Blog

Yosemite

August 11, 2019

And so, I continue the saga of the seven-day California Road Trip Mr. Penfire and I took with our friend Joan and Dave…and track the chain of events that converted my the three sheets of paper I started out with…to 3 1/2 pounds of books, booklets, brochures, newsletters, maps, and information sheets. Day Three: We…

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Sequoia Serendipity

August 10, 2019

We started out with just three sheets of paper printed out from my computer: California Road Trip Itinerary listing all our various reservations for lodging, restaurants, and tours, a map of Carmel by the Sea, showing the location of our hotel there, and a map of Yosemite Valley. How then did I return home with…

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Paper Pack Rat

August 9, 2019

My daughters claim I love paper way too much. And alas, they are no doubt right. For I am trying (it’s the zillionth time, at least) to “organize” my office, and it’s not going well. The file folders crammed with paper are mostly hidden in files drawers (and file boxes stashed under the desk). It’s…

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You CAN go home again!

July 17, 2019

Full disclosure: I haven’t read Thomas Wolfe’s famous novel though I have read about it. Unlike Wolfe, I have never written a Great American Novel. But I have, quite recently, gone home. Four years ago, Mr. Penfire and I sold our house in Massachusetts and moved to southern California to be near our children—and grandchildren….

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Mrs. Penfire Begins a Project

March 26, 2019

Boxes. And boxes. And boxes…of photographs. Random envelopes of pictures. And a lot of albums, too. Do you have the kind of stash I’ve accumulated over the years? The albums contain pictures of me, my husband, and our two girls; for several years I kept up with dealing decks of prints into bargain priced albums,…

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Mrs Penfire Reads a Book

March 20, 2019

Ever wonder how things got to be the way they are in the “land of the free home of the brave?” Certainly, the America I’ve experienced as an adult is markedly different from the one I learned about in school. Ideals collide with reality And yet the idealized schoolgirl concept of The United States remains…

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March 3, 1943

March 3, 2019

Joe had proposed—and Rosemary had accepted—by letter. Joe, of course, was “long gone” with no idea when he would be back to the States. More weeks, and months, went by. The Redwood with its powerful winch and feisty oversized engine had installed, repaired, opened, and closed dozens of nets in dozens of harbors throughout the…

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The Ring

March 2, 2019

When narrating in infinitesimal detail the story of his and Rosemary’s wedding, Joe would often say, “I think this whole thing was planned in heaven. Some saint was taking care of us.” Chapter one was always  “The Letter.” And Chapter two was “The Ring.” When Joe graduated from high school in 1934, his mother gave…

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Future Unknown

March 1, 2019

Somewhere in the South Atlantic (Winter, 1942): Aboard ship, especially when on watch, a sailor had lots of time to think. And so in the engine room of the USS Redwood as it cruised from island to island tending the nets that protected harbors from Nazi U-boats, Joe thought. “If I survive this war,” he…

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The Chickens

February 20, 2019

This past weekend, I came across a photo of my Uncle Joe with his bicycle, taken about 1925 when he would have been ten. The glimpse of the old garage at my grandmother’s house reminded me of the henhouse out behind it. And the story Joe liked to tell about the time he was left…

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