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 275: Another Day of Rest

2022 Life Logs, Day 275: Another Day of Rest
Date: Sunday, October 2, 2022
Weather: Overcast and Windy; High 59, Low 49 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, Falmouth, MA

It was another day of rest for me. I am feeling fine, but I just don’t have enough energy to do much of anything. In the meantime, life goes on without me. Heather and Sam headed to Lowell very early this morning and by 9 am, Sam’s boat won second place in their first regatta rowing together. Heather sent a photo and Sam looked so very happy. They stayed to cheer on the other boats from the Cape and Island Rowing Association and then they headed south to Mansfield to watch Jonah’s soccer game. Jonah got a ride up with a friend and then came home with Heather and Sam. I did not hear how his game went.

I reached out to Justin and Jo to find out if electric and water have returned after Hurricane Fiona. Jo got back to me letting me that both actually returned mid-week, but literally as she was writing the text to me, the electricity went out again. At least they had a break for a few days. Hopefully, this afternoon’s outage was temporary.

I did manage to make it through the day without a nap and made Tuscan Stew for dinner and did a little house cleaning. My nephew Tommy from North Carolina is on the Cape for a business conference this week and he is hopefully coming for an overnight visit on Wednesday before flying home. It’s a good excuse for getting the cottage in order.

2022 Life Logs, Day 274: Rainy First Day of October

2022 Life Logs, Day 274: Rainy First Day of October
Date: Saturday, October 1, 2022
Weather: Rainy All Day; High 59, Low 54 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, Falmouth, MA

This first day of October was rainy from start to finish, so not much to report today. I felt the same today as yesterday but found myself exhausted by mid-afternoon after doing nothing. So, I put down my book and took a nap. Not sure if my lack of ambition was because I had no energy or just because the weather was so miserable. I am feeling fine tonight, so I will blame it on the weather. Unfortunately, it looks like we have more days of rain to come.

2022 Life Logs, Day 273: Happy Birthday to Heather

2022 Life Logs, Day 273: Happy Birthday to Heather
Date: Friday, September 30, 2022
Weather: Partly Sunny, Getting Cooler; High 63, Low 51 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, Falmouth, MA

This will be short as I really need to get to bed. I did get back to life as usual today and that doesn’t include a nap. Now I am exhausted, but it’s nothing a good night’s sleep won’t fix. Tonight, I went to Heather and Jed’s for Heather’s birthday celebration. We ate out on the deck and I sat a my own little table. I took Shadow with me, and he enjoyed seeing the boys . . . as did I.
Share I am still testing positive, but I continue to feel better every day. Just don’t want to overdo it, so to bed I go.

2022 Life Logs, Day 272: Progress Toward Normal

2022 Life Logs, Day 272: Progress Toward Normal
Date: Thursday, September 29, 2022
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 63, Low 49 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, Falmouth, MA

About 4 pm this afternoon, I suddenly felt a burst of energy. I immediately took off on a walk with Shadow and for the first time in nine days, I didn’t need to turn around and come home. We successfully completed the mile loop in my neighborhood. I think that is progress toward normal, so I’ll take it. Otherwise, I spent my day dealing with more of my sister’s health issues and reading. This bout with Covid has caused me to abandon my rule of no reading during the day. I have read many days away in the past week. Years ago, I read Ken Follet’s Pillars of the Earth and the next two books in the Kingbridge series. Last week when I was desperate for a book to read, I realized that a year or so ago I bought The Evening and the Morning which is billed as a prequel to the earlier trilogy. I am really enjoying it and find it hard to put down.

2022 Life Logs, Day 271: Not ‘Back to Normal Life’ As Hoped

2022 Life Logs, Day 271: Not ‘Back to Normal Life’ As Hoped
Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 69, Low 52 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Last night I declared I was done with Covid and hoping for a ‘back to normal day’ today. That didn’t happen. Even though it is day eight, I still have lingering Covid symptoms. Very slowly the congestion is clearing, but it is the exhaustion that just doesn’t go away. I did try to take Shadow for a walk, but I didn’t get very far before turning around and heading home. But Covid was not the real reason that it was not a normal day.

I started my day by calling the hospital to check on my sister’s condition. I was assured that she was doing fine and would be released today. Then I got a text from my nephew Tommy who was spending his morning in Patsy’s hospital room. He had just gotten word that my niece Jennifer passed during the night. Of course, we were expecting this at some point, but that doesn’t lesson the blow. The rest of the morning was spent on the phone with family trying to decide the best way to tell my sister. Losing a child has got to be the hardest thing a parent can go through. Who was going to tell her? When were we going to tell her? Who was going to spend the night with her? She did come home mid-afternoon and her son-in-law and granddaughter came to her apartment to tell her. She took it stoically and when I talked to her tonight, she sounded good. Her sister-in-law, another Judy, came to spend the night with her. She is well taken care of. I will not fly down to be with her for a few days until I am free of Covid symptoms. I surely don’t want to fly while still congested.

I also spent a good deal of today watching the progress of Ian on the Weather Channel. My friend Jane Wooden stopped by to make a special delivery of printer paper for me (Thank you, Jane!) and we sat in the sunshine and talked about friends and family in Florida. I heard tonight that Mark’s nephew Danny in Naples is fine and his nieces Kristi and Stacey and families in Cape Coral are also safe. They were all in areas that were very hard hit, so I was very worried. When I heard that Ian made landfall at Caya Costa, it brought back so many memories. Caya Costa is a small state park on a barrier island just north of Sanibel and Captiva. It has been described as a wild beach on a remote island. Mark and I borrowed his dad’s little motorboat and spent our honeymoon anchored off Caya Costa . . . a beautiful spot in this world. But evidently a spot hurricanes like. Hurricane Charley in 2004 made landfall in almost the same exact spot.

2022 Life Logs, Day 270: Holding My Own

2022 Life Logs, Day 270: Holding My Own
Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Windy; High 74, Low 51 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, Falmouth, MA

When I woke up this morning, I could tell that miracle I have been waiting for had not happened yet. I felt pretty much like I did when I went to bed last night. My stomach is still not quite right, I still have some congestion, and I definitely have brain fog, but I knew I felt a tad better because my back was giving me trouble. It probably has all along, but Covid issues overshadowed the back pain. Now it is back. But I didn’t get to think about any of us for long. At 8:35 am, I got a call from an aide at the assisted living facility where my sister resides. She had fallen and hit her head and they were informing me that they had called an ambulance to take her to the emergency room to be checked out. I spent a good deal of the rest of the day dealing with that. The CT scan checked out okay, but they found that she had a UTI and a slower than normal heart rate. They started her on antibiotics for the UTI and are keeping her overnight for observation. Hopefully tomorrow she will be back at home.

Other than talk to nurses and doctors and family members about my sister, I’m not sure what else I got done today. I did take an afternoon nap out in the sunshine and tonight I finished watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy and I took the last of the Paxlovid. So, I am ready to be done with this Covid life! Enough movies and medicine. Tomorrow, I hope to start getting back my normal life.

Tonight, I am thinking of Mark’s family in southern Florida. His sisters and brother that live in the Bonita Springs and Fort Myers traveled to the east coast to ride out the storm in the Ft. Lauderdale area. I watched the Weather Channel tonight but it was so depressing, I just had to turn it off. Ian just seems to get stronger every hour.

2022 Life Logs, Day 269: Better

2022 Life Logs, Day 269: Better
Date: Monday, September 26, 2022
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Windy; High 70, Low 64 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, Falmouth, MA

I’m almost afraid to say this, but I think I have turned the corner on Covid. I am definitely better, still shaky at times, still cough once in a while, stomach still a little off, but otherwise, I feel good. This was day 6 and I have one more day of Paxlovid to take, so I am not declaring victory quite yet. Just saying I am better.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, but quite windy. In the afternoon, Jane Woodin stopped by to bring me some sunchoke flowers. She knows how much I love the yellow flowers. Having them inside is like inviting a bit of sunshine inside. While we were sitting outside visiting (masked and far apart), Karen and Peter drove into the driveway. They were coming to take Shirley’s recycle bin out to the curb, but their timing was perfect, and we all had a nice visit. When everyone left, I went inside and discovered that I had forgotten all about the soup I was warming up for a mid-afternoon lunch. When Jane drove in, I went outside to say hello. When that turned into a visit, I just completely forgot about the soup. As a result, I had totally charred veggies that had to be scraped out of the pan and a nasty smell that will be with me for a while. About that time, I heard Shadow bark and saw Heather, Jonah, and Ollie getting out of their van. They had been at Mahoney’s to buy chrysanthemums and bought a pot for me, as well as an inside, fall blooming plant, a cyclamen. Just seeing the boys in the driveway made me feel so much better. It has been only six days since I have seen them, but I have really missed them. They had fun picking tomatoes, hot red peppers, and purple beans in the garden, and they even found a few strawberries. They couldn’t stay long as Heather had to get them home so she could go to ‘Meet the Teacher’ night at Ollie’s school. She sent me a photo of an essay he wrote called, “I Am.” It is a beautiful example of why Heather has always called Ollie the Ollie Lama . . . our own ten-year-old philosopher.

I am a helpful guy who likes soccer
I wonder what lies beyond the known universe
I hear the clanking of hammer on anvil
I see the finished form of a forged piece of metal
I want to discover more planets
I am a helpful guy who likes soccer

I pretend to fall into a book and in stuck in the pages
I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders
I touch all of the moons, the planets, and the stars
I worry about the health of my guinea pig
I cry for all the poor people
I am a helpful guy who loves soccer

I understand the frustration of not being able to do something easily
I say that we are all different but interesting
I dream of going other places on earth
I try to help all others in need
I hope that the war will end soon
I am a helpful guy who loves soccer

by Oliver Goldstone

Wow!

2022 Life Logs, Day 268: No Better, No Worse

2022 Life Logs, Day 268: No Better, No Worse
Date: Sunday, September 25, 2022
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 70, Low 64 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Shanah Tovah to all who are celebrating the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) tonight. I missed having challah and apricot glazed chicken. Heather wanted to bring some over, but I had already made spaghetti sauce, so I had spaghetti. I have been craving it for two days!

There was very little change in my situation today. Pulse rate was down a little further but went back up to normal this evening. Weakness and shakiness still with me, but maybe a bit better.
I am truly hoping for a step forward tomorrow.

2022 Life Logs, Day 267: The Two Step

2022 Life Logs, Day 267: The Two Step
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2022
Weather: Beautiful Day, Breezy, Warmer; High 68, Low 49 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, Falmouth, MA

I should have been in bed two hours ago, but I decided to watch the first of the Lord of the Rings movies. It was long, but I loved it as much as the first time I saw it. I will watch another one tomorrow and another one on Monday, and I am hoping by then to be able to say that I am definitely getting better. I named this log The Two Step because I feel like a take one step forward, then a second step backwards, or maybe sideways. My breathing issues were definitely better this morning, so I think the Paxlovid is helping me fight this Covid. But just as I was getting excited about feeling better, I developed another symptom or maybe a side effect of the Paxlovid. Around noon I got really shaky. Heather came over about that time to deliver groceries, take my dirty laundry to do, and to take Shadow for a nice, long walk. I told her I thought I needed food, but that wasn’t it. I remained that way all afternoon and evening. And my stomach is a little off as well. During the afternoon I also kept breaking out in a cold sweat. It was just weird. So, I am going to head to bed and see if more sleep helps. I did nap today, but that didn’t help. Hopefully there will be two steps forward tomorrow.

2022 Life Logs, Day 266: Reverse That

2022 Life Logs, Day 266: Reverse That
Date: Friday, September 23, 2022
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Cool, and Breezy; High 59, Low 46 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Last night I decided not to take Paxlovid. This morning Covid symptoms were worse, so I reversed that decision. It was the pain in the area of the diaphragm when I cough that got worse, but actually tonight it feels just a bit better. I am keeping a check on my oxygen level, pulse rate, and blood pressure. Right now, everything is in the normal range. I’ll just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

I had a nice long conversation with Justin about how things are going after the hurricane. They are fine but a bit overwhelmed by the amount of clean-up that needs to be done. There is cell service near the plaza in town, so that is where he was when he called. There is information being circulated that if the power grid is not back up and running in two or three days, there will be no cell service as there might not be enough fuel to run the generators that are keeping the cell towers going. Did I get that right, Justin? He has also heard that a few people have gotten back water, giving them hope that they might have water soon. The school the kids attend went with totally computer-based classes this year. Bad choice since there is no internet unless you have a satellite system. Which they don’t. The kids might go back to school on Monday, but it will be mostly for socialization until they figure things out.

Heather got home from Climate Week in New York City this afternoon just in time to take Sam to Camp Greenough in Yarmouth for a weekend of endurance camping. Jonah is fine but still testing positive for Covid. And so far, Sam and Ollie are escaping it. Sam had the booster two weeks ago, but Ollie is too young to get the booster at this time. Sure wish I had gotten it as soon as it came out. If you haven’t gotten it, please make an appointment tomorrow. You don’t want this.