Sunday, April 12, 2015

Testimony of Friendship

Reeder Branding 2015
Penelope Hoggan riding Pepper

Testimony of the Power of Friendship

Today’s post will be different than what normally share with you.  Normally, I share fun, cool wrecks, rodeos, and even essential oil tips.  Today, I would like to share with you a very real an intimate experience.  I stood in church today and attempted to share this experience…..I was nervous, shaking, and filled with so much gratitude that I don’t know if you could understand me.  Here is a written version.  My intention is to more clearly share this testimony of friendship and fellowship with you.

This weekend I had the opportunity to load up my youngest brother and sister to go to a branding in Utah.  Dad called me Friday night and asked if I wanted to go. Lol….I didn’t really have an plans so I decided….WHY NOT?  J2, Penelope, and I piled in the car and headed South! The branding was at  Bret and Jeri Reeder’s place in Northern Utah.  Just a three hour trip…..but when the “Are we there yet?” and  “I’m not touching you!” comments started an hour into the trip…….I suddenly understood WHY my parents had us ride in the top of the trailer most of my childhood. 
We arrived about half way through the branding.  They were just going to gather a new bunch.  When looking out across the pasture….you saw a Herd….of small cowboys and cowgirls.  I lost count of how many cute lil’ buckaroos where there.  All were mounted on nice, trust worthy ranch horses. 

Bret and Jeri have have four amazing children, Ty, Katie, Bucky, and Rowdy.  They all have beautiful families.  Not to mention, cousins, neighbors, and friends who had come to help.  Even tho Bret and Jeri had more than enough help…..they welcomed us with open arms.  Literally, when I saw Jeri, she gave me the biggest hug ever and such a sincere smile of a friend you haven’t seen in way to long.  Ty (oldest son) instantly gathered up J2 and made him feel welcome.  (Ty is a stud and if you are with him…you just got a few pegs higher on the cool scale too) They got J2 a horse and let him rope, which is an honor at any branding. 
Penelope was quite taken back by the herds of people, kids, and cattle running around.  She stuck pretty close to me during that first set.  Well, Bucky ( the middle son) came over and said hello.  I think that was the only person Penelope would talk to.  When that set was finished we all went up to an AMAZING dutch oven meal, homemade with love.  Every one gathered on the grass to eat and visit.  Kids playing everywhere.  Penelope had finished eating and was playing by herself in the sand.  Bucky could have easily sat and visited with everyone but instead he gathered up Penelope and headed to the barn.  He saddled quite possibly the most prize horse, Pepper, and stud, that has been in the family for over twenty years.  Bucky lead her around.  She was instantly more comfortable and confident.  She even got to gather with everyone when they went to do the next set.  She was a different kid after that.  She was talkative and played effortlessly. 
Everyone was welcoming and friendly.  You visited, caught up, and just enjoyed company.  Rowdy (youngest Reeder son) went out of his way to come say hello, catch up and make me feel welcome.  It is amazing how a sincere conversation can fill your heart with so much light. 
Katie ( Bucky’s wife) has a beautiful fancy camera and let me play a little!  Aww, I don’t remember the last time I was behind the lens shooting something fun like that!  It was great to capture glimpses of the amazing moments unfolding in front of you. 

Up until now….this seemed like any other great day with friends, enjoying this life that we are so blessed to live.  It wasn’t until we were heading home that the fullness of the day would hit me. 

Bret and Jeri have been friends with my parents for as long as I can remember.  Bret is one of my Dad’s best friends, spoke at family funerals, and has been an amazing friend through the years.  Dad didn’t come with us tho….it was just us kids.  Bret and Jeri didn’t have to welcome us into their lives but they did and always have.  Memories from my youth came flooding back……Staying at their house after Utah rodeos, horse ropings, and I even stayed with them one summer.  I remembered the example their family had been.  Jeri ALWAYS had a hot meal and a place for you to sleep.  She makes the best Carmel brownies and that is where I learned my LOVE of homemade strawberry jam.   I remember traveling with them to a rodeo that Bret was picking up at.  They drove all night to get home and go to church the next morning.  They never pushed or judged.  They just lived their beliefs.  They are the example.  They love unconditionally.  A simple day of branding.....opened my eyes to the profound impact that this family has had on my life.

I remember Ty coming up to stay with our family and help Dad when he was younger.  Seeing him help J2…it opened my eyes to the ripples that one friendship can have. Dad and Bret being friends had brought us all together and the Reeder’s showed us…..and truly live fellowshipping.
Grateful for their fine examples.  Grateful to call them friends.  Grateful for an amazing day spent together. 
I share this humbly, thank you for reading.  I hope you are blessed with friends that love you, lift you, and lead by example. 

Oh....and on the way home...when my cute siblings where tired...I was the one torturing them
with 3 hours of endless car karaoke music made before they were born.

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