This was Frances after returning from Church on Sunday, March 8, 2010. She was having a good day. Isn't that a radiant smile on a beautiful woman's face? All of the people at church loved and hugged on her because they had not seen her in several months. It had been a year since her heart by-pass surgery and (from her appearance this day) she was well on the way to being completely healed.
Here, if you observe very carefully, you can see one of the fishermen I saw fishing from the bank of the Hiwassee river. The dam below here (at Chattanooga) hss been opened to let water through during the winter - then the spring rains will fill it up! It will probably come up at least 10 feet.
This boat is the only one I saw on the water in about three hours. It reminds me that I need to get my boat in for service before long. When I last used it, I noticed that the boat was taking on an unusual amount of water when big boats passed me while I had stopped to fish. It took me forever to figure it out...but someone had borrowed my boat last year and changed the hose connection so that when I turn on the bilge pump it pumps bilge water into my live well. And he thought he was "fixing" the boat. Arrrrrrghhhh!
There is a cave on the side of the river, directly across from the "ole' swimmin' hole that I have noticed before. I want to explore it, but have not taken the time for doing that. There are many such caves throughout Tennessee. I remember a church member of Dad's in Middle Tennessee (at Campaign) who used to get his drinking water from a cave in a 50 gallon drum. Caves are interesting places. In most caves the temperature is relatively stable - meaning "cool in the summer" and "warm in the winter".
Ye Ole' Swimmin' Hole!
I have many many many pleasant memories of going to the "Swimmin' Hole". Not this exact place, but in similar places in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida our Daddy took us swimming. This might be a good blog subject at a later date.
I drove out to the Hiwassee River yesterday, March 9, just to get out of the house. It seemed like I was about to go "stir crazy" after such weather for the past month or so. Of course I have been out - but not as much as I like to be. nor for the reasons I most enjoy. I've been to the store to buy groceries. I've been out to eat lunch with my girl-friend. I've been to church. But I like to get out and "ramble". No appointment. No deadline to meet. Just see a road and drive down it. See an interesting looking trail (whether an approved hiking trail or not) and get out and walk. The weather was 70 degrees the day before (Monday) and it had made me want to be out on the river or out in the open. It was shining enough that Frances had opened the kitchen door to let the sunshine into the house - through the storm door. I suggested to Frances during breakfast that we should take some weiners and a cold drink and go to the river where I could build a camp-fire and have lunch of hot dogs and chili on the river. She declined. So ... sometime after lunch I "took off" by myself to ramble along the rivers edge. I did find a few people out. The key to that sentence was "few". There was one boater that I saw. As I drove along the river south of Charleston I observed two guys fishing from the bank. Checked out the "ole swimmin' hole" and
saw that someone has nailed "steps" onto a tree trunk that hangs over the water. When the water comes up six more feet (and it will soon) this will be a wonderful place to play in the water. Directly across the road from that site is what I believe to be a cave. Altho I have noticed it before, I have yet to check it out. Maybe this summer I will.
Here is a sign of Spring! Look at this lovely creature! And God sent her to be my wife!
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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.