If you like the music that I like, you probably know that the title of my blog today is based on two songs about going home. The first is a song by Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles: Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

The second is a favorite  John Denver song: Back Home Again.

Hey it’s good to be back home again.
Sometimes this old farm (The Blue Ridge Mountains) feels like a long lost friend
Yes, and hey, it’s good to be back home again.

I have many places I could call home. The one I love to return to more than any other is Roanoke, Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains. I went to college in Blacksburg, Virginia. I started my private practice law career there. I started a law firm there and built my practice there. Nancy’s first real job after college was there. Our daughter, Jill, was born there. We made life-long friends there and I loved seeing and spending time in the Blue Ridge Mountains there. We even experienced the Great Flood of 1985 there.

As you know, I took off from blogging the last week. That was the first time since I started blogging in 2006. I wanted to take that time off to appreciate our visit to The Owner’s Club at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia and The Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia. Here is a photo of Nancy from the 14th tee at The Homestead Old Course.

During our visit to The Homestead, we saw many old friends from Roanoke. We spent time catching up with a couple who were friends at Virginia Tech and later in Roanoke. We played in a golf outing with a friend who was one of my first clients and his son. At the outing we ate lunch with one of my former colleagues who is now a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge and we spent time with many other old friends.

In Roanoke we visited my sister and ate dinner with her and a favorite young couple at Billy’s.

Nancy and I both have fond memories of our first visits to the Hotel Roanoke and The Homestead. We stayed at the Hotel Roanoke in December, 1975, when we were there for my job interview. The hotel was kind of run-down at that time and when we got to our room the heat was way too high and could not be turned down or off. We decided the only way we would sleep that night was to somehow get the windows in our room open. After great effort we succeeded and the combination of heat in our room and the cold December air made the temperature about right.

A few months later just after I started work in my first law firm, we attended the Virginia Bar Association meeting at the Homestead. Since I was just starting work after the my stint in the Air Force, we could not afford to spend the night. So, after the gala event we drove back to Roanoke in my rented tuxedo and Nancy’s evening dress.

So, why is it good to be back home again? For me, whenever I go back home to Roanoke and Southwest, Virginia, I have a far  greater appreciation of the friendships we made many years ago. I also appreciate the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains more  than if we had seen them every day for the last 25 years.

Who says you can’t go home? I say going home to see old friends and the scenery makes you appreciate both what made your old home special and what makes your current home special today. It also makes you appreciate the opportunity you have been given to help your clients. Finally, going home and reconnecting will inspire you in creative ways.