Whaleship Sails

5.25.14 ~ New London, Connecticut

Southeastern Connecticut is buzzing with excitement about the upcoming 38th voyage of the Charles W. Morgan, of Mystic Seaport, the last wooden whaleship in the world. Her 37th voyage was 93 years ago from September 1920 to May 1921. Mystic Seaport has been diligently working to restore her to her former glory for several years now.

5.25.14 ~ New London, Connecticut

Because the Mystic River is shallow, last Saturday tugboats brought the ship to New London, on the deeper Thames River, so they could add ballast and fuss with her sails, making final preparations for her historic voyage. Today we went over to see the Morgan and her crew at work.

5.25.14 ~ New London, Connecticut

Sea trials from New London will be June 7-8 and 11-12, and then on June 17, weather permitting, the Morgan will set sail for her first port of call in Newport. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can get some pictures of her as she sails past Groton on her way out of the Thames River and into Long Island Sound.

5.25.14 ~ New London, Connecticut

The tugs will probably take her down the river so I’m just not sure at what point she will finally be on her own under full sail. I do hope I catch it!!!

5.25.14 ~ New London, Connecticut

A moment of sadness came over me when I realized I had picked out a postcard for my father and was startled to remember yet again that he is gone… He would have loved seeing all this!

5.25.14 ~ New London, Connecticut

Isn’t it amazing how these sailors can work so high up in the rigging? And imagine them doing it while the ship is rolling with the waves…

5.25.14 ~ New London, Connecticut

We watched the PBS documentary, “The Charles W. Morgan” last night and enjoyed learning more about her history. We’re looking forward to following her progress as she embarks on this special 38th voyage!

Words Everywhere


…new arrivals only allowed in fair weather…

Recently we spent a couple of hours at one of our favorite places, a used bookstore named the Book Barn, in the coastal village of Niantic, Connecticut. The Book Barn has three locations within a mile of each other, two are “downtown” and at the main site there is a huge barn full of books on three levels, surrounded by smaller structures which are also full of books. The complex houses about half a million books at any given moment.


…Lucky is a tiny black cat who hangs out in the outbuilding called the “Last Page”…


If one wants to sell books to the store she must take a number at “Ellis Island,” the receiving spot for new additions. We love to browse the endless stacks of books, pet the friendly resident cats, and read all the creative signs found in the gardens and on and around the buildings. As one might expect from book lovers, words are found everywhere: reminders, warnings, directions, suggestions, quips and puns.


…sign in the Haunted Book Shop…


I feel the need of reading. It is a loss to a man not to have grown up among books… Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.
~ Abraham Lincoln
(Abraham Lincoln, a Man of Faith & Courage:
Stories of Our Most Admired President

1.19.13.gargoyle… garden gargoyle perched on top of a large stone…

1.19.13.smallstatue…a thinker sitting at the bottom of the stone…

1.19.13.kindledeath…death due to Kindle…

Of course we came home with an armful of interesting books to read! I may love my Kindle but will always have a special place in my heart for paperback and hardcover books!!


photos by Barbara Rodgers

The following video is a bit long, but the beginning of it offers a good idea about the look and feel of the place…

Life of Pi

Starting to catch up with my blogging friends after our Thanksgiving vacation in Virginia.  But I must share this – one of the peak moments of the visit this year was getting to see the movie, Life of Pi, directed by Ang Lee, with my sister-in-law.

About a decade ago, I read the book of the same name, by Yann Martel.  It was one of the best stories I have ever read and the movie did not disappoint, not for a moment.  For those of us who love spiritual journeys, this is an utterly amazing one!  I so identify with Pi’s childhood struggle to understand the universe and the great mystery surrounding us all.  And to see his 227-day fight to survive, stranded and almost alone after being shipwrecked, portrayed so vividly on the screen, was breathtaking.

Personally, I don’t think it needs to be seen in 3D, but should definitely be seen on the big HD screen.  Tim was sick during much of our visit with his family, so now that he’s feeling better I hope to drag him to see it with me soon.  :)  Don’t miss this one!


“Ramada Inn” ~ Neil Young & Crazy Horse

When music is your life, there is a key that gets you to the core.  I am so grateful that I still have Crazy Horse, knock on wood.  You see, they are my window to the cosmic world where the muse lives and breathes.  I can find myself there and go to the special area of my soul where those songs graze like buffalo.  The herd is still there, and the plains are endless.  Just getting there is the key thing, and Crazy Horse is my way of getting there.  That is the place where music lives in my soul.  It is not youth, time, or age.  I dream of playing those long jams and floating over the herd like a condor.  I dream of the changing wind playing on my feathers, my brothers and sisters around me, silently telling their stories and sharing their spirits with the sky.  They are my life.
~ Neil Young
(Waging Heavy Peace)

Traces of History

Metal detecting is an absorbing hobby for the history buff, coin collector, or wayfaring explorer.  Our friend Paul, the Connecticut Dirt Fisher, is all of these.  Besides coins from every period of American history, he has found many other assorted relics from the past, including an old pencil sharpener, belt buckles, shotgun casings, toys made of lead, and a wax seal.

And now he has found something of much personal interest to me, a souvenir spoon, dating from about 1891.  The spoon portrays an interpretation of my 10th-great-grandmother, Mayflower passenger Priscilla (Mullins) Alden, knocking on a door inscribed with the words, “Lord have mercy on us.”  Priscilla is also Tim’s 10th-great-grandmother – yes we’re distant cousins!

Americans began collecting these engraved souvenir spoons depicting historical events in the 1890s and the “craze” lasted for about thirty years.  I seem to have one in my possession, which came out of a box of family keepsakes, but I have no idea of its history or who it belonged to.  It has an engraving of the Mayflower on the handle.  Another mystery for me to investigate…

Please enjoy the following video as Paul brings us along on one of his digs!

Woody Guthrie ~ Centennial

The original singer-songwriter, Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) would have been 100 years old today. From the moment my dad first heard Woody on the radio he has been a devoted fan. Heading up north today to visit him and hoping to pull out the Guthrie CDs so we can listen to him together.  :)

Happy Birthday, Woody!