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!

2024 Life Logs, Day 72: Beautiful Day

2024 Life Logs, Day 72: Beautiful Day
Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2024
Weather: Sunny; High Temp 55, Low 35 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

Finally … we are getting a break from winter’s last big fling. Today was sunny, not a cloud in the Cape Cod blue sky. It was still a little windy earlier in the day, but it calmed a bit as the day progressed. I picked Ollie up to take him to his saxophone lesson after school and he was so excited that it finally warm. At least, warm to him. I’m not ready to give up my winter coat, but daytime temps in the 50’s are certainly an improvement.

I had my monthly book club this morning. We read the first book in the Louise Penny series about Inspector Gamache. I am a Louise Penny fan and have read all of the 18 books in that series, but I really enjoyed going back and reading the first book again. The book club member hosting today is also a Louise Penny fan. She even had licorice pipes for us. Don’t know what a licorice pipe is? I certainly didn’t until I met Inspector Gamache. The books in this series mostly take place in the small idyllic village of Three Pines in the countryside not too far from Montreal. There is a bistro in that town run by Olivier and Gabri where members of the community come together to eat and talk. In the middle of the day, Inspector Gamache loves nothing more than going to the bistro to sit in front of the open fire to have a café au lait with a licorice pipe or two. Maybe it is Quebecois thing, but as you read, it seems to be a most civilized way to spend your time while trying to puzzle through who might have murdered a beloved villager. In one review I read, the author captured this by writing, “It’s rather quirky, and unexpected, that the Head of Homicide in the Sûreté du Quebec, is partial to such a treat. Aren’t fictional detectives usually predisposed to greasy fast food, an alcoholic beverage or other drug of choice?” But Armand Gamache is refined, intelligent, thoughtful, intuitive, and highly observant. He needs those licorice pipes to help him solve the mysteries.

2024 Life Logs, Day 71: Doctors, Doctors

2024 Life Logs, Day 71: Doctors, Doctors
Date: Monday, March 11, 2024
Weather: Mostly Sunny, Gale Warning; High Temp 45, Low 35 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

Early this morning, I headed to Patriot Place in Foxborough for my first doctor appointment. Patriot Place is the home of Gillette Stadium, but there is a shopping area and Mass General/Brigham and Women’s, plus Dana Farber, have satellite medical centers there. My appointment was with Dr. Jennifer Kurz who is a physiatrist. I had never heard that term until I was referred to her by friends. This type of doctor treats patients with the same types of issues as a physical therapist. But unlike a physical therapist, a physiatrist has completed medical school plus four years of residency. They specialize in non-surgical care for nerve, muscle, and bone disorders, dealing with the pain caused by these conditions, and they are dedicated to treating the whole person. Since I no longer have severe pain, I could have canceled this appointment that I made prior to my back surgery. But I am glad I kept it. She was able to give me some concrete ideas on what I should be doing to prevent future pain caused by the stenosis in my spine. And if I do have severe pain again, I can get an appointment much sooner because I am now a patient of hers.

When I left home this morning, I thought I was going to stop at Costco on the way home. But just as I parking my car at Patriot Place, I got a call from my knee surgeon’s office, letting me know the new light weight brace for my right knee had arrived. They wanted to know if I would be coming in today to pick it up. On the spur of the moment, I said I would be there at 1 pm. After the doctor appointment, I had to drive around the other side of Gillette Stadium to pick up Sam’s wallet that fell out of his pocket at the last Rev’s game. Luckily some honest person turned it in. By the time I picked that up, it was time to high tail it to Hyannis. I’ll have to make a special trip to Costo at another time.

I did go to Heather and Jed’s after I got home and picked up some of my equipment for starting seeds indoors. I got things ready, but I need to go back and get more seed trays. Maybe tomorrow afternoon I’ll get some seeds started.

2024 Life Logs, Day 70: Spring Forward

2024 Life Logs, Day 70: Spring Forward
Date: Sunday, March 10, 2024
Weather: Rain Overnight, Partly Sunny Day; High Temp 50, Low 33 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

So, we moved our clocks forward an hour to enter the world of Daylight Savings Time … daylight coming later in the mornings and lasting later in the afternoons into the evenings. Heather and Jed came over late in the afternoon to assemble the raised planter they gave me for my birthday. They thought putting this together would be the easiest thing they had to do today, but it didn’t work out that way. There were no directions and even after Heather found directions on a website, it took much longer than expected, and they still need to put on the finishing touches. They left around 6 pm and before I knew it, it was time to watch The Oscars. The program started an hour earlier tonight and it was still light outside. That seemed weird. But I have to say that Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue was fabulous. I’m still waiting for the big awards, but I have found the whole evening really entertaining. Or maybe it was a just a great year for the movies. I’ve not always watched The Oscars, but I am glad I decided to watch this one. Other than watching the Oscars and watching Heather and Jed work to assemble the planter, the only other thing I accomplished was putting together a concise portfolio of my medical history to take with me an appointment with a physiatrist, which is a pain management specialist, from Brigham and Women’s-Mass General tomorrow morning. Thankfully, thankfully, I don’t have the severe back pain anymore, but I want to be prepared if it ever happens again. Dr. Kurz uses a combination of approaches that I would like to learn more about. I will meet with her at her Patriot Place office in Foxborough, so that will be my day tomorrow.

2024 Life Logs, Day 69: Back to Dreary Weather

2024 Life Logs, Day 69: Back to Dreary Weather
Date: Saturday, March 9, 2024
Weather: Overcast; High Temp 42, Low 39 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

Between back surgery, recovery from back surgery, Covid, recovery from Covid, a sinus infections, and this incessant dreary weather, my normal zest for life has slowly drained away. I think I need a jump start to get back into the swing of things. And as I look at the calendar for this coming week, there is enough activity to give me that jump start. Today I tried to get myself interested in starting seeds indoors. This is something I usually love to do, but it was a chore today. I did go to Job Lot and bought a 4-tier wire shelf that will fit on the wall to the left of the sliders in my living room. I assembled that, and tomorrow I will get the grow lights and seed starting trays from Heather and Jed’s. That activity and starting a new book was about it for my day. I sure hope your life is more exciting than mine these days!

2024 Life Logs, Day 68: Belated Birthday Celebrations and Sunshine

2024 Life Logs, Day 68: Belated Birthday Celebrations and Sunshine
Date: Friday, March 8, 2024
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High Temp 42, Low 32 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

Today was a day and evening of belated birthday celebrations. Karen Baranowski called yesterday afternoon to see if I would like to go out to lunch today just to catch up and as a little belated birthday celebration. I readily accepted, but suggested she just come here for lunch as I had soup and quiche leftovers. She planned to come at noon. Around 11:30 this morning, I got the soup and quiche out of the refrigerator for lunch, started the soup warming, and then took Shadow out for a little walk around the yard. It was windy, but the sunshine was glorious. When I took him back inside, I turned the soup off and decided I would meet Karen in the driveway and suggest that we skip the leftovers and go down by the water to have lunch at either The Flying Bridge on the harbor or Shipwrecked on Falmouth Heights Beach. When she arrived, she agreed. We decided on The Flying Bridge since she had been at Shipwrecked recently and we enjoyed a lovely lunch watching the sunshine sparkle on the water. Thank you, Karen! And as soon as lunch was over, Karen had to hurry home as today is Peter’s birthday. So happy birthday to Peter, as well.

Then this evening I went to Heather and Jed’s for a sushi dinner and chocolate decadence birthday cake topped with whipped cream and a little orange zest. It was wonderful catch up on everything going on in their lives as well. There was an article in today’s Enterprise featuring Heather and one of her opponents running for Select Board. I am so proud of both Heather and Jed for all of the volunteer work they do to make Falmouth a better home for all of us. Running for Select Board (the five people in Falmouth who make decisions for all of us) is a big commitment, but she is ready. And I learned tonight that Jed is back on the town Health Board after taking a few years off to spend his volunteer time with the Scouts. Ollie showed me his science fair project and he and Jonah shared some of the music they will be playing at All Bands Night this Wednesday. This is the night when all of the Falmouth public school bands, grades 5-6 from Morse Pond, Lawrence Middle School, and the high school, gather in the Falmouth High School auditorium to show off their talents. Sam arrived home after I got there as it was indoor soccer (futsol) night for him, and we talked about his continuing college search. There were huge boxes in the front hallway that contained my birthday present, but instead of opening them, Heather showed me photos of the gift online. It is a cedar self-watering planter on legs to make it waist high, so “No more bending over on hands and knees.” And easy on the back. A perfect gift for me this year. The boys will bring the boxes over to my house tomorrow and we will begin the assembly process. After dinner, Jonah added 7 candles on one side of the birthday cake and 11 on the other side. With a little multiplication, you understand the reason for that number of candles. They sang happy birthday, I made a wish, took a deep breath and blew out those candles. Thank you, Goldstones, for a lovely birthday evening.

2024 Life Logs, Day 67: Nasty Weather

2024 Life Logs, Day 67: Nasty Weather
Date: Thursday, March 7, 2024
Weather: Overcast, Misty, Windy; High Temp 53, Low 35 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

We’ve h spent ad a string of days of nasty weather. If you just look at the temperature for today, it seems like it should have been mild today. But with the overcast sky, the wind raging, and the mist in the air, it did not feel mild. I’m ready for a little sunshine. Maybe tomorrow?

My morning was spent making soup and a quiche for lunch. I invited a fellow Encore member over for lunch today to talk about a future Voyage of Windbird presentation to her church group. But we also spent a lot of time talking about her very interesting life. After she left, I had a Zoom appointment with my primary care physician who was just checking in to make sure all is well after my back surgery and then Covid. Tonight, I read my current book which is getting very interesting and then watched the State of the Union address. And if I quickly send this log, I’ll have a few minutes to read before bedtime.

2024 Life Logs, Day 66: Headed Back to Normal

2024 Life Logs, Day 66: Headed Back to Normal
Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2024
Weather: Overcast, Rainy, Fog Late; High Temp 45, Low 43 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

Today I felt like maybe I am headed back to normal. At least there was no drama in my life. I woke up at 6:15 am and not a creature was stirring. I laid back down and didn’t wake up until 8 am. I went out to check on Detta and found her in full cleaning mode. It was like someone flipped a switch and she was back to normal as well. All signs of food poisoning seemed to have dissipated overnight. Try as I might, however, I could not get her to stop cleaning the living room and the half bath off the living room where she had been “hanging out” since Tuesday evening. She was determined to leave that space cleaner than she found it and I finally had to give up and let her go at it. I kept reminding her that she had eaten nothing for 36+ hours and that her energy was going to run out quickly. We finally compromised and I convinced her to stop cleaning and sit down and eat some rice pudding before taking on the almost three-hour drive home. Thank you, Detta, for your friendship and your loving care. I love you, but next time you come visit, leave the food poisoning at home!

Right after Detta left, I put Shadow in the car, and we drove to Hyannis for my pre-op knee appointment with Dr. Kinkead. I couldn’t leave him at home as Mass Saves was coming to inspect the insulation work that was done in December. After my doctor appointment, Shadow and I headed home. I ate lunch and then took a quick nap to fortify myself for a 3:30 pm Exploring Public Policy meeting and then a 7 pm Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) meeting. Then it was to the grocery store and home. After a day like today, I am feeling like I am headed back to normal. I still have congestion, a cough, and a lack of energy. But I did feel more energetic today than yesterday. I’ll take that as a positive step forward.

2024 Life Logs, Day 65: Quiet Birthday with Dreary Weather

2024 Life Logs, Day 65: Quiet Birthday with Dreary Weather
Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Weather: Overcast and Rainy; High Temp 49, Low 41 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

As my friend Lynne constantly reminds me, “You make plans and then life happens.” Detta’s visit for my birthday is a perfect example of that. She drove all the way down from New Hampshire to bring a birthday dinner for us to enjoy last night and to spend this morning doing house cleaning projects as a birthday present before heading home. None of those things happened due to her bout with food poisoning. I ate dinner last night, but she did not. She spent her night in the bathroom and spent all day today napping to make up for the loss of sleep last night. There were no projects (except that she insisted on cleaning the bathroom completely at some point this morning) and she certainly could not go home. She seems better tonight, so her plan is to try to drive home in the morning. But she has eaten nothing and has only had electrolyte drinks. She says she feels like she has been hit by a Mac truck and never wants to eat again! Poor Detta. I would like to keep her here forever, but I do hope, for her sake, she is much better by morning. At least we did get to visit for about an hour last night just after she arrived, and we spent some time together tonight.

Shadow and I spent our day being as quiet as we could possibly be so that we did not disturb Detta. Doing only quiet activities was fine with me. I am still not feeling the least bit energetic, so reading and responding to happy birthday messages filled my day. Justin and gang called late this afternoon to sing Happy Birthday to me and we had a nice long talk on Skype. The first email I opened this morning was a voucher from them good for one day of work in the garden when they visit the first week of June. Opening that email was certainly a bright spot in my day. As soon as I got off the phone with Justin, Ziggy, and Coco, Helaine Kanegsberg called to wish me a happy birthday. Alan’s birthday is tomorrow and unfortunately, he has to spend it doing a pre-op stress test required for his upcoming back surgery. I then discretely ate dinner hoping Detta would neither see nor smell the food. And just as I finished up, Heather, Sam, Jonah, and Ollie came by after Scouts to sing Happy Birthday. Another bright spot in my day. We are having my family birthday dinner on Friday evening and I will get to open my present then. They gave me a hint that it is something that needs to be assembled in my kitchen. What could it be?

Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes—the best part of any birthday. I just wish the weather had not been so dreary … as was yesterday, as will be tomorrow. Ugh. I could not remember another birthday in the past few years with such ugly weather. I convinced myself that I was just not remembering correctly. But then I looked up the weather as written in my logs. Not one other birthday in the past seven years has been without some sunshine. So, I guess my memory is not so bad after all!

Date: Sunday, March 5, 2023
Weather: Partly Sunny, Gale Warning Tonight; High 44, Low 33 degrees F

Date: Saturday, March 5, 2022
Weather: Sunny; High 39, Low 34 degrees C

Date: Friday, March 5, 2021
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Cold; High 35, Low 21 degrees F

Date: March 5, 2020
Weather: Sunny, High 50 degrees, Low 34 degrees F

Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Weather: Glorious Sunshine; High 29, Low 17 degrees F

Date: Monday, March 5, 2018
Weather: Mixed Sun, Clouds, Rain, Wind; High 41, Low 32 degrees F

Date: Sunday, March 5, 2017
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High 70, Low 52 degrees F

2024 Life Logs, Day 64: Detta Arrived

2024 Life Logs, Day 64: Detta Arrived
Date: Monday, March 4, 2024
Weather: Overcast and Misty; High Temp 46, Low 39 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

There is not much of a chance that we will see the sun for the next seven days. Well, maybe a little on Friday. But it is going to be a dreary week. As I said in last night’s log, we will just have to make our sunshine indoors. This afternoon I had an Encore meeting with our Treasurer and then I came home to await the arrival of my friend Detta from New Hampshire who always brings a sunshine with her. Today she drove to Connecticut to visit with her father and then on to Cape Cod to deliver a birthday eve dinner. But we ran into a little snag. As the salmon was baking in the oven, Detta started feeling a bit queasy. She thinks she has food poisoning from something she ate for lunch and is unfortunately spending this birthday eve in the bathroom. No dinner for Detta. We are just hoping this will be a ‘short course’, 12 hours or so. I feel so bad for Detta, but I will just have to do what I can to support her.

2024 Life Logs, Day 63: Washer Woman

2024 Life Logs, Day 63: Washer Woman
Date: Sunday, March 3, 2024
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Warmer; High Temp 51, Low 43 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

I don’t feel much different from yesterday, but yesterday was a HUGE improvement over the day before. The antibiotic is really making a difference. So, life is good. And I must have more energy than I have had since I got Covid 11 days ago. This morning, I got up and decided that everything in the house needed to be washed. So, I played the role of washer woman today. I took a shower and washed my hair. Then I gave Shadow a bath. The bed sheets made one washer load, and then the comforter came off the bed to be washed. The towels and bathmats were next. Then my clothes. I had hoped to get some other house cleaning done, but all of the washing took most of the day. My body told me that I needed to take an hour and half of the afternoon to take a nap. When I got up, I went to water plants for friends who are out of town. When I got home, Shadow and I played ball outside for longer than usual because it was warm, and then I collapsed on the sofa and read my book.

Tomorrow, I have my first meeting since Covid hit. I had to completely clear my calendar for the last 11 days, but this week it is back to normal.