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 241: Another Day Off

2020 Life Logs, Day 241: Another Day Off
Date: Saturday, August 29, 2020
Weather: Overcast, Then Rain; High 77, Low 65 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Yesterday was a recovery day and today was another day off. I did almost nothing and enjoyed every minute of it. I started the day taking a walk with Shadow. I then drove into town to feed the guinea pigs at Heather and Jed’s and made a quick stop at the grocery store. The g-pigs needed some greens and I needed to buy a few things for our Newcomers Dining-In Group that will meet here, outside, on Thursday.
And I did get the tomato basil pizza sauce canned. I am still celebrating getting the 90 pounds of sauce tomatoes canned and will deliver them to Heather and Jed’s over the next few days. In between little jobs, I took an afternoon nap and did a lot of reading. It was a rainy afternoon and a good time to lay back and take it easy.

Tomorrow morning I drive to New Bedford to have a picnic lunch with my good friends, Detta and Tom Porat. They are driving home to New Hampshire from Connecticut, so we picked a place along the way to meet. I haven’t seen them for months, so I am really looking forward to our visit.

2020 Life Logs, Day 240: Recovery Day

2020 Life Logs, Day 240: Recovery Day
Date: Friday, August 28, 2020
Weather: Mix of Sun and Clouds; High 78, Low 68 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

After four nights of watching the Republican National Convention, I needed a recovery day. I’ve seen and heard way too many negative things this week. My goal for today was to experience only positive things. Lucky for me, I live where I am surrounded by beauty. I started my day as I always do, taking Shadow for a walk down by the water. This morning, we just walked down to the dock to soak in the beauty of the marsh. We saw an egret and small green herons flying in and out of the marsh grass. Shadow helped me (just kidding) get the two-man inflatable kayak off the dock and up to the concrete pad where it is normally stored. I have been meaning to do this for weeks, so it felt really good to get that done. I then continued doing only things I wanted to do. Number one on my list was to finish canning the last of the 90 pounds of tomatoes and I got that done. Second on my list was to nap outside in the sunshine for at least 30 minutes, and I did that. The last thing I wanted to do was to experiment with making tomato basil pizza sauce with the six pounds of sauce tomatoes I picked earlier in the week from my garden. I got the sauce made and will get it canned it tomorrow. I picked more tomatoes and beans and then late in the afternoon Midge Frieswyk’s daughter, Alyse, arrived with her friend David. They had asked if they could come over to launch their kayaks for a paddle out to Washburn Island. Shadow and I were outside in the garden when they arrived and Shadow fell in love with both of them. It was great to take a break and talk to them. During the day, I made a couple of trips into town to Heather and Jed’s to feed the guinea pigs and to put in another load of laundry. Today’s load was polar fleece jackets. And that was it for my day. It was totally positive, with just enough sunshine peeking through the clouds to make me very happy. At the end of the day, I have only one question. Where in the world is the lid to the pot I have been using to blanch tomatoes all week? It is not small and my kitchen is not big. But I can’t find it anywhere.

2020 Life Logs, Day 239: RNC, Night 4

2020 Life Logs, Day 239: RNC, Night 4
Date: Thursday, August 27, 2020
Weather: Overcast with Mid-Day Sunshine; High 72, Low 62 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

If you can’t say something nice, then say nothing at all. So, I will say very little about the last night of the RNC which shamefully used the White House as a backdrop with a crowd of 1500 people not using social distancing and almost no one wearing a mask. And just one more thing. Rudi Giuliani was a disgrace. Thankfully, the conventions are over. Now we can get to work on making sure everyone gets to vote this fall.
Our weather here today was mixed. It was mostly overcast with a bit of rain early and a few more sprinkles in the afternoon. Actually, there was very little much needed rain, just gloom. So, the drought continues here. But things are different further south where they are getting lots of rain. Thankfully for those in Louisiana and Texas, the highest projections for the Hurricane Laura storm surge were not realized. Yet the devastation was massive and the wind and the rain continue moving inland. My heart is with all affected by this storm.

I had invited Jane Woodin over for lunch, but things looked iffy because of the clouds and morning sprinkles. We communicated via text and I voted to go ahead and hope for clearing weather. Magically, just as Jane arrived, the sun came out, allowing us to have lunch down by the dock overlooking the water. I have only seen Jane a couple of times since March, so it was great to have a break in the weather allowing us an hour and a half to visit before the clouds and sprinkles returned.

I headed to Heather and Jed’s when Jane left to feed the guinea pigs and water the plants on the deck. Despite a few sprinkles, they were in desperate need of water. I have done most of the work to get an automatic watering system going and hope to get that completed in the next few days, but in the meantime, watering is necessary. It was late afternoon when I got home and time for me to call my friend Leslie Kole. We had arranged to talk this afternoon and the time had come. Both of us are coming up on the anniversary of losing our beloveds. Leslie lost Rich last September 4th and I lost Mark four years ago on September 11th. We commiserated about living alone without the loves of our lives . . . not the happiest time in our lives. But we also reflected on how lucky we are to both live near children and grandchildren and to be healthy and active. I haven’t seen Leslie for months, so I am hoping to get together with her in the next few weeks. I ended my day by letting the last of the tomato sauce burble down as I watched the RNC spectacle.

2020 Life Logs, Day 238: RNC, Night 3

2020 Life Logs, Day 238: RNC, Night 3
Date: Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Weather: Sunny and Cooler; High 73, Low 55 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Today I had a great visit with my nieces, Lynn and Candi. It was a two hour drive north to Chelmsford, Massachusetts and a three hour drive during rush hour home, but it was worth it. Lynn looks amazing good despite what she has been through in the past few weeks. We had a picnic lunch in a gazebo on the grounds of Lynn’s apartment complex and then I took Lynn to a local AT&T store to get the data from her iPhone synched with her new iPad. She handled all of that just fine, but when she walks, she really needs to have her oxygen with her. However, the tank she has is so big and unwieldy.

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There are small, compact portable oxygen concentrators that weigh only 2 pounds and I think she deserves to have one of those. They are expensive and I’m not sure they are covered by insurance, but if it were me, I’d definitely want one of those. I will plan to visit her every week or so this fall if she is up to having visitors. I think the visits will depend on how she handles the chemotherapy. I did get to meet her new little kitty named Susie. What a cutie and such wonderful company for Lynn.

There is so much happening in this country tonight that it was hard for me to really pay attention President Pence did mention that all of us are thinking of the people in the path of Hurricane Laura and he did acknowledge the devastation to those who have lost family members to the coronavirus. But many of his claims about the national leadership during the virus were just not true. And I think his argument that Joe Biden presided over the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression was a weak one. When I see the graphs that show the steady, yes slow, but steady, rise in the economy over the 8 years that Obama-Biden were in office, and how that upward movement simply continued under Trump, I think that rise is quite amazing. The law and order part of Pence’s speech made me cringe. The situation in Kenosha, Wisconsin right now, the Milwaukee Bucks canceling their playoff game tonight in protest which caused a domino effect of other teams cancelling their games—none of this was mentioned. I think maybe the Republicans highlighted the wrong heroes.

After watching from afar as Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico in September of 2017, and then not knowing for four days if Justin family were okay, I’ll never be able to keep my heart from aching as I wait to hear how another hurricane has affected the lives of people. Hurricane Laura is due to make landfall on the Louisiana side of the Louisiana – Texas border between 1 and 2 am. The only good news is that this hurricane is making landfall in an area that is not highly populated. But for the people that do live there, it will be devastating. We can all only hope the storm surge does not live up to the projections. It all depends on exactly where it makes landfall. I’m hoping to wake up in the morning to hear a best case scenario. Even best case will be devastating, but better than the worst case.

2020 Life Logs, Day 237: RNC, Night 2

2020 Life Logs, Day 237: RNC, Night 2
Date: Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 83, Low 59 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

I’m tired. Tired of tomatoes, tired of hearing people at the Republican National Convention drone on and on about how dangerous they perceive Joe Biden to be, tired of hearing them label anyone not supporting Donald Trump as a socialist, and tired of seeing a President abusing his power by using the White House, the People’s House, as a backdrop for political campaign. Never mind that the Hatch Act makes it illegal, it just seems wrong. And then there was the Secretary of State addressing us in a political speech from a rooftop in Jerusalem. No wonder I’m tired! At least Melania Trump acknowledged the deaths we have experienced in this country from the coronavirus pandemic. As far as I know, the President has never acknowledged this. But enough about that.

Sixty pounds of tomatoes have resulted in 25 pints of marinara sauce. The other the 30 pounds have been blanched, peeled, and deseeded, and await processing in the refrigerator. I’ll work a bit on that tomorrow, but I leave here around 10:30 in the morning to head north to Chelmsford to visit with my nieces, Candi and Lynn. I have not mentioned in my logs that Lynn has, just in the past few weeks, been diagnosed with advanced cancers. She actually has two different cancers which have metastasized. She had three weeks of chemo and then had to be hospitalized due to fluid in her left lung. She got home last week and will start chemo again on Thursday of this week. So, I really wanted to visit with her before that and tomorrow suited all of us best. I am picking up lunch and we will eat and visit outside her apartment building, keeping our social distance. It breaks my heart to think about Lynn’s situation. When Mark was going through his battle with cancer, I was always there to help him. I said at the time that I really didn’t know how people who live alone negotiate the whole cancer treatment regime. But Lynn insists on staying alone in her apartment. Her sister Candi and one brother, Brad, live close by and check on her constantly. It is wonderful that she has the support, but it is just not the same as having someone with you all the time to anticipate your needs. But Lynn is determined. I can only admire her determination.

2020 Life Logs, Day 236: RNC, Night 1

2020 Life Logs, Day 236: RNC, Night 1
Date: Monday, August 24, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 81, Low 68 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

When the first speaker at tonight’s event said that President Trump is “the body guard of Western civilization” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. But it really isn’t funny. He is anything but the body guard of Western civilization in my opinion. I heard that the Convention this week was going to be upbeat, but tonight the whole thing was very negative with too many lies, dangerous lies, to keep track of. I really don’t say this from a partisan point of view. Lies are lies, and they are painfully obvious. Tonight was just such a stark contrast from last week’s D20 that I had a hard time adjusting. Maybe it will get more positive in the next couple of days.

On the positive side, Heather, Jed, and boys arrived at Grammy Marti’s in Boothbay, Maine. They left here around 11:30 am and got there by 5:30 pm. They made great time. I do hope they have two weeks of relation and fun, but I will miss them so much. When I look at my calendar, however, it will be a busy two weeks for me and I think the time will fly by.

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My day was spent working on getting those tomatoes canned. For most of the afternoon and evening, I watched the huge pot of sauce burbling. So far, I only have one canner load done, so I will continue with canning tomorrow and process the other 30 pounds. Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. But I did take time to have a great summer dinner—fried green tomatoes, beans from the garden, corn-on-the-cob from a local farm. These are a few of my favorite things.

2020 Life Logs, Day 235: Up to My Elbows in Tomatoes

2020 Life Logs, Day 235: Up to My Elbows in Tomatoes
Date: Sunday, August 23, 2020
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Breezy; High 81, Low 68 F Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Last night when I wrote my log, I named it “Knee Deep in Tomatoes.” I named it that because the 5-gallon buckets of tomatoes came up to my knees. Today as I processed 60 of the 90 pounds, the resulting peeled and deseeded tomatoes filled a pot that is as tall as the length from my wrist to my elbow. Thus, “Up to My Elbows.” Tomorrow I will add the other ingredients, cook down the sauce, and start the canning process.
Then on Tuesday, I’ll attack the last 30 pounds plus the five and a half pounds I picked from my garden today. The organic sauce tomatoes that I am processing are San Marzanos and Alpacas and are shaped like Roma tomatoes that are common in grocery stores. Not big, but lots of them. When I’m finished, I know I will be happy with the harvest, but I probably won’t want to see another tomato for quite some time.

Late this afternoon a man came to my front door. He was wearing a Covid mask and had an official looking name tag on, but he really didn’t identify himself. I went to the door and Shadow went ballistic. That’s when I saw that he had a very large dog sitting out in the driveway. I tried to calm Shadow and the gentleman said he was looking for 35 Madeline Road. I assured him this was not it. But he continued saying that 27 Madeline is one side of me and the next house is 41 Madeline. He asked, “Where are the houses with numbers in between?” He asked my name and my phone number. That’s when I finally asked him who the hell he was. Was he from the Census Bureau? Yes, he was, but it would have been comforting if he had started with that identification. Anyway, when I assured him there were no houses in the woods that surround my cottage, he was satisfied and ready to move on. But then he invited Shadow out to meet his dog, Ashley—four times the size of Shadow. He assured me Ashley was very well trained and dog friendly. Since Shadow was VERY anxious to go out, I let him go. Ashley was a little too aggressive for Shadow and Shadow was a little too energetic for Ashley. But they got along okay until Shadow started chasing Ashley, causing Ashley to jump the four feet across one of my raised garden beds, knocking down the iron fence stake and the chicken wire fencing on one side of the bed. With all my strength, I could not right the iron stake. I will have use a sledge hammer tomorrow to straighten the stake. But thankfully, Ashley was okay. I have just never seen a dog jump that long and high. There are zinnias in the bed that are 2-3 feet high and she cleared them with no problem. More like a horse than a dog. Then she ran into the bike rack on the back of my car. I suggested to the gentleman that he should take his dog and leave while the dog was still alive! Interesting encounter.

2020 Life Logs, Day 234: Knee Deep in Tomatoes

2020 Life Logs, Day 234: Knee Deep in Tomatoes
Date: Saturday, August 22, 2020
Weather: Partly Sunny; Late PM Thunderstorm; High 84, Low 63 F Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

I woke up this morning to an email ‘ding’ on my phone. It was Carrie from Peach Tree Farm saying she had 70 pounds of organic sauce tomatoes for me. I usually try to get no more than 30 pounds at a time as it is exhausting to process more than that at one time. But last year I took only 30 pounds and then there were no more. Even with the drought this year, the tomato crop is good, but Carrie explained that they are coming in quickly and will be gone within a week or so. I gathered my 5-gallon buckets and a couple of boxes and headed to the farm to pick up the tomatoes. When I got there, Carrie actually had 90 pounds. Did I want them all? I decided yes and divided the tomatoes between my 5-gallon buckets and boxes trying to put about 15 pounds in each.

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I didn’t want to get home with a container that was too heavy for me to handle and inadvertently put a strain on my back. When I got home and started carrying the tomatoes inside I suddenly felt like I was knee deep in tomatoes. I will be blanching tomatoes, peeling off the skins, removing the seeds, putting what’s left through the Vita-Mix, adding other ingredients, and then cooking down and canning the sauce that should fill enough pint jars to get the Goldstones and myself through the next year . . . and maybe beyond. Year before last I processed 90 pounds and that is what got us through this last winter since tomatoes were so scare last summer. Could happen again, so my motto is, “Make tomato sauce while you have tomatoes.” And the timing is perfect. This will give me something to focus on while Heather and family are on vacation.

It was a beautiful day, but things started to change mid-afternoon. First the thunder came, then it got very dark, the wind started blowing, and finally came a deluge of rain. I was just getting ready to drive over to Heather and Jed’s to pick up some canning jars and deliver some fried green tomatoes when the rain started. I was sure it wouldn’t rain, but as I was walking to the car, the heavens opened. I rushed back into the house, not before getting drenched, and waited for things to settle down before driving into town. Jed is feeling great. His fever, stiff neck, and achiness have gone away and the tell-tale bull’s eye on his torso is disappearing. Hopefully taking the doxycycline early enough will reduce the risk of acquiring Lyme disease from what we are assuming was a tick bite. I am so happy that he doesn’t have Covid and is feeling good and will be able to head to Maine with the family for a couple of weeks of vacation starting on Monday. Heather has to work half-days this coming week which she will do online from Maine, but then the second week she is unplugging for a few well-deserved days of full time vacation.

I had a long phone conversation with friends Linda and Mike Stuart today. They have ended their ‘round the world bike touring for now and are trying to get settled into an apartment in Lakewood, Colorado. Bike touring, touring of any kind, during a pandemic is just not safe. And besides, they become grandparents in November and want to be close enough to see that grandbaby. However, after traveling almost 30,000 miles on their bikes since August of 2014, settling into an apartment during a pandemic has been challenging. It is difficult to meet people and it is difficult to furnish an apartment. They ordered a bed but the delivery has been delayed until who knows when. So they are still sleeping on their camp mats. But they have made some progress. They now have a table, a car, and a phone. Hurray! Now I can talk to Linda. And hopefully they will start meeting some people, at a distance, of course, and settle into their new life in Colorado.

2020 Life Logs, Day 233:  Celebration

2020 Life Logs, Day 233:  Celebration
Date:  Friday, August 21, 2020
Weather:  Sunny; High 78, Low 67 F Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Jed got the results of his Covid test this afternoon—negative!  News that deserves a celebration.  But good friend Bruce Woodin said it best, “I never thought I would be glad to hear someone had a tickborne disease, but in the days of Covid that is sort of good news!  Particularly since it is eminently treatable with antibiotics.”  Jed is feeling so much better since starting the round of doxycycline and hopefully that will continue and he will be able to enjoy the family vacation in Maine.  Sam lost a filling last night and had to have an emergency dentist appointment today.  The filling was replaced and I hope that is the end of their medical emergencies for a great while.  The whole family got Covid tests this morning and will be heading to Maine as soon as the results return.  I will not be able to see them before they leave as they should have no contact with anyone until they arrive in Maine.  I will miss them terribly and will look forward to their return.

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Since Jed’s Covid test results were negative, I can now see others without fear of transmitting the virus.  That news came just in time for me to go to a gathering of my Newcomers Wine Group.  We had planned to meet on the beach but then realized that consuming alcohol on the beach is illegal.  Good citizens that we are, we made the decision to meet in Eileen and Billy Sullivan’s front yard.  The beach would have been fun, but not the responsible choice.  We all brought our own chairs and food and individual small bottles of wine to share.  We are four couples and two singles.  So, ten of us in total.  It is a great group of people that I truly enjoy getting together with.  We plan to have September and October gatherings outside before having to go back to meeting on Zoom.  But whether in person or on Zoom, we always have a great time together.

2020 Life Logs, Day 230: D20, Night 3

2020 Life Logs, Day 230: D20, Night 3
Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 76, Low 60 F Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

This has been a strange week. Normal life has been disrupted due to Jed’s symptoms of what we do not know—but that we learned a little more about today. That, plus the fact that today was the official roll-out of the rebranding of Woods Hole Research Center to Woodwell Climate Research Center—the project that has consumed all of Heather’s time for months–made today a turning point. Heather called early this morning saying that the rash on Jed’s stomach was looking more and more like the bull’s eye that accompanies a deer tick bite that results in Lyme Disease. Not good, but better than Covid, if caught early. Jed had a late afternoon video appointment with his physician who agreed with that assessment and started him on Doxycycline, just in case. We still have to wait for the results of his Covid test, but with social distancing and masks, I joined the Goldstones on their deck tonight for a sushi dinner celebrating Heather’s accomplishments. The heavy burden on Heather’s shoulders was certainly lighter tonight. So congratulations to her for a job well done. Jed joined us from a distance and seemed to be feeling okay with the use of Advil. If his temperature goes down after starting the Doxycycline tonight, that will be a indication that the problem has been a tick bite. But it can take longer than 12 hours to take effect, so we will just have to muddle through until the Covid test results return. Still, it was a hopeful day.

Then came night three of the Democratic National Convention tonight. I literally broke down and cried like a baby when I heard Barack Obama say “Don’t let them take away your democracy.” I’ve never heard him speak as he did tonight. This was not a political speech, but rather an earnest warning to the citizens of this country that we could be on the brink of losing our democracy. He was followed by Kamala Harris where she shared the story of her life. I have been amazed at how the DNC has crafted a virtual convention that has definitely kept my attention for three straight nights. They have truly show-cased the depth and breadth of the people of this country while moving forward the Biden-Harris ticket. Looking forward to night number four.