By: Kevin Jones

A lot of people in this world would say that their life is a boring one. I say they’re just not looking at it from the right perspective. Buddy and Diane Ellis are a good example. Buddy was born and raised in Norfolk, VA. Diane was originally from Colorado but as a youngster moved to rural central California due to her father’s job. Diane’s life eventually brought her across the country to eastern Virginia where she met Buddy through a friend, fell in love, and they married. That was just over 40 years ago.

So what have they been doing all that time? Buddy stepped up and joined the Fire Service in Norfolk at a young age. He served as a firefighter for the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach for 40 years. The phrase it’s not easy to teach an old dog new tricks doesn’t apply to Buddy. At 50 years of age he decided to go back to school to add Paramedic Certification to his extensive firefighter qualifications. He ultimately retired from the Firefighter/Paramedic service in 2013.

Diane spent 35 years in the finance and banking industry and traveled often prior to her retirement. During their life together, they have visited many locations worldwide, with New Zealand being one of the highlights. While on their adventures they would often seek out and visit champion trees, the largest living specimens of a select tree species on record. You see, Diane is not only a Master Gardener, she is also a certified Tree Steward. To witness a champion tree up close is truly a sight to behold.

So how did Buddy and Diane come to live at Albemarle Plantation? Back in the late 1990’s while traveling from Virginia Beach to Moorhead City to visit their family, they noticed a sign for AP and decided to take a look. Much of AP wasn’t completed then but, due to the location, it left quite an impression, and they came back in 2005 to purchase land.

Diane dreamed of the home they would build. She learned how to design a house and then created the plans for their builder. That made things a lot easier for the builder, and in November 2020 they moved into their brand new home. After moving in, Diane designed the landscaping around the yard and even built a workshop in the garage for Buddy. Some would say he’s a lucky man to have a wife who knows her way around power tools.

“We absolutely love living here at Albemarle Plantation. Believe it or not, between the two of us, Buddy is the social butterfly,” Diane says. Together they are part of the CERT Team, the Sports Club, and enjoy the community pool. Buddy and Diane also love to fish and spend time with their dog Muffy. The Wood Carvers Club is another group Diane has interest in joining. One of the social events that Buddy likes is the monthly Men’s Breakfast. At the last gathering, he met another AP resident he was friends with as a young boy and hadn’t seen in over 50 years…it’s a small world.

From my perspective, it’s been anything but boring for Buddy and Diane. If you see them out and about ask them about the time they lived in a tree house. They’d be happy to tell you about it. Buddy and Diane can be contacted via email at: budanddiane2@gmail.com.