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!

2021 Life Logs, Day 11: Great Day Until . . .

2021 Life Logs, Day 11: Great Day Until . . .
Date: Monday, January 11, 2021
Weather: Overcast, Still Cold; High 40, Low 31 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a great day until about 7:30 pm this evening. Shadow started throwing up and when he stopped, he was still struggling like something was stuck in his throat. I drove the 25 minutes north to the Cape Cod Veterinary Hospital that is open 24 hours a day, parked in triage space #4 (my lucky number), and a nurse came out to get Shadow. Due to Covid restrictions, I had to sit outside in a cold car for an hour and half to wait to hear from the doctor. I had already been told it would be a long wait as there were many emergencies in front of Shadow. When the doctor did call, all she wanted was to get my permission to do x-rays. She suggested I drive back home and wait to hear from her. I waited here two hours and just called to check on my best buddy. The doctor has still not read the x-rays, but at least Shadow is resting, albeit still moving his head as if trying to clear his throat. I am going to get some sleep and wait for the call from the doctor. Hopefully, I can go back to get him tonight. I am a bit of a basket case, but I just have to hope that he will be okay. Whatever else happened today has faded into the great beyond. All I can think about is my Shadow.

2021 Life Logs, Day 10: Unusual Day . . . for me

2021 Life Logs, Day 10: Unusual Day . . . for me
Date: Sunday, January 10, 2021
Weather: Snow Overnight, Partly Sunny Day; High 39, Low 25 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

There was a light covering of snow overnight. Actually, when I took Shadow out just before going to bed (around midnight), the snow had started and when we got up at 6:30 am for a bathroom break, the ground was covered with white. But by the time we got up for the second time, it had all but disappeared.

The reason this was an unusual day for me was that I spent much of the day watching football games. Not my usual habit. Just as I had watched the Buffalo Bills play yesterday to link across the miles to my friend Linda, today I watched the Tennessee Titans play to link with my niece Janet in Nashville.
Heather brought Ollie over to watch with me and to play with Shadow. We had an extra-long half-time outside playing with Shadow, but we did finally come back inside to watch the rest of the game. The Titans lost, but Ollie and I had a great afternoon. Then, in honor of my family who are all die-hard Cleveland Browns fans, I watched the Browns-Steelers game tonight. The last time the Browns were in a playoff game was in the mid-nineties and they have not had a great season since. But tonight, they were on fire. During they first quarter they were so far ahead that you would think there would be no way they would lose the game. But with the Cleveland Browns, you don’t want to make an assumption like that. Regardless, I just couldn’t make myself sit and watch the whole game, so I slipped away and watched the first episode of a new Masterpiece Theater series, came back and watched a little football, and then slipped away again to watch some political news. I finally watched the last of the fourth quarter and the Browns did win, 48 to 37. The last time the Cleveland Browns won a playoff game was on New Year’s Day 1995. I know all Cleveland Browns fans are celebrating tonight.

Watching football this weekend has been a welcome break from political news. But nothing can keep me from constantly being frustrated with the current situation. This is the fifth day since the attempted siege of the Capitol. A few people have been arrested, but those in power that incited this attempted coup have not been touched. In my opinion, Donald Trump needs to be removed from office immediately. There are all kinds of reasons why this can’t happen, but regardless, there need to be immediate consequences. I loved an analogy that I heard on NPR today. It was basically that if you have a kid that sticks his hand in the cookie jar and steals a cookie, and is not immediately punished for that, the next thing you know his sister and his brother will be doing the same thing. I think it is going to be an interesting week watching as things play out. My daughter-in-law’s dad, Phil, who lives in England, sent a link to another opinion piece in The Guardian that I want to pass on. It is written by Robert Reich, former US secretary of labor, and in this piece he outlines what he thinks needs to be done in the next week. He is hard liner on this issue and his piece is definitely worth a read. Thanks to Phil for sending the links.
I’ll end tonight on a lighter note. Yesterday I saw photos of my eight-year-old granddaughter posted by her mom on Facebook. Evidently Coco raided Jo’s closet and came out looking like a model. She has style! But today she had an unfortunate encounter with a broken bottle hidden in the lush Puerto Rican undergrowth and had to have 11 stitches on the bottom of her foot. When she came inside after stepping on the broken glass, she simply told her dad that she had a cut on her foot. Justin watched as she walked across the floor leaving bloody footprints and took a closer look. It was long and deep and required stitches. I asked her on the phone if she was brave when she got the stitches and she replied, “Well, yes.” She is a tough one, but like all of my grandchildren, growing up way too fast.

2021 Life Logs, Day 9: World View

2021 Life Logs, Day 9: World View
Date: Saturday, January 9, 2021
Weather: Overcast, Some Frozen Precipitation; High 33, Low 29 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Whether I’m talking to my friend Lynn in New Zealand or hearing from Phil, my daughter-in-law’s father in the UK, their view of what happened in the US Capitol on Wednesday agrees with the title line of an article in The Guardian, “The violence at the Capitol was an attempted coup. Call it that.” Many Americans, including myself, seem reluctant to say the words ‘attempted coup’ . . . probably because we refuse to believe this could happen in the United States of America. But it did. The article Phil sent me from The Guardian US Edition began this way: “On Wednesday, a coup attempt was led by the president of the United States. A rightwing mob attempted the coup in the form of a violent riot that stormed the Capitol building. They disrupted the proceedings that would have completed the recognition of the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Those proceedings had been disrupted earlier by elected officials bringing forth bad-faith claims that the election was not legitimate and should instead produce a continuation of Trump’s presidency. This too was a coup attempt, an effort to violate the constitution and override the will of the voters in this election. Inside and outside were two faces of the same thing, and both were fomented by the leaders of the Republican party and by the US president. The mob outside would not exist without the politicians inside. Those insiders will make noises of horror and repudiation, but they own this.” I thought that was the best summary I have read. If you want to read the whole article, it can be found at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/06/trump-mob-storm-capitol-washington-coup-attempt?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other
Today, to help divert my attention away from our political crisis, I watched a football game. My good friend Linda Stuart, now living in Colorado after biking around the world for the past few years, is from Buffalo, NY. And this afternoon the Buffalo Bills were in a playoff game against the Colts. Since Linda and I can’t be together, we watched the game ‘together’ and talked afterwards on the phone. Then tonight I watched a conversation between the Dali Llama, Greta Thunberg, and scientists, focused on our worldwide climate emergency. One of the scientists was a Woodwell Climate Research Center expert on the arctic and Heather had to actually go into work tonight to make sure things went smoothly on their end. The conversation was focused on the effect of climate feedback loops and the “urgency of the emergency” faced by all of humanity. At the end of the conversation and presentations, Greta was asked for an action step recommendation. She responded by saying that her wish is that everyone would take the time to educate themselves about the climate crisis. If you would like to learn more about climate emergency and climate feedback loops, there are five short films that you can watch online. Just go to: feedbackloopsclimate.org. I’ve watched two of them and highly recommend them.

2021 Life Logs, Day 8: Another Lost Day

2021 Life Logs, Day 8: Another Lost Day
Date: Friday, January 8, 2021
Weather: Sunny; High 38, Low 28 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was another lost day. I got nothing done, but I totally enjoyed the day. The sun was shining, my house is no longer freezing, and Shadow and I took an extra long walk. I did spend time late in the afternoon working on a project for a friend. But, honestly, that was it for my day. I’m still very distressed about what happened in our nation’s Capital and around the country on Wednesday. I feel like the Wicked Witch of the West has descended upon us and we need to find the Good Witch of the North to help us find the Yellow Brick Road.

2021 Life Logs, Day 7: On Edge

2021 Life Logs, Day 7: On Edge
Date: Thursday, January 7, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 43, Low 26 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I don’t know about you, but I have been shaken to the core by what happened in our nation’s capital yesterday. I have been on edge all day, almost like I had been personally attacked. I have never been a flag waving American, but I love my country. When our country was attacked on 9-11, I was saddened. But yesterday when I watched our country being attacked from within, it did more than made me sad. It made me mad, it made me sick to my stomach, and I just have not be able to recover today. Maybe tomorrow will be better. But as long as Donald Trump is the President of this country, I don’t think I’ll be able to relax.

I did manage to get up and call Bennett Plumbing & Heating. They sent a young man named Tyler who I met when he came recently to work on Shirley’s furnace next door. My problem was a quick fix. Evidently, someway, somehow, the water supply to the furnace had been shut off. All it needed was a little water and I am no longer freezing. That was a positive thing, but it didn’t really help me feel any better. I walked with Shadow, rode my exercise bike, worked on my jigsaw puzzle, and made it through the day. Tonight I got a little help when I watched The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. She had Timothy Snyder on her show. He is a professor of history at Yale and the author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. It is a tiny little book jam-packed with wisdom. Snyder is a master of making “bold connections between past and present.” Today he Tweeted out a list of ten truths that we need to face to deal with what he calls Trump’s big lie. He points out that Trump is the originator of this big lie, but he goes on to say that it could never have flourished without his allies on Capitol Hill. If you don’t already own a copy of On Tyranny, you should get a copy. And we all need to read the ten truths copied here and think long and hard about each one.

Timothy Snyder
1/10. The claim that Trump won the election is a big lie.

2/10. A big lie changes reality. To believe it, people must disbelieve their senses, distrust their fellow citizens, and live in a world of faith.

3/10. A big lie demands conspiracy thinking, since all who doubt it are seen as traitors.

4/10. A big lie undoes a society, since it divides citizens into believers and unbelievers.

5/10. A big lie destroys democracy, since people who are convinced that nothing is true but the utterances of their leader ignore voting and its results.

6/10. A big lie must bring violence, as it has.

7/10. A big lie can never be told just by one person. Trump is the originator of this big lie, but it could never have flourished without his allies on Capitol Hill.

8/10. Political futures now depend on this big lie. Senators Hawley and Cruz are running for president on the basis of this big lie.

9/10. There is a cure for the big lie. Our elected representatives should tell the truth, without dissimulation, about the results of the 2020 election.

10/10. Politicians who do not tell the simple truth perpetuate the big lie, further an alternative reality, support conspiracy theories, weaken democracy, and foment violence far worse than that of January 6, 2021.

2021 Life Logs, Day 6: Shame Brought Upon Us

2021 Life Logs, Day 6: Shame Brought Upon Us
Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 39, Low 29 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Heather came over around 3:30 pm to reset my thermostat. When she got out of the van she looked very worried. When I asked what was wrong, she replied by saying nothing was wrong other than that our democracy was being attacked. At first I thought nothing of her statement as Donald Trump does this every day, but then she explained to me what was happening in Washington, DC. I wasn’t surprised since Donald Trump has been promising for weeks that something “wild” would happen on January 6th, but still it was shocking to turn on the television and watch what was happening inside the capitol building. And as I continued to watch, I was even more surprised to see how casually the rioters were despite the police presence. Why weren’t they being arrested? Tonight, normalcy has been restored in the capitol building, but those same people who were rioting today are still out there and who knows what might happen next. There has been no press conference with any of the powers apprising us of the situation. It is quite disturbing. And it is almost as disturbing to see the Senate and House to continue on tonight almost as if nothing has happened today. I know it is good to put on your best face as the rest of world watches, but it seems to me someone needs to be talking about getting Donald Trump out of office immediately. He incited this insurrection with his rhetoric which seems treasonous to me. Telling people re-election was stolen from him is an outright lie and encouraging people to attempt a coup based on that lie should be reason enough to remove him from office. Tonight’s byline in the Washington Post is that today is the day American democracy was brought to the brink. Shameful and sad. The only good news today was that the two Senate positions up for grabs in yesterday’s Georgia run-off election went to the Democrats. Joe Biden will begin his presidency with a 50-50 Senate and Mitch McConnell will no longer to be the Majority Leader. Hallelujah!

Resetting my thermostat has not solved my furnace problem. It is still only 64 degrees in here. So, tomorrow morning I will call in the big guns and hope they can come fix the problem quickly. And despite the political unrest today, I did reach my goal of getting the Christmas tree undecorated and put outside . . . something I always do on the Twelfth Day of Christmas.
The highlight of my day was receiving a family photo from Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco in front of their Christmas tree just before they took it down. Ziggy and Coco woke up with new comforters and fluffy pillows on their beds for Three Kings Day. Jo also sent me a few of her best photos from 2020. I love getting the photos, but can’t wait until I can go visit and see them in person.

2021 Life Logs, Day 5: Living Room Redo

2021 Life Logs, Day 5: Living Room Redo
Date: Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Weather: Rainy All Day; High 37, Low 31 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

As always, one thing leads to another. It was a rainy day and this morning the squirrels and birds that gather in the side yard just outside my front window were driving Shadow crazy, and in turn, he was driving me crazy. I have a love seat that sits right in front of the big window and Shadow gets up on the love seat so he can look out the window. But in the last month or so, he has started scratching at the window when the squirrels are outside. I have not been successful in keeping him from doing this, so today I started thinking about what I could do to keep Shadow away from the window. In other words, dog-proofing. Then I remembered that when I have my shelving for starting plants in front of the window (behind the loveseat), he can’t get to the window. It’s a little early for starting plants, but no harm in bringing the shelving upstairs early. So, off the basement to get the shelving. Because the shelving is more than six feet wide, I disassemble it to get it in and out of the basement. But assembling it requires that I clear the living room floor. I almost took the Christmas tree down a day early to make things easier, but instead I just moved all of the furniture. And while I was moving furniture, I decided to try the longer sofa in front of the shelving and window and put the love seat where the longer sofa was. And as long as I was doing that, I did some cleaning. It was almost 8 pm when I finished and I’m not sure I like the new arrangement. I thought it would give me more room for the exercise bike and make the room look bigger, but it really doesn’t. I’ll take the Christmas tree down tomorrow and live with the new arrangement for a few days before making a final decision. But I did accomplish my mission of keeping Shadow from the window.

Tomorrow my mission is to figure out why I cannot get the temperature in the cottage any higher than 65 degrees. It has been this way for at least the last week, but I just wear a sweater and ignore that I am freezing. Near the end of the time that Heather, Jonah, and Ollie were living here, I asked Heather to program the thermostat so the temp would automatically go down at night and back up in the morning. What I don’t know is whether this is when the problem started. Today I changed the batteries in the thermostat. That didn’t help. I don’t have an extra indoor thermometer, so I took a thermometer out of the aquarium that I know is accurate and put it in a glass of water near the thermostat. After a few hours, it reads 64 degrees to match the thermostat. So, I don’t think the thermostat is the problem. But I am not sure I want to trust myself to reset it, so I have asked Heather to come over to do the reset. If it is still only 64 degrees in here after that, then I will call the heating and air conditioning guys. I don’t mind 68, but 64 is just too cold.

I’m currently watching the Georgia run-off election returns. Sure hope the Dems can pull off a double win so McConnell will no longer be able to keep legislation from coming before the Senate. We’ll probably not know the final results tonight, so maybe I’ll just go to bed and read and check in tomorrow morning.

2021 Life Logs, Day 4: Christmas, Not Over Yet

2021 Life Logs, Day 4: Christmas, Not Over Yet
Date: Monday, January 4, 2021
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, A Little Rain; High 40, Low 33 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Sick of Christmas? Well, it is not quite over for many people. Wednesday, January 6th, is not just the day that President-elect Biden’s election gets the final validation when a joint session of Congress meets to formally count the votes of the Electoral College. This year that process is going to have a bit more drama than usual. That day is also the twelfth day of Christmas, also known as the Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day or All Kings’ Day. Depending on your religion or where you live, the name varies. And many Americans have no idea what the twelfth day of Christmas is other than a song. I was one of those people who didn’t know what it was until 1979 when John Denver and the Muppets made an album called A Christmas Together. Yes, we had a record player and played that album for Heather and Justin. One of the songs on the album was The Twelve Days of Christmas and it became part of our holiday celebrations. Eventually I wondered what the song was really about. In researching that, I learned about Epiphany or the twelfth day of Christmas. The 12 days of Christmas in the Christian religion represent the time between the birth of Jesus and the coming of the three wise men twelve days later. For that reason, some people call that twelfth day Three Kings’ or All Kings’ Day. In Puerto Rico people often give larger presents than they do on Christmas Day. I know Justin and Jo give Ziggy and Coco presents on All Kings’ Day and I’m not sure if that is a custom of Jo’s from England or if it is something they started doing in Puerto Rico. So, on this Wednesday, we’ll have twelve drummers drumming and some people will give gifts. I, on the other hand, will be taking down my Christmas tree. It has become a custom for me to take down all Christmas decorations on the twelfth day. This year I will be removing those Christmas ornaments while watching the circus happening in the Congress. Or maybe I’ll get an early start and take some decorations down tomorrow night while watching the results of the Georgia Senate election roll in. In any case, I’ll be singing.
On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
a partridge in a pear tree.
The song then adds a gift for each day, building on the verse before it, until you’re reciting all 12 gifts together:
Day 2: two turtle doves
Day 3: three French hens
Day 4: four calling birds
Day 5: five gold rings
Day 6: six geese a-laying
Day 7: seven swans a-swimming
Day 8: eight maids a-milking
Day 9: nine ladies dancing
Day 10: 10 lords a-leaping
Day 11: 11 pipers piping
Day 12: 12 drummers drumming

2021 Life Logs, Day 3: Walk to Trotting Park with the Goldpebbles

2021 Life Logs, Day 3: Walk to Trotting Park with the Goldpebbles
Date: Sunday, January 3, 2021
Weather: Overcast; High 40, Low 36 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The highlight of my day was a walk following the powerlines from near Heather and Jed’s to Trotting Park with Shadow and the Goldpebbles. Trotting Park is the location of the Little League baseball field, the Skatepark, and the town soccer fields. We walked part of he way there yesterday but had to turn around and head home as the sun was setting. Today we left earlier and took flashlights, just in case. The walk starts out by a pond and then heads into the woods. As we entered the woods, we noticed a red-tailed hawk high in the trees watching our progress. Once you emerge from the woods, you are walking along a mowed area under the powerlines and this path takes you to Trotting Park. Sam has made this walk with Jed, but Ollie and Jonah had never done it. The powerline trail ends overlooking the town Little League baseball field. Once there we headed across a mossy meadow leading to the parking lot for the Skatepark and the soccer fields. The boys wanted to check out a stand of bamboo near the soccer fields and then we headed home.  The boys made one rest top to play with Shadow.  He loves these walks with the boys, so I hope we will be able to do often this winter on the weekends, and after school in the spring when the sundown is later.

Tonight I wanted to watch 60 Minutes. I turned on the TV and went to the CBS channel a little before 7:30 pm, the time Google told me the program begins. There was a football game on, so I checked to see much longer they had to play. Less than five minutes. Then I saw that the Tennessee Titans were playing. This team’s home base is Nashville and I know my niece Janet loves the Titans. So, I decided to watch. What an exciting 5 minutes of play. The Titans ended up winning over Houston with a last second field goal. The ball actually hit the goal post, causing everyone’s heart to stop, and then it bounced in for the score.

2021 Life Logs, Day 2: Walking, Then More Walking

2021 Life Logs, Day 2: Walking, Then More Walking
Date: Saturday, January 2, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny, Windy; High 48, Low 31 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I basically walked this day away. I took a couple of walks with Shadow this morning and then came inside and worked on my jigsaw puzzle for a bit. I didn’t get very far when I got a text from Heather asking if I would like to bring my computer over so she could help me figure out how to get Google to get rid of deleted emails rather than archiving them, filling up my allotted storage space. I went over and Heather quickly figured out how to fix this and I headed home. But once I got here, I realized I had left my mouse on her dining room table. Mid-afternoon, I headed back over to get it and I took Shadow with me.
The Goldpebbles were in the backyard playing, so Shadow and I went to see them. The boys and I decided to take Shadow for a walk around the two ponds that are across the street from their house. The neighbor across from them welcomes them to walk through her side yard to get to the walkway around the first pond. We stopped on the bridge to admire the swans and for Sam and Jonah to smother Shadow with love. Then the boys decided to be adventuresome and we did quite an explore. There is a trail through the woods that takes you to the second pond and then on to a powerline trail. Yesterday the boys hid a geocache on the powerline trail and they wanted me to see where that is located. Shadow helped me find it and then on we went. We were deciding to go even further when I checked my phone and saw it was 4 o’clock. We didn’t have a flashlight with us, so we decided we should head home to make sure we got there before sundown. On the way home, we saw Heather and Jed in the distance. They had come to meet up with us and get in their daily walk in before dark. Then we walked all around their neighborhood when we got back off the trail. Lots of walking. Sam and Shadow were having a great time and Sam asked if Shadow and I could stay for dinner to have Korean meatballs and stir-fried Bok Choy. Sounded good to me, so he went home with me to feed Shadow and then we came back for dinner. This was Shadow’s first time in months being inside their house. He immediately found a pair of socks. When he decides to play keep away, it is almost impossible to get whatever he has in his mouth away from him. But we persisted and retrieved the socks. After that he was fairly well behaved for a bit, then he decided to try and eat an ornament from their Christmas tree. It was not a perfect visit, but we all survived a couple of hours. Hopefully, if we do this more often, we can teach him to be a gracious guest. I really enjoyed the dinner, but I left right afterwards so Shadow couldn’t get into more trouble. He has been fast asleep since we got home. I think we finally wore him out. But just as I am writing this, I see he is stirring. Time for trip outside before bed.