The remnants of Hurricane Ida flooded our basement. My family and I hunkered down there last Wednesday watching our local weather reporters try and predict the potential path of multiple tornados near where we live in suburban Philadelphia. We noted how lucky we were to have such a cozy accommodating finished basement, and this particular summer, we even had a small makeshift kitchen in our basement having moved items from our real kitchen down there because of real kitchen renovation. …


Deliberating over the fate of childhood toys, trophies, and trinkets

Throughout this past year, I have spent a considerable amount of time cleaning out my house. I can hear my family laughing as I write this because, in truth, I spend a considerable amount of time every year cleaning out my house.

Channeling my inner Marie Kondo, I recalled the joy that my childhood dollhouse brought to me and thanked it for the memories. …


I’ve had a few nicknames — none that really stuck, which was probably a good thing considering the Peppermint Patty one from college which I’d just assume forget. One nickname though that does resurface every now and then in my extended family is one I don’t ever want to forget. In fact, I need to remind myself of it more often.

The nickname is Old Reliable. It was given to me by Grandfather, Padee, which was actually a grandparent nickname of sorts that his grandchildren gave him. …


Spoiler alert: I love it

Last March when the world shut down, I found myself in my basement, alone, on my yoga mat. I know that sounds pleasant to some, but the quiet time was quite fleeting, as I was summoned up the basement stairs countless times to help fix the internet, the printer, or a grilled cheese sandwich to whichever kid was demanding it. (These kids are, incidentally, teenagers and should be able to fix their own grilled cheese sandwiches, but I indulge them.)

Like everyone else, I found myself out of sorts, missing my pre-pandemic life. I missed seeing my friends; I missed…


I have a good memory. I’m often on the receiving end of phone calls, emails or texts from friends and family members that start with “what was the name of that guy from college from that class” or “where was that place we used to go for dinner around the corner from that bar?” Or the more challenging ones like “you know the girl from the movie who’s married to the guy from that show.” And the thing is, I can usually pull it together on demand for these requests. It’s all in the memory.

I rely on said memory…


At an outdside bat mitzvah in 2020

I spent a lot of time outside this year. We all did, right? At the outset of the global pandemic while following the rules (I’m a rule follower!) to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19, I found myself feeling quite isolated at home. We all felt that way, right? And so in order to keep my sanity and see the people I love, I went outside. I did new things, outside. I did old things which I used to do inside, outside, and I got creative — by necessity. …

Rachel Levy Lesser

Author, Essayist, Cookie Baker www.rachellevylesser.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store