Irmo-Chapin Life - July21'

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1400 Chapin Rd, Chapin, SC 29036 6 | IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | JULY/AUGUST 2021

12 INSIDE the ISSUE irmo-chapin’s

Have you ever had braces on your teeth? If so, you understand. If not, consider yourself about to be educated. My youngest son, Noah, recently turned 14 and had top and bottom braces installed last week on his teeth. In my opinion, the set of teeth you get in your mouth is highly reliant on the genetics of your mother and father. In other words, our family was in trouble. I had braces twice as a kid and so have my daughter and wife. Noah was excited to get braces. However, his excitement soon wore off when his sore gums and teeth were extremely sensitive. He was limited to a diet of “mushy” foods that he could eat without really chewing. For a week, his diet comprised of Rush’s milkshakes, KFC mashed potatoes, and Bojangles mac & cheese. A small part of me was envious. I sometimes forget about suffering through wearing a headgear at night, retainers, wires poking into cheeks, rubber bands and the dreaded orthodontist visits when the braces are tightened, and you have sore teeth all over again. Noah has been a good sport through it all and I am thankful that we are able to afford orthodontic care for our family. He has been great brushing after meals and, as if on cue, his voice has begun cracking like Peter on the Brady Bunch. Adolescence is upon him this summer. Please be sure to nominate your favorite local businesses at: or irmochapinlife. com. Have a great summer and enjoy all our wonderful area has to offer. Thanks Mom & Dad for making me a “metal mouth” as a kid. I appreciate it more now than you will ever know. Thanks for reading, Todd Shevchik


12 Local Open Air Markets 18 Back to School Shopping Budget Tips 22 Warrior PATHH Program 28 Lessons from the Teacher 32 The Power of Getting Lost

COLUMNS 9 Faith Matters 39 David Clark

DEPARTMENTS 7 From the Publisher 8 Events 11 Lexington Leader

Kristi An

tley, Kim Curl Donna Sh ee, Cam Soltysiak, evchik, To Tr dd Shevch acy Tuten, ik,



CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Renee Love, Wendy McAlister, Jackie Perrone, Marcy Roberts, Kim Becknell Williams

DIRECTOR OF SALES Donna Shevchik • 803-518-8853

STAFF PHOTO BY Clark Berry Photography

EDITOR Kristi Antley EDITOR EMERITUS Allison Caldwell ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Tracy Tuten • 803-603-8187 GRAPHIC DESIGN Jane Carter Kim Curlee

CONTACT US: 5483 Sunset Blvd., Unit G, Lexington, SC 29072 • 803.356.6500





Saturday, July 10th Midlands Women’s Fair Columbia Convention Center, 110 Lincoln St., Columbia, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Come out to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center to get pampered, shop and have fun with the women in your life! This FREE event features dozens of vendors with products, services, and information for women PLUS FREE chair massages, photo booth, brow waxing, airbrush & henna tattoos, manicures, self-defense classes and much more. And of course lots of shopping! Visit for more information and tickets. Saturday, July 24th and Sunday, July 25th S. C. Carolina Arms Collectors Gun and Knife Show Jamil Shrine Center, 206 Jamil Rd., Columbia, Saturday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Whether you’re in the market for something or not, going to a gun show is always fun and can be an educational social event. Ticket prices are $10 adults, $8 with military ID, 12 Yrs. & under are free when accompanied by an adult. For more information refer to Friday, August 6 Brew at the Zoo Riverbanks Zoo, 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, 7:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Stroll through the zoo and sample a variety of specialty imported, domestic, and micro-brews while enjoying live entertainment. General admission $60, members $50. Visit for full details and tickets. Sunday, August 29 Lake Murray Bridal Show Seven Oaks Park, 200 Leisure Ln., Columbia, 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Getting ready for that big day? Browse this local bridal event for wedding tips, presentations, demonstrations, samples, food tastings, live entertainment and door prizes! Advance tickets are $7, $10 at the door. For more information and to buy tickets visit

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How to Deal with the Stress of Worry

H A P P Y I N D E P E N D E N C E D AY !

There is a problem with worry: It doesn’t work! It is very unhelpful, it is unreasonable, and it is unhealthy. Choose instead to believe that God will take care of you! The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need (Psalm 23:1). He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young (Isaiah 40:11). And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). How do I let God take care of me? Apply these 3 tips: 1. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd... my sheep know me... they listen to my voice, and they follow me” (John 10:14, 27). 2. Begin praying… about everything! (really!) Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6–7). Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7). 3. Focus on one day at a time. Jesus: So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today (Matthew 6:34). Give us today the food we need (Matthew 6:11). These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need (Matthew 6:32–33).


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Discover Local

Open-Air Markets See our story on page 12





irmo-chapin by Jackie Perrone

Amy Carter South Carolina’s newest Teacher of the Year (TOY) is heading out for a year away from her favorite place in the world, the classroom. Amy Carter, 2022 TOY will serve as an Ambassador for Education, and during her full-time assignment, she will spend one year traveling our state to support and encourage quality education for every student. That will suit her just fine. Carter’s impressive background includes extensive training, certification, and experience in improving professionalism in the classroom, along with expanding technology that requires constant upgrading. Since starting her teaching career 22 years ago, she has led workshops and presentations throughout the Midlands and even outside the state, focusing on improving the technology, websites, and leadership in the schools. It seems that teachers never stop learning. Amy Carter grew up in Snellville, GA, earning a BS in Education from the University of Georgia. When she married Brian Carter, their first home was in Chester, SC, where Brian began his career in law enforcement, but very soon after, he was recruited to a position in city administration in West Columbia. Amy began teaching at Chapin High School, and during her third year there was named Teacher of the Year. For six years after that, she taught at Dutch Fork High School, and she returned to Chapin High in 2010. In 2012, Carter earned her Master’s in Educational Technology at the University of South Carolina. In 2019, she headed the Teacher Cadet program at Chapin High. This noteworthy program, designed for high school seniors who are considering a teaching career, provides one semester of study, followed by a semester of internship in an actual classroom. These opportunities are integrated into their full load of senior courses, as these students begin planning their college studies. The program has been widely praised and emulated in other states. Sometimes outside teachers come to Chapin for a visit to see how it works before going back home to start Teacher Cadet at

their own schools. Although a teacher of English and literature, Amy Carter took advantage of many technology opportunities that came along and has led the way in helping classrooms embrace today’s hi-tech tools. She has described the iPad and Edmodo as “Cool Tools” for enhancing instruction. For the past 10 years, she has written papers and delivered presentations setting forth ideas for using these modern aids to improve the learning experience. If “Jing” and “Snagit” sound like foreign terms to you, this lady is your best bet to make them clear. It’s safe to assume that this Ambassador will open technology doors for a lot of classroom teachers in South Carolina as she makes her way around the state for the next year. Amy and Brian are parents of two children, Emma, a high school senior, and Garrison, in 7th grade. Lastly, the South Carolina Teacher of the Year will also be competing for the national title, National Teacher of the Year. Amy Carter just might show the country how things can be done in South Carolina and bring home another crown. Stay tuned. n






Open-Air Markets to Discover & Explore by Kim Becknell Williams


Open-air markets

offer the best of everything local, from fresh veggies, fruits, artwork, and hand-made crafts to live music, cooking demonstrations, and free tastings. With the onset of the pandemic last year, the concept of open-air markets became extremely popular as more people chose to be outside when shopping. Customers who attend the markets are in for a treat; many times the actual producer or creator of an offering is available for one-on-one conversation and interaction, making the shopping experience personal and intimate. Locals also have the opportunity to run into neighbors and connect with the community while grabbing a lemonade, Kombucha, or a cup of coffee with a fresh pastry. Whether you live in Lexington, Chapin, Columbia, or West Columbia, there is something for everyone at the open-air market! What are you waiting for?

COLUMBIA Soda City Market Regardless of the weather, Soda City never stops! Situated between the 13001600 blocks on Main Street, this weekly community event is open Saturdays all year from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Ample parking is available and free on Saturdays. So, whether you walk up, ride your bike, or drive, this event is easily accessible, and you can bring your leashed pet along with you. There are no public restrooms associated with the market, but facilities are

available at local participating businesses with purchase. Nearly 120 vendors set up to display their wares, always drawing a crowd of around 3,000 each Saturday. Bringing that many people to the market is a huge benefit to the market vendors as well as local businesses in the area. People are drawn to the market for many reasons. “Soda City Market is a producers-only market featuring vendors who cater to your brain, body, and belly,” Erin Curtis, Soda City Operations Director wrote in an email. “Inspired by traditional European street markets, Soda City Market is a microcosm of Columbia, a melting pot of cultures, and an inviting community experience worth making a part of your regular weekend routine.” Browsing market goers might find bottled barbeque sauces and rubs, elderberry syrup, fresh veggies and fruit, specialty cooking oils, or farm fresh eggs. This culinary and shopping extravaganza also includes live entertainment and handson activities, depending on the schedule. Curtis explains that the music and entertainment are permitted by City of Columbia licensed buskers who perform for donations. “Soda City Market is an exemplar public-private partnership with the City of Columbia,” Curtis explained. “The market has always been self-funded and continues to have a large economic impact.” This market offers community members to help the economy and help other locals. “The market generates over 3 million dollars in taxable gross sales annually and is responsible for generating hundreds of business JULY/AUGUST 2021



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licenses since its inception,” Curtis said. “In peak season, the market contributes to over 500 individuals’ paychecks per Saturday and thousands of paychecks over the course of a year. Additionally, [at] Soda City Market, no public monies, including hospitality tax funds, are accepted.” LEXINGTON The Market at Icehouse Amphitheater and Pavilion This beautiful venue is located right off Main Street in Lexington, conveniently located within a few steps of popular restaurants, unique bars, and community parks. The market is open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. every Saturday from May 22 to September 25 (except July 3). More than 1,000 public parking spaces are available, surrounded by picturesque landscaping and city landmarks. You’ll find locally grown produce, food trucks, live music, crafts, and artwork as you browse vendors beneath the newly completed pavilion and open lot areas. Every week during late spring, summer, and early fall, families and individuals enjoy spending Saturday mornings perusing the market. Members of the community can shop local and keep their hard-earned dollars in the area. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are allowed, so even Fido can join in the fun; restrooms and water fountains are also available on site. “The Market gives the community the opportunity to see what local farmers, artists, and vendors have to offer in one con-

venient stop. It gives people the chance to see the talent and resources we have right here in our backyard and gives farmers the opportunity to educate the community on the benefits of eating fresh, local produce.” said Laurin Barnes, Communications Manager – Town of Lexington. “There are many vendors who don’t have a brickand-mortar shop, so this gives them exposure to people from all over who come to The Market.” From week to week, this market might look a little different, with ever-changing variety. “There are different vendors each week, so it’s an experience everyone can enjoy again and again,” Barnes explained. CHAPIN Chapin Downtown Farmer’s Market The Town of Chapin is growing rapidly, and it shows! If you are visiting for the day or the weekend, or you are a long-time resident of the area, don’t miss the Chapin Downtown Farmer’s Market, located on the 100 Clark Street block. The market is open seasonally 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month from May-October (the market is held July 10 this year due to the July 4th holiday weekend). It is a popular event; be aware that some vendors sell out early due to high demand. Several public parking areas are located nearby, including locations at the Wells Fargo, the Crawford Center, and Beaufort Street and portable potties are provided. Local farmers, growers, and artisans are well-represented at the market, along with an array of vendors and plenty of food options. Tables of fresh produce, baskets




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overflowing with colorful fruit, and hand-crafted items are just some of the treasures market goers will discover. “Each market features live music, demonstrations, and activities for children presented by the Chapin Branch Library,” said Nicholle Burroughs, Director of Public Affairs. “The Chapin Downtown Market caters to all ages and is dog friendly, as long as our fourlegged friends are kept on a leash.” Show support for the community simply by attending and strolling through the market. “The Town of Chapin is delighted to continue the tradition of Chapin Downtown Farmer’s Market. Our community is proud to support our local businesses and artists,” Burroughs said. “We wanted to create an inclusive open-air market that would support our local economy and showcase the incredible talent we have in our area. Our market highlights the very best of our community and gets at the heart of what Chapin is all about.” WEST COLUMBIA Meeting Street Artisan Market Located in the Interactive Art Park at 425 Meeting Street in West Columbia, the Meeting Street Artisan Market is open Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. year round. Free parking can be found at the Interactive Park at 425 Meeting Street, Capitol Square at 483 Sunset Boulevard, the public parking garage at 310 Court Avenue, and Carraway Park at the Riverwalk at 212 Hudson Street. Bring the family and your leashed dog for a good time filled with discovery. What can market goers expect to find? “Anything handmade,” said Anna Huffman, Communications and Technology Director. “Fine art, crafts, candles, wood working, potters, jewelry, greeting cards, face masks, handbags, coffee/tea, prepared food mixes, fresh fruit and vegetables, plants, leather goods, and bath and body products.” The market is a one-stop shop with so many items to peruse. Additionally, special night-edition markets are offered on occasion. “Our market is unique in that each vendor is selected weekly based on the craft to ensure a variety of different vendors,” Huffman said. “The items sold by the vendors must be created by the vendor.” Locals gather each week to find a variety of hand-crafted treasures. “West Columbia’s Meeting Street Artisan Market brings the community together. Our local vendors have established relationships with members of our surrounding

nities, which keeps loyal customers coming back week after week,” Huffman said. “They also spread the word about the market. The surrounding businesses on State and Meeting Street also benefit from the shoppers and vendors venturing out when stopping at the market.” Nearby shops, restaurants, and breweries are also conveniently located for market goers to extend their shopping spree or to grab a bite or brewski. Pets are allowed here. Portable potties are available, and a few facilities are available at local participating businesses with purchase. Additional Market Tips “Most markets have a current website or an Instagram or Facebook page to keep up with the latest market news,” said Cindy

Lexington’s Market at Icehouse Amphitheater and Pavilion 107 West Main St., Lexington Saturdays May 22-September 25, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. (except July 3) Chapin Downtown Farmer’s Market 100 Clark St., Chapin First Saturday of each month from May-October, 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (except in July, held on July 10) Columbia’s Soda City Market 1300-1600 Main St., Columbia Every Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. West Columbia’s Meeting Street Artisan Market 425 Meeting Street, W. Columbia Every Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Morris, a regular market shopper and volunteer. “If you are a regular market goer, sign up for the market’s newsletter to get the direct news about vendors and special events.” Each of the four markets listed above has a Facebook page. Give them a follow and check for last-minute changes, seasonal item availability, or current event information. Although vendors are often announced ahead of schedule for planning, keep in mind that last-minute situations can arise to prevent a vendor from attending any of the markets listed above. Due to the ever-evolving COVID-19 restrictions and regulations, masks may be required, and sanitation stations are often provided for handwashing. Most vendors provide bags to package purchases, but it is helpful if buyers bring their own canvas bags, totes, or baskets. “Bring your own bags and preferably a cooler bag with an ice pack in hot weather to protect tender vegetables and keep meats and cheeses cool,” Morris recommends. “If you purchase flowers, it’s helpful to have a jar or cup with water to keep the flowers hydrated.” Depending on the vendor, debit and credit cards are usually accepted. Some prefer cash only. “Bring smaller bills, Morris adds. “And don’t expect to get a $50 or $100 bill broken.” For items that sell out quickly, refer to vendor websites and social media platforms in the event that advance orders are accepted to ensure that you get what you want. Although pets and families are welcome, please be respectful of others; clean up after your pet and your children. Be mindful of the busyness of the market. “Although part of the experience is chatting with the vendors, be aware of the length of the lines and keep your conversation brief to be courteous to others waiting,” Morris pointed out. Above all, enjoy your time browsing for local treasures, picking out the freshest produce, and mingling with members of the community in the fresh air. n




$hopping $hop ping by Marcy Roberts



The first day of school is right around the corner, believe it or not. A little advance preparation can alleviate a huge amount of stress. Now is the time to start hitting the stores and take advantage of shorter lines, bulk stocking for the year and browsing the best inventory available. Of course, some teachers will have specific requests, but for the most part you know the main staples that are necessary to equip your child for a successful academic year. Here are some tips to make the process as painless as possible.

Take Inventory

Before purchasing anything new, look through your kids’ school supplies from previous years to see if there is anything that can be reused. Perhaps there is a notebook from last year that was barely even opened, for example. Just tear out the pages that have already been written on, and nobody will know the difference. Also, remember that colored pencils can be sharpened and those scissors that work at home will also work at school. Creatively “recycling” school supplies in this manner could cut your back-to-school shopping list in half or more if you’re lucky.

Set a Budget

In the moment, it can be hard to say no to a pouting child who’s begging for the latest trending backpack or lunchbox, especially when those items from last year are barely used. Remember, though, that there is a big difference between wanting and needing something. Set a realistic budget before leaving the house. If your kids object, use this as a teaching moment and explain that fewer impulse buys now means more ice cream later.

Do Some Critical Thinking

School-issued back-to-school lists are an excellent guide but following them to the letter can sometimes lead to 18 | IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | JULY/AUGUST 2021

unnecessary purchases. Treat them as flexible suggestions and consider your child’s individual needs while looking over the school’s list. For example, if the school’s list includes crayons and colored pencils, but you haven’t seen your child use a crayon for years, skip the crayons and buy only a nice set of colored pencils. Remember, you can always go back and purchase more supplies if necessary.

Learn from the Past

It’s hard to predict which stores will have the best back-to-school deals, but you can make a good guess by looking at what each has done in past years. For example, a store that had some excellent deals on school uniforms last year will probably have similar price cuts on uniforms this year. Also, be aware of the quality of paper, pencils and pens. Who wants their homework assignment that they have worked on all night to smudge, smear, tear or wrinkle from normal use? Investing a more for critical items that are more durable will payoff big time in the future and avoid unnecessary frustration.

Search for Deals Online

Whether you end up buying from online vendors or simply using information found online to guide your in-store purchases, the internet is a great source of information. Back-to-school deals will be highly advertised, making it easy to compare prices ahead of time, or even on the go. It’s also wise to search for coupons and special discount codes in advance. Consult company websites, consumer blogs, fellow parents on the net, and sites like Amazon and eBay to find the best ways to save money. Back-to-school costs can add up in a hurry. However, armed with these money-saving tips you can relax. Take time to plan ahead, make the trip fun for your kids with a special lunch and enjoy your time browsing. You will save dollars, time, and stress and be able to rest assured that your kids will be returning to school with exactly what they need. n




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St ruggle by Wendy McAlister



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Blythewood’s Big Red Barn Retreat is now host to the Warrior PATHH program, a progressive and alternative training for healing combat veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 15 marked the program’s grand opening. The 18-month program is designed to enable these heroes to transform times of deep struggle into profound strength and growth through an approach called “post-traumatic growth” (PTG).


Local training is led by program director and retired Command Sergeant Major Lamont “Chris” Christian and his blended team of trained combat veteran and civilian Warrior PATTH instructors who have all walked the road from struggle to strength. Chris served in multiple combat units across the Army and in positions of military authority from private to the most senior enlisted soldier of a military base as command sergeant major. A month after his retirement in 2018, one of his four children committed suicide. He struggled to help his wife and children cope with the loss while grappling with his own grief and began to self-isolate. It was around this time that he was called in to lead the local Warrior PATTH program and credits the shift in aiding to pull him out of a dark period of uncertainty. The original Warrior PATTH program

was born in May 2014 at Boulder Crest Retreat Virginia in an effort to ensure that combat veterans and their families had what they required to live great lives -– full of passion, purpose, and service. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, more than 2.8 million American men and women have deployed to war zones around the world. The post 9/11 conflicts represent the longest stretch of war in American history and have taken a tremendous toll in terms of “both visible and invisible wounds,” according to a report published by the Warrior PATHH program. Approximately 30 percent of these soldiers are struggling with PTSD (a clinical diagnosis by a mental health professional) or combat stress (struggling with the same symptoms of PTSD but lacking an official diagnosis). According to the report, we have now lost more warriors to suicide at home than on the battlefield, and the suicide rate has grown every year since 2002. In September 2013, Boulder Crest Retreat Virginia opened and committed itself to learning and understanding the nature and effectiveness of then-current approaches to treating PTSD and identifying gaps in treatment. It hosted a

ber of clinical and nonclinical programs, attended conferences, and had countless meetings with experts to hear time and time again that nothing was working very well. No treatments or combination of treatments were allowing combat veterans to thrive at home. The treatments they did receive – normally a combination of medication and psychotherapy – seemed to temporarily alleviate some of the more severe symptoms of PTSD and combat stress but could not “offer a

profound science and lifelong growth. Josh Goldberg, executive director of the Boulder Crest Institute describes PTG as a process as well as an outcome. “What PTG is all about are the ways in which the experiences we go through that cause us to struggle also lead us to be reflective and force us to take a knee and start to think about who we are and where we’re going and why we’re here. What happens a great deal of time is that people who go through these difficult life experiences often report that in the aftermath of that experience, going through the process of PTG leads them to report that their life has changed for the better, in terms of it being more authentic, more meaningful, and more purposeful than it was before they had that experience.” That growth occurs in five different areas: 1. A sense of new possibilities and hope for the future. 2. A commitment in recognition of the value of deeper relationships with other people. 3. A sense of personal strength, the idea that nothing can permanently “knock me down.” 4. Appreciation for life, gratitude for things both small and big. 5. A spiritual change, this sense of asking and reflecting on the deepest questions that life can offer us. “Who am I? Why am I here? Where do I belong?” Goldberg is passionate about his mission. “When we send men and women to war,” he wrote, “we make a special covenant with them. In exchange for their service and sacrifice, we pledge to bring

We must remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who trained in the severest school. – Thucydides springboard to a great life at home.” The picture was clear: the best that struggling combat veterans and their families could hope for were lives as diminished, and often medicated, versions of themselves. In stepped the Warrior PATTH method, designed to cultivate PTG – a decades old science that provides a framework for transforming times of deep struggle into

them home – all the way home. As a society, we are failing to honor that commitment. We can and must do better. We must never forget that combat veterans possess strength, skills, and abilities that are seldom seen and desperately needed here at home. It is our responsibility to understand how to harness those strengths and abilities and enable this remarkable




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breathe and relax and pull the string and focus. I had done archery before, so I was expecting to do okay hitting the target. Then, we went back to the line, and as I started pulling the string back, one of the trainers asked me how things were going since my divorce. As I started talking, I lost all focus and concentration, and the arrow didn’t even hit the target. We did a few rounds like that, showing us that, when we got off track and start thinking about the bad, we can’t focus on what’s ahead. Our body also physically reacts to stress. When stress affects our heartbeat, our breath, our nervous system, the physical impact completely affects our focus. It was an amazing example.” She went on to say that, most importantly, she learned forgiveness. “After walking the labyrinth with heavy equipment and then letting that go, I physically felt the weight of many things that had been on my heart for years just leave me. I left so much in the middle of that circle and learned to forgive a few key people in my life and learned to forgive myself. Learning to let go was a huge victory in my journey.” Warrior PATHH programs are available for both male and female combat veterans – active duty or veteran – and first responders who have been involved in critical incidents. No clinical diagnosis or prior mental health care is required to attend. The program defines a combat veteran as anyone who has served in any of the five major branches of service and

The Big Red Barn Retreat 8024 Winnsboro Rd. Blythewood, SC 29016 803.716.9097 warrior-pathh

community of heroes to be as productive at home as they were on the battlefield.” The program model dictates that, in order to facilitate PTG, trauma survivors will benefit from “expert companionship.” The concept of expert companionship emphasizes that trauma survivors first need companionship and that the companion must first be willing to learn from the trauma survivor about his/her life and experiences. The concept emphasizes that the relationship is more important than the technical expertise; therefore, paraprofessionals and partners in the trauma survivorship can be effective in facilitating PTG. In the Warrior PATTH program, expert companions are referred to as “expert guides.” Among many other shining qualities, expert guides are honorable, gracious, supportive, authentic, and never miss an opportunity to be quiet and listen. Warrior PATTH graduate, “Brandi M.,” says that the program shows you real-life examples of ways to deal with PTSD. “We talked about breathing techniques, equine therapy, meditation, archery, and several other methods. Everything we talked about and practiced brought new ways of thinking about negative emotions. Some of the experiences were so tangible, though, and I think that was the real breakthrough for me. I recall a few of those moments so distinctly. One was in archery. We were given quick instruction with the bow and given time to

was deployed in a combat zone. A certified first responder is defined as anyone who has received certification to serve their community as a police officer, sheriff’s deputy, corrections officer, FBI, CIA, U.S. air marshal, marshal service, EMS/ EMT, para-rescue, or firefighter who has been involved in a critical incident, or a frontline healthcare worker. The program’s ideal candidate is described as a warrior who is determined to win his/ her personal battles, has a willingness to accept coaching, a desire to embrace the process, a vision of what that warrior wants despite not knowing how to get there, and a passion to live fully. If you are interested in applying for Warrior PATHH and meet the above criteria as a combat veteran or first responder, visit the website to apply online. Volunteer opportunities are also listed on the website. n




Don't Lose Your Cool!






Lessons from the

Teacher I am often asked some variation of this question: “After all these years as a teacher, what skills do you think are most important for student success?” by Renee Love


y answer to this question is shaped by more than 25 years of university teaching experiences. I also have three children of my own. In addition to college students, I have taught workshops for middle-school students, high school students, home-school students, professionals, and coaches. Even after all these years, I still love teaching, and I consider it a privilege to help students learn both academic skills as well as life skills. It’s hard to narrow down a single skill that is essential for student success, but here are some of the skills students need in order to succeed in the classroom—and in life beyond the classroom, too. Ideally, by the time our children reach college, they would have a solid understanding of

these life lessons, and, arguably, the greater a child’s mastery of these skills, the more successful the student. I emphasize these skills not only to my students but to my three children. I think these lessons benefit all of us, no matter one’s stage in life, but if you want to help your child succeed in school, consider these lessons: Accept responsibility for your actions, as well as the consequences. Some years ago when my daughter Lila was in high school, I gave her “the opportunity to make a mistake,” so she could learn a lesson. Many of us have likely made this same mistake, and there’s nothing like the sting of disappointment to crystallize certain truths. Lila had a paper due, and she had procrastinated, waiting until the night before to finish her paper. Finally, Lila told me she

was too tired to finish, and she planned to get up early the next day to finish her paper. She planned to print the final version of the paper in the morning. That night, I had a decision to make – whether I was going to “make” Lila finish her paper before going to bed (which I knew would be best) or whether I was going to “allow” Lila to make her own decision about the situation (the option that would likely result in Lila making a mistake). I did try to counsel Lila, expressing my concerns about waiting until morning to complete the paper and printing. I said things like, “Lila, I know when I have waited until the morning an assignment is due to finish my work, something often goes wrong, and then I’m disappointed about the outcome. If you complete everything before going to bed, the assignment is finished, and next time you can start earlier on the paper to avoid this last-hour crises.” I did try to warn her. But I also said, “Lila, you’re a young adult, and I’m going to leave the decision up to you. Whatever happens will be your responsibility.” You don’t need a crystal ball or tea leaves to see what happened next. The next morning, Lila could not get the printer to work. I had to be at work, and Lila’s brothers had to be at school. There was no room in our morning for late arrivals, so Lila could fix the printer, and Lila was in tears. I did not say “I told you so.” Instead, I affirmed Lila’s disappointment: “Lila, I’m sorry this happened. I have confidence in you to be responsible and to figure out how to handle things.” I was in suspense all day at my own desk at work, wondering what Lila would say to her teacher. I also felt enormous compassion for Lila, and I was sad knowing she was having a hard day because of her decision (missing the assignment deadline). Lila had to do what all of us have had to do on some occasion: “face the music” of a poor decision. That afternoon, Lila told me she had talked with her teacher and owned up to her mistake, something along the lines of “Ms. Smith, I’m sorry I don’t have my paper finished. It’s my fault. I waited until the last minute, and then my printer didn’t work. I know you don’t accept late work. I know this is my fault, and I accept any consequences.” It may sound strange to be proud of

Learn how to succeed in different contexts with different people. Another lesson I have tried to instill in my children is that academic settings help us learn how to adapt and succeed in a variety of contexts. Sometimes a student feels confused if he or she makes an “A” in one class, but then the next semester, the student feels the same work has been done but makes a “B” in a comparable class. The les-

her pencil during a lecture.” Hmm, I thought, and I understood the problem: Ms. Spence had certain rules in her classroom that Lila’s previous teacher had not had. I talked with Lila about how each teacher is different; each teacher has different expectations. While her firstgrade teacher may not have been bothered by Lila’s pony-tail holder and hairstyling, this teacher did not like those behaviors, so Lila had to learn how to succeed in the new setting. As soon as Lila understood that each teacher has different requirements for success, Lila was able to make A’s in Ms. Spence’s class. More important, Lila had learned how to adapt to meet the needs of different

son is – we have to learn to succeed not just in one class but in a variety of contexts and with different teachers. We have to learn what each teacher (boss, supervisor, manager, etc.) views as success. My daughter learned this lesson in second grade. I started receiving emails from Lila’s teacher that sounded like this: “Lila was very disruptive in class, and her behavior distracted other students from learning.” I knew Lila was a bit of a “chatterbox,” so I asked Ms. Spence what Lila had done to disrupt the class. Ms. Spence reported a long list of infractions: “Lila was putting her hair in a pony-tail, playing with her pony-tail holder, using her pony-tail holder as a bracelet, and once she got up to sharpen

teachers in different classrooms. This lesson may seem inconsistent – the idea that certain actions in one class result in an “A” while in another class those same actions lead to a “B” or lower grades. But anyone who has worked for more than one manager can attest, each leader is different, and as professionals we have to learn what we need to do to succeed in different settings with different co-workers and leaders. Of course we would never do something unethical or illegal to succeed, but Lila needed to understand that we have to adapt our behaviors to meet the needs of different leaders in different settings. The next year she would have to learn another teacher’s expectations and a new formula for success.

one’s child for accepting a zero with a good attitude, but I was proud of Lila: she had accepted responsibility for her mistake. She had learned a valuable lesson about being responsible for her actions and the ensuing consequences.




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Recognize that avoiding a problem is not a helpful coping strategy. Instead, face problems, and view problems as learning opportunities. Another essential lesson we can teach children about how to succeed in school (and in life) is to face problems rather than ignoring problems. Avoiding problems is not an effective strategy: being hopeful cannot be one’s only plan for resolving a problem. I have seen these limiting habits (avoidance and wishful thinking) play out in the classroom and on the home-front. I remember a challenging class my son Gray had in middle school where a clear pattern emerged. Gray would believe he had followed an assignment’s directions – only to be disappointed later when his grade did not meet with his expectations. I would encourage my son to talk with his teacher as soon as possible, to reverse this downward

spiral, but Gray would avoid the problem, as if the problem would disappear if he pretended long enough that there wasn’t a problem. We all know the saying: “de-nial ain’t just a river . . . .” After several experiences with drowning in “de-nial,” Gray learned a better strategy. He realized that when problems emerge, avoidance makes the problem worse. He learned to face the problem as it soon as it appeared (i.e. talk with the teacher). No

matter how uncomfortable, address a problem before the topic escalates into a crises (i.e. failing an assignment). Gray learned to face unpleasant topics, so he could learn from his mistake. The sooner a problem is addressed, the

responded insightfully, saying, “now that we have learned our mistakes, if we had the opportunity to play that same team again, I think we could beat them next time.” I was impressed with how Gray had transformed a disappointing experience into a lesson.

“Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers,

‘Grow, grow.” - The Talmud

faster it can be resolved. Equally significant, each time a problem is faced, it helps us learn the skills needed to overcome the next challenge with a little less fear, a little more confidence, and a little more courage. As the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho writes, “You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes.”

Look for the lesson in any “failures,” and use each experience to grow. My son Gray’s experience with learning to face problems in classes also helped him learn how to view “problems” as “learning opportunities.” I remember an occasion when Gray’s high school football team lost a big game. I was concerned Gray might be depressed about the loss, but when I asked how he was feeling, he surprised me. Gray

This is the ideal mindset needed for overcoming setbacks and losses: face the issue, whether it’s the loss of a football game or a disappointing test grade, and learn the lessons afforded by the experience. I see similar patterns and growth in my students each year, and I am proud of my students as they learn proactive problem solving strategies, which include skills like accepting responsibility, facing problems, and using any “failures” as learning opportunities. Making mistakes is part of life, and we can all learn from our mistakes. We can consciously cultivate an attitude of viewing “failures” as chances to learn and grow. If you’re a parent, and you want to teach your child how to be responsible for their choices and actions, consider giving your child opportunities to make the “smaller mistakes,” as well as the opportunities to face the consequences of their decisions. I know how hard it is to “let” our children “fail” at any time, but “failing” in elementary school or high school with a paper assignment is a much better situation than failing in college or on the job. By allowing my children to make mistakes and to learn life lessons while they are in school, my children have gained valuable life skills that help them succeed not only in the classroom but in life. We will all have setbacks, obstacles, and problems. Rather than avoiding the problem, or relying solely on wishful thinking, take action. Be responsible, and face the issues and any consequences. Realize that different settings will require different success strategies that can be learned. Recognize that students are not just learning academic content but how to have the right mindset for succeeding. Every problem is also an opportunity to develop courage, and nothing is a failure if you learn something. n




by Kim Becknell Williams

THE getting

Power of

Lost Getting lost comes in many forms. You can be lost in thought, lost in the moment, or lost in a book. You can also be lost and unable to find your way.


Lots of people are good with directions, and some not so inclined. I am one of those not so inclined. I used to think I was good at finding my way, but I just liked the idea of being good with directions. I have never been good at navigating on the road or on a map. Once we took a family road trip to Disney World. This was before GPS, so we used a real paper map to chart our path. I was the navigator for what would be the last time. As I pointed out turns and signs, it eventually became obvious that we were going way out of our way. Turns out I was following the county lines on the map and not an actual route. For those who are too young to have used a map to navigate a route, this will find you lost in thought. For those of us old enough to know what this means, you get the drift of my lack of navigational abilities. I have gotten so comfortable with getting lost that I find it more of an adventurous ride off the beaten highway. I almost expect it to happen, unless I have my GPS programmed. Over the last month, I have been on five different hikes in the woods. I don’t get lost there. I can remember the exact location of a giant Angel Oak years after I had been on the trail leading to it. I remember the twists and turns of the paths, the markings on a tree, and the best spots to take a rest. Sometimes I forget why I walked into a room, yet I know these paths like a handwritten sketch in my brain.

A Psychology Today article (Oct. 8, 2015) by Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. explains, “Much of learning takes place in the form of emotional learning. To make our memory stronger, it helps to attach emotional significance to objects and actions we experience.” Since I love being in the woods, I often take on the mentality of the TV character Grizzly Adams. I get on a natural high and feel an emotional attachment to the wild. I do not have an emotional attachment to the laundry room, which explains my forgetfulness when walking in a room. I also do not have an emotional attachment to a highway. A college buddy and I try to hike, kayak, or do something outdoorsy almost every month. If we are hiking in the woods, it’s my job to remember how to get back. I admit this is reassuring because nobody asks me for directions by car. Louise Ridley wrote in an online Science Focus article (Nov. 18, 2010), “Neurologists agree that deliberately noting landmarks and turns as you move around should help to build your cognitive map of an area. ‘Some people seem to attend to the environment more, just like some people attend to names more than others,”’ says University of Sterling neuroscientist Dr. Paul Dudchenko. “This could be the difference between a good and a poor sense of direction – people who really attend to the outside world and people who don’t.” I guess this means I am more interested in nature’s landmarks than in road signs. Alex Hannold, a professional rock climber, takes this to a whole new level. In the 2018 National Geographic documentary “Free Solo,” Hannold climbs El Capitan without the assistance of ropes or tools. First, he practices his vertical climb with several practice climbs using ropes, as he carefully maps out the safest route. He knows where each tiny foot ledge or thumb hole is located to enable him to climb. He memorizes the pathways. Hannold keeps notes on paper and engrains the map route in his head. After his practice attempts are complete, he begins scaling the mammoth 3,000-ft. rock in Yosemite National Park using intrinsic knowledge to meander his way up the climb without rope assistance. Finding a thumb hole in a giant rock is like finding a needle in a haystack, but he does this with innate JULY/AUGUST 2021



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ability. He cannot afford to get lost in this life-or-death trek. On a much less impressive scale, I can relate. As a kid, I spent many days playing in the woods behind my childhood home. I would climb our chain-link fence to explore the paths and creeks just beyond my backyard. I still remember the twists and turns, the giant piles of leaves, and the tiny rock forts I built. Sometimes, I fall asleep at night trekking through the woods in my mind. A map, compass, and GPS on a cell phone can be useful tools to help a person navigate. Or, if you are adventurous, let the stars be your guide. A few years ago, my husband and I made a trip to Ireland. I am Irish, and the vacation was intended to connect me to my roots. We stayed in a castle one night. While I indulged in a massage, my husband went exploring in the woods surrounding the castle. He was so enamored with it all that he got lost in the beauty…literally. He had no idea how to get back and no phone or compass to help him navigate. He remembered a river flowing nearby and listened to the sound of the water. The sounds helped him find his way along the waterfront, which led to what must have been a moat back in the castle days. It was there that he found the entrance to the castle. Instincts, internal forces, and external guides lead the way. We must listen… There is magic in the woods. On a hike through Vereen Gardens in Little River, SC, my mom and I took a path we had not taken before. Much like in a Robert Frost poem, we took the one less traveled knowing the possibility of getting lost. We came to a place where the path ended at the water, the Intracoastal Waterway. Up in the trees, we saw places to hang “our wishes” on oyster shells dangling from branches. We made a wish and put a shell on the branch. Such a simple gesture and yet profound. We ambled back down the path and did not get lost. Luckily, we had the giant Angel Oak for our guide. n 34 | IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | JULY/AUGUST 2021

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Super Summer

Seafood & Salad 36 | IRMO CHAPIN LIFE | JULY/AUGUST 2021

1-12 oz. can solid white tuna packed in water, drained chapin 1 tbsp. mayonnaise



3 green onions, thinly sliced, plus additional for garnish 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped 1 dash balsamic vinegar black pepper to taste 1 pinch garlic salt, or to taste 2 ripe avocados, halved and pitted Stir together tuna, mayonnaise, green onions, red pepper, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Season with pepper and garlic salt, then pack the avocado halves with the tuna mixture. Garnish with reserved green onions and a dash of black pepper before serving. CRAB AND ORZO SALAD 1 1/2 c. uncooked orzo pasta 1 lb. cooked crabmeat 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped 1 carrot, peeled and diced 1 medium red bell pepper, diced 1 medium green bell pepper, diced 3 green onions, chopped 1/2 c. mayonnaise 3 tbsp. chili sauce 1 tbsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 3 drops hot pepper sauce (Optional) Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add orzo, and cook 11 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, and place in the refrigerator about 1 hour, until chilled. In a large bowl, toss together orzo, crabmeat, tomatoes, carrot, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and green onions. In a small bowl, blend mayonnaise, chili sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Pour over the orzo mixture and toss to coat. HERB WATERMELON FETA SALAD 1/2 large chilled seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 small red onion, sliced 1 c. thinly sliced fresh basil leaves 1 c. chopped fresh cilantro 1/2c. minced fresh mint leaves 2 limes, juiced 1 -4 oz. package crumbled feta cheese 3 tbsp. olive oil 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, or more to taste salt and ground black pepper to taste Gently toss watermelon, onion, basil, cilantro, mint, lime juice, feta cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and black pepper together in a large bowl.

SEAFOOD GUMBO 1⁄4 c. oil 3-4 tbsp. flour 2 onions, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 1-1 lb. bag frozen chopped okra 1 qt. chicken broth 1-16 oz. can whole tomatoes, w/liquid 4 -5 cloves garlic, crushed 2 bay leaves 2-3 tbsp. crab boil, tied in cheesecloth salt & pepper to taste hot pepper sauce to taste 2 lb. raw shrimp, peeled 1 lb. crabmeat or 2 cans crabmeat 1 pt. oyster (OPTIONAL) 1 lb. sausage (OPTIONAL) 1 lb. firm white fish fillet (halibut, white fish, cod) 1 tbsp. gumbo file powder For sauce: heat oil, add flour and cook over medium heat until VERY dark but not scorched, stirring constantly, monitoring for burning. Set aside. In large dutch oven, saute onion, celery, and okra until limp. Add sauce, broth, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, crab boil packet, and salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 hours. 10 minutes before serving, add all raw fish, sausage if desired, seafood and the file powder. Simmer until done, but do not boil. Serve over bowls of rice. n JULY/AUGUST 2021



Rocks and Roots


David Clark writes and works in Cochran, GA. Connect with him at

friend I’ve known for thirty years runs a fairly large organiziation in a big city, and he drove a distance to visit me. We talked during lunch. It was obvious something was bothering him. After lunch we walked through my garden looking at the beautiful vegetables, talking to the dogs, and listening to the stillness of a gorgeous summer afternoon. We got to the corn patch in the back and stood among the glorious seven-foot stalks. My friend let out a sigh. “This corn really is beautiful.” We passed a thousand garlic bulbs drying in the sun. “That garlic is descended from twelve cloves my Daddy started fifty years ago.” My friend looked at the bulbs. “Fifty years ago, dern.” The dogs led the way to the pea patch, playing and tumbling. My friend let out a full laugh. “It’s great to watch dogs play.” We arrived at the pea patch. We looked straight down the 200 foot rows. One sees a gorgeous, peaceful symmetry when looking down rows of peas. We sat down on some buckets. I just listened as he poured it all out. Then he stopped. “Well, I gotta get back to the big city.” We walked to his truck. I leaned on the truck. “Don’t you remember how we learned as kids to ask God to direct our steps?” “Yeah, but this is different.” “No, it ain’t. You’re just thinking you’re not worthy of God’s love.” He slapped the truck. “How did you know that?” “Because that’s what we all think.” “But I worry all the time!” “Well, you’ve got to pray every time you worry. Don’t you love walking on mountain paths?” “Yes, I love those paths.” “But those paths aren’t straight, are they? Don’t they have rocks and roots in the way?” “Yes, you have to be careful.” “Worrying is like walking the mountain path blindfolded. God won’t remove the rocks and roots, but he will guide you around them. But you got to let God guide you.” “I don’t know how to do that.” “Start every morning by thanking God for directing your steps. Every time you worry, pray that prayer. You’ll be praying all the time until you begin to learn to talk to God about everything. That’s what having a personal relationship with God means. Just talk to God the way you’ve talked to me.” “And you really believe that works?” “I didn’t always believe. But I finally learned, and it has made a huge difference for me.” He dropped me off at my shop. He sent me a message later that afternoon: “I think my prayers are already working.” The next morning he sent a message: “I’ve begun the day with my prayers. I slept good last night for the first time in a long time. Thanks.” God’s Promise is simple. Many people call it corny and foolish. But I have witnessed and am convinced that God’s Promise always remains, waiting for us to simply accept its truth. n JULY/AUGUST 2021




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