The question seemed simple enough.

“Why,” a lunch companion wanted to know recently, “did you come back to Floyd County after all these years?”

Like many teenagers longing for a life of adventure, getting our of Floyd County became an obsession. I even went to summer school so I could skip a year of high school, graduating early just to escape what I then saw as limiting opportunities in a Blue Ridge Mountain Community.

When I left the county in 1965, I never intended to come back. The world was out there, waiting to be explored and conquered. After four years in Roanoke as a writer and photographer for The Roanoke Times, I moved on to a newspaper in Illinois for 11 years. I traveled the country and the world, writing about people and photographing their lives.

A move to Washington in 1981 expanded the opportunities and allowed me to explore the seductive world of politics. Washington became home, so much so that I wrote about it in 1997, but being in closer proximity to Floyd County increased our visits back here and by the start of the new century, we had a farm in Carroll County and increasing interests here.

Opening Blue Ridge Creative in The Jacksonville Center earlier this year sealed the deal. Floyd County becomes a home we share with Arlington in the National Capital Region.

So how does it feel? I’m not sure yet.

The question is simple.

The answer is not.