One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for April 28, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
On Saturday night my wife and I along with another couple got to surprise and celebrate a friend’s birthday. Her name is Tina Jenkins.
Tina and her husband Tony currently live in Southern Pines, NC but for about ten years they were our down the street neighbors in Lumberton, NC.
Tina is a member of the nursing faculty at Sandhills Community College. Her husband Tony is a business development specialist for medical technology company in Moore County, NC. Those two careers took them from Lumberton, NC to Southern Pines, NC in the summer of 2012 and my wife and I miss the frequency of our visits but still cherish the times we get to spend with Tina and Tony.
(l-r) Dan Kenney, Mira Kenney, Tina Jenkins, and Tony Jenkins.
What makes Tina special as a friend is her passion for everything in life. She is as our most nurses a compassionate professional. As a nursing instructor she really cares about her students but she does not compromise the standards that her students must master. She knows her stuff and expects her students to do the same.
Tina is not just a nurse but she is a very creative person who has a flair for jewelry that has a unique original story. When she is asked about a piece of jewelry the response just doesn’t include where it was purchased it comes with a history lesson. Her discriminating eye for home décor can be seen inside and outside her home where she cleverly repurposes something old to add character to her home. Don’t let this woman go to an antique shop if you are in a hurry a quick look isn’t possible.
Tina and I have also formed a bond over music. She and I both have a fondness for the blues genre. We enjoy sharing artists like Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, and Little Walter with each other. We have spent a night or a hundred at each others home drinking beer, talking, and listening to the blues. It takes special friends to make all three of those things blend together and be comfortable. Tina makes it look easy.
We have enjoyed trips together. We have celebrated holidays together. We have supported each other when we lost a parent and cheered when a career accomplishment came each other’s way. Tina has become a sister to my wife Mira not just a friend.
When you have friends like the Jenkins you get to know their families and that has happened with us. We have watched their son Larson grow up before our eyes. Today he is a strapping young man excelling in high school sports, classes, and scouting.
Photo of Larson with his Grandfather-John Atkinson and Grandmother Candy Atkinson
We have also grown close to Tina’s mom Candy Atkinson and step dad John Atkinson. Candy is an amazing women and you can see where Tina’s work ethic and caring heart come from.
The Friend-TINA JENKINS
The Friend – CANDY ATKINSON
The Non-Stop Hostess
If you ever meet Candy Atkinson I am betting money it won’t be sitting down. You might be sitting down but she surely won’t. Candy is constantly in motion trying to serve and please her family, friends, and neighbors.
Candy’s husband John Atkinson is retired General and they have had some wonderful travel adventures together. My wife and I love to hear the stories related to their travels around the world. John is a proud Citadel graduate and a good number of friends in the Atkinson’s social circle share that bond with them. For a number of years the Atkinson’s have hosted a Christmas party at their Lumberton home that is quite an event.
Their home includes a covered car port, garage apartment, patio, and nice den and kitchen. All parts of the home are used for theIr Christmas party.
When the Atkinson Christmas party rolls around Candy has worked from Halloween to December in making sure everything is perfect including her catfish stew. The party includes family, friends, Citadel grads, co-workers, and my family. The common theme the entire day of this event is make yourself at home. The other common theme is that Candy will not sit still she is working the entire day serving her friends. She just has a serving heart that won’t let her sit still.
Tina Jenkins led us to a friendship with her mom Candy Atkinson and today we consider her and John part of our family. She has been part of our family’s Thanksgiving tradition for the past several years and for that we are grateful.
We still haven’t figured out how to get her to sit down and relax when she comes over but that just is Candy.