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!

2023 Life Logs, Day 35: Sam’s 16th Birthday Party at RI Karting

2023 Life Logs, Day 35: Sam’s 16th Birthday Party at RI Karting
Date: Saturday, February 4, 2023
Weather: Epic Cold; High 20, Low 17 degrees F (feels 8 degrees F with wind chill)
Sunrise and Sunset: 6:51 am – 5:03 pm (+2 minutes)
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, NH

It was truly COLD this morning. Around 11 am, I took Shadow for a short walk. I wore good winter gloves, not the little stretchy things I normally wear, but still my fingers were so cold I lost all feeling in them. Plus, my face hurt from the cold. Shadow was walking as fast as I allowed, so I think he was freezing as well. But it is warmer tonight than it was this morning, so all is well.

My oldest grandson, Sam, was supposed to have his 16th birthday party on January 21, his birth date. Unfortunately, his good friend Robert tested positive for Covid that morning, so Sam wanted to cancel and go when Robert could go with. The outing was rescheduled for today at Supercharged Entertainment in Wrentham with friends Robert, Sebastian, and Ethan. But when we got there, people were leaving. Supercharged’s water main had burst so they had to close for the day. What to do? Heather got on her phone to search out other possibilities. A similar place in Rhode Island looked the best and after a few tense minutes, she was able to make the reservations and off we went. Luckily, it was only 15 miles from Wrentham. It had the indoor go kart track we were looking for, plus it had something called Time Mission. I called it ‘escape room’ as you try to solve the puzzle presented in each room. They advertise it as the biggest time machine gaming experience in the world. The ‘time machine’ has 25 portals (rooms) where you “put your intelligence, physical condition, and hand-eye coordination to the test.” Basically, you form teams to solve the challenge in each portal and try to amass as many points as possible. If you beat all the other teams playing at the same time, you become a Master of Time. The rooms are small, so you wouldn’t want more than five people on your team. Some of the challenges are mental and some are physical. All were fun. I was on a team with Heather, Jed, Jonah, and Ollie that we called the Goldpebbles and came in fifth. Sam and his three friends, Robert, Sebastian, and Ethan called their team Mike’s Cereal Shack, and they came in first—the Masters of Time. Only the boys got on the racetrack while Heather, Jed, and I watched. Ollie and Jonah joined in on the first race which was for ages 6+, the warm-up. Then Sam and his friends did two more races in the 16+ category (a little faster) while Jonah and Ollie went to the arcade. It was a fun filled afternoon followed by dinner back at Heather and Jed’s and then an overnight. Once again, Happy Birthday to Sam!

2023 Life Logs, Day 34: Really COLD

2023 Life Logs, Day 34: Really COLD
Date: Friday, February 3, 2023
Weather: Sunny, Windy, and Cold; High 35, Low -3 degrees F (feels ~20 degrees colder with wind chill)
Sunrise and Sunset: 6:52 am – 5:02 pm (+3 minutes)
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, NH

Watching the weather on my phone tonight is a little scary. Every time I look, it is 2 degrees colder and is presently at 6 degrees F with gale force winds, so it feels like -16 F currently. This morning at 7:30 am when I took Shadow outside for the first outing of the day, it was windy, but didn’t really feel too cold. But as the day progressed, that changed quickly. Tonight, when I have gone outside with Shadow, I can really feel the cold and don’t want to be outside for too long. I’m still recovering from playing fetch for 15 minutes around 5 pm. I still have that burning feeling you get when you stay out in the cold too long. But if we can make it through tonight and tomorrow night, things should warm up considerably.

I spent most of my day today driving to Boston to pick up my Olga Mitchell from the New England Baptist hospital where she had a shoulder replacement on Wednesday. She is 89, which is always a worry with surgery, but she seemed to be doing great. Tomorrow we head back up north to Wrentham to spend the afternoon at the Supercharged Entertainment for Sam’s belated birthday party. It has a multi-level go-kart track and “Insane Fun Guaranteed” is the advertisement.

After I took Olga home late this afternoon, I made it to the last few minutes of a Nominating Committee meeting and then came home to play with Shadow. I ate an early dinner since I had totally forgotten to eat lunch and then I headed to Heather and Jed’s to take Sam to winter soccer practice. He has a cold and did not go to school today and decided not to go to practice tonight, so I headed home. Heather had taken Jonah to get his hair cut before taking him to indoor soccer practice, so was not at home. Jonah’s hair was growing out and getting a little on the ‘wild’ side. Heather sent photos and I love the new look.

2023 Life Logs, Day 33: Ground Hog Day

2023 Life Logs, Day 33: Ground Hog Day
Date: Thursday, February 2, 2023
Weather: Sunny and Cold; High 37, Low 22 degrees F
Sunrise and Sunset: 6:53 am – 5:00 pm (+2 minutes)
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, NH

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today which ‘might’ mean we will have six more weeks of winter. The problem is that we really haven’t had ‘winter’ yet. Not complainin’, just sayin’. But winter is coming tomorrow for a couple of days. The temp tomorrow night will be below zero. Add the wind chill factor to that and it equals COLD. But by Sunday, we will once again have days in the 40’s and night’s in the 30’s.

I had a delightful day getting almost nothing done and I enjoyed every minute of it. I did not get in my car today. Shadow and I just enjoyed a day at home walking, playing, and doing nothing. I thought I was going to have another day of nothingness tomorrow after a 9 am meeting, but it looks like I will be driving to Boston to pick my friend Olga up after shoulder surgery. She was supposed to come home today, but she is not recovering as fast as the doctor would like, so he had her stay another day. The friend who was going to pick her up today cannot do it tomorrow, so she took me up on my offer. It is possible the doctor will keep her another day, but unlikely. So I am on standby and will hopefully get her home tomorrow.

2023 Life Logs, Day 32: In Memory of Helen Marie Landers Stricklen

2023 Life Logs, Day 32: In Memory of Helen Marie Landers Stricklen
Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Cold; High 32, Low 18 degrees F
Sunrise and Sunset: 6:54 am – 4:59 pm (+2 minutes)
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, NH

This log is dedicated to my sister Patsy and her best friend from her teenage years and beyond. I am Facebook friends with the granddaughter of my sister’s best friend and tonight I saw a post announcing the death of that best friend, Helen Marie Landers Stricklen. In 1950, when I was two, my sister was 16, and Helen was 15, Patsy went with Bob Stricklen and Helen from West Virginia to Kentucky where they could be married legally. Patsy was their witness and she said tonight that everyone thought that marriage would not last because Helen was too young. Well, that marriage did last and when I was growing up, Helen and Bob were neighbors. I got to see firsthand what a truly happy marriage looks like. They had two daughters, Kathy and Becky who were the ages of my nieces and nephews. Since all of my brothers and sisters were close in age to Helen and Bob, I saw them as just another brother and sister and Kathy and Becky as nieces–an extension of my family. Helen gave me my first paying job when I was in third grade. I used to iron for her at 5 cents a piece. But what Helen and Bob gave me that has lasted through the years was a glimpse of what true happiness looks like. Bob died in 2021 after 71 years of marriage to Helen, and now Helen has joined him. When I called my sister tonight to tell her of Helen’s passing, she said, “Helen was the closest to being an angel that any human can be.” I only have two photos of Helen and Patsy, one as teenage girls and one taken on Helen and Bob’s wedding day. I was a very lucky person to have known both Helen and Bob. My thoughts are with the family left behind who knew them as Nanny and PaPa.

2023 Life Logs, Day 31: Home from New Hampshire

2023 Life Logs, Day 31: Home from New Hampshire
Date: Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 40, Low 25 degrees F
Sunrise and Sunset: 6:55 am & 4:58 pm (+2 minutes)
Location: Back Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, NH

It was definitely a whirlwind trip to New Hampshire, but I had a much overdue visit with Detta and Tom and a reunion with Peppe Christianson for the first time in 13 years. Mark and I first met Peppe and Bob in Salomon Atoll in Chagos in the Indian Ocean in 2010, and it was great to see her again.

Shadow and I woke up this morning to a beautiful view of Great Bay and then left the Porat’s and after breakfast, we went to the Great Bay Discovery Center for a walk. Then we headed to New Market on the other side of Great Bay to visit with Peppe and her sister. Peppe ad I spent time catching up and then I spent time talking to Peppe and her sister, Lynné about my experience in supporting Mark through his years of chemotherapy. Peppe is here to be with her sister as she goes through chemotherapy for lung cancer that was recently discovered. Peppe made lunch for us using recipes from The Cancer Fighting Kitchen, a great recipe book I used as a ‘bible’ during Mark’s chemo years. Peppe’s husband, Bob, stayed at home on Kitsap peninsula back in Washington state while Peppe is here for a few weeks to be with her sister. I hope I get to see her again.

2023 Life Logs, Day 30: Falmouth to Greenland, NH (near Portsmouth on the Coast)

2023 Life Logs, Day 30: Falmouth to Greenland, NH (near Portsmouth on the Coast)
Date: Monday, January 30, 2023
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 5, Low 34 degrees F (30 F in Greenland)
Sunrise and Sunset: 6:56 am & 4:57 pm (+3 minutes)
Location: At Home with Detta and Tom Porat, Greenland, NH

Shadow and I arrived in Greenland, New Hampshire at 6:30 pm. I didn’t leave home until 4 pm as my Nominating Committee meeting lasted longer than I expected. Then I had to drive home, pack up the car, and take Shadow for a walk before we could leave. We actually made great time with very little traffic. There is a little ‘old’ snow here along the road and the temperature is not that much colder than at home. Detta had a wonderful dinner waiting for me, salmon topped with pistachios, sweet potatoes, and green beans. As usual, Detta and I outlasted Tom, but we actually shut down earlier than normal. Detta has been having some crazy things happening to her body since mid-October that none of the exhaustive tests and doctors and identify. I won’t go into all the symptoms, but they are extensive. The doctors suspected multiple sclerosis, even ALS. But thankfully it is neither of those. It is appearing more and more as if it is a reaction to her bivalent Covid booster she had in mid-September followed by a flu shot two weeks later. It is not getting worse, but new symptoms keep appearing. Very strange. But she is facing all of this with a positive attitude—the only kind of attitude Detta has.

Tomorrow morning I will leaving here around 10 am to go visit with my sailing friend, Peppe. Then in the early afternoon, Shadow and I will head home. A quick visit, but so good to catch up with friends.

2023 Life Logs, Day 29: Futsal Afternoon, Dinner with the Goldstones

2023 Life Logs, Day 29: Futsal Afternoon, Dinner with the Goldstones
Date: Sunday, January 29, 2023
Weather: Partly Cloudy to Overcast; High 50, Low 38 degrees F
Sunrise and Sunset: 6:57 am & 4:55 pm (+2 minutes)
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

What I thought was going to be free and easy Sunday ended up to a whirlwind of a day. My laziness caused the whirlwind to form. When Shadow and I up at 7 am for our trip outside, we both decided to go back to bed. I intended to read for a bit and then get up. But fell asleep and didn’t wake up until 9:30. I was to pick up friend Olga Mitchell to walk at 10 am and had offered to do the prep work for a beef stew dinner and have it at Heather and Jed’s by 1 pm. Then either I was going to stay with Ollie while Jed took Jonah to his futsal game an hour north of here OR I was going to take Jonah and Jed would finish the beef stew. To be determined. Olga, Shadow, and I went for a bog walk to check out the ducks, geese, and sea gulls that are enjoying the bogs while they are flooded. When I got home, I needed to answer a few text messages that had come in and then talk with Detta Porat about my visit tomorrow night. By this time, it was noon and that marinated stew meat had still not been dredged in the flour had to be dealt with. About that time, I got the text from Jed asking if I would take Jonah. I went into high gear and got the beef and potatoes browned and put everything else in a bag and headed to Heather and Jed’s. I dropped the bag with the beef stew ingredients and took off with Jonah. My good intentions of having a dinner ready for Heather so she wouldn’t have to cook when she got home from her Krupalu weekend ended up to be just that. Good intentions. She ended up having to fix dinner while I had a good time watching Jonah play indoor soccer.

When I talk about taking Jonah to futsal, people ask me what it is. I always say it is a version of indoor soccer. But I finally found a more definitive answer on the web. “Futsal is a pared-down version of outdoor soccer played indoors, on a smaller field and with fewer players (five-a-side). The term ‘futsal’ stems from the Spanish or Portuguese word for “soccer” and the French or Spanish word for “room”—fútbol de salón and futebol de salão emerged as the trademark name futsal.”

So my day was not as laid back as I had envisioned, but it was good day. Jonah’s team won their game 14-1 and secured their place in the play-offs next weekend. I drove Jonah home and dropped him off around 5 pm. I went home to play fetch with Shadow in the very last light of the day (almost dark) and then headed back to have dinner with the Goldstones. Heather made challah to go with the beef stew. I don’t normally eat gluten products, but the beautifully braided bread looked so good that I just had to have a piece. It was delicious.

Tomorrow afternoon, following a Newcomers nominating committee meeting, Shadow and I head to New Hampshire. I will have dinner and spend the night with Tom and Detta Porat in Greenland (near Portsmouth), and on Tuesday morning, I will visit with Peppe Christianson. Peppe and her husband Bob were cruisers aboard their boat, Far Niente, that we met while sailing around the world. Bob and Peppe now live on the West Coast, but Peppe is in New Hampshire to spend a few weeks with her sister who is going through chemotherapy. She just arrived in New Hampshire last week, and I want to go drive up to say hello. I haven’t seen her since we were together in South Africa in 2010. Where do those years go? I will visit with her on Tuesday morning and then head home.

2023 Life Logs, Day 28: Watching and Working

2023 Life Logs, Day 28: Watching and Working
Date: Saturday, January 28, 2023
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 49, Low 35 degrees F
Sunrise and Sunset: 6:58 am & 4:54 pm (+2 minutes)
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I binged on puzzling and watching TV today and enjoyed every minute of it. I finished watching the Season 1 episodes of Three Pines on Amazon Prime and then watched a movie, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Three Pines is also a mystery, but it is a series of mysteries instead of a movie. It features Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Louise Penny wrote the books and, in my opinion, Amazon Prime has done a great job of changing the stories, but keeping the heart of the characters alive. The other binge activity was working, not on real work, but working on my current jigsaw puzzle. I made a lot of progress, but I have a way to go. It is a challenging one.

2023 Life Logs, Day 27: Just Me and My Shadow

2023 Life Logs, Day 27: Just Me and My Shadow
Date: Friday, January 27, 2023
Weather: Sunny; High 40, Low 31 degrees F
Sunrise and Sunset: 6:59 am & 4:53 pm
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

For Christmas, Jed’s mom gave Heather a weekend at Kripalu Yoga Center in western Massachusetts and this is the weekend. So, Heather is out of town and Jed and the boys were off this afternoon for a Saturday on the slopes. That leaves just me and my Shadow. We went for a lovely walk in the Coonasmessett River Restoration area this morning with Olga Mitchell. When I took Olga home, she showed me her camellia bush that is in full bloom. The plants are so confused with the warm weather we are having this winter.

After dropping Olga off, I took Shadow home to drop him off and then and went to the car wash to use their free vacuums to clean out my car. I drove a bit further to have my almost overdue annual State Inspection done on the car. I knew it was due in January but somehow January is almost over and I had not made it there. So, check, check. Two jobs I have been intending to do for the past 26 days are finally done. Before returning home, I went to the grocery store for a few items and then spent my afternoon working on my new jigsaw puzzle and starting to read a new book, Horse by Geraldine Brooks. I think my weekend will be more of the same. And we gained another three minutes of daylight today. Hurray!

2023 Life Logs, Day 26: Lunch with Friends

2023 Life Logs, Day 26: Lunch with Friends
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2023
Weather: Sunny, Gale Force Winds; High 52, Low 30 degrees F
Sunrise and Sunset: 7:00 am & 4:51 pm
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I stayed up very late last night trying to finish Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver—a must read book. I didn’t finish the book, but Shadow and I slept in this morning and didn’t get up until almost 9 am. I managed to then spend an hour ‘studying’ the jigsaw puzzle I am working on. It is a very different kind of puzzle that I have pieced together parts of, but can’t seem to find the way to connect the parts. Then I was off to lunch with friends Karen Baranowski and Christina Brodie. Christina just got home from a fabulous trip to Hawaii, so we had lots to catch up on. I had planned to come home and finish that book, but I ended up doing Newcomers Nominating Committee work and playing outside with Shadow. Maybe I’ll finish the book tonight.

We have not had a lot of sunshine lately, but today was sunny. It was also super windy and warm. Not sure when we are going to get winter this year. In addition to the sunshine we had today, we have gained ten minutes of daylight this week. Sunrise is now 7 am and sunset is moving quickly towards 5 pm. I love it!