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Location: Liverpool, NY

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Top Reasons to Live in the Village of Liverpool

In my teen years my parents moved from Utica to a new tract development in the Town of Clay with a Liverpool mailing address. After living here for awhile I always thought it would be great to live in the Village of Liverpool. It just looked so quaint and homey. Through the years I lived away for grad school and work but always hoped that one day I would move back and maybe live in the Village. Now I do. Here are my top reasons I love Liverpool:
  1. First and foremost, Liverpool has an incredible selection of really great restaurants in the Village or within 5 minutes! Indian, Right in the Village are Limp Lizard -- an outstanding BBQ with a great beer selection and outdoor patio; Heid's -- the historic hot dog stand; The Retreat -- really good American style food with a great summer patio; OIP -- their pizza is great but the charbroiled wings are the best around and they have tomato pie; The Cobblestone -- just your traditional old fashioned, haunted bar; The Fish Company -- fresh seafood that is really outstanding; Cafe at 407 -- a very simple terrific cafe that supports an important community NPO; and the American Diner -- just your regular, cheap breakfast diner that loves America. And within seconds of the Village are Santangelo's -- one of the very finest Italian ristorantes in CNY; several Indian and Thai restaurants; and though it isn't a restaurant: the Byrne Dairy in the spot where Galeville grocery used to be still has a tremendous beer selection.
  2. Onondaga Lake Park. The Park just keeps getting better and better with Wegman's playground, bikes to rent; softball diamonds; Lights on the Lake, and a paved walking/skating/biking path that now goes all the way to the other side where the new amphitheater is located as well as to Longbranch Park and the Wegmans Dog Park. It's just a great place to exercise and hangout. Though the lake is still polluted (much less so than ever), it is still stunningly beautiful.
  3. Liverpool Little League. A classy organization which just merged with the Salt City Little League to become a little stronger.
  4. Nichols Grocery & Liquors. The entire Nichols store would probably fit into Wegmans produce and bakery sections. But it's quick, friendly, nostalgic and has it's unique stock of groceries with great meat and deli. I love it for the off brands of beer they sell and the manager's specials.
  5. When you live in the Village, it is quick and easy to get anywhere -- except Cicero. You can be to the hospitals, the Dome and OnCenter in 10 minutes flat. Get on I81 or the Thruway in minutes. Even Camillus is closer than you think when you shoot out Rt. 370 to John Glenn Blvd. to 690.
  6. Recreation and Entertainment. I mentioned Onondaga Lake Park. But also within minutes are 2 bowling alleys, Liverpool Country Club, the volleyball courts at Sharkey's bar, softball and baseball fields in several places. etc.
  7. It's beautiful and well kept. Just drive through on a sunny day. The old historic homes and buildings with tree lined streets, a central Village park and glimpses of the lake make every drives gorgeous.
  8. Free concerts and movies in the park during the summer.
  9. Liverpool Library is the best branch of all the Onondaga County Public Libraries.

10 Things Your Poor Friends Do You Probably Don't

Living in poverty is complicated and often doesn't make sense to those who are experienced in it.Over the past several years my wife and I have cobbled together an income from 4 different part-time jobs, received a variety of forms of government assistance and particularly worked amongst the through our church garage sale ministry. We have learned a lot.
  1. Wear clothes and shoes that don't fit because they were free. Cast offs from friends and family or hand me downs are better than buying new stuff.
  2. Eat food that isn't healthy for them because it's cheap or free.  Have you been to your local food pantry lately? Not a lot of fresh fruits, veggies or fish. Plenty of canned fruits in syrup, boxed cereals, carbs and more carbs, snacks, microwaveable meals, sugary drinks and baked goods. Bologna is not good for you but it can be real cheap.
  3. Learn to live with broken stuff in their house, car, office, yard, etc. Have a broken window? I'll fix that right after I fix spot of the ceiling from when the roof leaked which I'll get to right after I repave the driveway and paint the house and catch the mice.
  4. Cut there own hair, have their friends cut their hair or don't get haircuts at all.
  5. Don't go to church, family parties or out much on the weekends. Not enough money for gas.
  6. Keep everything, even broken stuff. You never know when you are going to need a part of that broken dehumidifier Maybe you can fix that DVD player. They are experts at re-purposing leftover packaging, worn our tools, toys or utensils, etc. It's why their yard is often times full of stuff.
  7. Volunteer to cook a meal for a friend or a church supper. OK, lots of people do this, both poor and not, but poor people do this more because it is a way they can participate, minister or give to others. They don't have cash but often have an EBT card or a leftover cake mix from their box of food from the food pantry.
  8. Have a dog when they can't afford one. They can't afford rent for a good neighborhood and can't afford a security system for their home in the bad neighborhood where they live. So a dog makes a nice security system and gives them so joy and companionship.
  9. All of them are faced with cheating the government aid system, turning down paid work and have to make tough ethical choices. Very few want to cheat to get ahead but when desperate to pay bills and needing cash, it's very tough to take work that will pay less than your unemployment amount or jeopardize your food stamps. Government aid is not proportionate to whatever income you might get. Maybe you get $400 a week in unemployment and a friend gives you a day's work helping them in their business trying to help you out. You make $50 for the day. Unemployment might go down by $100.
  10. Make questionable decisions. Again, everybody does this. But depression, despair, chronic pain and health issues from poor health care are disproportionately high amongst the poor. And as one theologian said, "When morale is low, so are morals."
Lastly, I would say, poor people are really generous and grateful. Working amongst the poor has opened my eyes to how they go out of their way to give and say "Thank you." They love to share and pay it forward.

God bless you. Keep off of food stamps and Medicaid if you can. It's demoralizing and filling out all their endless paperwork and certifications is like a full-time job by itself. If you can make ends meet another way, please do so. It really is better for you.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Mother Theresa's Humility List

The following list is attributed to Mother Theresa. While I do not know if it is actually her's or not, I find it challenging and troubling. I mean 'troubling' in a good way. I know myself well enough that too often my life revolves around pain avoidance and attention seeking. This challenges me to stop the thinking, "I'm all that.".

I'm considering adopting these as part of a rule for life for me and my church. I pondering them deeply to see their Biblical under girding or lack thereof.

Mother Theresa's Humility List 

  1. Speak as little as possible about yourself. 
  2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.
  3. Avoid curiosity.
  4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others.
  5. Accept small irritations with good humor.
  6. Do not dwell on the faults of others.
  7. Accept censures even if unmerited.
  8. Give in to the will of others.
  9. Accept insults and injuries.
  10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.
  11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone.
  12. Do not seek to be admired and loved.
  13. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity.
  14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right.
  15. Choose always the more difficult task.