It didn't take us long to decide Roanoke would be a great place for our family to live.
Our kids were young, and we were excited to be in Roanoke after a couple of years in the intense environment of Columbia, MD.
Roanoke seemed like a green mountain paradise filled with friendly people.
Our home on the mountain overlooking Roanoke city is where we our kids really grew up. It was their fourth house, but it is the spot they call home.
While all three were born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, they all spent only a few of their early years on the farm. Then it was on to Halifax and Columbia.
I can still remember bringing the kids to get a look at the house for the first time. I had watched it being built before we even bought it. I loved the spot and was nervous that they might not.
Actually it took a lot of selling for me to convince my wife that it was a good spot. She was worried about their being enough kids around. That did end up being a little bit of challenge, but there are some great memories up here on the hill.
The kids were a piece of cake, the house has huge bedrooms, and they made the most of them.
It was actually in the fall of 1989 when we finally moved into the house. Our Oak tree was barely visible in the front yard.
There were also no houses around us. Now we are surrounded by homes, and we are some of the last of the first settlers still left on the hill.
Our kids are grown up and all through with college now. The only teenager is the big Oak in our front yard. For years it didn't look like it was going to make it. Then all of sudden the Oak found whatever it needed and really started growing.
One of the tree guys who has looked at it said that it will eventually be as wide as it is tall right now. Unfortunately that means it might be too big for the yard some day.
We had a Silver Maple which girded itself and died before we figured out what was wrong. The Oak seemed to grow even faster once the Maple was gone. There are a number of large Poplars in the back behind the house. We also have a huge Ash tree and several Black Walnut trees.
Still of all our trees, the Oak that grew strong and true is my favorite. It reminds me of our kids. They are past their teenage years and just now finding what they need to grow.
I hope the Oak will be around for a lot of years to remind them of the home that they once had on the mountain overlooking Roanoke.
Maybe sailing ships will come back, and it will find a home as part of ship that will travel the world.