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 125: Shop ‘til You Drop on Cinco de Mayo

2022 Life Logs, Day 125: Shop ‘til You Drop on Cinco de Mayo
Date: Thursday, May 5, 2022
Weather: Sunshine!!!; High 63, Low 46 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

On this sunny Cinco de Mayo, I went with friend Jane Woodin across the bridge to shop ‘til we dropped. Actually, we just made a trip to Costco, but we did make a couple of other side trips . . . more shopping than I have done for some time. It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed our little outing. When I got home, I went for a walk with Shadow, and then drove into town to pick up Jonah and bring him here to do yard work for a neighbor. Ollie and Jonah have said they will do the yardwork for two neighbors this summer season, Andrew and Lara, and Shirley. When I took Jonah home, Heather came out to say hello. We were checking our calendars and I saw a new entry for this Saturday. Sam is going to work at Corner Cycle. I am so proud of him for getting a job, but it literally brought tears to my eyes. How could he be old enough to work? My grandbabies are growing up.

2022 Life Logs, Day 124: Book Club Luncheon

2022 Life Logs, Day 124: Book Club Luncheon
Date: Wednesday, May 4, 2022
Weather: Overcast with Light Rain, Fog Tonight; High 57, Low 47 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was another cloudy day with some rain. For my evening walk with Shadow, I wore my winter coat. It is not really cold out, but the damp, sunless days make it feel that way. Tomorrow we are supposed to get a glimpse of the sun before it disappears again for a few days. I can’t wait to celebrate the sunshine.

The highlight of my day was meeting with my book club for lunch. We cancelled our normal book club meeting for this month and decided to just meet socially. It was so nice to spend time getting to know more about one another and to talk about current issues rather than a book for a change. We did all bring a recommendation for a book that we have read recently that others might be interested in, but that was the extent of our book ‘talk’. We met at the Flying Bridge on the Falmouth Harbor and they let us sit in a huge dining hall that was empty other than us. With the threat of Covid rising again, it was great to have our own dining room. This morning I got word that friend Peter Baranowski has Covid. My thoughts are with Peter, hoping he has a light case and bounces back quickly . . . and that somehow Karen manages not to get Covid.

2022 Life Logs, Day 123: Some Enchanted Evening

2022 Life Logs, Day 123: Some Enchanted Evening
Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 56, Low 45 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

“Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger,
You may see a stranger across a crowded room,
And somehow you know, you know even then,
That somehow you’ll see here again and again.
. . . Once you have found her/him, never let he/him go,
Once you have found her/him, never let her/him go.”

I love that song and many others by Rogers and Hammerstein. Their music dominated the early lives of those of us now in our ‘twilight’ years. Lyrics from musicals like Oklahoma! (1943), South Pacific (1949), The King and I (1951), The Sound of Music (1959) . . . just to name a few.
Tonight, my good friend Jane Woodin invited me to attend an opening celebration at the Cotuit Center for the Arts. This celebration hosted an evening of conversation, music, and art with Oscar Andrew Hammerstein, the grandson of the beloved librettist and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein. This event was free, and it was wonderful.

There was food, live music, complimentary drinks, and an intimate conversation between the Executive Director of the Cotuit Center for the Arts, David Kuehn and Oscar Andrew Hammerstein (pronounced ‘stine’ not ‘steen’), painter, writer, lecturer, and family historian.
The conversation kept me at the edge of my seat. The current Oscar Hammerstein described his grandfather as being ‘marinated’ in the theater as his father, his grandfather, and his uncles, all were in theater in various ways. When he went to Columbia in pre-law, he met and married, had a child, needed money, and reverted to the family ‘business’ of theater to make money. And he was good at it. As his grandson said tonight, “Theatre is a communicable disease.” He also shared a family belief about theatre: “When things are too emotional to say, you sing. When things are too emotional to sing, you dance.” He talked about how some of his grandfather’s music was specifically written to match the talent as in “South Pacific” with Mary Martin and Ezio Penza, while other scripts were rewritten to fit the talent, as in the case of Yul Brenner in “The King and I.”

The current Oscar Andrew Hammerstein, known as Andy, also talked about his life’s work as an artist. There were examples of his artwork in the background during the interview, and he pointed out how some of his work expresses space over time (circles), while other works express time over space (rectangles).

It was an enchanted evening. Thank you, Cotuit Center for the Arts. And thank you, Jane.

2022 Life Logs, Day 122: Atlantic White Shark Conservancy Field Trip

2022 Life Logs, Day 122: Atlantic White Shark Conservancy Field Trip
Date: Monday, May 2, 2022
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 54, Low 46 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Chatham is a lovely town located on the eastern most coast of Cape Cod in the area known as the Lower Cape. And located in Chatham is the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. I traveled there today with a Newcomers group. The displays are very informative and very user friendly.
After spending an hour in the Conservancy, we drove to the Chatham Fish Market where, in season, there are always lots of seals. But today not a seal was to be seen. Obviously, we are not ‘in season’ yet. We then had lunch in a Chatham favorite, the Chatham Squire. Fun day.

2022 Life Logs, Day 121: Breakfast, Soccer, Another Cape Dory

2022 Life Logs, Day 121: Breakfast, Soccer, Another Cape Dory
Date: Sunday, May 1, 2022
Weather: Sunny, A Little Warmer; High 62, Low 44 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Jonah, Ollie, and I started our day with French toast smothered with whipped cream and strawberries. Then Jonah was off to a Scout leadership committee meeting. Ollie went with me to take Jonah, but then wanted to come back to my house while Jonah was in his meeting. In the early afternoon, Heather and I watched Ollie’s soccer game that Jed was refereeing while Jonah and Sam played soccer on another field with friends. It was Sunday soccer time.

During all this, Heather received an email from the young woman who showed us the Cape Dory 36 yesterday. This morning’s communication was about another Cape Dory, a 33-footer, that could be viewed in Cohasset this afternoon. Heather couldn’t go as she was hosting her book club, so Jed, the boys, and I went. Heather wanted the boys to see if they thought the reduction of 3 feet made this boat too small for the family. This boat was one year older than the one we saw yesterday, but it was in much better shape and the boys loved it. In fact, all of us were impressed. And even though the trip took 4 hours of our day, I think we were all glad we went to see it. Jed and boys were going to give Heather a full report over dinner, and I shared all the photos I took. The boat search will continue, but we have all learned a lot in just two afternoons.

2022 Life Logs, Day 120: Soccer, a Sailboat, and an Overnight

2022 Life Logs, Day 120: Soccer, a Sailboat, and an Overnight
Date: Saturday, April 30, 2022
Weather: Sunny; High 56, Low 39 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My morning started with a walk with Shadow and a then going to one of Jonah’s soccer games. The sun was shining, and the sky was a beautiful blue dotted with puffy white clouds . . . but I was still wearing my winter coat due to the chilly north wind.

This afternoon, Heather and Jed invited me to go to Tiverton, Rhode Island with all the Goldstones to check out a Cape Dory 36 sailboat that is for sale. They have been looking for a sailboat for a couple of months, but this is the first time they have gone to see one. Inside, the Cape Dory 36 is so much like Windbird that I felt right at home. Heather, Jed, and all three Goldpebbles loved the layout inside and, like me, they felt right at home in the cockpit. There are two other Cape Dory 36 boats for sale in New England right now, so they might try to check those out before making the decision to purchase. But I think they have agreed that this is the type of boat for them.

We had planned to have artichokes for dinner at my house when we returned. I had prepared them before we went as I knew the turnaround time was going to be tight as Heather and Jed were going out for a “jazz night” date. But it was tighter than expected because we spent more time going over every inch of the sailboat than planned. So, I sent Heather and Jed home with two of the artichokes and kept the boys with me for dinner. Then after dinner we made an obligatory stop at Smitty’s Ice Cream as it is the opening weekend for the summer. Oh, my, that ice cream was so good! I then took Sam home as he has to be up for an early soccer game tomorrow, but Jonah and Ollie decided to stay with me and Shadow tonight. When I dropped Sam off, they grabbed their PJ’s and back we went to the cottage. It has been too long since they have spent the night and having them here has made Shadow especially happy. The three of them are now tucked in for the night. Life is good.

2022 Life Logs, Day 119: Skylark Concert and Travel Planning

2022 Life Logs, Day 119: Skylark Concert and Travel Planning
Date: Friday, April 29, 2022
Weather: Sunny, Still Chilly with N Wind; High 54, Low 38 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was another quiet day spent walking with Shadow, working on editing The Voyage of Windbird, and checking into flights for another trip. Justin called yesterday and asked if I would be interested in flying to Virginia in early June to spend time with Ziggy and Coco while he and Jo attend a workshop at The Monroe Institute, Justin’s new employer. We can all stay on the campus, and I will keep Ziggy and Coco company during the days when Justin and Jo are in workshop sessions. I jumped at the chance to go as I really didn’t get to spend any alone time with Z and C while in Puerto Rico. This opportunity is perfect.

Tonight, I attended a Skylark concert. Skylark is a vocal ensemble made up of vocal soloists, chamber musicians, and music educators from around the country. Listening to this group sing is truly like listening to voices from the heavens and tonight’s concert was especially interesting. “What might happen if Robert Langdon, acclaimed professor of Symbology at Harvard University (and fictional hero of Dan Brown’s best-selling novels, including The Da Vinci Code), were enlisted to explore hidden symbols, secret codes, and long-forgotten historical connections buried in manuscripts of choral music over the centuries?” This concert was created by Skylark’s conductor, creative genius, and three-time Grammy-nominee, Matthew Guard, along with composer Greg Brown, and his brother, author Dan Brown. It made for a fascinating evening of code-breaking music.

2022 Life Logs, Day 118: A Quiet Day

2022 Life Logs, Day 118: A Quiet Day
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2022
Weather: Partly Sunny, Cold North Wind; High 51, Low 37 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Finally, a quiet day mostly at home. I got up for the first time this morning at 6:45 am to take Shadow out and was greeted with a very chilly north wind and only a tad of sunshine. We went out and then came back in and went back to bed hoping for better weather in an hour or so. When I got up the second time, the weather was no better. The wind continued throughout the day, but since I spent most of the day inside, it was not a problem. It looks like we have two more days with north winds and nighttime lows in the 30’s before it warms up a little. Then the rain begins. Springtime on New England!

My neighbor Shirley came for a short visit today to see her beautiful Japanese peach tree that is in bloom. She had an appointment with her primary care, so stopped by to see the tree. I’ve mentioned previously that she is currently living in Scituate with her 103-year-old sister, Doris. I know Shirley misses her home here, but she will stay with Doris to the end.

Shadow and I braved the wind and walked in the neighborhood today. Then mid-afternoon I took Shadow for a drive to Hyannis. I had planned to take Sam to rowing and run errands while he was on the water. But it was just too cold and windy for rowing, but I went anyway to run the errands. Tomorrow is another quiet day at home with an evening outing to go to another Skylark concert with friend, Kate Eldred. Her husband cannot go with her, so she invited me to be her ‘date’ once again. Lucky me!

2022 Life Logs, Day 117: Mah Jongg and Wine Group

2022 Life Logs, Day 117: Mah Jongg and Wine Group
Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 57, Low 37 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was a busy one . . . walking with Shadow, Mah Jongg lesson, and wine group gathering. The wine group focus this month was Napa Valley wines.

Everyone did their homework and we learned tons about Napa Valley wines, enjoyed the wine tasting, and the paired foods.

2022 Life Logs, Day 116: Dinner at the White House

2022 Life Logs, Day 116: Dinner at the White House
Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Rain Tonight; High 53, Low 49 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Tonight, my dining-in group met at Terry and Olivia White’s home which we fondly refer to as the White House. It is so delightful to meet in person once again. Throughout the pandemic, we managed to continue to meet (when the weather was not freezing) in Peter and Karen Baranowski’s fancy garage that we called the Taj Garage, masked and socially distanced with the garage doors open. That was great, but it is really nice to meet inside. Dinner tonight featured brisket with gravy, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, cooked carrots, and oven roasted Brussel’s sprouts. Then we had sponge cake with strawberries and ice cream for dessert. All delicious.

I missed the last two weeks of Mah Jongg lessons, so today friend and Mah Jongg teacher, Christina Brodie, had me come to her house for a private refresher. I remembered enough to win one of the three games we played, and now I feel much more prepared for tomorrow’s group lesson. I also meet with my wine group later tomorrow afternoon. Whew! Vacation mode is definitely fading.