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January 2020

It’s strange how simple things become, once you see them clearly. -Ayn Rand-


LIV E WHER E O THERS VAC ATION

ASK ABOU T OUR

MOVE SPECI IN ALS!

Independent Living Assisted Living | Memory Care

Come live in Myrtle Beach’s premier INDEPENDENT LIVING, ASSISTED LIVING and MEMORY CARE today. At Portside at Grand Dunes, we’ll change the way you think of senior living. But more importantly, we may just change your life. For the better. It all starts with our perspective. We believe that moving to a senior living community should be something we appreciate for all it brings to our lives.

Fall in love with Portside! 901 Portside Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 843-999-2494 Quality senior living for those who have reached the age of fifty-five for independent living sixty-two for assisted living/memory care.

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Jeffrey W. Horowitz, DMD, FAGD Cara Coleman Lawson, DMD Martin Bockler, DMD Shawna Collins, DMD

Advancing the Art and Science of Dentistry through Education.

TMJ or Bite Problems??? At the Carolina Center for Advanced Dentistry, we treat many conditions and injuries involving the T.M.J.’s. (Temporo-Mandibular Joints). TMJ conditions are often mis-treated with night guard appliances or splints that can make the problem worse. Dental schools traditionally don’t teach dentists how to deal with these conditions. Dr. Horowitz has trained under some of the world’s leading authorities on the TMJ, and now lectures on these same topics around the globe.

Healthy, beautiful smiles!

Ear Pain? Popping/Clicking? Sore Muscles? Bite Changes? Call us today!

Treatment of sleep apnea WITHOUT C-PAP!

2 LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU!

822B Inlet Square Dr., Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 • 843-397-5337 1515 9th Ave, Conway, SC 29526 • 843-248-3843 www.carolinacosmeticdental.com


January 2020

Your Best Life Contents Volume 19, Issue 1

About the Cover: Amanda Ryan Tucker is an artist living in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from VCU with her BFA concentrating on painting and printmaking. Amanda’s work is most known for the bright colors and her distinct loose brushstrokes. When Amanda is not painting she is enjoying her family time with husband and two children. You can find Amanda’s work at Ro Sham Beaux in Charleston, South Carolina, at Gild and Ash in Richmond, Virginia, and Chosen in Charlotte, North Carolina. To see more of her work, visit www.AmandaRyanTucker.com or contact her at amandatuckerart@gmail.com.

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Sasee January Calendar It’s Never Too Late! by Susan Parrotta Read It! Reviews by Nicole McManus Book Chat- with Author, Colleen Oakley by Leslie Moore A New Grading Scale, by Diane Stark Message from Above, by Linda O’connell Led by Grace, by Karren Torres A Real Pain, by Jeffery Cohen Food for Health, by Emily Keck A Life Restored, by Sandy Delmer Thank You, Sister Friend, by Georgia Hubley Create Your Best Life, by Leslie Menich What’s Wrong with You, by Lindy Kirk

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Living Their Best Life Every Day: Brian and Sassy Henry, by Leslie Moore

40 44 48

Out to Lunch, by Erika Hoffman Find the Good in It, by Diane DeVaughn Stokes Beyond Spaghetti, by Ferida Wolff


Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University presents

Feb. 10-11, 2020

Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Discover more at WIPLConference.com

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Get the tools you need to take charge of your health and wellness at the “Better! Be strong. Be healthy. Be you.� expo during the conference.

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from the Editor

Publisher Delores Blount Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant Editor Leslie Moore Account Executives Stacy Danosky Erica Schneider Gay Stackhouse Art Director Patrick Sullivan It’s a New Year and a new decade! And a NEW Sasee! We have seen you…and heard you…and this is the result. A magazine for you and about you. A publication to inspire you to live your very best life in this decade and beyond. This is your Sasee Magazine! Please let us know what you think and how you feel. Without you, dear readers and supporters, none of this would happen.

Photographer & Graphic Artist Kelly Clemmons

While we were researching 2020 trends for the new Sasee, one I saw over and over was “the death of the bikini body,” and I heaved a sigh of relief. It’s about time we celebrate the beauty in all women, not just those who fit some ridiculous, made up standard of beauty. My tribe is made up of beautiful women of all shapes and sizes and ages. Each is absolutely gorgeous in her own way. They all shine from within, as do you, dear reader. When we take the time to actually “see” one another, and can safely reveal our true selves, we can all grow and learn together.

Accounting Gail Knowles

Sasee sees your radiance and celebrates the light you bring to the world. This year, she will highlight exciting people, places and events to entertain and inspire you. And, hopefully, make you laugh a little too. And she hasn’t forgotten to include all the things you love about her – your favorite writers, book reviews and more are still within these pages. Sasee SEES you!

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Web Developer Scott Konradt

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 © 2020. 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.


Retirement that feels right at home! As you enter The Florence Presbyterian Community through wrought iron gates, you will notice manicured lawns, mature live oak trees and walking paths around the pond. It is a perfectly sized and friendly community that’s ready to welcome you to the neighborhood. At our Life Plan Community, you can enjoy an active retirement lifestyle plus all levels of care on one campus. Commited to “people before profits,” we are a compassionate Christian ministry dedicated to enriching the quality of life for seniors of all faiths. Conveniently to I-95 and safely inland, we are located in Florence, a delightful small town with something for everyone – performances, shopping, nature, history, music and more! Come for a visit, we think you’ll feel right at home!

Move-in Ready Independent Living Patio Homes and Apartments Assisted Living | Short-term Rehabilitation | Health Care

To schedule a visit or for more information, contact Beth Shealy:

(843) 656-2906 Beth.Shealy@PresComm.org

2350 W. Lucas St., Florence, SC 29501

PresCommunities.org


2020

January January 4 First Saturday Glass Blowing Demonstration 11am-4pm Conway Glass 708 12th Ave., Conway 843-248-3558 conwayglass.com January 4, 12, 17, 21, 31 Brookgreen U lectures and demos Various topics 843-235-6000 Brookgreen.org January 9 Hampton History Hampton Plantation Historic Site 10am 843-545-3300 georgetowncountylibrary.sc.gov

January 10 Moveable Feast Colleen Oakley discusses You Were There, Too Inlet Affairs, Murrells Inlet 11am, $30 843-235-9600 classatpawleys.com

January 25 37th Annual 5K & 15K runs North Myrtle Beach 9am 843- 280-5570 parks.nmb.us

January 16-18 Myrtle Beach Quilt Party and Vendor Extravaganza Double Tree Resort Myrtle Beach 800-624-6601 mbqp.net

January 25 Labyrinth Walk Brookgreen Gardens 2pm 843-235-6000 Brookgreen.org

myrtlebeachquiltparty@gmail.com

January 27 Books and Boogie Fundraiser for Freedom Readers Village House at Litchfield 4-9 pm Buffet dinner 6-8pm, $50 404-455-1864 freedomreaders.org

January 16-19 Mid-Winter SOS (Society of Shaggers) North Myrtle Beach Various events 843-281-2662 shagdance.com January 20 From Barber to Barber featuring pianist Ko-Eun Yi with Long Bay Symphony 4pm Myrtle Beach High School 843-448-8379 longbaysymphony.com

January 11 Rivertown Wine Around Downtown Conway 2-5pm 843-248-6260 conwayalive.com

January 21 PIFMA Presents Brandon Goldberg Jazz Pianist 7pm The Abbey at Pawleys Island 843-626-8911 pawleysmusic.com

January 13 Charleston Renaissance Artists and Writers Waccamaw Library Pawleys Island 1pm 843-545-3623

January 21 Chapin Chapters Book Club discusses The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash Chapin Memorial Library 11am 843-918-1281

georgetowncountylibrary.sc.gov

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January 14 - April 11 Birds of Paradise exhibit by artist Sara Golish The Myrtle Beach Art Museum 843-238-2510 myrtlebeachartmuseum.org

warrington@chapinlibrary.org

January 28 PIFMA Presents Alexis Cole Jazz Singer The Abbey at Pawleys Island 7pm 843-626-8911 pawleysmusic.com February 1 Conway Chocolate Walk Downtown Conway 11am-3pm 843-248-6260 conwayalive.com February 6 FPC Concert Series Olga Kern, Piano First Presbyterian Church Myrtle Beach 7:30pm 843-448-4496 myrtlebeachpresbyterianchurch.org


It’s Never Too Late! by Susan Parrotta

Active people stay independent longer – I see a real difference in our members at Brightwater where I work as the Wellness Director. We offer five levels of care, and those who exercise regularly move through those levels of care much more slowly if at all! Sitting a lot is the absolute worst thing you can do for your health.

Without intervention, aging takes away our flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Anyone, at any age, can improve their bone and muscle strength. Body composition is the other component of good health and is directly related to diet. Exercise classes are a fun way to get a work-out. A group of wellness directors, myself included, got together and created a class to reverse sarcopenia, which is muscle loss due to aging. The goal of the class is to win back lost muscle and bone and help our members develop a habit of regular exercise. We offer this class at Brightwater, along with another class, Stretch and Breath, that incorporates

yoga and deep breathing, with a focus on stretching. We also have mat classes, Tai Chi, line dancing and more. The most important thing is to do something you’ll enjoy. Studies show that if you exercise regularly for 90 days it becomes a habit and you won’t want to stop – we help our members create this habit with our classes and you can get the same result with your preferred exercise classes. It’s not necessary to join a class if you are not a “joiner.” Walking and bike riding are both great exercises, but you’ll need to incorporate some resistance training. Each of us needs to address all areas of wellness. Adding variety to your exercise program keeps you improving and getting stronger.

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Recently, there was a study done at Wake Forest University to try to figure out what keeps some people independent longer than others. The conclusion was lower body strength. The body adapts as it strengthens, so it’s important to do different exercises. That’s how we keep improving. Wellness is more than physical fitness. We all need physical, mental and spiritual stimulation. Interaction with younger people is great for our aging population and we incorporate it here through our award-winning JOY (Joining Older and Younger) program. Getting involved with something you love is another important component of healthy aging. I love helping people become “weller.” We coined that term because no matter how well you are, you can always improve. It’s important for me to be energetic, enthusiastic and encouraging – it’s contagious! Doing this work is a calling. I had planned to go to nursing school and while I was waiting to go, I went to work at the Lakes at Litchfield, our sister community. I was called to go to nursing school twice, but turned it down both times. I’ve been doing this work since 2005 – 5 ½ years at the Lakes at Litchfield, and then I moved to Brightwater. Making a difference in people’s lives means a lot to me. I live in Myrtle Beach and when I’m not working I love the beach and doing genealogy research. Until recently, I was a member of a Sweet Adelines Quartet – we sang at local assisted living communities. Unfortunately, our baritone moved, but I still lead sing-a-longs at work and members love them! Did you know our voices age as well? Singing is a great way to exercise the vocal chords and keep your voice sounding youthful! Susan Parrotta is Wellness Director at Brightwater, a 5x Argentum award winning community in Myrtle Beach. The public is invited to participate in the upcoming Brightwater Sweetheart Run on Saturday, February 8th. A One Mile Fun Run will be held at 9:30am and a 5K Run at 10am. After you’ve worked out, stay for the popular Chocolate Festival with live entertainment. Proceeds benefit the local American Heart Association. To register, visit www.brightwater-living.com or https://runsignup.com/Race/SC/MyrtleBeach/ BrightwaterSweetheartWalkRun.

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Call us today

(843) 353-6555

The Only Full Continuum of Care in Myrtle Beach Myrtle Beach’s Premier Life Plan Community

101 Brightwater Drive • Myrtle Beach, SC 29579 (843) 353-6555 • Brightwater-Living.com

Independent Living • Assisted Living • Memory Care • Skilled Nursing • Rehab


–Read It!– You Were There Too, by Colleen Oakley

What would you do, if you met the man of your dreams? Mia has the perfect life. She has the American Dream home, the loving husband, and they are trying to have a family. However, due to several miscarriages, children are not yet part of the picture. The only problem is, Mia has dreams each night about a man she’s never met. When she and her husband decide to move to a quaint town, Mia is shocked to meet the man from her dreams. And the really crazy part? He has been having the same dreams about her! The two strangers decide to decipher their dreams, but will they figure it out or will they destroy their current lives? This book will have readers questioning their own dreams and the unpredictable

ending will keep them on their toes. What if your dreams came true? What if you met someone who dreamed the same thing? Would you want to know, or would you continue to live each day as though the dreams aren’t real. Chocked full of inner turmoil, these characters will remain in readers’ hearts, long after the last page. Colleen Oakley is incredible. You might remember my review of Close Enough to Touch. That was the first book I had read by Colleen, and I was instantly hooked. I was so excited to get my hands on an early copy of this title. She is one of the few authors that truly makes readers feel every single emotion in one single book. She is a mustread for fans of writers like Cecelia Ahern, and JoJo Moyes.

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, by Adam Kay Adam Kay went to medical school, graduated, and trained to become a doctor. One horrific day, he decided to disappoint his family and quit his job. He then found a new life writing comedy. As Adam was sorting through his medical papers, he rediscovered the journals he kept as an intern. Those journals became this book. Part memoir and part medical antidotes this book is a heartfelt, honest look at the medical field. I first learned about this book thanks to Instagram. My book obsession flows right into social media, as I follow numerous publishers and authors. Adam Kay had taken over his publisher’s page one day. He was sharing tidbits from his book and the epic tour. I found myself chuckling

and searching for more. The next day, on Libro.fm, I found the audiobook… read by him! Having worked in an ER for several years, and the main hospital for several other years, I appreciated this memoir. My coworkers and I were family, we survived those long weekend nights together, and we found the humor whenever we could. Humor is necessary in that line of work. Listening to this book brought back all sorts of memories of the laughter and tears. This is a must-read for anyone in the medical field, for anyone who is a fan of real life medical dramas, or for anyone who works a stressful job and wants to take a moment to laugh at a very bizarre situation. I hope Adam Kay writes more books in the future, because this was an absolute treat!

Reviews by Nicole McManus Nicole 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. 12 :: Sasee.com :: January 2020


Book Chat: with Author, Colleen Oakley by Leslie Moore

“I cut my teeth in the magazine world,” said hugely popular, bestselling author Colleen Oakley, now promoting her third book, You Were There, Too. I asked Colleen why she left the journalism for full time writing and the answer was simple and touching. “I fell in love and got engaged,” she said with a laugh. “My then fiancé, now husband, lived in Atlanta. I wanted to be with him, so I left New York, and moved back to the south.” Even though her journalism career was successful, including tenure as senior editor of Marie Claire, Colleen always loved writing more than editing. Atlanta was very much a homecoming for Colleen, who grew up in Greenville, South Carolina. “I think the South Carolina coast has the most beautiful beaches,” she said when I asked if she had any connections with our area. As a child, we rented homes in Isle of Palms, and I visited Myrtle Beach several times with my church youth group and loved it.” I’m always fascinated by regional influences on writing, and was excited to learn a little about Colleen’s unique perspective. In spite of her roots, she does not define herself as a strictly southern writer. “My entire family is from the northeast, and my parents moved us to Greenville for my dad’s work. I grew up taking vacations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania – they

made fun of my southern accent,” she told me laughing. “In my writing it helps – I can set my books anywhere on the east coast and be familiar with the area. It’s also useful to understand different ‘southernisms’ that people who don’t grow up here are not familiar with – my copy editors in New York will circle them and ask me if this is what I meant!” If Colleen’s successful writing career is not enough to impress you, think about this: She does it all with FOUR small children and two of them are twins. I asked her how motherhood influences her writing and all of us

with children can relate to her tonguein-cheek answer. “When the kids are in school, I get to make up stories and write. It’s my private time. People ask why I don’t write more about kids, but I’m trying to get away from them. It’s my escape.” After we laughed about this, Colleen continued, this time more seriously, “I have become more emotional since becoming a mother. I never used to be that way, but it’s given more depth to my writing.”

When I open a book by Colleen, I forget I’m reading a novel – her characters and plots lines pull me in and keep me interested. There are magical elements, but this writer says her style is a little different than magical realism. “The thing I try to do with each book is to take outlandish concepts – an allergy to other humans, or a dying wife finding her husband someone to take her place, and make them so believable and so real that readers will question whether or not this is actually true.” You Were There, Too follows two strangers who dream about each and eventually meet. “People dreaming about each other is an actual, documented phenomenon,” Colleen said when I asked how she came up with this absorbing plot. “Of course, typically it’s husband and wife, or best friends, but for fiction it’s more interesting for the dreamers to be strangers.” As we came to the end of our chat, I had to ask the one question all writers get asked: What do you read? A voracious reader, Colleen reads everything. “I like historical fiction, mysteries, dramas, women’s fiction…I love Stephen King, Ann Patchett, Micheal Crichton and psychological thrillers like Gone Girl. I also like non-fiction and memoirs about topics that interest me.” “I have a great life. I live my life in gratitude, optimistically and hopefully. I know how quickly things can change,” said Colleen. “I am so fortunate to be able to do what I do.” Meet Colleen at the Moveable Feast on January 10th at Inlet Affairs in Murrells Inlet, or on February 6, at the North Myrtle Beach Library. See the Sasee calendar for details. Buy You Were There Too, from your favorite bookseller and watch for her next book, The Invisible Husband of Frick Island, due out in spring of 2021.

Sasee.com :: January 2020 :: 13


Sasee Designs You

Sasee Adorns You

Sasee Treasures You

Sasee Tickles Your Fancy

Sasee Raises You

Sasee Styles You

Sasee Relaxes You


Sasee Dines You

Sasee Dreams You

2020 Sasee Sees You

Sasee Moves You Sasee Embraces You


A New Grading Scale

I’ve been keeping this list for years. And I’ve never gotten an A. Not even once.

For ten years, I was an elementary school teacher. I taught kindergarten for a year, second grade for two years, and the rest of my career was spent teaching children with special needs. My last year in the classroom was the 2007 school year, and I’ve been a stayat-home mom and freelance writer for the last 12 years.

Years ago, I made a list of 20-something tasks I want to do each day. Many of them are health related. Things like exercising, drinking water, eating fruits and veggies, applying sunscreen, and limiting screen time for myself and my kids.

by Diane Stark

Although I’ve now been home for longer than I was in the classroom, I find myself still thinking and acting like a teacher. In many ways, that’s a good thing. Kids generally like me, and I make connections with them easily. My previous teaching experience definitely helps out when I teach Sunday School at my church. It even helps when I write certain types of stories.

Other tasks on the list are household chores like laundry, making beds, washing dishes, and just generally warding off chaos in my house. Still other tasks are related to my current job as a freelance writer. Any magazine writing deadlines go on the list, as well as devoting time to the novel I’m attempting to write.

Because of my prior teaching experience, I feel comfortable correcting other people’s children, but only when absolutely necessary. Like on my son’s last field trip when I was responsible for a dozen fifth grade boys. If I hadn’t been a teacher, they might have eaten me alive before the bus ride back to school.

At the end of each day, I go through my list and check off the things I did. Then I give myself a letter grade based on how much I got done.

But thinking and acting like a teacher has one major drawback. Despite being out of the classroom for more than a decade, I still rate things by assigning them a letter grade. Movies, food at restaurants, even lattés.

Because the only way to get an A is to check off every single item on the list. To get an A, I’d have to live a near-perfect day.

But rating those things isn’t an issue. The problem is my habit of assigning each day a letter grade. I don’t decide the grade based on how much fun I had or how much time I spent with my family or friends. I don’t assign a day a good grade because my husband took me out for a delicious dinner or because my favorite TV show was on that day. Nope. The letter grade is assigned based on one thing only. How much I accomplished that day.

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I’ve been keeping this list for years. And I’ve never gotten an A. Not even once.

But every day, I miss my work out or I forget to do my skin care routine or I just have to drink a Diet Coke instead of water. Every day, I get busy and miss something. And missing even one thing automatically drops me to a B. Many days, I skip more than one task, and the grade is even worse. When I was a teacher, I never graded my students as


hard as I grade myself every single day. My son, Nathan, is in fifth grade and every week, he takes one of those math timed tests at school. He has to do 100 problems in five minutes. He needs to get a perfect score to pass the test and move on to the next one in the series. He’s missed just one problem more times than I can count. So many times, he’s said, “Mom, I wish that getting all but one right was enough to pass.” And I’ve agreed with him. 99% is almost perfect. But it’s not good enough to pass his math tests. Or my own daily test with my To Do List. But it should be. That conversation with my son made me realize that for years now, I’ve been beating myself up for not being perfect. I would never expect perfection from anyone else, but I’d been demanding it of myself.

New Year, New Plan Start your new year with a better plan AT B E T H E A R E T I R E M E N T C O M M U N I T Y

Worse still, I didn’t feel like I deserved to do anything fun until my entire To Do List was completed, which never, ever happened. I’d created an impossible situation for myself. Something had to change. So recently, I made a new daily To Do List. It has far less tasks on it, and a few of the items are even fun. For several years, I’ve wanted to spend more time reading, but I was

Better Every Day! BetheaRetirement.com | 843-395-4402 Sasee.com :: January 2020 :: 17


SUNDAY, JANUARY 26, 2020 4:00 PM

FROM BARBER TO BARBER Featuring pianist Ko-Eun Yi

STUDENT TICKETS

10

$ FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 843.448.8379 OR VISIT US ONLINE AT www.LongBaySymphony.com

This and That 4 You A Little Something for Everyone

Women & Mens Apparel & Home Decor!

Mon-Sat 10am-5pm • Sun 12:30pm-5pm Hammock Shops Village, Pawleys Island • this_that_gifts@yahoo.com • 843-314-0816

Sasee Wants you to

WORK WITH US SASEE is currently looking for an EXPERIENCED SALES EXECUTIVE to begin immediately.

If you have 3 or more years experience in direct sales (advertising sales preferred) send us your resume. We are looking for someone who is

Driven, Hardworking & Self-Motivated Print media sales experience is definitely a plus. Please do not apply if no prior sales experience. Send cover letter & resumé to Susan Bryant, sbryant01@strandmedia.com 18 :: Sasee.com :: January 2020

never able to squeeze it into my schedule. So I added it to my new list. 30 minutes of reading – for pleasure – each day. It’s on the list. That means I get to – and I have to – do it each day. Another new task on my To Do List is getting enough sleep. For years, I’ve stayed up too late in hopes of getting more tasks completed, but I’ve realized that doing that is selfdefeating. It just sets me up for failure the following day. From now on, I’m going to bed at a reasonable hour so I can be the best me in the morning. I’ve also relaxed my definition of the word “exercise.” Now, if I walk through the entire store while grocery shopping, I count those minutes as part of my work out. Ditto for chasing my dog around the house or playing soccer or hide-andseek with my son. I still try to fit in an actual work out, but if I don’t, I don’t beat myself up because I was still active that day. The teacher in me won’t let me give up the letter grades completely. But I’ve definitely loosened up the grading scale. My new list is about progress, not perfection. And yesterday, I even gave myself an A. 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.


Accessories for your Four-Legged Friend! Travel Water Bowls, Doggie Bags, & More!

Ask us about personalization!

December 26 - January 29 Located inside Lee’s Inlet Apothecary 843.651.7979 3579 U.S.17 Business, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 gooddeedgoods@gmail.com • www.GoodDeedGoods.com

DON’T MISS FUNDRAISER EVENTS

CAN Country Jam January 11 2020 Night of Champions January 21 Tickets and Details at ChampionAutismNetwork.com Sensory Friendly Events Sensory Friendly Ripley’s Aquarium 9:00 am 1/11 and 2/8 Sensory Friendly Voyage of Doctor Dolittle 9:30 am 1/18 Sensory Friendly Fun Warehouse 3:00 pm 1/27 and 2/24 For more information visit ChampionAutismNetwork.com or you can find us on Facebook

Autism Fact: Although some with autism are non-verbal, talking is not the only way to communicate. Yes You CAN Talk radio show Saturdays at 7 am on WRNN 99.5 FM or stream live online https://ChampionAutismNetwork.com/talk-show/

843.347.1651 www.SolidWasteAuthority.org Start making a difference. Recycle this publication. Sasee.com :: January 2020 :: 19


Message from Above by Linda O’Connell

The image of my red car in motion flashed sporadically in my mind for two weeks, whether I was asleep or awake. I didn’t tell anybody about my premonition. Because details were unclear, I tried to forget about the vision. Sunday morning I drove us to breakfast, since Bill had a knee injury. I waited at the stop light for the green arrow to make a left turn. As I pulled slowly into the intersection, I heard approaching danger before I saw the older, full-size pickup truck gunning toward the driver’s side of my car. As the driver barreled at a high rate of speed, I felt terrified, completely helpless, but surprisingly calm, as once again I experienced the red car image flash in my mind. “Bill, we’re going to get hit,” I said with little emotion. The truck violently plowed into my car’s left front end, broke my axle, and bent the wheel under my car. The impact spun the car two lanes over, oscillated us side to side, jarring our bodies and brains. I struck my head, suffered severe pain, headache, and dizziness. Traumatized, holding my pounding head, I was more concerned about my husband. His injured leg was wedged under the dash. We were both in shock and unable to dial 911. Kind bystanders assisted us and called for emergency assistance. Reputable witnesses testified the traffic light was in our favor. Instead of going to breakfast, we were transported to the hospital. We bypassed the crowded, antisepticsmelling  emergency waiting area and were immediately taken to separate examination rooms. “Please find out how my husband is. He’s a big guy and may act like he’s fine, but I know he’s hurt.” “Shhh! Don’t worry about him, he’s in good hands. Breathe slowly and deeply,” the kind, young nurse said. “You’re setting off all your alarms.” Dazed and confused, I looked up to see an overhead monitor broadcasting reruns of my late mother’s favorite sitcom, The Golden Girls. As I lay on the exam bed waiting for a CT scan I prayed, “Please don’t let me have a brain bleed or concussion.” The nurse entered swiftly and demanded to know who 20 :: Sasee.com :: January 2020

upset me. “Are you listening to the police officers discussing your accident?” “No. I was praying. My car’s a goner, and I’m thankful I’m not.” “You have to find something else to focus on. Your blood pressure is elevated, and you’re holding your breath. Breathe!” I tried deep breathing, but I kept reliving the forceful impact of the collision. I could hear the gunning engine and the grinding metal. “You are going to have to calm down. Look up above you at the TV.” I was amazed Mom’s favorite old show was playing in my ER examination room on Sunday morning. I focused on the antics of the four Golden Girls. Little Sophia, the feisty, outspoken grandma had always reminded our family of my late mom, Virginia. They both had spunk. My adult son was first to arrive at the hospital. “Look up there at our little Golden Girl,” I told Jason, as I applied pressure to the goose egg rising above my temple. Estelle Getty, playing the character of Sophia, was scolding her  daughter. “Aw relax; you’re going to be okay.” I smiled at my son. “Think that’s a message from your Grandma?” He laughed and reminisced about how Mom and Sophia looked and acted so much alike. “Son, if that guy had hit my car three feet back, I’d be dead or critically injured.” Sophia’s voice snapped, “Relax! It will all be fine.” Jason and I looked at one another and nodded. I felt a comforting presence come over me. “I feel Mom with me. She’s my guardian angel.” When my daughter arrived, she said, “Aw, Mom, look up; there’s Gram. It’s little Sophia.” “I know, honey. She’s been talking to me.” Tracey looked into my eyes; she probably thought I had brain damage. She tried to distract me. “You know Gram would sure love our babies,” she said, referring to her daughter’s three little boys under four years of age.


“You’re right; she would. Hand me my purse. I need my cell phone.” “Mom, you can’t call Gram.” “I know.” I pulled up my photos and scrolled through countless pictures of my sweet great grandsons’ smiling faces. The nurse, who had been hustling in and out to remind me to relax and take deep breaths, peeked in with a confused expression. “What are you doing now?” She raised her eyebrows, smiled, and gestured. “Whatever you all are saying, or she’s doing, encourage your mom to keep doing it. Her stats are now within the normal range.” My heart rate elevated again and set off bells and whistles when my husband came hobbling into my room assisted by his daughter Robin. His leg was banged up, but he was not seriously injured. Bill reached to hug me. “I’m so grateful you’re okay,” we said in unison. Our tears flowed as we embraced, which brought our kids to tears. I said, “We’ll be able to celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary next week. My mom and Sophia were here with me.” Puzzled, Bill asked, “Your mom? Who’s Sophia?” I pointed to the TV, and we smiled. Other than contusions, we did not sustain serious injuries. A few days later, someone asked if I was angry with the driver who had been driving under the influence of narcotics. “No,” I replied remembering the life lessons my mom had taught me: Forgive even when you can’t forget, and never hold a grudge. “That guy and his female passenger are far worse off than we are. They have no insurance, no vehicle now, and serious injuries from not wearing seat belts. I hope this was their wake-up call. All I can do is wish them well.”

Our Areas of Practice Family Law • Estate Planning Probate Administration • Corporations Community Associations • Civil Litigation Debt Collection • Real Estate

The messages of forgiveness, Mom instilled, have lasted me a life time. I’m convinced messages arrive in all forms “from above,” often disguised as coincidences.

Linda O’Connell is 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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Sasee.com :: January 2020 :: 21


Led by Grace

by Karren Torres Always entrepreneurs, we lived in Maryland for 17 years and owned several different businesses – my husband, Javier, is the visionary, and I am the operations person, working behind the scenes. About 15 years ago Javier left corporate America and started a commercial landscaping company. One day, one of his clients asked him if he knew of a good office cleaning company that he could recommend because they were not happy with the company they were using. Of course, Javier said, “Yes, I’ll have my sales rep call you right away...” I had no idea he was talking about me. He called and said, “Karren, I need you to make a sales call tomorrow morning, and you will be representing a commercial cleaning company!” We met with the client; they liked our presentation, and hired us to start the same day. We didn’t have time to hire staff, so we went to Walmart, bought a vacuum and a few other items; and cleaned all 225,000 square feet through the night, just the two of us! We did that for two weeks until we could hire the right staff; and we still have our first client today! Fast forward thirteen years and over 200 employees later, we began to realize we were getting caught 22 :: Sasee.com :: January 2020

up in the hustle and bustle of the Washington DC metropolitan area. For years there was always a meeting or an event happening that kept us on-the-go seven days a week. Javier and I had pledged to never lose ourselves that way, but we could see it was happening. We didn’t want to become the family that got lost in our businesses, forgot our wedding vows, or once retired, realized we had grown apart. Our intent was to buy a fixer-upper and spend the next few years doing it ourselves – like we’ve seen on our favorite TV channel, HGTV. Javier is from Puerto Rico, and loves beaches and life on the coast. I was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and didn’t want to live on an island, so we started looking along the coast. I wanted warmer weather, but

still be able to enjoy the seasons. We started in Myrtle Beach, with the idea to spend one day house hunting before continuing along the southern coast, however, when we saw the bridge going over to the Grande Dunes we were intrigued. As it turned out a gorgeous piece of property was available and the next thing we knew we were building a home. The people here are wonderful, we found an amazing church where Javier got baptized and gave his life to Christ, and we are looking forward to exploring the surrounding areas. Not only do we love it here, but I believe moving here saved Javier’s life. After we moved, I realized that we had not made the time to visit the doctors regularly while in Maryland. So, I made it a point to schedule routine wellness visits with our new


doctors for the both of us. During one of those visits, Javier’s PSA levels tested high twice. The doctor decided to do a biopsy. Unfortunately, it came back positive for prostate cancer. I truly believe had we stayed in Maryland, and maintained the pace we were keeping, there could have been a much different diagnosis. I know it was by God’s grace Javier’s cancer was found in time to be treated. His grace also led us to one of the top urologists in the country through a referral from one of our new neighbors. In December we headed to Celebration, Florida, where Javier had his surgery, the cancer was removed, and he is on his way to a full recovery! After we built the house, we realized we could not use our outdoor lanai during the cooler fall evenings or winter months. We started researching for outdoor heating options and eventually discovered the perfect solution. We ordered the system and had it installed immediately. We can honestly say this was the best thing we could have done to our outdoor space. Now we can enjoy the lanai year-round. It then occurred to us there are hundreds of homes in this area with beautiful lanais and homeowners unable to use their outdoor space during cold days or evenings as well. We contacted the manufacturer again and our latest company was born: Outdoor Heating Solutions! This winter, while Javier continues to recover, we will be enjoying our best life spending quality time outdoors on our screened lanai, cozy and warm! We will even be installing a couple in our garage for his “honey do” list. Our heaters are absolutely the best for year-round outdoor living. Our infrared heaters are state of the art – no smell, no light, no dust, no noise and no risk of tipping over. We would love to help you enjoy your outdoor living space this winter! Learn more about these elegant, modern outdoor heaters by contacting Javier or Karren at 843-236-0072, email sales@outdoorheatingsolution.com, or visit www.outdoorheatingsolution.com.

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A Real Pain? by Jeffery Cohen

I thought I was indestructible, invincible, invulnerable, a real superman – until the chest pains started. In my youth, I would have written it off as growing pains. Ten years ago it might have been a little too much tennis. Five years ago? A pulled muscle or gas, but as I grow older, I have a whole new outlook. Chest pains? I must be having a heart attack! I wasn’t sure if it was my body or my imagination that was adding the numbness down my arm. Then I realized it was my right arm that was numb, not my left, and that may have been because I had been resting on it for a half hour, but I was taking no chances. I dropped into a pharmacy that was doing a blood pressure screening. Greeted by a cheerful nurse, she said, “Good morning. How are we feeling today?” “I don’t know how WE are feeling today, but I’m having chest pains!” She instantly slapped a blood pressure gizmo around my arm and began pumping the thing up. Her eye brows rose as she stared at the gauge. “Oh, boy,” she sighed. “Oh, boy? What does that mean?” I nervously stuttered. She gave me an unsettling smile. “You’ll be fine. Just fine. Don’t move. Do not move. I have the number of a great cardiologist. Just relax.” Just relax? Was she kidding? Now, when I was a boy I learned a great lesson about doctors. My dad hated to go to the doctor. He came home one night from work bent over in such pain, he could barely move. Against his protestations, my mother made an appointment and ushered him over, him screaming all the way, reassuring her he was fine. After a quick examination, the doctor sent him straight to the hospital with a strangulated hernia that needed to be operated on immediately. He almost died. It taught me not to fool around. I saw a doctor the next day who scheduled a stress test for me. When I arrived at the hospital I was given a handful of papers to sign. The first gave my consent to do the test. Okay, 24 :: Sasee.com :: January 2020

I signed. The second allowed the transfer of results to my primary physician. Okay, I signed. The third absolved the hospital of any responsibility in the event that I had a heart attack while taking the test. Okay, I...heart attack during the test? Wait a minute. Just...wait a minute. “Excuse me, but what exactly does this mean?” I asked. “Which part?” the nurse asked. “Which part? The heart attack part,” I gasped. “Oh that.” She shrugged. “It’s just a formality. Hardly anyone ever has one.” She smiled. “And if you do, you are in a hospital.” And that’s supposed to be a bonus? I thought. As far as I was concerned, the only difference between a coronary out on the street and one in the hospital was the three minute ambulance ride. I signed the paper. Don’t ask me why. I was asked to remove my shirt. As soon as the nurse looked at my chest she began to apologize. “I’m sorry but we’re going to have to take off a bit of body hair so that the electrodes will stick.” With that she began to shave handfuls of hair from my chest and stomach with a dry razor. Every stroke was accompanied by a string of apologies. “Sorry but...this is really...oops. Sorry. I’m not hurting you...sorry...am I? Just a little...sorry, sorry...more. Almost done...sorry... just a bit... sorry...more. There we are. So sorry.” I was bleeding from razor nicks, my man’s chest looked like a baby’s bottom, I instantly began to itch, and she was sorry. Not nearly as sorry as I was. Electrodes were attached to my body, connected to a machine with a web of wires, and I was eased onto a treadmill. “Walk normally,” I was instructed. “If you don’t walk in a normal pace you can fall. Steady yourself with the bar in front of you, but don’t pull on the bar. You can strain your back and fall. Don’t look at your feet. You can get dizzy and fall.” All that and the possibility of having a heart attack. “Is there anything I can do on this thing that won’t hurt me?” I joked. “Just walk normally,” the nurse repeated without a trace of a smile. The treadmill started up, and I began to walk normally... for the first minute. Then it started to move faster. So fast,


in fact, that I was having a hard time keeping up. “Walk normally,” the nurse kept repeating as I went into a jog. Sweat was running into my eyes as I gasped for air. “Do you exercise regularly?” a doctor holding a clipboard asked. Too out of breath to answer, I nodded yes as the treadmill sped faster. “I thought so,” he said. “We’re going to take it up a notch.” I was practically running full out when the angle of the treadmill was changed to simulate what they called a slight hill, but to me it was Mt. Everest. My clothes were drenched, my chest heaving, my calves so tight they were ready to explode. Just when I was sure that machine of torture was ready to pitch me right through a window...it slowed down and finally stopped. As I stumbled out of the door and collapsed in a chair in the waiting room I overheard the nurse. “Oh boy,” was all she said. The following week I saw my doctor. “The hospital report says your heart is in excellent condition,” he explained. Skeptical, I said, “Are you sure? I heard  the  nurse in the hospital say, ‘Oh boy.’” He smiled. “I guess that must have been a good ‘Oh boy,’ because they underlined excellent three times. You have a bit of blood pressure, and I can give you medication to control that.”

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“But what about the chest pains? What was that?” He shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe a pulled muscle, gas, dozens of other reasons. Hey, maybe it’s just growing pains.” He laughed. So, I’m feeling fine–better than fine. After a report like that, I’m feeling great...indestructible, invincible, invulnerable...a real superman...until the chest pains start again.

Jeffery Cohen

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

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Sasee.com :: January 2020 :: 25


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Food for Health by Emily Keck

It’s January and maybe you’ve overindulged – many people ask me what is the most effective way to lose those holiday pounds. First, increase your water intake. My clients are asked to drink two liters of water each day. When you want to get rid of fat, you have to eliminate it one way or another. Also, make sure you eat two cups of vegetables at lunch and dinner. That way you’ll stay full and be less tempted to snack. Changing your diet and reducing body fat can change your life – I’ve had clients reduce their A1C levels, lower their cholesterol, and more. Four of my clients were able to completely get off medication for Type 2 diabetes. Some people do better with a keto based diet and some with a plant based diet. The cleaner you eat, the better you will feel. No matter what diet you choose – vegetarian, vegan, keto paleo, etc., know what your risks are for vitamin deficiencies. If your diet isn’t the standard combination of meats, vegetables and grains, you may need to supplement. The most important concept of clean eating is making sure your diet is balanced. Reduce or eliminate processed food. And don’t worry too much about buying everything organic if you can’t afford it. Unless you know the origin of your food, it’s hard to know if it’s completely organic anyway. Ideally, we would get our food

locally, from farms and farm stores, or grow it ourselves, but that’s not always possible. When you eat sugar, the same brain chemicals are released as if you took cocaine or meth. That’s why it is so difficult to give up. I tell my clients to look at the good food can do for your body rather than how good it may taste. Your food is for survival. As we age, our taste buds change, so try something you didn’t think you liked – you may be surprised!

I have a client who weighs 500 pounds. He associates food with happier times in his life. Now this man is finding other sources of happiness and his health is improving. Snacks can be healthy and delicious – at night I make chocolate protein pudding – it has low carbs, low sugar and fat. It is

so much better than eating ice cream, but it still satisfies that urge to snack on something sweet. If I want pizza, I make it by pounding a chicken breast very thin and topping it with marinara sauce and cheese. I bake until the chicken is completely cooked, and get the taste of pizza without the carbs. Every day I eat within an hour of waking up. I’ll have a protein shake, eggs, avocado, or protein oatmeal. For lunch I like lettuce wraps, with turkey cucumber and cheese, and about an hour after lunch I have a snack – diced sweet potatoes, cottage cheese with blueberries, something with carbs so I don’t crash in the afternoon, which is when I do my most strenuous workout. At night I eat 6-8 ounces of protein with vegetables. One of my favorite meals is to pan cook jicama and serve with basmati rice, ground venison and spinach. Start small. Start by changing one thing a week. If you do that the first two months of the year, you’ve made eight changes. If you are dedicated, you can achieve your goal. Consider hiring a coach to help you stay accountable. I am a wellness coach, and am certified through Precision Nutrition, one of the largest nutrition companies in the world. We specialize in weight loss. Every Tuesday, we have free educational workshops in Myrtle Beach. If you’re interested in attending, visit our website to find out the location. The workshops are always at 5:30pm. To learn more about Ideal Body Wellness or to attend a free workshop, visit www.IdealBodyWellness.com. You can reach Emily at Emily@idealbodywellness.com or call her at 843-492-7012.

Sasee.com :: January 2020 :: 27


A Life Restored

by Sandy Delmer I’m originally from Florida where I operated an automotive body shop. In 2001 I moved to Hickory, North Carolina. My former husband was an airline pilot, and we opened a motorcycle business which I ran because he was away a lot. I love to ride and was president of the first female motorcycle group in North Carolina, the Chrome Divas. We divorced and I moved to Murrells Inlet, but I still ride and have my own bike. Probably because of all the time I’ve spent on motorcycles, I developed degenerative disk disease in my 50s and am in constant pain. I ended up under the care of a pain management clinic, taking opioids daily. Then, three years ago, my only daughter passed away. She had taken a combination of allergy medicine and cough syrup and had a medically induced heart attack. My husband, Dave, and I found her. This began a downward spiral of anxiety, pain and depression, and I was taking medications for all of it. I live on the Prince Creek Parkway and would stop by the bagel shop on my way to work in the

28 :: Sasee.com :: January 2020

mornings. I saw Jerry’s store, Your CBD Store, and met him while it was still under construction. We hit it off immediately. I trained at his other store in Georgia and then started working here as store manager. I still spend a lot of time reading and doing research – there’s so much to learn!

plant and you get a wider range of cannabinoids. Hemp actually has 100 different cannabinoids, and they extract the ones that are beneficial. SunMed also uses third party lab testing and puts a lab report on every bottle. This ensures you get the same amount of each cannabinoid every time.

I started taking CBD to get off of the medications and I did – I don’t take any pain or anxiety medications. I also use our relief cream for my sciatica. Before I met Jerry, I was taking another brand, but our SunMed CBD is much more effective. All CBD is made from the hemp plant – NOT the marijuana plant. It is legal in all 50 states. We use the whole

Before taking CBD, I was having a lot of emotional ups and downs. I didn’t like who I had become. Between the pain medication and medication for anxiety, I was not really here. Taking the full spectrum oil keeps me calm and works like an antidepressant. It has completely changed my life. My nerve pain did come back because it’s no longer being


CBD Can Help Your Pets, Too! masked by the drugs, but it’s easier to handle. Using the relief cream keeps me going. I’m able to enjoy my husband and my granddaughter, Britney, who’s 19 and in school at UNC Charlotte. My life is good again. I love being able to help people. I’ve met people with Parkinson’s, children with ADHD and much more. The product works well on animals also. One man’s older dog had a lot of fatty tumors, and they disappeared after he started giving the dog CBD oil. We have a lot of repeat customers. A woman with lupus was unable to drive and now she’s working part time. Another man couldn’t rotate his shoulder at all and after one application of relief cream, he was able to move it again. He left here in tears of joy.

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We can’t diagnose your problems, but we can help you learn more about CBD. We love talking to customers and offer free samples. Your CBD Store has over 500 locations and Jerry Lasky, the owner of the Murrells Inlet location, has another store in Canton, Georgia. Stop by and see Sandy and Jerry at Your CBD Store, located at 11920 Hwy 707 (& TPC Boulevard) in the Publix Shopping Center in Murrells Inlet. Store hours are Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm and Sunday noon-5pm. For more information, call 843-357-2231.

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Sasee.com :: January 2020 :: 29


Thank You, Sister Friend by Georgia A. Hubley

It had taken two weeks to unpack and get settled into our new house. I didn’t feel settled, but my husband did and he was happy with his new job. Every morning I choked back the tears, as I struggled to become accustomed to the view from my new kitchen window in the Nevada desert. I saw unfamiliar mountains looming in the distance and cacti and drought resistant evergreen and flowering shrubs growing in the front yard. I missed the ocean and lush greenery of our former home on the central coast of California. Also, I missed my life there and my friends. Relocation wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. “You’re very lucky to be a freelance writer and able to write from anywhere on the planet,” my husband said when he left for work that morning. I knew my husband was right. Indeed, I, too, had to settle in. After all, I was a writer and most writers lead reclusive lifestyles, but we do need an occasional break to rejuvenate our senses. For me, that entails having lunch with a writer friend or hobnobbing with fellow writers. I’d left those fellow writers behind and even though I was grateful for being able to stay in touch with them by phone, e-mail, and social media, it wasn’t enough. I needed up close and personal to fill the void in my life. An Internet search located two writer groups in our new community. I chose the group closest to my home that met every Tuesday afternoon at the community center. The following Tuesday I joined the group. When I entered the conference room, I hoped no one could tell my knees were shaking, as I approached the twenty-five writers seated at four long rectangular tables laden with laptops, yellow lined tablets, and pens. “I’m a writer that’s new to the area and would like to join your group.” I relaxed as a smiling face welcomed me, “Sister friend, my 30 :: Sasee.com :: January 2020

name is Mimi. You’ve come to the right place. Have a seat.” A member of the group pulled out a chair for me, “Hi, I’m Richard. Please join us. We need some new blood in this group.” Once introductions, genres, and writing information were shared, a fellow writer read the first three pages of his new novel from the lectern located in front of the room. My stomach churned...I didn’t know these people...I was new. Surely, I couldn’t be truthful. His story needed work... a lot of work. As I pondered what to say, my thoughts were interrupted. “It’s boring,” Mimi said. “Your story needs dialogue.” I was stunned by Mimi’s directness, then amazed at the camaraderie between the two writers. No offense was taken. He admitted he needed help in writing dialogue and Mimi offered to help him. After the meeting, Mimi and I lingered over coffee and chocolate chip cookies. Mimi clinked my mug, “Sister friend, we’re meant to be friends.” In between sipping coffee, nibbling cookies, talking, laughing, and swapping stories about our lives, we bonded. We became best friends that very afternoon. As we left the community center, we discovered we were not only going in the same direction, we lived four blocks away from one another. We discovered we had so much in common. In college, Mimi majored in psychology and minored in journalism. I, too, took courses in journalism. Our love for writing began when we were both eight years old. We had empty nests – her four children and my two children were launched into adulthood. Mimi writes fiction – both short stories and medical thriller novels. I write nonfiction stories and essays. We’re published authors. We love words. We encourage and support each other’s writing. The letters on our keyboards are worn, because we write for long hours each day, even toiling during the wee hours when our creative juices are overflowing.


We each submit our work and anxiously await a reply. We celebrate with a glass of wine whether it’s an acceptance or a rejection. Sometimes Mimi and I finish each other’s sentences. We look alike. People who don’t know us think we’re sisters. We know each other’s secrets. All but one... Mimi would never disclose her age. I never pried, but I’d come to the conclusion we were the same age. Recently, Mimi asked me to tag along with her to her favorite eye wear shop to have the frames for her reading glasses repaired and to buy a new pair of sunglasses. After the eye specialist typed Mimi’s name into the computer, she needed to verify the year of her birth. Mimi hesitated for a moment, and then whispered her birth date. “You’re the same age as me,” I giggled. “I knew you were sisters,” the specialist remarked, “but I didn’t know you were twins.” “No, just sister friends,” we said in unison. Thanks to Mimi, I see a spectacular view of the mountains from my kitchen window – I am happy dwelling in the desert. Finally, I, too, have settled in.

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Georgia A. Hubley Georgia A. Hubley retired after 20 years from the money world in Silicon Valley to write about her world. Her stories and essays appear in various anthologies and magazines. After two sons were launched into adulthood and the nest was empty, Georgia and her husband relocated to the Nevada desert. Myrtle Beach • 6916 N. Kings Hwy. • 843-449-7673 Pawleys Island (Across From Fresh Market) • 843-979-9970 Sasee.com :: January 2020 :: 31


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843-407-3124 Sasee.com :: January 2020 :: 33


Create Your Best Life by Leslie Menich

Leslie Menich, Salon Coordinator and Wellness Educator with Baddhare Clean Mission knows firsthand the benefits of eliminating toxins from her diet and environment and shares her story below. In high school, I was diagnosed with IBS and was on a variety of medications for years. In 2013, my husband, Jeremy, and I were introduced to an organic diet. We started gradually and now we eat about 90-95% organic food. I also added a lot of water to my diet. This took my severe IBS from one or two attacks a week to, at most, maybe one or two attacks a year. Giving up red meat and trying a mostly plant-based and fish diet have also helped tremendously. I have removed the toxins from my environment as well, even down to my cookware. I have one daughter, Charlotte, who just turned four, and, of course, from birth I’ve paid close attention to everything she eats and is exposed to in her environment. I breastfed Charlotte and after she was weaned, I developed horrible hormonal cystic acne. It was so bad I didn’t want to leave the house. I discovered that many of my personal care products contained hormone disrupting ingredients. I also learned there have been no federal laws passed to regulate personal care products in our country since 1938! A great place to check the safety of ingredients is the EWG (Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org). I was introduced to Beautycounter products and became a Safer Products Advocate for the company and wanted to dig deeper. Environmental toxins have affected my family as well. I’m originally from Kanawha County, West Virginia, where my mother still lives. Kanawha County is known as the chemical valley of the state because of the chemical industry there. In November of 2013, my moth-

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er smelled something strange in the water, a licorice smell. She reported it and was told it was nothing. But, by January of 2014, the county was in a water crisis and residents couldn’t drink or use the water because of a chemical spill. It was on the national news and Erin Brockovich even visited our town. By February, my mother was diagnosed with gastroparesis, a rare disease causing an inability to empty the stomach and you always feel full. My 5’10” mother dropped to 120 pounds. This always made us question if my mother’s illness was attributed to this water crisis. After a year of tests and being in and out of the hospital, she gradually improved. We switched her diet to all organic and cleaned her environment of toxins, which has allowed her to come off of some of her medications. She is now able to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. About three years ago, my close friend and hair stylist, Rhysa Anderson, opened Baddhare Salon. This summer, Rhysa approached me with the idea of opening a


second salon focusing on clean products and wellness education. I am a wedding planner and have my own business, but also wanted to educate others about clean living. Rhysa opened Baddhare Clean Mission in September. As the Salon Coordinator and Wellness Educator, I can share my passion of helping others learn how to improve their lives through eliminating environmental and dietary toxins. Our two pillars at Baddhare Clean Mission are transparency and education. We want our clients to make the best decisions for them and their hair goals. We use color from two different companies that have among the lowest percentages of chemicals known to be toxic. Before choosing these lines, we did extensive research and even hired a clean living consultant from New Jersey who had the research, backed with scientific evidence, ranking the color lines for safety and effectiveness. And, while it’s impossible to color your hair without the chemicals that open the hair cuticle to accept the color, our lines use less than 1% of these chemicals and achieve wonderful results. Our products are gluten free, soy free

and cruelty free, another aspect of beauty products that is very important to both of us. Baddhare Clean Mission also carries the Beautycounter line, DoTerra Essential Oils, and hair care products, Innersense and AG Natural, both cleaner and safer options. Baddhare Clean Mission is so much more than a hair salon – we provide a safe haven for our staff and community through the education, support, and use of safer products. We can get you started with a Clean Living Package that includes a 90 minute discovery session, a 60 minute follow up and help you develop steps to a healthier you. This year, we plan to add clean grocery shopping lists, recipes and more. And we understand everyone has different budgets, so our services are customizable. Please stop by for a glass of organic wine or coffee and learn more! Contact Leslie or Rhysa at Baddhare Clean Mission by calling 843-712-2070, find them on Facebook and Instagram or stop by the shop at 3001 N Kings Hwy Suite F, in Myrtle Beach.

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843.712.2070 • 3001 North Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach • www.baddhare.com Sasee.com :: January 2020 :: 35


What’s Wrong with You? by Lindy Kirk

Juggling paper towels, toothpaste, and a six-pack of Pellegrino (or was it a box of tampons and a bag of fun-sized Snickers? I can’t remember exactly what time of the month this took place), I walked up to the cash register at Walgreens – a store I patronize roughly 27 times a week since it’s across the street from my apartment. Irene – a 60-something cashier whom I’d come to think of as my Walgreens grandma over the years – greeted me with a big smile. “Hello, dear,” she said, as I plopped my items on the counter. “You brought your baby with you today!” I followed Irene’s eyes down to my dog, standing next to me. I know, I know. Who takes their dog to Walgreens? Well, I live in Los Angeles, where leashing up your pooch to run errands with you comes as naturally as grabbing your purse. For the record, I don’t refer to my dogs as my babies, but when Irene does, I can’t help but smile. So, I let it slide. We exchanged chit-chat as Irene rang up my items. Then, she stopped. Making direct eye contact, she asked, “What’s wrong with you? Don’t you want a husband and real babies?” “No, Irene, I don’t want a husband and real babies. If I wanted a husband and real babies, I’d have a husband and real babies. Now what’s that you were saying about a coupon for Double-Stuffed Oreos?” is what I should’ve said. But I didn’t. Instead, something more akin to a whimper fell out of my mouth. You see, I’m single – single and 37. And the thing is, as crazy, sad, or hard to believe as it may sound,

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I’m happy – fulfilled, even. However, as my dog and I walked home from Walgreens that day, Irene’s words ricocheting through my brain, I didn’t feel happy. Perhaps, in part, because she’d begun her inquiry with, “What’s wrong with you?” Nothin’ like those four little words to send a gal into a, “I’m doing life wrong,” tailspin. From 19 to 31, I lived life as a serial monogamist, with five relationships during those years. In that time, I fell in love, got my heart broken, did the heart breaking, got engaged, broke it off, compromised, cohabitated, fought, cried and laughed. And for the past six years, though technically single, I’ve spent a dizzying chunk of time on the dating hamster wheel. I’ve had first dates and tenth dates. I’ve stayed with guys for four months and others, only until last call. I’ve ghosted, been ghosted and both sent and received the awkward, “I’m just not that into you,” text. I was even proposed to by a guy I hadn’t seen in nine months – a seemingly friendly catch-up dinner that quickly morphed into the most uncomfortable evening of my life. And I have zero regrets. I value each of these experiences – no matter how fraught or fleeting some might have been. I’m not bitter, jaded, or cynical. I love love. Ask any of my married friends – I’m always the guest or bridesmaid conspicuously shedding tears of joy. I mean, if it weren’t for the possibility of falling in love and finding my person, do you really think I’d keep climbing my old, tired arse back onto that dating hamster wheel? Trust me – it requires deep-rooted motivation to stay the course when the last guy you had a drink with ended up sporting a prison record and spent fifteen minutes justifying this based on the fact he’d only committed a white-collar crime. Or when a 47-yearold man, after just three dates, walks in on you while you’re peeing and asks you not to close the bathroom door because he doesn’t like “these emotional walls you’re putting up.”


You see, I’m single – single and 37. And the thing is, as crazy, sad, or hard to believe as it may sound, I’m happy – fulfilled, even.

So, to answer your question, Irene, what’s wrong with me? Well, plenty, I’m sure. I mean, who spends 37 years on this planet without acquiring a few scrapes and scars…and night terrors? But my unmarried status isn’t one of them. Do I want lifelong love and partnership? Of course. I’d say the vast majority of us do, in one form or another. As for babies, that’s a different story. But yes, I want to find my person who’ll walk hand-in-hand beside me through life’s ups and downs. I just haven’t freaking found him yet. Maybe I never will. Perhaps I’m too picky and he doesn’t even exist. Though, my history tells me that isn’t the issue. The thing is, I’ve created a happy little life for myself – filled with friends, dogs, dates, work that I love, and endless possibilities. Why would I want to risk toppling my world for just a husband? If and when I walk down the aisle – more likely a sandy beach with my parents on FaceTime because I’ve eloped – I want to know I’m walking towards the right person. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that – or, with me, for waiting for that.

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Sasee.com :: January 2020 :: 37


Living Their Best Life Every Day: Brian and Sassy Henry by Leslie Moore

For those of you who have never met Brian and Sassy Henry, they are the sort of people who instantly make everyone feel at ease around them. Their success, both personal and professional, is inspiring, as well as their determination to make their community a better place for everyone. This past November, Brian was elected mayor of the small town of Pawleys Island and immediately took office. When I asked him what he hoped to accomplish during his twoyear term, he said, “I believe Pawleys Island was headed in a direction that could possibly change the town over the next ten years. I couldn’t sit on the sidelines and hope for the best – it is too important to so many people to preserve this island. There have been some subtle changes over the past 30-40 years, and we hope to hold fundamental changes at bay.” Brian went on, obviously passionate about the future of the beautiful island. “Financially, Pawleys Island is facing debt from the much needed beach renourishment currently underway. I 38 :: Sasee.com :: January 2020

hope to help provide oversight and fiscal responsibility to keep our town solvent.” Sassy supports her husband and business partner in his new role. “When he was asked to consider throwing his hat in the ring, I knew he was the right man for the job.” Sassy is also involved in the town’s future through her place on the Pawleys Island A-tax committee, and they are each other’s sounding board. “We help each other process, improve and make plans for the future,” Sassy said. Originally from Atlanta, Brian and Sassy moved to Pawleys Island in 2002 with their two young daughters, May May and Camille, to take over as Innkeepers of the iconic Sea View Inn. The years of hard work and dedication to their customers and employees have paid off. Sassy’s skill as a soux chef and Brian’s marketing genius led to the creation of Palmetto Cheese, a

delicious pimento cheese now available in grocery stores throughout the United States. They also opened Get Carried Away, a takeout restaurant featuring some of the mouth-watering food served to guests of the Sea View Inn and eventually expanded the business to include catering. The couple also partnered with artist, Susan Albright, to create Happy Places, a design company featuring unique, colorful art incorporated into home and clothing items. “It wasn’t an easy journey,” Brian told me with a laugh. “But I remember driving across the South Causeway one morning and thinking, ‘What an adventure it is to be in this beautiful place.’” Sassy continued, saying, “Our friends in Atlanta couldn’t believe we took such a huge leap moving here, but today they are so happy we did.”


“From the beginning, we didn’t sit on the sidelines,” Brian said, remembering the early years. “We became involved in Lowcountry Day School, organizing fundraisers, helping raise funds for the school as well as other organizations we support. Here, we discovered we could make a real difference – it was empowering and eye opening – we’ve never looked back.” The couple is almost always together – working, planning, and raising their children. Sassy believes their move brought them closer. “We had to depend on each other when we were working so hard to build our lives here. And

now we are closer than ever and have very few disagreements. We just decided to move on and enjoy life – together.” Brian and Sassy are definitely living their best life. With both girls now away at college, the couple has more time to devote to themselves and their adopted home. “We have a wonderful group of employees who take pride in helping us move our vision forward. They are more like family than employees,” Brian said with pride, and Sassy voiced her agreement, saying, “Because of their dedication, we have more time to devote to helping everyone in our community live their best life.”

Sasee.com :: January 2020 :: 39


Out to Lunch by Erika Hoffman

Because I know her parents don’t approve of her having candy, I took her aside and in a conspiratorial tone, I said, ‘Georgia, if you poop in the potty, Ama will give you candy.’ My college roomie from 45 years ago asked me to lunch to celebrate my birthday. “Anywhere you wanna go,” Cora wrote. “You pick.” She suggested our usual haunts. “Let’s go somewhere new?” I said, recalling an Internet article stating that older folks should vary routines and not frequent the same old supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants. Yet, I know why “seniors” do that; it’s because they feel comfortable at those familiar places, and besides, it’s harder to get lost if you know the route. Cora suggested a place near Research Triangle Park where her son used to take new IBM hires. She made the 12:30 reservation. I plugged the address into my Garmin which wouldn’t take the exact address. So, I improvised, pecking in the closest numbers it would take – a nearby strip mall. From there, I navigated to the restaurant’s overflowing parking lot. As I approached, polite men in suits held the door open. Every table, booth and bar stool was occupied. Thank goodness Cora had a reservation – something I’m too disorganized to ever do. The hostess escorted me to a bank of seats in

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the back, near a waiter’s station. Promptly a tall, young, Hispanic waiter approached asking me for my drink order. “Water,” I said. Did he look faintly disappointed? Cora came. The waiter popped up to fill her drink order. “Water, too.” We blabbed. We sipped. Soon, he appeared to take our food orders. After which, Cora slid over a gaily decorated present and a card. “The gift is an Oprah pick; the card I found months ago. When I saw it, it just looked like us.” I opened the pink envelope to see a photo of two elderly ladies standing behind a nude male statue with one of the old dears fondling the statue’s butt. “Who’s who?” I asked. We laughed. “We could be either one.” She then added, “You told me you had a funny story about visiting your grandkids last month?” “My son and wife are trying to potty train their toddler. Although she’s got half of it down, she refuses to poop in the potty. Because I know her parents don’t approve of her having candy, I took


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her aside and in a conspiratorial tone, I said, ‘Georgia, if you poop in the potty, Ama will give you candy.’”

you’re lucky to have a wife who can cook well and do it seemingly effortlessly.’

Cora nodded.

‘But I have no dessert to serve you. I like something sweet,’ she complained with a pout.

My granddaughter stared at my pants’ pockets. “Honey I don’t have it on me, but if you poop, I’ll climb to the third floor where my suitcase is and get it.” ‘Ama, can I have some now?’ she asked. I knew dinner would be served soon, and her other grandma was coming to prepare it, so I hurriedly clambered up those many steps and returned, clandestinely slipping her the Andes green mints, while reminding her of her promise with a wink and a nod. Soon Georgia’s other grandma arrived with a bag full of groceries, a rice cooker, and a lot of energy. Unlike me, her other grandma does everything in an accomplished way. She’s a whiz at designing, landscaping, travelplanning, event-organizing, managing a business. You name it. Did I mention she’s a professionally-degreed architect, a CEO, a stylish dresser, well-groomed, toned, thin and …a gourmet chef? Perfect. Half-heartedly, I offered to help. In the interest of good cuisine, I figured I’d better stay away. I joined her husband playing with the grandkids in the den while ordering my own husband to fetch the bottles of wine, Maxville, we’d toted with us. I prayed it would be tasty because my son’s New York in-laws are also wine connoisseurs, unlike us, who forget to sniff the Kirkland corks. Yet, I’m not going to blame the denouement on my consumption of the delicious wine, which paired nicely with the seafood dish prepared by the competent grandma. ‘Eat more,’ insisted my son’s mother-in-law. My husband hustled over for seconds or was that thirds he scooped out of the large wok?

After another guzzle of wine and before I knew it, I blurted, ‘Well. I have candy upstairs. I’ll get it –if you poop in the potty.’” *** “You didn’t say that!” Cora asked. “Unfortunately, yes.” “How did everyone react?” “Stony silence. Georgia looked at me, half-smiling. My son laughed. My husband choked. Finally, Georgia’s other grandma said, ‘I have no problem pooping.’” Cora and I chortled. The waiter appeared. “May I ask for a doggie bag for my left-over pork?” I asked. “You’re the birthday girl. You need dessert!” said Cora. She ordered carrot cake; I ordered chocolate pot de crème. My only glass of water was gone so I asked for more. While we chatted, he brought the desserts. He then mingled amiably with young folks nearby. We finished desserts. Again, I asked him for a refill of water. He left and returned with the bill. No water. Cora placed her credit card in the black folder which he then collected. I repeated my request for water.

‘Erika, you’re not eating enough! Don’t you like my cooking?’

He brought the bill which she filled in but no pitcher. The guy recommenced to jawboning with the neighboring table. I was parched. “Excuse me,” I said. “Could I have some water?” I pointed to my glass. He abruptly strode off. My friend, always a generous tipper, remarked, “I thought it was a good tip I left him.”

‘It’s delicious!’ then I turned to her husband, ‘Tom,

He returned and filled our glasses to the brim, almost

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overflowing mine. I commented cheerily, “That chocolate pot de crème really left me thirsty.” I smiled. He stopped pouring and stared at us. Strangely. “You don’t understand,” he declared. “By explaining yourself to me, you are creating a GOVERNING DYNAMIC! I am your waiter. It’s up to me to just get you water. No need to explain about being thirsty. The waiter in the back hall could have gotten your water, but I’ll take care of you as long as you are here…” Cora and I sat dumbfounded, still, mute, not laughing for the first time, and definitely not making eye contact with the lanky waiter looming over us. He left but lurked nearby at the waiter’s station.

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“Geesh,” I whispered, “What was that about?” “He must be taking a class in some school and just learned that term.” “We’re one of the last here; you think we’re holding him up?” “My son said the food was good but didn’t mention anything about the service.” As we left, I asked, “Is he following us?” She laughed… but looked back. “Let me drive you to your car since it’s parked so far away – and who knows where lurking Lurch, – our intimidating, angry, bizarre server is?”

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Going out with one’s old buddy for lunch can be a barrel of fun, a lot of laughs and chuckles, but who knew there’d be a Twilight Zone dollop of weird waiter horror thrown in as a side dish? Yet, it did make my 60-plussome birthday memorable! Always a silver lining!

Erika Hoffman likes to write vignettes which she hopes her readers enjoy. And sometimes, they even have a take-away message!

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843-353-1525 699 Prince Creek Parkway, Murrells Inlet, SC, 29576 Sasee.com :: January 2020 :: 43


Find the Good in it

by Diane Devaughn Stokes

Next, I had to psych myself into thinking positive. Yes, I have cancer but I am not in pain, I am still going about my daily life doing all the things I love to do, and I’m able to spend time with all the people I love. First you need to know I have always been on top of every mammogram, visits to my ob/gyn, cholesterol and blood screenings, colonoscopies. I am also the person who nagged my husband and other family members until they made their annual check-ups happen. But I guess no matter how pro-active you are with your health something’s going to get you sooner or later. I know that does not sound like the upbeat, positive person y’all have come to know. I have to admit what I am sharing with you has knocked me for a loop, and telling my mom and sisters was the hardest part. I caught cancer EARLY. After years of on-going bronchitis and sinus infections, that even prednisone did not get rid of, my allergist said he wanted to do extensive blood work. This is much different than the typical blood panel done during your annual physical. He freaked me out when he sent me to an oncologist, but it was there that they found my IGG level, which measures immune function, was very low, which is why I have been unable to fight infection. However, my blood work also showed that I had smoldering myeloma. This is an early stage of multiple myeloma. I was shocked to say the least. I could not believe this never showed up in any blood test I had over the years. This is an important reminder for everyone. If things are not right with your health, see a hematologist, which is a blood specialist. What is done in a general doctor’s office is a totally different animal. Who knew? 44 :: Sasee.com :: January 2020

Of course I was freaked out, and still am. No one in my family has ever had cancer that we know of, as it’s usually heart issues, or Alzheimer’s, all bad enough, that have shortened the lives of people I have loved. Next came the bone marrow biopsy. That’s where I got good news, as there may be cancer in my blood, but none in my bones. I caught this early. Thank you, Lord! Knowing smoldering myeloma can turn into multiple myeloma down the road, I am now on a regular threemonth regime, seeing an oncologist here, and every six months I go to MUSC in Charleston, to a multiple myeloma specialist. I also do a bi-monthly infusion to boost my immune system, trying to remain healthy. Sadly, most people who get this disease do not find it until they break a bone. Mine is smoldering in my blood with fifty percent good cells and fifty bad. My mom, who has always had a warped and funny way of looking at things, said that smoldering myeloma sounded like “a recipe gone wrong!” Come to think of it, in a way, she is right. Ironically, five months prior to my diagnosis I did a TV interview with Janet Kerrigan, a former nurse here in Myrtle Beach, who not only has multiple myeloma, but is the coordinator for this type of support group all over the country. She was my first phone call. She reminded me that this type of cancer has lots of treatment options, and she invited me to come anytime to the local support group which meets the second Thursday of every


month, at 4pm, at Tidelands Oncology in Murrells Inlet. Because I still work, I have yet to be able to attend, but knowing Janet is just around the corner is comforting. Next, I had to psych myself into thinking positive. Yes, I have cancer but I am not in pain, I am still going about my daily life doing all the things I love to do, and I’m able to spend time with all the people I love. I am not on any debilitating treatment yet, and having caught this crazy thing early I am able to tackle the illness head-on. The purpose of this article is certainly not to garner sympathy, even though hugs are always appreciated. I want everyone to know that when faced with a chronic illness you need a health advocate. I used to be the takecontrol-type, going into the doctor’s office lined up with medical questions and ammunition to fight any battle. Now, I have turned into a wimp. Yes, I admit it. I can barely think straight as I face each appointment, shaking in my boots with anxiety, nausea and fear. It’s almost like I don’t want to know! Yet that’s ridiculous. My wonderfully supportive husband, Chuck, is with me through every test, report, and appointment as a second set of ears as well as a hand to hold. We have sat in the parking lot outside of doctors’ offices and shared tears at times, and said prayers of thanks when the tests showed that I was stable.

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“Stable” has become a beautiful word. I also want folks to know that you have to “find the good in it.” How can you find the good in being diagnosed with a disease that can take your life? Let me explain, as I learned a valuable lesson from a dear friend, Billy Roberts, during a TV interview years ago. Billy’s wife died of ovarian cancer. As he was talking to me about it, he said these words I will never forget. “Whenever something bad happens, you have to find the good in it, as it is the only way to cope.” He explained he was able to come on TV and warn women about this type of cancer and preventative tests that unfortunately his wife learned of too late. Billy was making something good happen as a result of something bad.

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And so I am doing much the same as Billy. I am passing valuable info onto all of you. Make that doctor’s appointment. Have that test. Perhaps it’s time to have extensive blood work with a specialist who can give you a full picture of what’s really going on with your health. This is a great idea for a New Year’s resolution, one you can easily keep! If you are not feeling well, dig deeper even if it results in a bad diagnosis, as finding out early is far better than being too late to do anything about it. When given negative news, have a health advocate who can think straight and ask the right questions at all your medical appointments. And for your sanity, “find the good in it.” Coupled with the love and prayers from family and friends, and faith in God’s plan you and I can get through anything!

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Diane DeVaughn Stokes

Diane is the host and producer for “Inside Out” as seen on HTC TV Channel 4, and serves as a commercial spokesperson for several local businesses. She and her husband Chuck own Stages Video productions in Myrtle Beach and share passions for food, theater, travel and scuba diving. They own three four legged kids that they adore!


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Beyond Spaghetti by Ferida Wolff

I was cleaning my home office for at least the fifth time in a month. How easily my desk became cluttered with old files. The pattern on the carpet never had a chance to fade because it was perpetually shielded from sunlight by a coating of papers I looked at it time and again but never quite determined what to do about. And each time I set out to clear it all away, I had the same thought: Why did I let it get this way? Again? I seemed to be stuck, doing the same things over and over. When I thought I couldn’t get out of the annoying syndrome, I suddenly remembered my mother’s spaghetti. My mother always bought boxed spaghetti. She took out the stiff spaghetti strands and broke them in half and then slid them into the boiling water in her favorite pot. I never knew any other way to cook it so when I married, I made spaghetti the same way. That was how a person cooked spaghetti, wasn’t it? But I noticed that when I ate in an Italian restaurant, the pasta was long and could be twirled around a fork. I asked my mother why she broke the spaghetti. I expected some culinary explanation that had evolved from years of experience in home cooking. She said she did it so it would fit in the pot! It was such a startling, simple answer that I began questioning my taken-for-granted kitchen activities. I had a larger pot was it necessary for me to continue breaking my spaghetti or even using dried pasta at all? I liked the texture and flavor of the homemade pasta the restaurants served so why didn’t I buy that kind instead? I was soon thinking of a bunch of new ways to cook. Did fresh herbs taste better than dried? Could I substitute ingredients in a recipe and still make it taste good? What would happen to a cake if I changed the size of the baking pan? Would a cold version of a favorite soup be as good as its usual hot presentation? 48 :: Sasee.com :: January 2020

The awareness of being free to experiment with food opened up a part of me that could allow me to rethink whatever I was doing. Perhaps now I could bring that flexibility into all of my daily activities. So I stopped berating myself for being messy and started doing things differently. Instead of trying to do everything at once, I began putting away one thing at a time. Before I knew it, my office looked neat and it was easy to find what I needed without going through a slew of unrelated papers. That led to my wondering how I could organize my pantry so I wouldn’t have to sift through every box looking for the one I needed. And doing laundry became a way to cleanse my spirit, as well as my clothes, when I was feeling overwhelmed. I decided to celebrate. One day I invited some friends over for lunch. We sat and chatted and when it was time to serve the meal, I presented a dish of long strands of spaghetti coated with (no, not tomato sauce) chickpeas and artichoke antipasto with a generous sprinkling of cheddar cheese. It wasn’t traditional, to be sure, but everyone loved it. I silently toasted Mom with my iced tea, a drink she would never have chosen over her beloved coffee, and thanked her for helping me see beyond spaghetti.

I asked my mother why she broke the spaghetti. I expected some culinary explanation that had evolved from years of experience in home cooking.

Ferida Wolff is the author of nineteen books for children and three essay books for adults. She loves to explore new ways of looking at things.


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Sasee Magazine - January 2020  

"Your Best Life"

Sasee Magazine - January 2020  

"Your Best Life"