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December 2018

For it is in giving that we receive. - St. Francis of Assisi -


December 2018 Volume 17, Issue 12

Elfing Around by Diane DeVaughn Stokes

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Hope Flows through Rising Water by Leslie Moore

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A Hallmark Rescue by Beth Pugh

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Holiday Happenings by Leslie Moore

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Becoming a Redskins Fan by Melissa Face

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The Best Gift Ever by Jeffery Cohen

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Leaving a Lasting Impression by Linda O’ Connell

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The Joy of Reading by Landy Reed

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Give Gifts from the Heart Holiday Gift Guide

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The Night I Stole a Tall Man’s Coat by Erika Hoffman

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Sasee Asks an Expert Holiday Cheer for All Ages by Britta Cammarata, Portside at Grande Dunes

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Mom’s Christmas Butter Cookies by Ginger Murphy Sasee December Calendar


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letter from the editor

Cover Artist Angel of Light, by Karen Tarlton Contemporary California Impressionist painter Karen Tarlton paints oil paintings with a unique sense of color, texture and light. With loose strokes and bold use of color, she brings a unique perspective to the contemporary art world. Her paintings are a visual journey that allows the essence of her subject matter to come to life. She creates lively, engaging, colorful art, and her work is widely collected worldwide. Karen is a mother and a military wife of 28 years. She is a UC Davis graduate and studied at the Corcoran School of Fine art in DC and workshops across the country. As of 2002, she has been creating a new painting almost every day. Landscapes, cityscapes and boat-filled harbors become illuminated by majestic, textured light and she is well known for her colorful angel paintings for their energy, intimacy and brilliant color.

My dear friend and neighbor has a December birthday. A couple of years ago, he came home from work, on his birthday, to find a large stack of at least 20 cookbooks on his screened porch, along with a birthday card. A friend of his had spent months scouring thrift stores for cool, interesting cookbooks, a perfect gift for my friend who is an amazing chef and loves nothing better than settling down to read a good cookbook. None of the books were expensive, most probably cost less than a dollar, but my friend told me this present was one of the best he’s ever received. Through the years I’ve come to know that the best gifts really don’t have anything to do with a price tag. It’s the feeling that makes a gift special, when I know without a doubt that the giver really loves me. As I dive into the holiday season this month, I will keep my friend’s story in mind as I shop for friends and family. There’s a lot of fun for you in this issue, from a beautiful and informative guide with ideas for gifts from the heart, to essays guaranteed to spark holiday memories of your own. All of us here at Sasee wish you and your family many blessings this month, however you choose to celebrate. And as we reflect on the coming new year, my personal wish for you, dear reader, is peace and an abundance of love. Happy Holidays,

For it is in giving that we receive.

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- St. Francis of Assisi -

Prints and new original oil paintings can be found on her website, www.karensfineart.com or in her Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/Karensfineart.

who’s who Publisher Delores Blount

Art Director Patrick Sullivan

Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant

Photographers & Graphic Artists Madeleine Desser Aubrey Glendinning

Editor Leslie Moore Senior Account Executive Celia Wester Account Executives Stacy Danosky Erica Schneider Gay Stackhouse

Web Developer Scott Konradt Accounting Gail Knowles 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 © 2018. 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.


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Elfing Around

by Diane DeVaughn Stokes Way back in 1971, I worked at a local department store where the man who was supposed to play Santa showed up drunk, and I was the hero that saved the day doing the Santa gig. And it lasted through two Christmas seasons. In case you missed the article, I wrote about this in Sasee many years ago. But the highlight was that I was named “The First Female Santa in the USA.” And yes, I have the Associated Press articles to prove it. However, because I love Christmas so much, I created a new persona back in the early nineties as “Jingles the Elf.” Instead of emceeing Christmas functions as me, I decided it would be more fun to emcee as a character. My family, who know my history as the first female Santa, tell me that I am the only person who ever “demoted” themselves from Santa to Elf! That may be one way to look at it, but I am having a ball being Jingles the Elf, so who cares? It all started when I used to emcee Christmas Towne for the city of Myrtle Beach. And since then, I’ve made appearances at pre-schools, retirement communities, Taste of the Town, nursing homes, and appeared in TV commercials as “Jingles.” The costume is adorable, and the hat is perfect on a bad hair day. For the past few years, I have done the Barefoot Landing Christmas tree lighting and got my husband in on the job when they desperately needed a Santa one night. Now we do it together. It’s such a joy to bring smiles to the kids and parents too. And thanks to Facebook and everyone having their own phones, our photos with local families and their kids have gone all around the world. Many have told us that they plan to use this picture as their Christmas card. This year we were at Barefoot Landing on Saturday November 17, amidst some grand entertainment! But it’s what the kids say that makes the job so fantastic. When I told one youngster that I was Santa’s best friend, she asked me if my name was Rudolph! Another asked me if I was Peter Pan. One little boy asked me why I did not wear pants. I told him that my red and green striped tights were all I needed! Then he admitted that his dad put him up to ask that question. Yet, my favorite child was the one who came up to Santa and me and handed us a dollar. I asked her what that was for and she said that since she had to give Jesus money every Sunday, she wanted to give Santa some money too. Of course we told her we would rather she give it to Jesus on Sunday. As TV host Art Linkletter use to say, “Kids say the darndest things.” But then again, most people today do not remember Art Linkletter! And so in this precious month of love and light and generosity just know while y’all are shopping for gifts, going to holiday parties and trimming the tree, I am “Elfing” around with my favorite Santa Claus, loving every minute of playing SECOND fiddle to the SECOND most adored man of the Christmas season.

Diane DeVaughn Stokes

is the President of Stages Video Productions, Host and Producer for TV show “Inside Out” on HTC, and EASY Radio Host weekdays noon to 3pm. Her passions include food, travel and theater. You can reach her at diane@stagesvideo.com

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December 2018


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Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

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Award Winning Season


A Hallmark Rescue by Beth Pugh

When turning the pages on my calendar year after year, I turn, too, the pages of a mental photo album. It was during the fall my mother fell ill. An intended short stay for an infection stretched out into a month in the hospital after a surprise stroke. It then stretched even further in days and miles with a new location for potential heart surgery. The last-ditch effort slowly unraveled, and Mom’s sickness seeped into the holiday season. She was sent to a nursing home the week of Thanksgiving. Her time there was short; three weeks give or take a few days. She passed exactly two weeks before Christmas from my needy teenage hands into the beckoning arms of the angels.

closest of compadres. We went everywhere together; school, work, out to lunch. There was never a second when lonely left me alone. It wedged itself deeper into me, creating an ever-widening chasm between me and those around me.

As her casket closed, the joy of the season dissipated. It drained through my feet, fast and furious like water through a kinked hose that had just been straightened, and I was too weak to try to hold on. Snowmen lost their magic though their hats were still intact. Lights mother and child once smiled at together in the dark dulled. The cheer of beloved tunes vanished though the melody and lyrics remained the same. My ears heard the sharps and flats, but the connection was gone. Loneliness had scrambled the signal, leaving only static to fill my otherwise silent soul.

When a screaming baby boy entered this world, red-faced with lips curled, I was sure I’d beaten lonely, for good this time. Perfection wrapped in a pink and blue bordered blanket was placed in my arms; when I looked at him, he became mine and I, his. Daily my son built a bridge across the canyon in my heart, and I just knew with his arrival the Christmas magic would return. But lonely came first, in the fall, as always.

I had never known lonely until the light of my mother’s smile was hidden from my daily view. All too quickly, though, lonely and I became the

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It wasn’t until after I was married I truly learned to handle the pain of missing Mom and began to live again. With my mate by my side, I was certain I’d shaken lonely once and for all. But the winds of autumn proved me wrong as I quickly realized love and lonely are really soul mates.

Every year since Mom’s passing is the same. As the red and yellow leaves fall from branches above my head, a custom-made shroud of solitude cut just for me descends as well. I’ve come to expect it. It needs no invite

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December 2018


for it doesn’t mind crashing the party. It’s proven it doesn’t even need a party to crash. Just a heart to hearken, and the hole in mine creates the perfect accommodations. But Hallmark had other plans, appearing center stage to rescue me from my lonesomeness. It happened late one night. My boy lay asleep cradled in my arms. His much too long for my lap legs hung over my knees and his arm rested thrown back over his head. He was sleeping the sleep only children can while his daddy slumbered in the adjoining recliner on the opposite end of the couch. I was awake, and alone. Gingerly, I angled myself in reach of the remote control. After a few button pushes, Hallmark arrived on the scene in all its glory. I watched the sweet story of an inn getting ready to be sold. I watched the buyer’s daughter transition from disgust to adoration of the getaway’s charm. I swooned as she fell for the owner’s son. I cheered as they rescued the inn from certain destruction at the hand of the leading lady’s own father. The credits rolled, and so did my tears. Growing up, times were tough. My family was seemingly always strapped for cash, but Mom kept me distracted from missing the things we couldn’t afford by showering me with the things we could. Feel-good TV was one of those things. During December, we reminded each other of when “Countdown to Christmas” started on the Family Channel so not to miss it. It was the highlight of our season. For us, it was more than just screen time. It was an experience together, memories made I now cherish. Hallmark reminded me of those times as it washed away my loneliness that fateful night. I felt my mother closer than I had in years. Sad sobs turned joyous as my shroud of solitude was replaced with the warmth of the season created by my mother’s love. I wrapped it around me tighter and soaked up all the magic my mother had created during my childhood. I am excitedly counting down the days until the biggest movie event of the year, for me at least, begins. As its arrival draws closer, my heart quickens. Joy peeks its head above the shadow autumn initially cast, and the loneliness my holiday season used to come wrapped up in is torn to shreds. I have Mom to thank for that.

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Becoming a Redskins Fan by Melissa Face

I read an article years ago about how important it is to appreciate gifts from children, especially those that are handmade. Children want to give, but they have neither the money nor the transportation to shop at a store. So, they make things for the people they care about. It is one of the purest expressions of love that exists. My children are no exception. They draw, cut, color and paste items from around the house, sometimes items that already belong to me. They present these items to us on holidays with so much pride their faces literally glow. Last July, my two kids handed me a gift bag on my birthday. I watched them nearly burst as I pulled out dozens of creations they made from napkins: hearts covered in stickers, cards with fringed edges, and cut-outs of our entire family. I told them that I loved everything they made, and that I truly appreciated the thought and hard work that they put into their gifts. Now that my older child, Evan, is in elementary school, he has the opportunity to buy Christmas gifts through his school’s Secret Santa Shop. Last December, we sent twenty dollars to school for him to shop for: his sister, grandparents, father, and me. He came home that day, told us he had bought wonderful gifts, and then went to his room to wrap them so they could go under the tree. A few weeks before Christmas, my husband, Craig, and my son were watching a Steelers game. My husband has been a Steelers fan all his life. And though I really don’t give a hoot about football, I mimic his enthusiasm to keep things fun. Throughout the game, Evan kept asking my husband questions about the Washington Redskins. “Do you like the Redskins?” Evan asked him.

“No. Not really,” my husband answered. “They have never been a team that I follow.” “Well, what would be your second favorite team?” Evan inquired. “I guess if I had to pick a second favorite, I would say the Patriots, since I’m from New England.” “Oh. Okay. What is your third favorite team?” “I’m not really sure, Buddy. I’ve never thought about a third favorite team before. Maybe the Broncos.” “Okay,” Evan responded. Evan and his dad continued watching the Steelers game. Craig noticed that Evan had become quieter and appeared to be deep in thought. Evan said, “I think my second favorite team is the Redskins.” “That’s fine,” Craig told him. “You can like any team you want.” “Washington is pretty close by, Dad,” Evan rationalized. “We could easily go to one of their games.” “You’re right, Buddy. We sure could,” Craig agreed. A while later, the Steelers game had wrapped up and Craig and Evan were throwing the football in the playroom. Evan blurted out, “Dad! I think I really messed up!” “What’s wrong, Buddy? What do you mean?” “All my school had for football gifts was Redskins stuff. So, I had to buy you a Redskins present for Christmas.” My husband’s heart sank. He searched for words to console Evan. He told him that the Redskins were a great team and that they would make plans to go see them play one day. Evan seemed satisfied, but Craig felt miserable. There is not much worse than seeing your child disappointed. In the days leading up to Christmas, my husband and I made an effort to mention the Redskins in casual conversation. We talked about their record, how my great-grandfather was a faithful fan, and

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December 2018


Evan and Craig looked online at player profiles. We did everything we could to make Evan feel better about his purchase. On Christmas morning, the kids opened their gifts from Santa, enjoyed their stockings, and played with new toys. Then, Evan jumped up and yelled, “It’s my turn to hand out gifts!” He went to the tree and grabbed his presents and passed them out. The first gift he handed out was for his dad. Craig opened the square box and pulled out a Redskins bracelet. “Do you like it?” Evan asked. “I love it,” Craig responded, as he slid it onto his wrist. “And it fits me perfectly.” The rest of Evan’s gifts were also a hit, and our entire Christmas morning was one of the best we have ever had as a family. Months have passed since Craig received his Redskins bracelet and became the team’s newest fan. He still wears it every single day. And when the day comes that it breaks and can no longer be worn, we will retire it to my desk drawer, where it will reside alongside our other treasures: handmade cards, napkin creations, and coloring sheets. It will be in good company, among the best gifts a parent could ever receive.

Melissa Face

is a teacher, writer, and mom of two, Melissa Face lives in VA with her family. Melissa’s work has been published in local and national magazines, as well as in Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read more from her at melissaface.com.

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Leaving a Lasting Impression by Linda O’Connell

On Christmas our small ranch house overflows with family big and small, young and old. Not their presents, but their presence excites me, fills me with joy and makes the holiday memories linger. Our three adult daughters, granddaughter and daughter-in-law offer to bring side dishes or help me in the kitchen. I say, “No, thank you. It makes me happy to prepare a big meal for everyone. Go visit with one another, and enjoy yourselves. I don’t need any help.” Even though I say I don’t, I’m beginning to think I do. The evidence of the mess I made on Christmas Day was etched in silk, lace, rayon... and for sure, in the long term memories of my female family members, who I’m sure shared my little fiasco with their men folk, and now the whole family is probably privy. When my children and grandchildren were small, I was forever cleaning messes, especially when they ate. Most of their spills could be attributed to underdeveloped motor control. Toddlers missed their mouths more than they got the food in. They spilled beverages because they weren’t well coordinated. These days though, the kids are grown and their mess making days are over. But I am still cleaning messes – my own. As usual, our household was divided on Christmas. The guys were in the living room carrying on over a silly little football, and the women were in the kitchen discussing their men. The children were in the lower level family room playing with new toys, electronic devices or busily engaged playing videos. Aromas filled our home. Cinnamon snicker doodles and chocolate chip cookies displayed on decorative holiday trays, tempted taste buds, little kids and dieting adults. I was overjoyed to have all of our noisy, blended family under foot and under our roof.

Half an hour before mealtime, I opened the oven door and partially slid out the five pound pan of pasta in meat-laden spaghetti sauce, dripping with gooey cheese. We own a food thermometer, but I didn’t have time for a scavenger hunt through the junk drawer because of course, it wasn’t in the silverware drawer where it was supposed to be. If I had to guess, I’d bet it was outside on the barbeque pit from three months ago when my husband last grilled. I wasn’t about to attempt to take the cover off the outdoor cooker and discover a small critter family wintering under there. Instead, I decided a taste test would be sufficient. I scooped my serving spoon to the bottom of the roasting pan and came up with a mere spoonful to determine whether the mini meatballs were thoroughly heated. Bent over the door of the blast furnace, my silk blouse gaping like my big mouth, I raised the spoon and completely missed my pie hole. The sizzling hot, marble-size chunk of Italian sausage flipped off the spoon and rolled down my chin. As I jerked up, it ricocheted onto my chest and kept travelling. I shimmied spastically as that steaming sphere rolled into my bra. I screamed, straightened up and trapped that hot mini-meatball between my flesh and the lacey fabric. I did some fancy footwork and shuffled around like one of the grandkids’ battery-operated holiday toys. When I shrugged my shoulders, that little chunk rolled to the other side, going bonkers like a pinball machine racking up points. Ding-ding-ding! I flung the spoon and reached down my blouse. Without a shred of dignity left, I fished the seared meatball off my singed chest and flung it across the kitchen and into the sink. I ripped off a yard of paper towels and shoved the wad under the faucet. The sopping towels smeared the tomato sauce clear across my chest, thus ruining my silk holiday blouse. Our adult girls sat at the table stifling snickers. As they tried to maintain their composure, they glanced from one to the other. Their hands covered their mouths; their eyes flashed silent signals as they observed my fiasco. My daughter let loose and laughed first. Her gigglescreech evolved into a full blown belly laugh. She could hardly breathe. It’s a good thing we didn’t have to go to the emergency room that day. At first glance, Bust-a-Gut would have


been assessed as inebriated. Medical personnel would have assumed I was a gunshot victim and rushed me to a trauma bay.

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Presents

I shoved the pan back into the oven, and with my head held high, I headed to the bathroom for a massive cleanup and a quick change. Then I went downstairs to the laundry room, filled the sink with cold water and presoak. After our holiday meal was devoured, the men returned to the living room, and the girls continued to make wise cracks, so I went to the laundry room to check on my blood shot undergarment and blouse. I came into the kitchen and interrupted the gabbing girls. They all stopped their conversations in mid-sentence and tried to keep a straight face. They looked directly at me when I said, “Ladies, this is very serious. I have a real problem, and I need your advice. Do any of you have a suggestion as to how I can...?” Before I finished my sentence, my daughter interrupted, “Mom, here!” She jumped up and went to the fridge. “Just drop this ice cube into your cleavage and hunch your shoulders to keep it there, and that should relieve the pain.” I did a slow burn and glared. “What I need is help removing spaghetti sauce stains from an expensive, lacey bra.” The hoots and shouts from the girls in the kitchen pealed louder than the guys in the living room cheering a touchdown. My holiday joy does not come from presents. It is derived from the presence of loved ones gathered in our home and the shared memorable moments, such as this one, that will go down in family oral history for generations.

A Magnificent Military Campaign Chest Circa 1870

T

his superb quality rare antique colonial 19th century campaign chest was “benchmade” (all hand tooled) with dovetailed drawer construction. The chest is built in two pieces, of durable walnut, and designed with exquisite brass fittings. The largest drawer was used to house decorative and parade uniforms and became known as a hat drawer. The walnut has been carefully burnished over the years resulting in a lasting patina.

T

his chest would have been commissioned for a member of the British Raj or a high ranking officer in the British Army during the reign of Queen Victoria in Colonial India. It was built in India and then shipped to South Africa where Rothrock Antiques discovered it. It is attributed to Hill & Millard of 7 Duncannon Street, London.

R 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.

othrock Antiques has over 40 years of experience travelling the world from Athens to Zimbabwe in our search for one-of-a-kind antiques, art and accessories. When you step into our 12,000 square foot showrooms you’ll find stunning pieces each of which have a wonderful story to tell. We have the most extensive collection of Georgian, Victorian, Art Deco and Semi-Modern Antiques, Art, Accessories and Oriental Carpets on the Grand Strand. 14319 Ocean Highway 17 at The Litchfield Exchange Pawleys Island Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. www.RothrockAntiques.com 843-520-9965

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Give Gifts from the Heart Giving gifts that touch the heart of the receiver is one of the joys of the season. To help you get started in the search for that perfect present, Sasee found a few heartfelt gifts that will delight your special friends and family. All of these and more unique and beautiful items can be found locally. Join us this season in supporting our local retailers! Happy Holidays!

WISH CANDLE

The WISH Candle has a secret chamber designed to hold your wish inside the copper Wish Capsule. It is made of 100% pure beeswax because beeswax is timeless and magical. The WISH Candle holds your wish safely inside the Wish Capsule for as long as you choose. Found at WISH Candle in Pawleys Island 11388 Ocean Hwy., Pawleys Island, SC 843-314-3215

GRATITUDE JAR

"The More Grateful You Are, The More Present You Become, The More Joy You Bring Into Your Life." Begin each day with an open heart by recording all that you are grateful for. Creating a wonderful jar of memories that celebrates the joy of being alive. A moment of gratitude makes a serious difference in your attitude. Found at Good Deed Goods 3579 US Bus., Murrells Inlet, SC 843-651-7979 and Studio 77 5001 N. Kings Hwy , unit 102, Myrtle Beach, SC 843-497-5931


ANGELS

We love these cast resin angels with metal corrugated wings. Each lovely piece has small embellishments and verses stamped on the skirt. Choose from “Forever with the angels, always in our hearts,” or “In spirit, heart and memory, LOVE lives forever.” Found at MISC- Everything Murrells Inlet 4493 Hwy 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, SC 843-357-3507

BLESSING BOWLS

Who on your list would love these blessing bowls and ornaments? Handcrafted from clay, hand-painted, trimmed in 14K gold and tied with scripture. Blessing bowl and ornament inspiration comes from antique intaglios and jewelry from the artist’s mother. Found at Sarabeth's Gifts 1061 North Fraser Street, Georgetown, SC 843-546-2880

EARTH GRACE ARTISAN JEWELRY: BIRTHSTONE BRACELET

Earth Grace Artisan Jewelry is still handmade the way it has been for thousands of years, inspired by God’s natural creations, simple and classic. Our designs are timeless. Add your family’s birthstones for a piece you will cherish forever. Found at Gradys Jewelers 317 Laurel St., Conway SC 843-248-2624


Holiday Cheer for All Ages

by Britta Cammarata With the holiday in full swing, many of us can expect to celebrate with long-held traditions and family gatherings. Typically, we picture a multi-generational family staying together under one roof, for some, it’s traveling far and wide to be together, and for many, busy with work and family, relying on the advances of technology like Facetime or Skype to connect. For residents in assisted living and memory care communities, holiday traditions are just as important. While some residents will leave their community to visit family during the holidays, it’s more common for residents to remain home. Although convenience plays a role, safety, continuity of care and the comfort of their home and routine provide assurance. There is a certain level of risk when residents are taken out of their daily routine and expected to navigate new environments. Personally, this is my favorite time of year, when we ramp up efforts to ensure residents have ample opportunity to embrace holiday traditions, for example, helping to decorate common areas, but more importantly, ensuring their personal residence reflects their own holiday traditions. Fortunately, senior living communities are making it easier for families to enjoy holiday celebrations without some of the hassle. Portside, for example, will begin to prepare and plan months in advance, with the help of our residents, for activities stretching from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. These might include cookie baking, holiday movie nights, community hosted family dinners, group gift-wrapping sessions, shopping trips, holiday light tours in nearby neighborhoods, sing-a-longs, and a slew of holiday entertainment, from Christmas carolers to plays. In addition to preserving cherished traditions, these activities can be an important outlet for residents at a time of year when rates of isolation and depression tend to spike.

Vintage Wears & Wonderful Goods Mention this ad for special savings ! 24

720 Sunset Blvd N, Sunset Beach, NC 28468 bleuboutique.blogspot.com • (910) 579-5628

Tips for the holidays; Visit - The most important gift you give is your time, visit often and invite others to join. Allow us to help Decorate your loved one’s apartment with holiday cheer, Encourage your loved one to join in the festive activities and outings and make new friends. Celebrate by helping your loved one fulfill traditions they hold dear. Celebrations in a retirement community can often be much more fun when we embrace old traditions while being offered the unique opportunity to create new ones. Britta Cammarata, MS, MA, NHA-CRCFA, is Executive Director of Portside at Grande Dunes, offering quality senior living at 901 Portside Drive in Myrtle Beach. For more information, call 843-999-2494 to schedule a personal tour.


Assisted Living | Memory Care

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. 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.

Welcome home.

Call to schedule a personal tour! 843-999-2494 901 Portside Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572

Quality senior living for those who have reached the age of fifty-five for independent living and sixty-two for assisted living/memory care.


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11096 Ocean Highway | Pawleys Island, SC | (843) 237-8080


Get cracking on your holiday shopping! Perfect for corporate gifts, friends and family Full array of delectable Southern pecans, cheese straws, and confections. Festive boxes, gift tins, and baskets are available. Florence Magnolia Mall

3 Locations to serve you! Florence Exit 164 on I-95

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800-729-6003 • www.youngplantations.com Island Art Gallery announces

Miniature Masterpiece Show

Friday, December 7th, 5pm-7:30pm • Show will hang through December

Island Art Gallery • Village Shops • 10744 Ocean Hwy. • Pawleys Island SC 29585 843-314-0298 • www.pawleysislandart.com

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Hope Flows Through Rising Water by Leslie Moore

Harbour Towne In September, Hurricane Florence made her way down the Carolina coast, battering our neighbors to the north, but leaving the Grand Strand mostly unscathed. What we didn’t realize at the time was how much damage the slow rise of our many rivers to history-making levels would cause, and how many people lost most, if not all, of their belongings to flood water. Most of those whose homes were flooded didn’t have homeowners insurance, nor do they have the means to quickly clean up and rebuild. Without the help of hundreds of caring volunteers from all over the Grand Strand, the work putting lives and homes back together just wouldn’t get done. Sasee met with one such helper, and one whose life was changed forever by the help she received. Both of these remarkable women’s stories will give you hope; hope because of the abundance of goodness and love present in so many of the people we call neighbors and friends. Jane Bernstein: A Little Help from Her Friends Vivacious and attractive, Jane Bernstein is an x-ray technologist at Conway Medical Center. Divorced for several years, she lives in her home in Socastee, in the Harbour Towne subdivision, with her beloved Boston terrier, Fenway and two roommates. The Intracoastal Waterway is a stone’s throw from her front door. Known as a giving person, Jane volunteers for multiple nonprofits and is dearly loved by her many friends.

“When I left the hospital several days later, the Socastee swing bridge was still open, but everyone was talking about the water rising and when it would crest.” Again, Jane knew she had to work and had very little time to prepare. After seeing a post on Facebook offering free sandbags, she decided to make her own post and ask friends to bring sandbags to her home while she was at work.

Medical personnel do not get days off, even for monster storms. “My neighborhood had a mandatory evacuation at noon on September 11th, but I was the on-call tech that day. It’s the hospital’s policy that if we feel we won’t be able to get in for our shift, we come to the hospital early and stay there,” Jane told me. She remembered how difficult it was after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 when there were days home alone with no electricity, so Jane decided to place Fenway in a kennel and move into the hospital for the duration of the storm.

“My phone started blowing up with offers of help,” Jane remembers. Among the people who called and messaged, Dr. Scott Mencken and his wife Renee soon became the leaders in forming a volunteer team to help Jane. “Renee and Scott have children in Socastee High School, and they were all helping to fill sandbags. When she brought sandbags by my house and saw how close I am to the ICW, Renee told Scott they needed to get me out of there.”

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December 2018


Jane and Fenway It’s hard to understand the toll a disaster like this takes on people faced with losing everything. “I was terrified and didn’t know what I would do if I lost my home,” Jane told me tearfully as she continued her story. “When I got home from work, friends had brought sandbags and taken important family photos, jewelry and my files for safekeeping.” Another friend, Portia Brandt, offered Jane the use of her vacation rental in Surfside Beach. That Saturday, a week after Florence moved away from the Carolina coast, Renee and Scott organized an army of volunteers to move Jane’s belongings out of her home. “They rented a 40 foot POD and a U-Haul, bought boxes, tape, bubble wrap…everything needed to move me out.” Jane’s Rabbi, Avi Perets, at Temple Emanu-El in Myrtle Beach, agreed to allow the POD to be placed in the temple parking lot, safely away from the rising waters. “I was working and didn’t have any time to pack,” Jane told me. A daily runner, Jane had just gotten back from her morning three mile run when everyone arrived to start packing. “While I was running that morning, I had a spiritual revelation. I realized that no matter what happened to my home, I would be okay. Suddenly, the fear lifted, and I just knew no matter what happened, I was going to be fine.”

Renee Mencken & Dr Scott None of the volunteers, from church youth groups, the hospital and more, would let Jane do one thing to help. “They packed everything into the U-Haul in two hours. I moved into a beautiful vacation home and even had flowers waiting when I arrived. A neighbor, who wasn’t leaving, took all my bedding, washed, dried it and cleaned the entire house.” Water came within a few feet of Jane’s house, but not one drop came inside. All around her, homes were flooded, some beyond repair. Jane’s home had been spared. “Renee called me and said everyone would come help me move back into my house, but they ended up hiring a moving company, who came and put everything back in just a few hours. I just can’t believe how much was given to me.” Even Fenway, the Boston terrier, was well taken care of while Jane was staying in her friend’s vacation home. His boarding in a local kennel was paid for by another friend and coworker who knew the $30 a day fee was a strain on her budget. Life is mostly back to normal for Jane, and she’s able to resume her volunteer jobs including serving on the board of Carolina Master Chorale, a docent at Brookgreen Gardens and more. “I am so very grateful. My life hasn’t been easy over the past few years, but I know now that I am cared for and loved…no matter what.”

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Sandbagging before the flood

Christy Morris: A Quiet Warrior Soft spoken and unassuming, it’s impossible to see the powerhouse that is Christy Morris until she begins to speak about her work. Outreach Minister and Family Life Minister at Seacoast Vineyard Church in Myrtle Beach, plus an active member of Impact Ministries, a non-profit organization directed by Todd Wood, that oversees all disaster relief in Horry County, Christy has been involved in helping those affected by the flooding since before the water even began to rise. “Because I’m connected to Seacoast, I have a lot of resources,” Christy began. “And Impact Ministries is connected to VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) through Waccamaw Community Foundation.” After the flooding, Impact Ministries had teams in Loris and Longs, Conway, and the Rosewood community in Socastee. Samaritan’s Purse also partnered with Christy’s group and, at the time of this interview, is still here working. “We were the first ones on the ground bringing teams in to start the clean up and rebuilding process,” Christy told me. “Even before the flooding hit, we were out there helping people prepare.” While the waters rose slowly in Conway and Socastee, in Loris and Longs, it hit before those affected had time to prepare. “They barely had time to throw a few clothes in a suitcase,” Christy began. “In Socastee we had time to tarp homes and put sandbags in place, and even move furniture out in some cases.” “This is my first disaster,” Christy reflected as she continued her story. “It’s been a learning experience. Unless you’re in the middle of it, you have no clue how hard this is for those whose homes were flooded. I live in Plantation Point, and in the heart of Myrtle Beach, life is going on as usual. No one realizes the hardship members of our community are

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facing.” In Socastee especially, because of where homes were built, and the geography of the land, it’s almost certain that rising water will affect homes. Christy went on to tell me that her volunteer teams put tarps on the outside of homes with duct tape before placing sandbags. “Those homes got the least amount of water. On one home we tarped, the water rose to three feet outside, but only three inches got inside.” The reality of two major floods in as many years has hit people very hard. “So many homes didn’t have insurance, because they weren’t supposed to flood. And, half the people in Rosewood didn’t do anything to prepare, I think they had just given up after losing it all in Hurricane Matthew. It looked like a war zone – and still does in many places.” Those affected by flood are eligible for some help through FEMA. But, before they can even apply, they have to contact their insurance company, even if they don’t have a flood policy. Once they’re denied, then they can apply to FEMA. “So far, most of the homes are getting from $15-19,000. It is a good amount, but it doesn’t cover everything. Most people lost their appliances, furniture, flooring, kitchen cabinets, drywall and will have to repaint.” Christy also stressed how careful volunteers have to be going into homes after flooding. Mold can be very dangerous. “Everyone wears masks and gloves, which are discarded each day. Getting in as soon as possible helps, but one family we’re helping in Longs, lives off Hwy 905 that just opened last week [11/2]. So that mold has grown and grown. In most flooded homes, we rip out drywall at 4 feet. But for this family, it will have to be completely replaced. Some people tried to save furniture, but that can be dangerous, as mold grows under the frame.”

Sasee.com

December 2018


Christy(far right) & Volunteers in Bucksport

Students filling sandbags

Flood destruction

Christy and her volunteers gut the homes, taking out flooring, drywall and baseboards and insulation. They then use fans and dehumidifiers, and when it’s completely dry, everything is sprayed with a special chemical to kill mold. Finally, the rebuilding can begin. “Unless you drive into these areas, get in there, wear the masks, smell the stench, you just don’t know. Flood cleanout is one of the dirtiest, nastiest jobs.”

I asked Christy why people stay in flood prone areas like Rosewood. “They’re stuck. They don’t have enough money to move. Most families have lower incomes, and what can they do?

grant from Lowes Home Improvement that will continue to fund waiting flood assistance applications. The public can donate through Impact Ministries or Waccamaw Community Foundation.

Christy’s church is not doing the traditional shoebox ministry this year, rather, they are giving Christmas to eight families in Rosewood affected by flooding. If you’d like to help, please contact Christy at 843-457-4791 or contact Impact Ministries at www.impactmb.org.

Even with a few grants, most families won’t have enough to pay for everything. Having the work done by volunteers helps stretch every penny. “People have been generous – Sherwin Williams is offering Many rural areas were left completely without help after the water discounted paint, and we have a warehouse full of donated furniture. If receded. Bucksport, a community on Hwy 701 between Georgetown and you’d like to upgrade, contact us and we will pick up your items.” Conway, is in the middle of nowhere and no teams were there working. “We went to Bucksport after a call went out for help. There are quite a few From a young age, Christy wanted to be a pastor. Her grandparents on families that flooded, and a church needs the entire sanctuary gutted and both sides were missionaries, and her dad was actually born in Nigeria rebuilt.” Christy went on to tell me that her team spent a week helping while his parents were working there. While attending seminary in Fort the one family. “We walked into a gas station, and I had on my Impact Worth, Texas, Christy met her husband, Kevin, who is currently working Ministries shirt. Someone tapped me on the shoulder and asked for help. for the City of Myrtle Beach, but is still very involved in working with Her husband is an amputee, and she has no one helping her. The next the church. week we were able to get a team in there to help. We have teams from As we finished our chat, this incredible woman told me, “As horrific and other states also – from Florida, Texas, Alabama, and Virginia. Some of horrible as this has been, watching the community come together has these people helped in Matthew, and some were here on vacation and been amazing – churches, schools, neighbors, businesses, city officials – asked to volunteer.” all working together. It has brought our community together. I’ve done Christy stressed that there is still a great need for assistance for displaced a lot of mission work, but I’ve never seen people come together on this families. “We need money, of course, and gently used furniture, building scale. It’s been wonderful watching the giving, the working together, supplies, appliances, kitchen cabinets, drywall…most anything that goes and the boundaries taken down, regardless of religion, race or whatever into a home.” The Waccamaw Community Foundation is waiting on a differences we may have.”

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Saturday, December 8 Tupelo Honey

Breakfast with Santa Saturday, December 15

Saturday, December 22

Travinia Italian Kitchen

Gordon Biersch

9-11am Market Common $10 per person, reservations required 843-315-3780

9-11am Market Common $11 per person, reservations required 843-233-8500

Hard Rock Café

The Golden Egg Restaurant

9-11am Myrtle Beach Reservations required 843-946-0007

9-11am Market Common $10 per person, reservations required 843-839-0249

9-10:30am Surfside Beach Call for more information 843-650-9548

St. James High School

Hard Rock Café

9-11am Myrtle Beach Reservations required 843-946-0007

Hard Rock Café

8-11:30am Murrells Inlet Call for more information 843-650-5600

9-11am Myrtle Beach Reservations required 843-946-0007

Gingerbread Jamboree

Family Night at the Kaminski House

Weekends through December 31 Santa will visit on December 8-9 from 10am-3pm December 16 10am-3pm and December 22-24 10am-3pm There will also be mini gingerbread house decorating, special visitors and holiday arts and crafts.

Family Night features the Candy Cane Express (decorated tour-tram), hot cocoa, cookies, and holiday scavenger hunt. Call for more information 843-546-7706

EdVenture Children’s Museum • Myrtle Beach

Visit Santa & Mrs. Claus Hammock Shops Village

Sunday, December 2 & 9 • 1-3pm Call for more information 843-350-2220

Saturday, December 22 • 4-6pm

Sensitive Santa

Christmas Towne

December 9 • 5-7pm This event allows children on the spectrum to have their photo taken with Santa in a calm, sensory friendly environment. Call for more information 843- 946-9469

December 9 • 3-5:30pm Free events, free parking Call for more information 800-356-3016

EdVenture Children’s Museum

Night Lights Holidays on the Boardwalk

Myrtle Beach Convention Center

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk • Saturdays through December 22 7:00-8:00pm 5:30-6:45pm 4:00-8:00pm Play - Did The Grinch Really Steal Christmas? Costumed Characters Santa & Mrs. Claus, Glitter Tattoos, Letters For more information, on stage to Santa, Christmas Train, Secret Santa visit www.myrtlebeachdowntown.com leading caroling Shopping, Caricature Artist

See this month’s Sasee calendar for more fun events! 38


TOMLINSON’S WAREHOUSE SALES BEST KEPT SECRET ON THE GRAND STRAND

WISHING YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS! The Tomlinson’s stores are thankful for you and the support you have given us throughout the years!

PROVIDING THE LATEST IN FASHION FOR LADIES WEAR AS WELL AS THE HOME, FOR OVER 35 YEARS! We carry locally framed and matted art! A quick fix to change the feel of any room!

Unique Christmas Finds

To avoid the crowds and the same old merchandise, stop by your local Tomlinson’s Store and check out the different and fun items that could give your home a fresh look for Holidays. From Christmas décor to simply changing a pillow or quilt in the guest room, you’ll find our customer service team happy to help!

LOW PRICES!

WE THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING YOUR LOCALLY OWNED TOMLINSONS STORES.

SURFSIDE BEACH: 430 HWY 17-N • (843) 238-5613 • Monday -Saturday: 9:30am - 7:00pm NORTH MYRTLE BEACH: 951 Highway 17 N • (843) 280-7278 • Monday -Saturday: 9:30am - 7:00pm GEORGETOWN: 806 Front St • (843) 546-7571 • Monday -Saturday: 9:30am - 6:00pm


The Best Gift Ever by Jeffery Cohen

At four in the morning I crept down the hallway and peeked around the corner at the Christmas tree that reached to the ceiling. Its lights made the room glow as they reflected off shiny glass balls and silvery tinsel draped from pine needle branches. At its bottom, a huge box lay wrapped in holiday paper, topped with a velvet red bow. Could it be? I wondered. Was it the answer to my eight-year-old dreams? I sneaked into my brother’s rooms to gather up a couple of co-conspirators. The three of us quickly discussed whether it was okay to make an assault on the booty left under the tree. We all agreed that we had done our part. As impossible as it seemed, we’d managed somehow to stifle our excitement and  calm ourselves down enough to finally fall asleep. We’d been out cold for a few hours, just long enough for Santa to make his way down the chimney, leave our presents, then disappear, as usual. It was well after midnight, we reasoned – Christmas morning had technically arrived, and we had a right, and even an obligation, to open our gifts. We quietly slipped into the living room and started to undo what we were certain Santa’s elves had taken so much time and effort to wrap. We began with small packages first, racing to inspect labels to decide who belonged to what. There was  a basketball, a set of paint-by-numbers, Lincoln logs, a box of Tinker Toys, a catcher’s mitt, clothes, clothes and more clothes. A pile of crumpled holiday paper grew as we undid every gift, leaving the largest box for last. We dragged it out to the center of the floor and stared at the label that held each of our names. Paper and ribbon seemed to fly off by itself as our little hands went to work to uncover a gold box, the name Lionel printed across its top. Our screams of delight were so loud, they woke my folks. Behind satisfied grins, my parents watched as we unpacked the one gift we’d been begging Santa Claus for with letters enough to fill a mailbag. It was a Lionel train set

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that would soon race around metal track puffing clouds of smoke and whistling a friendly warning. The three of us agreed it was the best gift we ever could have asked for. By the time I was twelve, I was no longer writing letters to Santa, instead lobbying Mom and Dad for Christmas gifts. A budding scientist, all I wanted was a chemistry set. I was not bothered at all by the fact that I actually knew little or nothing about science. All I wanted to do was to mix chemicals, watch things bubble, smoke, sparkle. I figured that maybe I might somehow mix a bunch of random elements into an untried concoction and come up with a cure for the common cold, a medication to eliminate pimples, or at least a new aftershave that wouldn’t burn so much when you slapped it on your face. I gently nudged my folks for months, slipping in whatever scientific jargon I gathered from watching “Flash Gordon” or dropping in Albert Einstein’s name freely whenever possible. But no matter how hard I pressed, the answer was always the same. “A chemistry set? What do you want to do, blow the house up?” I was pretty sure there would be no test tubes and Bunsen burner in my future as I dragged myself down to face a disappointing Christmas morning. But there it was – a  deluxe chemistry set, equipped with flasks, centrifuge, spoons, measuring tools,  gadgets of every shape and size, and a host of bottled crystals and powders that I really didn’t know what to do with. The one thing I did know was this was the best gift I could ever have asked for. By the time I reached college I was a sweatshirt and jeans kind of guy, but that didn’t stop my parents from trying their best to wrangle me into the Christmas present that they wanted me to have – a nice, respectable three-piece suit. With promises of a new Beatles album or a portable TV, they led me into a department store where we somehow wound up in the men’s section. Though they did their best to interest me in something “presentable,” I skimmed over the racks of clothes as though they were invisible, until I came upon something that I not only liked, but actually wanted. It was a tweed Mod-looking outfit that could easily have been worn by any one of the popular rockers of the day. Bell-bottom pants, matching vest and a Carnaby Street, high-collared, grape-purple shirt. I

Sasee.com

December 2018


ran my palm over the material as I pictured myself standing at a concert in front of thousands of adoring fans. That’s when I heard a voice that broke the magical spell. “That’s not the kind of suit we had in mind,” my mother explained. “Who do you think you are, Mike Jagger?” my father added. I just hung my head and headed for the nearest exit. Whatever made me think they would understand? They had no idea what it meant to be hip, groovy, or out of sight. Christmas morning delivered pretty much what I expected to get – the usual – packets of socks, underwear, t-shirts, leaving one wrapped gift still under the tree with my name on it. I only hoped it wasn’t that nice double-breasted suit that my folks had been eyeing. I opened the box and there it was! The tweed outfit I’d fallen in love with! Nearly in tears, I flew to my room, slipped it on and stood in front of the mirror. In my eyes, I looked just like a rock star. I wasn’t certain my folks would agree, but one thing I did know. It was the best gift I could ever have asked for. Years of Christmases had come and gone and I was pretty sure that the best gifts that I had once dreamed of were far behind me, when my son, his wife and my mother-in-law joined us, as usual, for Christmas dinner. We all settled in around the Christmas tree, and my son and his wife handed us each a small box, asking us to open them at the same time. We tore the paper away and lifted the box tops. My mother-in-law pulled out a tiny bib and shrugged her shoulders, confused. I opened mine to find a small plastic rattle, and I, too, wondered what was going on. But when my wife spotted a small bottle at the bottom of her gift box, she jumped up, let out a cry of joy, and began to hug and kiss my son and our daughter-in-law. Now it all became clear. With three little boxes, they had just told us we were about to have our first grandchild! It was the best gift we could ever have asked for.

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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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Happy Holidays!

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FROM OUR HOME TO YOURS

We wish you Christmas blessings and good cheer in the New Year!

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(843) 353-1525 • 699 Prince Creek Parkway, Murrells Inlet, SC, 29576 • ThriveAtPrinceCreek.com


Carolina Car Care “ Own er O p er a ted fo r 23 Ye ars”

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Merry Christmas from our family to yours

Schedule your tour today! 9415 Highway 17 Bypass, Murrells Inlet, SC 843.668.2500 | ThePalmettosGardenCity.com The Palmettos Assisted Living & Memory Care is an Affiliate of the NHC Family

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The Joy of Reading by Landy Reed

When I met Clyde, my first student, he said, “I hope you can help me learn to read. I want to be a bus driver and to do that I need to read.” “Clyde, I’ll do my best to help you achieve your goal.” He wore a neatly pressed uniform with his name embroidered on the upper left side. He towered above me.

His eyes widened. “Wow! I promise to be a good student.” “I’m sure you will.” Clyde was pushed through the school system, tagged as being disabled, but his real problem was dyslexia. He gave up hope of learning to read.

Since getting divorced at fifty-two, I owned extra time. When I read in the newspaper that The Literary Council needed volunteers to teach adults to read and write, I called for the information and registered for the six-week training.

Although, Clyde was twenty years old he possessed the eagerness of a school child at recess. He made a living working at a senior care center as a maintenance man. His parents had only a mere sixth grade education and thought Clyde fared well making minimum wage.

I was an outside account representative for a local magazine. I could manage my time to accommodate the training schedule.

I can’t imagine not knowing how to read. Reading makes you think, an opportunity to develop, and expand worldly skills. And at times, a welcome escape.

Clyde’s bright blue eyes sparkled, like lights on a Christmas tree when I told him I could teach him to read. He shook my hand so hard it hurt. “If you can do that for me, it’ll be a miracle. I can repay you. I’m a great mechanic, and I can fix your car if it breaks.” He ran his hand through his sandy colored, unruly hair.

Now, he and I began the tedious journey of first grade reading and writing. Once a week we met on Tuesday for an hour and a half at the center where he worked. We chatted about every day topics before the session began. Putting forth an enormous effort to overcome his disadvantage, Clyde sweated over single sounds and syllables until words stumbled from the pages of Dick and Jane to his lips.

My heart smiled. “That’s not necessary.” “You’ll do this for nothing? Why?” His look held question. “I’ve been fortunate, and I want to do something to help others.” I paused. “Reading opens many doors and opportunities.” My love of reading began as a small child and grew. That’s why I’m a writer.

It wasn’t long before Clyde acquired a stack of flash cards of newly learned words. He carried them in his pocket everywhere he went and proudly recited his vocabulary to all that would listen. A world of words bloomed for him. A twenty year old reading for the first time looks up and grins from ear to ear. You know he has entered a bright new place of wonder. After three months, I took him to the public library, and showed him the section where the books for adults new to reading were shelved. That day Clyde received his library card. He stared at the card, and then turned to me. “Look, I’m official now. I can take as many books as I like home.” His joy brought tears as he proudly placed the card in his wallet. “Let me wash and wax your car for helping me get my library card.” I smiled, took his arm, and we walked out of the library. “Thanks, but I didn’t do anything, you did all the work.”

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December 2018


About six months into the program, I noticed Clyde squinting when he read for an extended time. With permission, I arranged for him to have an eye exam. He needed corrective lenses. No more squinting when he read, he was a go-getter with glasses. In my preparation of weekly lessons I created new ways to help develop his abilities. I found greater appreciation for what so many take for granted – basic skills. I wanted Clyde to experience the pleasure that reading could offer.

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Clyde mastered reading and the skills of printing and cursive writing in twelve months. He enjoyed reading and took pride in showing his fresh talent. His stack of flash cards became four; he could read not only books but signs, directions and maps. During the last session, he read to me from a library book he had chosen by himself. I was awed by the joy in his eyes and the progress he had made. Reading enriched his life and opened a new world for him. We walked outside to the parking lot. “Clyde, keep practicing the words on your flashcards and try to read one book a week.” “Thank you for giving me the best present in the whole world. Maybe I really can become a bus driver.” He gave me a hug. “Clyde, you’re welcome. You’ve been a perfect student. I’m so proud of you.” At Christmas time, I received a card from Clyde. Under the message he wrote, “My daddy said you must be an angel to spend all your time teaching me for nothing.” I read his penned words through moistened eyes. Now I saw a new face of happiness, and I savored what it looked like. Giving to others truly stirs the soul. Because of regulations, I couldn’t inquire about Clyde to learn if he ever achieved his goal of driving a bus. But I knew he had been given the gift of reading. And I the gift of knowing I had helped open his life to a new world.

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–Read It!–

Nicole Says…Read These Books

Reading is a Gift – I am a firm believer that there is a reader in all of us, we just need to find the right book to spark the interest/love of books. These two books represented my love of books and I hope you all enjoy them, too! A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith Francie Nolan is eleven years old when this book begins. She lives in Brooklyn in the early 1900s, when it is a dark and dangerous time. Her mother is a hard worker who doesn’t make much, so dinner is not always a guarantee. However, both of Francie’s parents are determined to make sure she and her brother have the education they did not. With the help of the public library, the nightly Shakespeare and Bible verses, and political discussions, Francie is headed to a life full of learning and reading. This book gives readers a harsh reminder to find something positive in the midst of darkness. It also reminds readers that books provide the ultimate escape. There is something for everyone to relate to, whether it is the less

the living conditions, the determination of hard work, or what it feels to leave behind everything you’ve known for a brighter future. Coming-ofage novels are special, because there is no ideal age to read them. Readers can revisit these books at different decades in life and reflect on their own memories, as they notice different details. The Nolans will feel as though they are members of the readers’ family. I have seen this title numerous times, but I never picked it up to see what it was about. Then, over the summer, I watched the “Great American Read.” The way they described this book was incredible and they even had someone read an excerpt. I was hooked right away. I immediately went on a scavenger hunt to find this book and I am so glad that I did. I’ve always loved to read – most of my earliest memories include books with my Mom and Grandmother. But to read a book that describes what it means to be able to read and how that feels was breathtaking. This is a book that I will treasure forever.

The Little Bookshop on the Seine, by Rebecca Raisin Sarah Smith has a routine life surrounded by books. Her friend has offered her a fun business exchange. She will head to Paris to run her friend’s bookshop for six whole months. Christmas in Paris! Despite leaving her loved ones behind, she is looking forward to experiencing life in this romantic city. Yet when she arrives, she finds things in disarray. Determined to not let this put a damper on her dreams, Sarah must find a way to get through to her new staff, while dealing with the hardships of a long-distance relationship. This is the second book in the bookshop series by Rebecca Raisin; however, readers do not need to read the first story. A little bit of romance, various challenges, and of course the scenery brings this novel to life. This is a light read, with bits of reality mixed in, to make it more relatable for readers.

As readers, I am sure you can all relate… I saw a title that had bookshop in it and had to know more. Don’t you all do that, too? A book about a book or a place filled with books automatically makes it a must-read. I also love Christmas stories and this is a cute, little escape read. There is something about this time of year that encourages me to dive into a few more sweet, whimsical reads. What would you do, if you could run a bookstore in a foreign country? Would you jump at the opportunity?

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.


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The Night I Stole a Tall Man’s Coat by Erika Hoffman

back seat, and my husband assisted me into the high vehicle, but the hem of the coat tripped me. I tumbled in.

Recently, I read Girl on the Train. I propelled through it as fast as an express about to veer off the tracks. I consumed it. I flipped the pages trying to discern if the alcoholic, seemingly harmless protagonist was indeed a murderess during her black-outs. She had no memory of what she’d done after a robust bout of boozing. The character Rachel in the British novel is a pub frequenter, which seems to be a national pastime there, and so her debauchery was more understandable.

En route home, I berated our 21-something and above aged kids about their intemperance – until I zonked out. I’d relate the rest of the evening, but my memory hasn’t retained it. The next day I awoke feeling groggy. Nonetheless, I dragged myself down the stairs to grind coffee beans. That annoying noise was more than I could stand. So, I decided to leave the coffee preparation until later. Instead, I’d fetch the paper in the cold outdoors. I fumbled with the closet door to locate my coat. Outside, it looked like a frostbite-inducing morning. I donned the black wool overcoat. The sleeves draped past my wrists. The garment hung to my ankles and the girth of it, at first, made me wonder if I’d lost poundage during the night’s slumber. I trudged into the den. “Does this fit me?” I inquired.

I’m not sure if there’s a moral to this page turner other than the obvious one: Curb your consumption; booze can lead to bad judgment; or worse – you might slay someone and then forget you did and subsequently have to search for clues the next day to determine whether you’d committed the dastardly deed. “Black-outs are no fun” is an apt takeaway message for Paula Hawkins’s bestseller. Most women aren’t going to relate to the unreliable narrator, Rachel, in Girl on the Train. But I can!

My husband glanced away from the tube and gave me a harried “once over” and said, “Seems long.”

I’m not a lush. I seldom imbibe. Usually it’s just two glasses of wine, at most. I don’t party. Once, decades ago, I was a lively co-ed. But, I’m no longer young. About ten Christmases ago, our family was invited to attend a good friend’s holiday party. At the time, our kids were in their early twenties. Our buddies annually throw a themed fete; yet, now I can’t recall the theme that particular year. I remember only snatches of the festive get-together. My grown kids scattered as soon as we crossed the threshold of our hosts’ English-styled home. I worried about the open bars – mixed drinks outdoors, wine in the kitchen, beer on the porch and whoknows-what upstairs. My husband – chit-chatting, jawboning, gee hawing –disappeared into a throng of men. I slipped from one gaggle of gossiping women to a bevy of gals whispering and imbibing near the laundry room, and later I ended up propped up along a window pane eavesdropping on a tete-a-tete between a pair of women who, if gossip is to be believed, had good reason not to talk to one another. Anyway, each time I tried to mingle, I found myself, beforehand, grabbing a libation hoping it’d make me more jovial, more relaxed and more apt to listen to drivel. The more meaningless chatter I heard, the more I slugged down liquid courage and the less I minded the giddy silliness of others.

I shrugged and reached into the pocket to get my gloves and instead pulled out a wad of keys. The logo was BMW. I dangled them in front of my husband. “Whose keys?” he asked. I shrugged. “Whoever is pretty tall,” I said peering down at the coat’s length. “Better call our hosts.” I phoned our friends. After the pleasantries and before I could inquire about the coat and keys, my pal said, “You know that new, young lawyer in town, the one’s who’s about six foot two?” “No.” “Well, someone stole his overcoat last night at our Christmas party! And his brand new car’s keys were in the pocket! He had no way to get home. It was too cold to walk.” “Awful, “I said. “Any suspects?”

It was a Christmas party, for heaven’s sake, and I strived to be of “good cheer.” Long after midnight, my husband corralled our besotted kids as I teetered toward the guestroom to find my black coat. I struggled to put it on. It felt heavy on my shoulders. The kids huddled in the SUV’s

46

Sasee.com

Erika Hoffman

is a mom of four, a grandma of three, a pal to a dozen or so great women, and she likes to write.

December 2018


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Mom’s Christmas Butter Cookies by Ginger Murphy

As I lay awake one night, trying to settle down and go back to sleep, I began to think of Mom and how sick I knew she was. It was coming into another year’s holiday season, and I was thinking of the one thing that held my family’s hearts and waistlines together – Mom’s Christmas butter cookies.

son and daughter-in-law received their Christmas cookies. I was now old enough to remember helping her. I was the decorator. As I watched her, Mom always taught me to roll the dough thin, place two inches apart on the cookie sheet and LIGHTLY sprinkle with the colored sugar. I can hear her voice – “lightly sprinkle Ginger, lightly sprinkle.”

As I lay there, I began to think of years gone by. I wondered how this tradition was started and honestly, I was very curious! I wondered if Mom, along with her sisters, Charlene and Barbara and their mother made Christmas butter cookies each Christmas? As the sisters each got married, did they meet in one of their kitchens to make the cookies? How long has this tradition been going on? I made a mental note to ask Mom about this!

Time didn’t stop, and the years continued to click by. There was now a new husband and her first grandchildren. Family tins of Christmas cookies are now given out. I remember my brothers playfully arguing about who was Mom’s favorite, and who got the most cookies in their tins. Everyone looked forward to their special Christmas treat. A few more years and the grandkids started to get married, and then there were great-grandchildren.

I envisioned Mom as a new wife looking forward to married life with her new husband and all the dreams that stretched out before them, trying out a passed down recipe. I see Mom with two toddlers under foot. Did she make those cookies while they were napping? As they grew did they get to help cut out the cookies or were they the taste testers? Years later, there was another little one under foot. I bet Mom made those cookies while Bill and Tom kept an eye on their little brother, Steve.

As the years moved quickly by, I took on more responsibilities of the cookie baking. My daughter Shayna became part of the great baking tradition. It moved like a well-oiled machine. I rolled out the dough and placed the cookies on the cookie sheets, Shayna was the decorator, while Mom placed the trays in the oven and took them out. She made sure to scrape the trays after each baking so that they were clean of any loose colored sugar crystals. Now I heard my mother’s voice say, “lightly sprinkle Shayna, LIGHTLY sprinkle.”

More years go by and Mom now has a 12, 11 and a 6-year-old, as well as a newborn, me. Fast forward a few more years to the 40-something wife and mother who is now faced with her husband’s serious illness. Did she bake those cookies? Probably, because no matter what “everyone has to eat.” A few years later, she is now a widow, learning to live without the love of her life, with two sons in college, a third son in high school and her daughter in grade school. Did she bake those cookies the year Dad died? I think so because, life went on and traditions had to be kept. There was the middle age mother who was now a mother-in-law. She made sure each

Mom’s hands were now arthritic, and she was slowing down. It is now mostly up to Shayna and me to make those cookies. Mom would continue to make the dough and help to clean up. I would do my usual, and Shayna would decorate the cookies and prepare the tins. At this point the baking was mainly for me so that I could share with family and friends. Gone were the days of the family tins. This would be the first year that Mom would not be a part of the baking. I was profoundly aware that she was just too sick, in fact she was dying. Mom would not be making the dough and Shayna and I would not be going to her apartment to bake. I knew also that the tradition going forward was going to look and feel a lot different. The baton had been passed, and I knew in my heart that the tradition was passed to Shayna and me to continue. We set about to make the dough and followed the recipe to a “T.” When the dough was complete Shayna and I taste tested it and agreed it looked like Mom’s dough, but more importantly, it TASTED like Mom’s dough! I rolled, Shayna decorated and we both put them in and took them out of the oven. We missed Mom, but we had fun. This was our special time. I was blessed to have time with Mom. We sat together in her room at the nursing home sharing some of the cookies. The best compliment was that we got an AAA++ on them. She even asked me to bring her more. Just three more though, because you know, she had to watch her sugar!


I asked her about the tradition of baking Christmas cookies. Was this a family tradition? What’s the deal? I heard her say, “Here’s the story.” This is the point where I knew I should just sit back and enjoy the ride. Let me just say that any assumptions I had made were pretty much wrong! So, the story, according to Mom, goes like this…. Each Christmas Eve, my grandparents would invite a family friend to the house for a holiday cocktail. During this visit my grandmother would attempt to mix the dough and roll it out. It seems my grandmother was not one to measure correctly and would become flustered while trying to make the cookies. My grandfather not wanting to deal with the baking drama in the kitchen would promptly take himself downstairs to decorate the tree. That was it! I felt a little deflated. So, no Mom and her sisters lovingly rolling, cutting and decorating? It was not exactly how I envisioned it. This wasn’t a tried and true family tradition that had been handed down. Even though I wanted this to be a bigger, better story with an exciting ending, I will always remember putting aside time and baking with Mom. This became a mother/daughter/grand-daughter tradition. I will also fondly remember how much we enjoyed the playful banter, how the kitchen looked like a flour bomb had gone off by the time we were done and finally taste testing and agreeing that those cookies were pretty darn good!

Designers We Carry Essense Stella York Eddy K

Justin Alexander Lillian West Sweetheart

Pronovias Luna Novias Maggie Sottero

11405 Ocean Hwy, Unit 7 Pawleys Island, SC 29585 843-979-0103 www.thedroom.com

Mom provided us with a recipe outlining how to carry on a tradition and how to live life. It is up to us as her kids, daughters-in-law, son-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren to continue to “lightly sprinkle” each other’s and other people’s lives with love and sweetness. We love and miss you Mom, Gram and Mi Mi! Its beginning to look alot like Christmas

Ginger Murphy

has worked in the financial arena for 30 years. She is married to Terry and has one daughter, Shayna. Originally from the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area, she currently resides in Greencastle, Pennsylvania. Ginger enjoys reading, camping and the beach.

The Hammock Shops

10880 Ocean Hwy., Pawleys Island/ 843-235-0502

55


December 2018 Area Christmas Parades: 1st - Georgetown, 11am, Front St. 1st - Broadway at the Beach, 11am 1st - North Myrtle Beach, 5:30pm, Main St. 2nd- Murrells Inlet, 3pm, Business 17 8th - Conway, 10am, Main St. 8th - Surfside Beach, 2pm, Ocean Blvd. 1-29 Designer Showhouse: Dressed for the Season, Kaminski House, Georgetown, 13th-Candlelight Tour, 5:30-7:30pm; 22nd-Family Night,4-6pm. For more info, call 843-546-7706 or visit www.kaminskimuseum.org. 1-30 The Great Christmas Light Show 5:30-9:30pm, closed on Christmas Day, North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex, 2 million lights. For more info, call 843- 280-5570 or visit http://parks.nmb.us. 1-31 Marshwalk Wonderland of Lights nightly, Murrells Inlet Marshwalk. For more info, visit www.marshwalk.com. 1-5/19 Collection Connections: A Visual Exploration of Southern Heritage exhibit at Myrtle Beach Art Museum, 3100 South Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm; Sunday, 1-4pm. For more info, call 843-238-2510 or visit www.myrtlebeachartmuseum.org. 2-9 Annual Lighting of the Menorah sunset each night, Valor Park, Market Common. For more info, visit www.marketcommonmb.com.

5-9, 12-16 Elf, The Musical Theatre of the Republic, 331 Main St., Conway. For show times and ticket info, call 843-488-0821 or visit www.theatreoftherepublic.com. 6-9, 13-16, 20-22 Nights of a Thousand Candles Brookgreen Gardens, 3-10pm. Advance ticket purchase only. For more info, call 888-718-4253 or visit www.brookgreen.org. 7-9 Christmas and All That Jazz III Carolina Master Chorale, 7th-7:30pm, Trinity Church, Myrtle Beach 8th-4pm Trinity UMC, North Myrtle Beach 9th-4pm Trinity Church, Myrtle Beach. For more info, call 843-444-5774 or visit www.CarolinaMasterChorale.com. 8 Litchfield Dance Arts Academy presents Winter Holiday Showcase, holiday dance performances, 3 & 7pm, 97 Otis Dr., Pawleys Island. For more info, call 843-237-7465 or visit www.litchfielddance.com. 21 Moveable Feast Richard Rankin discusses There Were Still Wild Birds, 11am, Carefree Catering, $30. For more info, call 843-2359600 or visit www.classatpawleys.com. 31 New Year’s Eve at Celebrity Square Broadway at the Beach, fireworks at 8pm, live entertainment and more. For more info, call 843-444-3200, or visit www.broadwayatthebeach.com.


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

120 Lakes at Litchfield Drive • Pawleys Island, SC 29585 (843) 353-6040 • Lakes-Litchfield.com


Advertiser Index

58

Above All Pawz............................................................................................................. 26 Aunique Boutique.......................................................................................................... 9 The B. Graham Interiors Collection............................................................................. 18 Barbara’s Fine Gifts....................................................................................................... 14 Belk.............................................................................................................................. 13 Bethea Baptist Retirement Community........................................................................ 10 Bleu.............................................................................................................................. 24 Bloomingails.................................................................................................................. 5 Brightwater.................................................................................................................... 7 Brookgreen Gardens....................................................................................................... 9 Callahan’s of Calabash.................................................................................................... 3 Cariloha....................................................................................................................... 18 Carolina Car Care........................................................................................................ 37 Carolina Center for Advanced Dentistry...................................................................... 49 Carolina Seafood & Steak............................................................................................ 27 The Citizens Bank.......................................................................................................... 5 Coastal Carolina OBGYN............................................................................................ 14 Coastal Carolina Winery.............................................................................................. 26 Coastal Luxe................................................................................................................. 60 Coccadotts................................................................................................................... 44 Comfort Keepers.......................................................................................................... 15 Connies New to You.................................................................................................... 47 Details by Three Sisters................................................................................................. 55 The Dressing Room...................................................................................................... 55 Dr. Grabeman................................................................................................................ 5 Dr. Sattele’s Rapid Weight Loss & Esthetic Centers...................................................... 41 Eleanor Pitts................................................................................................................. 26 First Presbyterian Church............................................................................................. 11 Frame Factory.............................................................................................................. 44 Freedom Readers.......................................................................................................... 36 Good Deed Goods....................................................................................................... 44 Grady’s Jewelers............................................................................................................ 14 Grand Strand Plastic Surgery.......................................................................................... 9 Heritage Baby View...................................................................................................... 45 Homespun Crafters Mall.............................................................................................. 40 Hospice Care of SC...................................................................................................... 19 House Parts.................................................................................................................. 10 Infant Swim Rescue...................................................................................................... 45 Island Art Gallery......................................................................................................... 27

The Joggling Board....................................................................................................... 47 Kaminski House........................................................................................................... 48 La Fayes at 79th........................................................................................................... 47 The Lakes at Litchfield................................................................................................. 57 Long Bay Symphony.................................................................................................... 40 Marshview Seafood Kitchen......................................................................................... 39 Massage Envy............................................................................................................... 43 Moore, Johnson and Saranti Law Firm PA................................................................... 17 Morningside of Georgetown......................................................................................... 40 Myrtle Beach Art Museum........................................................................................... 48 Myrtle Beach Stop Smoking Center............................................................................. 19 Nye’s Pharmacy............................................................................................................ 40 Palmetto Ace................................................................................................................ 37 The Palmettos Assisted Living & Memory Care............................................................ 37 Papa John’s Pizza.......................................................................................................... 40 Pawleys Island Wear..................................................................................................... 59 PIFMA Lee Minton Signature Series............................................................................ 53 Portside at Grande Dunes............................................................................................. 25 Pure Compounding...................................................................................................... 50 Rose Arbor Fabrics....................................................................................................... 15 Rothrock Collection..................................................................................................... 21 Sea Island Trading Co..................................................................................................... 2 Shades and Draperies................................................................................................... 35 A Silver Shack.............................................................................................................. 18 South Atlantic Bank..................................................................................................... 10 Studio 77..................................................................................................................... 45 Take 2 Resale................................................................................................................ 52 Thrive at Prince Creek.................................................................................................. 36 Tomlinson’s Warehouse Sales........................................................................................ 33 Treasures Jewelers......................................................................................................... 48 Two Sisters with Southern Charm................................................................................ 50 Value Pest..................................................................................................................... 15 Vandy Jewelers............................................................................................................. 36 Victoria’s Rag Patch...................................................................................................... 19 WEZV......................................................................................................................... 58 WISH Candle.............................................................................................................. 52 Women in Philanthropy............................................................................................... 51 Young Plantations........................................................................................................ 27


Give her the gift of Sympli style! ®

10880 Ocean Hwy Pawleys Island, SC 29585

843.237.3476 For sales and our latest arrivals, visit

Facebook.com/PawleysIslandWear


Window Treatments • Interior Design • Furniture • Fabrics • Wallpaper • Accessories

Better Living by Design

Coastal Luxe Interiors at Fabric Decor & More

67th Ave. 6613 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 843.946.6644

Sasee Magazine - December 2018  

"Gifts from the Heart"

Sasee Magazine - December 2018  

"Gifts from the Heart"