The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Although the driveway was still pretty wet, we thought we’d push on through in the car and save ourselves the trouble of hauling equipment over the mud puddles.

5-19-15 Car in the mud

In short, we caused ourselves more trouble than we saved.

The title of this post comes from the Robert Burns poem “To a Mouse, On Turning up in Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785.” He apologizes to the mouse, whose house he has accidentally destroyed at the onset of winter, then philosophizes:

 The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men

Gang aft agley,

An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,

For promis’d joy!

He then tells the mouse that though she’s unfortunate in the present moment, she’s still luckier than he: humans look back on a difficult past as well as anticipate future hardship.

After over an hour of futile attempts, we were soaked and muddy, spirits dashed. A kind neighbor drove by and pulled us out with a chain. It was a moment of triumph.

We then discovered that with the recent rains, our cabin site had turned into a swamp. To our credit, the house stakes were on the highest ground. Still, our “castle” doesn’t need a moat, so we’re currently looking for a new spot. We probably need more sun for the solar panels anyway.

Looking back on the mistakes we’ve made and knowing that more surprises are no doubt on the way, I can relate to Burns’ poem. But the kindness of strangers, not to mention friends and family, gives me comfort.

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