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!

2022 Life Logs, Day 338: Falmouth Holiday Parade

2022 Life Logs, Day 338: Falmouth Holiday Parade
Date: Sunday, December 4, 2022
Weather: Sunny: High 46, Low 34 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The weather today was the total opposite of yesterday. It was crisp and clear, a beautiful day for the annual holiday parade. Heather and Sam left early this morning for a day of soccer, but Jed, Jonah, and Ollie stayed home to be in the parade. Jed led his Scouts down Main Street as Ollie carried the Falmouth flag for Troop 41. Jonah marched with the Lawrence band, playing his trombone. And I watched proudly from the ‘sidelines’. As always, I enjoyed the Clydesdales, the Newcomers float, and a glimpse of Santa at the end of the parade. I drove Jed and Ollie home, but Jonah walked from the middle school. Jed thought he was going to be driving Jonah to a 4:30 soccer game north in Marlboro, but Jonah decided to skip it. I think the spirit of the holiday season has arrived and soccer season is now officially over . . . except for watching the World Cup games.

Tomorrow, I host my dining-in group. I have already baked my main dish contribution, lasagna. So, my day will be spent getting the cottage ready . . . mostly decorating the tree. I will also spend time giving Christmas gifts a thought. I talked with Jed’s mom, Marti, this afternoon, about what the Goldpebbles might want for Christmas. It is definitely time to make those Christmas wish lists.

2022 Life Logs, Day 337: Jingle Jog

2022 Life Logs, Day 337: Jingle Jog
Date: Saturday, December 3, 2022
Weather: Unseasonably Warm, Windy, Dreary, with Pouring Rain PM: High 59, Low 33 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was the annual (except during Covid) Falmouth Jingle Jog. This is a 5K run (3.1 miles) through town to welcome the holiday season. Jed, Jonah, and Sam were all off Cape this afternoon as both Sam and Jonah are participating in a weekend soccer tournament. Heather and Ollie were slated to participate in the Jingle Jog run, but when I went to pick them up, it had started raining and Ollie was hesitant. It was a dreary day here on the Cape, but unseasonably warm. Still, running in the rain didn’t particularly sound like fun. Finally, both Ollie and Heather decided to go for it, so I drove them downtown to the Falmouth Green where the run was to begin. As I waited outside for them to go in and get their race shirts and bib numbers, the rain came down even harder. But the enthusiasm of the runners was high and at exactly 3:30 pm, off they went. Most of the runners in the Jingle Jog were adults or older teens, but Ollie wanted to run with Heather rather than run in the earlier Ghelf run for younger kids. He and Heather did great, keeping a steady pace throughout, and made it back in great spirits. Hot chocolate and even Santa Claus was waiting to greet them at the end of the race.

But the texts from Sam and Jed, who was with Jonah, told a different story. Their games were in central Massachusetts and they reported being wet and very cold. That’s the great thing about the Cape at this time of year. Being surrounded by water, we are often much warmer than inland at this time of year. Not usually as warm as today, but it made the wet run tolerable.

Heather is off with Sam early tomorrow for another day of soccer games while Jed stays here with Jonah and Ollie. They are all in the Christmas parade tomorrow that begins at noon. Jed and Jonah might take off right after the parade so Jonah can play in his 4:30 pm game in Marlborough. I think (and hope) that is the last soccer game of the season. It is time to move on to thoughts of winter sports.

And added note about last night’s Earthshot Prize ceremony. When I arrived at Heather’s this afternoon, there was a big bag in the front hallway that said ‘Runway Rentals’. I asked Heather if she rented a dress to wear to the Earthshot affair last night, and indeed, she did. She said the whole affair was very exciting. An edited version of the evening event will be aired on PBS mid-month.

2022 Life Logs, Day 336: Spotlight on Boston

2022 Life Logs, Day 336: Spotlight on Boston
Date: Friday, December 2, 2022
Weather: Gorgeous, Sunny Day: High 47, Low 42 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a gorgeous day here on the Cape. I started the day with a walk with Shadow and friend Olga Mitchell. The prednisone I am taking for my back has temporarily erased the pain in my right knee and made it possible for me to walk long and fast. Today I took full advantage of that. After the walk, I came home and worked on the garden clean up I have been trying to get to all week. This time outside gave me the opportunity to turn on the self-cleaning of the oven. That took about four hours, but I was outside with Shadow all that time and didn’t have to smell the noxious fumes of degrading Teflon. Then this evening I drove Jonah to Futsal– indoor soccer played in a smaller space with a smaller number of team members with a heavier ball. Fully enjoyed by Jonah.

But the spotlight today was on Boston. President Biden was in Boston today. The Royals were in Boston today. David Beckham was in Boston today. And my daughter was in Boston today. The Prince and Princess of Wales arrived in Boston earlier in the week to be present for tonight’s second annual Earthshot Prize presentation, Prince William’s brainchild. As it became evident that the world is facing an urgent challenge to protect the environment, The Royal Foundation and Prince William came up with The Earthshot Prize, the most prestigious global environmental prize in history—five prizes of a million pounds each for the most innovative in each of five categories. Why Boston for the ceremony? In 2021, the first year of the prizes, the ceremony was held in London. But since the name, Earthshot, came from JFK’s moonshot in the 1960’s, this second year was held in the birthplace of President Kennedy. Heather was in attendance as Woodwell was one of the Boston Host Committee organizations. I can’t wait to hear her recap. I don’t think that will include the glamorous entrance of the Royal couple as they entered on the green, not red carpet. I was impressed that people were asked not to buy new clothes for the event. Princess Kate wore a rented green gown and Prince William wore a jacket he has worn to many other Royal events. Great idea! But I am more interested in learning about the winners of the prizes and hopefully Heather can tell me about that.

2022 Life Logs, Day 335: Let the Holiday Season Begin

2022 Life Logs, Day 335: Let the Holiday Season Begin
Date: Thursday, December 1, 2022
Weather: Mostly Sunny, Windy, Cool: High 46, Low 30 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was the first day of December, so in my book, the holiday season has officially begun. Since I have my dining in group here for dinner on Monday, I decided to get my tree a week earlier than usual. If I am going to entertain in December, I want it to look like Christmas. The tree is in the living room and has the lights on and is wrapped with the white lace that has decorated my holiday tree for at least 30 years, maybe more. I will invite the Goldstones over for dinner, maybe on Sunday, and let the boys help me put the ornaments on the tree. I also delivered Jed’s birthday present a week early as it is a Wine Advent-ture, a different bottle of wine (not full size) from around the world for each day leading up to Christmas Day. Thus the need to give the present a week early.

I spent much of the day doing various indoor house projects, but once again, I did not get to my outside projects. Maybe tomorrow? I did get sucked down the genealogy rabbit hole for a bit this morning. I got a notice from Ancestry with information on Mark’s dad’s side of the family. Previously, I had almost nothing other than the names of Mark’s grandfather and grandmother. Today’s information was enlightening. As always, I need to spend more time following the various leads, but I now have more information than Mark ever had. Thank you, Ancestry.

2022 Life Logs, Day 334: Catching Up with Life, Public Policy Group Meeting

2022 Life Logs, Day 334: Catching Up with Life, Public Policy Group Meeting
Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Weather: Overcast, Rain Late; High 57, Low 34 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I got nothing done today that I intended to do, but I did do some things that really had to be done. The most important thing is that I booked my flight and rental car for my upcoming trip to North Carolina to visit with my sister and I delivered some things to Heather that I had bought for the Goldpebbles’ Advent Calendar. That does begin tomorrow morning on the first day of December. Then I prepared for my Public Policy Group meeting this afternoon. We had a guest speaker, Bill Hough, owner of the Falmouth Enterprise, a family-owned local newspaper. Until September, he was the editor, but he has retired and passed that job on to his son. It was a great conversation about the importance of local news.

I had hoped to get some outside yard work done today while it was warm, but that didn’t happen. I will either do that tomorrow when it will be cool and windy, or put it off until another day.

2022 Life Logs, Day 333: Pampered Pets, Costco and IKEA, and Laundry

2022 Life Logs, Day 333: Pampered Pets, Costco and IKEA, and Laundry
Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 45, Low 37 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Once every six or seven weeks, the day to pamper Shadow shows up on the calendar. He has a standing appointment at Pampered Pets to get groomed and today was that day. Pampered Pets is up by the bridge, so often on his appointment days, I drop him off and keep driving north to shop at Costco. I drop Shadow off at 9 am, and he is ready to pick-up in the afternoon. Sometimes it is as early as 1:30 and at other times, it is 3:30 or 4 pm. It usually takes about three to four hours for the Costco trip (including driving time), so I often have more time to kill before Shadow is ready for pick-up. Today I added a quick stop at IKEA, which is located right next to Costco, to pick up holiday wrapping paper and gingerbread houses for the Goldpebbles to decorate. I thought about getting a couple for Ziggy and Coco but decided that the pieces would get broken in transit. Shadow was still not ready, so I headed to a great laundromat I have discovered in Buzzards Bay on the other side of the bridge. I finished the laundry but still had not heard from Pampered Pets, so I just drove there and waited.

I had a rude awakening while shopping at Costco today. My right knee, which needs to be replaced at some point, has been giving me trouble since August. But while shopping in Costco today, it was suddenly so painful that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to finish my shopping. I kept hearing the doctor tell me to walk through the pain, so I kept going. I made it, but I am going to call to set up a cortisone shot to help fight the pain and buy a little more time before surgery. Between my back and my knee, I am starting to feel like a hypochondriac. Either that, or I am just falling apart!

2022 Life Logs, Day 332: Taking Care of Business

2022 Life Logs, Day 332: Taking Care of Business
Date: Monday, November 28, 2022
Weather: Sunny Early, Turning Cloudy, Then Sunny PM; High 59, Low 33 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This entire day was spent taking care of business, first mine and then my sister’s. I had an early appointment to have blood work done for an upcoming annual physical exam. Then there was a chiropractor appointment, followed by an appointment with a neurosurgeon to go over the results of my recent MRI. The result of all of this is to keep walking, walking, walking, biking, and add some aerobic exercise to keep the stenosis in my spine from getting worse. And to do one more round of prednisone to reduce swelling. The neurosurgeon tried to talk me into getting a cortisone shot in my lower back, but I talked him into waiting to see how things are after the prednisone. His report states that I am a “good candidate for an L4-5 (lower spine) minimally invasive laminectomy” but I will put that off until I can’t walk! Actually, despite the symptoms I have been having, the recent MRI looked better than the one in 2020. At least that was encouraging.

I spent my evening dealing with medical and financial issues for my sister and found that I am going to have to make a trip to Charlotte before Christmas to deal with things there. More fun!

2022 Life Logs, Day 331: More Yardwork with Ollie and Sam

2022 Life Logs, Day 331: More Yardwork with Ollie and Sam
Date: Sunday, November 27, 2022
Weather: Overcast and Warm, Rain Late; High 56, Low 48 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

More fall yard clean-up was the name of the game today. Late morning, Heather brought Sam and Ollie over to work in Shirley’s yard. Heather stayed and helped for a bit and then went to help Jed with the boat covering project. Jonah stayed home and was on house cleaning duty. I love watching Ollie hauling leaves with his little tractor and Sam is a hero when he pulls the unwanted vines the size of your arm out of the hedges. Heather came back and picked up Ollie to take him home with her to do yardwork there. I kept Sam for another hour to finish up here and when I took him home, I stayed and helped Heather and Ollie bag leaves to bring home with me for my ‘land fill’ project. Heather had raked a lot of leaves into a pile in her front garden area and at one point, Ollie jumped right in and all I could see of him was his face! I drove home with a carload of leaf bags filled to the brim, but I didn’t get a chance to dump them. It was getting dark, so I played ball with Shadow for a bit. Then when I went to get the leaf bags out of the car, it started raining. That job will have to wait until the rain stops. I went inside and was trying to figure out what to fix for dinner when I got a call from Jed inviting me to their house for sushi. Problem solved. Sushi it was for dinner.

2022 Life Logs, Day 330: Yardwork Day with Ollie

2022 Life Logs, Day 330: Yardwork Day with Ollie
Date: Saturday, November 26, 2022
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 50, Low 41 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Heather and Jed were super busy today delivering Sam and Jonah to soccer practice in Harwich at two different times and in between, working on covering Eider/Ardenna for the winter, and various other projects. They asked if I might be with Ollie and, of course, I said yes. I always love having alone time with any one of the boys. Heather and Jed needed to have bottles recycled and Ollie loves to go to the redemption center to out the bottles into the “crunching” machine. We did that, then we headed to my house with his little tractor, the lawn mower, and the leaf blower. We managed to spend the rest of the day doing yard work and having fun while doing it. It is supposed to rain tomorrow afternoon, so if the rain does hold off until then, we might continue the yardwork in the morning. There are still plenty of leaves that need to be dealt with.

Mark and I covered Windbird in the winters that we lived aboard in Boston and here on the Cape by shrink wrapping the boat with clear plastic. But in order to be able to climb in and out of the boat, we built a structure out of metal conduit pipe. We kept the pipe and today Jed used it to build a structure on top of their boat to hold their canvas cover. I love the idea that something that was used on Windbird is now being passed on to Heather and Jed’s boat.

2022 Life Logs, Day 329: Puerto Rico to Boston to Cape Cod

2022 Life Logs, Day 329: Puerto Rico to Boston to Cape Cod
Date: Friday, November 25, 2022
Weather: Rainy and Cool; High 54, Low 35 degrees F
Location: Back Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Just returned from the ten-day trip to Puerto Rico to visit with my son Justin and his beautiful family. Each day was a new discovery. We enjoyed spending time on their little piece of paradise they call Finca Maravilla. The view of tropical plants that is right in front of you when you sit on the front porch is just beautiful. And the constant parade of animals is always fun to watch . . . Hopi the pony, Rabbit the pig, the five cats, five dogs, and chickens and rabbits. I truly enjoyed Rincon’s beaches and Aguada’s beautiful waterfalls, both just a 10-15 minute drive from home and the walk to the river through the woods close to the farm. We spent time on Rincon’s plaza and enjoyed dinners out–sushi, Brazilian, and Cowboys all American fare. I got to meet some of Ziggy and Coco’s friends and enjoyed a Puerto Rican Festival at their school, Foresta. We all enjoyed Discovery Day in Aguada where Christopher Columbus arrived on November 19, 1493. Everyone in town, including Justin and Coco, rode their horses out of the hills and out onto the beach to celebrate. Then there were the times I just sat on the porch enjoying the view of tropical greenery and at night listening to the call of Puerto Rico’s little frog, the coqui. The Thanksgiving feast was a spectacular culminating event with contributions from all. Ziggy made pies and Coco made a Thanksgiving turkey out of fruit while Jo performed magic in the kitchen.

Thank you, Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco, for all of the wonderful experiences plus the card games and constant bad jokes by Coco and Justin. It was eight days jam-packed with fun and precious family time.