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 284: Congratulations to Sarah and Christian

2020 Life Logs, Day 284: Congratulations to Sarah and Christian
Date: Sunday, October 11, 2020
Weather: Cooling Down; High 65, Low 48 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Good news for a change. My dear friend Detta called this afternoon to ask if I have been getting her texts. Well, no. I got a text from here on Thursday asking about my nieces, but that was it for a text from Detta on my new phone. When I had to get the new phone, I lost my contacts and all prior texts. Evidently Detta sent me a couple of very important texts during the days when I still had the old phone but couldn’t use it because I couldn’t see the screen. Anyway, during tht time she had texted to tell me that her daughter Sarah got married. Sarah and Christian quietly slipped away to a beautiful mountain top in Ashville, North Carolina, to exchange vows. And I missed the whole thing! Sarah moved to Ashville a couple of years ago after graduating from college. She met Christian there and they have been together since.
But in September, they decided it was time to tie the knot and move back to New Hampshire. Congratulations to the bride and groom. And congratulations to the parents of the bride, Detta and Tom. They are so delighted that Sarah and Christian are moving to New Hampshire and will live close by. I couldn’t be happier for all of them.

I started my day down by the dock with Shadow. My new neighbor, Andrew, had offered to show me some of his dog training techniques. After a few minutes, he agreed that Shadow certainly wants to run the show, but I did get some helpful ideas. I spent the rest of the day going to Heather and Jed’s to feed the guinea pigs and do some laundry and coming home to cook while waiting to hear from about my nieces. Hospice called my niece Lynn’s immediate family this morning to tell them to come as it looked like she would pass at any moment. But tonight she is still holding on and the wait continues. I talked to my niece in Charlotte who had surgery this week and found out that she was being released today. She had emergency surgery on Tuesday to have a large tumor that was laying on her spine removed. The surgery to remove her left kidney that was scheduled for this week has been delayed and we are just waiting for the results of the biopsy to find out what her next steps will be. Lots of tense waiting time. That’s why I decided to spend my afternoon cooking. I made eggplant parmesan and a lasagna using thin sliced zucchini instead of pasta. I hope to take the eggplant parmesan to my sister-in-law and I’ll try the zucchini lasagna and share it with the Goldstones upon their return from Maine tomorrow evening if it is a success.

2020 Life Logs, Day 283: Memories from 56 Years Ago

2020 Life Logs, Day 283: Memories from 56 Years Ago
Date: Saturday, October 10, 2020
Weather: Warm and Windy; High 69, Low 54 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

I was talking to my sister tonight and I asked her when she last talked to her best friend from high school, a friendship that continued throughout their adult lives. But evidently when my sister moved to Tennessee in 2015 and my brother-in-law got so sick, she lost contact. The cell phone number she has just isn’t working. I didn’t know this until I asked the question tonight, so when we got off the phone, I sent a Facebook message to the Mayor of Nitro, West Virginia, asking him if he could help me find out the current whereabouts of Bob and Helen Strickland. For some reason, he is a friend of mine on Facebook. Amazingly, two seconds later he got back to me saying that he will check into it for me but that he believes they still live at the address I sent to him. It is at times like this that I absolutely love Facebook.
My sister Patsy was 16 and Helen was 15 in the spring of 1950. They were best friends attending Nitro High School when Helen and Bob got married. My sister was their witness and their friendship continued for 65 more years until they lost contact. I really hope the mayor can help me get them back together.

This all came up because yesterday my sister-in-law asked if Helen was still living. I had not heard otherwise, so I said that I thought so. But that caused me to inquire. My sister-in-law also pointed out that it will 56 years on Monday that my brother Bennie, her husband, died suddenly of pancreatitis when he was just 33 years old. That Monday was October 12, 1964, exactly one year from this coming Monday. Thinking about that brought back vivid memories of that time. Bennie and Sue and their three children lived close to my parents in Nitro. I was a senior at Nitro High School and it was the weekend for decorating floats for Homecoming on the following weekend. I was a cheerleader and all members of the squad were spending the weekend together. We worked all of Friday evening on the floats and then went to a fellow cheerleaders house to spend the night. I could see my house up on the hill from the front yard of where we were staying. We stayed up half the night and I kept wondering why the porchlight was on at my house all night. But the next day there was an afternoon football game followed by more decorating and another night at the friend’s house. When I went home on Sunday morning, I found out that my brother had been hospitalized on Thursday, had almost died on Friday night, but was recovering. I was told that no one had told me so I wouldn’t worry, but I was not happy and really wanted to see my brother. I went to the hospital and had a nice visit with him. He made fun of me for having my hair in a ponytail on the top of head and we laughed together. He had an infectious laugh that always made me so happy and I left the hospital thinking he was just fine. But when I got home from school on Monday, no one was there. Everyone was at the hospital because my brother had died. What a tough life lesson. Life is not guaranteed. It can go away in an instant. Now 56 years later, we are waiting to hear about the passing of his daughter Lynn, only 66 years old. It doesn’t sound like she will make it to Monday, but it will be very ironic if she does and then dies on the same day—October 10th and a Monday—56 years apart.

On a happier note, I met a new neighbor today. I live next door to Shirley, the women who owns the cottage I rent, and the house next door to her sold recently. When I was walking Shadow down the street yesterday morning before heading north to Boston, I saw a young man, about the age of Heather and Jed, park his fancy sports car with a New York license plate next to the house that just sold. For two weeks, workers have been installing a new septic system in the front yard and I saw him walk up to one of the workmen and start talking. So I figured he might be the new owner. I didn’t see his car when I walked Shadow this morning, so I assumed he had left. But then this afternoon when I was playing ball with Shadow down by the dock, the young man walked out to his dock. We introduced ourselves and had a great conversation. He and his wife are originally from England but have most recently been living just north of New York City with their three children, almost the same ages as Sam, Jonah, and Ollie, but two girls who are 8 and 14 with an 11 year-old boy in the middle. He closed on the house yesterday and will meet with the construction crew on Monday morning that will renovate the entirety of the inside of the house over the next few months. When that is done, the family will move in full-time. So many of my neighbors are summer residents only, so it was great to learn that I will have another year-round neighbor.

2020 Life Logs, Day 282: Hospice Visit

2020 Life Logs, Day 282: Hospice Visit
Date: Friday, October 9, 2020
Weather: Still Cool, But Sunny; High 57, Low 53 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Today I made the trip to Reading, northeast of Boston, to meet my sister-in-law Sue and niece Candi at the Sawtelle Family Hospice House and then take them to lunch. Due to Covid, I had been told that I would not be able to go see my niece Lynn, but when I got there, Candi came down to meet me and they let us exchange places. I was so grateful to have a little time to say final farewells. I don’t know how much Lynn comprehended, but I hope she felt the love I was conveying from all of my family members who live so far away. I then took Sue and Candi to lunch. It was bright and sunny, so we were so we were able to take advantage of the outside seating. It was 3:15 by the time we finished lunch and I started the long trek home. Being a Friday on a holiday weekend, there was definitely more traffic than during a normal Friday rush hour. I didn’t get home until 7:15, but that did include a stop at Costco to buy a dog bed for Shadow. Shadow was VERY happy to see me and I was actually able to play ball with him outside by turning on my porch light and using my car headlights. It definitely made for a happy puppy. But my day was not over. Shadow and I then had to drive to Heather and Jed’s to feed the guinea pigs. The Goldstones left early this morning for a weekend in Maine. I got a text late afternoon that said they arrived by 1 pm and that the house on a lake they are renting is rustic and gorgeous. As I traveled today, I heard that it is supposed to be 80 and sunny in Boston tomorrow. Hopefully that weather will continue on up the coast to Maine allowing them to truly enjoy the weekend. We are supposed to have warm but very windy weather here tomorrow. I’ll try to ignore the wind and just enjoy the warmth.

2020 Life Logs, Day 281: Guns versus Political Signs

2020 Life Logs, Day 281: Guns versus Political Signs
Date: Thursday, October 8, 2020
Weather: Cooler Again; High 63, Low 40 Degrees F (Brrrr)
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

I hope I heard this wrong, but I think I heard a state senator in Michigan say today that you are allowed to carry guns outside and inside the state capitol, but protest signs fastened to sticks are banned as they might chip the building’s facade. When I Googled this I found a quote from the Michigan State Police saying protesters are “within their rights to carry their weapons inside the building “as long as the person is carrying the firearm with lawful intent and the firearm is not concealed.” Evidently there is no law explicitly allowing this. It is just that there is no law saying it can’t be done. And then there are the men that were arrested in Michigan today for plotting to kidnap the governor and much more. What kind of country have we become?

My world is a waiting game right now. My niece who had a tumor removed from her spine yesterday is doing well. So far, so good. And the condition of my niece that is hospice care, Lynn, has not changed much since yesterday. I am driving to the Boston area tomorrow to hopefully have lunch with Lynn’s mother and sister. I am not allowed in the hospice house due to Covid, but it will make me feel better to be close by.

This afternoon was sunny and beautiful and I took Sam to his rowing session. It was a bit windy and the temp was not particularly warm, so I sat in my car in the sunshine overlooking the lake and reading my book. Sam was the first out and they rowed all the way around the lake today. He really enjoyed the rowing and I really enjoyed watching. So peaceful.

2020 Life Logs, Day 280: Trip to Scituate to Visit the Aunties

2020 Life Logs, Day 280: Trip to Scituate to Visit the Aunties
Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Weather: Warm and Windy; High 70, Low 49 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

I spent most of my day traveling north to Scituate with Karen Baranowski to visit my friends and her aunties, the two women who live next door to me half of the year. Karen brought lasagna and I contributed a salad and birthday cake for Doris who turned 102 on Sunday. We had a delightful visit. But during and after the visit, I had phone calls focused on my two nieces. The niece in hospice in Massachusetts is still hanging on and I got to talk to her on speaker phone today. She cannot talk, but she seems to comprehend what is being said. I cannot visit due to Covid, but at least she heard my voice. My other niece who lives in North Carolina had her emergency surgery this afternoon and everything went very well. The tumor on her spine was successfully removed. We won’t know if it is cancerous until the biopsy results are in and we don’t know if the scheduled surgery to remove her left kidney will happen next week as previously scheduled. My guess is that it will be delayed. My thoughts are with both nieces and everyone who knows and loves them.

2020 Life Logs, Day 279: From Oysters to Sculling

2020 Life Logs, Day 279: From Oysters to Sculling
Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 64, Low 57 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

I was so upset about my niece last night that I totally forgot to mention one of yesterday’s highlights in my log. On my way home from town late yesterday afternoon, I stopped by to visit with Karen Baranowski in the Taj Garage. The Baranowski’s newly floored and freshly cleaned garage has become the place to meet as the weather gets cooler. Peter went oystering over the weekend and when I was leaving, he asked if I would like some oysters.
I asked him to just give me two or three so that I could have them as an appetizer. When I got home, I put them on the grill and when the ‘lids’ popped, I put in a little garlic butter. They were delicious. Thank you, Peter.

Today I had a chiropractor and an orthopedic appointment to check out the problem I have been having with my left hip and leg. I assumed it was a result of my back issue, but I just wanted to make sure since it was my left knee that was replaced last year. I was assured all around that the knee replacement was fine as shown in the x-rays that were taken, and that, yes, it is a problem stemming from the herniated discs. Exercise, especially biking and religious morning stretching was prescribed, so I must get myself out on my bicycle every day. But at least all of that was the news that was expected—no bad news.

Then mid-afternoon I volunteered to take Sam to his sculling session. Sculling is when a rower uses two oars, or skulls, to pull a very thin-hulled boat or “shell” through the water. The long, narrow boat with two oars per rower is referred to as a scull, the oars can be called sculls, and the person rowing is also referred to as a sculler. You can scull with just one person in each boat or you can have a team in a boat and compete in crewing events. This was only Sam’s second session and he really loves it. Doing this requires a 45-minute drive to another 45-minute drive from Lake Wequaquet near Hyannis and a two-hour wait while he rows, so it is quite a time commitment. I hope Heather and Jed will choose to let me continue to help with the transport as I love watching the kids row while I spend time reading and being close to the water. So peaceful.

And right now, I need to seek opportunities for peacefulness in my life. While one niece is in hospice dying from cancer, I found out this afternoon that another niece, Jennifer, who was scheduled to have a kidney removed on October 14 due to cancer, was hospitalized this afternoon and is having emergency surgery tomorrow. The doctors discovered a tumor on her spine that needs to be removed immediately. That surgery is scheduled for 2 pm tomorrow afternoon. If my writing seems a bit scattered, please forgive. These are difficult times.

2020 Life Logs, Day 278: Appointments and Visits

2020 Life Logs, Day 278: Appointments and Visits
Date: Monday, October 5, 2020
Weather: Partly Sunny; A Little Rain; High 64, Low 49 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Today started by taking the car in for an oil change and tire rotation. Then in the afternoon, I had a dental appointment to get my teeth cleaned. I missed my appointment in March and two subsequent appointments due to Covid, so this was a long overdue cleaning. Tomorrow I have a chiropractor appointment and an appointment with my knee surgeon’s assistant. So, this feels like the week of appointments. Wednesday I drive to Scituate to visit the aunties who alternate living next door and closer to Boston in Scituate. The auntie’s niece and my friend, Karen Baranowski, will drive up and take lunch. Yesterday was Doris’ 102nd birthday, so we will have a little celebration.

Tonight I am thinking of my niece Lynn who was moved to a hospice house last week. In fact, I think of her all day, every day. Because of Covid, I am not allowed to visit, but my other niece Candi and my sister-in-law Sue keep me updated every morning and evening. The hospice nurses think Lynn has only a few days to live, so I expect to go visit with the family later in the week. Plenty to keep me busy this week.

2020 Life Logs, Day 277: Great Progress at 43 Grasmere

2020 Life Logs, Day 277: Great Progress at 43 Grasmere
Date: Sunday, October 4, 2020
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 65, Low 53 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Great progress was made at 43 Grasmere this weekend, culminating in Ollie and Jonah getting to move into their bedroom tonight. When the Goldstones moved into their new home in April, the carpeting was stripped from the two upstairs bedrooms and it has been a constant project to get walls removed. walls painted, and wood flooring laid. They got a little help with the removal of walls in Jonah and Ollie’s bedroom and painting in that room, but otherwise, Heather and Jed have done all the rest of the work themselves–painting walls and trim and laying wood flooring themselves. This weekend they made a huge push to get Ollie and Jonah moved out of the bonus room over the garage and into their new bedroom. Jed finished off the flooring before the weekend, but they had to get the trim in, assemble the new beds and desks, and remove a ceiling fan. By dinner time tonight, the move was mostly complete. The bonus room was turned into an office and quiet space and furniture was moved into Ollie and Jonah’s room. They still need to work on lighting and a few small details in the new bedroom, but it looks great.
I got a few photos tonight, but will have to get better photos of the completed project during the day. I am just so happy that so much progress was made and that now all three boys have completed bedrooms that they love and that the bonus room can now be used as a school space for Sam and his friend Robert, and a quiet get away for everyone else in the family who needs a change of scenery from their school and office spaces in other parts of the house. Redesigning a home to accommodate working and schooling at home is quite a challenge during these cornonavirus days, but I think the Goldstones have nailed it.

I talked to my good friends Kevin and Claire tonight. Mark and I met Kevin and Claire when we were both living aboard our sailboats in Boston in 2003. Mark and I were living aboard Windbird and Kevin and Claire were living aboard Merganser. Even though Kevin and Claire are in the same age bracket as our children, we became friends for life. More recently, they have been living aboard Merganser in Philadelphia while Kevin worked from home and Claire was managing a research project at Princeton in New Jersey. In mid-September, they sold Merganser and are moving their land yacht, a motor home, to the Los Angeles area where they will continue their work remotely. They called today because they have finally left Pennsylvania and are headed cross country. They are in Ohio tonight and will be heading to Bloomington, Indiana, tomorrow, and have promised to keep me updated on their travels. Their destination is the Golden Shore RV Park in Long Beach, California. Kevin’s mother, his sister and her family, and Claire’s only sibling, a sister and her family all live in the LA area. So, they are very excited to get there to be closer to family. Here’s hoping they have a wonderful trip across this country and reach their destination safely.

2020 Life Logs, Day 276: Pamper the Puppy Day

2020 Life Logs, Day 276: Pamper the Puppy Day
Date: Saturday, October 3, 2020
Weather: Sunny; High 66, Low 47 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

This was not a national ‘pamper the puppy’ day—simply a day when I had the time to pamper my puppy. Shadow had his first birthday a couple of weeks ago, but he is definitely still a puppy. Today I had the time to walk with him, play catch multiple times, give him a bath, sit in the sun with him while he was drying out, and then sit and read while holding him. That was just about it for my day. I did have a great phone call with Helaine Kanegsberg tonight and I finished my Louise Penny novel. Nothing more productive to announce, but it was a great day.

2020 Life Logs, Day 275: Free Friday

2020 Life Logs, Day 275: Free Friday
Date: Friday, October 2, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy & Cooler; High 68, Low 49 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

I basically took the day off . . . phone conversations, sneaking time to read my current book, two walks with Shadow plus time to play catch, and finally getting a little house cleaning done. Early this morning, I talked with my niece in North Carolina that has recently been diagnosed with kidney cancer and will be having her left kidney removed mid-month. She has her ups and downs accepting this, but when talking with her this morning, she seemed to have a really positive attitude. It is difficult for me to watch two of my nieces battling cancer at the same time. My heart and positive thoughts are with them both. After talking with my niece, I went for an extra long walk with Shadow and then returned home to listen to the construction noise of putting in a new septic system one house away. They have been working on this all week, but today they were finally starting to bury the new system and this required some very loud banging for hours. Shadow usually barks at every noise, but somehow the loud banging only bothered him when we walked too close to the construction site. After I ate lunch, I launched into a cleaning frenzy, sweeping and mopping the floors. Once that was done, I decided to take the rest of the afternoon off and read my current novel. I have read the October and November book club assignments, so I am currently reading the 16th book in Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series just because I love the series. “Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life in Three Pines, finding long buried secrets—and facing a few of his own ghosts.” The name of this newest book is ‘All the Devils Are Here’ and it has me totally sucked in. The other 15 novels in this series take place in Quebec, mostly centered around the little village of Three Pines. The author lives in a small village south of Montréal, the location of the fictitious town of Three Pines featured in this series of mystery novels. However, this latest novel takes place in Paris. It is fun to learn a little about Paris while enjoying the mystery. Then tonight I caught up on the news of the hospitalization of our President. I got a text from Heather early this morning saying that it was announced during the night that the President and First Lady have both tested positive for Covid. If you read this log, you probably are aware that I am not a fan of this President, but I would not wish Covid on anyone. I sincerely hope both he and the First Lady get through this without complications. But it is my hope that the White House might start following the same Covid “rules” that are recommended for the rest of us to live by. And by doing so, encourage everyone in this country to do the same so we can get this virus under control. I think that is wishful thinking, but I’m allowed to hope.