Where This Started ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ Life in the Roanoke Valley has always been interesting. The area has everything anyonecould want in its beautiful location. There are mountains, valleys, rivers and creeks andweather patterns that are unique. Much of the weather seems to come off the Gulf of Mexico here. You tend to watch what is happening in Alabama, as it likely will hit here ina couple days. The cold weather comes from Canada when it pushes down and the jetstream seems to decide which weather you will get.The seasons are different also. Spring is early, summer is long, fall is beautiful with greatcolor and winters are short. Normally you only see a couple of hard months if it is a badwinter. Hard months really are at the worst a low of zero for a couple days once everyfew years. Normal winters are in the thirties or forties in the daytime and lows in thetwenties or thirties at night. There have been winters where daytime temperatures were inthe 40’s all winter. Some years you get snow, some you get freezing rain and others littleof nothing from either.You will find only around 300,000 people in the area and it is spread out over the wholeof the valley. Most of the farms that existed years ago are now housing tracks or businessareas. Even some of the mountains are now covered with houses.The high-rise buildings you find in bigger cities just are not part of the valley. The tallest building is around 25 stories and other big ones are around 10 stories. The downtown isnot that large and the main area for people is the city market area. It operates six days aweek and due to the truck farms and orchards here it allows in season fruits andvegetables for sale. The market has a food court in one building and the city has all kindsof events on the market to keep people coming. It is a unique place and a very enjoyablesite to spend time at. This was one of the reasons for my staying in the valley.People here are a true mix of the whole country. This is from the large manufacturerswho moved into the valley and brought key people with them. The old Norfolk andWestern railroad was headquartered here before it became the Norfolk Southern. Thereare some high tech companies here and a good size technology base. Some of this comesfrom VPI&SU or Virginia Tech, to the rest of the world. Tech is just 45 minutes from thedowntown area of Roanoke.When I moved here in 1974 I fell in love with this area. I had been born in Akron Ohioand raised in the flat lands of Indiana and knew what winters were like! The change to themore mild and shorter winters of the valley was a nice one. Seeing the mountains aroundyou also added to the enjoyment of the valley.Over the time I have lived here, the valley has become more of a home to me than anyother place. My family had come from Virginia and the border area of West Virginiaoriginally, so I just came back home. Most of my children were born here and my wife is buried here. I guess this cycle just completed its run?