We are Mark and Judy Handley. We have been writing about our experiences on this website for almost eleven years now. For six of those years, we were sailing around the world on our 42-foot sailboat, Windbird. During those six years and the five years since our circumnavigation, we have posted a log almost daily. We lived aboard all of those years and loved every minute. But we have now sold Windbird and are living in a harbourside apartment in the town of Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. The website title has been tweaked just a bit to reflect our new status, “The Voyage of Windbird . . . and Beyond.” We decided not to change things totally because we want to leave the three and a half thousand daily logs and all of the accompanying photos on the website for anyone who might be interested. But for those who would like to continue to follow the current “Voyage of Windbird”, her new owners have a website that will chronicle the adventures. We are proud to introduce you to Sam and Dawn Weigel whose blog “Weigels on the Water” can be found at: http://wotwater.blogspot.com/
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!

2019 Life Logs, Day 17: A Day of Unplanned Events

2019 Life Logs, Day 17: A Day of Unplanned Events
Date: Thursday, January 17, 2019
Weather: Sunny; High 31, Low 22 degrees F .
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Some days go as planned. Some don’t. Today was a day of unplanned events for me . . . all fun. I decided this morning that today should be the day I return to the gym. I have avoided it since returning home from Tennessee as my knee has been, at best, tenuous. But I went for it this morning and all went well. A friend that I met at the gym two years ago, Linda Onthank, was there for the class this morning, and afterwards, she invited me to meet her at Starbucks for coffee and conversation. Somehow, we talked our way into the afternoon, and after running a couple of errands, it was almost 1 o’clock before I got home. It was then time for lunch and while I was fixing that I saw that the ‘aunties’ return home. My neighbor and landlord is Shirley Wiedemann. She and her sister Doris live next door (which is just across the drive-way) in Shirley’s home part of the time and at Doris’ home near Boston when they are not here. Due to health issues, they have not been here since August, so it was great to see them return today. I call them the ‘aunties’ because they are the aunts of my good friend Karen Baranowski and soon after the ‘aunties’ arrived, Peter and Karen come to visit with them. I continued with my plan for today which was to roast an organic chicken so I can make my magic chicken mineral broth tomorrow. I got it in the oven and a little later Karen knocked on the door. She walked over to say hello and said she and Peter were headed to the hospital to get a shingles vaccine. I have been trying to get a shingles vaccine since August of 2017, but due to my procrastination, a change in the kind of vaccine given, and then a shortage of the new vaccine, I have been unsuccessful in my attempts. So, my eyes lit up when Karen said the Falmouth Hospital got a shipment of the vaccine this morning. I said I’d make sure to go tomorrow and we said our goodbyes. Then Karen knocked on the door again and invited me to go with them. Why not? I was still dressed in my workout clothes, but I turned off the oven and took off as I was. It took almost two hours for the three of us to get the vaccine, but we did it and afterwards Peter and Karen brought me home. I turned the oven back on to continue to roast that chicken and put in some root vegetables for dinner. Then I called Heather to check on details for Sam’s birthday this weekend and she invited me to come over to hear Ollie practice playing scales on his violin. Again, I turned off the oven and took off. Oh, my. Little Ollie is taking his violin lessons so seriously and he is just too cute to watch. He holds the violin just perfectly, concentrates so completely, and looks to mama for direction. After playing the scales, he very carefully named each part of the violin for me. Then he went into the den and played the same scale on the piano explaining to me that anything you can play on the violin you can play on the piano. Unplanned, but such a precious moment. Finally, I returned home and turned the oven on once again. I did have that chicken and roasted root veggies for dinner and I am still sitting here in my workout clothes from the gym this morning. Tomorrow, I’ll make sure I get dressed early in the day! Some days don’t go as planned, but sometimes unplanned is good.

2019 Life Logs, Day 16: On the Basis of Sex

2019 Life Logs, Day 16: On the Basis of Sex
Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Weather: Overcast with Two Moments of Sunshine; High 40, Low 17 degrees F .
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Friend Karen Baranowski and I went to see On the Basis of Sex this afternoon. This is the film about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It hasn’t gotten stellar reviews, but we both still wanted to see it and make up our own minds about its worth. People I have talked to that saw both the RBG documentary and the film, really liked the documentary better. But I thoroughly enjoyed both. To me, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a true American icon and I think it is wonderful that she is being recognized for what she has done while she is still working to make the right decisions for our country. She is a living legend and I thought the film did a great job showing that, while at the same time, revealing some of her struggles without taking anything from her greatness. I guess I am an easy audience, as I give this film a 5 out of 5. Otherwise, it was a typical January day—some sunshine early, then overcast, windy and cold, then a peak of sunshine, then overcast and chilly. So goes winter.

2019 Life Logs, Day 15: Morning In, Afternoon and Evening Out

2019 Life Logs, Day 15: Morning In, Afternoon and Evening Out
Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 36, Low 23 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Things were changed up a bit today. I started out exercising and watching the opening of the William Barr Senate hearings. Then I got a call from Jane Woodin who was headed to my neck of the woods for an appointment and wanted to stop by to visit for a bit. We had a chance to catch up on my visit to Tennessee and Jane’s past week in New York City. She had a fabulous time, going to five Broadway shows and visiting museums. Jane had to leave for her appointment, but we promised to continue the conversation tonight as I was invited to dinner. After Jane left, I continued a frustrating battle I started late yesterday with Spirit Airlines. Yesterday I was not able to log-in as a member as they were updating the website. And today I just couldn’t get in. I was trying to make reservations for Justin’s trip here the end of February to stay with me post knee surgery. I called and got help, but even with help, I could only log in as a Spirit member on my tablet (which I never use), not on my computer. I had to leave to pick Jonah and Ollie up from school before I made the reservation, so that is first on the list for tomorrow morning. I took advantage of my time at Heather and Jed’s to do a little laundry as the boys spent their after-school time next door. Molly and Joey, the neighbor kids, just got a new puppy named Clipper and Ollie has decided he would like to move in next door. As he told me this afternoon, he has wanted a puppy ever since he was born. I don’t think that is going to happen as Jed is set against it, but Ollie will keep trying. I have been considering getting a puppy in the spring. Maybe that will help fill the need.

This evening I went to Bruce and Jane’s for dinner. I took a Salad to go with their pork tenderloin cooked just-right, broccoli, and mashed potatoes with cauliflower which was absolutely delicious. Good dinner, good conversation, good friends. Life is good.

2019 Life Logs, Day 14: Same, Same

2019 Life Logs, Day 14: Same, Same
Date: Monday, January 14, 2019
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 34, Low 20 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Same, same. Exercise, puzzle, computer work, weather that the forecast says is sunny but looks mostly cloudy to me, trip into town to do some food shopping, stop for a quick visit with Heather to talk about Sam’s upcoming birthday this weekend, then home to cook a great Indian dinner. I made veggie curry and chicken Tikki Masala from scratch. No more using the tasty sauces you can buy at the store as they are made with canola oil. I don’t eat anything with canola as it is a processed, not cold pressed like olive oil. And actually, homemade sauce was better than store bought. Plans were solidified today for Justin to fly up from Puerto Rico to spend the first few days with me when I get home from knee replacement surgery. He had done a lot of research on recovery time and decided that he will come for the first four to five days when I get home from the hospital and then pass the support on to Heather. Hopefully by the time he leaves, I will be just fine on my own with Heather’s support for food shopping and cooking. I’ll have in-home physical therapy for a couple of weeks and then should be able to drive myself to therapy. That’s the plan. Let’s hope all goes well.

2019 Life Logs, Day 13: Sunday Indoor Soccer

2019 Life Logs, Day 13: Sunday Indoor Soccer
Date: Sunday, January 13, 2019
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 30, Low 27 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Not a lot to report today. I continued yesterday’s work—exercising that knee and organizing photos on my computer. And then mid-afternoon, I drove downtown to the Community Center for a of hours of indoor soccer. Jonah’s team played at 3:00 and won their game. He scored all 6 goals for his team. He is a fast little player that takes every opportunity to make a shot. Sam’s team played at 4 pm and Sam played a really good game. I needed to leave 10 minutes before the end of the game and the score was 0-0, but after I left the other team finally scored. So, no win, but a good game. Tomorrow morning I’m going to go to my pilates class at the gym and see how my knee does with that. It is really hard to gauge just how hard to push. But one thing I know for sure, if you don’t use it, you lose it. So, I’ll give it a try.

2019 Life Logs, Day 12: A Little of This, A Little of That

2019 Life Logs, Day 12: A Little of This, A Little of That
Date: Saturday, January 12, 2019
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 31, Low 15 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I made progress toward my goal for today, finalizing the organization of two plus years of photos, but I added other activities out of desperation. Doing just the one thing all day long seemed untenable, so I did a little of this and a little of that. I have a very specific way of filing photos that I have kept up since 2005, but somehow since Mark’s death, I have only done half of the process. I am now going back through the folders and getting them saved in the appropriate places. Very tedious. I only completed 4 months out of 28 today, but I’ll call that progress. I increased the exercises I did today over yesterday, and my knee withstood that just fine. So, after sitting at the computer for a couple of hours, I went for a mile-long walk and made that just fine. I’m back to hobbling tonight, but hopefully after a night’s rest, the knee will be ready for another day. During another break from sitting at the computer, I put snow stakes in the drive-way. I had to search YouTube to find out how to put stakes in frozen ground. It is amazing that you can figure out how to do almost anything on YouTube. As per directions, I found a very long screwdriver and drove it into the ground with a mallet, pulled it out, and then stuck a stake in. It worked great. The only problem was that I had bought only 10 stakes. I’ve never done this before and had no idea how many I would need. Now I know I need at least 20 more. But since there is no snow in the 10-day forecast, I will buy more tomorrow and put a few in each day. I also walked down to the dock to check on things. There are so many ducks and geese in the area and they seem to be enjoying the almost freezing water. Silly birds!

2019 Life Logs, Day 11: Do What You Wanna Do

2019 Life Logs, Day 11: Do What You Wanna Do
Date: Friday, January 11, 2019
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 31, Low 16 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The Isley Brothers had a hit in 1969 called “It’s Your Thing” and the words went, “It’s your thing, do what you wanna do.” As I literally did very little today, I heard those words in the background. But doing very little was just want I wanted to do, so I did it. I spent an hour working on the impossible 1,000 piece puzzle that I don’t think I will ever be able to complete. I tried doing a little exercise, very carefully watching not to move my knee in just the wrong way. I totally avoided exercising while I was traveling, so I need to get back into it slowly. What I did today worked okay, but still it did aggravate my knee. On Wednesday, the knee surgeon said to keep exercising, so I will add a bit each day. After exercising, I turned on my computer. I get a lot of emails from my ‘foodie experts’ and I hadn’t read any of them since I left for Maine before Christmas. So I caught up on those today and watched a couple of health-related videos. There were two suggestions for the new year, both very easy to do, that I will add to my daily routine. One was to breathe consciously, which really just means to take time breathe deeply every day. The suggestion was to take ten very deep breaths in and out before you get out of bed in the morning. Then get up and hydrate deeply. The suggestion here was to drink a half to a full quart of room temperature water, which can be flavored, as soon as you get up. And if you think of things for which you are grateful while breathing and drinking, you will have the first three of seven suggestions for a healthier year done in the first five minutes of your day. After listening to the health-related videos, I then made chili and vegetable soup. And that was it. I didn’t mention it in yesterday’s log, but I attended an afternoon Technology Tips class yesterday afternoon. The topic was ways to back up your photos and data that you store on your computer and I was reminded that there is a very long list of things that I need to do to get my photos in order. So I will get back to that tomorrow. What I have to do will certainly take more than one day, but if I focus on just that all day tomorrow, I should make good progress.

2019 Life Logs, Day 10: Entertaining Day

2019 Life Logs, Day 10: Entertaining Day
Date: Thursday, January 10, 2019
Weather: Mostly Cloudy with a Few Snow Flurries; High 35, Low 20 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I started my day by attending a Newcomers General Meeting. Today we had guest musicians, not a guest speaker. It was quite entertaining. When I got home, I got a Facebook notification telling me my nephew’s son, Josh, had posted a link. I went to see what it was and it was a link to the Aquifer, The Florida Review Online, publishing another of Josh’s poems. Josh is an instructor at Georgia State University in Atlanta where he is working to get his PhD in English (Creative Writing). He has had many of his works published, but I was especially taken in by this one. When Mark and I lived on a small farm in southern West Virginia in the early 80’s, we raised lambs for meat. When Justin was three, he asked, “Who are we eating for dinner tonight?” When he heard the answer, he didn’t eat meat again until he was an adult and I have never eaten lamb again. You’ll understand my connection when you read Josh’s poem. But if you love lamb, maybe you should skip the read. Congratulations, Josh! I am very proud to have a young poet in the family.

Not loin chops cooked Moroccan style,
palm-sized, presented like gifts
simmering with harrisa-spiked hummus,
nor the shoulder placed atop a small knoll
of onions and peppers, flavor brimming
in each slashed sinew, but the heart,
that muscle which, to me, still seems untouchable
in the hierarchy of organs. In French curry
we ate what once beat in the smooth body
of the lamb, the taste of iron coiled
around our tongues like a rope swing,
the meat perfectly tender to chew
on a dilemma: better to waste nothing
or keep one thing sacred, worshipped
as we do our own ventricles?
And as we swallowed I did not think
of the lamb force-fed with a stomach tube
in a barn in North Georgia, its legs wobbly
on an altar of hay, but a hundred other hearts—
Nefertiti’s pulsing wildly for the sun god Aten,
Napoleon’s stopped briefly at Waterloo,
and those closer, more real—
my mother’s stepped on like an amaryllis
in a field swollen with weeds, my brother’s
heart, desires I’ll never know, humming
like a complex engine, its pistons
clogging with blood, and so forgive me,
little ounce of lamb, for taking
your heart on a piece of jagged
ciabbata, and when I say I forced you down
with water, believe me when I tell you
I took only the slightest pleasure
and that I did not clean my plate.

Joshua Martin is a PhD student in Creative Writing at Georgia State University, where he teaches Composition. He has published work (or has work forthcoming) in Tupelo Quarterly, Salamander, Nashville Review, Raleigh Review, Tar River Poetry, The Cortland Review, Louisiana Literature, and elsewhere.

2019 Life Logs, Day 9: All About the Knee

2019 Life Logs, Day 9: All About the Knee
Date: Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 46, Low 22 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I limp around all day, every day, favoring my left knee. I wake up multiple times a night with pain and change from heating pad to ice pack. Today I had an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon to make final decisions about a February 25th knee replacement, so today was all about the knee. I can’t tell you how much I dread having surgery, but at the same time, I can’t wait for it to happen. When I was in college, I had to be hospitalized because I had kidney stones. But there was no surgery involved. Other than that, I have never been a hospital patient. I had both of my children at home and I have always hoped I would never need surgery. But, it is going to happen, and the surgeon assures me I am going to be so happy when I can once again walk without hobbling around. I certainly hope he is correct.

Ollie and Jonah had dental appointments this morning. When I got back from my Hyannis doctor appointment, I delivered some yogurt that I had bought for the Goldstones while in Hyannis. I was surprised to see both Jonah and Ollie at home with Jed. They had also had to drive to Hyannis to the dentist this morning. Both had to have cavities filled and Ollie had a stubborn front tooth pulled. With numb mouths, neither wanted to go back to school, so they were home with Jed who needed to go to work to attend a meeting. So I offered to stay with them. However, Jed had already contacted Heather, so before he left, she arrived at home. So now the boys had momma and Oma. Heather suggested we all go to my house to take down my Christmas tree and I was all in for that. We worked together to get the decorations off the tree and then she got everything stored away in the basement. In doing so, Ollie discovered the hats that Mark and I had bought while in Thailand for Christmas of 2009.

01 Merry Christmas from Judy and Mark in Thailand

He and Heather donned those hats during the ‘undecorating’ bringing back fond memories. When Heather headed home, Ollie and Jonah decided to stay to play in my basement. Later I took them home and that got me an invitation to stay for dinner. So I did, for the second night in a row. I’m liking this!

2019 Life Logs, Day 8: Never in My Lifetime

2019 Life Logs, Day 8: Never in My Lifetime
Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Weather: Overcast and Rainy; High 46, Low 40 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Never in my lifetime did I ever think that I would live to see our democracy challenged by a foreign nation or by our own President. But I am seeming both of those things happening now. And never in my lifetime, that I have lived as a ‘liberated woman’, did I ever think that more than two years after Mark died that I would still be struggling to get a car title in my name—a car that I co-owned with Mark and then paid off in full right after his death. I have had this same problem with other accounts. Some people tell me the problem was that Mark and I owned everything equally as Mark Handley AND Judy Handley, when it should have been Mark Handley OR Judy Handley. So words do matter. AND and OR do make a difference. I was on the phone for over two hours this morning talking to people at Motor Vehicles and then to people at the bank that held our car loan. When I paid off the car loan after Mark’s death, I received a nicely embossed, clear title in the name of Mark Handley, Judy Handley. I knew I then needed to take that title to Motor Vehicles to get the name changed to just me. I put that off until three months ago. In October, I took the title to Motor Vehicles and they had me fill out a form, give them Mark’s death certificate, pay a fee, and then they took the title and said I would receive one in my name in four weeks. That was October 7th. I called in December and they told me I needed to talk to the bank that had the loan because there is still a lien on the title. I made many calls and had long waits but got no where. So I made my stand this morning. The woman at Motor Vehicles who I am sure hates me, told me the same thing. Her story–The title I gave them doesn’t exist any more and I need to get the bank to do an electronic release stating I paid off the loan. The bank’s story—Yes, I did pay off the loan and was sent a title. What is my problem? After being very assertive, the woman at the bank dug deeper and found that I had paid off the loan on a car with one title number, but now the bank shows that I owe for a car with a different title number. Bottom line, the bank knows I owe nothing and they agreed to do an electronic release for this new title number. Hopefully this will work, but I won’t know for another three weeks. And since there was also an address change processed in October, who knows if I will ever receive anything. Enough of this rant, but I cannot tell you how frustrating this ongoing problem is. No matter how many death certificates I have sent to my own bank, bank documents are still sent to Mark. I’m beginning to think that ‘liberated woman’ thing was just a myth!

I won’t even get started on how frustrated I got tonight listening to the President of the United States use the Oval Office to continue to lie and use scare tactics to try and persuade the American people to support his need for a physical barrier between the United States and Mexico. I don’t know about you, but I certainly do not want a physical barrier (a wall) around the country I live in. I do support border security and I am going to continue to hope that this government shutdown can somehow end tomorrow and that discussions on border security can then continue in order to find a way to support sensible border security. And I find it unbelievable that a Trump campaign fund raising message was sent out right after tonight’s speech. I guess we are living in unbelievable times.

Tomorrow I head to Hyannis to meet with my orthopedic surgeon to discuss the current state of my knee and the knee surgery scheduled for late February. Updates on that tomorrow night.