BLOG

Conversation with a seven-year-old old

December 2, 2018

She asked to come along when I offered to drop off the dry cleaning for her mother. It’s a short drive to Patterson Cleaners, a little over a mile—six or seven minutes each way. Who would expect to cover topics ranging from scatological vocabulary to the origin of the species in less than fifteen minutes?…

Read more

Mass Shootings: Are you mad enough to send an email…or make a phone call? – Part III

November 21, 2018

In State Houses across the country legislators are making it easier, not more difficult for people to arm themselves with ever-more deadly weaponry. Meanwhile, on the national level member of Congress, both in the Senate and the House of Representatives, their pockets lined with bribes in the form of campaign contributions from the National Rifle…

Read more

Mass Shootings: How the Hell Did We Get into this Hellish Situation? Part II

November 21, 2018

I checked the Gun Violence Archive this morning. So far this year 12,996 people have been killed by gunfire in the United States. 25,080 have been injured (595 of these casualties have been children; 2,517 have been teenagers 12-17 years old). And there have been 316 mass shootings.* That’s up from 312 two days ago…

Read more

Two Lists

November 13, 2018

The breath-holding suspense of Election Day (which still continues)  The horror of Borderline, latest of the interminable succession of mass shootings, (which never seem to stop) The strong emotions surrounding Veterans Day’s (which feel particularly upsetting this year) And the California fires so close to home (which, of course, still continue). Mrs. Penfire’s head is…

Read more

Where have you been, Mrs. Penfire?

August 27, 2018

Earlier this summer Mrs. Penfire was truly enjoying sharing the story of her adventures in Italy with Mr. Penfire. And then: life intervened. So far, you have met only one Mrs. Penfire: the outspoken I-will-do-it-myself persona represented by the flame-defying Little Red Hen. She is often compelled to post commentary; in addition she occasionally calls…

Read more

Mr. & Mrs. Penfire Start Out Early, Arrive Late

May 31, 2018

If there is one iconic structure that symbolizes Rome—and Italy—more than any other, it’s the Coliseum. Along with the Vatican and Saint Peter’s Basilica, it was at the very top of our “things to see in Rome” list. My guidebook recommended purchasing a tickets* or Roma Passes** in advance to avoid long lines. Another suggestion…

Read more

Mr. & Mrs. Penfire Go to Italy

May 18, 2018

We trudged off the plane in Rome after a 12-hour flight, a bit disheveled and jet lagged, shuffled dutifully through zigzag lines to get our passports stamped, emerged into the terminal on a walkway lined by faces—drivers holding signs that named the travelers they were there to meet. We searched in vain for our names,…

Read more