Sasee Magazine - August 2022

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August 2022

“To laugh at yourself is to love yourself”

EBRATIN L E

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-Mickey Mouse

S YEAR


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“Laugh Until You Cry” August 2022 Contents Volume 21, Issue 8

10

Grease Generously by Linda O’Connell

12

Thrill of The Hunt

16

My Sassy Mom Shakes Up Elvis by Glenda Ferguson

18

Virginia and The Skirt by Eleni Stephanides

As a self-taught artist, Suzanne stands out with her invented characters full of humor tinged with her colors and her unique vintage style. She oscillates between her beautiful, romantic young ladies and the funny characters of her series “Happy.” Her primary intention is to create a feeling of lightness and happiness through her artworks.

20

Laughter Will Always Ketchup by Sarah Reichert

22

Seasons of Regifting by Georgia A. Hubley

26

To see more about her works, visit www.suzannebeland.com or www.facebook.com/suzannebelandartiste

What Makes You Feel Old? by Erika Hoffman

30

Sasee Gets Personal with Rebecca Powell: AIM | Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine

About the Cover Artist: Suzanne Beland is an artist living in the city of TroisRivieres, Canada. She was always passionate about drawing from a very young age. Her keen interest in art led her to train in graphic design. She practiced this profession for over 12 years and then moved on to animation and colorization of 2D cartoons for television. She has always worked in fields that call on her creativity and for several years she has made a living from her profession as a painter.

4 :: Sasee.com :: August 2022



from the Editor Most of you are probably aware by now that I was a stubborn child, but who wasn’t? (I always blamed the red hair.) As you can imagine, that particular trait sometimes led to some not-so-great events. I am sure we all have those past experiences that are awful at the time, yet hilarious down the road when told again. One of my comical stories took place when I was four years old at my afterschool day care, “Karolina Kids” in Murrells Inlet, SC. We had a pretty decent size playground and although I do not remember why, I know I was escorted to “time-out” which was the corner of the playground. Well, we all know that “nobody puts Baby in the corner” so naturally, I decided to rebel…with creativity. I have heard my fair share of stories about kids putting objects in places they should not go. My chosen object was a rock, and I had the bright idea to stick it up my nose, a little too far. Sure enough, it got pretty stuck. I could not tell you exactly how many hours it was up there, but I do know that my parents and I spent the rest of the day frantically traveling around to doctor’s offices – yes, plural. The first few doctors did not seem to have a tool small enough to fit up my nose to retrieve the infamous rock. Long story short, after all of the kicking, screaming, and many urgent cares later, someone finally got the sucker out. Ever since this traumatic experience, I have not enjoyed going to the doctor or the hospital very much, but hey, at least Baby did in fact get out of the corner. I hope you all get a laugh from the many amusing stories shared in this issue!

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 © 2022. 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 :: August 2022


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Grease Generously by Linda O’Connell

My husband Bill and I have a happy, healthy relationship based on mutual respect, trust, and understanding. We have always been comfortable discussing any topic. We freely express opinions, and we do not keep secrets from one another.

morning routine and come into the study.

When I saw an email addressed to Bill, from a company I did not recognize, with a “rush” delivery date in the subject line, I figured it was another one of his online purchases. He’s always looking for the latest gadget. This man of mine has even purchased new and improved mouse traps for the tool shed. He spends hours thoroughly researching the pros and cons before he makes a purchase. I am not interested in his great buys, but they sure make him happy.

“Laying it on thick,” my suspicious mind thought.

I no longer have to hard boil eggs on the stove in a pan of water; Bill proudly announces he’s going to cook them in his electronic cooker. There’s no more patting ground beef in the palm of his huge hands to make burgers. He has a fivepiece red, plastic device that uniformly makes patties for his grill, which has more functions than a high-tech computer. Since my guy is a late-sleeper and I am an early-riser I knew he wouldn’t mind my snooping at his “rush” email. I wanted to know what the driver of the Amazon van would soon be delivering. My eyes widened in disbelief as I read the first few words. “Dear Mr. O, Your order for sanitary lubricant, non-toxic, edible, petrol lube has shipped ….” I Googled the product description: Safe, edible lubricant can also be used on dairy cows. What the heck?! We live in suburbia, not on a cattle farm. We get our milk in cartons from the big box store. Granted, my big guy does drink two and sometimes three gallons a week. My mind was spinning scenarios, my imagination running wild, and my pulse was ramping up as I reread the email. Then I thought, “What sort of secret life has he been leading? I’d better not discover he has a secret heifer somewhere…” I’m certain my blood pressure was sky-high by sunrise when I heard my honey waking up. I resisted my first impulse to pounce. I sat impatiently waiting for him to complete his 10 :: Sasee.com :: August 2022

Cheerful as ever, my husband of twenty-five years, walked in and laid his big hand gently on my shoulder. He kissed my neck and said sweetly, “Good morning.”

I swiveled around in my office chair and looked up at him. I stared straight into his eyes. “Is there something you want to talk to me about?” I maintained my composure, but inside I was quivering. “No, not really. You doing okay?” His smile lit up his big Irish face. He ran his fingers through his curly mop. His grin faded as he waited expectantly for my reply. I continued to stare at him. He asked, “Everything alright?” I said, “I don’t really know. Is there something I need to know? Do you need to tell me anything?” “I love you?” “No!” “You want to go out to breakfast?” “Nope.” “Then what? What would you like to know?” His smile faded. “I need the truth. I want you to tell me why you ordered personal edible lubricant off the internet.” My words were thick. I was holding back hot tears, devastated by the thought of my decent, devoted husband cheating on me. He stared. “Oh, Uhm, that...” He looked confused. I wanted to shout, “Don’t you dare lie to me!” But instead, I said, “Do not say, ‘Uhm.’ You are using a stall tactic. Please be honest with me.” He looked hurt. “I’ve never been dishonest with you.” “Well?! Tell me why you need that lubricant.” His smile broadened. “I need lubricant for the new meat slicer that was delivered yesterday. The drive gear, pivot points,


and blade all need to be generously lubricated before and after using it. The brochure said to use Vaseline, but when I went to the store to purchase a jar, I read the label, which stated the product was not to be used orally. And honey, your facial expression doesn’t compare to the young pharmacist’s when I asked him if they carried edible Vaseline behind the counter. The guy was speechless. When I explained the intended use, he said, ‘Try Amazon.’”

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Tears started rolling down my cheeks as I laughed myself silly with relief. I could envision the poor pharmacist, whose imagination had probably been running as wild as mine.

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My Sassy Mom Shakes Up Elvis by Glenda Ferguson

Nothing suppressed my mom’s fun-loving personality, not her circumstances and certainly not me. I am sorry to say, as a teenager, I often tried. I was embarrassed that Mom would be laughing and joking around with my friends. Over time, I have learned to appreciate Mom’s joyful spirit and see it as a blessing to myself and others. At the age of 84, Mom lived in a skilled nursing facility. Despite a series of strokes affecting her cognitive and speaking abilities, she was still anticipating the Elvis impersonator’s return visit. Since I wasn’t there for his first performance, the nurses and residents described how Mom danced with Elvis. So I was looking forward to witnessing Mom getting reacquainted with her dance partner. When I arrived the next day, I met Mom in her room. I noticed a van pull up in the parking lot, facing Mom’s large window. The gray-haired gentleman, sitting in the driver’s seat, looked like he was singing. Mom saw the driver, too. She pointed and smiled. Could this be Elvis? Mom fluffed her hair and dabbed perfume behind her ears. Elvis was oblivious that his magnetic attraction was working even through a closed window. For the King’s performance in the dining room, we managed to find two seats toward the front. Elvis had slicked back his gray hair and donned a tight white glittery jumpsuit with an attached cape. He strutted around warming up the audience, but not getting too close and personal with his public. When he approached us, he said, “You two look like you could be sisters.” That’s when Elvis made a wrong move. He leaned one inch too close to Mom. And that’s when she made her move. Her arms circled his neck, and at the same time, she pulled him towards her and off his feet. Mom gave him a big kiss on his cheek and hugged him tight.

Elvis was all shook up, the show had to go on. Mom did not take her eyes from him as he sang along with his boom box. Several instances in between his songs, he would search in his bag on the floor and act a little mixed up. Every time Elvis stood back up, he smoothed his hair and adjusted his jumpsuit all over again. His final song was about to begin. But before Elvis sang Love Me Tender, he said, “I usually have a pink scarf when I dance with someone special in the crowd. But I must have misplaced it the last time I performed here.” The lady residents groaned that the previous show’s magical moment would not take place. Mom just kept on smiling while he sang. As Elvis left, we waved goodbye. Mom pushed her walker a bit quicker back to the room, hoping to catch a glimpse of him from the window. But he was already gone. While Mom went to the bathroom, I sat down beside her bed, ready to get a snack out of her nightstand. I slid open the drawer and reached in the back for one of her candy bars. Just then Mom came out of the bathroom. I said, “Where did you get this?” Mom just smiled at the pink silk scarf in my hand. Elvis may have left the building, but Mom “borrowed” his prop as a keepsake. For that, I thank him, I thank him very much.

Elvis looked at me and squeaked, “Help!” I said, “That’s your fault, Elvis. You are on your own.” Mom must have accomplished her goal because she let go. Elvis straightened up, smoothed back his hair, and adjusted his jumpsuit. I hoped he would still be able to hit all the proper low notes during his performance. Even though 16 :: Sasee.com :: August 2022

Glenda Ferguson is published in Chicken Soup for the Soul and numerous publications. She volunteers with Indiana Landmarks. Tim and Glenda have been married for 37 years.


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Virginia and The Skirt by Eleni Stephanides

Many years ago, my dad’s great aunt Virginia lived with her mom, dad, and two siblings in a small village of Cyprus. The youngest of the children had skipped a grade, while the oldest had been held back. The middle one stayed where she was, which made it so that all three children were in the same grade level at school. Their family was poor, so the kids were forced to share the same textbooks to cut back on expenses–which at times led to conflict. One day, Virginia’s sister, Hariglia needed to use the math textbook, but Virginia, who wasn’t done with it, refused to surrender it.

“Where is Virginia?” she barked. The two women looked at each other. Their grandma, unable to contain her amusement, burst into laughter. She laughed so hard that pee rained down onto the head of poor Virginia, who lept out from under the skirt midway through the deluge and threw the book against her startled sister’s chest – disgusted, defeated, and dripping with pee. “You can have it!” She spat. Years later, as Virginia’s descendants continue to tell her story, my hope is that readers will reflect on the value of negotiation skills.

“It’s my turn now!” Hariglia insisted. “Hand it over.” Virginia did not. And so began a chase around the house. Virginia rushed into the adjacent room, where her grandma and aunt were chatting over cups of coffee. She scanned the room for hiding spots but didn’t see any. She did, however, notice the great length and flowiness of the skirt her grandma was wearing. Plenty of space to move around in, she thought. And so, with few other options and her sister quick on her heels, Virginia dove to the ground and disappeared under her grandmother’s voluminous skirt. Seconds later, Hariglia burst in. She looked first under the table, only to find nothing; then behind the curtains, only to find nothing there either.

18 :: Sasee.com :: August 2022

Eleni Stephanides is a queer, bilingual writer, born and raised in the Bay Area. Her work has been published in Tiny Buddha, Out Front Magazine, The Mighty, Curve Magazine, Thought Catalogue, Elephant Journal, The Fix, United by Pop, The Mindful Word, and Uncomfortable Revolution among others. You can follow her on IG eleni_steph421 and read stories from her time as a rideshare driver at lyfttales.com


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Laughter Will Always Ketchup by Sarah Reichert

We found fifteen bottles of ketchup in my grandmother’s cabinet. Four in her fridge, all partially empty and their openings rimmed with the crusted dried ring that showed they hadn’t been used in a while. She’d only been in assisted living for two months when the stroke landed and finally silenced the raw neurons that were on their last little legs. A short coma later and she had passed on. Now, my mother, sister, and I were in charge of cleaning out her house. A strange accumulation of collections; obsessivecompulsive and desperate clinging to objects that were hard to understand reasons for. Like nineteen bottles of ketchup. Or the way we found four hundred dollars, in ones, tucked into odd little places, like her lingerie drawer, an empty flour canister, an old shoebox, and in grandpa’s fishing gear, dusty in the top of the closet. Wading through the piles of boxes, the stacks of magazines, and the odd smells of dust and decay that seemed to be a part of the in-situ site of her past, felt like trying to swim the English Channel if it were made of molasses instead of seawater. My mother was the anchor tied in thick chains around our ankles, my sister and I exchanged looks every time she would stop, sit down with a box, and gasp and coo over the strange contents, scraps of paper, old dried-out corsages, newspaper articles about her uncles or brothers. There were never any of her. It was history repeating. The power of these things to pull her, as it had her mother, from the present and beneath the waves of a past they could not change. “Oh momma, why did you save all of this,” she would whisper, and Heather and I would look at one another with a knowing glance. In twenty years, we would be asking ourselves the same things about her. Why do you still have our fifth-grade report cards? Why do you keep every mail order catalog when you don’t order things from them? Why do you have four bottles of relish in 20 :: Sasee.com :: August 2022

your fridge? Why are there random hundred-dollar bills tucked into your rattiest pair of socks? The answer is always the same. Because she forgot. She forgot she bought one already. She forgot she still had enough. She forgot she didn’t have to hide money for later. She forgot where she hid it. She forgot and these things would help her remember. Day by day, and in small and great ways, she also would forget our names, that dad didn’t pass away, he left. That she’d bought relish last week. And we would be there to remind her. In the same ways she was there for her mother. Until the end. We sifted through the mass wreckage of a life trying to remember who they were by the things they owned. Defined by the boxes of pictures and the report cards that told them what their children’s names were and what their birthdays were. When my eyes turn sad, watching my mom, my sister saw it and pinched the back of my arm, where the skin is most tender. It hurts. In a raw, tangible physical way and it shocks me back into my own body, in this time. “What are we going to do?” I say, tears shaking my voice. My sister looks at the rows of unopened ketchup bottles tucked into the haphazardly stacked shelves of unused food. She looks at my mother, who has opened another box, shaking her head. “Order a shit ton of fries, I guess.” My mother looks up. I look at my sister. And the laughter bubbles up from somewhere under my mother’s heart, somewhere deep in the core of her body, where she created us and carried us. And when it bursts out, it’s like a flight of butterflies escaping the cold of winter, breaking into the sunlight, bright and in hues of yellow and gold and flashes of purple. And it goes on, a river of joy flowing, a release of the years of hurt and worry; a letting go.


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It’s the most contagious thing I’ve ever been hit by and I can’t stop my own laugh from breaking out between lips that were only moments before shaking with tears. And we can’t stop, because every time anyone of us looks at the others, it surges forward again, until we are breathless, lying on the floor in a tangle of arms and giggles and tears. Life is stupid and unpredictable. And hard. And beautiful. And we only have each other, and we only have ourselves. And we only have our tears, and we only have our laughter. And we only have moments to make memories. And only enough boxes to hold so many of them. And the container is faulty, and it leaks out memories like a colander. We only have one short go around. And nineteen bottles of ketchup.

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Sarah Reichert (S.E. Reichert) is a novelist, blogger, and poet. Her work has been featured in The Fort Collins Coloradoan, Poetry Ireland Review, and The Beautiful Stuff Blog. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her family.

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Sasee.com :: August 2022 :: 21


Seasons of Regifting by Georgia A. Hubley

In the fall, I received a beautiful teal floral silk scarf for my birthday from a dear aunt who lived on the east coast. Even though the scarf was lovely, it really wasn’t me – I couldn’t coordinate it with anything in my clothes closet. However, a tinge of guilt rushed through me when I considered donating the scarf to a charitable organization. Then several ideas came to mind. Surely, someone else might enjoy the scarf, and since I lived in the west, who would be the wiser? Immediately, I set-up up a “regift drawer” in my bedroom dresser and tucked the scarf away for safekeeping. In the spring, I wrapped the scarf elegantly and gave it to my boss at a birthday luncheon. I watched her open the gold brocade gift box slowly, fold back the matching tissue and carefully lift the scarf to admire it. She smiled, raised the scarf to her chin, and brushed her cheek with the silk fabric, “It is so soft, I adore the lovely blue and green hues. It accentuates the navy suit I’m wearing. Thank you so much.” she said and draped the scarf around her neck. “I’m glad you like it,” I replied, beaming, feeling smug and secretly priding myself in mastering the art of regifting.

assortment of trendy gold and silver chunky bracelets, and two simulated pearl necklaces with matching pearl drop earrings. I wrapped and adorned each regift with ribbons and bows and was able to cross six people off my Christmas list. Then on Christmas Eve, the unthinkable happened. The postman delivered a small package addressed to me from a business associate. Quickly, I opened the brown box and dug through the foam packing material. I was dumbstruck… there was the gold brocade gift box tied with a gold sequined ribbon. For a moment, I was engulfed with a glimmer of hope. Surely, it was only a coincidence, but there was no mistaking the blue and green floral silk scarf tucked inside. I fought back the tears as I looped the exquisite scarf around my neck, feeling ashamed for so many regift blunders. Suddenly, I was consumed by tears and laughter as I wondered if anyone else had failed so miserably at regifting. I vowed there’d be no more regifting for me. To begin the New Year, I made a resolution to never regift again. Not ever. And I’ve kept that promise I made to myself over twenty years ago. It is the only resolution I’ve ever kept.

In the summer, as I was on the way to meet my husband for lunch, he called to say his meeting was running late and to wait for him in the office lobby. As I stood at the receptionist’s desk, a deliveryman handed her a birthday bouquet. “Oh thanks!” she squealed. “They are so nice to me here. I also received a box of candy and a gorgeous silk scarf.” Suddenly, she pulled the scarf from a gold brocade box buried beneath other gift boxes stacked on the desk and tossed the delicate floral blue and green silk fabric over her shoulder. I managed to utter a feeble birthday greeting, but I was stunned – it looked like the same gift box, tissue paper, and scarf – could it be? Of course not, I thought, it was only a coincidence. In the winter, I took inventory of my regift drawer. I was amazed at the nice things I’d accumulated. There were two bottles of Chanel fragrances that were all the rage, an

22 :: Sasee.com :: August 2022

Georgia A. Hubley retired after 20 years from the money world in Silicon Valley to write about her world. Her stories and essays appear in various anthologies and magazines. After two sons were launched into adulthood and the nest was empty, Georgia and her husband relocated to the Nevada desert.


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What Makes You Feel Old? by Erika Hoffman

My roommate from college, Cora, and I were lunching the other day and discussing what makes us feel old and “not with it” because it’s been a few decades since we were co-eds. We talked about joints aching, about choices in music and entertainment, about the news and the current seemingly crazy state of the world, and about hairstyles and fashion, and then I told her what really makes me feel AGED besides not knowing how to “stream,” at least what they call streaming nowadays. “I don’t understand acronyms,” I blurted. “Me too,” she concurred. “Like what the heck is ROFL?” “Rolling on the Floor Laughing.” “See, you are more with it than I am. I was proud of myself for deciphering “LOL.” Then I added, “You know what FOMO means?” She wasn’t sure so I told her I no longer have FOMO. I don’t care what others are doing, not even on a Saturday night. FOMO is a young person’s affliction.” “Fear of Missing Out?” “Right on! You’re clever to figure that out! I can’t even remember what an acronym means after I’ve been informed of one’s meaning, five minutes earlier.” She laughed. We continued to eat our eggplant parmesan, our favorite meal at this Italian eatery, but the serving size of the vegetable medallions had shrunk to the size of halfdollars; we figured it was due to inflation. “And what about emojis? I read it was something the Japanese created,” I said. “My kids use them and gifs.” “Gifts?” “G-I-F.” 26 :: Sasee.com :: August 2022

When I got home from lunch, I decided to educate myself on what, I guess, are modern-day hieroglyphics. I read about animated ROFLMAOs. I learned there’s such a thing as a ROLF graphic and a ROFL smiley face and LOL has an emoticon, and they have poop emoji as well as princess poop emoji and even birthday poop emoji. There’s even an emojipedia. I thought to myself that this is what it must feel like to be an immigrant to a foreign country when you are over “a certain age.” You must master a completely alien language. Not only are the pictographs puzzling, but sometimes what they convey is foreign to you too. We stiffly got up from the table and thanked the waitress, who was new to the job and looked barely past puberty at least from what we could tell as she was wearing a mask, and I didn’t have on my glasses. We headed to the restroom before we said good-bye for our car trips back home in opposite directions. My hands were wet because I couldn’t get the automatic dryer to work, and as I exited, I checked to make sure I didn’t have any toilet paper stuck to my shoe, and then we departed happy to have gotten together to reminisce about the bad, good old days and happy to complain about the bad, new crazy days, and as I got into my car, I thought to myself: Age is not just a number. It’s a series of things that change about you and the world around you as time passes on. But you know what? It’s ok. It’s all ok.

Erika Hoffman writes stories about her daily life, her travels, her grandchildren, her pets, and her take on life. If you like her style, voice, tone, and narratives, then you might want to look up her stories on Kindle. She has compilations of them in paperback sold on Amazon. A recent story of hers is featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Too Funny.


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Gets Personal with Rebecca Powell:

AIM | Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine from time to time when life gets hard. I really enjoy a comedic memoir though. Anything by Jenny Lawson or Samantha Irby has me laughing out loud to myself like a real lunatic. I sometimes think I need to put pen to paper and write my own hilarious stories. Again, I like to think I’m pretty funny. Right now, though, my two-year-old makes me laugh the most. Q: Have you ever pulled a funny prank? In my days as a dancer, the pranks were endless. I once blacked out my front tooth during a performance with George Strait while he sang “All My Exes Live In Texas” and during a stint as an equestrian performer, I painted eyeballs on my eyelids and then attempted to do the entire show with my eyes closed. During my time at Legends in Concert in Branson, MO, I would hide in the wings and pull a toy rat across the stage using a fishing line. That is still one of my favorites. Just remembering all of the shenanigans has me in stitches! Q: Do you have any pet mishap stories you care to share? Q: When did you move to the Grand Strand? I moved to the Grand Strand in 2018 when my husband and I were offered contracts with Legends in Concert. He portrayed Elvis and I was a dancer in the show. Q: How long have you been working at AIM and what is your position? I’ve been with AIM since we opened the doors in October of 2019. I was five months pregnant and my time on stage was coming to an end - sequins only stretch so far - so I applied for the receptionist position and have been here ever since. My job and responsibilities have only grown over the past couple of years. I am now the Clinical Director which means I am responsible for ensuring that the clinic runs smoothly, my staff is happy, and our patients are even happier! Q: What makes you laugh the most? I love laughing, mostly at myself because as my husband will tell you, I think I’m hilarious. Schitt’s Creek and Parks & Recreation are my all-time favorite TV shows. I’ll put random episodes on 30 :: Sasee.com :: August 2022

During my freshman year of high school, we had this Yorkshire Terrier - Beagle hybrid named Snickers. This was before muts were classified as designer breeds, but I suppose he would’ve been a Yorgle? Or a Beashire? Either way, we didn’t feed him people food but that didn’t stop him from trying to get his paws on human delicacies like ChexMix. I left an open bag on the coffee table once and moments later we’re doing this Tom & Jerry act racing around the living room until I eventually tripped and broke my toe. He ate the entire contents of the bag while I rolled around the floor in agony. Twenty-three years later, and my toe still clicks with every step I take - I won’t be leaving AIM to become a cat burglar anytime soon. Q: Do you believe that laughing keeps you healthy? Of course! My 10-year-old son likes to tell me I look 19 (which is a total lie) but people are always assuming I’m younger than I am. I’m going to credit this to laughter and having fun. As George Burns once said “you can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” AIM | Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine 843-273-4467 • AIMLiveLife.com