1349 Gunbarrel Road, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421

Saturday, June 13, 2020

COVID-19 and SPRING PROJECTS at the Cottage

COVID-19 and SPRING PROJECTS at the Cottage

Rose Bloom closeup
Spring 2020 changed all of our lives forever as we slowly learned to live with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As everyone’s lives came to a fearful stand-still by the end of February, we learned to appreciate each other more and to limit our lives to the essentials as much as possible.  Since business at St Francis Cottage slowed down to accommodate Florida travelers returning to their homes in the North, we had time to reflect and adjust to the “new normal” of our personal and business lives.  

Wallace showing homemade masks

Wallace pulled out the sewing machine and made masks since all vendors were sold out. 

Nancy serving dressed in Covid mask and gloves

After just having completed installing a new hot tub/spa with additional deck area that we featured in our last blog entry, Wallace also took advantage of the additional low-occupancy time by installing a seven-layer soundproofing wall between the Monarch and Cardinal rooms.  

Soundproofing wall layer one

Soundproofing wall layer two

Soundproofing wall layer three

Soundproofing wall layer four

Soundproofing wall layer six

Soundproofing wall layer seven

Soundproofing wall layer seven finished

Soundproofing wall completed

Nancy survived the furlough/lay-offs at her downtown job and set up a temporary home office (with Mini supervising) while her department communicates daily via Microsoft Teams.

Nancy working from home with helper Mini Bobo

Nancy’s also on a mission with her Bialetti Stovetop Expresso Maker, which was an innkeeper-warming gift from friends Janette and Zach Darnelle.  Janette is an attorney at Nancy’s office and is Cuban-descent from Miami, so she, along with husband Zach, are experts on café con leche, or café Cubano.  After watching about 20 YouTube tutorials, Nancy has been experimenting with perfecting the “perfect cup,” trying to re-create fond memories of sharing this South Florida delicacy with daughter Hannah while vacationing in the Florida Keys.  

Nancy and her new espresso tools

Recent anniversary guests David and Loren agreed to indulge (well, only David since his family is Cuban and from Miami as well), and David gave us a two-thumbs up.

David enjoying the Cafe con Leche experiment


As we approached our third anniversary of opening St Francis Cottage during a quiet mid-April, we were grateful and thankful for the many guests who have entered our doors since 2017, from 47 U.S. States to Western Europe, to South Africa, South Korea and New Zealand.  Our pinned map evidences that we have been BUSY for the past three years, with over 30% of our guests returning.

U. S. Map, pinned by guests December 2017
December, 2017

U.S. Map pinned by guests June, 2020
June, 2020


With three summers of above-average rainfall from 2017 through 2019, the greenery has filled in creating a cozier and welcoming atmosphere as guests arrive.  It’s always good to stop, look back and see progress even when life doesn’t look too hopeful.

Front of St Francis Cottage 2017

Front of St Francis Cottage 2020


Back gardens at St Francis Cottage 2017

Back gardens at St Francis Cottage 2020


Leyland Cypress Front Drive St Francis Cottage 2017

Leyland Cypress Front Drive St Francis Cottage 2020


St Francis Cottage Driveway 2017

St Francis Cottage Driveway 2020


Back garden Celtic Cross walkway 2017

Back garden Celtic Cross walkway 2020


St Francis Cottage Front Oval Garden 2017

St Francis Cottage Front Oval Garden 2020


New St Francis Cottage Directional Sign 2020


Thank God for all the special, quiet spaces that were refuges for all of us during the sheltering-in months.  We rarely felt the need to “escape” as a walk outdoors provided the encouragement we needed to keep pressing forward during challenging moments.  We pray for the millions of people who have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet along with those and their families who have succumbed to the coronavirus, or have missed out on important life events due to the new normal.  

Residence property one

Residence property two

Residence property three

St Michael Statue at residence


Frequent guests, Kelly and Caylie Cox and Kelly's Mom (Mimi), Pat Brogdon celebrated Caylie's graduation from middle school with a long stay at the Cottage!  We are SO proud of this talented and bright young lady. We look forward to her many upcoming achievements in school and beyond.  CONGRATULATIONS!

Nancy, Brogdon, Caylie Cox, Kelly Cox at St Francis Cottage


We enjoyed a full house of 15 wonderful guests this past weekend at St Francis Cottage, and the phone has been constantly ringing with new reservations, THANKS be to God!  We hope and pray that your lives are full of hope for the future as we enter Summer 2020.  May we learn to walk TOGETHER to build a new tomorrow, with equity and justice for all.   Wallace took a photo of the sunrise as he made the daily walk from our home to the Cottage to prepare breakfast and was encouraged by God’s message of hope for a new day in America.  Let’s press on together!

Sunrise June 10, 2020

Call 423-400-4177 By 8 pm on September 21, 2020 to get this 15% discount on any reservation.
Give us the discount code listed above when you call.  Discount limited to a single reservation per person or family between June 16, 2020 and June 15, 2121.  Standard cancellation policies apply.


  1. WOW great story! I'm hoping to come put a pin in your map later this month!

  2. We are from Canada and stayed at St. Francis for 2 nights in early spring of 2019. The experience was the highlight of of our 10 day trip. We highly recommend it to anyone traveling through the area. The hospitality and relaxed atmosphere can't be beat. We hope to one day be able to stay again.

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