Saturday, February 28, 2009

Our First Trip to Syracuse

Yesterday we headed out to Syracuse to look for houses/ check our neighborhoods and to give our new to us 02 Ford Windstar a bit of a test drive. We got a 60 day/ 3000 mile warranty with her so we decided to try to get as much use out of it as we can during the first few weeks we own it to see if there is anything wrong.

Syracuse is definitely a different city than Rochester. We have been asking around to people that have lived in Syracuse their recommendations on where to live and where not to live. We would know where to look for a house in Rochester, Syracuse not so much. We think that we would like to live near SUNY Upstate and the University because Glenn has enjoyed walking to work but we aren't sure. Today was kind of a fact finding mission to discover what part of Syracuse we might want to live in. We were able to borrow our friend Brad's gps unit to help us get around Syracuse and it was so helpful as well as great entertainment as Yoda told us to turn right and left. Our first stop in Syracuse was Upstate for Glenn to drop off a couple of forms that he needed to get in. I don't remember the last time I was in Syracuse, probably over 10 years ago, or if I ever went to downtown Syracuse before. I guess we used to go to a Rescue Mission with church occasionally as a kid but that was a LONG time ago! Anyway, the first thing that I noticed about Syracuse was the hills. The University area is known as the Hill and now I understand a little bit of why. There are some crazy hills around there! After dropping off the forms we headed over to drive by a few houses that we were possibly interested in. There is one house that we had been interested in possibly checking out but it was halfway down a very steep hill and as we pulled into the driveway Hannah said “I don't want to live there!” It was quite funny. The hill is so bad that it has red brick pavers on the road instead of blacktop. With the snow that I know covers Syracuse much of the year I didn't wonder why that house was vacant. I am not sure how the neighbors get in their driveways. We'd definitely need AWD (which Winnie doesn't have) for that house! After driving by a couple of houses we headed north a little bit to check in with a real estate agent that we had found online. We got a little bit of an education on homebuying and the suggestion to check out houses in the Eastwood neighborhood as we would get more home for our money and it was a more family friendly instead of student filled area. We didn't go into any homes but we did drive by (with a lot of help from our google map we'd left open on our laptop and Brad's gps) several houses. Some were in places we definitely wouldn't want to live. Others were in places that the houses looked nicer and the neighborhood looked safer. We aren't even sure if we are going to be able to get financing to buy a house. It makes the most sense to us that since we'll be living there for 4 years and have to pay for housing anyway to go ahead and buy a house but I am not sure if a bank is going to see it that way or not.

On our way home we passed the P&C (grocery store) distribution center and I complained a little hoping that there would be a Wegmans nearby because I have become a big fan of Wegmans living in Rochester when God had a little talk with me. Last summer, if you've been following my blog that long, you might remember that I was doing a lot of research on a little island in the Caribbean where I thought that we might be moving for medical school. No matter where we live in Syracuse it will probably be cheaper housing than we would have had to pay there and there will be a grocery store within 5 miles with overflowing stock of whatever food I might like to buy without having to pay exorbitant import prices for a limited selection at the shacks on the island. I had to stop and ask for forgiveness for my ungrateful heart. God has been so good to us in allowing Glenn to go to medical school here in the US! I can trust Him that He will work out all the details for housing and paying for medical school. He knows our needs and He will provide in His way in His time. Thank you God!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

6 Years in Glory

Today my Mom gets to celebrate 6 years in Glory! I know that time means nothing in Heaven but I am celebrating for her down here. I spent my quiet time this morning reading some of her favorite scriptures and singing some of her favorite songs and praying and thanking God for the legacy that He gave me in her.  I count it a privilege that one of the most vivid memories of my mom are of her sitting in the chair in the corner of her room every morning praying and reading her Bible. How I long to pass that legacy on to my children and my children's children. After I finished my quiet time I dug out our picture tote to look through some of them and found a few pictures to scan into our computer. Our scanner was causing me problems so I quit but I may scan a few more later - Glenn is usually the scanner person. I am making a album on Facebook of my pictures and here is a link to it.

It was fun to go through the pictures and review some fun memories. So many fun times at WOL, old family shots, etc. I love the ones of her holding Caleb. She loved being a grandma so much! It really wasn't in my plans to have a baby 11 months after we got married but how thankful I am that we did and that mom had a chance to be a grandma to Caleb. How thankful I am for pictures, even if they don't scan so well.

One hymn that meant a lot reading through it this morning was "O That Will Be Glory." It says "When all my labors and trials are o'er, And I am safe on that beautiful shore, Just to be near the dear Lord I adore Will through the ages be glory for me. O that will be glory for me, glory for me, glory for me, When by His grace I will look on His face, that will be glory, be glory for me." It made me smile. My Mom's life had a lot of trials. She had Lupus since 1975, I think. That is a long time to deal with such an awful disease but she handled it so well. I know that there was not a day that she was not in pain but you would never know it if you interacted with her. She almost always had a smile on her face and a song in her heart. Her trials are o'er and she is safe on that beautiful shore with our wonderful Lord that she so completely adored. I am sure that it is glory for her!

I loved sitting next to my mom in church because we would sing parts. She would sing alto and I would sing soprano and sometimes we would look at each other and smile, especially when we sang songs that we particularly liked or had fun singing. I can still hear her singing the harmony in my head as I sing some songs. One song that I loved to hear her sing was "My Hope is in the Lord." It was her class song at Houghton and she loved it. If you are familiar with the song the chorus has parts and she always sang both of them. I am going to put the words to that song at the end of my blog but before I do I just want to challenge you who are reading this to put your hope in the Lord. If you want to know more about what that means please ask me. I know that my mom would tell you with me that it is so worth it. 

My Hope is in the Lord
by Norman J Clayton

My hope is in the Lord
Who gave Himself for me
And paid the price
Of all my sin at Calvary

For me He died;
For me He lives,
And everlasting life
And light He freely gives.

No merit of my own
His anger to suppress
My only hope is found 
In Jesus' righteousness.

And now for me He stands
Before the Father's throne
He shows His wounded hands
And names me as His own.

His grace has planned it all
Tis mine but to believe
And recognize His work of love
And Christ receive. 

I love you Mom and miss you and look forward to that day that is coming soon when the roll is called up yonder and I'll be there too.