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 217: The Love of Soccer

2020 Life Logs, Day 217: The Love of Soccer
Date: Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Weather: Beautiful Day, Slightly Cooler; High 82, Low 65 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

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Since Jonah cut his hand last week, we have avoided our normal activities. No skatepark and no going to the beach. We’ve increased the Lego activity and today we headed to the soccer field. Jonah loves to play soccer but I had to do some convincing to get Sam and Ollie to go along. The age difference makes it difficult. Sam and Ollie would rather be playing with kids their own age. So would Jonah, but his deep love of the sport makes playing it with anyone just fine with him. Once we got the field, everyone had a great time. Jonah’s cut is healing nicely from the inside out, but it is still a slightly open wound. Hopefully by next Monday, we will be back to normal activities. For the next two days, however, we need to be creative.

2020 Life Logs, Day 216: The Simple Joys

2020 Life Logs, Day 216: The Simple Joys
Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Then Stormy; High 85, Low 72 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Life is so complicated in these coronavirus days. But today I experienced the simple joys of just watching grandchildren enjoying a lazy summer day. Heather and Jed were up and out of here just after 7:30 am, but the boys were still asleep. As Heather and Jed walked through the living room to the front door to leave, I waved farewell and went back to sleep. Shortly before 9 am, Sam and Jonah emerged from their bedroom and it became obvious it was time to get up. And just about that time, my phone dinged and I suddenly remembered that I had a 9 am chiropractor appointment. Normally, I would just have called and said I couldn’t make it. But I really wanted to talk to the chiropractor to find out how to get in contact with his daughter who is home due to the spread of the cornonavirus from teaching children in Vietnam. I know she was planning to return this fall, but I read late last week that the case numbers in Vietnam are increasing. If she is not returning, I wanted to see if she might be interested in monitoring the Goldpebbles and whatever friends might join together in a pod of home learning. The ding on my phone told me I had 10 minutes to get there. It is 7 minute drive in the best of conditions. So, I threw on my clothes, made myself presentable in about 3 minutes, and headed out the door. Ollie woke up during this time, so I gave all three boys marching orders to have 30 minutes of quiet time until I returned. As I left, they were all making a body pile in Ollie’s bed, Shadow included. I promised that they could watch a Wild Kratts episode if all was well when I returned. When I returned 40 minutes later, all was well, so they watched Wild Kratts while I fixed breakfast. Then Ollie and Jonah spent the rest of the morning assembling the Lego Hogwarts Express kit.
Sam is not as into Harry Potter at this point as Ollie and Jonah, so he chose to spend his time in a tent of pillows on his phone texting with friends. As Jonah keeps reminding me, this is just what teenagers do. By 1 pm, all three boys were still in their sleepwear (underwear) and I decided it was time for them to get dressed and have lunch. That process took almost an hour, but by 2:15 pm everyone had joined me outside for lunch and then gone back inside to get dressed. It was a lazy day, but we all enjoyed the laziness. It gives me great joy to just see them enjoying such a lazy day. But I decided they needed a little outside exercise, so I drove to their house to pick up their croquet set and we spent the rest of the afternoon in a rousing croquet game that I won! I think Sam ‘allowed’ that to happen, but we’ll not spread that word.

As we were playing our croquet game, Tropical Storm Isaias arrived. It was so windy that Ollie was sure the wind was going to affect the acceleration of our croquet balls. But we played on. Just as we finished, it started sprinkling rain. And as I drove the boys home the rain increased. But by the time we arrived, both the wind and rain subsided. We were spared the worst of this storm, but a little more rain would have been welcomed. It is cooler tonight, and that coolness is also welcomed.

2020 Life Logs, Day 215: Goldstone Overnight

2020 Life Logs, Day 215: Goldstone Overnight
Date: Monday, August 3, 2020
Weather: Sunny and Hot; High 85, Low 72 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Last night Heather and Ollie spent the night and tonight the whole gang is here. Heather got up super early and went home to start her work day at 6 am. But Ollie and I slept in until 9 am and then had a very low key morning. Around 1:30 pm, Heather called to say that Jed, Sam, and Jonah were home from their Scout camping weekend. She also reported that some of the Legos I purchased to give us some quiet time until Jonah’s hand heals had arrived and Jonah was already busy building his Harry Potter Quidditch Match set. So Ollie wanted to head home ASAP to help out. So off we went. At the end of the day, Heather joined me with the boys and we headed back to my house for dinner and for the night. Jed had to go to the lab for a bit, had an outside Scout leadership meeting in his back yard, and then joined us later at my house. In the meantime, when we got back to my house, I got the meat and veggies that had been marinating during the afternoon ready for the grill. Heather manned the grill and we had a great summer dinner with chicken, steak, and veggie shish kabobs, rice, and corn on the cob.

The cottage is hot tonight, as it was last night. One of my really good fans bit the dust a couple of days ago. I have borrowed a couple of fans from Heather and Jed, but no matter how many fans I have, the humidity is making it miserable. I think that is why Heather and I got very little sleep last night. We both had the strangest dreams. She dreamed on and on about a SpaceX school that had no social distancing and I dreamed that Donald Trump was my boyfriend and I felt so sorry for him because he had never been allowed to wear jeans. I was convinced that wearing suits all the time had taken his youth away from him. What a nightmare!

The Goldstones are spending the night tonight as a plumber is arriving at their house very early in the morning to do some needed work. Heather and Jed will leave early in the morning to go get things ready for the plumber. Then Jed has meetings on the their deck while Heather is planning to go into work to meet a colleague. The boys and I will continue with our Lego adventures. Right now, everybody but me and my Shadow are sound asleep, so I think it is time for Shadow and I to join the ranks. I’m hoping for a dreamless night—at least no Donald Trump nightmares.

2020 Life Logs, Day 214: Hamilton

2020 Life Logs, Day 214: Hamilton
Date: Sunday, August 2, 2020
Weather: Sunny; High 80, Low 75 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I’ve heard people rave about the Broadway show Hamilton for the past five years, but not until tonight did I understand what they were raving about. A recording of one of the performances is now available on Disney Plus. Heather and Jed wanted the kids to see it, so they subscribed to the Disney Plus and watched it last week. Tonight, Heather and Ollie are spending the night with me, so they decided to introduce me to it. It lived up to all expectations. Someday I would love to see Hamilton on Broadway, but for now the recorded version is fantastic. I plan to watch it over and over. The creator of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, is an amazing composer, lyricist, actor, singer, rapper, producer, and playwright. And the talent he recruited for Hamilton is absolutely fabulous.

2020 Life Logs, Day 213: All About Food

2020 Life Logs, Day 213: All About Food
Date: Saturday, August 1, 2020
Weather: Sunny; High 82, Low 75 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My first day of August was all about food—receiving my weekly Misfits box and putting it away, picking up grocery order curbside at Rory’s Market, and then coming home and cooking to get a start on meals for next week. That was about it for me. But I will mention that when I just took Shadow out for his last potty break before bedtime, I was greeted by what looks like a full moon. It is not really full until Monday, but it is beautiful tonight.

2020 Life Logs, Day 212: Project Afternoon

2020 Life Logs, Day 212: Project Afternoon
Date: Friday, July 31, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Some Rain; High 78, Low 66 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

As I am sure you are aware, it’s Friday, the last day of July. This afternoon the Goldpebbles and I engaged in various indoor projects to keep Jonah from stressing the cut on his right hand. It was mostly cloudy with periods of a little rain, so working indoors made sense. The boys worked together to assemble a new Lego spaceship.

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Then Sam worked on assembling a Vex Robotics Pull Back Racecar while Jonah and Ollie resurrected some old Snap Circuit kits. Then Sam and Ollie headed outside with Shadow while Jonah and I made Toll House Squares. Jonah, Sam, and Jed head out tomorrow afternoon for a couple of nights of Boy Scout Camping and Jonah wanted to make sure they had ‘survival food’ with them.

Tonight, Mark’s brother Steve called and we talked for a very long time just catching up on life. I haven’t talked to him since I flew to Florida in January to visit with my friends Linda and Mike Stuart. It was great talking with Steve, and speaking of Linda and Mike, they should be flying back to the US from Spain any day now. Bike touring in the days of coronavirus just didn’t make sense, so they are going to look for a place to rent in the Denver, Colorado area. Denver does not have the warm weather they are looking for, but their son Garrett, his wife Katie, and what will be there three or four month-old grandson will be moving to that area in the spring. So the grandparents-to-be are going to check out the area as a possible permanent landing spot.

2020 Life Logs, Day 211: Happy Birthday to Coco

2020 Life Logs, Day 211: Happy Birthday to Coco
Date: Thursday, July 30, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Hot and Humid; High 84, Low 71 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Happy Birthday to my youngest grandchild and my only granddaughter. Coco turned 8 today as Tropical Storm Isaias barreled across Puerto Rico. It knocked out electricity at Finca Maravilla, but they switched on the solar and moved forward with the celebration. Justin said it rained so much in a short period of time that it looked like a river was running through their property, but they were fine, the animals were fine, and the only loss was a couple of banana trees. They literally have more than a hundred, so the loss of two will hardly be noticed. We had hoped to have a Skype call, but with no electricity, there was no internet, so we just had a short telephone conversation where the Goldpebbles got to sing happy birthday to their cousin.

We were at the skatepark when Justin called and we sang Happy Birthday to Coco. All three boys had been enjoying their time practicing their skills and Jonah was so excited that he had perfected a new jump. He had me video his jump in action and send it to Heather and Jed. Then, shortly after the call and the video, Jonah came walking toward me with his right hand outstretched. There was a pool of blood in his hand. He had fallen on a small piece of glass that sliced vertically from the palm of his hand upwards. He had already told Sam and Sam was on his phone calling Heather and Jed. I took Jonah to the car and grabbed a handful of tissues and told him to hold them tight over the cut. Jonah was pretty shook up and just wanted to see his mama. I promised him we would see mama very soon and then Sam then took over with Jonah while I gathered Ollie, who didn’t know anything had happened. While Sam practiced his Boy Scout medical emergency skills, Ollie and I got the skateboard and scooters in the car and then we headed home. It is only 5 minutes from the skatepark to Heather and Jed’s and they were waiting in the driveway. Sam had been successful in getting the bleeding to stop and Heather cleaned the wound. It looked like he might need stitches, so Heather quickly found the Urgent Care in town where Covid testing is not done and headed there with Jonah. I took Ollie and Sam to my house for lunch and shortly we heard from Heather that maybe we had over-reacted as the cut on Jonah’s hand was already closing up. When he did see the doctor, the decision was made to not put in stitches or even glue the cut shut. Evidently the threat of infection is greater if you do that, so the doctor wanted to leave it open to heal. Heather then delivered Jonah to my house so he could finally have lunch and we all spent a quiet afternoon searching for knee pads for all three boys and ordering some Lego sets to busy ourselves with next week while we try to avoid the skatepark for a few days to let Jonah heal.

The temperature today was not as high as the past few days. There was some sunshine in the morning, but by noon it was overcast. And there was a breeze. But for whatever reason, it was much hotter in the cottage than on previous days. That, and the fact that one of my fans bit the dust overnight, made the heat inside oppressive for the first time this summer. Sam tried to fix my fan, but he had no luck. So I borrowed one from Heather and Jed and things are a bit better tonight. As I have stated in the past few days, I love it hot. But even I thought today was a bit over the top.

As I sit here writing this log, I am listening to Morgan Freeman read the words of John Lewis’ NYT op ed, written by him before his death, with the request that it be published on the day of his funeral. He named the op ed–Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation. “Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.” He ended with these words, “So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.” Now it is up to us to figure out how to turn these words into action.

2020 Life Logs, Day 210: Another Beach-less Day

2020 Life Logs, Day 210: Another Beach-less Day
Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Weather: Cloudy Until Mid-Afternoon, Hot; High 85, Low 70 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was another hot, beach-less day here today. Jonah had an afternoon birthday party to attend, so we went to the skatepark, rushed to my house so Jonah could change clothes for the kayak birthday party, fed him lunch, and then took him to meet up with his very good friend Luke and other friends. I tried to interest Sam and Ollie in going to the nearby South Coast State Park Beach, but I had no luck. We did drive in and they walked down to the beach to check it out, but it was a no go for today. They just wanted to go back to my house and chill. So that’s what we did. And that’s what kids should be able to do in the summer. They took Shadow for run, Sam spent time in the hammock, and Ollie and I played Legos. I left Sam and Ollie at home with Shadow while I went to pick up Jonah and when we returned, we watched a soccer game I recorded for them on Sunday. They really miss playing soccer and I know they love the Manchester United team. So, when I saw there was a game, I recorded it. After the soccer game, we headed back to the skatepark for another hour of skateboarding and scootering. It was a low-key, good day.

Tomorrow is Coco’s birthday. I ordered things early, but only one package has arrived. I wish everything I ordered was there, but I just need to be happy that at least one package has arrived. Tropical Storm Isaias also arrived, but from what I can see online, it looks like western Puerto Rico is not bearing the brunt of the storm. Hopefully the storm moves on early tomorrow and doesn’t take out their electricity and internet as I hope to be able to call Coco to wish her a happy birthday.

2020 Life Logs, Day 209: AC versus OS

2020 Life Logs, Day 209: AC versus OS
Date: Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Weather: Still Sunny, Hot, and Breezy; High 89, Low 70 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was another sunny and hot day here on the Cape. I assumed that the Goldpebbles would want to head to the beach, so I dressed for the beach and packed a lunch for all of us. But when I arrived to pick them up, they had decided that the AC inside was preferable to the heat OS (OutSide). All three boys were deep into playing with Legos, so I let them play while I did a little work on the drip irrigation system that I am slowly working on getting installed on their deck. Yesterday we tried the front yard irrigation system and found some issues. But last night Jed did some further research and found that there are problems with the way it was origin installed. Fixing it is going to take quite some time and a lot of money, so I’ll install a temporary system out front as well. But not today. It was 2 pm before the boys were ready to head outside and they decided to come back to my house to sink (and retrieve) kayaks instead of going to the beach. They had a great time doing this yesterday and they repeated that today. They jumped and dove into the water from a neighboring dock where the water is a little deeper, and try as they might, they couldn’t sink a kayak! But they had a wonderful time trying.

Tonight I tuned into the local School Committee Meeting where the school plan for this fall was to be unveiled. After two hours of watching, with no specific plan unveiled, I headed into the kitchen to fix a salad for myself for dinner. Naturally, while I was doing that, I heard a plan for Sam’s school being outlined by the Superintendent. Seemed backwards to me to present details first and the plan at the end. For whatever reason, the sound on the local community TV station airing the Zoom meeting was very hard to hear. I’ll have to hope the local newspaper prints the plan. But whatever it is, I just do not see how it is going to be safe to have all students returning to the classroom in September. I did hear enough to know that there are three parts to the plan—all students returning to school, half of the students in school at one time with the other half working remotely, and total remote learning. I know that the heads of all parents in this country are spinning right now as they try to figure out what to do with their children this fall. And as a teacher of 30 years, I’m sure every teacher is in a true quandary. Unfortunately, no one has the answers, but it sure would be comforting to have strong national leadership on this issue to so crucial to all.

2020 Life Logs, Day 208: Still Hot, Still Lovin’ It

2020 Life Logs, Day 208: Still Hot, Still Lovin’ It
Date: Monday, July 27, 2020
Weather: Sunny and Hot with a Breeze; High 89, Low 74 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Cape Cod is experiencing a period of hot, humid weather, and I am still loving it. I spent my morning with Shadow and then headed to the Goldstones. Sam and I had planned to spend some time working on the old irrigation system, but we needed Heather and Jed’s help which disrupted their work day. But we made some progress and figured out some of the issues with the old system. Then we left Heather and Jed to their work and we headed to the beach. Two of the three boys wanted to go to Surf Drive, but when we got there it was high tide and there was very little beach. No one was happy with that location today. Ollie had a great time diving down and catching baby pufferfish, but eventually we decided to go to my house and spend time trying to sink kayaks. All three boys love taking the kayaks out and jumping off them while trying to sink them. Sam convinced Shadow to go out with him in his kayak and all had a great time.

Most mornings, we have gone to the skatepark before heading to the beach. But the irrigation project took our skatepark time today. That was okay with Sam, but all day long, Jonah kept negotiating a trip to the skatepark. I told him that when we got home, I would take him if it was okay with Heather and Jed.

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It was almost 6 pm by the time we got home, but H & J were fine with me taking him to the skatepark as long as he was home for dinner at 7 pm. Ollie decided to go with us, so off we went. Jonah’s new bright red helmet arrived today and he was looking good.