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January 2017

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings” Meister Eckhart

January 2017 Volume 16, Issue 1

8 9 10 12 15

Ahimsa by Erika Hoffman

16 18 20 26

Prompted to Remember

Sasee Asks an Expert Here’s To Your Health! By Jessica Moore Read It Review by Nicole McManus Grandma Day Care by Rose Ann Sinay

Sasee Asks an Expert Are You Ready to Start a Yoga Practice? By Lauren Davis by Fredricka Maister

Joy Riding with Nana by Linda O'Connell

Sasee Asks an Expert To Your Success! By Kim Fowler Me First

by Susan Traugh

30 32

What Works for Me

33 34 36 37 39 40 41

Sasee Asks an Expert It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle

by Diane Stark

Sasee Asks an Expert Set Yourself up for Success with 7 Simple Steps By Kelsey Stone By Lauren Guest

Sasee Gets Healthy on the Go Apps for Diet and Fitness! Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot? by Jeffery Cohen

January Calendar Practicing What I Teach by Melissa Face

Where the Pink Camellias Bloom by Lola Di Giulio De Maci

Kids Page

Ask about

• Personal & Commercial Deposit Services

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Debi Burroughs

Professional & Business Banker


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The Citizens Bank 3796 Highway 17 Bypass Post Office Box 3139 Murrells Inlet, SC phone: 843.651.4420 Fax: 843.651.4588 www.thecitizensbank.cc since 1943


Sassee Magazine: 4.4167 x 4.9792 --- Pawleys area Georgetown County. 2016

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Feb. 3 - Beatriz Williams ("The Wicked City"), Pawleys Plantation

CLASS Publishing Division New Books! "Pawleys Island: Chasing the Light"

by Award-winning Photographer Tanya Ackerman

"Brookgreen Gardens: Nights of a Thousand Candles" Photographs by Anne Swift Malarich

"The Trail through The Zoo" by Brookgreen Volunteers

"Holidogs" by Gayle Agee and Millie Doud



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NEW WINTER HOURS! Mon - Sat 8am-6pm Sun 10am - 4pm (843) 235-3555 8317 S. Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island, SC 29585 • www.palmettoace.com


Cover Artist

Babs Ludwick

Lady of Intrigue, by Babs Ludwick Babs Ludwick is a watercolor artist who is open to exploring new media. She brings a highly creative vision and an innovative approach to her colorful and thought-evoking art. The paintings Babs creates in acrylic, charcoal, collage and watercolor are art pieces that also happen to be a joy to view. Her motto is “Do what makes your heart beat.” When you see her art, your heart will beat with appreciation of her multifaceted talent. The artist’s work may be seen exclusively at Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash, North Carolina. When she is not painting, Babs enjoys quilting, quilling and shag dancing with her singer/songwriter husband, Calabash Flash.

letter from the editor After years of daily running, several minor, yet painful, injuries slowed me down. And then, a minor car accident last spring ground me completely to a halt. Except for my weekly yoga class and the occasional beach walk, I wasn’t exercising at all. And I could tell. Everything hurt. My energy level dropped along with my mood. In October, after Hurricane Matthew came through our area, I was left with a mess in my yard, like most of you reading this. I began cleaning up – spending all weekend in the yard, and I even worked until dark after work each day. In spite of all the physical labor, I realized I felt so much better! Getting regular exercise again was making a positive difference in my life. Instead of being tired, I was energized! So, once the yard was clean I began walking every day. Now I’m even adding in a few short sprints each time I hit the road. I feel better, I sleep better and my yoga practice has improved tremendously. For me at least, exercise is the key to a happier, healthier life. It is January, a new year and a great time to renew your dedication to a healthier lifestyle. To help you along, we’ve added five “Ask an Expert” columns to this issue. Each one addresses a different topic, but all revolve around taking care of your beautiful mind and body. Each issue of 2017 will hold new information about a wide variety of topics; all based on our monthly themes, from this month’s health-focused columns to the latest fashion trends to planning a great vacation. All are fun and easy to read, but packed with useful information. We have lots of surprises in store! Happy 2017 –Let’s Make it the Very Best Year Yet!

Contact the artist through Sunset River Marketplace by calling 910-575-5999 or email babsandflash@atmc.net.

who’s who Publisher Delores Blount Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant Editor Leslie Moore Account Executives Amanda Kennedy-Colie Erica Schneider Gay Stackhouse Art Director Patrick Sullivan Graphic Artist Stephanie Holman

Photographer & Graphic Artist Aubrey Plum Web Developer Scott Konradt Accounting Kristy Rollar Administrative & Creative Coordinator Celia Wester Executive Publishers Jim Creel Bill Hennecy Suzette Rogers

PO Box 1389, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 fax 843-626-6452 • phone 843-626-8911 • www.sasee.com • info@sasee.com Sasee is published monthly and distributed free along the Grand Strand. Letters to the editor are welcome, but could be edited for length. Submissions of articles and art are welcome. Visit our website for details on submission. Sasee is a Strand Media Group, Inc. publication.


Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material, in part or in whole, prepared by Strand Media Group, Inc. and appearing within this publication is strictly prohibited. Title “Sasee” is registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

New Year Resolutions for Care Givers

1 2

Ask for and accept help. Make a list of things family and friends can help with. The next time someone asks how they can help, refer to the list. Schedule guilt free time for yourself. Take a long nap, read a new book, schedule a massage. Do something that makes you happy!


Discuss your loved ones wishes, and complete the necessary paperwork to make sure those wishes are met.


Check up on your health. Don’t forget to schedule routine visits and well checks for yourself.


Learn more about community resources. There may be therapy dogs, volunteers, meal delivery, and caregiver support groups nearby. 4612 Oleander Drive, Suite 102, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 843-438-4905 www.hospicecare.net

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1 9 8 0

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by Erika Hoffman I started a new yoga class today. It’s for beginners, I’ve taken yoga before. I’m always the one in the back of the class: the one who during “down dog” is peering over at fellow students assessing if my dog is sufficiently down enough to pass muster. I’m the one slipping out to get a sip of water and staying too long necessitating the worried yoga instructor to send a search party to inquire if I’m still standing. I’m the one who wears the blousy top, the oversized sweat pants and warm socks. I’m the one who quits. So, when I saw a class offered for a small group of students where yoga would be explained, and the class would start out slowly, I whispered to myself: “Sign up.” Like previous yoga courses, we had to fetch our mats, our blocks, our blanket and our strap. The young, tall, thin practitioner of yoga studied the six of us, and the first thing she said was: “All of you get another blanket.” So we six sat cross-legged upon two folded blankets high atop our mats, like queens. She asked us to introduce ourselves, say why we wanted to take the class and tell what injuries we’ve had. Rosemary stated more flexibility as her goal, and she had carpel tunnel. Anita wanted more strength and had hurt her back. Janice said she wanted what Rosemary wanted, and she suffered from plantar fasciitis. The aged Swedish couple with strong accents murmured something about hips, falling, possible strokes and loss of hearing. My turn: “My name is Erika, I have no injuries. I’m here to lose weight.” To which, our yogi replied, “Yoga won’t make you lose weight.” I piped up. “Yes, it will. This class meets from noon until 1 pm so it’ll keep me from the refrigerator for a least an hour – the lunchtime hour.” She laughed and thanked me for my sense of humor. But I wasn’t kidding – that was my main reason for choosing to come! With precise words, our yogi, Gillian, told us what she was going to teach us, demonstrated the moves for us and then had us try. Patiently, she circled the room, repositioned hands, feet, blankets. The older Swedish lady required the most assistance. When our instructor told her to put her feet next to the wall, she rested the top of her head on the wall. “Blankets on the right,” our yogi announced. My Baltic neighbor had hers on the left. I think it was a language barrier. Then, I experienced an “aha moment.” In future exercise classes, if I’m floundering, I could assume a foreign-accented alter ego. It would make me seem much less pathetic, actually a sympathetic character, if exercise gurus think their orders were lost in translation.


“No comprende!” “Je ne comprends pas!” “Ich Weiss nicht!” I can master these. Threaded throughout our yoga practice were lessons about its philosophy and a little history about an Indian fellow who suggested taking yoga slowly so not to do any damage by overextending oneself. He felt it wasn’t necessary to flow too fast from one pose to another, risking injury. Hmm. I wish I’d heard that interpretation last year when I was always ten steps behind the pretzel-like, shape-shifting, masochistic contortionists in the aficionados’ class. So, I was glancing around trying to assess how I compared to these newbies when Gillian brought up the concept of Ahimsa. She said we must practice Ahimsa – non-violence. I thought to myself: Of course, Namaste and all that. She further defined this term as non-violence against ourselves: Disappointment, resentment, guilt or shame are types of violence against ourselves. And then, she added, “Comparing ourselves to others to gauge how we are doing is a manifestation of violence against ourselves.” Quickly I swiveled my head back onto my neck and ceased my nosey spying on my fellow yoga trainees. Although I am a peaceful sort – not a drama queen stirring the pot type – I do have a bad habit of making comparisons. Often, I’m judging whether I’m meeting the bar or whether I’m falling into the subpar, nether regions of athletic inability. Next time I’m asked what I hope to achieve in the practice of yoga, I’m not inclined to blurt out – shedding winter poundage. NOPE. Enlightened, I have a new resolution: To master the first of the five “yamas” – to express an unconditional positive regard for everyone and everything including my pleasantly plump self. And when I do “downward dog,” I hope to resemble a flamingo bending for a slurp of water and not an upside down sloth falling from a tree.

Erika Hoffman

sees humor in many life situations and her challenge is to learn to write well enough to convey her sense of what’s funny. So much is!

Here’s To Your Health! By Jessica Moore

You’re feeling inspired – you’ve set your New Year’s resolution to be healthier and happier, to feel more fit, to have more energy. Where do we go from here to get you there? There is good research out there demonstrating that the “standard American diet” (S.A.D., appropriately) is making us sick, rather than promoting our health. However, there are many easy and convenient ways to transform your diet. One way I make sure I’m getting enough important plant foods everyday is to start off with a smoothie packed with fresh greens, protein powder, and spirulina, with just a touch of frozen fruit as well. Another change you could make is ditching those sugary afternoon snacks and replacing them with superfoods like goji berries or golden berries. Healthy food can be our best medicine. Are you thinking - been there done that and it’s not working! Your diet is good, you exercise regularly, but you’re still feeling fatigued and not yourself. Don’t worry, you’re not alone – often, and more frequently as we age, we need to supplement with essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. I highly recommend Dr. Tieraona Low Dog’s book, Fortify Your Life (or stop by the shop and we’ll summarize it for you). Her book can help you figure out a plan for supplementation based on your age, gender and lifestyle to fill in nutritional gaps. You’re a healthy eater, regular exerciser, you get good sleep AND you supplement to support your nutritional needs, yet you’re still not at your best? Consider getting your hormone and vitamin levels tested to see if you’re missing a key nutrient or perhaps having thyroid or other hormonal issues. If you suspect an underlying thyroid or adrenal issue, check out Dr. Aviva Romm’s new book, The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution. She offers great science-based advice and natural solutions. If you ever have questions our doors are open! We have a knowledgeable staff and a carefully researched selection of the best supplements and natural health products you can find.

Jessica Moore is the owner of To Your Health in Pawleys Island, Don’t miss Crazy Tuesday on the first Tuesday of each month when everything is 20% off!


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–Read It!– Nicole Says…Read

The Movie Star and Me


(Book one of the Frank Russell Pacific Pictures Series) By Kelly Durham Review by Nicole McManus

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Army Veteran, Frank Russell, has recovered from injuries sustained overseas, during World War II. On his way home, he realizes his sack has been mixed up with his buddy’s. When he sees the name Pacific Pictures on the film reels in his friend’s bag, he sets off for Hollywood. Once there, Frank, who knows nothing about movies, quickly lands a job and has a few stumbles along the way. As he learns the ropes of what it takes to make a big picture, he begins climbing the corporate ladder. Will Frank be able to keep succeeding, or will his initial run-in with a famed movie star and the company secrets cost him everything? Kelly Durham provides a fast-paced, behind-the-set story that will whisk readers back to Old Hollywood. Movie fanatics and fans of historical fiction novels will be delighted in the blend of accelerated plot twists with true events that occurred in the 1940s. Readers will be kept guessing up until the very end. The Movie Star and Me is an exciting set-up to a promising series.

A new year signifies a fresh outlook on life, a doing away with old habits and building new ones. However, some traditions are made to last. Over the past few years, an unplanned tradition snuck into my Sasee reviews. Each January, I present to you a book written by a local, maybe unknownto-you author. When I read the premise of Kelly Durham’s book, I was intrigued especially with the fact that it is the start of an historical fiction series. As I plan out a year of fresh reading goals, some traditions seem too important to leave behind. I hope you all enjoy The Movie Star and Me.

Nicole McManus Nicole McManus loves to read, to the point that she is sure she was born with a book in her hands. She writes book reviews in the hopes of helping others find the magic found through reading. Contact her at ARIESGRLREVIEW.COM.


Grandma Day Care by Rose Ann Sinay

We’d all been preparing for months for my granddaughter’s arrival. We knew she would need open heart surgery shortly after birth. Amazingly, she was full term and strong. This was good news. The doctors decided to delay the operation to give her time to grow. But, after two months, a common cold changed everything. Emergency surgery had to be performed, delaying the original operation. Everything was on hold. Since Mila’s exposure to everyday viruses had to be contained, day care wasn’t an option. That’s where “Grandma care” came in. There was no question that I would travel to New York to stay with my daughter and her family. I would babysit, enabling my daughter to get back to work while we waited for the new surgery date. It would be a piece of cake, I thought. I’m a mother, albeit older, but wiser now. I’ve raised two children of my own. I was happy to help out, and at the same time, have the opportunity to teach my daughter and her husband what I knew about babies and parenting. And of course, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my granddaughter. I arrived to lists – my daughter’s endless lists of dos and don’ts cross referenced to additional pages of 12

instructions. Five piece baby bottles (five pieces—when did that happen?) that required assembly before each feeding, stood in rows. The green inserts fit only in the white bottles. The white rings do not fit the pink bottles, and the pink bottles have a totally different set of innards (what? why?). I’d never seen an insert before. Just cleaning all the tiny holes in the unit was going to be a part time job in itself. Next to the army of bottles and Tupperware containers filled with inserts and tops was a log to record the time, medications and milliliters (w hat happened to ounces?) of mi l k consumed. Okay, so the bottles are marked with both measurements, but who can see those colorless plastic impressions without a magnifying glass? I pulled out a black marker and lined those pastel vessels much to my daughter’s dismay. I thought back on my own mothering days. I was lucky to be able to nurse my babies. I didn’t have to remember to take the frozen milk out of the freezer to defrost. No need for cleaning bottles and all their little pieces with special brushes. There was no log to record how much my babies drank. Their pudgy rolls told me they were doing fine. I had just put my suitcases in the closet, and I was already in alien territory.

Mila was all smiles when I held her in my arms. Tiny bubbles formed on her lips as she cooed. That’s all it took to bring me back to my maternal core. Minutes later her face screwed up into an unhappy mask. Her cry was urgent. No amount of bouncing seemed to relieve her discomfort. “Maybe she’s wet,” I said starting to remove her clothing to check. “What are you doing?” my daughter asked. “Just check the indicator strip on the diaper.” “Well doesn’t that beat all,” I said as she pointed to a yellow line on the Pampers that had turned blue. Even diapers had become high tech. The first two weeks Mila slept most of the day and kept her parents up most of the night. “She has her days and night mixed up,” I said wisely. “We will just have to turn her around.” Soon Mila was sleeping most of the night and spending lots of time with Grandma during the day. There was tummy time on the thick, white owl blanket and back time in her activity center surrounded by colorful, soft toys and a hanging mirror. When she wasn’t exercising, she preferred to be held and walked. My back and neck began to hurt. I understood why 60 year old women did not have babies. And the swing – I’ve never seen such a Mecca of baby soothers – included choices of music, heart beat or ocean wave sounds, blinking lights, timer, fast and low speeds and all those speeds in between. A gentle swing and sleep vibration lulled Mila into her (too short) naps. I was suitably impressed by all the options. That was before I pushed the wrong buttons (oops) and woke my irritable, nap deprived granddaughter with “playtime” sounds and motions. I thought fondly of our old red baby swing with one speed and one direction – it could do nothing but move back and forth.

Then, there are the video cameras – I must take the monitor with me from one room to the next. Back in the day when I put my babies down to sleep, I checked on them periodically by opening the door to their room. I must confess there is something comforting about having an “inside eye.” I have become addicted to watching my granddaughter’s every movement. “So how’s she doing?” my daughter called out from her office when she heard me scavenging the pantry for a snack. “Still sleeping?” “Uh,” I stalled with my mouth full of cookie. I tiptoed back into the living room to grab the little spying device. “Yes she is,” I sang with relief. I sing constantly these days. I feel like I am living in a musical. I sing to Mila as I change her diaper, feed her or try to comfort her – silly, nonsensical songs that would make Simon and Garfunkel cringe. But she doesn’t care and neither do I. I am totally outdated. My mommy expiration date has long passed. But the good news is, I’m Mila’s grandmother, and I get a pass for not knowing about all those new fangled gizmos. It’s okay that I forgot to put the insert in the bottle when she was crying, and I was frazzled. When my granddaughter smiles up at me with her big gummy grin, I know she will love me anyway.

Rose Ann Sinay

is a freelance writer typing away in sunny North Carolina. Her articles/stories have been published in The Carolinas Today, The Oddville Press and The Brunswick Beacon.


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Expect the Extraordinary

Are You Ready to Start a Yoga Practice? By Lauren Davis

Yoga yoga yoga, you see it everywhere on TV, billboards and magazines. In the last 20 years it has grown so popular and remains that way for one reason, it works. Simply put, it is a total body/mind practice. The yoga postures move and strengthen the body and breath, which all helps to calm the mind. It’s not just an exercise class. It’s personal and unique to everyone. Each time you go to a class, you leave different then when you came in, usually more relaxed and grounded. If you ask a room full of people after a class what they’re experience was, you would get many different answers. It’s a private experience enhanced by group synergy.


Yoga is great for any age from kids to seniors. There are many different styles of yoga, depending on your own personal needs. If you like a vigorous practice, there are Vinyasa classes that flow the postures from one to another, moving with the breath. The Beginning and/or Iyengar style works on breaking down the poses to understand them better, with focus on alignment, balance, strength and flexibility. Or if you need to rest and renew there are Restorative classes that have you lying in supported poses to open up the body and create a quiet restful practice. Many students take different classes throughout the week like Monday could be more active and by Friday after a long week, Restorative would feel better. Yoga studios, Health Clubs, Community Centers and even online – all offer yoga. Yoga studios tend to have smaller classes which help you get more attention. Yoga for beginners and especially Intro to Yoga classes are a great way to start, and they usually run a 4 to 6 week series. There are massive opportunities online, but an experienced teacher guiding you is the most important part of a new practice.

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Lauren Davis, E-RYT 500, ACE has been teaching yoga for over 20 years. Find her at Island Wave Yoga and B Balanced Wellness Center, both in Pawleys Island.

Heart Strings A Victorian Tea

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2017 | 11 AM-2 PM Kimbels Restaurant at Wachesaw Plantation

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased in advance by calling Marilyn Keyser at 843-503-2794.


Prompted to Remember by Fredricka Maister

Slips of paper with writing prompts to get our creative juices flowing lay face-down, strewn across the table in my writing class. With eyes shut, I picked up the paper with the following words: “It’s hard to meditate because you taught me. You both blazed and blocked my path to peace.” As I would later discover, that quote appeared in a book by Andy Selsberg entitled, Dear Old Love: Anonymous Notes to Former Crushes, Sweethearts, Husbands, Wives and Ones that Got Away. That writing prompt was so spot-on that I could have authored the quote had I had the awareness to articulate my reality back in the day when we were together. In an unexpected flashback to our past, I recalled the two of us meditating first thing, even before breakfast, every Saturday and Sunday morning for over 10 years. “Meditation, it clears your head, starts the day off right, gives you energy and inner peace,” you would say. You showed me how to meditate according to your Zen Buddhist practice with its focus on the

breath, lowered eyelids and hands folded in cosmic mudra position. You even gave me a meditation cushion so I could assume the full lotus posture. You were a pro – the real deal – having practiced “zazen” for decades. I would marvel at how your belly would rhythmically inflate and deflate as you slowly inhaled and exhaled. I was envious at how you exuded stillness and peace, your mind no doubt aligned with the cosmos, with infinity, with wherever your deep practice led you – I knew not where. I, on the other hand, have always been meditationally-challenged, physically and mentally unable to sit still for more than a few minutes. Despite your best intentions to help me attain nirvana, I must confess that I was a “spiritual fraud,” my meditative practice nothing more than a charade. While you were meditating and presuming that I was doing the same, I was busy “unmeditating,” allowing my mind to take over, following my thoughts instead of just letting them pass through my consciousness. My back and thighs took turns hurting from sitting cross-legged. My stomach rumbled and grumbled in abject hunger. I waited with high anxiety for the timer to go off, signaling the end of our meditative session. Time took its time – five minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 elongated minutes. How I wanted to bolt from the room, run to the bathroom, go to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, be anywhere but in meditation with you. Looking back, I wonder why I was so compliant to the point of pretending to meditate. We always said that we were soul mates, that we could honestly share everything and anything with each other. Was I afraid that if I chose not to join you in your spiritual ritual, you would be disappointed, angry and eventually, fulfilling my worst nightmare, leave me? Did my deepseated fear of abandonment stemming from my father’s sudden death when I was 12 years old dictate that I accompany you on your path to peace, sacrificing my own needs and losing my way? I have to acknowledge in hindsight, uncomfortable as it may feel, that maybe our relationship just wasn’t as solid, trusting and authentic as I had wanted and perceived it to be. Now that you are no longer in my life, and I am alone, I do not meditate. That is not to say that my life is bereft of spiritual connection; each day I pray, read spiritual literature, and feel gratitude to the Universe for the blessings in my life, and every Saturday and Sunday morning, I go to the gym where I stretch my limbs, lift weights and dance to the Latin rhythms of salsa. On my own I have finally found my true path to what had eluded me in meditation:  peace of body, mind and spirit.

Fredricka R. Maister


is a freelance writer from New York City. Her essays have appeared in a variety of print and online publications, such as The Writer, Baltimore Sun, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Jewish Week, Big Apple Parent, Coping with Cancer magazine, OZY, Huffington Post, and Sasee.

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Joy Riding with Nana by Linda O’Connell

On a snowy, January day, my four-year-old grandson Nicholas, who was bundled up like an arctic dweller, bounded out of his dad’s car and ran through our door. “Where are you guys going?” I asked my son, whose little boy looked exactly like him when Jason was the same age. “Don’t ask. Just put on your boots, hat and gloves, and come with us. It’s a surprise. And Nicholas really wants you to join us.” “Please, Nana?” How could I refuse? In the car I noticed the plastic sleds. I said, “I’ll sit in the car and watch you, but I don’t intend to sled down the hill and then hoof it back to the top. I’m too old for sledding. Those days are done.” “Okay, Mom. We just want you to come have some fun with us.” “Yeah, Nana, let’s go have some fun. I picked the blue sled for you, ‘cause blue’s your favorite color.” When Jason dro ve into the

snowy city park, memories avalanched. There was the same extremely steep hill all the teenagers used to zoom down – the one my little daredevil son swore he could take on, decades ago, but I would never let him try. Beyond the curve, there was a bank of trees and a ledge where he and I had taken our new American Flyer sled on its maiden voyage so many years ago. Reverie overtook me. I envisioned Jason then, his navy blue parka hood zipped around his four year old face. His chapped cheeks and ocean blue eyes peeking out, and his breath making cloud formations, as he told me how fast he could go downhill all by himself. “Not by yourself, yet. First time you get to ride with Mama,” I’d told him as I’d plopped down on the sled and positioned him. I remembered wrapping my legs around him and holding tight to the guide rope. His dad shoved us off and down we zipped, gaining more speed than a locomotive. Then unexpectedly, we were airborne, flying towards a concrete ledge – my heart pounding with fear, my son’s racing with excitement, thinking his mama was in control. I was completely out of control as the metal connected with concrete and grinded to a halt at the bottom of a snowy ravine. Jason was flung one way, and I the other. The metal runners on our brand new sled were bent, and we were banged up, but not badly injured. First time out and our sledding adventure was almost over before it began. I envisioned us then. Seven year old daughter, Tracey, anxiously waiting at the top of the hill for her turn to ride the new sled with her daddy. Her disappointment at not being able to have a turn on the sled finally eased when we headed to White Castle for burgers and hot chocolate – always our family routine after an evening of sledding. I could almost smell those small, oniony burgers.


As my grown son pulled the car into a parking spot, I gasped. “Do you know this is the same exact hill where our family used to go sledding twenty-five years ago? Son, I don’t want to disappoint you, but remember our disaster the last time you and I went sledding together? This time I’ll just watch you both.”

As I stood there reflecting, I concluded that aging didn’t necessarily mean having to slow down just because time seemed to be speeding up. I watched two generations making memories right before my eyes as they both swerved down slick paths over and over, so close, yet out of my reach.

He laughed and said, “Oh I remember. We’ll leave a sled on the hill for you anyway, just in case you change your mind.”

On their next trip, I positioned the blue plastic sled between them, sat down and took the joy ride of my life. The three of us squealed joyfully all the way down hill.

I exited the car and watched them gleefully tromp through the snow. “Watch this, Nana!” They positioned their sleds on top of the hill and begged me to join them.

The ride was over before I knew it. As they helped me off the sled and up the hill, I thought, “My balance might be off, but I’m more centered than I’ve ever been.”

Nicholas had inherited the thrill-seeking gene from his dad. I knew I was witnessing the first of many times Nick would race away with confidence and excitement.

As I look back on that snowy day, I realize the hardest thing I’ve had to accept is that my way is not going to be their way, and all of our darlings will eventually zoom away. Though, if I’m lucky they will continue to return to Nana’s loving arms where their earliest memories reside.

They sat side by side on individual sleds baiting one another. My son shouted, “I’ll beat you to the bottom!” My grandson cheered, and jeered, “Huh-uh, no you won’t!”

Meteorologists are predicting a bad winter. I’ve bought new boots, mittens, and scarf. The first snowy day, I’m inviting all the kids to join me for a joy ride.

And then they were off, squealing, and shouting, and having the time of their lives. I giggled as they trudged back up hill dragging their sleds behind. Effortlessly, they climbed the incline and begged me to join them. I imagined myself young, when daily family life and parenting often seemed an uphill struggle. I listened with contentment as my big and little boy returned again and zipped off, their hearts racing. I gazed into the past, and then with a jolt, I saw the future. There I was, ankle deep in powdery snow, ageing gracefully, but none the less, sliding down the slippery slope, zooming past middle age, three years from senior discounts. I stood on top of that hill, gazing at my guys, my energy waning, my waist thickening, and my daring “done.”

Linda O’Connell

a preschool teacher for almost four decades, is notorious for holding her life together with duct tape and humor. Her greatest loves are family, the beach and dark chocolate.


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Happy New Year! What does that mean to you? Is it a brand new start? How are you going to treat 2017? This year is full of hope, possibility and opportunity!

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February 2017

Home Sweet Home 25

Me First by Susan Traugh

I was not a mask-first kind of girl. You know, those instructions they give you on the plane that, in case of an emergency, you are to put your own oxygen mask on first and then help your child. Well, nothing doing. I’m a wrestle-with-your-own-mask-WHILE-yousimultaneously-help-your-kid-kinda-woman. And, it worked for me. Sort of. All three of my kids have disabilities. And, between attending to seizures, running to the hospital, handling bleeding episodes, dealing with emotional and physical meltdowns and balancing dozens of doctor’s appointments, their needs clearly came first. Soon, those needs consumed my life with my own interests and desires taking a back seat and then simply getting out of the car. You see, any one of my kid’s issues would have been a full time job, but with all three of them needing me all at the same time, I felt like one of those jugglers running from spinning plate to spinning plate – dashing, attending, watching, twisting – trying as I might to keep everything spinning in the sky but eventually – always – hearing the crash of glass as some forgotten plate flew off the handle and smashed to the floor. In the midst of it, there was simply no time or space for me. I wanted to write – sometimes actually produced an article or two – but then some plate would careen onto the floor, and I’d drop everything and run. By the time I’d cleaned up the mess and gotten all the plates spinning again, I’d inevitably forgotten what that thing was that I was doing for myself and started focusing again on the plates. But, over the years I got into the habit of helping where help might not have been needed. Truth was – it was easier. 26

I was so exhausted from all the emergency measures and crisis intervention I had to do that those simple tasks that might be time consuming to teach our kids at first just felt overwhelming. It was easier to do it myself. It was easier to run over and spin that plate again before it began to wobble rather than trust my child to get to it in time. It was easier to step in rather than deal with the stress that cleaning up the breakage – again – would cause. But then one of those milestone birthdays came around, and I was a mess. As I’d given up more and more of my own life to the care of my children, I hadn’t realized that an alarm clock had begun ticking in my brain. That clock said my sacrifices were temporary. That clock said there was an end-point. That clock promised that my birthday held freedom. But, it didn’t. Now, don’t get me wrong. I know motherhood never ends. I know our babies are always our babies. But, birdies do fly from the nest. That’s all I was asking.

But, mine weren’t all going to – even though they were all adults. Well, one is launched. The next may do so in another few years. A third may stay with us “forever.” But, there was no way all those chicks were going to leave the nest by my birthday.

As my alarm buzzed, so did my phone. “Mommy! Mommy! Do you hear that?” my 21-year-old cried with delight. “I did it! I let you have your meeting even though I had a problem. But, I fixed it myself! Let me tell you how I solved it...”

And upon that realization, I became angry.

For you see, my resolve has turned into their resolve. Together, we’re all trying to take another step out into being the best we can be – and we’re all succeeding. In fact, my first novel was published this year. A second one is under consideration with a publisher, and the third is rattling around in my head. My kids are coming to me regularly to show me their accomplishments along with their steps toward independence while we’ve each kicked it up a notch in all aspects of our lives.

When was MY time arriving? When did I catch a break? When would MY NEEDS come, if not first, then definitely into play? At first I didn’t have an answer. So I stomped around and pouted for months leading up to my birthday. Then came the New Year with a glass of champagne and a moment to make a resolution. And it hit me: I didn’t need an empty nest to make me a priority. I just needed to decide that I was.

And all because I finally resolved to put me first.

I needed to put that oxygen mask on myself first...and at this stage in their lives, I needed my children – disabled or not – to work at getting their own mask on to the best of their abilities. Of course I would help. But, it didn’t have to be my 24/7 responsibility to care for needs they could manage themselves. I told them what I wanted to do; they promised to help – and they did. I’ve begun really writing again...and they’ve begun to let me. They try to leave me alone when they can see I’m “on a roll,” and I try to check in with them when I take breaks. And you know what? It’s good for all of us. I attended a writer’s workshop last month. My one daughter was not in a stable place emotionally, and we discussed whether it was a good idea for me to leave her. Ultimately, we set an alarm on her phone and mine for the time when the meeting would be over. She could call only with major emergencies before the alarm went off, but could check in about anything after it rang.

Susan Traugh

Award-winning author, Susan Traugh’s work can be found on her website at: susantraugh.com. Her novel, The Edge of Brilliance, about a teen with bipolar is available on Amazon.


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New Year



What Works for Me by Diane Stark

While visiting my sister and her family, I noticed a small notepad sitting on their kitchen counter. On the open page, someone had written a list of dates with a number next to each date. My nephew, Ben, saw me looking at the notepad. “That’s my dad’s weight notebook,” he explained. My mouth dropped open. “Your dad writes down his weight every day and then leaves it on the counter where everyone can see it?” Ben nodded like it was no big deal. “He says it helps him stay skinny.” “Ben, your daddy is a brave man,” I said. “I would never want everyone to know how much I weigh.” My sister, Mandy, walked in and nodded. “I agree with you, but flip back through the pages. My husband lost almost 50 pounds last year, and now he’s using that notebook to make sure he keeps the weight off.” I did as Mandy suggested. She was right. My brotherin-law’s weight had barely fluctuated since he’d started tracking it. “Bart knows how easily the pounds can sneak back on,” she explained. “This is a struggle for him, and the accountability really helps him stay on the right track.”


S 1 8 15 January, 2017 22 Monday 29


M 2 9 16 23 30

T 3 10 17 24 31

W 4 11 18 25

T 5 12 19 26

F 6 13 20 27

S 7 14 21 28

is t n e m e g na a m e m i s. s T e n i s u b a tricky n o s r e p e n r o r. o f s k r o w What work for anothe won’t

I smiled. “It’s admirable and brave, but I don’t think I could do it.” She nodded. “I’m right there with you, but it works for him. Leaving that little notepad where everyone can see it is a powerful motivator for him.” “Like I said, it’s admirable,” I responded. Months later, I was going through an especially busy season in my life. My kids were in a lot of activities, I had several social obligations and work deadlines, and my husband’s job was extremely stressful and timeconsuming, which made him unable to help out with the kids and the house as much as he usually does. I felt like I was running from one task to the next with no break or time to do anything for myself. Writing is my job, but it’s also my passion, and I didn’t have as much time to devote to it as I wanted to. Months earlier, I’d worked hard to develop an exercise habit, but even that had gone by the wayside during this busy season. I felt overwhelmed nearly every day. It was bad, and I knew something needed to change. And that’s when I remembered my brother-in-law ’s notepad trick . I wondered if I could use it to manage my time better during this crazy time. I bought a small n o te p a d a n d wrote my To Do List on it each morning. I was determined to get back into my

exercise routine and daily writing habit, so I included both of those things on my list. After I’d written down the laundry, housework and errands that had to be done, the list seemed overwhelming. There just didn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get it all done. I’d hoped that leaving the notepad on the counter would provide me with motivation and accountability like it had my brother-in-law. For a few weeks, I marked off tasks as I did them and then showed it to my husband each night. More often than not, the daily reports were not pretty. “I exercised today, but I didn’t get any writing done,” was a frequent report. Or, about as often, I wrote but didn’t have time to exercise. The majority of the time, the laundry and errands got done, if only because my family was counting on me to do those things.

their personal goals. Could my little notepad help me with that? The problem seemed bigger than a notepad. But the solution was also in Gretchen Rubin’s book. She wrote about her treadmill desk, which is just exactly what it sounds like. A treadmill with a desk attached to it. I could exercise and write at the exact same time? Both of my personal To Do’s could be accomplished simultaneously? It sounded perfect. And it is. I’ve had my treadmill desk for a few months now, and I’ve used it nearly every day. I’ve exercised more, and I’ve written more because I can do them at the same time. My family still comes first, but I no longer feel as though I never have time for my personal goals.

My husband is the most supportive man on this planet. When I would show him my incomplete list each night, he would shrug and say, “Honey, I’m sure you tried your best. Besides, you can’t fit ten gallons of water in a five gallon bucket.”

Time management is a tricky business. What works for one person won’t work for another. Our personalities weigh heavily into what motivates us. My brother-in-law uses a little notepad for accountability. What’s worked for me is a treadmill with a desk attached.

Was that what I was trying to do? Fit too much stuff into each day? Did that mean that my life would always seem disorganized, and I was destined to feel overwhelmed forever?

I got my treadmill desk in September, but it has felt like a brand-new start for me. I’m setting new goals – and reaching them – because I found what works for me.

A few weeks before, a friend had recommended Gretchen Rubin’s books to me. “I think they’ll really help you,” she’d said. Boy was she right! I discovered that I am what Gretchen Rubin calls an Obliger. An obliger is someone who will keep commitments to other people, no matter what, but all too often, an obliger will let internal commitments slide, because those goals only impact themselves. That’s why the laundry and housework always got done. Because I couldn’t let my family down. But my own personal goals, like those involving my writing and exercise routines, impacted only me when I didn’t get them done.

Diane Stark

is a wife and mom of five. She loves to write about her family and her faith. Her essays have been published in over 20 Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

So they were at the bottom of my To Do List. All the time. I learned that obligers need external accountability for 31

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Set Yourself up for Success with 7 Simple Steps By Kelsey Stone

Starting a new fitness routine is one thing, sticking with it is another. You’ve vowed to make healthier choices this year, but where are you going to start? 1. Define your goals – Be specific. Do you want to lose 5 pounds or 20? Is flexibility important to you? Do you want long, lean muscles or bulk? The more specific you are, the easier it will be to choose which fitness center to go with and the easier it will be to track your progress. 2. Make a plan – Decide how many times per week you are going to exercise, for how long, and where. Write it down and stick to it. Your health is your most important asset – take care of yourself, always. 3. Have fun! – Pick something you enjoy doing. Life is too short to do something in your free time that doesn’t make you happy. There are many variables to consider when choosing fitness. Do you exercise for some alone time or do you want a fitness studio that offers a strong community as well as results? 4. Be prepared – You will have an off day. You will have an off week. You will feel like going home right after work and binging on a Netflix series. That’s okay. Give yourself a break, but remember to set a date to get back on track! 5. People – Find people that can hold you accountable. Maybe this is your class instructor, good friend, or front desk associate at your fitness center. Tell them your goals and ask them to help keep you accountable! 6. Remember why you started – This goes hand in hand with preparation. When you feel like quitting, and you will, remember why you started. Be stronger than your best excuse.

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7. Nutrition – Exercise is incredibly important, but so is fueling your body properly. Focusing on nutrition will lead to faster results, improved long term health, and better performance during physical activity. Be sure to check with a Registered Dietitian for specific questions on nutrition. There is a plethora of boutique and big box fitness concepts available – at the end of the day, its crucial to choose something that you can stick with, something that is safe, and something you enjoy! Kelsey Stone, RD, LD is the owner of Pure Barre Murrells Inlet, located at 11897 SC-707, Murrells Inlet. She is a Certified Pure Barre teacher and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Contact Kelsey at 843-299-0848 or visit http://purebarre.com/sc-murrellsinlet.




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It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle By Lauren Guest

It is the time of year for change. With the New Year already here, some of you are making resolutions to lose weight, get fit, and to just get healthier. Being healthier doesn’t mean you to have to change your entire life all at once. Taking baby steps day by day is the best way to reach a new healthier lifestyle. Here are a few small changes that can make a huge difference in the way you feel and choose to eat. • Clean out your pantry. If you have tempting foods in the kitchen, you might need to do a little pantry detox. • Eat breakfast! Breakfast wakes up the metabolism and provides energy to the brain and muscles for the day’s activities. • Eat whole and fresh foods. When you eat whole foods, you’re getting the food in its most natural state with all of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are in the food. • Know your portions. Portion control plays a huge roll in weight loss. Eat half portions, use a smaller plate, slow down when you eat, and skip second helpings. • Cut back on sugar. Try to drink your coffee and tea black. • Bake instead of fry foods. Baking on high temperatures will still give your food a crisp taste. • Bring prepared meals to work for lunch. That will keep you from running out and grabbing fast food. “Failure to prepare, is preparing to fail.” • Eat as many vegetables as you can. Vegetables have a significant amount of nutrients which are very good for you.

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Sasee Gets Healthy on the Go – Apps for Diet and Fitness!

Going to the Barre studio, gym or yoga studio is more than good for you – it is FUN and so educational. But, for the time in between classes, fitness apps are a good choice. There are also apps that help you eat healthier without spending hours each week on meal planning. Sasee staff share a few of their favorites and why they like them! Yoga Studio – $3.99 Available on Google Play or iTunes Great for beginners or experts • 24 hours of ready-made HD classes • Developed by a qualified instructor Sasee editor, Leslie says, “This app doesn’t replace my regular classes, but it’s great for the days I can’t get to the studio. I love that it has different difficulty levels and classes of different lengths.”

Fitbit – $50 and up for Fitbit bracelet or clip models, app for mobile phone free with purchase Available locally and online • Syncs to phone • Tracks all daily activity • Heart rate monitor • Sleep monitor Sasee account executive, Erica, is never without her Fitbit. “My Fitbit model clips to my belt. The bracelet doesn’t always match what I’m wearing!” She went on to say that she and her friends have competitions to see who can get the most activity in during the week. “This one really pushes me.”

MyFitnessPal – Free, but offers paid upgrades Available on Google Play or iTunes Calorie counter app • Access to calorie counts for over 5 million foods • Web and mobile apps sync automatically Erica likes that this app will sync to her Fit Bit, helping her track calorie intake and activity. “You can track nutrients as well if you want to really watch what you eat.”

Map My Walk – Free, but offers paid MVP upgrades Available on Google Play or iTunes Uses GPS on your phone to track walks • Web tracker syncs with phone app • Find walks all over the United States Available for runners, hikers, cyclists and for general fitness Sasee art director, Patrick, uses this app for his daily walks with his Rottweiler, Titan. “It’s easy – I just turn it on and go. Once a week it emails me a log of miles walked.” Mealime – Free, but offers paid upgrades Healthy personalized meal planning for busy people • A variety of meal plans for different diets Recipes • Grocery lists Healthy eating matters, but sometimes a busy life gets in the way. Sasee photographer and graphic artist, Aubrey, uses this app regularly and really loves the ease of planning meals and shopping. “You can pick a vegetarian diet, paleo diet, whatever your preference, and the app gives you recipes that make enough for two, plus a grocery list!”

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Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot by Jeffery Cohen

“Happpppyyy New Year!”      It isn’t just some sort of traditional holiday exclamation. It’s a declaration of hope – a chance to begin a fresh new year with a clean slate. Oh sure, there are fluted glasses of champagne, boxes of noisemakers, funny party hats. And through the storm of confetti and the downpour of streamers, after all of the kissing and hugging, we have the chance of a new year, and with it, a litany of promises we hope to keep.

My mother would rock merrily on her turquoise swivel chair, a glass of Cherry Kijafa in hand, toasting to her family and to the peace in the world she hoped for. My brothers and I joined in by clinking clunky little shrimp cocktail glasses that my mother collected, their ginger ale splashing in puddles on the linoleum floor. While Dad snored on, we would head out onto the front lawn where we banged metal pot lids with wooden spoons, screaming until we were hoarse. “Happyyy New Yearrrr.” My father had his own noise maker. “Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!”

“I swear. This year I’m going to lose weight.” This was my mother’s New Year’s resolution . . . every year, which was always instantly followed by, “This year I really mean it.” And she did lose weight... every year. The only problem was, around February 14th, when heart-shaped boxes of Valentine’s candy started rolling in, the weight she lost... she found, all over again.

In 1970, I was 21 years old, and finally old enough to drink. I prepared to tie one on for my first “real” New Year’s celebration. A buddy and I sat in his mother’s kitchen where we mixed liquors that had no right to be on the same shelf next to each other, let alone in the same glass. We drank until dawn without ever really getting around to a New Year’s resolution. Not one that we could remember anyway. Then again, there wasn’t much we could remember from that night. It took four days before  I could come up with a resolution. It took that long for my young head to stop pounding. “I swear, I’ll never drink again,” I moaned, again and again.

My father made his same annual resolution. “I promise, I’m going to stay awake past twelve this New Year’s Eve.” My brothers and I would roll our eyes in disbelief, as my father’s eyelids would begin to droop and, true to form, shortly before the clock struck midnight Dad was out like a light. He just never showed  the same enthusiasm for New Year’s Eve that my mother had. In fact, we were lucky if we could even wake him up at twelve o’clock. For a guy who normally stayed up until the wee hours watching his favorite baseball team get their last “at bats” on TV, he was never quite able to usher in a new year. With a wife and three kids, a rough job and hard times, it was as if my father just didn’t want to face another new year. The old year had been tough enough. I think I made my first resolution in 1958, after becoming completely enamored with rock and roll and Elvis Presley. “I swear I’ll never cut my sideburns off,” I faithfully swore. A short time later, “The King” was drafted into the service and had his head shaved in boot camp. I amended my resolution. “I swear, I’ll never go into the army . . . or to the barber, ever again!” I think I used the same resolution in 1968. There was always something special about New Year’s Eve to me and my family. As we sat in front of the ten inch screen of the old Zenith black and white television, we would count down the last seconds of the old year with thousands of strangers who had gathered in Times Square. As the illuminated ball finally reached the bottom of the tower above everyone’s head . . . Happpyyy New Year!


Over the years, I’ve shared a lot of New Year’s Eves with people that I love. We’ve hugged and toasted and blown horns, and on some occasions, even gotten out the old pot tops and wooden spoons and headed out to the front lawn to celebrate with our neighbors. I always hope for a better year, no matter how good the last one was. But these days, when I hear the melody of “Auld Lang Syne” drifting into a party from a TV left on in the next room, I know there’s no Guy Lombardo standing at the bandstand the way he did when I was a kid. There’s no Dad, snoring on the couch anymore - no Mom leading us in song to the strains of Guy’s Royal Canadians. And I can’t help but find myself wondering, should old acquaintance be forgot? I hope not . . . ever.

Jeffery Cohen

Freelance writer and newspaper columnist Jeffery Cohen has written for Sasee, Lifetime and Read, Learn, Write. He’s won awards in WomenOn-Writing Contest, Vocabula’s Well Written Contest, National League of American Pen Women’s Competition, Southern California Genealogy Competition and Writer’s Weekly writing contest.

January 2017 10 - 4/16


Stichin’ and Pullin’: Painted Illustrations by Cozbi Cabrera, exhibit at The Myrtle Beach Art Museum. For more info, call 843-238-2510 or visit myrtlebeachartmuseum.org.

Exhibit of Lowcountry artist Julius Clyde (Jules) Owens, Georgetown County Museum, 120 Broad Street, Georgetown. For more info, call 843-545-7020 or visit georgetowncountymuseum.com.



Moveable Feast, Karen White discusses The Guests on South Battery, 11 am, Pawleys Plantation, $30. For more info, call 843-235-9600 or visit classatpawleys.com.

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Mid-Winter SOS (Society of Shaggers), North Myrtle Beach, various events throughout the area. For more info, call 843-281-2662 or visit shagdance.com.

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Gullah Geechee Program Series, Wednesdays, 1 pm, free with garden admission, reservations required. For more info, call 843-235-6000 or visit brookgreen.org.


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Myrtle Beach Quilt Party and Vendor Extravaganza, Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center, Sunset Beach, NC. For more info, visit www.mbqp.net, call 800-624-6601 or e-mail myrtlebeachquiltparty@gmail.com.


34th Annual 5K & 15K runs, 9 am, North Myrtle Beach. For more info, visit grandstrandrunner.com

Long Bay Symphony, Nationalistic Fever, featuring Asmira Woodward-Page, Violin, 4 pm, Myrtle Beach High School Music & Arts Center, 3302 Robert M. Grissom Pkway. For tickets or more info, call 843-448-8379 or visit longbaysymphony.com.



Books and Boogie, Fundraiser for Freedom Readers, 4-9 pm, Dead Dog Saloon, Murrells Inlet. Buffet dinner from 6-8 pm, $40. For more info, call 404-455-1864 or visit freedomreaders.org.


Hike Hobcaw, 1:30-4:30 pm, Hobcaw Barony, reservations required. For more info, call 843-546-4623 or visit hobcawbarony.org.

FPC Concert Series, Olga Kern, Piano, First Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach, 1 pm. For more info, call 843-448-4496 or visit myrtlebeachpresbyterianchurch.org.


Cellist Zuill Bailey with pianist Natasha Paremski, 7 pm, The Abbey at Pawleys Island, 96 Gathering Lane, presented by Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art. For more info, call 843-626-8911 or visit pawleysmusic.com.

Practicing What I Teach by Melissa Face

Last fall I accepted a position as an English instructor at the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School (ARGS), a high school for students who are gifted in the arts and technology. During freshman orientation, my department chair, Dr. Cunningham, introduced members of the English and Literary Arts faculty to the parents of entering students. She introduced us individually, by first and last name, and emphasized our published work in the genres of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. “As you can see,” said Dr. Cunningham, “Our faculty are out in the publishing world pursuing their own writing goals. Here at ARGS, we practice what we teach.” I loved her introduction and the concept of “practicing what we teach.” I felt like ARGS was going to be a great fit for me personally and professionally. Switching schools can be difficult for even the most seasoned educators, but overall, my transition to ARGS was a smooth one. I quickly learned my students’ names and focus areas, prepared my lesson plans for the first few weeks, and introduced myself to other members of the faculty. My students and I got into our routine of reading some classics, studying vocabulary, and analyzing nonfiction articles. After each unit, I assigned a paper, test, or some sort of project that allowed students to incorporate their art. Additionally, I required my students to read some of their work aloud. I felt that it was a great experience, preparing them for college and for the workforce. One day, a sophomore named Amber was reading her vignette for the class. I was jotting down a few notes as she spoke in order to provide her with accurate and timely feedback. But as she continued, I was so captivated by her words that I could no longer take notes. She had my full attention. For some of you, this won’t make the tiniest bit of sense, Amber read. For others, this could quite possibly be the most relatable thing you’ve ever

She definitely had my attention as she continued reading.

At that moment, I thought about Amber and her piece on social anxiety, and I emailed my department chair to tell her that I was going to participate, even though I felt a little queasy about it. I knew it was the perfect opportunity to show my students that I was willing to take on similar challenges that I ask them to take.

. . . I am desperate. Desperate to get away from the feeling, the constant suffocation, the never ending fear. Yet I stay. I stay fighting to get out of the eternal in between. I stay, perfecting the words I will probably never have the nerve to say.

On the day of the readings, I shared an essay about my son and my (lacking) artistic abilities. My students and colleagues laughed at my punch lines and clapped when I was finished. Overall, it was a successful experience.

Amber concluded her piece, entitled “Social Anxiety,” and returned to her seat. For the rest of the day, I thought about her vignette, how difficult she found it to speak publicly and the fact that she did it anyway. I was impressed with her ability to convey her feelings, and I felt a bit guilty for not treating public speaking with more care.

It reminded me that my job is so much bigger than lecturing, testing, and imparting knowledge. It’s about connecting with my students, serving as a positive role model for them, and learning with them. And one of the best ways to do that is to practice what I teach.

heard. I struggle to find the words to explain to you why I am the way that I am. I’m not even sure those words exist. I am stuck in an eternal in between, sandwiched between the loud mouths and the loud minds . . .

About a month later, I received an email from my department chair asking me if I would like to participate in the upcoming faculty readings. The readings are an annual, school wide assembly in which instructors of the English and Literary Arts department read their original work. “Would you like to read one of your essays?” Dr. Cunningham asked me. “It’s optional, but most people in the department participate. It’s a great way to promote our upcoming Writer’s Fest.” I asked her if I could think about it for a while. I thought about how much I despise public speaking (yes, even though I am a teacher) and that I have never read my own work in front of a crowd. For this particular reading, my audience would be the entire student body and members of the faculty: a total of about 400 individuals. The thought was completely nauseating. It was horrifying. I envisioned myself sharing my raw, original thoughts and words with everyone and realized . . . it was exactly what I require of my students. All. The. Time.

Melissa Face

lives in southeastern Virginia with her husband and two children. She teaches English, writes essays, and spends a little too much time on Facebook. Email Melissa at writermsface@yahoo.com.


Where the Pink Camellias Bloom by Lola Di Giulio De Maci

How can you forgive someone who doesn’t have a name or a face? I had just returned from Los Angeles where I had undergone seven weeks of radiation therapy for breast cancer, and I definitely needed a pick-me-up – something just for me. These past weeks hadn’t been easy. I needed to rest. Within a week, I discovered a statuary yard near my home. I parked my car at the entrance and walked through the wrought-iron gate. I was looking for that special something that would give me a lift. A terra-cotta pot? A statue? A birdbath? And then I saw what I had been looking for. It was just sitting there waiting for me. My bench. Its gray, concrete base had fancy scrolls and curlicues, and its stone-studded seat sparkled in the midday sun. I sat on the bench. It had my name on it. “How much do you want for this bench?” I asked the man-in-charge. “One-hundred-and-five dollars.” “I only have eighty-five dollars with me,” I said, fishing frantically for my wallet. SOLD! I lugged my prized possession home in the trunk of my car, and my husband placed it under the huge camphor tree in the backyard. The bench looked great there, but it slanted downward because of the tree’s billowing roots. It was like sitting on a slippery slope. “It would look better between the tangerine tree and the plum tree anyway,” I surmised. So my husband moved the bench to the shady area beneath the trees. But it just didn’t look right there. Not enough space. The bench finally ended up in the front yard by the gray block wall. It rested on a grassy spot in the sun. Perfect. I loved sitting on that bench, waiting for the letter carrier to deliver my mail or just watching the cars go by. The sun felt good on my back. Just what the doctor had ordered. And best of all, no one seemed to notice me. It was my sacred spot.

And then one night around nine o’clock, while I was watching TV I heard a loud, dull thud – like a huge boulder hitting a sheet of metal. It all happened so fast that I didn’t bother to get up and investigate what had just taken place outside my front door. I didn’t notice that the bench was missing until the next day when I returned home from the grocery store. As soon as I turned into the driveway, something didn’t feel right. My eyes fell immediately on the empty space near the block wall. All that was left of my bench was the grassy spot on which it sat. Someone had pulled up in my circle drive, loaded my bench into his vehicle and drove off with it. All in the matter of seconds. A thief had taken something that belonged to me. My husband was livid. “I’ll buy you another bench, and I’ll cement it to the ground. No one will be able to budge it. It’ll take a tow truck to haul it away.” I didn’t want another one. I wanted that one. I had bought it with money I had saved. And, besides, it was my resting bench. A gift to myself. I didn’t know what to think. I lay in bed that night, feeling hurt – and angry – and violated. Who would do such a thing? How could anyone take something that didn’t belong to them? I couldn’t fall asleep. After several nights of leaning into prayer, I began thinking of all the good people in the world, people who do good things – like those who took care of me during my stay at the cancer center: People who held my hand when I was afraid; those who fluffed the pillow beneath my head to make me more comfortable; those who hugged me and encouraged me every step of the way… All these years later, I still think of my bench at times. Not so much the bench itself anymore, but the lessons I have learned along the way. I have come to realize that all material things are transient and that having integrity is much more priceless. I have also come to realize that there can be beauty and power in the act of forgiveness. Today a pink camellia bush blooms in the grassy spot in the sun where my bench once sat. Its graceful presence is a constant reminder that I must learn to forgive others – even those without a name or a face.

Lola Di Giulio De Maci

is a former teacher whose stories have appeared in numerous editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul, the Los Angeles Times, Sasee, Reminisce, and other anthologies, newspapers, and magazines. She has a Master of Arts in education and English and continues writing from her loft overlooking the San Bernardino Mountains.

Sasee Kids

Winter Play and Parties Our community is blessed with beautiful weather almost year round, but January and February can be tough on kids who are used to running outside every day. Also, winter birthdays can be harder – you know what I mean if you have children with winter birthdays – the water park is not available in January or February! Sasee found some fun places for kids to play and celebrate – visiting in the winter months means shorter lines with more time to enjoy! Fun Warehouse

2349 Dick Pond Road, Myrtle Beach This fabulous venue features a state of the art Arcade, Elevated Go Cart Track,  Laser Tag, Soft Play, Inflatables, Six Birthday Party Rooms, Roller Skating, Rollerball and Mini-Bowling! Pricing varies with individual activities at $8.50 each or a full day, all access pass for $48. Local discounts are available.

Surf’s Up Family Fun Center

4112 Carolina Commercial Dr., Myrtle Beach Two words – Laser Tag. Kids love laser tag and Surf ’s Up has that plus a video arcade, rock climbing and more to keep them entertained. This is another great birthday venue – and laser tag is great exercise! Laser tag passes are sold at a variety of prices from $8.99 for one game or play all night for $19.99. Birthday parties are charged per guest and by how many games of laser tag played.

Children’s Museum of South Carolina

2204 N. Oak St., Myrtle Beach The Children’s Museum of South Carolina is an interactive playground for the mind! The kids can touch, explore and play while learning about the world through the interactive exhibits and programs. And, best of all, they will have so much fun while they’re learning! Admission is $8 for children and adults, and birthday parties are priced according to the number of attendees, but plan on about $200.


Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach For an inverted day of fun, take the kids to Wonderworks. This time of year, it’s much less crowded and there is so much to do! The kids will get plenty of exercise with an indoor ropes challenge and even a zipline. Birthday parties are reasonably priced as well – $180 for up to 12 guests and the birthday child is free. Individual ticket prices vary from $17.99 to $39.99, but a local’s discount is available online.

Rockin’ Jump Indoor Trampoline Park

2200 N. Oak St., Myrtle Beach This one is for the kids – and the parents! Have fun with the children and get a great workout – soar in open jump arenas, dive into pools of soft foam cubes, play trampoline dodgeball and do flips and somersaults. Available for birthday parties with dodgeball, x-beam, climbing wall, slam dunk zone and much more. Parents can socialize while the kids play safely at Rockin’ Jump. Open Jump is $10 for 30 minutes up to $25 for 120 minutes. Birthday parties are $200 for the first ten jumpers Monday through Thursday, and $250 on weekends.

Advertiser Index


Angelo’s Steaks & Pasta........................................................................35 Barbara’s Fine Gifts...............................................................................21 B. Graham Interiors.............................................................................15 Brookgreen Gardens.............................................................................11 The Boundary House Restaurant............................................................3 Butler Lighting.....................................................................................20 Callahan’s of Calabash............................................................................3 Carolina Car Care................................................................................21 The Citizens Bank..................................................................................5 Clark’s Seafood & Chop House..............................................................3 CLASS LLC...........................................................................................5 Coastal Cosmetic Dental......................................................................35 CoCo Salon & Spa...............................................................................20 Dr. David Grabeman..............................................................................5 Dr. Sattele............................................................................................14 Eggs Up Grill.......................................................................................21 Fowler Life Coaching...........................................................................17 Freedom Readers..................................................................................33 Good Deed Goods...............................................................................24 Grady’s Jewelers......................................................................................7 Grand Strand Plastic Surgery................................................................25 Harvest Commons...............................................................................28 Horry County Solid Waste Authority.....................................................9

Hospice Care of SC................................................................................7 Just Because IYQ..................................................................................17 Long Bay Symphony............................................................................15 Myrtle Beach Estates............................................................................28 Piedmont Springs Interiors...................................................................25 Palmetto Ace Hardware..........................................................................5 Pure Barre............................................................................................29 Pure Compounding..............................................................................32 Rose Arbor Fabrics...............................................................................17 Sea Island Trading Co.............................................................................2 Shades & Draperies................................................................................7 A Silver Shack......................................................................................35 Spaces by Valerie..................................................................................29 Sparkles................................................................................................24 South Atlantic Bank.............................................................................44 Taz.......................................................................................................11 Thrive Assisted Living & Memory Care................................................10 Tidelands Community Hospice............................................................24 To Your Health.....................................................................................10 Two Sisters with Southern Charm........................................................35 WEZV.................................................................................................42 Women in Philanthropy.......................................................................43

LEAD THE CHANGE Women’s Leadership Conference & Celebration of Inspiring Women

Presented by Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University

FEBRUARY 7-8, 2017

7th Annual

Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel

Join extraordinary women who are leading change – in their lives, communities and the world. Remarkable speakers – and the shared energy of participants of all ages, backgrounds and professions who connect at this powerful event – will inspire and challenge you to LEAD THE CHANGE!

Register Today wiplconference.com. For sponsorship or exhibitors information, contact wipl-adm@coastal.edu or call 843.349.5033.

conference & celebration

Premier Checking

has EVERYTHING you need to do your banking! South Atlantic Bank’s Premier Checking Account comes with so many great benefits that it’s a celebration! Normally, there’s a monthly maintenance fee for this account. But if you have other accounts with us including checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, or loans and lines of credit, the fee is waived!* It’s our way of thanking you for making us your primary bank. To learn more, visit us at any of our convenient locations or on the web at SouthAtlantic.bank. *$20 monthly maintenance fee is waived with just one of the following qualifiers: $2,500 daily balance or $5,000 average balance in checking; $15,000 combined daily balance in checking, savings, CDs, or IRAs; or $25,000 combined outstanding balance in personal loans or home equity lines of credit.

Myrtle Beach North Myrtle Beach Murrells Inlet Pawleys Island Georgetown Mount Pleasant SouthAtlantic.bank 843.839.0100

People You Know & Trust.


Profile for Strand Media Group

Sasee Magazine - January 2017  

"Resolve and Replenish"

Sasee Magazine - January 2017  

"Resolve and Replenish"