Exercise in Patience

I like to think that I’m a patient person – and usually I am – but I not so much when I’m really looking forward to something.

Like our new egress window.


Tuesday morning dawned bright and sunny, and perfect for digging a ginormous hole in the yard. Or so I thought.

Around 9:00 Ken, our contractor, arrived. I went to school with his daughter so it’s kind of weird to call him by his first name, but I’m an adult now too so I guess it’s OK. Ken is older than my parents and semi-retired so we knew he’d be working short days, which was OK with us. He’d told us it was a two-day job but we were prepared for it to take twice as long.

While waiting for Donnie, the backhoe guy, to arrive Ken removed the two-by-four framework. Then there wasn’t anything else to do until the hole was dug, so he waited. And waited. And waited.

Finally he came upstairs to tell me that that Donnie had called; he was having problems with the bed of his dump truck, but was trying to get it fixed. At first I didn’t realize what it meant when Donnie called Ken, but I figured it out pretty quickly: more waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.


Even though I was busy with the children I kept an eye on the street in front of our house, and on the clock. I’d told the children that a “big digger” was going to come and dig a hole in Miss Amy’s yard and we’d get to watch it. They were really excited about the digger and kept looking out the window to see if it was here yet.

Some time later Ken came upstairs and said he hadn’t heard from Donnie so he was going to work on some other projects while he was waiting. I agreed that it was a waste of his time to sit around here with nothing to do, and he said that if the truck was fixed soon they’d come back.

I was really disappointed, but told the children about the broken dump truck, and that the digger would be back the next day. I think they took the news better than I did!


Wednesday morning was cloudy and I worried about rain. Ken had told me that they couldn’t work if it rained, and the forecast called for a chance of rain beginning Thursday and getting more likely over the weekend. But it wasn’t raining yet so I had high hopes that the digging would start that morning.

Instead I received a phone call from Ken; Donnie had some medical tests scheduled and wouldn’t be able to work.


No, I didn’t actually cry, but I wanted to.

Who schedules a job to start the day before medical tests?! I was a little frustrated, but still hopeful they’d start on Thursday.


Thursday morning dawned just as bright and sunny as Tuesday. The forecast called for rain beginning Thursday after midnight, and only a chance of rain on Friday so I was sure we’d have a ginormous hole in our yard by Thursday afternoon and an egress window in our basement by Friday.

But once again, I was wrong.

As I watched the clock 9:00 came and went.

Maybe he’s just late, I thought.

Then it was 9:30… 10:00… 10:30… 11:00…

Maybe they’re coming in the afternoon. At this point I’d be so happy to see them that I wouldn’t care if they started digging right in the middle of naptime.

But instead the clock read 1:00…1:30… 2:00… and no word.

Apparently Thursday wasn’t the day after all.

Maybe Friday?

Probably not; I couldn’t imagine they’d start a two-day project on a Friday.



Friday was another bright and sunny morning, but my usual optimism was pretty tarnished. I was hoping a backhoe would show up promptly at 9:00 and start digging, but had a feeling that the window would be put off over the weekend.

Sometimes I hate it when I’m right.

Around 10:00 I called Ken to ask what the plan was. He got back to me several hours later. “I meant to call you yesterday…” he began. Apparently Donnie’s doctor told him to take it easy for a couple of days after his tests so he couldn’t work Thursday or Friday.

The previous Saturday we’d moved College Boy, Irish Girl and Love Bug out of the basement and into my parents’ guest room so we could get the basement ready for construction. Teacher and I felt awful about inconveniencing them and my parents, but figured that the end result would be worth it.

“I told him you have a deadline, and I have one too.” My mom needed her guest room back by Tuesday, and Ken was planning to go out of town on Thursday. “He said Monday was the day.” Ken said.

I wasn’t so sure.

Monday’s weather reports called for rain in the morning and a possibility of showers in the afternoon, but Tuesday and Wednesday were supposed to be warm and sunny.

I had a feeling that I’d get another phone call Monday morning, pushing the job off until Tuesday.


I can imagine what you’re thinking; it’s probably the same thing I’d be thinking if someone else was telling me this story: Why don’t you fire them and have someone else put in the window?”

It’s a valid question, and the thought did cross my mind.

The problem is time. We need the egress window in ASAP and I figure that it’d take more time to find someone else, have them come over to look at the job site, get an estimate from them, and schedule the job, than it would take to wait for Donnie to get his ducks in a row.

I hope.


The weekend passed quickly as usual, ending with us in the basement for over an hour and a half during a a huge storm Sunday night.

The only damage we sustained was over-tired kids because the tornado warning didn’t expire until past their bedtime. Not that I’m complaining; I’ll take tired kids over massive devastation any day.


I wasn’t too surprised when the phone rang Monday morning and it was Ken: “I just talked to Donnie, and he thinks that after all that rain last night we should let the ground dry out today. Otherwise there’ll be a huge mess with all that mud and all.”

According to the National Weather Service we received about 1″ of rain, but I wasn’t going to argue. I’d already figured that the job would be postponed another day, so what was the use of arguing or getting upset?

Besides – looking on the bright side, at least all the snow is melted!


Maybe Tuesday the job will finally begin.

Cross your fingers for us – please!
Amy Sue


  1. What a mess. It never fails. Anything requiring home improvement it seems. Or even a husband to quick-fix something. Can go on for days. NOthing to do but sigh.

    • Karen,

      I have a bad habit of underestimating how long something will take so everything always takes longer and is messier than I anticipate. But so far it’s always been worth it!

      Thanks for commenting!
      ~Amy Sue

  2. Pingback: Another Step Closer

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