A chill wind was blowing today in Roanoke, Virginia, but the trees and plants weren’t hiding their buds. The early Spring weather and warmer-than-usual nights brought early leaves and flowers.
Mom and Dad moved us to Roanoke when I was a junior in high school, way back in 1990. That’s when NorfolkSouthern consolidated three division offices and Dad moved from the Norfolk Division Office in our hometown of Crewe to the Virginia Division Office in Roanoke.
Located at the lower end of the Shenandoah Valley, Roanoke sits in its own self-named valley nestled between the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains. It’s known as the “Star City of the South” because of a 10,000-pound metal lighted star that sits over 1,000 feet above the city. It’s a beautiful city with a growing suburban area. Museums, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Mill Mountain Zoo are just a few of its attractions. NorfolkSouthern has a very interesting transportation museum that you should visit if you’re in the area.
Attractions weren’t on the agenda, though. Today was doctor day. We visited Dad’s surgeon, scheduled the surgery to remove the tumor on his colon, visited other offices to transfer files and get appointments, and ran a couple of errands.
That means we started in Northwest Roanoke at the parents’ house, traveled through Salem, over to Lewis Gale, around to Tanglewood, up to Northeast, over to Valley View, and then back home to Northwest. Whew!
The good thing of all of that driving? We saw a lot of spring beauty in the valley. Daffodils that started opening in February are fully open. Ornamental cherry trees that were tight buds two weeks ago are clusters of soft pink. Red buds are earning their name as their buds swell maroon. Roanoke is a few weeks ahead of our place in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, and being here this weekend has opened my eyes a bit to the beauty that continues to grow and thrive even when it feels like life has just stopped at home where everything is still chilly.
So spring has sprung, and life is good. I think daffodils will always remind me of the way I feel today and the time I’ve spent this year with my parents. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world. So how about you? What’s blooming in your part of the world?*** This personal blog is comprised solely of the opinions, views, projects, and travels of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She is lucky enough to have loving family and friends whom she drags along with her on her adventures and whom she puts to work on her little farm. She uses this blog to help promote living in the mountains of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.**