Just a few words to post now that I am getting my bearings in Roanoke. It is a spread out place, with 90,000 people in the city and supposedly 130,000 in the greater area. it's very much a "valley town", deep in a mountain valley of the Appalachians. It's a beautiful place, especially up in the hills overlooking it all.
I temporarily live in an area which I think would best be described as "old money", ( some may say, "overpriced" - Jeremy Miller for example !! ) with large old homes, very little automobile traffic, and quiet tree lined neighborhoods. In a word, idyllic. The homes are almost every one, very well kept and one block away is a corner Pharmacy, 1938 Grocery store ( "Tinnells"), post office, three restaurants, and two main stream denomination churches ( First Presbyterian which is a beautiful and quaint old stone church - look it up on Google Earth - WOW ! - and a more modern United Methodist Church that would be very much at home in Wilmore ). I walk almost every night, and have discovered something new almost every day. There is a large park with a river / stream / creek running through it, just two blocks away also ( Smith Park ) and lots of people walk and jog beside the water ( presumably hospital affiliated employees, as there is a shiny new Carilion hospital nearby also ). I saw several fish that looked like trout there, and while there was the usual bleach bottle and styrofoam detritus that one would expect in an urbanized stream, there was also evidence of an active and ongoing cleanup and beautification effort as well.
I think that's enough for now. I hope to get better with my new digital camera, as I get more time and more deeply established here, perhaps I will try to post some photos.