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 Log, Day 150: Saturday—Not Sure Where It Went

2020 Life Log, Day 150: Saturday—Not Sure Where It Went
Date: Saturday, May 30, 2020
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 71, Low 57 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This was one of those days that just flew by. I’m really not sure where it went. I went to Heather and Jed’s near noon to deliver a few things and just say hello. Then I came home, had lunch, and worked on setting up the drip irrigation system in my raised beds. I got started on this project last fall, but never completed it. I’ll continue to work on that tomorrow and hope to get things planted as well. I did watch the SpaceX launch this afternoon. That was a great success. And then tonight I watched a movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. It was a nice diversion.

2020 Life Log, Day 149: Saving the Soul of Our Country

2020 Life Log, Day 149: Saving the Soul of Our Country
Date: Friday, May 29, 2020
Weather: Rainy Day; High 67, Low 61 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

For the past three months we have been living through a time of political upheaval here and around the world, while also living with a world-wide pandemic. It has seemed almost surreal. And in this country, we have had no national leadership to help us through this. We are all doing the best we can and those of us with governors who have risen to the occasion are very grateful for their leadership. But we need a captain at the wheel of the ship. Now we have the protests over the brutal and needless murder of a black man by a police officer. People are angry, and rightly so. We have all watched the video of this police officer kneeling on the neck of man gasping and saying that he can’t breathe. And then when the man became unconscious, the police officer continued kneeling on his neck for another two minutes and 53 seconds. I know more violence does not right the problem, but I understand the frustration of the protestors. George Floyd’s murder is national tragedy. The video of his merciless killing finally makes it crystal clear to everyone that chooses to look that we have a deep and fundamental problem in this country. It is not just one bad police officer. We have got to face racism head on and find our way forward. Again, I say, we need national leadership. But in that void, each of us must come forward and do what we can to erase hatred at the same that that we are trying to survive the ravages of the coronavirus. I hate seeing the images of the protestors and the violence from around the country, but they are doing what they feel they have to do. They are screaming for help. They know we have to find a way to save the soul of this country, one person at a time.

It was a dreary, rainy day here on the Cape. It wasn’t a hard rain, just drizzly, so you could be out and about. It was a grocery shopping day for me. The Goldstones and I have been making it for long periods of time between supermarket outings by having food delivered, but once every couple of weeks it becomes necessary for one of us to go to the supermarket to get things you can’t find elsewhere. I offered to do the shopping today. I left home at 11 and went to their house to get their list. After shopping, I delivered their things, ran a couple of errands, and headed home. When I got home, I saw a notice on my phone that my weekly Misfits delivery had come. But it wasn’t here. I unloaded the car and drove two doors down to the house where my things are continually misdelivered. And there was my box. So, I carried it to the car and headed home again. By the time I got everything put away, fed the puppy, and had a very late lunch, it was almost 4 pm. At 5 pm, I had a Zoom meeting with my wine group and afterwards I checked in with Heather. So goes a day in the time of coronavirus.

2020 Life Log, Day 148: Chain Saw Crew

2020 Life Log, Day 148: Chain Saw Crew
Date: Thursday, May 28, 2020
Weather: Fog Early, Then Partly Sunny; High 75, Low 63 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I was going to name this log entry ‘Chain Saw Massacre’ as a joke, but it just sounded too violent. But this afternoon Jonah and Jed arrived with a chain saw, clippers that will cut 2-inch branches, and the weed whacker. The first job was to cut up a medium-sized tree that fell across the path that leads from back yard down to the water. I have had to bend down to go under the branches for months, but with my current back issues, it was definitely time to clear the path. My Christmas present to Jed this year was a battery-operated chain saw and it sure did the job today. And it makes very little noise compared to a gas-driven chain saw. Once that path was cleared, we moved to the woods adjacent the raised beds in front yard. I wanted a few small trees cut down so I can plant tomatoes in that area. And getting rid of those trees will also let more sun in.
Jed did this work before and after a work call, but while he was on the call Jonah worked as the clean-up crew, cutting branches off the small trees with the clippers and then carrying the branches to the branch graveyard down over the hill. He also used the lawn mower to cut my side yard. It was a very productive work afternoon and I am very pleased with the extra space and light. Thank you, Jed and Jonah.

I backed off on the exercises for my back today. But then I helped carry branches and did a laundry load in buckets outside. So, my back is feeling the results of these activities tonight. I got a call from Alan and Helaine Kanegsberg tonight. Alan is having a similar problem with his back and wanted to let me know that Tylenol 8 Hr for Arthritis Pain might be something I want try. I hate taking any medication, but I’m going to give this a try tomorrow. I got advice from Alan and then Helaine got on the line seeking information on the best fertilizer to use in her little garden plot. I was able to help her out with that information. I didn’t get the gardening done here today that I had planned. Hopefully tomorrow.

2020 Life Log, Day 147: Fighting the Pain

2020 Life Log, Day 147: Fighting the Pain
Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Weather: Sun, Sandwiched Between Fog, Early and Late; High 72, Low 59 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I spent more of my day than I’d like fighting the pain in my butt. There’s no nice way to say that, so I’m just putting it out there. Something in my spine is sitting on a nerve that results in pain in my lower hip area. As I move, the pain moves from one side to the other, and is sometimes intense and sometimes not. The major problem is that the pain is getting worse instead of better. I had a physical therapy session this afternoon and did quite an aggressive work out. Afterwards, things went downhill. The back extension press ups that the therapist thinks are going to solve my problem seems to be aggravating the situation. I am going to consult with my chiropractor tomorrow morning and make a decision on what to do next. I have lived with this problem for six weeks now, but today was the first day that walking was problematic. Maybe things just have to get worse before they get better, but I’m thinking maybe taking a day off the exercises to see what happens might be a good idea.

While I was having my Zoom PT session this afternoon, I missed the drama happening next door. After my session, I got a call from Shirley next door explaining the reason for the fire rescue vehicle that had been in the drive-way. I said, “What fire rescue vehicle?” While I was on the floor doing the exercises under the direction of the physical therapist, Doris, the 101-year-old auntie next door, fell in the bathroom which resulted in a nasty cut on her head. Shirley, the 94-year-old auntie called 911 and they came and took Doris to the hospital. I missed the whole thing and Shadow didn’t even bark. These ladies are called the ‘aunties’ because they are the aunts of my good friend Karen Baranowski. Shirley had tried to call Karen, but she couldn’t reach her. I have not been visiting next door during this coronavirus time, but I decided that I needed to go over to check on Shirley and make sure she was okay. She was fine, but she really appreciated having me check on her. I texted Karen while I was there and soon got a call back from her and she headed immediately to the hospital to check on Doris. A couple of hours later, Karen and Peter brought Doris home. They had to put in 9 staples to close the cut, but otherwise, she seems to be fine.

I also missed another visitor this morning, and again, Shadow didn’t bark . . . which is a good thing because I try to keep her from barking. But it means I don’t know when someone has come to my door. Someone from the public library delivered a book I had put on hold back in March just before the lockdown. They are now delivering books to your doorstep. Fantastic. Otherwise, I spent my day working on gardening and I plan to continue with that tomorrow.

I end with a moment of silence for the 100,000 plus Americans we have lost to COVID-19. We knew this day was coming, but it is sobering to know that we have reached that number and that there are still people out there not social distancing, not wearing a mask, not doing their part to make sure they are doing everything they can to keep the number of deaths as low as possible.

2020 Life Log, Day 146: A Little Bit of Outside Work

2020 Life Log, Day 146: A Little Bit of Outside Work
Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Weather: Fog Early, Then Mostly Sunny and Warm; High 69, Low 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I spent my day slowly doing a few outdoor chores while letting chicken bone broth burble on the kitchen stove. I say ‘slowly’ because I have to constantly be aware of my back and make sure I am not doing anything to make it worse. The PT sessions continue, but I am not convinced that we are on the right track. Things seem to be getting worse, not better. But at least I am able to function. I brought seedlings that I have been growing under grow lights inside to the outside to harden off before planting and I brought the tomato and bean towers out of the basement to get ready for planting those things later this week. I filled a big round planted with garden soil and planted a zucchini seedling in that. And I cleaned my grill which ended up to be a bigger job than I thought. That was about it for today. Otherwise, Shadow and I walked and played and just enjoyed the beautiful weather.

2020 Life Log, Day 145: Memorial Day

2020 Life Log, Day 145: Memorial Day
Date: Monday, May 25, 2020
Weather: Cloudy Early, Some Late Afternoon Sunshine; High 60, Low 54 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I do hope each of you had a nice, safe Memorial Day Weekend. But saying ‘Happy Memorial Day’ just doesn’t seem like the thing to say. This weekend, as we honored those who gave their lives for this country, we are also mourning the lives of almost 100,000 Americans who have died in just the last three months of coronavirus. It is truly overwhelming, and certainly not happy. But it is very important in these time that all find ways to safely enjoy life and I hope you found that this weekend.

This weekend was not a good one for my back. Because of the pain, I stopped doing the press ups prescribed by my physical therapist, and things went downhill from there. I met on Zoom with the PT this morning and he had me slowly work back into the press ups/back extensions. It did hurt, but it felt better after I finished than it did before I started. So, he put me back on doing those press-ups every 2 hours, no matter what. We figured out that the probable reason I was having excessive pain over the weekend was because I am no longer taking the prednisone. It was masking the pain. The inflammation is still there, but we will now tackle it with exercises, not drugs. And in taking daily notes, my best days are my most active days. Sitting to watch a movie or standing in the kitchen for a couple of hours are NOT good for my back. But helping to launch and bring in kayaks, as well as some careful gardening and walking seems to keep the pain at bay. Busy seems to be better for this back.

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This afternoon Heather took Sam to a friend’s house to work on an obstacle course and I picked up Jonah and Ollie and brought them to my house so Jed could continue working on the flooring without interruptions. On the way to my house, we stopped at Smitty’s Ice Cream to pick up a container of their homemade chocolate ice cream and came home to have an ice cream party before heading to the dock to kayak. J & O really enjoyed going out in the two-man kayak together and it was great fun to watch them coordinate their rowing to turn, go forward, and even backwards. There was a mother duck and her babies that followed them back to the dock and they announced that they had seen a mother swan with six babies when they rowed out to Osprey Island. All wonderful signs of spring.

2020 Life Log, Day 144:  One Day, Then Another

2020 Life Log, Day 144:  One Day, Then Another
Date:  Sunday, May 24, 2020
Weather:  Partly Sunny Day; High 60, Low 50 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

One of the casualties of this coronavirus period is time.  It is hard to keep track of the days.  Weekends don’t mean much these days.  One day just leads to another and on and on.  Without the usual Memorial Day activities in Falmouth, tomorrow just feels like another day.  But hopefully we all take time to honor the men and women who have died while serving their country in our own, individual ways.

Friend Midge Frieswyk made arrangements with me to bring her three grandchildren over this afternoon to go kayaking.  So late morning, I went to Heather and Jed’s to see if I could get one of the boys to come over and launch the kayaks and have them ready for Midge’s grandchildren to use.  Sam and Jonah were off on a neighborhood biking adventure, but Ollie was available and came home with me.  He was putting the last kayak in the water when Midge and grandchildren arrived. 

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We used masks and social distancing to keep everyone safe.  And when Ollie shoved off the third kayak, he asked if we could launch the two-man inflatable kayak so he could go out and serve as tour guide for Midge’s three grandchildren.  That kayak is about ten feet long,  heavy, and awkward to maneuver.  And it takes a great deal of effort to inflate it.  But I didn’t deflate it and put it away last fall.  I left it on the concrete pad down near the dock and covered it during the winter. 

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So Ollie and I uncovered and found that it had lost almost no air.  Still, I didn’t think Ollie and I would be able to get it down to the dock.  But he was sure we could, and he proved me wrong.  We easily got it in the water and he took off to serve as a kayak guide.  What a kid!

Heather and Jed continued working on laying the wood flooring in Sam’s bedroom today, but the strange angle of the entry way into his room from the hallway really slowed them down.  Hopefully, they will finish tomorrow and can then start the planning for painting and flooring in Jonah and Ollie’s bedroom.  With work and school schedules, Heather thinks it will be at least two weeks before that job is done.  It feels like never ending work, but hopefully by the end of June, they can put any further renovations on hold until fall so they can enjoy the summer.  In the meantime, I am trying to do what I can to support them. 

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I fixed dinner for all of us tonight and topped it off with strawberries and whipped cream on chocolate decadence.  It was truly decadent, but gave us a taste of the summer to come.

2020 Life Log, Day 143: Rainy Day with the Goldpebbles

2020 Life Log, Day 143: Rainy Day with the Goldpebbles
Date: Saturday, May 23, 2020
Weather: Rainy Day; High 63, Low 45 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

On this first day of the Memorial Day Weekend, Heather and Jed started laying the new wood flooring in the bedrooms on their second floor. Sam’s bedroom was to be the first one. At the end of the day, it was not done, but great progress was made and it looks great.

I went over mid-morning and kidnapped the Goldpebbles so that Heather and Jed could concentrate on the work that needed to be done. It was pouring rain when I arrived but the boys had come up with a rainy day activity for us. The idea was spawned when Sam mentioned Spohr Gardens to Jonah and Ollie. Ollie had no idea what he was talking about and Jonah had distant memories. So, they decided that we should go there for a walk in the rain. I have been there on multiple occasions with Sam through the years, fewer occasions with Jonah, and only once with Ollie when he was just a wee one. Going there for a walk today sounded like a great idea, so off we went. Charles and Margaret Spohr lived on the six-acre property for 40 years and developed it as a miniature botanical garden interspersed with a collection of old stone mill wheels and anchors, large and small, from ships around the world. The property sits on Oyster Pond and the views from the pond go out to the Nantucket Sound.
It is now maintained by a trust as a Falmouth community resource and we certainly enjoyed our visit this morning. Jonah immediately noticed that the stone mill wheels look like the logo on Taza chocolate bars. Taza is a Boston-based chocolate company that stone grinds their organic chocolate from hand-carved granite millstones. Then Jonah found an anchor from the 1700’s that said HMS Bounty (?). He didn’t know about the HMS Bounty, but Sam filled him in on this bit of history, and he was super excited that this anchor might have been on that ship.
Sam enjoyed leading our tour, Jonah enjoyed making discoveries and posing as a victorious explorer, and Ollie quietly and carefully explored each and every find. We were soaked to the bone by the end of our tour, but it was worth it. All of us had a really fun time.

We arrived at my house, dripping wet. We got out of our wet clothes and hung them in the bathroom with a little heater running to help dry them. And then I gave each boy a blanket to wrap up in. We decided to watch a Harry Potter movie while waiting for the clothes to dry and half-way through the movie, I served a late lunch and then hot chocolate. After the first movie, we decided to do a Harry Potter marathon and watch one more. I didn’t really get to watch all of the second one as I was trying to prep dinner. I had invited Heather and Jed to come here for dinner. But late in the afternoon Heather sent a text asking if Sam would like to come help with the flooring. We quickly changed plans, packed the food in a big box, and headed to 43 Grasmere where I finished cooking while the last of the flooring for today was put down. We had oven roasted Pacific salmon for dinner. I fixed a giant skillet latke for the boys and oven roasted veggies and kale for Heather, Jed, and I. And we topped it off with an out-of-season pumpkin pie that made Ollie a very happy little boy. Pumpkin pie is his favorite. I have no idea what adventures await for tomorrow, but I’ll enjoy whatever.

2020 Life Log, Day 142: Interesting Relationship

2020 Life Log, Day 142: Interesting Relationship
Date: Friday, May 22, 2020
Weather: Sunny, Still Breezy; High 63, Low 54 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I didn’t do much today other than just enjoy a beautiful day. Unfortunately, the lowered activity level resulted in more pain in my hips. Interesting relationship. You would think that the inflammation would like a day off with no activity, but not so. I have been taking notes since meeting with the physical therapist and on the days when I have been the most active, I have had the least pain. I finally got a copy of the x-ray report of my lower spine and it shows moderate degeneration of the posterior of the spine causing the pain in my hips. Whatever I did to aggravate this is just going to take time and proper exercise to heal. But evidently standing in the kitchen and cooking is not the kind of exercise needed. It does better with gardening and pulling kayaks out of the water.

I did spend time today focused on food. My weekly Misfits box of veggies was delivered this morning, so I spent time putting those items away and I made an order for an afternoon delivery from Rory’s Market to fill in the gaps. When it arrived, I spent more time putting things away and then delivering to Heather and Jed a few things that I ordered for them. They were both working, so I tried to slip in, quietly put things away, and slip back out. On the way home, I called the fish market and picked up some Pacific salmon curbside, drove home by the beach road just to check out the activity level and parking situation, and then came home to check on the chicken bone broth that had been burbling all day. I have been craving a piece of pumpkin pie, so I made that, and made creamy broccoli potato soup to use broccoli that needed to be eaten sooner rather then later. In between all of this, Karen and Peter Baranowski stopped by with their son and grandchildren who are visiting them for a couple of days. This is the first time they have been together since the COVID lockdown, so they are super excited to have them for the weekend. Karen wanted the kids to meet Shadow and then they went next door to visit with the aunties by waving to them through the floor to ceiling windows on their deck.

Tomorrow Heather and Jed are laying the wood flooring in Sam’s bedroom and I think the plan is for the boys to come spend the day here with me. There is an 80 per cent chance of rain tomorrow, so we might have to find indoor activities. There are at least three Woods Hole Oceanographic webinars I think the boys would enjoy watching, as well as the PBS series on water–H2O: The Molecule That Made Us. It aired in April, but it is still available to watch. I have watched the first episode three times and could watch it three more times. I had the boys watch a bit of the first episode when they were here yesterday and they were really into it. So, if it is raining, we can watch science programs. And if it is not raining, we have a long list of fun things to do outside.

2020 Life Log, Day 141:  Electric Violin, More Kayak Krazies, Talking to Friends and Family

2020 Life Log, Day 141:  Electric Violin, More Kayak Krazies, Talking to Friends and Family
Date:  Thursday, May 21, 2020
Weather:  Sunny, but Cool with the Wind; High 57, Low 48 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Another great day with beautiful weather.  Blue skies and sunshine is always welcome, but right now it is especially cherished.  But it was a windy day and felt considerably cooler than yesterday although the thermometer read the same as yesterday.  I went to pick up the Goldpebbles mid-afternoon to come over for another Kayak Krazies afternoon.  We had fun, but unfortunately, it was just not as perfect as yesterday.  That was mostly because of the direction of the wind and chill it left in the air.  But the boys still had a good time trying their best to sink those kayaks.

Other parts of my day . . . when I went over to pick up the Goldpebbles this afternoon, Ollie was in the basement with Heather playing his violin.  But for the first time, it had an electronic connection and it sounded fantastic.  He was so excited to finally be electronic.  Then this evening I spent a time talking with friend Lynne Kirwin who has been spending the last few months in New Zealand.  She had planned to return to Michigan the first of May, but that didn’t happen, and it is still too early for her to make a return home reservation.  Maybe by the end of July, but we will just have to wait and see how things play out.  I also spent time talking to my sister Patsy in Nashville.  She has not been out since the middle of March and is getting very anxious to go food shopping.  She has plenty of food, but she is really missing the shopping aspect.
I did not get to the gardening tasks for today, but those seedlings are still growing in my plant window.  Maybe tomorrow.