Our First Neighbor – Joyce Frisbie

Our first Neighbor – Joyce Frisbie

When we first moved into Mustian Forest (the name of our private little Subdivision), there lived across the street, a small family consisting of a lovely Lady named Joyce, her husband Lawrence and their Grandson Latif. It didn’t take us long to become very fond of Joyce and her family, in fact whenever we would go out or run into town, we would ask Joyce if they needed anything. Joyce and Lawrence were originally from Philadelphia, PA and had Northern tendencies but with a Southern twist. If that makes any sense.

Joyce and Lawrence had an older son Terry who lived in Hawaii but when Lawrence got sick and eventually passed away from complications from Dementia, Terry flew in from Hawaii, moved in with his Mom and did his very best to take care of and provide for her and Latif. During the time that Terry was here, he started working at a radio station in Henderson as a D.J/Radio Host. Due to the fact that Terry had flown in, he did not have a vehicle readily available so for that year that he was here, I had lent him my Pickup. No charge, no fee, just me dong a neighborly good deed. My Wife and I had another car and most of the time that truck just stayed in the yard anyway.  We learned that Terry had served in the Military as a Marine and had very strong morals and beliefs –

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he was definitely “Raised” right and then learned early on – the rigorous discipline and patriotism that the Marines would instill in him. Once he got his Mother situated, Terry had to leave and get back to his life in Hawaii. We still keep up with him on Social Media and love hearing his insights as to the island life and of course all of the beautiful photographs.

Now Latif was another story, he was this skinny spindly little kid who always had a huge infections smile on his face. I have never – to this day – seen him frown. He was always running, jumping, moving and shaking. Always full of energy and ready to go at a moment’s notice. After our daughter Ivy was born, Latif would come over more frequently and play with Ivy, Ozzy and our oldest son Matthew. Latif had this way with babies that’s for sure. Ivy would squeal when she saw him and her eyes would light up and Latif just loved holding her and making her laugh. We shared many laughs, conversations, meals and memories with Latif.

Now Joyce, being the protective Grandmother that she was, ALWAYS wanted to know where he was and what he was doing. She would call over to our house to make sure that he was behaving, not getting into any mischief and not bothering us. You know – doing what any responsible “parent” would/should do. Some days we would see Latif walking or playing out in his own front yard just looking over at our house like he was bored and wanted to be over there playing. Sandy would call over and ask Joyce if he could come over and of course she said yes and would let him but she had rules and she wanted him raised so that he would not expect that he could just come over any time that he wanted to and she wanted him to understand the principles of privacy and what it meant to impose on others. Joyce was a very loving and mindful guardian; she was one to always look out for others and had a strong religious background. On those occasions that we had to run into town, we would oftentimes take Latif with us – I mean he was already over at our house anyways. I still say to this day that Joyce, Latif and their family were the perfect neighbors in every aspect. Loyal, Trustworthy, Cheerful, Reverent, and a host of other adjectives that one could use to describe someone of their caliber.

good neighbor award

Now Joyce and Lawrence were Jehovah’s Witnesses and strongly believed in their teachings and their faith. Joyce tried her best to instill those values in Latif as well and he fought it as any kid his age would do. Now let me interject with this – I know many people dislike the Jehovah’s Witnesses and try their best to avoid them at all costs but I am here to say that they are one of the only Religious Groups that actually does what the Bible instructs them to do and that is to go out into the world and witness to others. Now sure, I do not share the same beliefs as they do but I do not condemn them for it either. Yes I am a Christian, Yes I believe in God and yes I love the Pentecostal Experiences that I have had in my faith but Joyce, Lawrence and the family are Americans, they have their rights to believe what they want and that does not make them any less of a person than me or you. There were days that we would notice that their religious family would come over and congregate, share meals, work on the house, visit and socialize. They had invited us over a few times and they were always very respectful, open and friendly. We have had Witnesses over to our house in the past and I will always be kind and courteous to them even thought I do not believe their teachings – they are people too.

We became very fond of Joyce and her family and still try to remain in contact as much as we can through email, social media and occasionally in person. Joyce has since moved out of the subdivision and into a more suitable location for her. Terry had moved back to Hawaii and Latif had grown up and moved to Hawaii with his Uncle Terry who by the way is still doing Radio shows. Latif – now the Account Manager for Nightlife Oahu has grown into a very popular D.J hosting and brokering Gigs for several Hawaiian Hotspots and just in general has really made a name for himself and doing quite well I might add. He had started as a sous chef for a popular Hotel there on the main island when he first got there but has since moved up in his career – he still loves to cook from what we understand but he loves his nightlife and the entertainment business even more.

 

We are so very proud and blessed to have met these fine people. We will forever remember the values and relationship that we had with this family and there will always be a special place in our hearts for them. One day if we ever make it to Hawaii – we will be sure to look up and visit with Terry and Latif. Until then – may God always have His hand upon them.

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Oh, did I mention that this wonderful loving caring family also happens to be Black – People of Color – American People with African Heritage, not that it matters to me at all but it appears to me that a lot of people in this day and age this fact alone should in some way make a difference. Well to those people I have to say – No – It Does Not Make a Difference. This article should serve as some sort of guide to everyone that we should look and live past color. Just because your families were Moonshiners or Bank Robbers bank in the day, doesn’t make you one. By the same token – it doesn’t make all white people slave owners or supporters or all black people slaves or victims of slavery. There is so much hatred, racism and discord in the world today and we as a Nation need to get over it. We need to come together and like I have been preaching for the last few years, this is now the Human Race – nothing more – nothing less!!!  God Bless Us All…….

Latif Johnson    Terry and Joyce2   Thank-you

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The New Bed

The New Bed

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Ever since I got out of Law Enforcement in 2005, I have made it my goal to always be there for my children and I can brag a bit and say that I have accomplished just that. Every time they want or need, I am there for them. I am involved in their lives on a daily basis and I wouldn’t want it any other way. At the end of the day, I don’t have to ask myself, “I wonder what my kids have been up to”. I have long said that, “If you want to know what your kids are doing, get involved”. After all, it is YOUR job to raise them – not someone else’s. They cannot be left to figure life out on their own without some sort of guidance.

When I was in Law Enforcement, I worked a lot and was gone most of the time and I missed my oldest son growing up.  I know – I know, my fault and my choice, not someone else’s! I was young and life was all about me at the time. I missed ball games, school functions, family dinners, yeah I was a real looser as a parent and a husband – But I was great at my Job. I think that was the only thing that I took seriously back then. Late nights, Badge Bunnies, loneliness and a desire to feel more and more love and companionship overwhelmed me and after 15 years of working, being gone and fighting with my wife, we divorced soon thereafter and parted ways – What I didn’t expect was to lose my son in the process. I made this bed and now I had to lay in it.

I remarried shortly after when I found my Sandy – Sandy was just what I needed to teach me what life, love and family was all about. She had me – hook, line and sinker from the get-go and it seemed as if I had no control as to how far and how fast our relationship progressed. We were destined to be together and nothing was going to stop us. We even tried calling it off a couple of times in the beginning but that never worked out. We just couldn’t walk away from each other and our love seemed to be on fire from the very start. From the very start – I knew I wanted that kind of life and I knew that I had a lot of repairing and changing to do within myself – and my son. Then we had Ivy and my life changed dramatically!

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To date for the past 14 years, I have been there – I have been to every one of my daughters Softball games and Volleyball games and even helped coach some. I pick her up from school, I ask her each day how her day was and I tell her that I love her more than 20 times a day it seems.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love my boys! I am just as involved with them and they know that I love them but there is something about that little girl and the way she says “I love you Daddy” that just makes me turn into Jell-O. She has me that’s for sure and she knows it too. Good, bad or indifferent, she has me and being the baby (just as I was), seems to get her a free pass on some things or at least more leniency. It drives my boys and my wife crazy. I know I spoil her but she doesn’t act like an “entitled little brat” either. She knows her limitations and just how far to push.

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So I have said all that to set the stage for my story – Yesterday, my 13 year old “little girl” – asked me to design and build her a new adult sized loft bed. You know the kind with a couch or seating area underneath.  Something a little more sophisticated for a growing young woman. WAIT – WHAT – MY Little Girl is Growing Up???  My heart kinda swelled and then broke a little at the same time. Of course I was honored when she asked me to build her a new loft bed and I have always been handy when it comes to working with wood, in fact, it is my hobby and I love to build things.

builder

So I spent the latter part of last night looking up loft bed plans and trying to design a suitable living/sleeping area for my daughter – something that would reflect the love that I have for her and the pleasure that I felt in being able to make her something that she would enjoy and be proud of. My mind is racing at the prospects and I am still looking for that perfect plan but I will be starting this project soon. I can’t wait to see the look on her face when I get it all set up. I think I am more excited than she is.

White Lake, N.C. Full On Fun……..

White Lake, NC Full On Fun

The Lake

Ok so here I am on the third day of my vacation starting to write about our adventure with Christine (our appropriately named camper)… White Lake North Carolina Baby!!!! We have been here since Saturday and have finally got the camper all set up and unpacked. Only had to enlist the help of my next door camp neighbor three times.  Well, actually he just happened to be right there when all of the failures happened.  Jason, his Wife and two daughters are really down to earth honest people with such great attitudes. The kind of neighbors that one could only hope for.  More on them later.

So let me back up a bit – during the course of the last week and a half we have been at home trying to complete our “to-do” list of all of the little things that were wrong or just needed service to our camper. If you own a camper, you know that there is always something to do on it or in it.  One of those things was that we had to replace our 14 foot awning fabric. After spending a day working that out we finally had a brand spanking new Awning installed and working properly. I was so proud!!!

So on our arrival at Camp Clearwater – we pulled into the Camp and registered this past Saturday with me, my Wife, our middle son Ozzy, our daughter Ivy and my two great nieces Krystal and Kelly. We pulled into the site and began un-hooking and getting everything set-up.  This Campsite is only temporary for the night as we will have to move the next day. (The joys of checking in early). We checked in before 11am anyways so at least we could enjoy the day – spend the night and then move the camper by 11am that next day. Totally worth it if you have ever been here – you’ll know what I mean. Our camper is a 28 footer but it will sleep 6 and maybe one more if we throw them onto the floor with the two dogs. So anyways, we get all set up, get the AC on, fans going, fridge cooling down and then the circuit pops.  Ok, so yeah maybe a power surge but we reset the breakers and kept on getting’. After getting things set up and settled – we got in our car and drove over to the Arcade and Pavilion area just to check out what might be going on up there. During the 15 minutes that we were away from the campsite, there came a true southern “Gully Washer” I mean a torrential downpour of heavy rain and some gusts of wind. We were standing out under the pavilion watching the rain when I looked at my Wife and said – Well – I guess we just lost our new awning…….

Once back at the campsite, we saw our new awning fabric bellowing and brimming full of about 20 gallons of water. My son and I quickly went about trying to empty it all out before it just completely ripped it off the side of the camper. After draining it, we let it all the way down and discovered that once back up; we fared pretty well with minimal damage and actually still functions properly. A few tightened screws and sealant and all is good again.

Our Campesite

(awning is now lowered slightly on one end to allow any rain to run off and not build up with water) (Oh and Thanks again Jason! lol)

The night was great – we settled in a little early, watched a little television after dinner and went on to sleep. The kids giggled for quite some time but eventually fell fast asleep. The next day we moved our camper two sites down where we are to remain for the rest of the week. We called the Golf Cart Rental Place and had a Cart delivered right to our campsite courtesy of Coaches Golf Carts. We were in the process of just starting our day when all of a sudden our circuit breakers pop again. This time, it was more serious. Our neighbor and his wife were out under the canopy when they heard the Pop from over at the Power Tower where all of our services were plugged in to. After another 30 minutes of re-wiring the plug on our power cord we were back up and running. Another rescue from our hero campsite neighbor …… Thanks Jason!

A little while later our Neighbor spotted an issue with our stabilizer hitch and offered his assistance to correct it. We spent the next 20 minutes re-mounting my stabilizer bars and adjusting the rear hitch – looks good now and should pull even better. Once again ……Thanks Jason!!  By this time you would think I would have gotten his telephone number and just about be ready to expect a bill from him. LOL I offered him some money but all he wanted was a handshake and a smile. Which I graciously paid in full!

Under the Canopy

So now by Tuesday evening sitting out at the picnic table writing and cooking baked potatoes and pork chops on the grill, everything is working properly as far as I can tell, aside from the little issues that had popped up from the first three failures. Our neighbors are due to pull out tomorrow but as a great surprise to us have decided to stay through next weekend – which works out beautifully since we have gotten close with them and really enjoy their company – truly great people! Come to find out, Jason and his wife have been together since they began liking each other when he was 13 years old. After High School, they got married and had two wonderful daughters (Hannah and Marybeth) which by the way are here camping and playing with our daughter and great nieces having a better time than the big kids!!! Jason and Elizabeth own their own trucking and excavation company and seem to be really blessed. They also have a Wedding / Catering side business that has been quite successful as well.

Two weeks ago, our daughter was in a Sand Volleyball Tournament here at White Lake – (that’s how we found this place) and we met a beautiful person named Kaley Michelle who works at the Ice Cream Shop down the street. Kaley is a 19-year-old student who works here at the campgrounds during the summer. Her parents have a permanent site here in the camp and during the school year she is studying Chemistry away at college. We met up again with Kaylee on this trip and have had a great time talking and getting to know her a little better and just hanging out. She is a very sweet down to earth young lady who actually has her head and heart in the right place – looking to the future instead of the moment.

So I can say that – for this vacation here at White Lake, North Carolina we have had a wonderful time full of memory making experiences and new friends and acquaintances.  There is so much more to tell and share but this is enough for now. I will attempt to post pictures and maybe a video as well. God Bless and do yourself a favor – Go Camping and Experience Life a Little!!!!!

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