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!

2018 Life Logs, Day 274—A Day with Ollie

2018 Life Logs, Day 274—A Day with Ollie
Date: Monday, October 1, 2018
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Rain Late Afternoon; High 70, Low 57 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Ollie’s cold finally got the best of him, so Heather decided not to send him to school today. I had said yesterday that I would be glad to stay with him if he didn’t go to school, so that is what I did. He didn’t even wake up until after 9 am and Heather stayed home with him until I got back from my class at the gym. We worked a puzzle and then went to my house to get what we needed to make chili for lunch (Ollie’s request). After lunch Ollie took a very long, hot bath and then took a much needed two-and-a-half hour nap. He resisted the idea of taking a nap, so I struck a deal with him. I gave him 30 minutes of screen time on Granddad’s tablet in trade for a 30-minute nap . . . and the deal was more than successful. When he got up, he had enough energy to go to his Tiger Cub meeting tonight. I’m still on call for tomorrow, but I think he will be fine to go to school. He just needed a day of rest and I really enjoyed just hanging out with him. When I left tonight, he asked if I would consider buying a house closer to his house. He explained that he wants to be able to walk or ride his bike to my house. That kid sure knows how to pull the heart strings of his Oma.

2018 Life Logs, Day 272—Happy Birthday to Heather . . . One Day Early

2018 Life Logs, Day 272—Happy Birthday to Heather . . . One Day Early
Date: Saturday, September 29, 2018
Weather: Beautiful Day; High 71, Low 52 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This evening we celebrated Heather’s birthday one day early since Jed will not be home tomorrow. I attended Ollie’s soccer game at noon, went home to continue a ‘redecorating’ project in The Cottage, and then went to Jonah’s soccer game at 4 pm. Sam’s game was off-Cape today, so Jed took him while the rest of us stayed home for Jonah’s game. After the game, Heather headed home with Jonah and stopped to pick up an ice cream pie for dessert while I drove into town to pick up the sushi for our birthday dinner. We had a wonderful dinner and afterwards Heather opened her presents . . . jewelry from Jed, a cashmere sweater from me, and a chocolate milk maker/milk frother from the boys. Then the Keefe’s from next door joined us for birthday ‘pie’. It was a beautiful day in every way. And as a footnote, I must add that when I went to pick up the sushi, I found myself staring at the first tree I have seen displaying full fall colors.

2018 Life Logs, Day 271—Democracy is Messy

2018 Life Logs, Day 271—Democracy is Messy
Date: Friday, September 28, 2018
Weather: Overcast and Rainy; High 62, Low 53 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The nature of democracy makes it a messy affair. Our democracy has not been working very well for some time now and somedays it seems hopeless. But in all of that messiness, today I feel like we witnessed one tiny little glimmer of hope. I have been opposed to Judge Kavanaugh from the beginning because of his written opinions on Presidential power. But no matter what side you are on with this Supreme Court nomination and no matter what the reason, I would think that yesterday’s hearings gave you reason to pause and reassess. Nevertheless, this morning, it seemed like it was a done deal. Then democracy kicked in. People protesting in the halls outside the hearing room, two women passionately making their case to a Senator in an open elevator door, a Senator from one party reaching out to his friend across the aisle . . . all of these things that are an integral part of a living, breathing democracy . . . all of these things turned the tide this morning resulting in an reopening of an FBI background check on Brett Kavanaugh. I have no idea if this FBI investigation will change things, but I personally think it was the only respectful way to move forward. So, I celebrate this victory for democracy tonight.

Today, other than being riveted to democracy in action on television all morning and into the afternoon, I had mid-afternoon coffee with friends Karen and Peter Baranowski, and then picked Jonah and Ollie up from school. Heather was headed home from Boston, but sent a text saying that traffic was going to keep her from making it in time to pick up the boys. I was glad to pick them up and stay until she got home. Once Heather reached the Cape, she called again to say that she needed to drive to Woods Hole to take care of something at work. When she did get home, we had a little time to talk as the boys were playing next doors. Heather is out of town for part of next weekend and then all of the following weekend and we were able to discuss the details of childcare needs while she is out of town. We also made birthday plans for this weekend. Heather’s birthday is on Sunday, but since Jed is attending a conference starting Sunday morning, she plans to celebrate tomorrow night after an afternoon of soccer. I offered to pick up sushi for dinner and I look forward to that!

2018 Life Logs, Day 270—Fitfusion, Senate Hearings, Fun with the Goldpebbles

2018 Life Logs, Day 270—Fitfusion, Senate Hearings, Fun with the Goldpebbles
Date: Thursday, September 27, 2018
Weather: Most Sunny and Warm; High 72, Low 56 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My day was all over the place. I started by going to a class at the gym that is new for me. It is called Fitfusion and is half spin on a stationary bike and half core strengthening. I have to modify the bike spin due to my left knee, but otherwise it was a good class. After the class, I came home and turned on the TV to watch the Senate hearings. I only got to watch Christine Blasey Ford, so I’ll make no comment about the Supreme Court nominee . But one thing is certain. History was played out on our TV screens, phones, and tablets today and it became evident that the divide in our country was deepened further. The reason I didn’t get to watch Kavanaugh was that I had to go pick up Jonah and Ollie at the end of the school day and then spend the rest of the afternoon and evening with the Goldpebbles. Heather and Jed were both at MIT in Cambridge attending the 50th Anniversary of the MIT-WHOI (Massachusetts Institute of Technolology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Joint Program. Both are graduates of this program and Heather was asked to one of the speakers. Jed said her presentation went well and he was appreciative that I was able to stay with the boys so he could attend. It was soccer practice evening which was made ‘doable’ by other parents who helped out. Sam was picked up at 4:45 and then Ollie and I left at 5:10 to take Jonah to his practice. We stayed and watched 15 minutes of Jonah’s practice and then headed back to Falmouth to pick Sam up. When Sam, Ollie, and I got home, we quickly got dinner on the table and ate as soon as Jonah was delivered home by another parent. The boys had requested pasta for dinner. Sounds simple, but Ollie and Sam like meat sauce on their pasta. Jonah only eats pasta with black olives and parmesan cheese. And I don’t eat pasta! But with all of our different requirements, we had a great dinner and the boys ate voraciously. After the boys went to bed, I made Toll House Squares for Sam to take to school tomorrow. His class has a monthly birthday celebration for kids with birthdays in that month and tomorrow it is Sam’s turn to bring the goodies. My sister Patsy used to make Toll House Squares and send them to me during finals when I was in college. A couple of years ago, I made Toll House Squares for Sam and they have become his requested favorite.

I am now home and watching cable news to catch up on what I missed in the afternoon hearings. Not pretty.

2018 Life Logs, Day 269—Southwest Winds Bring Warmth for Today

2018 Life Logs, Day 269—Southwest Winds Bring Warmth for Today
Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Weather: Warm SSW Winds—One Day Only; High 77, Low 62 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Two days ago I caved and closed all the windows that have been open all summer and actually turned on the heat. Then this morning I walked out the door and was hit with a wall of warmth. South southwest winds brought warmth for today, but unfortunately the wind switches back to the north bringing back cooler temperatures. I didn’t take full advantage of the warm weather today as I spent most of my day inside, but every time I walked out the door I loved that warm wind.

My time today was spent trying to catch up with life. I made a decision to not go on the Danube river cruise next fall and cancelled that reservation. I certainly made other progress but have miles to go before I really catch up. I put all of my focus on grandkids during the summer and let some of the details of bill paying issues go by the wayside. It is unbelievable to me, but two years after Mark’s death, I am still having issues with monthly bill pays going to old accounts, not the new. Comcast was threatening to take away my cable service, because payments have been going to my old account, not the new one. I have dealt with this two times previously, but was not successful. Hopefully today, I got the problem solved. Another recent issue had to do with EZ Pass. Even though I paid off my car debt after Mark died, I own the car but the title is still is in his name. And that means my EZ Pass is in his name with auto payments coming from his bank account that no longer exists. I got notice of this in late August, but didn’t have time to deal with it. On my road trip south recently, I was sure that red lights were going to flash as I went through toll areas. Today I dealt with getting payments rearranged, but I still need to go to Motor Vehicles to get the car title changed. Life goes on.

2018 Life Logs, Day 268—Tour of the A.D. Makepeace Cranberry Bogs

2018 Life Logs, Day 268—Tour of the A.D. Makepeace Cranberry Bogs
Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Weather: Overcast, Windy, and Warming; High 68, Low 67 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Cranberry bogs are a common site here on Cape Cod, but today I traveled a few miles north of the Cape with a Newcomers group to tour bogs that are a part of the largest cranberry growing operation in the world. A.D. Makepeace Cranberry Company has 2,000 acres of bogs. That more than three square miles. That makes the company not only the world’s largest cranberry grower but also the largest private property owner in eastern Massachusetts. Makepeace is not new to the business. They have been growing cranberries since the 1800’s, but as was pointed out today, cranberries were here before people. They grew around the edges of kettle ponds that were formed by retreating glaciers over 15,000 years ago. Not sure how long cranberries have been here, but it was very special today to learn more about this special plant. It was also interesting to learn how our progressively more intense weather events are affecting crop production. And it was also very interesting to see that the way they harvest the berries is different from the methods I have observed here on the Cape. I had so many questions, but left the tour early to head back to Falmouth to pick Ollie up at the end of the Early Release Day. Heather stayed home with Jonah this morning and I took over this afternoon. Jonah’s a bit better, but is going stir crazy and will hopefully be able to go back to school tomorrow.

2018 Life Logs, Day 267—Sick Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 267—Sick Day
Date: Monday, September 24, 2018
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Windy, and Cool; High 61, Low 52 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

For me, a ‘sick day’ means that I have a sick grandchild that can’t go to school and needs an Oma to stay with him. And so I did. The grandchild was Jonah who has a croupy cough and is extremely low on energy. Heather and Jed made homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast and Jonah, the child with an extreme sweet tooth, couldn’t eat one. That convinced them that he really didn’t feel up to going to school. They stayed with him all morning while I went to the gym for a much needed workout, and then I spent the afternoon and evening Jonah. It was Cub Scout night and Heather, Jed, and Sam all needed to go to run activities. Ollie is now a Tiger Cub and he went to participate. Jonah and I watched a soccer match between Liverpool and Paris St. Germaine, two of Jonah’s favorite teams. During the afternoon we played a very long chess game in which I was destroyed. We had a good time, and I will be glad to go back tomorrow morning if Jonah is still not feeling up to going to school. I have a Newcomers field trip to a Cranberry Bog tomorrow morning, but that can be aborted. In any case, I will be with the boys tomorrow afternoon as it is an Early Release Day. This is a very busy week for Heather and Jed, so I will be spending more time with the boys than usual. Heather is in Boston from Wednesday thru Friday and Jed is in Boston on Thursday. So Oma is on duty! And I love it.

2018 Life Logs, Day 266—Welcome Fall

2018 Life Logs, Day 266—Welcome Fall
Date: Sunday, September 23, 2018
Weather: Overcast and Cool; High 66, Low 51 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The weather today was a reminder that the change in the seasons is upon us. It was overcast and cool and felt very much like fall. But fall can also be wonderfully warm and sunny. So I am going to hope that this fall follows the March pattern . . . in like a lion, out like a lamb. I spent my day puttering about and trying to get myself in gear for some work that needs to be done to the cottage before winter. I need to paint the front door, paint the railing that I had installed on the back steps, and paint the door I had installed at the bottom of the bulk head stairs leading into the basement. I need to get the roof and gutters cleaned. And as I discovered today, I need to go up into the attic and make sure a squirrel has not taken up residence. Today I kept hearing thuds on the roof. At one point I heard a thud and looked out the window. I saw a squirrel leaping onto a tree right outside the back door. The squirrel had to be leaping from the roof, so I went out and watched for a bit and did see the squirrel leap once again from roof to tree. But I did not see it leap onto the roof or discover why it was so busy on my roof today. So I’ll need to check the attic soon and make sure it is secure. I also planted mums which definitely made it look like fall in the gardens out front. While working outside, I went over to examine a small tree that in the past few weeks has been steadily leaning further and further into the driveway. The trunk is only 2-3 inches in diameter and it has gone from upright to looking like it is bowing with its head all the way on the ground. Upon close examination, I noticed that the tree is laden with small wine-colored berries. Maybe those berries are adding enough weight to cause it to lean. I was not familiar with this tree, but in researching I think I have identified it as Elaeagnus umbellata which is known as Autumn Olive or sometimes as Silverberry, probably because the leaves have a silvery undercoating. This is usually a bush growing no higher than 11 feet, but it can grow into a small tree as tall as 30 feet tall. It is invasive, so lovely as it is, if it continues to fall into the driveway, I’ll have to cut it down. Lots of fall chores to keep me busy.

2018 Life Logs, Day 265—Soccer Saturday and Dinner with Friends

2018 Life Logs, Day 265—Soccer Saturday and Dinner with Friends
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018
Weather: Lovely Last Day of Summer; High 73, Low 50 degrees F
Location: Back Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a lovely last day of summer on the Cape. I always hate to let go of summer, but at 9:54 pm, summer 2018 officially came to an end. But today’s sunshine and deep blue sky filled with wispy wind clouds made for a perfect end to a fun-filled summer. Today was all about soccer times three. Ollie’s practice and very first scrimmage was at 1:30 pm in downtown Falmouth. Jonah’s game was at 2:00 pm in North Falmouth. And Sam’s game was at 3:30 pm in a totally different part of town. But since they were all in Falmouth, so I got to see half of each game. Jed is no longer the coach for Sam’s team. He is now Ollie’s coach and it was delightful to watch him work with the little ones. He was so patient with them, made sure to give each child positive encouragement, and they all seemed to have a great time. Today was their first scrimmage and Ollie put his whole heart and soul into it. He won the toss to be goalie in the second half of the scrimmage and he attacked that position with the same energy. He’s a good little player and I really enjoyed watching his team. But I had to tear myself away so I could see the last half of Jonah’s game. By the time I got there, it was into the second half and Jonah was the goalie. Those skinny little legs of his look even skinnier when he wears the oversized goalie shirt, but those little legs are super fast. When Jonah’s game ended, I went home to get ready for my evening dinner at the Woodins and then headed to see the second half of Sam’s game. Sam was playing a great game until he fell and hurt his foot or ankle. He had to leave the field and I had to leave before the game was over, so I haven’t gotten an update on his injury. He was only limping slightly, so I sure hope he is just fine. From the soccer field, I headed directly to Bruce and Jane Woodins. They hosted our Newcomers Dining-in Club dinner this evening and wanted to take advantage of the warmth and sunlight by having us arrive a little earlier than usual. As always, the food was wonderful and the conversations interesting. I feel very lucky to be included in this group and always enjoy our time together.

2018 Life Logs, Day 264—Back Home on the Cape

2018 Life Logs, Day 264—Back Home on the Cape
Date: Friday, September 21, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Windy; High 69, Low 65 degrees F
Location: Back Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The trip to New Hampshire was short, but it was wonderful to attend the NHPR event and visit with friends Detta Porat and Alan and Helaine Kanegsberg. Alan and Helaine were headed to Maine this afternoon where they keep Atlantis, their sailboat. Tomorrow morning they will take Atlantis up the river to be taken out of the water for this season. We visited a bit this morning and then I headed home so they could get ready to go. Costco is on the way home, so I couldn’t resist a stop. But I still arrived home by late afternoon and had a quiet evening at home.

Yesterday Justin sent a photo of Coco who just lost her first tooth. I sent a message back that Ollie lost his first tooth last week and it is the same one that Coco lost. So being the doting grandmother that I am, I just must share photos of the two showing off their new snaggle tooth smiles!