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 128: Disconnected

2023 Life Logs, Day 128: Disconnected
Date: Monday, May 8, 2023
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High 72, Low 45 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I am writing this log, but I will not be able to send it as my computer is currently disconnected from the internet. I don’t know if it is a computer problem or an internet provider. I just spent an hour and a half on the phone with a technician who ended up saying he couldn’t figure it out and that he would send a technician tomorrow morning. A new cable box that was installed by the internet provider two weeks ago seems to be malfunctioning. But I have been having issues with my computer since the trip to Vermont in February, so I think I have two problems. Much to figure out, so stay tuned for the results when I am once again connected.

I spent most of my day at the boat sanding. Making progress, but much left to do. And I had the evening off as I didn’t have to drive Sam to rowing practice this afternoon. He decided this morning that he is not going to rowing practice on Mondays any longer. It made for an insanely long day for him as we had to leave at 3 pm to get to Harwich for 4 pm rowing, row for two hours, eat a quick dinner that I got for him while we drove a couple of miles to the soccer field where he then had soccer practice for an hour and a half and then home after 9 pm. For the rest of the spring, he will row on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning, and go to soccer practice M-W-F. I agree with his decision. Mondays were just crazy. He loves soccer and rowing, but two sports in the spring season, both with practices 50 minutes from home is just too much.

Good news from Puerto Rico. Ziggy was accepted today into the high school of his choice for next year. Congratulations, Ziggy!!!

2023 Life Logs, Day 127: Soccer Sunday

2023 Life Logs, Day 127: Soccer Sunday
Date: Sunday, May 7, 2023
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High 69, Low 52 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was soccer Sunday. I got up and got the cottage ready for another Sunday Open House. I had hoped to work on the boat for a couple of hours before leaving for Whitensville, MA for Sam’s soccer game, but that was an optimistic hope. Whitensville is an hour and a half north of here, so it was an all-afternoon affair. I left home at 10:45 am and returned after 5 pm. It was a long afternoon, but the weather was beautiful. It was a good soccer game as the teams were well-matched. The game ended in a 0-0 tie. Sam plays defense and he played a really good game.

I left Shadow at the Goldstones this afternoon since there was an Open House here. When I dropped Sam off, I picked him up and headed home. I was outside playing with Shadow when I got a text from Heather inviting me to come back for dinner. Since I had no idea what I was going to eat, it was a most welcome invitation.

Heather did get boat work done this afternoon. Jed couldn’t help since he had to take Jonah to his soccer game mid-afternoon, but Heather made more progress on preparing the bottom of the boat to be painted. Unfortunately, there is more sanding and stripping to be done. Hopefully that will be completed next Saturday.

2023 Life Logs, Day 126: Boat, Soccer, and a Coronation

2023 Life Logs, Day 126: Boat, Soccer, and a Coronation
Date: Saturday, May 6, 2023
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High 69, Low 50 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today I went from boat work to a soccer game to watching the coronation of a King. Quite an interesting array of activities. My boat work today was mostly assisting. I reviewed with Ollie how to use the electric sander to sand the inside and top of the toe rail and then set him loose to do that. I forgot to tell him to make sure there was masking tape applied to the deck next to the toe rail to protect the fiberglass deck from any sanding mishaps. But he remembered and applied the tape on his own. Ollie is only eleven, but he is every bit as good and reliable as many adults. About the time I finished giving Ollie directions, Heather asked me come down from the boat and consult with her and with Jed about how to proceed with the stripping of old bottom paint near the waterline that was not removed by the soda blasting process. We came up with a plan that required Jed to go home to get some things we needed. While he was gone, Heather and Sam applied masking tape just above the waterline to protect the fiberglass hull once Jed returned and started sanding. We abandoned the idea of using stripper. It take too long and the sanding worked just fine. As in all jobs, the prep often takes longer than the actual work. Taping is tedious and required moving two ladders, one for the taper (Heather) and one for the person holding the tape (Sam). I was the overseer to make sure it was done right.

We were still finishing up the taping job when Jed returned. And it was time for me to take Ollie home to get dressed for an afternoon soccer game and to get him some lunch. Jonah was expected home soon as he had been in an off-Cape soccer game all morning. Friends delivered him home and then he went with Ollie and I to Ollie’s soccer game. We returned home after the soccer game, and I got my clothes out of the dryer. Somehow I was able to get a laundry done in between trips to and fro. Since there was an Open House at the cottage today, I had Shadow with me. He went to the boat with me, but I left him in the upstairs ‘red’ room during Ollie’s soccer game. Unfortunately, when he was a puppy, the boys and I taught him to run after soccer balls. Now, every time he sees a soccer ball, he goes after it. That makes taking him to a soccer game an impossibility. I planned to return to the boat, but it was almost 5 pm and Heather, Jed, and Sam were headed home.

Tomorrow morning, Shadow and I will return to the boat for a couple of hours. Then I take off with Sam and his friend Sebi to a soccer game north of Providence, RI. It is an hour and a half drive, so we have to leave by 11:30 and won’t get back until almost 5 pm. We’ll stop by the boat on the way home to check progress.

Now for the coronation of a King. My daughter-in-law Jo is from England and I saw her Facebook post where she was very vividly explaining why she would not be watching the coronation of King Charles. I fully understand her feelings, but I am just too much of history buff to totally ignore this historic event that took place this morning between 5 and 10 am EST. I taped the event and started watching it tonight. Using fast forward, I watched the first three hours in two hours, and I ended up agreeing with Jo. My main take away is that the British monarchy has way too many jewels, and they need to separate church from state. Watching the very religious ceremony made me even more appreciative of our forefathers in this country who made it clear that church and state should be separated. In the United States, we are currently going through a challenging period where there is a loud contingency pushing to get religion back into the mix, but we must stand firm.

2023 Life Logs, Day 125: A Day Full of Laughter

2023 Life Logs, Day 125: A Day Full of Laughter
Date: Friday, May 5, 2023
Weather: Cloudy AM, Partly Sunny PM, Still Cool; High 55, Low 44 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

If laughter is good for the soul, my soul should be good tonight. The day started off as just a normal day, but the laughter came later. At 8 am I left home to drove north across the bridge. I was headed to West Wareham to pick up the generator I took in almost a month ago to have the carburetor cleaned or replaced. It sat from 2016 until this last winter without anyone trying to start it, so they did have to replace the carburetor. I thought we were going to need it as an auxiliary power for plugging in our power tools for working on the boat as the electricity source wasn’t reliable. But somehow that remedied itself and the generator wasn’t needed. Good thing because it took much longer to get it back than promised. So that is now running again in case we need it for anything.

I barely got home for the next activity. At 10 am, Claudia Needham came over to meet about the Public Policy group we co-chair. We met for two and half hours and came up with some really good ideas for the group. I had planned to clean house this afternoon as there is an open house on both days of this weekend. But just before Claudia left, another friend called to remind me that we were going to local theater production together tonight. She also mentioned that she was going to the public library at 3:30 pm to see “80 for Brady.” This is the movie starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sallie Fields, and Rita Moreno with appearances by Tom Brady and the Gronk. Claudia and I had both wanted to see this but not gotten a chance. So, we decided to go to that. She went home for lunch and then I picked her up and we went together. The movie was hilarious from beginning to end with a few touching parts that almost brought tears. I laughed ‘til I cried and cried ‘til I laughed. So much fun.

I barely had time to get home, fix dinner, and take Shadow for a walk before returning to town to go to see “Something Rotten!” at Highfield Theater. It was a Falmouth Theatre Guild production. I have never been to one of their productions and I was presently surprised. This play was first produced on Broadway in 2015. It takes place during the Renaissance in 1595. It is a musical comedy, and funny it is. The acting, singing, and music were all top-notch. And it kept the audience laughing for almost three hours as ”two brothers set out to write the world’s first musical in this hilarious mash-up of sixteenth-century Shakespeare and twenty-first-century Broadway.”

I drove home by the light of the beautiful full moon set in a sky mottled with white clouds—very dramatic ending to a great day.

2023 Life Logs, Day 124: Gardening on a Cold Day

2023 Life Logs, Day 124: Gardening on a Cold Day
Date: Thursday, May 4, 2023
Weather: Cloudy, N Wind, Cold; High 49, Low 44 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The winter coat had to come back out of the closet today. It was cloudy, the wind was from the north, and it was cold. Despite the yucky weather, I drove over to the house on Lakeview, the one I will be moving to the first of July. I went to help set up the garden that Lynda, the owner, and I will be sharing. She is moving to a condo in Falmouth Port where she cannot have a garden, so sharing a garden is a win-win for both of us. This is a new garden site where pine trees have just been removed, but the ivy and lily of valley remained. Lynda had removed the ivy over the weekend and today we removed the lily of the valley, raked and leveled the area, and put down a black fabric weed barrier. This took about two and half hours. We were cold and hungry and decided to call it a day. I went home to have lunch and rest before driving Sam to rowing. When I got home I had a text from Heather saying that rowing practice had been cancelled due to the weather, so I took advantage of the extra time to take a much needed nap. Felt so good when I got up.

2023 Life Logs, Day 123: Field Trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

2023 Life Logs, Day 123: Field Trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Date: Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 56, Low 44 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

In 1903 in the Fenway area of Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner had constructed and opened her own museum that she called Fenway Court. It is a four-story building, unremarkable on the outside, but quite impressive on the inside. In the center of the building is a sky-lit courtyard with a glass roof that is always in bloom. After New York born Isabella Stewart Gardner lost her husband, she threw her life into the construction of this museum to house the art and books that she and her husband had acquired, and that she continued to amass. Venice was the source of many of the pieces and red is the color that dominates.

Today I visited the museum with the Newcomers Field Trip group. We arrived and had lunch in the New Wing of the building and then had a two-hour guided tour. The courtyard was by far my favorite part of the museum, but I certainly enjoyed learning about this most interesting woman.

I returned from Boston in time to take Ollie to his Wednesday saxophone lesson. Instead of waiting for him, I drove home to take Shadow for a quick walk before returning to take Ollie home. I spent my evening catching up on Ted Lasso episodes. Another day in the life.

2023 Life Logs, Day 122: Wonderful to be Home with My Shadow

2023 Life Logs, Day 122: Wonderful to be Home with My Shadow
Date: Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Weather: Windy and Cool; High 59, Low 46 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Although I didn’t get to sleep until 2:30 am, I was up early to go get my Shadow. When I got home last night, I was so lonely without him. He is not an easy dog to handle, but I love that little guy. When I arrived at the Woodin’s this morning, Shadow seemed as happy to see me as I was to see him. Bruce and Jane had Shadow’s things packed and ready to go, and they swore they enjoyed having Shadow. They admitted that he is rambunctious, but despite that, they bonded and had a great time. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you to my dear friends, Bruce and Jane Woodin.

Shadow and I got home and before I knew it, it was time to head to a 1 pm meeting with Christina Brodie. Christina and I have just been voted in to be the co-Presidents of Encore and we needed to meet to go over what needs to be done before July 1 when we take the helm. We meant to meet until 3 pm, but the first time I checked my phone, it was 4:45 pm. We had no idea that much time had passed. Christina had another meeting at 5 pm, so we were both out the door quickly. We will have to touch base again later in the week to finish that to do list.

It was windy and cool today. In fact, I have been freezing since I arrived at Logan Airport last night. It was not that much warmer in North Carolina, but I didn’t need to wear a winter coat. I am going to get my winter coat out of the closet tomorrow morning. Walking Shadow this evening was just not comfortable.

Tomorrow morning, I am off to Boston to the Isabella Gardner Museum with the Newcomers Field Trip group. There are over 7,500 paintings and sculptures on display. I visited the museum once a few years ago with Mark, and I am looking forward to visiting again.

2023 Life Logs, Day 121: April Fool’s Day in May

2023 Life Logs, Day 121: April Fool’s Day in May
Date: Monday, May 1, 2023
Weather in Charlotte: Partly Cloudy, Cool, Windy
Location: Back Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day in my life. I had way too much to do for my sister before I flew home tonight and at every turn, I was blocked. I felt like it was April Fool’s Day on the first day of May. Surely the things that were happening were a joke. These things do not all happen to a normal person in one day. I guess I am not normal, as they really happened. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will list the major issues. Literally everything I did today went awry.

Made a special trip to Terra Bella where my sister lives at 10 am to talk to the Director and Manager of House Maintenance about issues with my sister’s apartment–Both out sick today.

Went to pick up my niece and sister-in-law at their hotel and ran into a yellow construction tape blocking the entrance—Had to turn into a one way exit to pick them up.

Got online to order lunch for my sister, my niece, my sister-in-law, myself, and my sister’s helper—First choice closed permanently, second choice closed on Monday). Asked my niece to call and order from a third place at a set time so I could pick up on my way back from a 30 minute drive each way to get a pair of shoes for my sister in her favorite brand and known size—On my way home, my niece called and said she could not get online and that the restaurant would not take an order called in. So I stopped to get lunch when I returned to Mooresville.

The Amazon Prime delivery to Terra Bella did not arrive with the outfit I had ordered for my sister to wear to her granddaughter’s wedding in August. It is early, but I will not be back and there is no one else to buy her clothes. I paid $50 to get it delivered before I left, but that didn’t happen—So I taught her helper how to take a photo of my sister in the outfit and how to send it to me when it does arrive. Hopefully it will fit, but if not, I will deal with that later.

Took two pairs of my sister’s pants to the cleaner/alterations place I took things to in December—Closed permanently, no forwarding address. I brought them home with me and will have to get it done her and send back to her.

Thought I had done all of her dirty laundry as she will not allow the people at the assistant living facility where she lives to touch her clothes—Found another whole drawer of hidden dirty clothes, along with a treasure trove of junk mail that she has saved that needed to be thrown away. I was able to take the bag of paper out back at Terra Bella and put it in the dumpster, but I had to make a special trip to the Thompson’s to ask them to do her laundry and get it back to her.

Delivered my niece and sister-in-law to my nephew’s during rush hour so they could visit while I took off to go to a Whole Foods to drop off a box of things I had ordered for my sister to be returned that didn’t fit—All the Whole Foods employees were in the parking lot to tell people their electricity was out and no one could enter the building. Unbelievable. They did get the Amazon Coordinator to come talk to me, but nothing was resolved. I left the box with two pair of shoes and told my nephew to give them to the poor.

By this time, I was exhausted and in tears. But I had a quick dinner at my nephew’s and took off for the airport with my niece and sister-in-law who were taking the same flight to Boston. There was not one gas station on our way, so I dropped them off and went to get gas before returning the rental car. Once I returned the car, I went into the airport to check in with Jet Blue at Terminal A. That went smoothly, but it was after 6:30 pm and by this time all terminal security check-in stations were closed except Terminal E. So I had to walk the entire length of the airport to Terminal E, go through security, walk the entire of length of the airport back to Terminal B and then walk another gauntlet in a different direction to Terminal A—During this time I got an email saying our 8:40 pm flight to Boston was delayed until 12:54 am. But they were working on that. By the time I arrived at Terminal A at 7:30 pm, the flight was back to only a 30-minute delay. That seemed like nothing compared to waiting to 1 am to take off. At least the flight went smoothly.

I had not checked my bag because I didn’t want to wait at Baggage Claim in Boston. Bad mistake. I was in seat 6C and had to take my bag to 15A to find a place for it. That meant I had to wait until everyone up to that part of the plane departed before I could go back to pick it up and there was no one I could ask to help me get it down. But I was able to get it down without injury to my very fragile back. This is the first time since 2016 that I have not checked my bag to protect my back and it is the very last time ever that I will not check my bag.

Arrived at Logan and got to Central Parking where Heather had left my car. I misinterpreted her directions and could not find my car which was on the very top of the parking garage. I walked the entire perimeter and up and down the rows of cars before I finally found it. I then had to get the ticket out of the car and go back to the terminal and down to Level 4 from Level 7 to pay for the ticket. I have no idea how much it cost as I was almost catatonic by this time.

Got in the car and drove down to ground level to exit. There was an oversized truck blocking the exit and I had to wait for airport personnel to come and get the long line of cars I was in to back up while they backed the truck out.

Exited the airport to go through the Williams Tunnel to find a traffic jam at midnight! They were doing maintenance in the tunnel and the lanes went from 4 to 3 to 2 to 1 and we moved at 4 miles an hour. It took 35 minutes.

Finally, I was out of the tunnel and on the way home. That went smoothly and I got home at 1:55 pm to find my Anderson glass storm door stuck halfway open. I could not open it all the way nor close it. It had obviously blown open due to wind and had probably slammed back against the house and back to being shut enough times to totally bend the rod. I slipped in and went to bed. I’ll deal with that tomorrow.

If you read this far, thanks for reading my rant. I needed to get that off my chest. It was one hell of a day!

2023 Life Logs, Day 120: A Day with Family

2023 Life Logs, Day 120: A Day with Family
Date: Sunday, April 30, 2023
Weather in Charlotte: Rainy, Then Clearing, Then Windy; High 70, Low 45 degrees F
Location: At Home with Brian and Judy Thompson, Mooresville, NC

I was off to the Charlotte airport again early this morning to drop Heather off for her flight home. She enjoyed time here with her cousins and their children but was anxious to get home to her own children. She took the bus from Boston Logan straight to Harwich on the Cape to see Jonah and Sam play in soccer games. After dropping Heather off, I went to my nephew Tommy’s, and we decided to have everyone go to lunch together before they started their drives home to West Virginia, Georgia, and Ashville, NC. I then drove back to Mooresville to pick up Candi, Sue, and Patsy. We drove back south to meet up for lunch with everyone, back to Marilou and Tommy’s to visit, and then back to Mooresville. I feel like I have done nothing but drive this weekend and have already had to fill the gas tank once!

I dropped Candi and Sue at their hotel, my sister at Terra Bella, and then I went on a shopping spree for my sister. That lasted only an hour as the stores were closing at 6 pm. I will have to continue that in the morning. I was exhausted, so I went back to say goodnight to my sister and deliver the things I bought for her. Then I stopped for quick dinner at Fresh Chef and home to the Thompsons. I have spent a good deal of time tonight going through all the photos from yesterday. I will share those on Facebook.

2023 Life Logs, Day 119: Celebration of Life for Jennifer Kerwood Pric

2023 Life Logs, Day 119: Celebration of Life for Jennifer Kerwood Price
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2023
Weather in Charlotte: Mix of Sun and Clouds; High 72, Low 59 degrees F
Location: At Home with Brian and Judy Thompson, Mooresville, NC

Today was the Celebration of Life for my niece Jennifer Kerwood Price. Jennifer died in September, but her husband Bill decided to have the celebration in the spring as close to Jennifer’s birthday as possible. She was born on April 27, 1960, so Bill picked today as it was the closest Saturday. Bill and the two children Jessica and Jacob put together a perfect afternoon with the help of sister Janet and cousins Rex and Tommy. I know Jennifer was smiling from above in approval of this beautiful tribute.