How three lessons from church camp helped me navigate a major Bipolar episode

I’ve been open about my thirteen-year-long struggle with Bipolar II disorder. On January 30th, I wrote that I was going through one of the worst depressive phases I’d ever experienced. Although there were fool’s springs here and there, I’m confident I’ve finally gotten through its darkest depths. I didn’t expect it, but a handful of lessons from a week I spent at church camp more than twenty years ago were instrumental in helping me make it to the other side.

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An extraordinarily picturesque barn near Deerfield, Indiana

I played drums in a metal band when I started my project to visit and take photos of every historic courthouse in Indiana. Between traveling to gigs and courthouses, I spent a lot of time behind the wheel between 2014 and 2017! One day after my band practiced, our singer, Steve, asked me a question. “In all of your driving,” he asked, “have you come across a photogenic old barn?” I admitted that I hadn’t, but said I’d keep my eye out for one.

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Walterboro’s downtown waterfall

I was walking to the courthouse in downtown Walterboro, South Carolina, last New Year’s Eve when I passed an unexpected sight: a waterfall. I’ve blathered on about how much I love flowing water in the past, and it’s not often that I come across a waterfall cascading from the back of a building. It was a dreary day, but I spent a few minutes admiring the site and took pictures on my phone. Before I continued on toward the courthouse, I made a mental note to open an investigation into the matter. This post is the result.

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Why I write what I write

I’m thrilled and gratified that, in a month, my blog has already reached more people than it did in all of 2022. It’s proof positive that people enjoy reading about historic sites and structures just as much as I love to research them! I wanted to introduce myself to everyone who’s recently stopped by or subscribed, so today I’m going to write about why I’m interested in esoterica, why I’m fascinated by what I write about, why I write how I do, and why I write, in general.

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The Bridge to Edisto Island, South Carolina

With only one road in and one road out over the Dawhoo River, Edisto Island -a barrier island between Savannah and Charleston- is a place that seems hidden from the world in many ways. That’s great for tourists and vacationers! Unfortunately, its detachment from the rest of South Carolina has presented the island’s inhabitants with many difficulties over the years.

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The abandoned Ferris wheels of Royal Blue, Tennessee

I have an overactive imagination that occasionally leads me to question whether or not things I think I’ve seen are real. The first time I experienced that phenomenon was when I was a kid and happened past a disembodied steeple rising from a cornfield. The second time was years later: I thought I found water gushing from a boulder in a rural display of some biblical miracle. The third time was about a decade ago. I was driving down I-75 towards Knoxville when I stopped to get gas. I swear that I saw the unmistakable outline of a Ferris wheel gazing down at me from the mountainside! Ten years later, it turns out that I had.

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“Buy me a coffee” to help support what I do here, if you want

We’ve officially made it into the second week of 2023. In just seven days, this blog has already welcomed nearly half of the visitors it saw in all of 2022! I only started in September, granted, but I’ve been blown away by how many people have found my peculiar interests and obsessions compelling enough to stop by. I have no doubt that it’s going to be a great year here!

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High Dive Park in Elkhart: What’s in a Name?

The city of Elkhart, Indiana, maintains more than twenty major parks. The most famous is Island Park, which was deeded to the city in 1887- according to legend, the island was the source of the city’s name due to the Potawatomi’s belief that it resembled an elk’s heart1. Although Studebaker Park is the largest and McNaughton Park is the most popular, High Dive Park is my favorite: there’s no swimming or diving today, but the park’s unique name provides a glimpse of its fascinating history.

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