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Thursday, May 20, 2010
The Gardens In Tennessee
Frances is proud of her brother Frank's gardening skills!
Fresh onions, lettuce, and cabbage all came from Frank's garden.
What a blessing to have a brother-in-law (Frank Hildreth) who likes to garden! And - it's even better that he likes to share the produce grown with family and friends. Yesterday, since we were getting together with two of Frances' brothers and one sister and all their spouses for an evening meal at the Outback in Chattanooga, he came to our house early and brought a bag full of "the first-fruits" from this year's work and said something like "This is for the preacher who married us last year!." He must have been reading the book of Exodus in his Bible because that's where God laid down the principle of honoring him with these words: Exodus 23:19 "The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God..." Thank you Frank and Jan!
For those that may not know - Frank's first wife died almost two years ago and new wife Jan works for the state of Tennessee and is working in Chattanooga this week. She's a sweet lady and we all love her. We get together with them whenever work brings her down our way.
That paragraph reminded me of the radio preacher I heard once. While preaching on Malachi 3:10 he said, "People's always a askin me wher th storehouse is - I'll tell ya wher it is - It's rat 'cheere in my hip pocket!" Of course we know that the storehouse is in God's house. But then that's another separate blog. lol.
Frank tells us that as a boy he hated gardening with a passion (or anything that would be called work). His Dad, however, would make him help dig up the ground, plant the crops and weed the garden too. Frank told us that his Dad would "whip" him if he acted like he didn't want to garden much. "One day", Frank said, "I asked Daddy how much money he would have to have to sell the lot where we were working. Daddy, brightened up and said, 'Well, son, for you ... uh ... If you had this lot, what would you do with it?'" Frank paused for impact. "If I owned it we wouldn't plant anything on it!" And what did Daddy do? Reached for a limb ... with the words, 'Boy! I'll wear you out!" Now you can see the longing in his eye as he tells that story - then asks in wistful tones, "Reckon Daddy knows how much I love it now?"
Shortly after Frank's arrival, we were joined by Elizabeth (Frances' sister) and her husband Curtis Fritts. We all went to the local Chick-fil-A and had a light lunch...then Curtis and Beth were off to Hamrick's in Ft Oglethorpe, GA to shop. We (Frank, Frances and I) went back to our house where Frank proceeded to give me some pointers about gardening. My five little tomato plants are doing o.k. - and the grapes we transplanted last fall are showing some signs of life. No grapes forming yet, but there are some new branches popping out on 6 of the 10 vines. We discovered that bugs were already hungrily attacking some of the leaves and at Frank's recommendation I applied some Seven-Dust.
Frank, Elizabeth, Curtis at Chick-fil-A
All five of us at Chick-fil-A, courtesy of folks at the table next to us!
We had a wonderful (wonder-full) visit at the house - then drove down to Chattanooga to eat dinner together at the Outback. As usual, I over-ate, and needed some Gaviscon! I don't eat that much...just the 9oz.steak and fries with a salad and sweet tea. No dessert. Honest! Although four others ordered ice-cream and chocolate I did not eat a single bite of it. Oh - and I did have a cup of de-caf coffee while they ate their desserts.
- 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.