Thank You, 2020 | Blog Takeover + Reflection

Blog Takeover + Reflection featuring Glass House Collective Creative Strategist, Erika Roberts

Happy Holidays! 

I hope that you have had some amazing moments with your family. I hope that you made new traditions and honored the old ones. I hope that you ate well and slept uninterrupted. 

Thank you for spending time with my words…

Dive in! 

What a year!! 

No matter where you are in the world, we can all agree that 2020 is a year that we will never forget. It has left its distinct fingerprint on all of our lives.  We’ve experienced a lot together. 

I imagine that in years to come lessons from this year will be revealing itself to us. We will have a deeper understanding of the things that happened. Purposes were defined. 

Trusting the process became a walk of life for many. We saw the world’s issues through a lens of stillness. We took in deep breaths and spoke our truths. We eliminated life’s clutter and focused on those important things. We cherished our time by honoring the present. We talked more about  

Being gentle with ourselves which has become our daily mantra. 

This year has been challenging and rewarding both at the same exact time.  We pushed ourselves into brave conversations around politics and racism. Those conversations are not over with either. We still have a long way to go. 

I began writing the first blog takeover not long after we went into shutdown. 


“For this time, from my tears the words flow.

Letters sliding down my face…leaving a bitter trace

if only the watchers knew …that these wet blades of feelings

hurt like the coldest fire…like the driest heat…

these shards of liquid glass cloud my eyes as they lock under my chin

collecting themselves waiting on the leap of faith waiting

to be wiped away into a tissue of forgetfulness.”



I remember the unrest I felt as I wrote about real life. I felt heavy. I truly felt a deep sense of responsibility to be vulnerable, no matter what.











Poetry …always.

I am thankful for what this year has brought and for what it will continue to bring. I cried a lot this year but I wasn’t particularly sad. 


Tears from isolation.

Tears from fear.

Tears from missing the stage.

Tears from politics.

Tears for Breonna Taylor.

Tears for George Floyd.

Tears for freedom.

…thankful for it all


My thankfulness is in no way showing disrespect toward those that suffered this year. We all have suffered and sacrificed in order to stay sane. This was a pause. We had to be still and take it in. 

I honor those that lost their loved ones to Covid-19. May they find comfort and peace. 

I know that there is a lesson in all things. We may not see it right now but in due time it will be present. As we enter these last days of this year, let’s focus on what we will take with us to 2021. I will take an open mind and a receiving heart. I encourage everyone to take stock of 2020 and be thankful.  


Dear 2020, 

I hope this finds you well. Not everyone is a fan of yours and that’s quite ok. Thank you for providing a space of stillness so that we can reconnect with our purposes. Thank you for giving us permission to cry.

Thank you for being patient. 

We will look back to this moment in time and be humbled & proud. Thank you for being aware and for being ready. 

Thank you, 2020.

Happy Holidays.

Happy Kwanzaa! 

Cheers to 2020.

Welcome Save-A-Lot to the Glass Street Gateway!

We can’t let this year end without stopping here for one minute to welcome the opening of the Save-A-Lot Grocery store.

It’s hard to believe that it was only just last year in May of 2019 when the  headline of the Chattanooga Times Free Press read “$2 Million Grocery Store Planned for Dodson Avenue in Chattanooga.” We also know we join so many East Chattanooga community members who have been long-time advocates for intersection improvements at Dodson and Glass. The anticipation and hope for this moment go back too many years. 

When our work in the neighborhood began in 2012 as we started to have conversations with Glass Farm residents and business owners to imagine a cleaner, safer and more inviting area, we focused much of our collective energy on the opposite end of the commercial corridor, at the intersection of Glass Street and North Chamberlain Avenue as a major node of activity and tactical activations. 

By 2016 our work together started to focus on the other end of Glass, the intersection of Dodson, with an idea to “book end” the corridor and we did what we do to decide our next steps: community dinners to gain input, temporary streetscapes and more resident input surveys, tree-planting along Dodson Avenue, and even temporarily relocating Glass Street Live. Why? To test ideas. To let planners and investors know what the community wants and needs. To keep the volume up on these issues and let our leaders know we’re watching and ready to level up. Sometimes these short term changes can lead to long term permanent change!

Today, as our community continues to work together with city partners to create a vision for a renewed Glass Street Pedestrian Gateway, we welcome our newest neighbor, partner, valued resource and commercial anchor, Save-A-Lot. Congratulations to the hundreds of Glass Farm and Boyce Station residents who have worked so hard to get us here! 

Chattanooga Times-Free Press – Save-A-Lot Opens In East Chattanooga… , Nov2020

Drive-Thru Nativity Production Coming To Glass Street

As the end of 2020 comes into view, one thing is universally clear: the importance of family, community, and our relationships with one another.  It is also clear that the long-established, working, and emerging bonds between stakeholders on Glass Street are not only strong but incredibly open-hearted. 

Earlier this month, Tina Stewart, Co-Owner/ Director of First Step Christian Childcare Development Center at 2633 Glass Street, reached out to Glass Street businesses and nonprofits like ours, inviting us all to help she and her daughters Rosalyn and Kahla “bring something different into the East Chattanooga community this holiday season.”  The Stewart family was quickly hosting a zoom meeting with more than a dozen people from the neighborhood listening to their joyful idea with everyone offering heaps of help.

Please mark your calendars for “Welcome To Bethlehem” on Saturday, December 19 from 6 pm-9pm when the 2500 block of Glass Street is transformed into a drive-thru nativity scene complete with modern themes that take travelers through the story of Mary’s visit with Gabriel to a fully-produced live manger scene. The Chattanooga Choral Society will also provide caroling alongside shepherds and wisemen. 

Rosayln, who grew up with her younger sister, Kahla, visiting drive-through nativity scenes each holiday, thinks it’s a perfect idea. 

“Right now, We know there are families and children here in this area stressed out. Everyone is. We feel as a family that it would be a really great idea and a way to give back to other families in the area,” she said. 

But the Stewarts didn’t stop there. They also knew that by using creativity to intentionally involve Glass Street stakeholders to make it happen, it was also a way to “realize what we can get done together if we work together with a vision for the community’, she said.  

Tina, Rosalyn, and Kahla, Thank you! Keep inspiring us and y’all please come out to support the community on 12/19.  Learn more on the Facebook Event page.

East Chattanooga is Bursting with Gratitude & Generosity!

Once a month since the early weeks of the pandemic various East Chattanooga leadership and community voices gather via zoom for updates and support. Our most recent noontime “Meet & Eat” as we’ve come to call them, was no different. In fact, it seemed supercharged! East Chattanooga is definitely bursting with gratitude and generosity. Get […]

They did us a solid. Now we’re paying it forward with #TakeoutTuesday.

We’d like to say a big thank you to all the restaurants that have supported Glass House on past Giving Tuesdays. Read more