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 43:  A Little Snow

2019 Life Logs, Day 43:  A Little Snow

Date:  Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Weather:  Overcast, Snow, Then Icy Rain; High 32, Low 29 degrees F

Location:  At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I’m not sure I have this exactly right, but my memory tells me we had a skiff of snow in November, an inch or so on January 19th, and this afternoon we got another inch or two.  But that is it for snow so far this winter.  It is always so beautiful when everything is covered in white and it always brings great joy to children.  But on the other hand, the icy conditions caused by that beautiful blanket of white cause all sorts of problems.  Knowing it was coming this afternoon, the Falmouth schools decided to follow the Early Release schedule today to avoid the risk of accidents if they released at the normal time during the snow fall.  It was a perfect call as the first snow flake fell just as I was walking with Jonah and Ollie to my car to take them home at 12:40 pm.  It didn’t take long for the ground to be covered and by 1:30 there was enough snow to get the boys outside to do some sledding.  Of course, sledding somehow turned into a snowball fight and then tears because snowballs ended up being thrown into faces where they are never to be thrown.  And then everyone was cold and wet and no longer enamored by the white stuff and they headed next door to play inside.  Heather was home sick this afternoon and trying to get some work required reading done, but once the boys were next door, she fell asleep.  When Jed got home she was still asleep and I do hope the rest helps her fight off this cold.  By the time Jed got home, the snow was turning to icy rain.  Jed cleaned the snow off my car and I headed home before the roads got any worse.  Once home, I shoveled the front steps, a path to the car, and the entrance to Shirley’s home.  I didn’t shovel her whole drive way as it is supposed to warm up overnight and melt the snow.  But in case that doesn’t happen, there is enough shoveled to get into and out of the two houses safely.

2019 Life Logs, Day 42:  Special Invitations

2019 Life Logs, Day 42:  Special Invitations

Date:  Monday, February 11, 2019

Weather:  Mostly Sunny; High 35, Low 22 degrees F

Location:  At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I received a couple of ‘invitations’ that made today very special.  Ollie invited me to come to his violin lesson this afternoon and Justin sent a text ‘inviting’ me to join them in a Skype video call so I could see the kids and Jo’s parents who are visiting.  Both of these invitations resulted in very happy experiences.  Watching Ollie play his little violin so very seriously was just absolutely precious and I felt very special that he invited me to come watch.  Then, tonight, I enjoyed a wonderful Skype video call with Justin, Jo, Ziggy, Coco, and Jo’s parents who are taking a break from England’s gray winter skies to enjoy sunny Puerto Rico.  I have only met Jo’s parents once, but we keep in touch via email and Skype video calls from time to time when they are visiting Justin and Jo or when Justin and Jo are in England visiting them.  I got to see Ziggy’s aquariums, the part of his room that he uses as his inventor’s workshop, and I got see one of his inventions in action.  Coco had been playing a game with her Grandma that teaches about flower families and she delighted in reading the various flower families to me.  I also enjoyed seeing how they have rearranged rooms.  What was the guest room is now Ziggy’s room and workshop.  Ziggy and Coco’s bedroom is now the guest room and the playroom is now Coco’s room.  So much changes in a year and since I didn’t get to go to Puerto Rico this winter, I hope we can have more of these Skype video calls to help me keep in touch.  Otherwise, my day was just more of the same.  I spent almost two hours at the gym this morning and spent my afternoon cooking and working on updating computer files.  Jed and Jonah stopped by on their way home from Jonah’s guitar lesson and got the cross braces properly installed on the back of my new ‘greenhouse’ shelves.  Thank you, Jed!  Tomorrow I will get the plant lights installed on those shelves and continue working on computer file updates.  So, more of the same, except we are expecting snow instead of sunshine.  We haven’t seen much of the white stuff this winter, so we’ll see if it really materializes or manages to elude us once again.  Tuesday is my day to pick Jonah and Ollie up after school, so we might be playing in the snow after school.

 

2019 Life Logs, Day 41: Creating Warmth on a Cold Winter Day

2019 Life Logs, Day 41: Creating Warmth on a Cold Winter Day
Date: Sunday, February 10, 2019
Weather: Sunny; High 34, Low 23 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

After my morning stint at the gym, I spent my afternoon creating warmth despite the cold outside. I put together the IKEA shelves I purchased on Friday that will turn my living room windows into a greenhouse for growing the seedlings for this summer’s gardens—mine and Heather’s. Just thinking about gardening and summer brought warmth and the bright sunshine coming in the window added to the illusion. The shelves are simple and will hold 16 to 20 seed starting trays, more than we will need. I will add some additional grow lights, but I can’t afford the real deal from Home Depot. I stopped by Job Lot on my way to the gym this morning and found that they have the same LED shop lights I purchased last year. They cost $15 for a 4-foot light, versus $40 for a 2-foot grow light at Home Depot. Much more affordable, and with the sun that comes through the front windows, I think they will do. It is too early to start most things, but for now I am going to experiment with growing trays of arugula, not to transplant, but to cut straight from the growing trays into my salad bowl. I wanted to get this all set up before my knee surgery so that it will be easy to start the seeds when the time comes. I need a little help from Jed to get the cross braces on the shelves. Then I’ll get the lights installed and be ready to grow.

2019 Life Logs, Day 40: Off to See the Wizard

2019 Life Logs, Day 40:  Off to See the Wizard

Date:  Saturday, February 9, 2019

Weather:  Sunny and Windy; High 36, Low 18 degrees F

Location:  At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This afternoon the Goldstones and I were off to the see The Wizard of Oz in Concert, presented by the Cape Cod Symphony and the Cotuit Center for the Arts.  The tickets were a Christmas present to Jonah from his Grammy Marti, and I am so happy that I was included.  Thank you, Marti!  The production was absolutely fabulous.  The stage was filled with the Cape Cod Symphony with a big screen backdrop where scenery was projected.  The performers and chorus were dressed in costume and performed in front of the Symphony, sometimes weaving in and out of the Symphony performers, and sometimes weaving through the audience.  You wouldn’t call it a play, but it wasn’t just a concert.  It was the best of both.  The projected images on the screen began just as the 1939 movie in sepia-colored scenes of Kansas wheat.  Once Dorothy was ‘transported’ from Kansas and woke up in the Land of Oz the color appeared, just as it did in the movie.  It is hard for me to decide which performer I favored.  Dorothy had a beautiful voice, the Wicked Witch of the West couldn’t have been more wonderfully wicked, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion played their roles masterfully, and the Wizard was a delight.  But if forced to have a favorite, mine would be the Scarecrow.  Ray Bolger played the Scarecrow in the movie and I think he would have enjoyed today’s performance.  There were a couple of lines, unchanged from the original movie, that got updated reactions.  Dorothy asked the Scarecrow, “How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?”  The Scarecrow responded, just as he did in 1939, “Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t you think?”  This brought a robust chuckle from the audience, I think in honor of our President!  At another point when Glinda, the good witch, brings snow to subdue the effect the poppies were having on Dorothy and ‘friends’, the Cowardly Lion’s line, “Unusual weather we’re having, ain’t it?”, brought more chuckles.  I’m sure all of us have said this more than once in the past few weeks.  Cape Cod Symphony Artistic Director and Conductor, Jung-Ho Pak, along with David Kuehn, Executive Director of the Cotuit Center for the Arts and Producer of this production, make an excellent team.  I will look forward to seeing more of their combined efforts.

My morning was more of the same—exercise at home and then a trip to the gym to put in my daily 30 minutes of biking.  The orthopedic surgeon ‘prescribed’ the daily biking leading up to the knee replacement, so I’m following the doctor’s orders.  The purpose is to build the muscles, but it also takes the pain away for a short time.  And anything that takes pain away is a good thing.  Shortly after I got home, Karen and Peter Baranowski came to visit with their 4 grandchildren, all who have inherited the Baranowski height.  Previously, I had only met their youngest, Will, who is almost 3 and as tall as Ollie who will be 7 in March.  The oldest, Ellen, is 9, and she is as tall as me.  Charlie is 5 and Ben is 7, and both of them are also off the height charts for kids their age.  But then their father is 6’9 and their mother is 6’2, so they didn’t have much of a chance of being short!  But kids are kids, no matter how tall.  They were very excited about feeding the fish, checking out the bedroom that the Goldpebbles call their playroom, and heading down to the dock.  I’m so glad I finally got to meet them.  Delightful kids.   

2019 Life Logs, Day 39: A Shop ‘til You Drop Day

2019 Life Logs, Day 39:  A Shop ‘til You Drop Day

Date:  Friday, February 8, 2019

Weather:  Overcast with Some Drizzle; High 45, Low 24 degrees F

Location:  At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This was a shop ‘til you drop kind of day.  But before shopping, I drove to Hyannis to take my little Honda Fit to the Hyannis Honda Body Shop for repairs to my driver’s side door.  I was to meet the Geico insurance agent there at 10 am.  What I found is that the agent has an office right there.  He took a look at the door, explained that it will have to be replaced because the metal had been pushed into the steel bar inside the door.  The new door, the back door and a front right panel will all be painted to match.  The cost will be over a $1,000, but I am not responsible for any of that.  At least, that is the plan.  The agent then called for the rental car agent to come and he arrived with a dark gray Nisson Altima and off I went. 

My first shopping stop was Whole Foods in Hyannis for the sole purpose of buying organic dark chocolate bars.  Whole Foods and Amazon are my only sources for the kind of bars I like, so I try to purchase them at Whole Foods instead of ordering when I can.  Then I drove off-Cape to pick up an order at Target.  That drive was 30 miles, so as long as I had driven that far, I decided to travel on another 35 miles to IKEA, Costco, and Home Depot.  I am gearing up for starting seedlings for this garden and needed another grow light from Home Depot, some shelving from IKEA, and just went to Costco because I was in the neighborhood.  I brought things home and then went back out to the gym to get my biking miles in for today.   

2019 Life Logs, Day 38: Success

2019 Life Logs, Day 38: Success
Date: Thursday, February 7, 2019
Weather: Overcast and Rainy; High 42, Low 38 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I’m sure you have an endless list of things that need to be done, just as I do. And just like me, I’m pretty sure you rarely get to cross something off that list. But today I was able to do that. When I moved here in late April, the contents of all of my file drawers got jumbled and nothing has been filed since. So, there was a huge stack of papers to file. I went to the gym this morning and came home determined to get all those files reordered. I did it. And then I got that huge stack of papers all filed away. Success! And just when I needed a break mid-afternoon, friend Karen Baranowski stopped by to say hello. We enjoyed a cup of tea and great conversation which gave me just the break I needed to catch my breath and go back to finishing the job when she left. Thanks, Karen.

2019 Life Logs, Day 37: T-Boned (sort of)

2019 Life Logs, Day 37: T-Boned (sort of)
Date: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Weather: Sunny, Cooling Down; High 46, Low 32 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today I got t-boned . . . and I’m not talking about a steak. I pulled into the drive-way between Dunkin’ Donuts and the gym I go to, slowed down to pull into a parking spot to my right and was naturally looking in that direction. Then I saw something moving to my left, and before I could react, a van that was backing out of a Dunkin’ parking space was inches from my driver’s side door. I laid on the horn, to no avail, and watched in horror as the van just kept coming. No one was hurt and the van didn’t have a scratch. But my driver’s side door was quite caved in. The door still works, but it will be getting repaired starting on Friday. I called the police to see what you are supposed to do in a case like this and they sent an officer who gave the other gentleman a verbal warning about being more careful when backing out of a parking spot. He had us exchange information, said to contact our insurance companies, and that was that. I went to the gym to do my daily biking stint and then came home and spent a bit of time making the claim. If memory serves me right, this is the first accident I’ve had since I was 16, and I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to make the claim. But my insurance has a clause that releases me from any deductible if I am not at fault. And, according to the insurance agent, if you are backed into, it is automatically the other driver’s fault. So hopefully she’s right and this all works out.

Otherwise, this was a calm day. I had an appointment with my primary care physician this morning to get his release so I can have knee surgery. Since I had a full physical in August, he really didn’t have to do anything today. Instead, we talked about politics. He brought up last night’s State of the Union which led to an interesting conversation. I then had a mid-day appointment at home with a realtor. Shirley, the woman who owns the cottage, had a realtor come assess the property in case she decides to sell it. I precipitated this during a visit to Shirley last week by asking if she would be interested in selling. I love living here and might be interested in buying. The hesitation is that the house is in the flood zone which requires expensive flood insurance that I might not be able to afford. So, this is just an exploration. We’ll see where it leads.

2019 Life Logs, Day 36: The Beautiful Sea of White

2019 Life Logs, Day 36: The Beautiful Sea of White
Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Weather: Sunny, Another Spring-like Day; High 55, Low 30 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

As many of you, I watched the State of the Union address tonight. The beautiful sea of white created by the women in the Democratic House all wearing white was so impressive. Some days I feel like our government is a sinking ship, but I have hope that this new infusion of women in the House of Representatives can help to right that ship. Not an easy job, but this new infusion of strength and vision should help.

If the weather forecasters are correct, today was the last of our spring-like weather for a bit. But it was great while it lasted. I spent the afternoon at the Goldstones as it was an Early Release Day at school. Jonah and Ollie spent the afternoon enjoying the warm weather outside. Unfortunately, Sam has a cold and wasn’t feeling up to par, so he spent his time inside. Inside or out, it is always a joy to be with the Goldpebbles, but they didn’t really need my attention today. So I took advantage of the laundry facilities. I got to have fun with the boys and come home with clean clothes and sheets. Good deal!

2019 Life Logs, Day 35: Feels a Bit Like Spring

2019 Life Logs, Day 35: Feels a Bit Like Spring
Date: Monday, February 4, 2019
Weather: Partly Sunny, Feels Like Spring; High 51, Low 35 degrees F
Location: Back Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today felt a bit like spring. I know this is just a cruel joke Mother Nature is playing on us, but I’ll take it. A warm day or two in the middle of winter is welcome in my world anytime. The warmth today did motivate me to start thinking about spring gardening. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, it is actually time to start pepper and tomato seedlings indoors. And by the end of February, there is a longer list of seeds to plant. So it is time to gear up for spring, and then brace ourselves for the winter yet to come.

Not sure what I accomplished today, but I did get to the gym to use the stationary bike. I am increasing the amount of time slowly and will also start increasing the resistance. But this knee of mine requires that I do this very slowly. Tomorrow is an Early Release Day for the Goldpebbles, so I will be picking them just after noon and spending the afternoon with them.

2019 Life Logs, Day 34: Super Bowl LIII

2019 Life Logs, Day 34: Super Bowl LIII
Date: Sunday, February 3, 2019
Weather: Partly Sunny, Continuing to Warm Up; High 39, Low 35 degrees F (in Nyack)
Location: Back Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

They did it again! I got home late in the afternoon from New York and headed to the Goldstones to watch the Super Bowl. Heather and Jed had invited neighbors that have two boys, so we had five boys 13 and under. Maybe it wasn’t the most exciting football game I’ve ever watched, but when you live in Massachusetts, there is a special pride when the New England Patriots win yet another Super Bowl. They are proof of the success team work can bring. Go Patriots!!! And when I got home from New York late this afternoon, I saw that Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow yesterday. Do you really think we can win the Super Bowl and have an early spring?