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!

2020 Life Logs, Day 41: Rainy Day

2020 Life Logs, Day 41: Rainy Day
Date: Monday, February 10, 2020
Weather: Overcast with Rain; High 47 degrees, Low 38 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

We’ve had such beautiful weather this winter that I feel guilty complaining when we have dreary, rainy days. So, I won’t complain. I’ll just state that it was dreary and rainy all day. Shadow and I still took our walks, but during the last walk of the afternoon, Shadow got soaked to the bone and is drying out. I went to an interview for a position on the Newcomers Board for next year, spent some time writing for my Memoir Class, prepared for a presentation I give tomorrow for the Bourne Newcomers, started reading a new book, and put away the impossible puzzle that has been taking up my dining room table for a few weeks. I was working the puzzle on a very large piece of cardboard the size of the dining table and was making almost no progress. I am saving what progress I have made by putting the large piece of cardboard with the puzzle pieces I have managed to sort and assemble atop a wardrobe in one of my bedrooms. In the fall, when my friend Lynne arrives to help-out after my knee surgery, we’ll get the puzzle down and continue working on it together. In the meantime, I might cover it with a cloth so it doesn’t get dusty, but for now it is out of sight and out of mind!

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On our way out for our last walk of the day, Shadow and I stopped next door to deliver some soup and the mail to our neighbors Shirley and Doris. They asked if I had noticed that the big tree by the boat dock was blown over during our very windy Friday. I had not noticed and was shocked to see it. The tree and its entire root system was simply blown over. Then I noticed that the kayaks I have stored under their deck were also blown about. The tarp I had secured over the kayaks was blown off and one of the kayaks was blown over. I’ll work on fixing that on Wednesday as tomorrow is supposed to be another day of rain.

2020 Life Logs, Day 40: Reading and Walking Away a Sunday

2020 Life Logs, Day 40: Reading and Walking Away a Sunday
Date: Sunday, February 9, 2020
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 41 degrees, Low 35 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Either getting a puppy has made me a much more relaxed person or I have just gotten lazy. Whichever, I am spending many more days of my life just reading, walking, napping, and just quietly enjoying life. Today was one of those days. Shadow and I enjoyed three long walks together today and I spent most of my afternoon finishing the novel I have been reading during the past week. I was reading The Dutch House by Ann Patchett for a book club meeting on Tuesday that I can’t attend. But I thought I should read the book anyway. It was a quick read. Enjoyable, but predictable. A nice diversion, but not really what I would consider a great read. But the end of the book did catch my attention, so I just stopped everything today and read until I finished it. It was a relaxing and delightful day. And I am ending my evening by watching the Oscars. I have seen none of the movies nominated, but a couple of them have caught my interest tonight. And the diversity of nominations and winners has been impressive. My niece, Lynn, once told me that I have least knowledge of pop culture than anyone she has ever known. I think she was right. I need to work on that.

2020 Life Logs, Day 39: People Training, Class #1

2020 Life Logs, Day 39: People Training, Class #1
Date: Saturday, February 8, 2020
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 37 degrees, Low 23 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

When I was a little girl, we had a dog named Tuffy. I have seen photos of me with Tuffy, but I really have no memory of him as I was so young. We lived up on a hill and anyone making a delivery had to walk up that hill. We had to walk down the hill to the mailbox, but milk and the daily paper were delivered to our front door. And there were salesmen that would walk up the hill to peddle their wares. One afternoon, a man walked up the hill and Tuffy ran at him and bit him on the ankle. Later that evening, my dad took Tuffy in the woods and shot him. He had never been aggressive or threatened anyone before. But that is how dogs that bit were dealt with back then. Even though I really don’t have memories of the dog, I do remember the events of that day. So today when I went to my first class in the People Training For Good Dogs program, this memory was refreshed. Melissa Berryman wrote the book and is the trainer for this program. She spent six years as an animal control officer and saw too many good dogs that had to be put down because they hit bitten someone. In almost every case as an animal control officer, she felt like the bite was the result of people not understanding how to deal with dogs. Often the dogs were like Tuffy. They had been members of the family for years and never had a prior incident, yet they were immediately put down. So, she has made it her life’s work to try to train people how to properly handle dogs. The private class today was two and a half hours and there was a lot to absorb. Shadow was a star student, but I have much practicing to do. Melissa controls dogs with her voice. Very low, gruff sounds or words are used for corrections, instantaneously followed by high pitched, enthusiastically produced positive words when the dog responds. For instance, when Shadow would jump up on her, she quickly responded with a low-pitched and gruff “no” and before Shadow’s front legs were back on the ground, she was saying “yeah, good puppy” and back to a growly “no” if Shadow jumped again. It is easy to say “no”, but it is harder to immediately respond with the positive. And that is absolutely necessary if you expect the puppy to stop the unwanted behavior. They thrive on the positive feedback. Her responses are instant and seemed exaggerated, but they work. Now I just have to try and emulate her verbal responses. Easier said than done. We also did leash work. Shadow was given a new leather leash and I was taught how to properly use the leash. First, I worked with one of Melissa’s training dogs and then with Shadow. Easy to follow the directions with a training dog; not so easy with Shadow. But when I took him for a walk a few hours after the class, he responded beautifully. I still feel awkward with the heavy leather lease handling techniques, but hopefully it will get easier. The goal is to get Shadow to the point where a lease is not necessary. But that requires that Shadow completely respects me as his leader and never questions my authority. I see that it works for Melissa, but she has been doing this for over 20 years. And it requires a completely different view of the people/dog relationship. One of Melissa’s first lessons is that you never extend a hand to a dog. Dogs don’t shake hands and extending a hand to a dog can invite a nip. When you meet a dog for the first time, you need to let the dog decide if it wants a stranger to touch it. What you should do is relax, tap your leg repeatedly, and talk to the dog in a higher pitched voice that tells the dog you are friendly. If it wants to be petted, it will relax and come to you. And it is my job to make sure that when Shadow meets stranger, I let them know the proper way to be friendly. Another no-no is hugging a dog. Again, dogs don’t hug. Often young children grab a dog to hug it and many bites happen this way. You can cuddle your dog without hugging, but this one is going to be hard for me as I often hug Shadow. I might be able to get by with this, but a hug from the wrong person could end up in disaster. According to Melissa, a dog can be “man’s best friend” but only if the dog knows unequivocally that “man” is the boss.

Shadow and I were both exhausted by the time we got home, so we took a late afternoon nap. It was sundown by the time we woke up so our afternoon walk had to be done with a flashlight. But we did it, and he was much more responsive with the new leash. The next lesson with be with Sam, Jonah, and Ollie as soon as we can find a date when we are all available.

2020 Life Logs, Day 37: Enjoying Treading Water

2020 Life Logs, Day 37: Enjoying Treading Water
Date: Thursday, February 6, 2020
Weather: Rain All Day; High 45 degrees, Low 39 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Another busy day, but I feel like I am treading water. I stay busy, but I don’t seem to move forward! But I am enjoying the ride, or maybe I should say swim. This morning, I took Shadow for a walk in light rain and then I took my neighbor and landlord, Shirley, to have the one-week check-up on her new hearing aids. Her niece and my good friend Karen Baranowski would normally take her to any medical appointments, but Karen is out of town. I was more than happy to fill in. By the time I got home, it was time for another walk with Shadow and then I headed to Bruce and Jane Woodin’s for a visit. I then went into town to do a few errands and back home for one more long walk with puppy. When we got home, we played soccer in the yard for a bit and then came in to dry out. I read for a bit, made a great broccoli potato soup for dinner, and had a long conversation with Melissa Berryman or People Training For Good Dogs. After reading her book, I have chosen her to train me and the Goldpebbles to properly interact with Shadow. Hopefully, we can get this wild and wonderful puppy under control. I have my introductory class on Saturday, but I don’t think the Goldpebbles can attend as they have their Scout Pinewood Derby. But as soon as we can arrange a time, Melissa will do a make-up class with the boys. There are three private lessons and then a string of group lessons. I know they won’t be able to attend all, but we’ll include them as often as possible. As she so wisely points out, all of us who are an integral part of Shadow’s life need the same training so that he gets the same message from each of us. Heather and Jed just do not have time right now to attend, but I will get another copy of Melissa’s book as part of the course and give that to H & J to read. And I’m sure the boys will enjoy teaching mommy and daddy the ‘proper procedures’.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow, even though there will still be rain in the beginning of the day. The temperature is going to be in the 50’s before the north winds start blowing in a cold snap. It is forecast to be 56 degrees F tomorrow, but only 36 degrees on Saturday. So, I plan to spend at least part of the day outside enjoying the ‘warmth’.

2020 Life Logs, Day 36: Catch-up Morning, Mah Jongg Evening

2020 Life Logs, Day 36: Catch-up Morning, Mah Jongg Evening
Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Weather: Overcast; High 41 degrees, Low 31 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

All that beautiful, sunny, warmer than it should be for this time of year weather has left us for a bit. Yesterday and today were overcast and a bit windy making the high temperature in the low forties feel colder than that. The forecast for tomorrow is rain, rain, and more rain, so I doubt we’ll see the sun, but it will warm up a bit before temps dip over the weekend. Saturday and Sunday will feel more like winter, then it warms up again. We are still waiting for winter, fearing that when it does come it will hit hard.

I spent my morning catching up paperwork. Mid-afternoon I stopped to take Ollie to his weekly violin lesson. And then tonight my Mah Jongg group came here to play. I won two games tonight, but I still feel like I really don’t know what I am doing half the time. Part of being a good Mah Jongg player has to do with understanding the intricacies of the game, but it seems to me that winning has a lot to do with luck.

2020 Life Logs, Day 35: Afternoon with the Goldpebbles

2020 Life Logs, Day 35: Afternoon with the Goldpebbles
Date: Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Weather: Overcast; High 46 degrees, Low 35 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This morning I finished one book and started reading another. Many of the thoughts from the book I finished, The Overstory, will stay with me for the rest of my life. It changed the way I look at many things, especially trees. “A tree is a passage between earth and sky.” Stop and think about that. And then think about how important it is that we protect trees from mass destruction in the name of progress.

After reading my morning away, I got ready to head to Heather and Jed’s. Today was an Early Release Day for all three boys, so Shadow and I went over for the afternoon. We baked chocolate chip cookies and the boys and Shadow played outside. Then we headed downtown to the public library. Jed drove into town from Woods Hole to pick Sam up and take him to drum lessons. Ollie and Jonah and I stayed at the library and when Jed returned, I took Ollie to tennis lessons. Then Heather met me there. It takes a village. But meeting up with Heather gave me an opportunity to ask her how things are going with her new job. All she could say was busy, busy, busy trying to learn the ins and out of Woods Hole Research Center while it is in the process of redefining the public’s perception of the work they do. And as Chief Communications Officer, it is her job to help spearhead that effort. And while settling into the new job, she and Jed are in the process of buying a new home. They made an offer which was accepted and have made it through the first hurdle, the home inspection. Any of you who have bought a home know there are all kinds of things that could go wrong, but so far, so good. If things work out, they will be closing the end March and moving in immediately following. It is really a busy time in the Goldstone household and will only get busier as they get closer to moving time. But they will be moving into a lovely home in a great neighborhood, so in the end, all of the trouble should be worth it. I’m so glad I decided to postpone my knee surgery until the fall, as now I will be able to help with the move. When I made that decision, I had no idea that Heather and Jed would be moving, and neither did they. They weren’t even looking for a house. Interesting how things happen. And speaking of interesting, it is time for me to take Shadow for his evening walk and settle in to watch The State of the Union address. That should definitely be interesting.

2020 Life Logs, Day 34: Walking, Reading, Visiting

2020 Life Logs, Day 34: Walking, Reading, Visiting
Date: Monday, February 3, 2020
Weather: Some Sunny Periods Mixed with Cloud; High 45 degrees, Low 35 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Not a lot to report today. I spent time outside walking and playing with Shadow, but spent most of the day reading. I was desperately trying to finish the book I have been reading, The Overstory by Richard Powers, as I need to read a book by next Tuesday for my book club that I have yet to start. And I also need to read the rest of the book I started on People Training for Good Dogs. I didn’t finish The Overstory, but hopefully will finish it tomorrow. It is just not a book that you can flip through quickly. Each page, each word, causes you to stop and reflect, so it is a slow read. Karen Baranowski came by for tea late morning and we talked our way into the afternoon. She and Peter leave on Thursday for a month-long cruise and are looking forward to being warmer for a month. Tomorrow is an Early Release Day, so I will spend the afternoon with the Goldpebbles. Now I’m going to turn on the TV and see what is happening in the Iowa Caucasus before heading to bed.

2020 Life Logs, Day 33: Somebody Ought To . . .

2020 Life Logs, Day 33: Somebody Ought To . . .
Date: Sunday, February 2, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 42 degrees, Low 31 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Nobody that knows me would ever call me a prude. But tonight when I watched the Superbowl half-time show, I sure felt like a prude. As I watched, all I could hear in my head were the words of my grandmother saying, “Somebody ought to spat her as . . .” The year I was born, 1947, a movie came out starring the Brazilian bombshell, Carmen Miranda. Copacabana was a musical comedy and in it, Miranda, performed one of her ‘high energy’ dances. My grandmother, a country woman, was visiting sometime during the next year when Copacabana was playing at the local theater, so my sister Patsy who was 14 or 15 at the time, took my grandmother to see the movie. When Carmen Miranda came on the screen with her signature bowl of fruit on her head and started dancing with that ‘high energy’, my grandmother stood up and announced loudly that “Somebody ought to spat her as . . .” My sister was so embarrassed that she grabbed my grandmother and left the theater. Of course, I don’t really remember any of this, but I have heard the story many times over the years. And tonight, as I watched Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform, I knew how my grandmother must have felt. Dancing is one thing, but in tonight’s performances, the ‘dancing’ went too far. And the costumes were just plain offensive. I had been at Heather and Jed’s for the beginning of the game, but I decided to come home to be with Shadow. Hopefully they put the boys to bed before half-time. I read that Shakira and Lopez had promised to deliver an empowering performance for women. That is not what I saw. They are definitely talented and if someone wants to pay to go see them perform in a concert that is one thing. But to have that coming into your home during the half-time of a football game is another thing. It convinced me that our society has gone totally off the rails. Lots of things make me feel that way these days, but this sealed the deal. I immediately changed the channel to public television and watched Sunday night Masterpiece Theatre. Quite a contrast!

Shadow and I spent time with Ollie mid-day. We took a walk to the bogs with Joey, the little boy that lives next door. Then I took Ollie to play with a friend. Later in the afternoon, I went to a meet and greet session with a woman who is running for the State Senate seat from this district. I have never gotten involved in local politics, but I am convinced that now is the time that all of us need to be involved in politics at all levels. If we have met the people that are representing us, hopefully it will have a more dramatic effect when we call them not doing their jobs. This was a small group setting in someone’s home. I knew a couple of the people attending, but not most. I was very impressed with the level of questioning. Health care, education, the opioid crisis, climate change issues, and immigration were the topics brought forth by those of us attending. I listened carefully to this candidate’s responses. Now I need to find a way to meet some of the other candidates running for this State Senate position and hear what they have to say.

Other than being Superbowl Sunday, today was special in two other ways. Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning, indicating that we should have an early spring. Since we have not really had winter yet, that is good news, but we could have a nasty February and still have an early spring. The other thing was today’s date of 02/02/2020. This was palindrome day when the date reads the same way forwards and backwards. And this one was very special world-wide. “Unlike the date in 2002, this one reads the same in the US, where dates are written as month-day-year instead of day-month-year as in much of the rest of the world.” And it also worked for China and a few other countries that put the year first. The last time this happened was 11 November 1111.

2020 Life Logs, Day 32: Quick Trip Off-Cape

2020 Life Logs, Day 32: Quick Trip Off-Cape
Date: Saturday, February 1, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 40 degrees, Low 31 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The morning was spent reading more of the dog handling book, People Training for Good Dogs, by Melissa Berryman. In the afternoon, I made an unplanned trip to Newton, near Boston, to take the half-size violin Heather and Justin used when they were in elementary school to a violin repair shop. Ollie is ready to move up to a half-size from his current quarter-size, but the half-size needs some repairs. I have had taking the violin in for repairs on my ‘to do’ list since the first of the year, but just haven’t had the opportunity to get away. Late morning, I went over to Heather’s to take some packing boxes she needed and found that she also needed more plastic storage bins that I get at Costco. Since Costco is not far from the violin repair shop in Newton, I had just the incentive needed to take off to do these two things. I took Shadow with me and we enjoyed our travel time together. I stopped at Costco to get the storage bins first, took Shadow for a walk, and then traveled on to Newton. All I knew was the name of the place, so I put it Google Maps and arrived at Carriage House Violins. What I found out when I got inside is that the Carriage House is the instrument sales division of Johnson String Instrument, the largest stringed instrument dealer in New England. You can buy a 300 year-old violin for thousands of dollars, get an expensive violin restored, or simply get a student-grade violin repaired. It looks a little like a warehouse from the outside, but once inside you are transported into another world. The dark wood interior, the sound of classical violin music coming from various rooms, the overwhelming number of violins, violas, and cellos, even the way the staff dresses and move about a little more slowly than the rest of us, gives the whole place an old world feel. I thought I could just drop off the violin, but it wasn’t that easy. I was escorted to a waiting area and then met with a young man that took the violin to evaluate any repairs it might need. When he returned, he went over in detail the things that need to be done, explained why, and listed the cost of each repair for me. I could have decided to rent a new violin for a year for the same price as the repairs, but I decided to upgrade the old one. It is just a student-grade violin, but it has a history and I decided it should be given a ‘new’ life. The violin will be ready in a week and a half and I’ll return to pick it up. It was almost 5 pm by the time I got back to the car. Shadow was patiently waiting for me. I took him for another walk and then we headed back to the Cape. I love that Shadow is a good traveler and I hope he prefers traveling with me rather than spending the time in his crate at home.

2020 Life Logs, Day 31: Changing the Way I Think

2020 Life Logs, Day 31: Changing the Way I Think
Date: Friday, January 31, 2020
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 39 degrees, Low 32 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

If there was a theme in my life this week it was changing the way I think about certain things. I have been reading the fiction Pulitzer Prize winning book of the year, The Overstory by Richard Powers, that Heather gave it to me for Christmas. When you read reviews of the book, they are mixed. The Guardian review was not so favorable. The Atlantic review was laudatory. I am not quite finished with the book, but I can see both sides. But whatever side you come down on, reading the book definitely changes the way you think about trees, and more broadly about our role as ‘keepers’ of the world in which we live. I love one quote from the book, “The best arguments in the world won’t change a person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story.” The Guardian review finds the story offensive. It basically says that the book was written with the purpose of converting minds to support a cause. And they say that is the opposite of literature. But the general consensus seems to be that the book was written “to help people think some other way about a world that we’re running through very quickly” and that different way of thinking is a good thing. It is definitely a story that helps reconnect us to the natural world that we have become so discounted from. And it has totally changed the way I think about trees, the forest eco-system, even the briers that I have removing from the woods around the cottage.

Today I spent my entire day reading a book by a Cape Cod author, Melissa Berryman. Sure wish I had known about Melissa and her book before I brought Shadow into my home. I would have done things very differently. But it is not too late. I just need some training to help me auto-correct. Melissa lives very close-by and trains people to better handle their dogs. Her business is called People Training for Good Dogs (PTFGD). She does not do dog training. She teaches dog owners about ‘dog handling’, or in other words, she does people training. She makes a comparison between types of dogs and Generals and Privates in the military. If you have a General, he will be in charge. If you have a Private, he’ll do what you say without question. Shadow might not have been a General when I got him, but I have allowed him to become that. Now I have to undo that. I have to be the General or the leader of the pack. It is a whole different way of thinking about being a dog owner. It fits with what Joe the Dogman said in our class on Wednesday. So much to learn. But how lucky I am that Melissa and PTFGD is less than 6 miles from here. Her training is expensive, but her approach makes so much sense to me. And I think life with Shadow will be so much better once he knows his place in the scheme of things. I will definitely become a student in training with Melissa as soon as possible.

I got word that a first cousin that I grew up with died peacefully this afternoon surrounded by family. I just talked to her three weeks ago and had no idea that her life was so close to the end. She is a year younger than me and has been struggling with different health issues for years, but still it is hard to learn that a someone so close to you in age has died. Last week my good friend Detta Porat’s mother passed away. A lot of sadness in one week. My thoughts are with Detta and her family and with my cousin Sidney Jane’s family.