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July 2021

“Walk where your heart leads and you will reach where you truly belong.” -Apoorve Dubey


This is Home

 

         


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July 2021 - “ Where I Belong” Contents Volume 20, Issue 7

About the Cover Artist: François Grosliere, a hyperactive and color-blind advertising man and painter, has a background full of experiences. First, he studied Fine Arts in Clermont-Ferrand. After a course in Civil Engineering Drawing in Toulon, he took classes at the Brassart School in Tours to become an advertising designer. In 1987, he joined Publicis in Clermont-Ferrand where he spent most of his career as an Artistic Director. Now, with his freelance agency So Good iD F. Grosliere, the artist is living his double life of advertising and painting. He has been exhibiting since 1995 in various locations and cities like Marseille, Paris or the Avignon Festival. In 2002, he created a series of madonnas, with voluptuous curves and sensual figures, that were printed on the T-shirts of the breast cancer charity race “La Clermontoise” now “Clermont en rose.” François develops a unique style full of bright colors that can now be recognized at a glance. “I like to consider my paintings as a wink, a touch of humor. Seeing a smile on the faces of people is what makes me truly happy.” Website: www.fgrosliere.fr Email : francoisgrosliere@gmail.com 4 :: Sasee.com :: July 2021

8

Where I Belong is Only a Hike Away by Stephanie McGinnis

10

Angela Christian: Poised, Proper, and Ready to Prosper by Sarah Elaine Hawkinson

12

Upsizing by Diane DeVaughn Stokes

14

Same Joy, New Place by Terri Larocque

20

Sasee Gets Personal with Leigh Simmons: Surf Unlimited Mercantile

22

Standing Tall by Joan Leotta

26

Megan Coward: New Community, Same Home by Sarah Elaine Hawkinson

30

Cathy Norini: Blissful Living in Living Dunes by Sarah Elaine Hawkinson

32

A French Awakening by Jeanne Mullins

36

Ingredients for the Perfect Home by Sharon Struth


from the Editor Where I belong has always been near the water. Growing up along the Grand Strand was a more than fortunate scenario, especially for a sea-maid like me. There are several varied types of bodies of water, and we are lucky to be surrounded by a majority of them such as the inlet, river, marsh, creeks, lakes, estuaries, and of course, the ocean. I don’t think I truly knew that I wanted to come back and live on the Grand Strand as an adult until I moved away for college which was located in upstate South Carolina. I was able to get my aqua and nature fix by hiking and climbing waterfalls on the weekends with Liza, my adventurous college roommate. The mountains were extraordinary, and Clemson was an absolute dream, but for me, nothing beats the beach, the waves, and the salty smell of home. Anyone who lives or visits our coastal area knows that summer is the liveliest time of year. Our busiest day of the year is the 4th of July and if you are smart, you spend it by the water. My family starts our day with friends out on the beach where we get to watch the “Salute from the Shore” together. This annual flyover stretches across the entire length of South Carolina’s coast and is the perfect way to honor the armed forces and celebrate Independence Day. Once it’s high tide, we migrate to our family home to watch the annual Murrell’s Inlet Boat Parade and the theme for their 38th year is Stars, Stripes, and Fireworks. After the sun begins to set, that is my favorite part of the day because the majestic firework shows light up the night sky and reflect beautifully over the water. The Grand Strand truly knows how to illuminate the joy and pride of our blessed red, white, and blue day and I would not want to spend my many tranquil days by the water any other way.

Publisher Delores Blount Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant Editor 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 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. Submissions of articles and art are welcome. Visit our website for details on submission. Sasee is a Strand Media Group, Inc. publication. Copyright © 2021. 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.

6 :: Sasee.com :: July 2021


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Where I Belong is Only a Hike Away by Stephanie McGinnis

Am I the only one who suffers from mid-life anxiety every single day? Add COVID concerns, being more concerned with wearing a mask than wearing underwear...? I didn’t think I was by myself, but I figured I’d ask... so I’m going to try something not so new. Let’s try exercise and a little bit of self-care and see what happens. You with me? Let’s get moving then... like actually moving. I started hiking. If you haven’t tried hiking, I recommend it. Totally and completely, especially for my buddies in the anxiety clique. It puts you in a whole new place, literally and figuratively. A friend of mine, we’ll call her Mazz, is a true lover of the concrete jungle. Give her Boston traffic over the beautiful sounds of nature any day, and yet, she would get anxiety in the mall; The first thing she did, every time, was map out the closest exit - what is the straightest route to my car, my safe space, my escape? This is no joke! I took her hiking one day, her birthday of all days, and now we go weekly! We’ve been lost and off-trail a dozen times and not once did it occur to her to get anxious. When I pointed it out to her, she was stunned. “OH MY GOD,” she said, “YOU’RE RIGHT!” The relief on her face was truly remarkable. Now she asks, “where can we go next?” The best part is that the answer is, “ANYWHERE WE WANT!” There is a whole world with trails to explore, mountains to traverse, lakes and rivers and waterfalls and gorges and on and on and on... endless. I am blessed to live in New England (and, to all you snow haters out there, yes, I do mean blessed!). My first “real” hike was in the White Mountains, a peak called Mt Roberts. 5.2 miles, 2582 feet of elevation. It. Kicked. My. Butt. I sat down in the middle of the trail, gasping for breath, feeling anything but athletic. My cousin (who, at almost 50, can do 2 of these hikes IN A DAY...) asked if I was going to puke. Thankfully, no. When I reached the top, looking at Lake Winnipesaukee in all of its breathtaking glory, all I could think was I DID IT. And... wait for it... if I did it once, I can do it again. That was last May. It’s now April of 2021 and I have completed 25 more hikes, totaling 114 miles and 19976 feet of elevation.  8 :: Sasee.com :: July 2021

So, I decided, if this is working for Mazz and me, why couldn’t it work for others? I picked a group of people, local moms that may or may not know each other and I sent an email that basically said, “Hey all, I’ve started hiking and it’s doing wonders for my mental and physical health. I was wondering if any of you would like to join me on some hikes in the New England area.” I got a couple of people that said “Sure, let me know where and when,” and a couple of “Thanks but I’m not ready for that right now.” For those that came along, it’s been a lot of “WOW! I’M EXHAUSTED AND I FEEL GREAT! LOOK AT THAT VIEW, LOOK HOW FAR WE CAME!!!” A mixed group of ladies, all different sizes, shapes, ages, and fitness levels, looking at the same view, all feeling elated and I’m sure a plethora of other personal emotions, who worked together to get there. Reading maps, navigating inclines, and some seriously cool rocks. Encouraging each other, cursing whoever picked this particular hike, and honestly loving every minute of it. The picture from the top shows us, sweating, redfaced, looking not so pretty, but as beautiful as the view. A woman with pride in her eyes is as pretty a picture as there ever was. So, my friends, if you are looking for a great way to get a little exercise, explore new places, see AMAZING views, and kick a little anxiety butt... well... hiking is my therapy. Give it a try, it may become yours too. I’ll see you at the top!

Stephanie McGinnis is an avid hiker, mom, and animal lover. She is a lifelong New Englander and has four kids and six dogs. She has been writing for as long as she can remember and now feels she has something important to share.


Angela Christian: Poised, Proper, and Ready to Prosper by Sarah Elaine Hawkinson

seriously and it is particularly important for me to ‘get it right.’ As my role as a leader, it is very meaningful that I encourage staff development and young women to pursue this line of work. Special folks helped me on my journey, and I have a responsibility to prepare other young folks, wherever they may land so that they are ready to step into the footsteps someone else has put down before them. I feel like the path has been prepared for me and it’s important for me to ‘get it right’ for those who will come after me.” The steps leading up to Angela’s new position started with her working as a budget analyst in Lee County, Florida. She claims that this large, fast-growing county on the coast is what set the stage for everything else she has done thus far. Before moving to South Carolina, she was working on the coast of North Carolina as the deputy manager where she was able to display her emergency management skills posthurricane. Coastal living management is a different type of management and it has truly become Angela’s niche. She loves that these types of communities have dynamic environments with constant changes. She wanted to be a part of that change here and show us not only how to prepare for it, but how to embrace it.

As most of you (hopefully) know, there is a new powerhouse in town. Angela Christian, the first woman and African American Georgetown County administrator, is committed to helping our home prosper. Angela was born and raised in Dublin, Georgia, and received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Georgia Southern University. She always thought she would go to law school until she did an internship in her hometown and caught the “local government bug.” She then decided to attend the University of Tennessee where she earned her master’s degree in public administration. She laughed, “Yes, I thought I’d be a lawyer. I got sidetracked, but it led me to where I belong.” Angela was able to obtain a scholarship in a field that was, and still mostly is, nontraditional for women. Angela explained, “My new position has certainly been very rewarding and fulfilling for me, personally and professionally. In my twenty years of government work, I have often been the only woman and only African American in the room. I take my job very 10 :: Sasee.com :: July 2021

I asked Angela, “Why Georgetown?” She replied, “This county was a unique opportunity and there were a couple of things particularly attractive about this area. I love the quirkiness along with the cultural, natural, and historical areas. We are sensitive to preserving all of these aspects that are facing more and more threats every day.” Angela is a big advocate for mother nature and understands that while we talk about building and growing, that we need to do so while being environmentally conscientious. She expressed that whether we are ready for it not, Georgetown is simply poised to change. Whether it be the environment, demographics, financials, or technology, Angela felt it was her duty to make sure we evolve strategically and with purpose. Angela loves living here and feels so blessed to be surrounded by our beautiful landscapes and views that are both captivating and relaxing. One of her favorite spots is the Black River Park Project, a linear park that is now the site of the new state park which includes Rocky Point. Another underrated spot is Hasty Point which is now the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge. She enjoys walking the beaches at Huntington State Park and through the paths of Brookgreen


Gardens. She explained that her appreciation is for more than just the beaches, but the little areas too, as well as the folks who encompass them. She adores getting acquainted with the people here and listening to them as they tell their own Georgetown County stories. Although she loves how friendly everyone has been and is just over the moon about the local cuisine, her trek moving to a new community was a bit more challenging. It was the first week of March 2020 when Angela accepted her position as the new county administrator. She gave herself two weeks to move and by that time, the pandemic had just officially begun. She said that on her way to Georgetown, she and her husband could count the number of other cars on the road on one hand. She remembers them just looking at each other, smiling, and saying, “Okay, here goes another adventure!” By no means did COVID-19 skew Angela’s focus. When she arrived, most of the systems were manual and there were not enough laptops to go around. They didn’t quite have the technology equipped for a pandemic and every Monday a new department had to close due to an outbreak. Although these situations hindered their business at first, she liked that it gave people a chance to step up, get creative, and truly shine. They made changes on their business practices and their engagement with the community by broadening their base. They updated their technology, software, and website, and became more active with social media. They even produced their first television show with Georgetown News. Given the circumstances, Angela understood some businesses had to close down, but she knew it was imperative that they continue to serve the residents of the community the best way they could. The toughest part for Angela personally was not being able to be as hands-on and meet the locals as she normally would. Everything was at a distance and as she explained, “You just cannot get the full flavor and spice of the community when you’re doing everything on zoom.” However, now that more people are getting vaccinated, she is excited to meet face to face with the people she has been corresponding with for several months. Last year, she was only able to get her toes wet, and now she’s getting to fully dive in – and she is loving every moment of it. Angela is discovering new things the community has to offer all the time. One of the most unique opportunities she has had since being here is her ability to provide a platform to spotlight the many local nonprofits. She

was astounded by all of the organizations within our community that are constantly doing the most amazing, behind-the-scenes work. Angela recognized that these businesses needed a forum to be highlighted, which can be found on their county council meeting livestreams: youtube. com/gtcountysc. Due to our transitional population, she understood how important it is to keep these things at the forefront to help our community grow and flourish. As county administrator, Angela’s 2021 goals are to promote economic development, housing, staff development, employee pay, and compensation systems, as well as focus on the American Rescue Act Project, excess sales tax projects, and the future detention center project. She strives to continue Georgetown’s financial stability and to stabilize the technology in order to protect the county from future problems. Angela also plans to concentrate on emergency management, growth strategy, and most importantly, a sustainability plan. Local government is Angela’s passion because it is the type of government where she can be the closest to people. She explained, “If I am in a state legislature, you have to go through ten people to get to me. In this role, you see me walking downtown or at the farmer’s market, and you are able to talk to me directly about your concerns. I am constantly looking at our surroundings and thinking to myself, does that look like a neighborhood I would want my family to live in? Is that playground or park safe for my children to play in? You have to make it yours, so that is why I am here, to ‘get it right.’” Angela does not view her job as to just run county government, or to just live in a beautiful, safe area. She aspires to make this place “home.” Without a doubt, Sasee is pleased that the future of our sacred county is in the hands of Angela and her wonderful team, and so thankful she found Georgetown County is where she truly belongs.

Sasee.com :: July 2021 :: 11


Upsizing

by Diane DeVaughn Stokes There’s a new sense of “Home” as a result of the pandemic. For many, there’s the urge to get out and travel after being cooped up for over a year. But as much as I love to travel and still will in the days ahead, my stronger inclination is to stay close to home. It’s my safe haven, my security blanket, my little corner of the world. During the pandemic, I took a different project each day that had been put on the back burner for years: clean out the pantry and put down fresh shelving paper, wipe out all cabinet drawers, organize my bathroom closet, toss out stuff I did not need or ever use and that included clothes, scrub the pots and pans and make them shine, wash the inside of the windows, and disinfect all the refrigerator drawers and shelves. I even painted metal yard ornaments that had rusted instead of buying new ones. I was somewhat of a maniac as I took on a new challenge each day. Chuck was afraid to stand still as I might wash, paint, and glisten him! I have always been a stickler for organization. There have been times when my home wasn’t the cleanest, but I always wanted things in their proper places, and sadly older age has made me even more that way. But my downsizing efforts were not as easy. It was difficult to get rid of things I had shoved in the attic over the years. Sentimental items. We all have them. My mom’s move from Florence to the beach where her home was now smaller, led me to store a bunch of her prized possessions. Eight years later, she moved to a small condo that sent more treasures to my home. And then there were lots of silly things up there like costume parts Chuck and I saved from plays we were in at the theater or the Pottery we made together on a rainy day in Charleston thirty years ago when we had nothing else better to do, or the antique lamp given to us by a deceased neighbor, or a few baby things given to us for the baby that never came including a fertility candle. Yet, I trudged through it with many tears and decided that there were folks here in the community that needed some of this stuff more than me. Benevolence took over. So, I loaded up the truck and dropped off a ton of beloved items to Back Pack Buddies. And you know 12 :: Sasee.com :: July 2021

what? It felt good to purge as it made me feel proud of myself to become more organized. Then last month, my mom moved to an assisted living facility. Yes, you guessed it. Mom’s downsizing made me have to “upsize” again. I sent pots and pans and dishes to my sister who may need them someday for her two children, but mom’s other items I had trouble parting with because they were hers! Little things like the ashtray she and dad use to fill up when they were smokers. There was the gold bear knick-knack that they bought on vacation in the Pocono Mountains when I was eight years old and a tee-shirt from their honeymoon in Wildwood, New Jersey. There’s a ceramic statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that a friend of mom’s made for her that has always been on her bureau. And anyone who knows my mom knows that there were a ton of joke items like birthday party hats and trick candles, boxes and boxes of Mardi Gras beads, Old Maid cards, sassy greeting cards, her Carmen Miranda Chiquita Banana Costume, a metal commode that opens to the tune of “You Light Up My Life,” and because she is Irish there are a plethora of silly green trinkets to wear on March 17. Add that to the nine large storage boxes filled with decorations for every single holiday and what do I get - a full attic once again! Ugh! But thank goodness I had room to store it all, for now, thanks to my pandemic purge session of 2020. They say, “Home is where the heart is!” I guess I’m as full of HEART as I will ever be.

Diane DeVaughn Stokes is the co-owner of Stages Video Productions in Myrtle Beach and the Host and Producer of “Inside Out” on HTC channel 4. She and her husband Chuck share passions for their three four-legged kids, theater, travel, and scuba diving. Diane is the author of “Floating on Air- A Broadcasting Love Affair” about her many years in Radio and Television.


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Same Joy, New Place by Terri Larocque

Papa Dewey, the patriarch of the family, relished the beach as much as the youngest in the family. Although he walked with a slight limp due to a work accident, we would find him on the beach playing softball with the rest of us to work off a typical huge meal. Cartwheels, writing our names in the sand, and of course, sandcastles, were daily rituals that continue to connect us to earlier, happy times. Since the 1960s, my family, varying in number from ten to 25 or so, has gathered at the beach. We rented huge houses in Myrtle, and everyone gathered for dinner and ate wherever we could find a spot. Each week included at least one trip to Calabash to buy shrimp fresh from the day’s catch. The assembly line in the kitchen to clean the shrimp became a type of party because we knew what goodness would follow. Lucille’s cocktail sauce, with its heavy dose of horseradish, would clean your sinuses for sure. Three generations of family knew how to have fun in a simple way – beach, water, sand, good food, and laughter. When Papa Dewey passed, he left behind enough to purchase a spot in Seaside Station of Sunset  Beach. We all gathered to christen the mobile home on a hot weekend in August. My cousin Debbie came up with an appropriate name for her, Abuela y Abuelo, and someone bought a bottle of cheap champagne and christened her with our horrible but hilarious pronunciation of the Spanish words. Since that time, we continue to visit the beach as often as possible. Some combination of the family is coming or leaving. Certainly, our home is much smaller than the ones we rented over the years, but we squeeze in as many as possible. It helps that other family members purchased a home next door, so we still have a way to stretch out and be together. Even if only a few of us are there, conversations usually find a way to intertwine stories of previous times at the beach. “Remember the time that Felicia was stung by a jellyfish?” 14 :: Sasee.com :: July 2021

“Remember the time that a Palmetto bug seemed to chase Daddy down the hallway?” Most of our stories also include various versions of the same memory, which I’m sure is a common occurrence in families. As our family continues to grow and adds another generation, I wish that this idyllic place will have the same joy for them as it does for me. Early morning walks to Bird Island and Kindred Spirit always jump-start another day. When I sit on the wide, pristine beach and look out over the water, somehow the responsibilities and problems of life become small in comparison. Breathing in the salt air and watching the gulls trolling for food tell me that everything will be okay. Carpe Diem is the motto of my days visiting Sunset Beach. Some of the traditions from the early days continue now, just on a smaller scale. Games on the beach are a must. We do visit Calabash, but we now buy our fresh shrimp from Bill’s, just a short walk down the street. If Lucille isn’t around for her famous cocktail sauce, I try to replicate it with as much horseradish as we can tolerate. Laughter is the language of the evenings. Most people have at least one place away from home that feels like home. For me, it’s the beach. The sand, the salt, and the air all say to me, this is where I belong.

Teri Hill LaRocque is a recently retired English teacher. Instead of grading essays, she’s writing her own. Traveling is her new classroom.


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Standing Tall by Joan Leotta

It’s hard for a person barely reaching five feet two inches to “stand tall” in any way except as a metaphor - or when wearing a pair of high heels. My lesson in how to stand tall, however, came from a pair of low-heeled shoes. My Magli shoes were so beautiful that wearing them made me feel beautiful too. While wearing them I felt confident and graceful. Italy was where my fascination with the Magli brand of shoes began. I was traveling through Europe by myself the summer after my sophomore year, my friend had decided that she was homesick. One afternoon I was window shopping on Rome’s Via Veneto in Rome when the street was still a wonder of high fashion stores and cafes where one sipped overpriced espresso “to be seen.” As I shuffled about in my low-priced sandals, I stopped at one window and took a deep breath – the Magli Store. The shoes behind that shop’s glass were innovative, yet classic. They expressed themselves in natural colors and twists of leather. They whispered to me to enter the store. There were high heels, but the display of lower-heeled shoes is what I heard calling to me. In spite of the “sensible” size of the heels, these shoes quietly declared, “I am elegant.” I gulped. No prices so I knew the cost was probably more than I could really afford, but I pushed the door open and breathed in the scent of luxury. A petite, dark-haired salesgirl walked up to me and addressed me in English: “May I help you?” So much for my Italian genes. “I’d like to see the beige shoes from the front right window - in what would be an American size nine.”

me to use in emergencies, pointed to the beige beauties from the window and said, “I’ll take that pair.” She helped me back into my shabby sandals and asked me to follow her to the counter where she placed the “King’s Ransom” shoes into a bag. Even just holding that wonderful pair of shoes made a difference in my day. I no longer felt the July heat of Rome as I walked. My dear father wasn’t sure buying expensive shoes constituted an emergency, but when I got home, he did not scold me. Once the little beige beauties were in my wardrobe, they graced my feet only for special occasions - after all, I was still on a college campus. When I got to meet Pearl Buck, when my Mom came to celebrate me at an Honors Tea - I wore them. In graduate school at my oral exams, to job interviews - all of those times they worked their magic imparting their elegance to me. From toe to head, I found myself “speaking smarter” giving better answers at interviews. After a stint at graduate school, armed with a Master’s, I went to work in Washington, DC. Only blocks away from my Dupont Circle apartment was one of the few American outlets for Magli. That store adhered to the American custom of holding half-off sales twice a year. I was in heaven. My first pair of Magli shoes was getting ragged. In fact, the strap on the now five-year-old shoes broke before I could go to the first sale, leaving me to step into the DC Magli shop in a pair of plastic pumps from Hecht’s bargain department. The aroma of fine leather transported me back to Rome. I knew my feet were home.

She looked down at my feet. She expressed no disgust at the dirt my sandals bore from traipsing about Rome’s dusty summer streets, nor at the size of my feet. She showed me to a seat and brought me a nylon for trying on shoes. Then she fetched the pair I had requested, and two others with similar heels. Each was elegant and distinctive.

Once again, a salesgirl treated me kindly and I walked out with a pair of shoes. (This time I paid for them myself.) Every six months, I bought another pair. Magli magic helped me speak clearly and assertively when my feet were the only women’s feet under a conference table. Wearing my Magli shoes, I put forth theories and evaluations with confidence and grace. I wore Magli shoes on my first date with my nowhusband, at my wedding, and on the honeymoon.

I strode up and down the deep pile carpets for a trial walk in each pair, and then, surprising myself (and her I think) handed over the American Express card my father had given

My last pair of Magli’s came to me on a summer day, from Nordstrom’s in Fairfax. The downtown  Magli  store was long gone. I’d started my maternity leave from my job as

22 :: Sasee.com :: July 2021


an economist. The baby was due in a week. Most of me was huge, but my feet were still the same size. I tried on a pair of black and white open-toe, lowheeled beauties. The soft white leather wrapped around the top of my foot like a delicate finger, caressing the top of my instep. A small black leather band played hide and seek in the layers of white. I wore them when I decided to resign from my job to stay home with our daughter. I wore them when I met with an editor to follow up on my first story pitch as a freelancer. I wore them to church. My feet loved them. Like their cousins before them, they imbued me with a sense of elegant confidence. When my feet began to spread out with old age and I could no longer fit into them, I shoved them under the bed to whisper at me from afar. When we moved from that house where our children had grown from babies to young collegians, I finally released that last pair of  Magli  shoes to Goodwill. Believe it or not, after all those years, they were still lovely, stylish, and in top condition. I had learned to “stand tall” by wearing, owning them. Now it was time to offer someone else a dose of Magli magic.

Joan Leotta is a writer and story performer now living in Calabash, NC, where she has traded her Magli for beach shoes. Her essays have appeared in Sasee and other magazines. Her award-winning poetry, short stories, and articles often feature food, family, and strong women.

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Megan Coward: New Community, Same Home by Sarah Elaine Hawkinson

If there is anyone who knows the secret to moving to a new community, it’s Megan Coward. After she graduated from the University of North Carolina Greensboro with a bachelor’s in human development family studies, she moved to Charleston, South Carolina. Megan did not know a single soul so the summer she started her job, she googled women’s organizations in the area, and “Junior League of Charleston” popped up. The membership application was live on their website, so she signed up for her provisional year. She said, “During my first year, I learned what the Junior League stood for, what they offered their members, and how the ladies of the organization impacted their community. I was hooked!” The Junior League gave Megan an “in” with the community. It provided her with life-long friendships, volunteer opportunities, and helped her pursue career development. Founded in 1901, the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.’s (AJLI) purpose was and still is exclusively educational and charitable. Their values include diversity, collaboration, community, empowerment, leadership, respect, and service. The organization is made up of more than 125,000 women in over 295 communities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico. The Junior League prides itself on creating real change by advancing social activism-focused projects that directly benefit their local community. After getting married and spending three exciting years in Charleston, Megan’s family moved to Columbia, because her husband, John, was beginning medical school. Megan found herself in a new community again, so what did she do? Megan easily transferred her membership and became a part of the Junior League of Columbia. In Charleston, she was on the Fun Development Committee and helped with planning events and in Columbia, she was on the Healthy Kids Fun Fair Committee. They would set up in a school gym and host the community and have doctors and dentists give 26 :: Sasee.com :: July 2021

free health exams and teeth cleanings. So far, every time she would become eligible to apply for a higher-up position, she had to move again, and her next destination was the Grand Strand. Megan’s family moved to Murrells Inlet in the summer of 2018 for her husband to start his 3-year Family Medicine Residency through Tidelands MUSC at Waccamaw Hospital. She spent most of her time with her son and daughter, so it was difficult for her to get acquainted with other women and the community. She was shocked when she found out the Grand Strand did not have a Junior League and the closest options were Charleston or Florence. So, she contacted the AJLI who informed her that they had a record of women asking about starting one along the Grand Strand for over 20 years, but no one ever wanted to take it on. Luckily, the AJLI put her in contact with two other women, Nicole Queen and Mary Margaret Hyatt, who also recently inquired about starting a Junior League of the Grand Strand. At the beginning of 2019, Megan, Nicole, and Mary Margaret got together for lunch and reviewed all of the information. The AJLI said it would probably take them three years to get it started and although Megan knew she would be off to another community by that time, she decided she “might as well make the community even better before she leaves it.” At the end of 2019, they held their first interest meeting and a whopping 140 women showed up. Remarkably, it only took the founders 18 months to go through the entire affiliation process with board meetings, webinars, community scanning, and financial planning. They declared their roles: Megan as president, Nicole as vice president, and Mary Margaret as treasurer. They launched their first round of memberships for the Junior League of the Grand Strand last May, during the pandemic. The biggest obstacle they faced was obviously social distancing because they are a social organization by nature. They had to navigate how to appropriately


host meetings and how to safely approach volunteer opportunities. Most women had changes in their work life, home life, and personal life, but also felt like their community partners needed their help more than ever. They survived their founding year and were officially approved as an organization through the AJLI. In May of 2021, the Junior League of the Grand Strand held its first Founder’s Day. Two ladies pulled Megan to the side and said, “We just wanted to tell you how hard this past year has been for us, personally and professionally, and if we could tell you anything, it’s ‘thank you!’ Because of this organization, I met my best friend during this crazy time.” Megan affirmed, “and that is what being in the Junior League is all about. The socials, functions, and events are more like the icing on the cake, but the heart of who we are is helping others whether it be members or those in the community. Hearing these stories and seeing the connections that have been made, is exactly what I could’ve hoped for. I am thrilled to see all they accomplish next year.” The Junior League of the Grand Strand’s 2021 goal is to replicate the success of last year but make an even greater impact. Megan believes the organization will incorporate Lunch and Learn Events, an Annual Gala, and partner with a local school to help increase the technological advantages of children in our community. She has high hopes that they will continue to be a leading force of change in our community. As of July 1st, Megan has left her presidency in great hands. The new president is a Grand Strand local, Amanda Millen, and she is eager to begin her new role: “The Junior League has such a strong presence worldwide and I am looking forward to seeing what our members can do throughout the Grand Strand community. It is a privilege to follow in the footsteps of our founders by taking on a leadership role and working with other passionate women. I know this will be the perfect way for me to plug in and give back to the community that raised me. After experiencing a pandemic during our founding year, I am beyond excited that our 2021-2022 league year will be full of lively events, awesome volunteer opportunities, and so many new smiling faces.”

time outside kayaking and bike riding. They were very active in their church, Belin United Methodist Church, but as founding president of the Junior league of the Grand Strand, she was able to be even more connected to the community. Megan explained, “My role as president opened me up to a radius of women from Georgetown to North Myrtle Beach with diverse backgrounds, professions, and passions, and although we are all different, we are all a part of this organization for the same reason.” Being a member of the Junior League for 10 years has grown to be a huge part of who Megan is as a person. She concluded with, “Starting this organization has stretched me in all my capacities. The process was harder than I imagined, but so much more rewarding than I anticipated. I’ve learned, grown, and developed as a woman and as a leader in my community along with so many other inspiring women. I am proud of us!” Now that Megan has bettered herself and the community, she is off to Columbia where her husband will be a Hospitalist at Prisma Richland. Megan and her family may move around to several communities, but regardless of where they go geographically, Megan knows that she will always belong to the Junior League.

Although Megan’s time here has come to an end, she has absolutely loved her experience along the Grand Strand. She has adored the close-knit community her family found in Murrells Inlet. She loved the landscape of the coast and going to the beach with family and friends. They enjoyed spending Sasee.com :: July 2021 :: 27


October 7 Pawleys Island Wine & Food Gala

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October 8 Orlando Transit Authority A Chicago Tribute

October 9 The Miracles

October 13 Lao Tizer featuring Eric Marienthal

October 14 Black Market Trust

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October 16 Tavares

October 21 The Texas Tenors

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October 23 Destination Motown

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Cathy Norini: Blissful Living in Living Dunes by Sarah Elaine Hawkinson

From growing up and spending her entire life in Chicago, Cathy was in pursuit of warmer weather and coastal ambiance. As a retired amusement park owner, she also craved a relaxing new lifestyle. As soon as she learned of Living Dunes’ model homes, she immediately hopped on a plane to come check them out. Cathy has officially been living in the neighborhood for a year, since July of 2020. The Living Dunes offers many great features and Cathy’s favorite aspects are how accessible the beach is and how much nature there is surrounding them. She loves taking her pups to the beach but equally enjoys taking strolls on the many trails within the neighborhood. She explained how incredible it is that she can walk to a majority of the places she needs to go without ever having to leave the development. She also says that the quality and design of the buildings are a big reason people gravitate towards the community as well as the amenities such as the pool and beach club.

Although Cathy searched for quite a long time to move somewhere like the Grand Strand, every house she found was either too big or in need of too much TLC. She loves that her home is the perfect size for her and her three dogs. She also loves that she has extra room for a few guests when family and friends visit. Cathy surprisingly enjoyed downsizing as she explained, “You always think you need more than you do until you start to downsize, then you realize how many things you don’t use, and it honestly feels really good to give those things away. It makes you feel lighter.” Cathy is excited to get more involved with the community by volunteering with the local humane society and by participating in some of the Living Dunes events on the weekends. Moving to a new community can be stressful and especially one in an entirely different state. She reiterated how thankful she is that “Living Dunes has such a quaint, hometown feel” that she was unable to experience anywhere else. Cathy finally found the happy, coastal home where she belongs, and so can you!


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A French Awakening by Jeanne Mullins

When I was 17, I fell in love with all things French. During the summer of 1972, my headquarters for a study abroad program was Orleans, France, an idyllic backdrop for amor. Orleans was like nothing I had ever seen before; exotic, fruitful, and mysterious. It was the perfect place for young explorers to spend hours getting lost in the magic. My school friends and I would eat strawberry cream-filled crepes en plein air. We inhaled French perfume in the grand plaza. JaReviens by Worth became my favorite scent. To this day, nothing smells as sweet. We obsessed over the statues of Jeanne D’Arc, the enigmatic French girl who led a revolution at age 14. She was my namesake and I was proud to call her one of my own. We rented rowboats with parasols and spent lazy afternoons patrolling the river for a breeze. We ate pastries in a café’s overlooking le petit jardin. Everything sounded better in French, especially music, which we listened to endlessly. At night, we’d visit small cabarets and drink wine from a glass. We’d dance till curfew with French boys when they sang, “Vou le vou couche avec moi ce soir?” Everyone was happy. Some of my friends were in the midst of a summer romance, chock full of stolen kisses and broken promises. But I wasn’t having a fling with a mortal, I was having a madcap liaison with a country. France was the man for me. France and I go way back. As a child, my mother had given me the book, Jean Marie, about a young French girl who lived on a farm. My middle name is Mary, so I believed that Jean Marie was my French twin. But it wasn’t until high school before I picked up French again. I added a beginning French class to my already course-laden school schedule. Six days after my first lesson, I was ready to hop on a plane and find my homeland. I was an introverted child so this enchantment with France came as a shock. Before I knew what was happening, I’m giving flight to my dreams. The plan was for me to attend 32 :: Sasee.com :: July 2021

a six-week Study Abroad Program and travel to France and Italy, and lodge in universities and hostels. When we travel, we keep lots of things to help us remember; photos, trinkets, journals. But nothing I have kept is more telling than a portrait I had drawn in Montmartre, Paris. Montmartre, my favorite spot in France, is an artist’s nirvana located behind Sacre’ Coeur. When we arrived in Paris, I realized that Orleans had been an aperitif. Paris was the entrée with delicious side dishes like the outrageous can-can dancers at The Eiffel Tower and the mesmerizing Water Lillie’s exhibit at The Louvre. Monet made me feel as though I could climb inside the floorlength mural and turn off the world. But Sacre’ Couer, the massive white cathedral that sits atop a hill, was as close to heaven as I’d ever find on earth. I dashed up the steep 300 steps, two at a time as if I were meeting an admirer who doesn’t like to be kept waiting. My friends were climbing the steps one at a time, with frequent pauses for elaborate photo shoots. Slow and easy was not the way I wanted to experience Paris. When I got to the top, I stood under the gorgeous basilica. A soft whisper in my ear murmured, “Come this way.” Montmartre was like Disney World for art lovers. Although I’m not an artist and I hadn’t yet discovered I could paint with words, Montmartre was much more than a colony for art enthusiasts. It was the world’s largest color palate. I touched, gaped, stared, and marveled until I stumbled. I knew I couldn’t leave Montmartre without a tangible reminder of the aura that enveloped the city like a halo. I paraded around the artist’s stalls. I thought I needed a painting. Flowers, fruits, landscapes, and French locales all seemed like good choices. But then I saw what I wanted. I’m wearing a halter top and my hair is long, parted in the middle. It’s hot and my skin is dewy. I’m nervous as I approach the artist. “Portrait?” I ask. The artist motions for me to sit on the stool. Then he stands up and hovers next to the easel. I’m thrilled. A girl from Long Island is having a


portrait drawn by a real French artist, one with smudgy fingers and a five o’clock shadow. He paints me slowly, one stroke at a time. He spends a long time on my eyes and hair. Then he moves down to my neck. Even though Montmartre is a large tourist attraction and thousands of people are milling around, I’m aware of his close proximity to my skin. He doesn’t say much, this Frenchman, but whatever he says is uttered in a soothing Parisian accent. I stare transfixed as his fingers shade the top of my shoulders, and then as they outline the V-neck of my shirt. I think he’s going to move further down and shadow in my cleavage, but he stops. That’s as far he’s going to go. But even though his fingers never touch my skin, it’s as if my body and the illustration are the same canvas. “Tres belle, n’est-ce pas?” he says. When most people look at the portrait, they focus on the arresting smile. But don’t let the lips fool you. Look into the eyes. You’ll see flickers of light that dance around the iris like bright spots of joy. The pupils are large and dilated. If you pay close attention, you can watch a shy girl become a woman, right in front of you.

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Jeanne Mullins is a licensed speech-language pathologist, and the author of a Day Tripping article in a community magazine. She has publishing credits in academia and a few other venues. She was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2018. She writes children’s books, essays, poetry, and other non-fiction works. Currently, she is in the process of revising a YA novel and is also seeking representation for a novel that takes place in Savannah. Her blog, “Women Rock!” Statues & Stories can be found at www.womenrockstatues.com.

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Owned by Allison Harrington and Daniel Walters Captained by Danny Cox (910) 733-2608 contactlaidbackcharters@gmail.com Sasee.com :: July 2021 :: 35


Ingredients for the Perfect Home by Sharon Struth

The librarian scribbled down information for my new library card, pausing and lowering her glasses after I gave her my address. “My husband and I built that house,” She said.

spare 45 minutes until class ended, we piled into her minivan and I got a tour. During the ride, I learned her friend’s son was in my daughter’s class.

Requesting the ID to borrow books had seemed like a way to root my family in the small Connecticut community we’d moved to only a week earlier. But what were the chances she meant my address?

In case I didn’t think the world I now existed in was small enough, at a PTO meeting, when introduced to another parent, she asked where I lived. When I told her, she said, “Oh, I grew up in that house.”

“You mean where I live?”

“That’s funny,” I said. “The woman at the library told me she’d built it.”

She smiled, perhaps amused by my surprise, “Yes. It was back in ’68. We even spent an extra $1,500 to put in a full basement.” “I love the basement.” Not all homes in our subdivision had them. She nodded, “It was worth every penny. We were there a while, but now we live closer to downtown.” The two of us chatted about the neighborhood. As I left with my daughter, the librarian welcomed us to the community. The small connection to my new house gave me a good feeling. Making a move here hadn’t been in our plans. Six months earlier, the loss of my job had forced my husband and me to consider a less expensive home for our family. There was nothing scientific about our selection. We drew a bullseye on a map and found a house we could afford on a single salary. The main street was quaint. The schools were adequate. We packed our belongings and prayed for the best. Within a month of living here, a pattern emerged. It started that day at the library. A moment I chalked off as coincidence. During a trip to the local kid’s haircutters, a mother waiting for her son began to chat with me. We discovered she knew my neighbor, we had two other acquaintances in common, and her son was in the same grade as my daughter. A week after that, as I waited for my daughter’s park and recreation gymnastics class to end, I struck up a conversation with another waiting mom. She’d moved in a few months before me and offered to show me around town. With our 36 :: Sasee.com :: July 2021

“Yup. She’s my mom.” Every single one of these conversations left me surprisingly comfortable and connected in this new place. Like a necessary bolt in the cog of the community. I battled the coincidence versus destiny theory. It felt like destiny. My life here had snapped together as easily as two Legos. Over time, the pattern continued. Every corner I rounded, a simple hello would unveil a thin thread connecting me in some way to a person I’d never met before. How was it possible to land someplace quite at random then feel more at home than in the place I’d been raised? Or, for that matter, any other place I’d ever lived before. Twenty-five years and we’re still going strong. I love this place more than ever. Over time, I’ve witnessed as friends and neighbors gather to support one another with the enthusiasm of the citizens of ‘Whoville’ on Christmas morning. We cheer during community events, be it to witness the annual high school homecoming parade or to honor the 200th birthday of P.T. Barnum, one of our most famous residents from years gone by. We gather for support, whether the tragedy of September 11th or ensuring the success of an annual fundraiser to honor the legacy of a three-year-old resident who’d lost his life to cancer years earlier. Those funds help other area families facing similar struggles. Even the church we joined is a microcosm of everything we love about living here. We stand by our neighbors. Recently, a local coffee shop found their rainbow-colored Pride flag removed and burned. A banner flew next to the spot where the flag had been hung that read, “Kindness, community, strength ... we’ll get through this together.” The outcry in the town could be heard far and wide.


There was a public event to show the business our support. Pride flags began to appear everywhere, too many to count. The town’s first selectman issued a Proclamation to the business in support of their right to display the flag and express their ideals without intimidation or fear. Going forward, the town vowed to show its support by displaying the Pride flag at the municipal center on the anniversary of Proclamation Day.

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Moving here I learned the meaning of the word community. It defined the difference between having a place to live versus what it means to truly be at home. My town is set amidst other communities of more affluence. But its people are proud, salt-of-the-earth New Englanders who understand our outreach to each other makes us stronger.

John S. Gore - Owner, Designer, Allied ASID 843-692-7844 • bgrahamint@aol.com

SHOWROOM LOCATION: 1307 ENTERPRISE AVE. MYRTLE BEACH BETWEEN GRISSOM PKWY. & SEABOARD STREET • BGRAHAMINTERIORS.COM MON - FRI 9am - 5pm • SAT BY APPOINTMENT

While I might’ve found this place with very little thought, I’m certain that it’s no coincidence my family landed here. I’m grateful to the hands of fate, for pushing me in the direction of a place I could finally call home. And that banner near the coffee house flag reads to me like an ingredient list for the type of place I’m proud to live. Where kindness, community, and strength are a way of life.

Available a t Sharon Struth believes you’re never too old for a second chance. She loves travel and photography. If you enjoy reallife characters and a feel good story, visit www.sharonstruth.com.

Celebra ting 75 years! 916 N N. O Ocean Bl Blvd., d Myrtle M Beach, SC On the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk one block south of the SkyWheel®

Sasee.com :: July 2021 :: 37


Advertiser Index

Licensed & Insured • Commercial • Residential

Cleaning & Linen Rentals 843-299-0247

671 Jamestown Dr., Unit R2 • Garden City, SC 29576 thecleanupclub@gmail.com

38 :: Sasee.com :: July 2021

B. Graham Interiors Collection.......37 Barbara’s Fine Gifts.........................13 Bethea Baptist Retirement Community..................31 Bleu................................................18 BloominGail’s Consignment...........15 Bluebird Vintage.............................29 Brightwater.......................................7 Brookgreen Gardens.........................5 Carolina Car Care...........................34 The Clean Up Club........................38 Coastal Luxe Interiors.....................33 CRG/Living Dunes...........................2 Dr. Grabeman.................................15 Dr. Sattele’s Rapid Weight Loss & Esthetics Centers........................17 Eleanor Pitts Gifts, Jewelry & China...................15 Forever Revolutionary.....................25 Fringe.............................................13 Gay Dolphin..................................37 Good Deed Goods..........................23 The Hammock Shops Village............9 Inspire Coastal Grand.....................19 Laid Back Charters.........................35 The Lakes at Litchfield....................40 Long Bay Symphony.......................38 MD4Vitality...................................23 Moore, Johnson & Saraniti.............16 Owl’s Nest Furniture.......................31 Palmetto Ace...................................13 Papa John’s Pizza.............................38 Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art...................39 Pawleys Island Wine & Food Gala.........................28 Prodigy Kitchens & Baths...............24 Pruitt Health....................................3 Rover Boat Tours............................18 Shades & Draperies........................25 Speech Solutions.............................35 St. Gabriel Assisted Living & Memory Care.............................33 Strand Security...............................34 Surf Unlimited Mercantile..............21 Tidelands Community Hospice......24 Wildflower & Whiskey Clothing Co...................................29


21st Annual Pawleys Island

Wine & Food Gala

Silent Auction 1991

Win $5,000

Over 70 Wines

T I C K ETS O N S A L E N O W AT PAW L E Y S M U S I C.CO M

Your $100 per person ticket includes Chance to win $5,000 Delicious Desserts Delectable Gourmet Edibles Awesome Silent Auction Over 70 Impeccable Boutique Wines SponSored in part By: Coastal Cadillac Official Automobile Sponsor Wells Fargo Advisors Kaylor Wealth Management Group Wine Glass Sponsor South Atlantic Bank Program Sponsor

SGA | NarmourWright Design Entertainment Sponsor

Ted Chapman/Pat Bates Ticket Sponsor

Coastal Cadillac, Chevrolet, Nissan Reverse Drawing Sponsor

Pawleys Wine & Spirits Official Wine Retailer

Coastal Car Wash Auction Sponsor

Pawleys Island Bakery Dessert Tasting

Pawleys Pediatrics & Adult Medicine Safe Drive Home

Peter & Elizabeth Eisenberg Lighted Pen Sponsor

The Reserve Golf Club of Pawleys Island Thursday, October 7, 2021 • 7:00 pm

A 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization

P.O. Box 1975, Pawleys Island, SC 29585


Profile for Strand Media Group

Sasee Magazine - July 2021  

"Where I Belong" Since 2002 Sasee Magazine has been the PREMIER LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE of Sasee women everywhere. Sasee is a SOPHISTICATED, WE...

Sasee Magazine - July 2021  

"Where I Belong" Since 2002 Sasee Magazine has been the PREMIER LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE of Sasee women everywhere. Sasee is a SOPHISTICATED, WE...

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