Have you missed me?
As I sit here and reflect on the FANTASTIC CRUISE Frances and I took from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to St. Maartens, St Lucia, and St. Kitts aboard the Carnival Miracle, my body is still swaying to the gentle roll of the great ship. It was indeed a "once in a life-time" thing. I was in the Coast Guard for four years, so I had been on ships both large and small but I was not prepared for this experience. It was a royal treat to have coffee already made (24 hours a day) and waiting for one to turn on the spigot and draw out a cup full of the full-bodied aromatic blend that only a sailor can make! Can you believe 24 hours a day fresh Pizza? Exotic Asian foods of every sort? Escargot, Kalamari, Shrimp, Red Snapper, Tilapia, baked, grilled, fried, grits, gravy eggs benedict, boiled eggs, omelette of your choice, French toast, pancakes, bacon, sirloin steaks every night - or your choice of a dozen entrees...too much to consume and too much to remember it all. This was the third vacation we have taken in the last nine years so I was ready for it. Now it's time to get back to work - but - waaaaaaaaaaashhhhhhhh! I don't wanna gooooooooooo!
We were with friends from Lenoir City - Frances' sister andbrother-in-law Curtis and Elizabeth Fritts, Ron and Priscilla Tarpley, Tom and Barbara Evensen, together with Roy and Geneva Hamilton. The fellowship with them while experiencing this trip was like icing on the cake. Our getting onto the ship, relaxing aboard ship, the sight-seeing trips into the islands, going through customs and immigration, were all made more pleasant because of this company.
One thing I must tell you about is the fact that there was a chapel on board the ship. On Sunday, our tour leader (Barbara Evensen) had made arrangements for us to have a worship time in the chapel and asked me to be the speaker. It was a wonderful thing for me to be able share my heart with these friends.
OK - gotta get to work! Ugh.
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- Fred Alton
- Cleveland, TN, United States
- I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.