It’s good to plan, right? Our plan was to sell the house in the States, move to England, and spend the next three to five years traveling around Europe. After that we would decide whether or not we would want to move back home. Then life threw us a curve.
A saying that seems appropriate to us at this point is a stanza from Robert Burns’ poem To a Mouse, 1786. The poem is also the source for the title of John Steinbeck’s 1937 novel – Of Mice and Men. The relevant Burns’ stanza goes:
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren’t alone]
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promised joy.
Another Yiddish proverb that is relevant to us is “Men plan, God laughs.”
We thought we had everything figured out. Barbara had applied for and accepted a social work job with the US Air Force in England in early spring of 2013. Her contract with the Air Force was only for eight months but people she worked with were pretty certain that her contract would get extended because in the past that had always been the case. We fixed up our house in Utah and sold it and most of our belongings, and then settled into an apartment in Bury St Edmunds in England. Barbara commuted from there to the Lakenheath Air Force base each day to work with the children of US military families. Then came the budget battle and sequestration in Congress. Civilian personnel on the base were furloughed for days at a time and things became less certain. Still we were optimistic things would work out and Barbara would get another contract. In fact the company that employed her emailed her another contract and we thought our plans were still intact. But the next day word came down that her position at the clinic had been eliminated by the government.
For us, the decision was fairly easy. We decided that we both wanted to go home. Home is Salt Lake City, Utah where we had lived for the past seventeen years. Friends, family, and last but not least our two dogs Merlyn and Copper who we miss very much are still there. We still want to travel and see the world, but decided we would now do it from our original home base rather than the one in England that we planned on a year ago.
- Cheetah on a Car
- Lions Mating