freedom by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Vaccination

/ Stories

We'd had all the vaccines available at the time ... but this was the only time I refused a vaccine.
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Honey, I Broke the Software! by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

... the engineers asked, "What did you do? How could you possibly break the program?"
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Sanity Clause by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Rewatchable Movies

/ Stories

... so I picked up a tape of Night at the Opera and a large block of dark chocolate, and we all had a fun time that New Year's Eve.
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Hey! You’re Welcome. by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Manners

/ Stories

Used to be that "hey" was for horses ... No longer true.
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Hidden in Names and Eyes by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Inequality

/ Stories

The 1930 census had my aunt's name as Ruchel and my mother's name as Henayeta. Huh?
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Quiet, Please by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Pet Peeves

/ Stories

Most frustrating is when someone asks, "What did they say?" and I can't hear the next few minutes of dialog.
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Forty-Plus Years with Philip by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Haircuts

/ Stories

Over the years, we've chatted about spouses, and more recently, aging parents. Philip knows me well ...
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The Year of the Crow by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

After a couple of incidents this winter, I've concluded that I'd unconsciously adopted the successful survival strategies of the crow.
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Eat too Much? Drink too Much? by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

Although there are jingles and slogans in advertising today, I don't believe they are as memorable as the ones from our younger years.
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Tongue Tied by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By First Memory

/ Stories

This is my first memory, and is it accurate? I believe it is, especially now that I have a lot of context around it.
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Found-Lost-Found-Lost-Found? by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Reconnecting

/ Stories

1999: Friends first, then deep romance. 2000: Happiest time ever. 2001: He prefers time with (female) housemate, "trusted old friend."
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V-day Mini Rant by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Valentine's Day

/ Stories

A saint's day isn't an appropriate holiday for nice Jewish girls, mom said.
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A Hat for All Seasons by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Hats

/ Stories

We all dressed carefully, and most of us wore hats. We had a lovely time, and the hats in many styles and colors added to the ambiance.
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January 20, 2021 by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Inaugurations

/ Stories

The day of rededication ... The day of dignity restored ...
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Signing on the Line by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Good Trouble

/ Stories

In violation of the law, the ads were "segregated" ... Someone had to do something, we agreed, but what?
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Stendhal Syndrome at the National Portrait Gallery by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

I hadn't heard of this syndrome before it happened to me. At first I was surprised, but then later understood why it happened to me.
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To My Many Selves by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

Be proud of your accomplishments and intellect. Whew, all those highs and lows ...
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Many Paths to Gratitude by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Thank You

/ Stories

New ways to give thanks, even in thoughts, can show our gratitude.
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Pandemic Fantasies by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

I seek solace with HGTV, the Food Network, and Rick Steves.
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‘Tis the Season? by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Hello Darkness

/ Stories

It was dark, dark, dark, for days, and the bad air made walking outside impossible for nearly six weeks. And BAM, I was clobbered by SAD symptoms--in the middle of summer.
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Marian’s Interview Academy Awards by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Interviews

/ Stories

The man winced and looked at me again. "I'm really sorry, I thought you were the stripper."
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The Kathy Legacy by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Interviews

/ Stories

In walked Kathy, with flawless white skin, a nice figure, and the most amazing hair ...
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Spelling: Nature vs Nurture by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Spelling

/ Stories

Is spelling skill genetically determined? If so, where do the spelling genes reside in our DNA?
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Elephants and Libraries for Oakland by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Volunteering

/ Stories

The White Elephant Sale raises dollars in the millions for the museum and provides items for people in the community ...
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Holidays Past and Now, Memories of Italian Songs by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Pandemic Holidays

/ Stories

Each year, everyone complained that we were not spending enough time with them.
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A Doggerel for the 60s by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Fads and Trends

/ Stories

It’s the Age of Aquarius, a 60s party, get your flower power on ...
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Shovelers Anonymous by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

"Can I help?" a woman's voice asked from behind me. A young woman had appeared with a shovel.
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What Would Reagan Have Done? by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

There were three other women ... and we stuck together. This was a good thing, because it turned out the men were angry--really angry.
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Signs of election times by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

Trump signs are thankfully MIA, and Biden signs are relatively rare, since this preference is assumed.
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A Mixed Bag of Tech Then and Now by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

Our phone number was CE9-2609. CE stood for the Center exchange. No area code.
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One Decade of Pretty Shoes by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Shoes

/ Stories

No Buster Browns, Keds, or Thom McCanns for me. Just, ugh, saddle shoes ...
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Way to Go by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Final Farewell

/ Stories

While at first I didn't relish the extra burden, the experience turned out to be a gift.
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A Degree Day of Observations by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Rites of Passage

/ Stories

Seated there was a very elderly, diminutive woman, dressed in black, with wild white hair and a pixie-ish expression, very quiet but observing everything carefully.
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Listening to words by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Brain Games

/ Stories

Every Sunday I listen to this amazing, funny, and very challenging game show that involves words ...
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A Garden of Visual Delights by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By The Garden

/ Stories

I resorted to wearing sunglasses and a painter's mask to do any gardening, even trimming the lemon tree. Upon seeing me, my cat recoiled in horror.
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Long lost, newly discovered by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Lost and Found

/ Stories

With a sigh, I gave the earring up for lost but kept its mate as a memento.
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All Sales Final on Vinyl by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Yard Sales

/ Stories

The little girl stared and asked, "Daddy, what are those?" "These are records," he replied, "they play music."
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Right, then wrong, then almost right by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By I Swore I'd Never

/ Stories

... it got to the point where her hands were raw, and the doctor told her to ease off. She didn't work in a sewer, he said.
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The Big Sisters’ Club by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Birth Order

/ Stories

When you are the oldest, your parents practice on you. So you receive the benefits of more attention and bear the brunt of their mistakes.
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A Two-Way Path by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Forgiveness

/ Stories

Her implication was clear. She was upset with me. While I was abashed and said I was sorry, our relationship was considerably cooler from then on.
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Cleared for Take-off, Hard Landing by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Pandemic Summer

/ Stories

The point is, half our testing is useless, and even Cassandra doesn't have any idea which half.
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A cursive compromise by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

Unless my penmanship improved I could be held back and not go on to sixth grade.
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Candlelight and cops by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Protests

/ Stories

What was most unnerving? The police presence. While they weren't in riot gear, rows of cops stood their ground, clubs at the ready. Our knees shook.
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Redlines, artists, and mobsters by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By My Hometown

/ Stories

All seemed very normal in this town, as long as you stayed in your lane.
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Random meeting, profound changes by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Chance Encounters

/ Stories

One professional encounter started so small I could never anticipate how profoundly it would change how I thought about business and maybe even life.
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A Junior Mistake by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Embarrassment

/ Stories

The room froze, and I immediately realized that I'd said something that was taken in a way I didn't mean.
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From Fashion to Feminism by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Magazines

/ Stories

These teen-girl publications lacked content for nerdy girls like me, though.
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A Geek in the Best Sense by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Aunts & Uncles

/ Stories

Occasionally I'd hear strange noises emanating from his basement office. Sometimes a squeak, sometimes a series of booms.
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A War Experience Recovered by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Memorabilia

/ Stories

Why the small beige box was in my mother's dresser I'll never know. The items pictured belonged to my father's father ...
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Creative cooking with what we have by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Recipes

/ Stories

It didn't help that mom and grandma didn't write anything down. "You'll know when it's done ... just add a shake of that ..." was their response to my questions.
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Calamity Rainbow by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Superstition

/ Stories

Each time, shortly after I saw a rainbow, something bad would happen. Thus began what my husband and I called "the year of calamity and death."
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Scents and non-scents by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

He was wearing Brut, perhaps in retrospect not the most subtle of scents. But I'll never forget the scent of Brut, forever associated with the amazing excitement of that first kiss.
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Some Random Pandemic Thoughts by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

Once the shutdown happened, a friend phoned me asking when I thought we'd be released from it. "June," I replied without hesitation. I so wanted to be wrong, but the data guided me.
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Someone’s at the Door by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Door-to-Door Sales

/ Stories

The schtick was to make the parents guilty that their children were falling behind in school and things would get dire if they didn't get the encyclopedia.
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Dreaming of Oz in Technicolor by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Dreams

/ Stories

I've always dreamed in color. Colors that I've never seen in nature appear in my dreams.
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A Seder Celebrating Sacrifice and Safety by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

I have no memory of what we spoke about but cannot forget the image of this wonderful woman, now frail and with hands gnarled and arthritic, and her family's fortitude and selflessness.
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Saved from the Tree by the Cat by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Close Calls

/ Stories

I looked into the back yard and saw my enormous oak tree whirling like a cocktail's swizzle stick, and then with a huge crack and boom, the tree split into three parts, from top to bottom.
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Loud and Abominable by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Nicknames

/ Stories

Henrietta was an awkward name for a tiny child ... so the family called her Yettie.
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COVID-19 and the Cursed Princess by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

What a bizarre intersection of a vacation from hell with a pandemic-stricken ship.
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Reconstructing a Tribe by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Finding Your Tribe

/ Stories

"This is the weirdest, most interesting group of people I've ever encountered," I thought. "I fit right in!"
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Confessions of a Guilty Caregiver by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Caregiving

/ Stories

Most of the conventional wisdom for caregivers comes down to putting yourself first, making time for yourself. To a large degree, that’s a crock. Your priorities won’t come first for the present, and probably for a while.
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Cinderella at Jersey Girls State by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Leap Day

/ Stories

Problem number one: I had no boyfriend and, although I was 17, I had never been on a date.
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Grandpa Max’s Nose by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Family Myths

/ Stories

My parents, who had thought it wonderful that I had grandpa Max's eyes, said it was unfortunate that I had his nose, too. Ah, well, I thought, that's the genetic roll of the dice.
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Attracted to Anarchy by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

While we ate tuna fish and Soupy hawked Jello, all kinds of chaos would happen.
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Not My Parents’ Retirement by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Retirement

/ Stories

I had optimistic hopes about what retirement would be like, tempered with realism.
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A Conflicted Super Bowl Fan by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Super Bowl

/ Stories

Things eventually calmed down ... but the next year I did not enter the football pool. Football was not yet a woman's domain.
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Life on the Move by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Moving Day

/ Stories

There are many lessons I have learned ... Moves are a complex blend of stress, opportunity, and calamity.
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Aerograms, a Pen Pal, and a War by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Snail Mail

/ Stories

I mostly remember taking my fountain pen and writing tiny, neat lines to cram the most onto the aerogram sheet.
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Rumors of his death … by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

The floor under my feet seemed to drop away, and a roaring began in my head. I must have replayed the message 10 times. Was someone playing a cruel joke?
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Tweet Tweet, Beep Beep by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Surprise!

/ Stories

Could the one Rolling Stones concert I attended have done that much damage?
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In Praise of Invisible and Brave Women by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Ageism

/ Stories

We were aware that it was bound to happen someday, but it sneaked up on us unexpectedly.
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Becoming a Modern Elder by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Ageism

/ Stories

At first I did worry about what to wear (torn, skinny jeans look great on a 30-year-old but on me, not so much), and whether I knew enough about my smart phone.
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OK, Younger Generations by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Ageism

/ Stories

Think of what we all could accomplish if all parties stopped eye rolling ... and lecturing ... and started working together.
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A Sweet Kennebunkport Crush by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By The Crush

/ Stories

I don't remember much from that week, except for Tony ... Every time his eyes connected with mine, my heart gave a squeeze and then a leap.
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Surviving a Workplace Bully by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Bullying

/ Stories

I gasped when I realized that I was the perfect target for a workplace bully--a textbook case.
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Shakin’ in the Stacks by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Libraries

/ Stories

In an instant, there was a rumble and a slight jerk, and then a slow roll, as I watched the stacks of books opposite me rise about a foot and a half, and gently fall, as if carried by ocean waves.
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Grandma Gets Lucky by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Hacks and Scams

/ Stories

"She called my cell phone and thought I'd gone to Canada and ended up in jail."
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Redd’s Sledd and the Imp Do Donuts by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

The cops stared, open-mouthed, at three 40-something bearded men and the motley trio of cars.
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Sitter of Last Resort by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

When I came to the door, often the kids would greet me with "We don't want you, we want Karen!"
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Joe Defeats Google, Both Win by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Games People Play

/ Stories

The engineers ultimately understood that the game kept Joe going, giving him energy and focus.
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Ten Miles in Ninety Minutes by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Road Rage

/ Stories

Route 101 looked like something out of a Mad Max movie ...
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Loved the material, loved the students by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

Roussel was tall, elegant, very perceptive and demanding, but always kind and encouraging. 
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Snacks and Naps by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Kindergarten

/ Stories

We didn't have to sleep, but had to lie quietly for a time, which seemed like forever but couldn't have been more than 15 or 20 minutes.
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Fish in the Street, Snakes Under Glass by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Weather

/ Stories

When I looked out the front door, I saw a hip-deep lake where my yard had been ...
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Back to the Garden by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Woodstock

/ Stories

"We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon."
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The Great British Heritage Mystery by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Genealogy

/ Stories

Turns out I was "only" 94% eastern European Jewish ...
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A New Normal Neighborhood by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Neighbors

/ Stories

Outside my bay window I can see a parade of saris, hijabs, turbans, baseball caps, blue jeans, you name it.
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Bored Among the Crowds by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Boredom

/ Stories

This story is something of a confession: I have had memorable episodes of boredom when I've been around other people ...
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From Earth Dust to Moon Dust by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Moon Landing

/ Stories

She kept saying in her combination of Yiddish and English, "I can't believe they are walking on the moon."
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Tomes Against the Tides by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Beach Reads

/ Stories

I'll never forget the syllabus for that summer Russian literature class, which included War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, plus some stories by Pushkin, Gogol, and Chekov.
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Mosquito Magnet by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Fireworks

/ Stories

Every 4th of July I spent in New Jersey I became exceptionally popular. This one time a year, everyone wanted me to be part of their group ...
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Algorithms Never Lie by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Honesty

/ Stories

What's scary is how computer algorithms, AI, and all our technology can take data that is perfectly true and turn it into "facts" that are frighteningly false.
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Cruising with the Flu (Hot, Hot, Hot) by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Honeymoon

/ Stories

If I still was feverish, I couldn't tell once we went outside in the steamy Caribbean.
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My lunch with Omar Sharif by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By First Dates

/ Stories

He said, "I look like Omar Sharif." I thought, "...yeah, and I look like Michelle Pfeiffer."
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A Stroll Down Bloomfield Avenue by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Shopping Local

/ Stories

United Cigar, run by the Cohen family, was packed with cigars and cigarettes, all types of magazine, and oh, the candy!
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Why Virginia Woolf Landed Me a Client by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

The best college for you is the one that wants you to be there. ... choose the "wrong" major if it resonates with you.
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PE ABCs: Agony from Bombardment to C Stunts by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

The bottom of the gym suit consisted of … bloomers. Yes, ballooning from the waist and ending in tight elastic at the widest part of the thigh.
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Exam Week and Daiquiri Parties by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Exams

/ Stories

As exam week progressed, we could hear clack, clackety-clack, ding!!, clack, clack, from the living area and dorm rooms in the entire wing, along with the crinkle of bags of potato chips and Cheetos.
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Driving Down the Shore by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Learning to Drive

/ Stories

I knew I really wasn't supposed to take the car to the beach, but the temptation was too much.
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Shelters, Signs, and Sirens by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Cold War Coping

/ Stories

The moaning whine infiltrated my nightmares for years. It became a reminder of a situation we could not ignore.
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Poetic Solace in Turbulent Times by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Poetry

/ Stories

We poets are at all levels, from awesomely accomplished to beginner. I am somewhere in the middle.
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Quirky Neighbors in a Modest Place by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By My First Apartment

/ Stories

Add a land line phone and a black-and-white TV with a coat hanger for an antenna, and my décor was almost complete.
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Ta-ra-ra-boom-dee-ay by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

It seemed like so much fun to me. The real story was much more sobering but also inspiring ...
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Childless with no regrets by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Parenthood

/ Stories

I kept listening for the tick of the biological clock, but it never ticked.
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Some “thens” I don’t miss by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

I am nostalgic for many things but not all.  Here is a quick take on some of the items from the 50s and 60s I don’t miss. Women’s clothing:  Panty girdles, with their tourniquet-like grip on my thighs. I’ll spare folks the details of feminine hygiene products and accessories of the 60s, but suffice it…
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Hot turkey sandwiches at the Claremont Diner by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Restaurants

/ Stories

The diner's booths were large enough to swallow a child as small as I was.
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The Kendo Mindset: Art Imitates Sports by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Sports

/ Stories

For the first and only time, I saw humans flying, literally levitating around the room, so graceful that their bare feet never made a sound when they landed.
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The Year of Learning, Laughter, and Love by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By A Year in the Life

/ Stories

At first 1979 would not seem to be a year of love and laughter, with its gas lines, stagflation, and odd fashions. But in a subliminal moment, a butterfly might alight, even on dried grass or trash, and its perfect wings might wink at you for an instant before it vanishes. That’s how I feel…
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A wish that went full circle by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

Reluctantly I did a second career report, but my heart wasn't in it ... I began to wish to be a writer.
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Different in many ways by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Being Different

/ Stories

This was my first big revelation--not only had I thought I was different, I really was different. Not only was I in a different physical package from the rest of the group, I had a unique personality profile. 
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Do what you love, even if the money doesn’t follow by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By The Road Not Taken

/ Stories

[he] said that it took a special person to handle this job. The last woman left to become a nun. What an outrageous and fun way to start an interview!
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The Kvetching Diseases by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Illness

/ Stories

Any woman reading this will identify the "yeah, sure lady" response to our describing a problem with our cars. The same can apply to our bodies.
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Smart Spies by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By What We Watched

/ Stories

One of our family favorites was the goofy spy spoof "Get Smart." Don Adams had a never-ending variety of clumsy antics as a Control agent fighting Chaos (and losing).
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Belonging by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

The characters I played were the ugly, the sad, the silly, the mad, the funny, the old, and the dead. Any role that was quirky attracted me.
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Day tripping to the Cape by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Summer of Love

/ Stories

Who knew that wind chimes, sunlight through stained glass, and sandalwood could open up another world, one of peace and love?
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A summer “a la francaise” by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Camp

/ Stories

Few boys, dreadful food, and gleepy green scum at the bottom of the lake--but the swimming, waterskiing, and guitar playing more than made up for it.
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Bypassing Ellis Island by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Immigrants

/ Stories

How they made their way in this strange place to find my great grandfather, with no money and speaking no English, I have no idea.
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Salt Water, Lemon Ice, and No TV by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By The Beach

/ Stories

In the 1950s and 1960s, there was no television reception on Long Beach Island. Instead, we went out after dinner for lemon ice (made with real lemons and cane sugar), and played a round of miniature golf.
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How I almost went to the prom but got even instead by
100
(127 Stories)

Prompted By Prom

/ Stories

Jeff lived next door to my close friend Sherry, so I hung out at her house, trying to make myself visible without being too pushy. That’s what girls did in 1970. Boys did the asking to the prom.
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Grandma Rose by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

She passed for 16 so she could work in a garment factory. She never saw the inside of a school room but had wanted to be a doctor. ... She was a woman grounded in tradition who never stopped looking to the future.
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Betting on the end by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

... numbers corresponding to the days of the year were written on slips of paper and placed in plastic capsules, which were put into a deep glass jar (at the time I’d imagined a bingo cage).
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Oh! by
100
(127 Stories)

/ Stories

Her mouth rounded as she faced us and said, "This is Oh--Oh--repeat after me:
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