One of the many things I admire most about Ben is his loyalty - to his family, to his friends, to his beliefs. You could even say I'm proud of him for that character trait. So it makes me even prouder that other people notice it too - you'll see for yourself in a bit....
We've made great strides in trying to keep up with the friendships that we've greated through Ben's judging career..........including most of his former teammates, coaches and even some he judged against. Not only is fun to catch up with them on the rather un-occasional judging trip, livestock show, or wedding - but its also fun to see that so many of these people are the up-and-coming "movers and shakers" in the agriculture and livestock industries.
So, although I didn't have my camera out during the most recent rendevous of his former KState judging team - I hope you can imagine how blessed we felt standing in the yards of the Denver Stock Show in the presence of almost the entire team - no longer teammates - but friends exchanging hugs, compliments, and catching up on each others lives - and discussing the next occasion that will bring us all together.
Ben's former coach has even commented (I'm paraphrasing because I didn't hear it) "That's one of the neat things about your team, you guys genuinely like each other, and have stayed connected."
I also truly agree with Emilie when she said to me during the trip, "We might not see each other often - but we pick right back up in our friendship like we were just on the phone yesterday...."
Even though I wasn't on the team myself - I consider all of these people my dearest of friends - and I love catching up with all the wives (no husbands yet) of the teammates...often joking that we "married-in" to this fraternity of people who spends hours upon hours still "talking livestock" like they were still college kids comparing notes.
What I really started writing this post about I'll just post seperately because I got off on a tangent..but another friendship we've maintained over the years is with Ben's former coach from Butler and his wife....that's another fraternity I'm glad to be apart of - coaches' wives - because there are very few women who understand the travel schedules, the treat it is to be invited on a judging trip, the sly way we sneak in a vacation into a judging job, or the obligation to take notes about the shows the guys judge because we'll spend the ride home discussing the classes.
I'll end this unintented post with a small notes of thanks to all of our friends we've met through the course of his judging career. We truly enjoy and appreciate the small amount of time we get to spend together and look forward to the next trip.