Welcome to The Voyage of Windbird . . . and Beyond.  My name is Judy Handley and I live on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  For six years of my life, my husband Mark and I sailed around the world.  I documented that story, one day at a time, in this blog that was then just called The Voyage of Windbird.  Those daily logs from 2005 to 2011 tell the story of our circumnavigation.  While sailing, my daily logs were sent via Ham radio to the internet to appear on this blog spot each morning.  My son Justin made that happen, and to this day, I don’t understand the process.  But it was like magic.  I would sit in the cockpit each afternoon around 4 pm and summarize the day’s activities.  During the evening when the conditions were just right for sending radio emails, my husband would send the log.  The next morning my son, my daughter, other members of my family and good friends would read the news and know exactly where in the world we were and what fun we were having.  

After almost 6 years of traveling, we sailed into Woods Hole on Cape Cod.  We continued living aboard for the next five years and I wrote about that, adding ‘and Beyond’ to the title of the blog.  Then shortly before Mark’s death in 2016, we sold our beloved Windbird and my travel logs became land logs.  At this point, I had written a daily account for each and every day for 11 years.  I fully intended to end the blog at that point, but when I wrote that news in a log, I got many responses saying that I really needed to keep posting.  At the same time, I realized that I couldn’t stop writing.  Summarizing each day had become a permanent part of my life and I will probably continue writing until I can no longer.  These postings reflect the ordinary, and sometimes the extraordinary, days in my life and I would like to invite you to join me on my journey.

NOTE: Due to Google upgrading Picasa to Google Photos, many of our old photos are now broken.  We are actively working on fixing this – thanks for your patience!

2020 Life Logs, Day 299: Covid Confusion

2020 Life Logs, Day 299: Covid Confusion
Date: Monday, October 26, 2020
Weather: Overcast with Misty Rain; High 57, Low 54 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

When I picked Ollie up from school to take him home today, he told me Jonah didn’t go to school today. If you read last night’s log, you know Jonah had what is classified as a minor Covid exposure last Wednesday. No matter what kind of exposure you have, the recommendation is to wait five days to be tested. Otherwise, you will probably get a negative result, but you could still get the virus. The Vice-President had a major exposure on Saturday, but he was tested immediately and deemed negative. And until there was tremendous pressure, he was planning to go to the Senate tonight. How come the same rules don’t apply to all? It is so confusing. But Heather and Jed decided to keep Jonah home today to err on the safe side for other kids. They called the pediatrician to set up a Covid test since this was day five, but they were told “scheduling”, whoever that is, would call them to make an appointment. When I got home with Ollie they still had not been contacted. This is just not acceptable. If we are going to have children in school, we need to have a routine testing protocol set up for them if they are exposed. Even if Jonah gets tested tomorrow, he won’t get the results until at least Thursday. So he is going to miss an entire week of school. And when you only have school in person every other week, that is a big deal for an 11-year-old who desperately wants to be with his friends. It would be acceptable if we were all following the same guidelines, but we are not. Ugh.

I am not sure what the neighborhood in which Heather and Jed now live is planning to do for Halloween, but the Goldpebbles are planning their costumes whether or not they are going to go Trick or Treating. From a distance yesterday afternoon, Jonah showed me that he is going to be a deep sea diver. Heather has an old dive vest that Jonah will wear over his wet suit. Sam is too old to Trick or Treat, but he and his friend Robert are planning some scary surprises.
By the time Ollie declared he wanted to be a gorilla, it was too late to order a costume. But last night I found one at a Target off-Cape and Shadow and I went to pick it up today. I thought it was going to be too big, but it actually worked. Jonah and Ollie carved pumpkins this weekend and they are sitting on the front steps. So, some Halloween fun is happening at the Goldstones despite the Covid scare.

2020 Life Logs, Day 298: I Will Vote

2020 Life Logs, Day 298: I Will Vote
Date: Sunday, October 25, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy and Cool; High 54, Low 45 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

This morning I got a text from Cher inviting me to tune into a two-hour music program tonight to support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. I deleted the text thinking I was not going to spend two hours watching a music program. Then I talked to Justin this afternoon and he asked me if I was going to watch that program tonight, I WILL VOTE. That gave me second thoughts, so I did sign up to watch. And I am very glad that I did. As my niece Lynn always said about me, “Judy, you have less pop culture knowledge than anyone I know.” And she was right. I had never heard of most the music artists featured in tonight’s program, but it was a feel good two hours supporting the Biden campaign and I really enjoyed being introduced to so many young artists. There were also a few oldies that I recognized, but all were trying to get the point across that every single eligible American needs to vote in this election. George Lopez and Ana Navarro hosted the event, and I am ashamed to admit that I had never heard of either of them. I did recognize John Legend and loved his rendition of “We Shall Overcome.” There were young artists like Ciarro and P!nk that I had never heard of but I enjoyed being introduced to them. There was a young singer songwriter from Texas who now lives in Nashville, Maren Morris, who gave a very persuasive talk about the importance of voting for Biden in this election. There were young artists like Darren Criss singing oldies like the Beetles’ “Here Comes the Sun.” And then there were oldies like Cher singing a new song written just for this campaign . . . “Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe.” There was a song called “Where is the Love?” that used the words and video from a Joe Biden speech which was quite effective. This was all done in a Zoom-type format with appearances by Joe and Jill Biden, Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff. I think a young artist who quoted Cornell West summed it up best when he said to never forget that . . . “Justice is what love looks like in public.” I think it is obvious which candidate he was referencing.

Last night my sister was finally reconnected to her life-long friend Helen. A number of us have been working to make this happen, but a Facebook message that I sent to the church that we knew Helen was a member of resulted in an instant connection. One of Helen’s granddaughters saw my message and got back to me via Facebook. We aarranged for the phone call to get the two reunited. They talked on the phone last night and that was a happy event. On the other side of the coin, we learned a not so happy bit of news late yesterday. Actually, I didn’t hear this news until early this afternoon. Heather got an email late yesterday saying that the assistant coach of Jonah’s soccer team has Covid. Jonah was last exposed to him last Wednesday evening at a practice. Everyone wears masks at practice and they use the six-foot social distancing rule, so this is technically classified as a minimal exposure. Still it brings up all kinds of questions. This is a week that Jonah goes to school. Should he go knowing he has been exposed? Heather contacted the school system and their only reply was this was a minimal exposure and would not keep him from coming to school. You need to wait at least five days after an exposure to be tested, so Jonah will get tested tomorrow evening. But he won’t get the results until at least Wednesday. It would be so helpful if there was a test with immediate results available. In the meantime, I am keeping a distance. I will still pick up Ollie after school, but we will keep our masks on in the car and keep the windows open. Hopefully by mid-week we will have negative test results for Jonah, but we will still need to take extra precautions for another week . . . life in the days in Covid.

2020 Life Logs, Day 297: Making the Most of Warm Days

2020 Life Logs, Day 297: Making the Most of Warm Days
Date: Saturday, October 24, 2020
Weather: Temperature Dropping; High 63, Low 44 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

When I checked the weather forecast this morning, I saw that today is likely to be the last of our warm days, at least for the ‘forecastable’ future. Starting tomorrow the high temps will be in the 50’s—not cold, but not warm enough to do some of the outside paint jobs that have been waiting for me to get around to them.
So, I had to scurry today. Before I could get to work, however, I had to go buy the paint. That required a trip to a hardware store. I also wanted to buy a leaf blower and that required a trip to a specific hardware store, Home Depot in Hyannis. The trip took much longer than expected because traffic and the VERY long check-out line in Home Depot. By the time I got back, I barely had time to apply one coat of the redwood sealant to the sandbox and outside table before heading to the Baranowski’s Taj Garage for an early dinner. They were having friends over that I haven’t seen since the Covid lockdown began in March, so they invited me to join them. It was warm enough to sit comfortably in the garage with the doors open, so we had a Covid-safe gathering. Christina and Warren Brodie were the other friends and Christina suggested that the Baranowski’s might want to rent out their space. Peter bought a propane heater that he turned on once the sun went down, but it was more to show it off as we would have been fine without it for this event. But as the temps dip lower, that heater will be most welcomed. It was great to get together and the food was delicious. Christina brought shrimp for an appetizer and Karen made a butternut squash soup, followed by fresh ahi tuna, with grilled portobello mushrooms and peaches, plus a salad. Karen’s salads are always a favorite as she puts in so many extras. Tonight’s salad had crumbled goat cheese, edamame beans, and pomegranate seeds. Yum. But the ahi tuna was the hit of the evening. It was caught by a neighbor of Peter’s who fishes in the ocean waters south of Martha’s Vineyard. This week he caught a large yellow fin and shared the bounty. I brought the dessert which was a new recipe that sounded great, but ended up to be a challenge. I thought I had ruined it as the cottage filled with smoke while it was baking. I made a cranberry pumpkin upside down cake using some of the cranberries I picked on Monday. My problem was my choice of the pan I used. My thinking was that using a springform pan would make it easier to get the cake out of the pan successfully. That part worked, but while baking, all of the butter, brown sugar, and cranberry juices flowed out of the spring-form pan and into the bottom of my oven. I should have known better. I’m sure the cranberry topping did not end up being what was intended, but it was edible, just not spectacular.

For the next seven days, the high daytime temperatures are forecast to be in the 50’s with nighttime temps dipping into the 40’s and even the 30’s on a couple of nights. The redwood sealant only needs 24 hours above 35 degrees F, so I can apply another coat tomorrow. But I think the paint for the shutters requires a temp of 55 degrees F, so that I’ll have to take them down and set up a painting area in the basement. I should have made better use of the warm days this past week, but I didn’t. Some things will just have to wait until spring.

2020 Life Logs, Day 296: Here and There

2020 Life Logs, Day 296: Here and There
Date: Friday, October 23, 2020
Weather: Warm and Sunny; High 67, Low 52 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Today was a day of running here and there. And I was able to do this thanks to friends, Peter and Karen Baranowski. When my car broke down on Tuesday evening, I rented a car for two days. I was supposed to return it this morning by 9 am, but my car was not going to be ready until late today or tomorrow. Karen called me yesterday and offered the use of one of their vehicles, so I took advantage of their kindness. I took Shadow to the groomer’s early this morning and then met Karen at the car rental place at 9 am to return the rental. Karen then drove us back to her house and turned her car over to me. I stopped at CVS on the way home to see if they had the double-strength flu vaccine for seniors. I have been checking for three weeks now, and finally today they had it. Check. Flu vaccine done. Then I went home and just before noon I got a call from Falmouth Motorcar saying that the cost of the repair to my Fit was going to be considerably more than anticipated, but that if I approved the work, the car would be ready in the early afternoon—much sooner than anticipated. I approved the work and waited for the call to let me know I could come get the car. I tried to call Karen to arrange a trade-off of cars, but I couldn’t get through to her. In the meantime, the groomer called and said Shadow was ready for pick-up. So off I went to get Shadow, then off to pick Ollie up after school. By this time, I had gotten the call to let me know the car was ready, but still I had not heard from Karen. Ollie came home with me for another work afternoon and just as I was getting ready to take him home, Karen called. We picked her up and then went to get my car. Ollie has been well trained. When I said we were picking Karen up, he reminded me that we would all need to wear masks if we were going to be in the car together. Sure wish our President was as Covid-safe as my eight year-old grandson! So, I did spend a day traveling here and there, but now I have my car back and am so grateful to the Baranowski’s for saving me the cost of another day of car rental. Thank you, Karen and Peter.

Tonight I finally made a contact that a number of us in my family have been working on since October 10th. It all started when my sister-in-law asked me if my sister Patsy was still in contact with her good friend from high school in Nitro, West Virginia, named Helen Stricklen. I assumed so, but when I asked my sister, she explained that the phone number she had used to reach Helen for years no longer worked. She hadn’t talked to her lifelong friend Helen for over five years. When Patsy and Helen were sophomores in high school, at age sixteen, Helen Landers decided to marry Bob Stricken. Because Helen was so young, they had to go to Kentucky to get married and my sister Patsy went with them to serve as their witness. That was in 1950. Tonight I found out that Helen and Bob are still alive, still married, and still living in Nitro,West Virginia. A nephew of mine had suggested trying to make contact through Helen and Bob’s church, the First Baptist Church in Nitro, so tonight I got on the church Facebook page and sent a message. Evidently the message went to all members of the church, and one of Helen and Bob’s granddaughters saw the message and got back to me. We will talk tomorrow afternoon and find a way to get Patsy and Helen once again in touch with one another. So again Facebook came to the rescue for me. It was invaluable during the weeks after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and was once again invaluable in getting Patsy and Helen reconnected.

2020 Life Logs, Day 295: October Summer Day

2020 Life Logs, Day 295: October Summer Day
Date: Thursday, October 22, 2020
Weather: Foggy Early, Then Warm and Sunny; High 70, Low 52 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

It actually felt hot today. The 70-degree temp, along with the sunshine, definitely made this an October summer day. I spent part of my day sitting down by the dock reading, soaking in the sunshine, and playing ball with Shadow.
I took a selfie photo to document the occasion. Shadow and I also took a long walk down a neighborhood path that took us through the woods, out onto the main highway, and then back through the neighborhoods leading home. I picked Ollie up after school and we then went to pick up Jonah. Jed was in Cambridge today and Heather took Sam to his rowing session up near Hyannis. Ollie, Jonah, and I headed to the skatepark, but both boys decided they wanted to drive to a skatepark in Sandwich. I tried to discourage that as we did it once before in late summer and the park so jam-packed with kids that we didn’t stay. But they wanted to try it again, so off we went. It was about a 20+ minute drive and it turned out to be a no-go. When we arrived, they both said, “No way. I don’t want to get Covid.” The park was packed, so we immediately drove back home to our Falmouth skatepark and spent the last hour of sunshine there. Then I spent my evening watching the last Presidential debate. My only comment is that I really, really don’t want to hear Donald Trump say one more time that the coronavirus is “. . . going away.” My response was simply, “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” But I thought the moderator did a remarkable job and we finally got to see an exchange of ideas in debate form from these two candidates. That was a very nice ending to a beautiful day.

2020 Life Logs, Day 295: Visit with the Kanegsbergs

2020 Life Logs, Day 295: Visit with the Kanegsbergs
Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Weather: Foggy with Some Drizzle; High 67, Low 58 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Jed came to pick me up around 9:15 am and we headed to the Enterprise Car Rental office. I rented a car, went home to pick up Shadow, and headed to Dedham to visit with the Kanegsbergs. I thought I was just going to take a walk with them, but I ended up being invited in for lunch afterwards. Since the Covid lockdown in March, I have only been in Heather and Jed’s home, plus a quick visit or two in the Baranowskis, and a visit in my niece Candi’s home after Lynn’s death. It is a strange feeling to feel awkward about going into the home of good friends, but then these are strange times. Alan and Helaine see almost no one, so the unease is on my part. Because the Goldpebbles are now in school and I see them on a daily basis, I know I am at risk and don’t want to spread that risk around. But Alan, Helaine, and I wore masks, stayed at least 8 feet apart, and enjoyed our time together. Our 2+ mile was delightful. The maple trees in their neighborhood are so colorful and I enjoyed seeing the community raised beds even though the only remnants of life are marigolds and a few plants left from the summer. And Alan enjoyed showing me his new remote controlled sailboat—his latest sailing adventure.

I got back with plenty of time to go check on my little Honda Fit. It was the 4th car towed into Falmouth Motor yesterday, and they were only on car #2. So, I won’t find out the diagnosis until tomorrow. I then picked Ollie up from school and we went to my house to have a work session. Yesterday Ollie expressed a desire to do some work to make money and I told him I have so many jobs that I can keep him busy until the snow falls. We started today by doing some fall yard work. After an hour, Ollie was ready to go home, but I hope he will return on an afternoon or two next week to continue the yard work. I still have to baby my back, so having someone to pick up fallen branches and bag the fallen leaves is truly needed. Tonight I talked to Linda Stuart, previous bike tourer now living a ‘normal’ life in Lakewood, Colorado, just to the southwest of Denver. We spent too much time talking politics and just got into how to best keep veggies fresh when our time came to an end. Next time we’ll talk more about food and less about politics. But it wouldn’t have made any difference what we talked about, it was just great to talk to Linda.

2020 Life Logs, Day 294:  I VOTED TODAY

2020 Life Logs, Day 294:  I VOTED TODAY
Date:  Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Weather:  Overcast and Rainy; High 62, Low 57 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Early voting in Falmouth started on Saturday.  It continues this week and next, but since it was raining this morning, I thought maybe no one else would be there.  I was wrong, but nothing could have made me happier.  I didn’t mind standing in the rain to wait in line to vote.  The poll workers said the line has been steady since Saturday.  Great news.  Falmouth voters are out in force!

Despite the overcast, rainy weather today, things were going along just fine . . . until my car stopped dead in its tracks and I heard a clunk and whrrrrr.  Familiar situation.  This same thing happened last June.  I thought it was the transmission, but it was a broken axle, I think on the front passenger side of the car.  Today’s experience was so familiar that I fear it is the same problem.  I’ll find that out tomorrow, but for today it meant sitting in the car in the rain for about an hour and a half waiting for the tow truck.  I was just leaving Heather and Jed’s neighborhood when this happened, so after the tow truck arrived I walked back to their house and Jed brought me home.  It is one of those weeks when they need both of their cars, so I have reserved a rental car for tomorrow and Thursday so the show can go on.

Tonight I talked to Lynne Kirwin in New Zealand.  She was very excited about the landslide re-election of the current Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, leader of Labour Party.  Ardern is only 40 years old and her “hard and early” approach to beating Covid-19 has made her extremely popular.  Discussing the NZ election led to a discussion of the upcoming election in this country . . . too painful to write about.  But Lynne is doing great.  It is now spring in New Zealand.  She is doing some house and pet sitting as well as visiting with friends.  She was supposed to fly back to this country for the summer and fall, but due to Covid she is still in New Zealand.  She is a dual-citizen and lived in New Zealand for about 15 years, so it is also home.  I’m hoping she will be able to fly home to visit next summer and fall during the New Zealand winter.  I love our phone calls, but I am anxious to see her in person again.  Tomorrow is October 22 in New Zealand and Lynne’s birthday.  So Happy Birthday, Lynne.  Enjoy your special day.

2020 Life Logs, Day 292: More Cranberry Harvesting

2020 Life Logs, Day 292: More Cranberry Harvesting
Date: Monday, October 19, 2020
Weather: Sunny and Beautiful; High 61, Low 47 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Today’s focus was all about more cranberry harvesting—by dry harvesting by hand and wet harvesting done commercially. One of the wonderful things about living on Cape Cod is that come mid-October, we get to see the commercial harvesting of the cranberry bogs. And it is a spectacularly colorful process to watch. Here in East Falmouth, cranberry bogs seem to be just around every turn in the road. I spent the early afternoon returning to the community bog we visited yesterday and I picked more cranberries the way the Native Americans would have done it. Hard on the back and hard on the knees, but so satisfying. Commercial bogs are flooded for the harvest; natural bogs are not. Machinery is used to harvest the commercial bogs; your fingers do the picking in the natural bogs. It takes about 45 minutes of hand picking for me to fill one of those plastic containers that mixed greens come in at the grocery store. It takes most of the day to fill a huge cargo container in a commercial bog. There’s no doubt that the commercial harvest is more efficient but harvesting by hand for the first time has been a wonderful experience for me.

Today I discovered the commercial harvesting operation in the bogs near where the Goldstones used to live as I drove to the community bog to hand pick today. So, when I picked Ollie up after school, we drove by the bogs to watch the operation. The first time Ollie and I ever watched this harvesting operation was on October 9. 2013 when Ollie was one. Back then, I was taking the photos. Today I gave the camera to Ollie and let him document the harvest. The experience brought back those memories from the fall of 2013. If you are interested in details about the commercial harvest, you can read my log entry from that day copied below.

Day 340, Year 8: Cranberry Harvest in the Bogs
Date: Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Weather: Still Sunny and Cool
Location: Eel Pond, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Cranberry bogs are like beaches on Cape Cod. You don’t have to travel far to find one. It all started about 18,000 years ago during when the glaciers in this area melted leaving a sandy substrate. It is almost as if all of Cape Cod is one big sand bar with lots of low spots that have developed as ponds. Heather and Jed live one block away from Mill Pond and the adjacent low spot that has been developed into a cranberry bog. Cranberries are an evergreen dwarf shrub that can be dry harvested (hand-picked) or wet-picked with machinery as they are in ‘our’ bogs. And today was harvesting day. We didn’t know this, but due to a wreck on the main road, Jed and Jonah had to take the back road to get to Woods Hole. This took them by the bog and all of the activity. Jed stopped and called home to give us the heads up, so Heather, Ollie, and I walked down to check it out. Heather, Jed, Sam, and Jonah have seen this before, but not Ollie and me. Heather had to leave to go to an appointment, so with Ollie in his stroller, we spent the next hour watching the process. The bogs are flooded with water, covering the plants with about 8 inches of water. Then water reel harvesters run through the bogs, removing the cranberries from the vines. The cranberries float to the surface and are gathered inside a floating plastic ring that can be moved through the water. The corralled cranberries are moved near the edge of the bog where big trucks can literally suck the cranberries from the water.

20 Happy Ollie 1

After an hour of watching, Ollie was getting cold, so we headed home. Heather was not back yet, so we played and had just the best time. Ollie is so much fun to be around. He has this deep belly laugh that is absolutely contagious. So, we played and laughed until momma got home.

2020 Life Logs, Day 291: Phenomenal Fall Day

2020 Life Logs, Day 291: Phenomenal Fall Day
Date: Sunday, October 18, 2020
Weather: Sunny and Beautiful; High 60, Low 44 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

From start to finish, today was an absolutely phenomenal fall day. The weather was perfect with full sun shining all day. Sam, Jonah, Shadow and I got up at 7 am in order to get Sam off for a morning rowing regatta and Jonah off for his first soccer game since last fall. When the boys woke up, they called for Shadow and he gleefully jumped into bed with them for a bit of an early morning frolic. It is amazing how much boys and rambunctious puppies are alike! Heather picked Sam up and Jed picked up Jonah. That left Ollie and I to have a relaxed morning together. We watched a couple of episodes of The Axel Show and then Ollie decided he would like to go see Sam’s regatta. By the time we got on the road, I got a text from Heather saying that they were wrapping up due to the increased winds. Ollie still wanted to do something special, so we drove to the nearest beach from where we were when we got the text from Heather. We actually ended up at a beach a couple of miles from the one we thought we were going to, but it was a great choice. In the summer it is a ‘residents only’ beach, but this time of year there is no one to check. And there were no signs saying dogs had to be kept on a leash. Ollie used the ChuckIt to throw tennis balls as far as he could and Shadow chased ball after ball. Sam had called as he and Heather were headed home from the regatta and asked where we were. I told him and he said they were going to head that way. Heather dropped Sam off and drove on to get back to Falmouth to be with Jonah as Jed had another commitment. So then Sam and Ollie ran and threw tennis balls for Shadow. Then Sam decided that he just had to get into the water, so he dove in. We didn’t even have a towel, but I assured him we would find a way to protect the car seat and keep him warm on the drive home. He romped in the water like a puppy. Since the air temperature and the water temperature were almost the same, he said the cool water was not so much of a shock. After his little swim, he headed to the car and Ollie continued building a little sandcastle using the ChuckIt as a shovel. A couple walked by and asked if we would like them to take a photo of us. The man offered to take the photo but he didn’t have on a mask. So he ducked his head inside his sweatshirt as I handed the camera to him. He said he thought we were having a special moment that should be recorded and I couldn’t have agreed more. When we got home, we found out Jonah’s soccer team had won their game and that he had scored one of the goals. He has just been with this team for two weeks, so he was over the moon with his success. Just this much would have been a great day. But on we went.

Heather had seen photos of Falmouth folks hand harvesting cranberries in a community bog that is totally natural and organic. She found out the location and after lunch we headed there. Since she had seen the photos last weekend, she assumed there would be slim pickens, but that was not the case. When we walked into the bog, all we could see was a natural field with cranberry plants covering the ground, sharing the territory with tall grasses, briers, and other weeds. But when Sam bent down to take a closer look, he squealed with joy. Yes, a thirteen year-old can still squeal with joy. How wonderful. Hidden beneath the matted green plants there was an abundance of deep red cranberries. At one point, Heather heard me say, “This is so much fun.” She called over to ask if I was being facetious. It did sound that way, but I was serious. Just like the boys, I was really enjoying harvesting cranberries by hand. For all of my years here on the Cape, the boys and I have watched the commercial fields harvested by being flooded with water and then big machines brought in to reap the harvest. Somehow picking them by hand seemed so simple and so right. I really was having fun and Shadow was having a great time running through the bog and eating cranberries.

But wait. We still were not finished. Next on the list was the annual trip to Tony Andrews farm to pick pumpkins from the field. I had to leave Shadow in the car for this activity, but the Goldpebbles each got a little red wagon and went running through the pumpkin patch looking for just the right pumpkin to carve. Sam, who usually doesn’t want to pose for a photograph, decided that today was the day for family photos. So I got one in the cranberry bog and another in the pumpkin patch.

It was just a perfect day and at some point when I was talking to Sam about the water temperature at this time of year, I realized that on October 18, 2005, Mark and I sailed out of Boston Harbor to begin our travels around the world. There were no grandchildren back then. A little over year after leaving Boston, Sam came long, then two years later, Ziggy and Jonah. Mark and I flew home for the birth of each grandchild and then Ollie and Coco were born once we were back home. Mark and I spent 6 of the 15 years traveling around the world, then we spent 5 years here on the Cape battling Mark’s cancer. But during those 5 years, we continued to live on Windbird and he got to know and enjoy his grandchildren. I have spent the last 4 of those 15 years learning to live alone without Mark and learning to live on land once again. I miss him so much, especially on a day like today. Once we were based here on Cape Cod, we both loved the annual pumpkin patch trip and loved watching the harvesting of the cranberry bogs. So, here’s to Mark, the fifteenth anniversary of the beginning of the Voyage of Windbird, and the ninth anniversary of spending glorious autumns on Cape Cod.

2020 Life Logs, Day 290: Goldpebble Overnight

2020 Life Logs, Day 290: Goldpebble Overnight
Date: Saturday, October 17, 2020
Weather: Chilly AM, Sunny PM; High 58, Low 41 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

An hour and a half ago, I tucked in the Goldpebbles and have been catching on email communication with family and friends since then. I keep bugging Heather, asking her what I can do to be helpful, so she asked if I would have the boys over so she and Jed could have a night to themselves. Jonah called it a date, but I don’t think they were going out. I think they just wanted some adult alone time. And, of course, I was very enthusiastic about the idea as I love having the boys come stay over. It will be a different this time as Sam and Jonah have to be up and ready for take-off at 8 am. Sam has a rowing regatta in Harwich which is a good hour’s drive and Jonah has his first soccer game. I am not sure of the location for that. I just know we have to get up at 7 am and have a hearty breakfast so Sam and Jonah be ready for their activities. Heather will take one kid while Jed takes the other. Ollie will stay with me and shown some interest in going to see Sam rowing in the regatta. But then tonight he said he would just like to stay here with me and do some ‘projects.’ So, we’ll see what the morning brings.

I spent my day cleaning house. Having the boys come gave me the incentive to do that. I have been enjoying life too much all summer and into the fall to worry about house cleaning. But it was painfully obvious to me today that I need to spend a couple of days, not just a couple of hours, doing some deep cleaning. And then I need to get down in the basement and do a reorganization. I’ll reserve rainy days for these mundane cleaning chores or just do a little bit each day. Maybe that is a better strategy. I went to pick up the boys at 4 pm and by the time we got here it was almost 5 pm. This is a weekend when we have often gone to the Wellfleet OysterFest, but there since there is no OysterFest this year due to Covid, the 20th annual Oyster Shucking Contest was streamed on YouTube. The boys wanted to watch the contest, so that is how we spent our evening. They love cooking shows, and this was a little like that. There were many suggestions for how to prepare oysters. Sam and Ollie were more interested in the Shucking Contest than Jonah, but all found it interesting enough to watch. I think watching a shucking contest on YouTube was probably much more interesting than watching it in person. Afterwards, we had pulled pork on homemade buns for dinner along with mac and cheese and a salad. Jonah doesn’t eat pulled pork, but Sam and Ollie made up for that fact by eating enough for at least three people instead of just two.