"After being away from flying for a number of years what is the best and safest way to get back in (medical is current)?" - Gary G.
“The answer to this question obviously has a lot to do with several follow up questions. What sort of experience did you have when you stopped flying and how long has it been? But regardless of the answers to these questions, I have several recommendations.
The first and most important recommendation is to find yourself the very best flight instructor available. He or she might not be your best friend or a good buddy. Take the time to find the right person to work with YOU! Then, sit down with that instructor and map out a path to where you want to be. Be patient.
Supplement your flying with some homework. Read the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), The Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A), and related manuals to rebuild your foundation. There is a wealth of free information on the FAA home page and other aviation web sites.
Even if you never intend to pursue instrument certification, work hard on your instrument skills. They’ll make you a much safer VFR pilot and instill confidence in your flying.