September 06, 2002

Visit update

Posted by Scott at 11:20 PM

My dad and I have a strange thing in common this week. He worked Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week... and so did I. The difference is: he's retired. In my case I took Friday off. (Don't forget, Monday was a holiday)

Tuesday had it's highlights and lowlights. The highlight was being able to attend an Opus Dei Evening of Reflection at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Manchester. The themes were very mainstream Opus Dei themes: santification of ordinary work and having a plan of life. The only downside was that I didn't get to see my kids that evening. I went straight from work and didn't get back home to Milford until after they went to bed.

Wednesday night we had plans for a sitter. About 15 minutes after she was supposed to arrive, Michelle gave her a call. Evidently there was a little misunderstanding but luckily she was still open and came over. Mom, Michelle, and I had nice dinner at Elisha's in Milford.

Thursday evening I went straight from work to the YMCA to workout. I had two minor delays that again caused me to miss seeing the kids.

Luckily I took today (Friday) off. I watched the kids in the morning so that Michelle could go to First Friday Mass at St. Patricks. I dropped Claire off at school when Michelle got back. When I got back the rest of us went to Parker's Maple Barn for breakfast. After breakfast we went to their gift shop. They were selling their rustic outdoor furniture at a discount to clear it out before winter. We picked up a five foot long swing — somewhat like a glider. Assembling it may be my project for tomorrow.

When we got back from Parkers I cut the grass. That may not sound like a big deal, but with this yard, you have to allocate some significant time. It took me extra long because it didn't seem like the cut was even and level so I went over a few areas twice to try and smooth things out. After I finished I looked the tractor over in more detail. The mowing deck wasn't level because one of the rear tires had very little air in it. All the mowers I've had in the past had solid wheels, so tire pressure was never an issue. It's amazing how having low tire pressure can cause one side of the deck to be about half an inch lower than the other side and cause a really crummy looking cut! Now I know...

Mom and Michelle did some more antique shopping while I mowed. When they got back I had a brief nap. When I woke Michelle enlisted my help moving some furniture. My mom saw our old kitchen table set sitting unused in the basement and realized that it would look great on our front porch. Michelle and I carried them up and she was right. The blue on that kitchen set almost perfectly matched the color of the front door and shutters. Later we had chicken and pork on the grill. We ate dinner on the back screened in porch. With all the moderate temperatures we've had the past few days, eating “outside” was nice. After dinner the kids and I played on the backyard playground. Abby finally learned today how to correctly pump her legs to make a swing work. Once she figured it out, she didn't want to stop.

Once dinner was cleaned up, I watched the kids while mom and Michelle went to the new Christmas Tree Shop in Nashua at exit 6. Despite the name, you don't go there to buy Christmas trees. You go there for bargains. I got the boys down and watched a little TV with the girls. Then the girls and I had fudgsicles and cleaned up all the toys. Since it was getting late and Claire was feeling tired, she had asked me if I could brush her teeth. What I shock I found when I did so. Claire has two adult teeth breaking through behind her lower front baby teeth! I was amazed. I had heard of it but had never seen this condition. It is like a second row of teeth is coming in. We'll take her to a dentist fairly soon to have it looked at. They'll likely have to pull those baby teeth out.

I've read several chapters of the biography of Bl. Gianna (see below — 3rd September). So far it's a pretty inspiring story. It's that way, though, with most saints' stories. I guess that's why the Church holds them up for us: to be inspirational examples of a variety of ways of living out our Christian vocation.

A thought has been running through my mind a lot this past week: Pride is one of the original sins mentioned in the Bible. Tradition has it that pride turned Lucifer away from God. Pride was involved in the original sin of Adam and Eve. Even today there isn't a desire to find objective truth, but rather to define truth, right and wrong in our own terms. But my new thought is this: for those who do try to follow Christ there is often the tendency to want to follow Him on our terms, not His. And by our nature we want to choose our own cross rather than bear the one He has chosen for us. At first the concepts of faith, trust in God, and striving to live in uniformity with God's will for you don't seem like they would be that hard, but once you try to really live it, you understand why it was a daily struggle for the saints. Letting go of our pride, our desire to define things solely on our terms, is a big step and one that must be taken continuously lest we slip back into our self-centeredness.

I'd better go. It's getting late and I didn't get much sleep last night. Thank goodness for today's little nap!