Best Laid Plans

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry – translated from a poem by Robert Burns

Sometime about midmorning yesterday, Bill and I began hatching a plan. The day lay glorious before us. We usually don’t go to the gym on Tuesdays. The weather was perfect – blue skies and a temperature expected to reach about 72 or so. Not an obligation between us.

“Let’s take lunch up to Saguaro Lake, and then do an easy hike along the lake,” I suggested.

There you go. The best laid plans.

We stopped at one of the ubiquitous Subways near our house to pick up sandwiches and headed out. As we were leaving the parking lot, Bill commented on the poor man in the parking lot who couldn’t get his car started. “Sucks to be him,” he said.

“Should we offer a jump?” I asked.

“Wouldn’t help him,” Bill replied. “His engine is turning over, it just won’t start. Might be his fuel pump.”

We had, of course, forgotten all about the man within five minutes as we made our way to Tonto National Park.

saguaro lake from picnic area

Saguaro Lake as seen from our picnic spot.

We drove up to Saguaro Lake, parked our car, and walked up some stairs to a lovely picnic spot overlooking the lake. As we enjoyed our sandwiches and the view, I was thinking about my mom and dad and how much they would have loved that spot. In fact, I told Bill that if Mom and Dad were alive and lived where we do, they would almost certainly have driven the 12 or 15 miles to the lake at least once a week to eat a picnic lunch.

When Mom and Dad lived in Summit County, Colorado, when the weather was warm enough they would often pack a lunch or pick up sandwiches from Mad Munchies and go to Lake Dillon to enjoy the view and the beautiful weather. Mom was a great picnicker. In fact, as Bill and I walked to our picnic table yesterday, I commented on the fact that if I were my mother, I would have remembered to bring a tablecloth to set on the cement picnic table. She loved picnics and had them nailed – down to the summer sausage and cheese.

Anyway, after we ate, we used the simply LOVELY toilet (with its lock that was apparently just for decoration and the nonexistent washing facility), and then headed back to our car to drive to the Butcher Jones trailhead, a short ways further down the road.

Bill pressed the ignition, and as you have likely figured out by now, nothing happened. The engine didn’t even turn over. See? We weren’t even as lucky as the man in the Subway parking lot. So here we were, miles from home, with a car that wouldn’t start.

I quickly begged Mom and St. Frances of Rome (the patron saint of cars, whose guardian angel allegedly lit her path with a lantern when she would travel) to pray that our car would start. Lo, and behold, start it did, though barely.

Obviously our hike was a no-go. We made it home safely, and instead of

Bill overseeing the installation of his battery. No doubt the installers appreciated his help.....

Bill overseeing the installation of his battery. No doubt the installers appreciated his help…..

spending a lovely afternoon walking alongside Saguaro Lake, we plodded around Walmart dodging electric scooters while getting a new battery installed.

Maybe Thursday will be the day we actually hike, although I’m making no plans because as the old Yiddish proverb tells us, Man plans, God laughs.

3 thoughts on “Best Laid Plans

  1. I remember Mad Munchies! Mom and Dad sure taught us to love the outdoors. I love our picnic memories of Mom. Maggie takes her kids on little picnic lunches to the park and I love that too!

  2. Ah, such wonderful memories that keep your Mom and Dad close by.
    You girls and Dave are leaving beautiful legacies for your children too.
    It might include trips to Walmart where carts are dodged down every aisle and blue light specials reign supreme. Maybe not.

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