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 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.

2021 Life Logs, Day 1: Happy New Year

2021 Life Logs, Day 1: Happy New Year
Date: Friday, January 1, 2021
Weather: Cloudy; High 41, Low 38 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Last year on New Year’s Day I wrote, “I think we all know that 2020 is going to be tumultuous year with all the political chaos.” Little did I know just what chaos we would all have to face. But we have made it this far, so we just need to keep on doing what we have been doing to keep ourselves and others safe from Covid. I am not sure what we can do about the political situation other than wait patiently for January 20th to come and go peacefully. Even with a new administration, things are going to be bumpy, but I have never been so anxious for a Presidential inauguration. I just keep hanging onto Biden’s words of hope.

My father mandated that we live on New Year’s Day as we want to live throughout the coming year. I think I am finally old enough to ignore his mandate and I did as I pleased today. Shadow and I got up at 7:00 am for our morning constitutional and then we went back to bed for a couple of hours. My father would not have been happy with that. When I did get up, I was a good girl and did my morning exercises. Then I had pumpkin pie with whipped cream for first breakfast. I hope this will not become a habit! Next there was a longer walk with Shadow, a couple of hours fighting with my computer trying to clear up email space, a healthy second breakfast of my green smoothie, followed by 35 minutes on the exercise bike, and finally another long walk with Shadow. And I did spend a fair amount of time being distracted by the jigsaw puzzle on the dining table. This should be an easy puzzle, but I am finding myself challenged . . . but I shall persist. Shadow and I played fetch for a bit and walked down to the dock to watch the swans feed, and before I knew it, the sun was setting and it was time to think about dinner. About that time, I got a text from Heather asking if I was planning to come over for dinner. I readily took that as an invitation and accepted. This meant I had to comb my hair, brush my teeth, and get out of my exercise clothes into something more appropriate for dinner. Yep, I didn’t brush my teeth or comb my hair until 5 pm. I am positive that my dad would not be happy about that, but I had a perfectly wonderful day unbrushed and uncombed! I did make a traditional sauerkraut and sausage dish to take to Heather’s. When I got there I asked Jonah and Ollie to find a dime, shine it up, and put it in the sauerkraut. When they asked why, I simply said it is tradition. And the person who gets the shiny dime with their serving of sauerkraut and sausage will have a prosperous year. They looked at me like I was crazy, but they were quite excited when they saw that Heather got the dime. As far as I know, this is an old Southern tradition. It used to be salted and quartered onions, smoked hog howl, heads of cabbage, and pots of black-eyed peas. But a jar of Bubbies sauerkraut and a couple of links of uncured, all natural sausage (Is there really any such thing?) with some sauteed onions and potatoes is my modern day version. For me, having this on New Year’s Day is just as important as staying up until midnight on New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop. And after dinner, we had great fun trying to answer the questions to the New York Times great 2020 news quiz. It came with my December 30th quick version of the New York Times online. I gave it a go this afternoon and knew only about half the answers. I was surprised that Jonah and Ollie were so interested in this, but we only got through 12 questions tonight. They want to continue with the other 18 questions the next time I am over. I was quite impressed with their current affairs knowledge base.

Sleep in, eat some things that are bad for you and some things that are good for you, exercise, exercise, exercise, play with your pet, walk down to the water to watch the swans feed, fight with your computer, challenge yourself mentally, hold tight to traditions, and remember to comb your hair and brush your teeth. So goes life here in The Cottage in 2021. Life is good. Happy New Year to all.

2020 Life Logs, Day 366: New Year’s Eve

2020 Life Logs, Day 366: New Year’s Eve
Date: Thursday, December 31, 2020
Weather: Rainy Morning, Then Overcast; High 50, Low 29 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

There are probably few people in the world that are not glad to see 2020 come to an end, but I fear that for most of 2021 we all just have to keep on doing what we have been doing to fight Covid. Our world is not going to return to normal until this virus is under control and right now it is rampaging like a house on fire. There is hope . . . a new President once the Republicans stop playing dangerous games with our democracy and the vaccines. But there are tough days ahead. So, I hope that each of us includes patience in our New Year’s resolutions. And if each and every American pledged to wear a mask and observe physical distancing starting tomorrow, we could save many lives. We can hope.

I talked to Heather mid-day and I suggested that we order sushi for dinner. She readily agreed. I asked her to make the order and I would pick it up on my way to their house. We had a nice dinner and I got to hear the boys talk about their great snowboarding trip to Maine. Even though there was only man-made snow and the first day on the slopes was short-lived due to high winds, the Goldpebbles had a great time. Heather and Jed both had tumbles that were a little scary, but both were fine. Heather is questioning whether she really enjoys downhill skiing. She was a cross country skier in high school, but like me, downhill isn’t her favorite thing. But they all felt it was great to get away for just a few days. And they felt totally safe doing it the way they did. Renting a condo on the slopes worked out great. Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco called tonight while I was still at the Goldstones, so I got to see them via Skype. I haven’t seen them in person since the summer of 2019. It would be wonderful if things get to a point where we could safely get together in 2021. We’ll just have to wait and see, but that is certainly one of my wishes for this year.

I am now at home with Shadow and we just watched the ball drop. And I have to go get a pumpkin pie out of the oven. Everyone needs to start their new year on a healthy note with pumpkin pie and whipped cream for breakfast. Right? Now it’s time to for all of us to double down and stay safe so we can have a healthy 2021. Happy New Year!

2020 Life Logs, Day 364: Loving My Christmas Present

2020 Life Logs, Day 364: Loving My Christmas Present
Date: Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy and Windy; High 48, Low 45 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

I am loving the Christmas present from my kids and grandkids. It is a recumbent exercise bike that I have placed in the living room where I can exercise while watching television if I choose. Eventually I will be able to read while riding, but right now I am just getting used to riding again. I am doing 15-minute segments as I haven’t ridden for so very long. My legs are a little sore, but not bad. I did 30 minutes total today, but my goal is to do four 15-minute rides each day. The bike is a Marcy. It is a low-tech bike which keeps the cost down, but it has 8 resistance levels and gives me a constant read-out of my speed, distance, time, calories burned, and overall odometer reading. It is simple, but fantastic. But between morning stretching exercises, my walks with Shadow, bike riding, and playing fetch with Shadow every afternoon, it feels like a lot of my day is dedicated to exercise. As the days lengthen, that feeling will change as there will be more daylight time for outside activities. This week I have been making two trips to Heather and Jed’s each day to feed to guinea pigs and today I did laundry while I was there. Then I went to the grocery store for the last time for a while. I came home with four big bags of groceries. For the month of January, I will order groceries and either pick them up curbside or have them delivered. I am anticipating that Covid cases will rise in January after the holidays. I hope not, but I am going to err on the safe side and do as Dr. Anthony Fauci says we should all do for the next couple of months, “Double-down on all public health measures.” I have also finally started working on the puzzle I got out a few days ago. Trying to work it on the low coffee table was not working as Shadow was eating the pieces, so I cleared off the dining table and using that as my desk and puzzle space for now. If the kids come over for dinner, I’ll have to put the puzzle away (I am working it on a piece of cardboard). It was Heather’s suggestion that I do this and it is much easier as I can see all of the pieces in one space. The problem is that when I am in the kitchen, I keep getting distracted by the puzzle. Not a bad thing, but cooking dinner sure takes longer than it should!

Heather and Jed got home tonight. Jed sent a text yesterday evening saying he and Ollie were the last ones off the slopes and got to watch the sun set and the full moon rise from near the mountain top. Jed said Ollie is “awesomely persistent” . . . as long as he is not hungry. I am anxious to hear from everyone about how their four days at Sugarloaf went. They had planned to head home this morning, but they spent 5 hours on the slopes and then headed home. Thus, the last evening arrival back on the Cape.

2020 Life Logs, Day 363: Message from Google

2020 Life Logs, Day 363: Message from Google
Date: Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Weather: Partly Sunny and Cold; High 43, Low 22 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

The full moon is rising in a clear sky and the temperature is 30 degrees F. But Weather Underground says it feels like 19 degrees and it felt colder than it was all day long. So other than my walks with Shadow and our afternoon game of fetch, the rest of my day was spent inside. And it was a good day to stay inside because I needed to deal with a computer issue. I got a message on my phone saying that my Google storage is almost at capacity and if I don’t deal with it, when I run out of space I will no longer receive my email. Yikes! You can either pay for more space or you can get rid of the things taking up space. I have two Gmail email addresses and two Google accounts. On the old account I pay for cloud space, so I don’t want to pay more for the other account. I wish I understood all of this. I really don’t, so I spent today, and will continue tomorrow, trying to find out the best way to deal with this. I love Google Photos and Gmail, so no complaints.

2020 Life Logs, Day 362: Garden and Yard Work Outside

2020 Life Logs, Day 362: Garden and Yard Work Outside
Date: Monday, December 28, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 51, Low 31 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Yes. It is December 28 and it was warm enough for me to do garden and yardwork today. I also made trips into town to feed to guinea pigs at the Goldstones and when it got dark outside, I came inside and started working on photo organization. This is an ongoing process. Tomorrow is not going to be as warm, so maybe I’ll spend the day continuing to work on the photos.

One of my Christmas presents to Ziggy was something called a levitation wand. I also gave one to the Goldpebbles. It is a wand that lights up and is attached to your hand with a thin black string. When you spin it around in the dark, it looks like you are magically levitating the wand. I got a video from Justin of Ziggy performing with the wand and I was quite impressed. I can’t share the video here, but I can share a photo that gives you the idea of what I am talking about.

2020 Life Logs, Day 361: Catching Up

2020 Life Logs, Day 361: Catching Up
Date: Sunday, December 27, 2020
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 39, Low 28 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Today was a day of catching up . . . catching up with friends and catching up on watching things suggested by friends. As I write this, I am watching Handel’s ‘Messiah’ for Our Time. It was performed by Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society. They haven’t missed a performance of Handel’s Messiah since 1854, so they weren’t going to let a pandemic stop them. The musicians and singers were masked, except for the brass section, socially distanced, and there were photographs of Boston during the pandemic interspersed. It was aired a week ago, but I recorded it and just now had the time to watch. Interesting, Shadow sat right up on the sofa and watched quietly. I think he must like classical musical.

I spent a great deal of my morning and early afternoon catching up with friends on the phone. First, I talked with Linda and Mike Stuart in Colorado. I got to hear about their quiet Christmas with just the two of them and I got an update on their month-old grandson, Grant. He was born prematurely, but he is doing fine now. Linda and Mike will not get to meet Grant until Covid is under control, but they are certainly looking forward to that time. Then I talked to Kevin and Claire who are currently living in Long Beach, California, in their motor home. They are both working remotely and moved to California to be close to family. They split their Christmas between being with Kevin’s mother and sister and her family and Claire’s sister and her family who all live in the greater Los Angeles area. The one thing that was most interesting was finding out that both Linda and Mike and Kevin and Claire have all started eating a mostly vegan diet. I have moved away from a vegan diet to a modified Mediterranean diet, but I was most interested in listening to their reasons for doing this. Kevin and Claire and I agreed to share some of our favorite vegan recipes and I am going to invite Mike and Linda to do the same. Focus on diet seems like a great way to start the new year.

I got a call from the Goldstones tonight. Sam called to tell me that they were sitting in a hot tub in the condo they are renting at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine. He was joking, but I fell for it which gave all the boys a good laugh. There is no snow other than machine-made, but they are not going to let that stop them from having a good time.

2020 Life Logs, Day 360: Quiet Day After Christmas

2020 Life Logs, Day 360: Quiet Day After Christmas
Date: Saturday, December 26, 2020
Weather: Partly Sunny, Still Very Windy; High 40, Low 25 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

After three days of festivities, today was a quiet one. I got some cleaning done—a laundry, cleaning out the refrigerator, and cleaning the fish aquarium. I walked and played with Shadow and went to Heather and Jed’s to pick up the recumbent exercise bike I got for Christmas.
Sam came home with me to help me carry it in. I thought I might need to rearrange the livingroom furniture, but for now it fits just fine facing the television. Since I can’t have visitors other than Heather and family during Covid, it can stay right there and I can exercise while watching a movie or catching up on the news. I am so excited to have it. Thank you, thank you to Heather and Jed and Justin and Jo.

Last night when I got home from Heather and Jed’s, my sister Patsy called from Tennessee. I had not seen any news all day and had no idea there had been a bombing in downtown Nashville early on Christmas morning. Patsy lives in Mt. Juliet which is about 15 miles east of Nashville, but still she was affected by the bombing which targeted the AT&T building. It is the tallest building in Tennessee and is called the Batman Building as the top looks like Batman as you drive into the city. It is an office building that houses 2,000 workers, but it must also house the the technical inner workings of AT&T for that area as the explosion has interrupted all AT&T communications for miles. My sister’s house phone is not working and the med-alert bracelet she wears has been disabled as no one can call 911. Her cell service is through Verizon, so at least that is working for her. Nashville had a devastating tornado in March just prior to the Covid lockdown, then Covid, and now a bombing destroying more than 40 businesses in downtown. Recovery is going to be tough.

Tonight, I talked to Lynne Kirwin, my very good friend who is currently living in New Zealand. New Zealand must be the only place on earth that is still functioning like normal. When Covid first started spreading around the world, they did a complete shutdown and now they live normally. They do still have to wear masks on busses and trains, but otherwise things are like they were before Covid. They go to movies, gather in huge crowds, go out to restaurants . . . all those things we used to do. Lynne is Jewish and doesn’t celebrate Christmas, but her friends in New Zealand do and she had a fabulous couple of days despite the fact that Ed died on December 23 two years ago. The friends in New Zealand knew Ed and they incorporated celebrations of his life in their Christmas festivities. Lynne can still only talk about this through tears, but I am so glad she is in New Zealand with good friends rather than being here with Covid.

The Goldstones leave tomorrow morning for a few days at Sugarloaf in Maine where they will ski and snowboard for a couple of days before returning home. They have rented a condo at the base of the mountain, where they can ski or snowboard out the front door and take a lift up to the main lift. They will have to wait in lift lines, but otherwise they will not have to mix with other people. They will cook their down meals and ski down the mountain to their condo for lunch. The boys are extremely excited, so I hope they all have a wonderful time.

Today I got some great photos from Jo of Christmas Day at Finca Maravilla that I will share in my log tomorrow night. I love my exercise bike which will help keep me healthy, but my greatest gift of the holiday season is seeing my children and grandchildren happy, healthy, and enjoying life.

2020 Life Logs, Day 359: Christmas Day

2020 Life Logs, Day 359: Christmas Day
Date: Friday, December 25, 2020
Weather: Rainy All Day and Very Windy: High 55, Low 30 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

For three days, Heather, Jed, Sam, Jonah, Ollie, and I put aside all the issues of 2020 that we would all like to forget. We all seemed determined to enjoy this Christmas and we did. We feasted, played music, exchanged gifts, talked to family and friends far away on Skype, Zoom, and on the phone . . . and we just played. Reality will return soon enough, but we will have wonderful memories to cheer us when things get tough again.

Today started early and none of us got as much sleep last night as needed. But we didn’t let that deter us. The gifts in stockings were opened first and then we took turns opening the other presents, of which there were many. Santa brought the boys a foosball table that was discovered in the basement which has been turned into a rec center for the boys. New window seat cushions from me were discovered in their bedrooms. New Gravitrax sets were received from Grammy Marti. All of which brought exclamations of joy. When it was time for me to get a special present hidden in the master bedroom, Heather got on a Skype video call with Justin and family. The present was a joint gift and I was in total shock when they rolled out an exercise bike. I was thrilled. The last gift to be opened was a joint gift to Heather and Jed from Jed’s mother and myself. It was a Roomba and the Goldpebbles were almost as excited about that as their gifts. As the day went on, they gave their Roomba a name. It is Kevin and they all are taking a role in properly ‘training’ Kevin. But it was heartening to see that some of the small gifts were equally cherished. Jonah loved the anaconda skin (I think I have the correct reptile) journal that Grammy Marti gave him And when I was talking to Justin and family later in the afternoon, Coco was totally engrossed in playing with a tiny Polly Pocket compact. Big and small, each gift was cherished, and there were lots of hugs and squeals of happiness. It was a very Merry Christmas, both here and in Puerto Rico. At dinner tonight, each of us talked about the one thing we are most grateful for this Christmas. I was impressed by Sam who said he was grateful that we are all healthy and could be together for Christmas. That truly is a gift. And if you celebrate Christmas, I do hope you found a way to safely enjoy this Christmas 2020.