I think my dad may be making progress towards conversion. Thursday at breakfast he told me that he had run into the word "sentient" and that it had been a long time since he had seen it. I thought I knew the definition but wasn't sure, so I googled it right then. I had it wrong. This is what the dictionary said:
I asked him where he read it, and he told me that it was used in the physics book he is reading, The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe. The book qualifies as a tome:
The Amazon description pegs its weight at 4 lbs. And it is definitely scholarly. My experience of it with Dad has indeed been "chiefly humorous." When he was doing the prep for a colonoscopy last month--the one where you drink the gallon of nasty stuff, and it gives you death by diarrhea--to save energy he parked himself on the toilet to await the process completion. As he finished each glass of the Liquid Plumber, he would call me for a refill. The first time I paused before entering and asked him to please cover himself with something. He has no discernible sense of modesty. He said, "Ok. I'm ready." I walked in to find him butt naked except for the strategically place Road to Reality. Then yesterday he had a doctor's appointment. He can't dress himself because of his arthritis, although he does manage to put on his underwear. Other than his boxers, his daily attire is his robe. So when he has to wear real clothes, I dress him. I entered his room to get him ready and found him waiting for me: sitting on the foot of the bed in his boxers, legs crossed, reading Road to Reality. He looked so cute!
Definition of tome in English:
Boy, did I digress or what? Back to "sentient." I read aloud the paragraph with "sentient" in it. I skimmed through some other parts too, trying to figure out if the book was anti-religion. I hit upon this one paragraph that included a sentence stating that science without morals was a bad thing. SCORE! I was so happy! I read that sentence aloud, and we discussed it briefly in the light of the book we recently finished, A Song for Nagasaki. Dad agreed with me. So now I know that Dad and I have something to build upon.
I mentioned that I missed having a read-aloud book going, and Mom and Dad both agreed that they missed it too. I asked Dad what he wanted me to read next. He asked for something about Alaska. We talked about Jack London and The Call of the Wild and also London's book The Sea Wolf, which we had discussed when I read it in the sixth grade. Strange to think about us still discussing books 43 years later. I had been planning on reading With God in Russia to them to continue the Catholic in WWII theme but didn't know if choosing only Catholic books would wear thin with Dad. That's why I asked him what he would like to read next. So I guess we'll go to Alaska and maybe then slide over to Russia. I want to read the companion book to With God in Russia also. It's called He Leadeth Me.
The carrot cake's done, and I need to make the frosting.
A most blessed Feast of Christ the King to you all!