Ode to dads: 'This won't take long'


Is it just me, or do home repairs come in waves? It seems like no air conditioner rattles to a halt without a squirrel simultaneously eating through some wires or the septic tank also overflowing. Right when I’m ready to browse the outdoor section of Lowes and am considering painting my bedroom a trendy shade of blush, my budget goes up in smoke over a leaky sink and a closet rack snapping and crashing like lightening at midnight. Drip, drip, drip…BOOM!

I did what all women do who have been married for some amount of time.

I called my dad.

He was over in a jiff, driving his trusty, rusty truck the short distance between our two houses. My boys jump over his long legs stretched from under the sink, happily fetching and learning about wrenches and ratchets.

It’s not that I don’t think Wade could fix the slow drip. It’s just that we’ve experienced those early years of learning the joys (woes?) of home ownership together.

“This won’t take long,” are perhaps the four words I fear most. More dinner dates, weekends, and off seasons have been overwhelmed by “little” projects falsely advertised as expeditious. Still, one of my favorite stories of our newly-wed naivete was when Wade decided to remove an unsightly bush from the yard of our first home.

“This won’t take long,” he announced.

I stood in the window as Wade revved a chainsaw in our quiet neighborhood. The “bush” stood about thirty feet high, mostly dead and brown and covered in the sharpest, longest thorns. Then he began. Man verses Nature. Chopping, sawing, sweating, metal grating against the flying bark. Finally, it was the moment we had waited for.

“Timber!” Well, that’s the word I wish we screamed…

The massive bush never fell. Somehow, we had failed to notice it had grown around the powerline. Instead of crashing to ground, it bounced as if on bungee cords. Wade surveyed the situation with speed, but solutions were few as the line began to droop. Lower and lower. He backed up.

I like to think that Wade tackles problems head on, and for that, the dilemma was short-lived. The sagging line went back into place, and I nursed my Porcupine Prince. At least he wears safety goggles these days.

Literally, as I’m writing this, our garage door failed to budge and made a grumble-rumble sound that I’m sure to have to imitate on the phone…to you know who. Whether the job “won’t take long” or eats up all of summer, it really doesn’t matter. I’ve been blessed with two wonderful men that I’ll love forever.

Happy Father’s Day!

Neena is a Kentucky wife, mother, daughter and beekeeper who does life in Owensboro. She is the author of The Bird and the Bees, a Christian contemporary romance available now. Visit her at


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