My mother in law arrives!

We transformed our dining room into a private bedroom with a patio so that my mother-in-law will not have to deal with stairs. Eldon and Stan came over to hang the doors that Russ Rickert SR had cut to size and Gretchen an I had painted, on Saturday afternoon! The kitchen is now a library/dining room/kitchen that looks a little like a coffee shop. Gretchen has a small work area in the living room next to the Mac.

Gretchen went to pick up her mother in California, leaving Friday morning from Philadelphia with stops in Las Vegas and Phoenix to Oakland. I watched Ben play a Lacrosse game, at his school in Delaware, and then I got a pizza from Pizza hut, and we watched Macgyver on DVD. Macgyver is an awesome show from the 1970s about an action hero who uses whatever’s handy to create an ingenious solution to whatever problem is at hand. He hates guns and is afraid of heights.

Saturday morning was opening ceremonies for Little League, and Ben’s first little league game of the season. He scored the second run! Then Eldon came over with Stan – and hung the doors. While that was going on, my friend John called and we talked about a book review I had written on Amazon about Simply Christian by NT Wright. I had brought up CS Lewis’s point made in chapter one of Mere Christianity that man “has a standard of behavior which he expects the other man to know about” (p. 3) and NT Wright has a very similar point:

Why do people long for justice?
Why do we thirst for spirituality?
Why do we long for relationships?
Why does beauty not satisfy us fully?

Humans are always walking around quarrelling about How’d you like it if anyone did the same to you? – “That’s my seat, I was there first” – “That’s my seat I was there first”… People say things like that every day, educated people as well as uneducated, and children as well as grown-ups” (Mere Christianity, Lewis, p3) John’s point was that chimpanzees also get into fights when they get unequal rewards for the same task (according to some book that I forgot the title of). He said a stronger point would be to appeal to the altruism of humans. We do good things for no gain on our part. Animals may have a sense of fairness – but only humans have a sense and longing for altruistic goodness. I have certainly seen this with my mother-in-law – as a total stranger overheard Gretchen and I discussing a need for a wheel chair so that Elizabeth could go to cultural events – so he gave us his dead grandmother’s wheel chair, and people offering to help in so many different ways! Humans ARE different than the other animals! Thank you everybody!

I went to the airport around midnight and picked up Gretchen and her mother. She seemed like her cheerful self – the trip had not been as bad as we expected. We got her home and she was pleased at her new bedroom! We have doctor visits lined up for her – to see if she really has cancer, and all her medical records got to the right places. So everything is good.

-Mark

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