Sasee Magazine - May 2023

Page 1

May 2023 May 2023
“A tree’s beauty lies in its branches, but its strength lies in its roots.”
-Matshona Dhliwayo


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About the Cover Artist:

Based out of Charleston, South Carolina, Alexandria Searles also known as Morowa Mosai is a visual artist and a graphic designer. Her style can be described as Afrocentric and Empowered Femininity. She is passionate about using her creativity to uplift women, especially women of color.

She has worked with several Non-profit Organizations in the Charleston area. She has completed three murals in the city, hosted several events, and created illustrations for published works. Her work has been shown at Spoleto Festival and exhibited in many local galleries. Alexandria has also been featured at several speaking engagements geared toward youth and women.

“The visual arts allow me to express myself.” She explained, “My art is a physical window to my soul. I am blessed to be able to use this gift to inspire, advocate, and promote diversity across racial and cultural divides.”

Instagram: morowamosai

“Growing Your Roots”

May 2023

Love in a Recipe Box by Nancy K. S. Hochman

Sasee Gets Personal with Kathryn Flewelling & Timmeri Massey: Wonder & Wilde

Finding My Silver Lining, and Myself, at 50 by Natasha Dworkin

The Most Important Meal of the Day Made Me Who I Am . . . Sunday Morning Breakfasts and the Lessons of Life by Natosha Bennett

Zenobia Harper: The Gullah Garden is Always Giving by Sarah Elaine Hawkinson

Sasee Reviews: Culligan’s Way by Marvin Levine

Undaunted by Erika Hoffman

The Secret Ingredient by Alice Muschany

4 :: :: May 2023 Contents
Volume 22, Issue 5
8 10 12 14 16 20 22 26
Trusted. Experienced. Compassionate. For All Your Mediation Needs. Our Areas of Practice Family Law • Estate Planning • Probate Administration Community Associations • Corporations • Civil Litigation Debt Collection • Personal Injury • Mediation (843) 650-9757 • 1271 Glenns Bay Road, Surfside Beach, SC 29575 Sarah K. Stapleton • Elizabeth J. Saraniti • V. Lee Moore Sarah A. Johnson (retired)

from the Editor

Although my red hair is a giveaway that I have some Irish in my blood, my lineage also has FrenchCanadian, German, and Swedish roots. I remember in grade school when we were discussing surname origins how the teacher used my last name as an example and said that maybe my ancestors raised Hawks. I laughed and happily replied, “Actually, my paternal family’s original last name was Hökenson, but it was modified to Hawkinson when my greatgrandparents migrated from Sweden to Ellis Island.” I only recently learned that the reason for the change was to make it sound more American, but also because the typewriter could not print an umlaut. My ancestors taught themselves English in hopes of acclimating better to the American culture, although they still spoke Swedish at home when they didn’t want my granddad to understand what they were discussing. My favorite tradition that was passed down from them is Swedish pancakes, which our family still makes on special occasions. On the opposite side of the spectrum, part of my maternal genealogy dates back all the way to an American Founding Father, William Hooper who represented Wilmington, North Carolina, when he signed the Declaration of Independence. My mother’s side of the family has a long history with the south and coastal areas. I have much more to discover, but I do believe learning about the history of your heritage can be both interesting and helpful for our present life journey.

When it comes to closer relatives, I’ve always enjoyed noticing generational quirks that remind me of the saying, “Am I blooming into my mother?” Well, I definitely have my tendencies, but fortunately, that’s not always a bad thing when you have an inspiring and nurturing mom to look up to. Thank you to all of the wonderful mommas who gave us roots to grow as well as wings to soar.

Happy Mother’s Day!


Delores Blount

Sales & Marketing Director

Susan Bryant


Sarah Elaine Hawkinson

Account Executives

Erica Schneider

Gay Stackhouse

Art Director

Patrick Sullivan

Contributing Photographer

Chasing the Light Photography

Web Developer

Scott Konradt

Accounting Gail Knowles

Executive Publishers

Jim Creel

Bill Hennecy

Suzette Rogers PO

6 :: :: May 2023
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Love in a Recipe Box

Unlike the antique bronze lamps and the family-themed statuettes I recently inherited from my mother, I became the owner of her oversized recipe collection close to 20 years ago. Around that time, she had moved into an independent living facility that included, in its monthly charge, nightly dinners. But my mother was long done with cooking large dinners years before, when my father, who loved to eat, passed away.

Her box of recipes is not, technically, the same as a recipe box: one of those 5 X 7-inch wood or plastic boxes with 100 index cards and alphabetical markers. The thousands of recipes that she clipped, hand-wrote, and collected through the last four decades required larger accommodations. She chose a two-drawer wide, 16-inch deep, steel filing cabinet. Between the alphabetic dividers, my mother placed nearly 150 storage envelopes, each containing a mini recipe collection. She had an envelope for hot, and one for cold, hors d’oeuvres; one for salad dressings and marinades and one for jams and jellies; one for guest chicken dinners, one for Chinese beef dinners, one for homemade cookies, and everything in between. With its organization and scope, she turned that grey cumbersome box into her own cooking legacy.

I remember my mother stating the obvious, “You’ll find a lot of recipes to choose from,” and then following up with: “I think you’ll enjoy using many of them.”

But I never felt the need. I had my own, far more current recipe books, to consult. Perhaps like many daughters who are similar to their mothers, I retained the adolescent urge to pave my own identity: in this case, my identity as a cook, separate from my mom. I told myself that between my and my husband’s combined intolerances to dairy, eggs, wheat, and soy, and our mostly vegetable-based diet, her recipes were not the right map for our meals. For me, her bulky recipe file, which I stored on our coat closet shelf, was a symbol of the heart and hands that made the food.

Like many in the sixties and seventies, my mother made the kitchen the center of her home. I still picture myself telling her about my day as she peels, chops, and mixes ingredients. Other times, I’m doing my homework at the kitchen table,

mostly to inhale the warm, rich smells of slowly simmering soups and baked casseroles. My mother is singing a refrain from one of her favorite Harry Belafonte songs, or the ditty from a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer commercial, which often lit up the screen of our black-and-white television.

My mother cast her cooking net well beyond our fourmember family. Often offered – or was nominated – to host holiday meals, served in our finished basement. All my father had to do was remove the net from our ping pong table, spread out two or three tablecloths, and we had an instant dinner table that sat 25-30 mostly ravenous relatives.

Weeks before the big night, my mother consulted her recipe cabinet for the hors d’oeuvres, soups, salads, and vegetable complements for her medium rare roast beef with braised potatoes and onions, and a turkey, with skin the color of honey. There were tureens of cold gazpacho soup, or piping hot pea soup, or chicken soup, depending on the season and occasion: spring roll and meatball appetizers, and a large garden salad with strips of red cabbage, diced scallions, cut radish and carrot shavings. Her side dishes included sweet potatoes with marshmallows, mushroom barley pilaf, swiss chard with tomato sauce, zucchini, and carrot cake for dessert. Throughout the meal, there was the clatter of all the cousins walking up and down the stairs, bringing new dishes, and refilling platters. My mother was a modest woman. Her cooking had nothing to do with showing off. It was about making people happy in the unique way that serving a delicious meal can.

For many years, she eagerly asked if I had been using her recipes. I told her yes, which wasn’t a complete fabrication, given that elements of her dishes were always in my own. I, too, used minced and sauteed onion, garlic, carrots, and celery, as a base for most of my soups. To this day, my garden salads remain, like hers, colorful and diverse.

In her mid-eighties, when her memory began to wane, my mother dropped the recipe question completely. By that time, she was on a restricted diet with no spices, sauces, or condiments to worsen the burning in her esophagus. Food was no longer important to her. “I can’t eat anything tasty anyway,” my mother often said.

8 :: :: May 2023

Before visiting her, I cooked and froze batches of stuffed cabbage, substituting homemade vegetable soup for tomato sauce. My mother and I used to make stuffed cabbage together. It was a feel-good meal, and although I had to make it bland, I loved cooking it for her.

As time passed, she was no longer able to feed herself. During my monthly visits, I brought up her dinner from the community dining room. I mashed her bland piece of fish and sweet potato with a fork, as her full-time aide had, and then dropped small spoonsful of food into her gaping mouth, like a mother bird feeding her baby.

By the time my mother turned 91, her dementia had advanced. She still ate, but her body no longer assimilated nutrients. My mother passed in my arms in January 2020, about a month before COVID-19 arrived with its unique venomous bite. Given her age, my mother’s death wasn’t tragic, but that doesn’t lessen the degree to which I miss her. Nor my desire to make aspects of her life a deeper part of my own.

The other day, during a prolonged period of nostalgia, I asked my husband to take down my mother’s recipe cabinet from a shelf in our coat closet. My husband and I both dove in like archaeologists excavating a precious site. We noted together her precise printing, and recipe clippings, many yellowed with age, others torn on the top from use, one with a seed from an eggplant dish still affixed to it. With the recipes before me, I was able to imagine more fully the rainbow of colors and symphony of smells that were my mother’s dishes.

We counted close to 200 vegetable and vegetarian dishes, many of which we look forward to adapting. It feels good –and even just – to bring my mother’s cooking spirit out from the closet and into my kitchen.

And yes, Mom, I’m using your recipes…and enjoying them.

Nancy K. S. Hochman has worn the respective hats of English and creative writing teacher, English tutor, and essay writing coach. She has also contributed to several anthologies and written feature articles for a cornucopia of national, regional, and ethnic publications. :: May 2023 :: 9

Gets Personal with Kathryn Flewelling & Timmeri Massey: Wonder & Wilde

Q: What was the inspiration behind opening your shop? “Wonder & Wilde opened on Jan 21st, 2023. Our inspiration for opening the store was definitely our children. We have 5 kids between the two of us. Our styles are more west coast, urban hip, so we created what we call a ‘shop for cool kids.’”

Q: Why did y’all decide to go into business together?

“We met in 2021 when our daughters had become best buds at the preschool they attended. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we were having just as much fun as they were when we were together. Our girls brought us together and we are so thankful for our friendship and theirs. Opening the store together just fell into place.”

Q: Is there a story behind the name?

“We played around with a few names, but we knew this was the winner early on. We wanted a name that embodied childhood. Children are so full of wonder. Wonder is defined as a “feeling of surprise, mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful and unexpected.” What better way to describe a child? The word Wilde speaks for itself. If you are a parent, then you know exactly what we mean. We added the ‘E’ just to make it more unique and more us.”

Q: What makes Wonder & Wilde unique from other children’s stores?

“We are unique because we offer a lot of brands no one else in Myrtle Beach offers. We were very specific and thoughtful when we curated the collections for the store. Although our size range is 2-8, we do have something for every age. We have a rad collection of clothes, shoes, books, toys, gifts, and accessories. We really have it all!”

Q: How do your families celebrate Mother’s Day?

“The most perfect Mother’s Day for us is spending quality time with our moms and our children. Time is the most precious gift we can ever give each other.”

Wonder & Wilde 843.848.9955 • 4377 N. Kings Hwy Suite #105 • Myrtle Beach •
910-579-1525 • 17 Causeway Drive • Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469 Hours: 10am - 6pm Daily (Closed Wednesday) Text to Shop: 910-520-5197 Nothing but Blue Skies... A Curated Collection of Sun-Kissed Style
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Lilla P Oliphant Johnny Was

Finding My Silver Lining, and Myself, at 50

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had dark hair. A full head of it when I came wriggling out of my mama on a rainy Thursday morning in 1972. The twiggy brown baby bangs I cut myself when I was six. For a time, in high school in the 80s, it skewed a little burgundy but that was an Annie Lennox-inspired blip that didn’t last.

Throughout my 50 years on this planet, I’ve been accompanied by a crown of coarse, cocoa-brown locks. They were handed down from my mother and her mother and her mother before that. But I’m certain their roots stretch back even further… to a quaint shtetl in Western Ukraine, where they weaved across borders and cultures and oceans and gene pools to land atop my head.

But life, as they say, is change. And when that change manifested in the form of tiny silver springs bouncing out from between my ancestral brown strands, I fought it valiantly. Coloring and coaxing it back to the chocolate that felt like my calling card, like a central pillar of my physical persona. Like me.

Something happens at midlife, though. The inclination to fight what in our hearts we know to be inevitable, wanes. And after years of dying and hiding my gray hair, clinging tightly to the person I thought myself to be, I find lately that I don’t have the fight in me anymore. Instead, I find myself longing for authenticity.

Because it’s not just hair. It’s my own ability to tell the truth about myself. It’s my son – my little surprise boy who came along when I was 46 and after a lifetime of being told by well-meaning doctors that I’d never bear biological children – loving me as I really am: his silverhaired mama. And in doing so, knowing that a woman aging, showing her true colors, being herself at last, is a beautiful, powerful, sparkling thing.

I’m now on a journey to grow out my grays. It’s a process that began recently with lightening the rest of my hair so that the emerging roots blend better and make the visual transition a bit more bearable. I know there will be grief along the way – for the me that is no longer – but the me I haven’t met yet is waiting, and I can’t wait to see what she looks like.

Watching myself emerge in this way is tender, humbling, curious, and nothing short of a revelation. How often in life do we get to meet ourselves all over again?

Dworkin is a storyteller, agency founder, community builder, and midlife mother. For more than two decades, she has helped purpose-driven individuals and organizations advance their missions and drive lasting change. Connect with her at and @midlife.mama on Instagram.

12 :: :: May 2023

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The Most Important Meal of the Day Made Me Who I Am . . .Sunday Morning Breakfasts and the Lessons of Life

The smell of bacon frying, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, hearing the scraping of a spoon continuously swirling around the bottom of the heavy cast iron skillet as my Granny made her famous chocolate gravy. Sensations I knew all too well, growing up in my Ma and Papaw’s house.

Sunday morning breakfast. No matter how late I had stayed out that Saturday night, on Sunday mornings, my brain would command my stomach to start rumbling and my mouth to water, even before I could open my eyes and drag myself out of bed.

Sunday morning breakfast. A huge pan of fluffy homemade biscuits, rising to the size of a cat’s head in the warm confinement of the oven, while Ma kept on stirring to keep the thick sticky sweetness from scorching.

Sunday morning breakfast. When all the hardships of the previous week faded, lending space to hesitation and dread of what the coming week may face – all of it forgotten if only for a short time and a simple meal.

My granny is, and always has been, a huge inspiration in my life. Growing up in her house, I was deep-rooted in old-fashioned values, traditions, and beliefs; None of which I would change because that’s what molded me into who I am today.

Growing up, I must admit, there were many times I took my situation for granted. As a teenager, who thought I knew it all, there were many times I resented the way I was being raised. When my friends were going somewhere or doing something that I wasn’t allowed to, I accused my granny of being stuck in the past or that she just didn’t understand and was trying to hold me back from life.

In my junior and senior years of high school though,

I started to realize that they raised me like they did because they loved me and cared about my future. Junior year, when two of my friends got pregnant and dropped out of school, I understood. On the night of my high school graduation, where I graduated with honors and a 3.85 GPA, I thanked them for the way I was raised.

Ma gave me the skills needed to make it out in the world so far away from home, and the traits I needed to care for my own family. She instilled in me the ability to go after what I want, to stand by my beliefs, and to never back down, all while minding my manners, having respect, and remaining cordial.

My granny taught me the art of giving someone a piece of my mind in such a polite, respectful way, that by the end, that person doesn’t know whether to slap me or hug and thank me.

I learned the joy of preparing traditional holiday family dinners, and the value of giving to others in need. A big part of who I am is owed to my Ma and those Sunday morning breakfasts.

On occasion, when the struggles of bills, marriage, work, and life, in general, get to be too much, what I wouldn’t give to go back to those Sunday morning breakfasts…

Biscuits and chocolate gravy, crisp bacon, hot coffee, and a whole lotta love.

Ma’s Famous Chocolate Gravy

•2 cups granulated sugar

•1/2 - ¾ cup flour

•2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

•3 cups milk

Sift dry ingredients together fully, making sure to remove all lumps. Put into a skillet, on medium-high

14 :: :: May 2023

heat. Pour in the milk, stirring continuously. When it starts to bubble, continue stirring as the gravy will start to thicken. At preferred thickness, remove from heat.

Note: If gravy is too thin, stir in a little more flour. If gravy is too thick, add a splash of milk to thin it.

Most commonly, you would enjoy this with homemade biscuits; But that’s one art I never could get a grasp of. Canned biscuits (whomp’ems as they’re called in my house) work, or whatever you prefer, because after all, it wasn’t the food necessarily that made those Sunday morning breakfasts so special –it was the togetherness and the making of memories.

Natosha Bennett

As a girl, Natosha Bennett always had a pen in her hand. Today is no different. As a freelance writer, in Carrizo Springs, Texas, she can be found on her website :: May 2023 :: 15
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Zenobia Harper: The Gullah Garden is Always Giving

As a wife, daughter, and mother, Zenobia has bloomed into a cultured, wise woman. Many of her positive attributes are owed to her roots and her connection to the history of her heritage. While her parents and even some grandparents were raised in Georgetown just like she was, the Gullah culture remained prevalent during her upbringing.

“No one in our family ever said, ‘What I am teaching you or showing you is Gullah’ - it was merely our way of life.” Zenobia explained, “However, due to our ancestors being brought here as enslaved African peoples, you were often seen as less than if you spoke the Gullah Geechee language. Instead, you were taught that receiving an education and learning to speak English well would serve you better. During that time period, I felt it was not necessary to bring my Gullah ways into the world along with me, so I left them as far behind as I thought I was supposed to.”

Zenobia studied at the Fashion Institute where she received a degree in merchandising and fashion. As a young adult, she lived an exciting lifestyle in New York City as a jewelry designer. It wasn’t until after she was married and in the process of having a daughter of her own, that she recognized how essential it was to have her culture. She said, “In order to be at least half as good a mother as my mom and grandmother were to me, it was vital that I come back to my culture and my people. This humbling and healing experience provided me with clarity. My daughter was raised with the understanding that she was Gullah and undoubtedly proud.” Ultimately, Zenobia realized that if she

and her daughter needed the culture, others would probably benefit from learning about it as well.

On a mission to pass along her knowledge as well as preserve the culture through the arts, she and her husband, Reverend Jerry Harper, created the Gullah Preservation Society of Georgetown County, Inc. Although many aspects of Gullah culture have been passed down for generations, one incredibly influential theme is the culinary arts. Learning how to best grow a garden, knowing when and when not to plant certain things, and even growing food for medicinal purposes were all prevalent aspects that are still important today. In hopes to promote these natural values as well as create an outdoor gathering space for their organization to stay active in the community (during the pandemic), Zenobia and her husband opened the Gullah Preservation Community Garden.

Located in Georgetown on the well-traveled Merriman Road, the Garden serves several purposes that revolve around life lessons. One intention of the garden is for all people, especially young people, to see how to grow a garden and understand the importance of where food comes from. She specifically grows sunflowers because she believes they are a wonderful way to speak about abundance, “It only takes one sunflower seed to produce a sunflower, but that one sunflower can give you up to 400 sunflower seeds. So, thoughtful effort and care for just one sunflower can bring a plentiful harvest.” Another metaphoric lesson she teaches is for when they build proper trellises that support the plants,

16 :: :: May 2023

like how we need our trellis’ in life such as family, education, and other supportive foundations. Learning in the garden is forever open to all who are interested.

The Garden offers several crops throughout the year, but Zenobia especially loves planting crops that the Gullah culture traditionally grew and brought to South Carolina called “soul food” such as okra, peas, and corn. She also grows garlic and elderberry which have always been herbal remedies (that can be supplemented for big pharma) to support immunity and well-being. Zenobia believes it’s meaningful for people to understand the connection between the food they eat and the land where it’s grown. This specific garden is not and was never meant for commercialization – the harvest is simply free to anyone who needs or wants it as well as seeds to encourage others to try growing their own.

With the help of her master gardener, Tim Chapman, she has been able to organize and use her design talents to create a beautiful layout. The Garden has truly become Zenobia’s peaceful place to work and reminds her of when she was growing up on the same streets. “Because growing food was a part of life in our culture, every yard, no matter how small, always had something blooming, like figs, pears, pomegranates, or pecans. When reflecting, it’s interesting how often we take for granted this way of living. Relearning how to grow a garden just as I learned from my mother and grandmother served as a reminder of why the Gullah people did what they did in order to sustain community and health.”

In addition to her growing and ever-giving garden, she is also in charge of community outreach for the Charles Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Diaspora Studies at Coastal Carolina University. She specifically helps orient the students into the Gullah culture who join the RISE program and any others involved in the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts. She is hoping to continue growing the institute and spreading the culture.

Whether it be a tomato plant or a tiny human, the Gullah culture proves that proper care and respect are necessities for growth, just as staying humble and giving are imperative for the sustainability of a community. On many occasions, but especially to celebrate Mother’s Day, Zenobia always gifts her mother something live to take care of and continue to grow which is a beautiful way to honor their ancestors.

For Zenobia, the idea of growing your roots means survival, physical and spiritual survival. She explained, “We are living in a world now where there is not a lot of attention paid to the root of something. Instead, it’s paid to the flowers, the fruit, and the beauty of something, but you can’t have any healthy growth at all without strong roots.” :: May 2023 :: 17
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Reviews: Culligan’s Way by Marvin Levine

Culligan’s Way is a gripping thriller by a Pawleys Island author, Marvin Levine, and one I found difficult to put down once I’d started it.

The book takes place on Pawleys Island where the wayward son, Tim Culligan, returns home after ten years of living in New York City. He returns finding that nothing much has changed in those years and wonders how long this visit will actually last. Returning to the father who shunned him, a loving but bipolar mother, two sisters - one hot-tempered and one an addict, and a very violent and abusive brother.

The reader is taken on a fast-paced journey that sets the stage for a brutal killing that occurs on the Culligan properties just days after Tim’s return. I raced through this book, loving each and every character and chapter, my heart in my throat as the murderer is eventually revealed through a rare twist of fate.

As a mother, my heart ached for Ruth, the mentally ill matriarch determined to protect her son, Tim, at whatever cost. As a sister, I understood Sally’s attempt to make things right. Tim’s father, Judge Rudy Culligan, my not-so-favorite character, truly did love his wife even though she gave him several reasons not to forgive her. The characters were all very believable and fascinating, however, my amateur detective skills did reveal the killer to me before I reached the end of the book. But, I did enjoy how the writer revealed the character’s guilt.

Overall, it is a great story and a fun read especially with all the nuances of Pawleys Island that stood out to this local. A great beach read this summer or anytime if you love true mystery thrillers.

20 :: :: May 2023 :: May 2023 :: 21 The Market Common 3032 Nevers St, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 843-232-7009 • Mon-Sat 10:00am - 6:00pm • Sun Noon - 6:00pm Home to Over 70 Local Artists! Original Art • Photography • Classes & Workshops


“I earned my Phi Beta Kappa Key the hard way!” Dad said, flipping brats on the grill, with Mom holding a platter, standing nearby and guests all around him.

“How’s that?” Mom’s friend asked.

“I married it!”

The jest elicited a laugh, a roll of the eyes from Mom, and a dimpled grin from Dad. As Mom and I carried trays inside, she whispered, “That joke of your father’s gets mighty old.”


Mom was proud of her academic prowess. She pinned it on her 1960s Jackie O look-alike suits she wore to PTA meetings hoping the medal might impress her students’ parents. Sadly, most didn’t know the significance of her jewelry.

As a child, Mom had been doted on by parents who didn’t like each other much, but thought their daughter hung the moon. The affection they withheld from each other, they poured on her. Money, which they didn’t have to spend, they still spent on her. Fashionable clothes, private lessons, and an elite college all took cash- mostly gained from selling inherited farmland. In turn, they received a dividend –an accomplished, educated, poised daughter, who also happened to be very pretty.

Mom played the accordion at get-togethers. Folks commented: “Shirley, I wish I had your musical talent.”

In private, Mom said, “Talent? Humpf! I practiced day in and day out. For years! That’s what a lonely girl does when she has no sisters or brothers to play with.” Mom had played with Charles Nunzio and had even been on the radio. While at Duke, she played at weddings and other events for a little “pin money.”

During the barbecue, a stay-at-home mom remarked: “Shirley, you’re fortunate you have a gift for languages.”

Mom smiled, but I knew what she was thinking. I’d heard her say many times: “Luck has nothing to do with it! Rote memorization and drill do! If Helen had fallen asleep each night clutching her Spanish textbook, like me, she’d be ‘gifted,’ too.”

My dad’s sister never learned to operate an automobile with any proficiency. Marge remarked, “I wish I had the courage

to drive to the shore, like Shirley.” Mom didn’t think it took courage to drive to Island Beach, New Jersey. Kids need to go to the beach in the summer so you take them, Mom philosophized. Yet, Mom did have gumption; she’d flown gliders in her twenties. The first time my dad watched her doing this while they were dating, he, on the ground, almost fainted as she flew perilously close to high-tension wires.

“Isn’t it something the way you hold down a job, raise three children, and care for your widowed mother?” another neighbor gushed as she looked over at Ama sitting in a chair being served sauerkraut and sausages by Dad.

Mom held the warm German potato salad that she arose early that morning to prepare. “You could do the same thing!” Mom answered the seated lady as my mother bent over to spoon the sour and sweet spud mélange onto the guest’s plate. Mom later confided to me, “Anyone can get up early and prepare a recipe.” Mom saw nothing remarkable in her can-do attitude.


Whenever Mom joined an organization, she was elected to a position of authority. “Those Germans sized your mother up right away when we joined the Steuben Society,” Dad said. “They made her secretary; your mom added German poetry to the newsletters. Your mom could take a job, excel in it, and expand it,” Dad added.

Mom wasn’t scared of the unknown, of rejection, or of doing too much. She grabbed life by the horns and wrestled it into submission.


I wish I’d had more time with her. The little free time Mom had was split between my siblings and me, Dad, grandma, inlaws, friends, teaching, obligations, chores, women’s clubs, and church. At 18, I was off to college, a career, marriage, and family. Mom became direly sick before I finished having children.

In her final year, 1986, Dad had to make a business trip to Japan which would last a month. Mom insisted on accompanying him. She never missed an opportunity to travel.

I worried about the trek because of her illness, but she had a blast astonishing the Japanese businessmen with how fast she picked up expressions and culture. Women weren’t

22 :: :: May 2023

allowed to attend dinners, but the board chairman took a shine to her; he’d say, “Mrs. Vogel, you sit next to me at the table.” When I saw my parents after their return, Dad glowingly recited the compliments paid her.

Mom confessed: “Erika, I listened to those tapes day and night just so I could say the most mundane things! Japanese isn’t easy to learn! Those men were kind complimenting me on my limited knowledge.”

Every so often over the years, I’ll reach into the back of my dresser drawer and pull out a velvet box. Of all the things left me, this little piece of metal, her Phi Beta Kapp key, means the most. It symbolizes what she valued: perseverance, diligence, and recognition for a job well done. I gaze at her beloved pin, and I see her again, grinning, confident, and ready to get on with the next assignment, adventure, or opportunity.

My mom taught me to strive, to learn constantly, and to have fun along the way. This heirloom left to me has a significance that’s much more powerful than the report cards it represents; it is a reminder of who she was, what she valued, and how she led her life.

Erika Hoffman was raised in New Jersey, came to North Carolina for college, and except for five years in Georgia, has lived in North Carolina ever since. She loves the state. :: May 2023 :: 23
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The Secret Ingredient

My mother made perfectly shaped dainty cookies that put Martha Stewart’s to shame. But the texture tended to be on the dry side. I prefer mine chewy. That led me to altering her recipe. So what if my cookies were lopsided and flat? They were delicious.

One morning, my four-year-old followed the sweet aroma to the kitchen where he found me baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies. He climbed up on a chair at the table and reached his pudgy little hand as far as it would go. I grabbed a broken treat and handed it to him. “Here, you can eat the ugly ones.”

With a worried look on his face, he replied, “Mommy, I can’t eat that many.” No denying it. My cookies were nothing to look at, but, oh the taste – everyone raved about them. My son insisted I market them one day. Move over, Mrs. Fields! This started the family joke – the secret recipe could never be shared.

More than thirty years later, I still bake my signature cookies for every family get-together. No one enjoys them more than my ten-year-old granddaughter, Kylie.

One evening, she called to let me know she’d joined the local 4-H Club and enrolled in the Food & Nutrition group. In my day, participants met at the volunteer leader’s home. Contemporary 4-H members choose a mentor to guide them. This Grandma was over the moon when Kylie asked if I’d teach her how to make her favorite, my chocolate chip cookies.

We held our first cooking class the following week. My granddaughter made herself at home in my kitchen. Checking and double-checking my handwritten notes, she carefully measured out the ingredients. As she diligently stirred the batter, she talked about her best friend, her summer plans, and the uncharted waters of middle school.  While the cookies baked, instead of savoring the aroma, I savored her preteen chatter, thinking my sassy little girl had grown up in the blink of an eye.

Kylie sighed with relief when she took the last batch from the oven. I sampled one and gave her a thumbs up. After the cookies cooled, she placed them in a container to take home to her family. Her dad was outside when we pulled into her driveway. She bounded from the car and handed him a cookie.

He’d barely taken a bite when she blurted, “Are mine as good as Grandma’s?”

Her shoulders slumped when he shook his head ‘no.’ She looked crestfallen until he said, “They’re better.” He glanced my way and winked. “Remember Kylie. You can’t divulge the secret recipe.”

Exhibit day at the 4-H County Fair finally arrived. Although my granddaughter had made the recipe a dozen times under my watchful eye, she held up each carefully measured ingredient for approval and took her time placing the dough on the cookie sheets.

When she finished baking, she pointed to the flat, squigglyedged objects on the counter and asked, “Grandma, do you really think the judges will like my cookies?”

“Honey, don’t worry about appearance. It’s all about the taste.”

She took her time choosing the four most eye-appealing ones (not an easy feat) and then arranged and rearranged them on a platter until the display met her satisfaction. Following the contest rules, she sat down and meticulously wrote the ingredients and instructions on an index card before attaching the recipe as required.

Fidgety on the ride to the fairgrounds, Kylie worried out loud whether the judges would award her a white, red, or coveted first-place blue ribbon for her cookie-making efforts. Truth be told, I was more nervous than she was.

We pulled up to the building and Kylie got out of the car

26 :: :: May 2023

slowly, clutching her entry with both hands. “Wish me luck,” she whispered before trudging inside the judging area where only members were allowed. Meanwhile, I sat in the car biting my nails.

Twenty minutes later, she sashayed out grinning from ear to ear. She held up a blue ribbon and waved it. “At first, the judge looked at my cookies and said, ‘Oh, dear!’” My granddaughter giggled and continued, “Then she tasted one and said, ‘What a surprise. These are heavenly.’”

On the way home Kylie said, “Don’t worry, Grandma. Your secret recipe is safe. I left some of the ingredients off the card.”

My shoulders shook. I tried not to laugh out loud as I pictured the judge, who’d raved about the yummy chocolate chip cookies, trying to recreate the recipe.

Instead, I replied, “Oh, Sweetheart, that wasn’t necessary. The real secret ingredient is love.”

Alice Muschany

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Peripheral Neuropathy Breakthrough!

“My feet feel like they’re on fire.” “Each step feels like I’m walking through wet paint.” “I live in constant fear that I’ll fall. “I can’t sleep, my hands and feet tingle all night.” What do all of these people have in common? They suffer from peripheral neuropathy It’s esti-mated that more than 20 million people in the United States have peripheral neuropathy Unfortunately this figure may be significantly higher as the disease is often mis-diagnosed because of its wide array of symptoms.

Dr. Tonya Weber of AIM Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine in North Myrtle Beach shares this belief. “I’ve been treating neuro-pathy, in all its various forms, for over two decades and so often my patients come to me because of the symptoms, not because of a diagnosis They saw one of my television specials, or read the testimonial of another patient and say to themselves ‘hey, I feel the same thing’.”

Frankie M. of Little River testified to this. “I remember my husband driving me to my consultation and I saw a woman running just outside our neighborhood I was so envious - I just kept thinking ‘I would give anything just to walk again’ My primary care doctor told me my troubles with pain and balance were just symptoms of old age and gave me a prescription. I was so depressed.”

Fortunately Frankie would eventually see Dr Weber on the local news talking about similar symptoms and how she offers a real solution at AIM Acupuncture “I just knew I had to see her She was my last hope ”

“Almost all of our patients come to us with a story similar to Frankie’s. They’ve been everywhere else. They’ve been told there’s no hope. They’ve been told ‘it’s just part of getting older’.” shares Kelly, a Patient Care Technician at AIM “It just breaks my heart but I know how much we can help people like Frankie so I’m always so happy when they walk through our door "

Those diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy often face a very grim reality; Western medicine declares that there is no solution while most

alternative therapies carry large price tags and offer little to no resolve. Which is why Dr Weber and the staff at AIM pride themselves on being ‘the last resort with the best results’

Peripheral neuropathy is a result of damage to the nerves and this damage is commonly caused by lack of blood flow in the hands and feet. A lack of blood flow results in a lack of nutrients; the nerves then begin to degenerate and die which causes pain ranging from discomfort to debilitating Because neuropathy is a degenerative condition, once those nerves begin to deteriorate they will continue to do so until they are completely expired, leaving those suffering with crippling balance issues. “In this case, the absence of pain is not necessarily a good thing,” shares Dr. Weber. “This usually indicates that your nerves are hanging on by a fragile thread ”

So how exactly is Dr Weber able to reverse the effects of this degenerative disease? “Acupuncture has been used to increase blood flow for thousands of years which helps to get the necessary nutrients to the affected nerves. But the real magic happens when I integrate ATP Resonance BioTherapy™. This is tech that was originally developed by NASA to expedite recovering and healing ”

“I just can’t say enough about AIM,” Frankie shared through tears of joy. “My husband and I moved here 3 years ago and he’s gone to the beach almost everyday. I always stayed home because of the pain and discomfort. Yesterday I walked on the beach with him! And next week we’re starting shag dancing lessons. I am truly living life these days.”

According to Frankie’s test results, she has seen a 74% improvement in pain and functionality, which is on par with a majority of our patients,” shares Kelly

“But more important than those test results is the joy she's expressed being here and hearing about all the amazing things she’s able to do because she feels great!”

By seamlessly blending the ancient science of acupuncture with modern medical solutions Dr. Weber has achieved a 90% success rate in reversing the effects of neuropathy. She starts each patient with an initial consultation during which a sensory exam is performed

“This not only aids in making a proper diagnosis but it helps to define just how much nerve damage has occurred” tells the doctor. “This is important because if a patient has suffered more than 95% damage, there is little that I can do to help them. I’m familiar with the medical miracle but I know my limits as a practitioner and the limits of my medicine ”

When it comes to treating peripheral neuropathy, regardless of its origin, early detection greatly improves your chances of a full recovery.

If you or someone you love are suffering with chronic pain that presents as burning, tingling or ‘pins and needles’ or you’ve recently been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, it’s important to know that there are options There is hope

Call (843)273-4467 to schedule an initial consultation or visit to read more incredible success stories.

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