Saturday, May 23, 2009

I Love Spring in Rochester, NY!

Rochester, New York, is a northern city sited on Lake Ontario, the easternmost of the great lakes. As winter winds cross those lakes they pick up moisture that we see as snow - 101 inches of it, last winter. So, those of us who live here really appreciate Spring.

Rochester is known as the "Lilac City". Lilacs grow well here, and they are everywhere in all the colors. You can see pink and white lilacs in my back yard, to the right. Soon the day lilies and peonies in the foreground will be blooming, and the irises. Spring comes late in upstate New York, but it comes on strong! On Memorial Day weekend the gardeners go crazy with their planting of flowers and vegetables.

Rochester is fortunate to have avoided the real estate meltdown. We never had a "boom", so there was nothing to "bust". The city has not grown because the two major employers, Kodak and Xerox, have downsized a lot over the years. But we have many colleges and universities, health care facilities, and smaller high tech businesses that employ highly-paid professionals. Consequently, real estate prices have continued stable at about a 2% growth rate over many years, and homes are still a very good value. You could buy a home like the one in the picture, on .8 acres in a good location, for around $250,000. That would be the down payment on this property in some areas of the country!

I'm going back on the Appalachian Trail, June 1st. There's a 135-mile section that goes from near New York City to western Massachusetts that I've got to conquer. With my schedule, it will take two hikes (4 and 5 days, respectively) to accomplish that. After this section is done, I'll have a straight 519 miles from Vermont to Maine left in my long, long effort to do the entire trail. Perhaps I can knock off a few of those miles later this summer. What would life be if we didn't have goals?

Last night I got my computer set up to work on the SETI project. In the background, a program runs on both CPU's to analyze interstellar radio waves picked up by those giant antennas in Arizona (the ones featured in the movie, "Contact"). Perhaps I will be the one to identify the first coherent radio signals from another intelligent civilization...but, probably not. It's fun to try.

I hope Spring has been wonderful where you live. As it has for eons of humanity, Spring brings forth the optimism of the new and confirms the cycle of life. It reminds me of Genesis 8:22, where an ancient writer quoted God as saying, "While the earth lasts, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall never cease". How sweet it is to be part of the pattern!


Emily said...

i love lilacs

Dave K said...

When people ask me what I miss most now that I live in Cambodia, Fall-Winter-Spring comes to my mind. :)

I always loved summer - baseball season, strawberries, swimming holes - but sometimes I forget that in the constant equatorial summer.

Enjoy the lilacs!