Hospitality means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines . . . The paradox of hospitality is that it wants to create emptiness, not a fearful emptiness, but a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free; free to sing their own songs, speak their own languages, dance their own dances; free also to leave and follow their own vocations. Hospitality is not a subtle invitation to adore the lifestyle of the host, but the gift of a chance for the guest to fine his/her own.
Text excerpts taken from “You are the Beloved” by Henri J.M. Nouwen
Last April we celebrated five years of innkeeping at St Francis Cottage, and we continue to strive to serve and create a peaceful place of rest and renewal for our wonderful guests. We learn something new every day after engaging in conversation with all of you who have entered our doors these past years, for whom we are beyond thankful. Cheers to five more years, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise! Our business has grown consistently and exponentially since we opened in 2017, and the Good Lord has granted us excellent health, which we do not take for granted considering what an incredible gift it has been running the B&B by ourselves, day-in and day-out. It’s been refreshing to see more people traveling again to get together with family and friends for all kinds of events and occasions, and we are honored that you have chosen SFC as your evening stop-over or an extended destination.
The lively ”Louisiana Ladies” recently re-visited us for four days after having to leave early last year due to a rafting accident, resulting in a shattered shoulder for one of the ladies that required major surgery. Although it poured rain throughout their visit this year, it did not deter them one bit as they ventured out to ride horses and re-tackle the Ocoee River. They kept us laughing throughout their four-day stay, and we were sad to see this great group of ladies leave.
|Amanda, Debbie, Carla, Mary, Jamie, and Nicole|
The "Lively Louisiana Ladies," most of them back for their second stay at the cottage.
|Hiking to the Blue Hole near Chattanooga.|
|A "rest stop" during a five hour horse ride.|
|Braving the upper Ocoee River.|
Adventurous Judy and daughter Julia, both from Kentucky, came to Chattanooga to hang glide, crossing off one of Judy’s bucket-list items. They lit up the Cottage with their contagious joy and optimism.
|After five years, we finally sat down and enjoyed a breakfast with beautiful Pat from Florida, who has been a good friend and regular guest at SFC since we opened.|
Ella and Maria from Michigan, spent three days in Chattanooga
training for tournament fishing. NICE CATCHES!!
|Adriana and Chris, brought a Harvest of friendship from Alabama and were wonderful ambassadors to all our guests here at the Cottage.|
GROWING THE SFC MENU
|Summer fruit salads are always a refreshing first course.|
|After an abundance of Black Beauty zucchini in this year’s garden, Wallace’s zucchini waffles were a success, with a thumbs-up from all our guests!|
|On the lighter side, Avocado Toast with bacon and fried egg.|
|Our “Eggs Francis” with hash browns au gratin is a SFC breakfast mainstay:|
|Leave some room for our breakfast desserts!|
CHATTANOOGA HAPPENINGS – COME AND VISIT!
|Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials|
|Eric Gales wowing the very large crowd. Look and listen below.|
|We enjoyed the opening night at the new Coosa Mill to support the local Pop-Up Project, an inclusive, professional, and progressive arts and dance group based in Chattanooga.|
At the end of September we found a couple hours of free time on a Saturday afternoon, so we went for a short hike at a hidden gem of a park, Audubon Acres Nature Sanctuary, only 2 miles south of the B&B. If you are here to visit, it's a wonderfully tranquil, educational, and beautiful area set aside for preservation many years ago by the Chattanooga Audubon Society. We often have family passes available for guests. Come visit, learn, explore, and play.
|On the suspension bridge at Audubon acres with South Chickamauga Creek in the background.|
We had a blast traveling to Sacramento in May with Nancy’s sister Connie to celebrate our son’s graduation from UC Davis Law School. Michael has worked extremely hard these past years to put himself through college (graduated from UC Berkeley in 2016) and then on to law school after working for a global law firm in Palo Alto. Since graduating, Michael is working in Sacramento as an associate attorney at Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld, a labor rights firm with offices in Nevada, Hawaii, and throughout California.
|Graduation Day, May 14, 2022!|
Celebrating with Michael and girlfriend Anna in Davis, CA. Anna was a professional cheerleader and is currently finishing her double major in Forestry and Environmental Sciences at UC Berkeley.
|We took a fun trip to beautiful Lake Tahoe with Michael and Anna.|
Enjoying scrumptious Thai cuisine in Sacramento with Nancy’s sister, Connie,
from Noblesville, Indiana
|Yosemite National Park is beyond spectacular!|
Since Anna moved down to Berkeley from Sac, their cat Hellion keeps Michael company during the week. (Don’t even ask about the name . . .)
We don’t know if Michael was more excited about graduating or seeing his new pro rollerblading wheels and skate frame hit the market. "Men will be boys . . ."
As Michael was graduating from law school, we received word that the School Board voted our daughter Hannah as the new principal of Freedom International School, a middle-and-high school for refugees in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This position is truly Hannah’s dream job after teaching music and math at Freedom and falling in love with the students and dedicated staff.
She is passionate and excited about implementing changes and growing this new school to new levels. Our son-in-law Phil is a supportive husband and father to their four children while maintaining his position as a partner at MNP, a large Canadian accounting firm.
In anticipation that the US-Canadian border would finally open, we closed the B&B and drove to Winnipeg in August 2021 to hug our fantastic grands (and daughter/son-in-law, too!) We have missed them so much! The Caveys then made the long trip to Tennessee last March over their spring break, so we pulled out our canoes and kayaks and braved some chilly afternoons on the TN waterways along with visiting local attractions. Note: Since the GrandGuys are foster children, they are not allowed to be identifiable in any social media posts, thus the little hearts over their faces. It's a shame, because they are SO cute!!
|Assiniboine Park Zoo – August 2021|
|Beeps with the GrandGuys!|
|A day at the Tennessee Aquarium in March 2022|
|Grace, Amelia, & Hannah in our new canoe on Lake Chickamauga,|
near Chattanooga, Summer, 2022.
|Amelia mastered the Origami Paddler, a folding Kayak/SUP.|
Nice toy. Too bad the company went belly up.
|Big Guy guiding the way on the Creek at Greenway Farms, Chattanooga, 2022.|
Summer 2022 – Enjoying a Cavey family vacation to Nova Scotia
and Prince Edward Island. Notice that Grace (almost 13) is as tall as Hannah!
|Grace will be our pastry chef at SFC for a couple of weeks next summer, and we can’t wait for her to join us in the kitchen while earning some money for college.|