1349 Gunbarrel Road, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421

Monday, August 19, 2019

Summer 2019 -- Gratitude, Changes, and a Reunion!

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”  Dr. Anil Kumar Sinha

SUMMER 2019 is coming to a close, and we’re grateful for each-and-every guest who has entered the SFC doors!   It’s been a blast hosting our best-ever guests, who continue to fill our lives with their stories of adventurous travels throughout the USA and beyond.  We can’t say “thank you” enough for choosing SFC as your place to lay your heads for a night or two, three, or four while passing through or exploring Chattanooga.

BTW, we are very grateful to Chatter Magazine for publishing an article on SFC.  Click HERE to read the article.

2019 Ironman 70.3 

We were honored to host Dana and Mark from Chicago for Chattanooga’s Ironman event sponsored by McKee Bakery that was held on May 17-May 19th. Although both Dana and Mark are triathletes, only Dana participated in this year’s event with Mark serving as her "cheerleader-in-chief."  After serving breakfast to a full house, Wallace and I scrambled downtown to cheer Dana and other participants on to the finish line, and she performed extremely well, finishing 23rd in her division.

It’s a pleasure for us to accommodate all special dietary needs at SFC, including diabetes, heart-healthy, gluten and lactose-free, vegetarian, vegan, Keto, etc., and providing a to-go, carb-heavy breakfast “snack” at 4:00 am for our Ironman participants.  The Little Debbie Ironman will be held on September 29th, so make your reservations now!

Gifts to SFC

Wallace's brother, Bruce, and his wife, Barbara stopped by the Cottage on their way to Texas in May to visit one of their sons in Austin.  As usual we had a great time catching up on family news, seeing pictures of new nieces and nephews, and generally enjoying a great visit.  While here, Barbara shared pictures and real examples of her latest crochet work and blessed us with a new Afghan for the library couch (her third such gift to the B&B). THANK YOU, dear sister-in-law!!

Dale, longtime friend from our Habitat for Humanity years at the headquarters in Americus Georgia, visited us on his way home to Michigan from Florida this summer and presented us with a set of uniquely-crafted wooden dice.  (Dale’s wife Beth remained in Michigan with her demanding career in management with Fifth Third Bank.) Retired from his longtime pastorate with the United Methodist Church and as a Director with Habitat for Humanity, Dale has become an accomplished woodworker now that he has more time to devote to his artistic passions.  We now proudly display our dice set on the foyer podium for all to see.  Thank you, Dale!

Return guests Gina and Lloyd from Brownsboro, Texas presented us with a custom set of corn hole boards with regulation, professional bags in June, which left us utterly speechless as we stared at these perfectly-detailed works of art.  Lloyd is a principal in the Texas public school system who is gifted with diverse artistic talents, including art, woodworking, music, cooking, etc.  Wallace and Lloyd enjoyed an evening of corn hole "competition" in the backyard (Wallace won maybe 3 throws out of over 100) while Gina and Nancy chatted over a glass of wine and cheered on the hubbies.  After Wallace installed a set of sturdy hooks, our SFC corn hole boards are now a stunning art feature on the exterior back wall (when they are not in use).  We cannot thank Lloyd, Gina, and their son, Hudson, enough for such an incredible, one-of-a-kind gift! 

Musicians, Pam Gadd and Paige O'Neill visited the Cottage for a short "writers" getaway recently and left us with this musical gift that they agreed to let us share with all of you.  This short Jam session, was the first time they had played this song together that was written by Paige.  It was a lot of fun getting to witness this creativity.  We are looking at having some music based weekends at SFC in the not too distant future.  Thank you, Ladies!

SFC Detention Pond

An Innkeeper’s life involves wearing many hats, and since the Hamilton County Storm Water Pollution Control Program regulations require grass around the retention pond, Wallace promptly researched the options and we were on a roll, grass sod rolls, that is.  Super Sod, a wonderfully helpful grass sod company based in Cartersville, Georgia, delivered 1,000 square feet of sod in 2 ft x 5 ft rolls along with an enormous “bag” of organic humus compost, and Wallace and I along with an amazing friend, Alex, from Wisconsin, hopped to it.  On the first day, Wallace maneuvered in the pond as he and Alex installed the first two rows while I shoveled and spread the compost.  Alex was an enormous help carrying those 60-70 lb. rolls, and he saved us days of extra work!  Since Alex had to leave the next morning, Wallace and I finished up, laying the third row and beginning the watering process.  We now are in compliance with the grass growing nicely around the pond.  Thank you, Alex!

Recent Upgrades

We continue to explore ways to make SFC a better place to stay.  Wallace installed Google Home Minis in each guest room, which include the full Google Play music library for our guest's listening pleasure.  The Minis also quickly find and announce information regarding local restaurants and tourist sites, weather, directions and can respond to a myriad of random queries.

We both worked on a “bench-lift” project, sanding it down, priming, and adding three coats of bright red paint Wallace found at Habitat ReStore. To compliment the backyard fountain Wallace constructed last year, he added a patio area with Adirondack chairs in front of it.

Guests recommended a microwave in the common area to heat up leftovers or delivered meals, which is now available near the kitchen.

We are currently researching hot tubs/spas, and since the 220 line is already installed, Wallace will construct the base, overlying roof and surrounding platform directly off the back deck for our guest’s convenience.  Hopefully, we will offer that amenity by year’s end or shortly thereafter as we await Black Friday sales.

It’s a gift beyond measure to have a brilliant, technical, creative and artistic “handyman husband” who actually enjoys the multi-faceted challenges of solving daily problems at the B&B, and Wallace has already saved us many thousands of dollars in repair, construction and installation costs over the past 2+ years.  "He who works with his hands is a labourer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist." ~St. Francis of Assisi   Thank you hubby of 40 years!

Lake Erie Family Reunion

Thanks to the immense generosity of Joe and Jenny Clemens, Nancy’s brother and sister-in-law from Chicago, 27 family members enjoyed a spectacular week of fun and relaxation at the 13-bedroom Rock of Ages home on Marblehead Peninsula, just miles away from Port Clinton, Ohio, the area where Nancy’s family settled in the 1800’s.  Since our son Michael was in the middle of his California law school move, he was unable to attend, but daughter Hannah and family arrived in force from Winnipeg, MB along with other relatives from Chicago, Richmond, VA, Noblesville and Fort Wayne, IN, and Austin, TX.

Each family provided delish, abundant meals every evening, saving everyone from the expense and inconvenience of dining out (and accommodating ten children’s’ preferences and schedules).

From daring the rides at Cedar Point amusement park to touring the old Clemens home and enjoying local parks and sites, to just sitting around and enjoying the grands and relatives, it was a perfectly memorable week.

Thank you, Joe and Jenny!

Until next time . . .

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