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February 2014 Priceless www.sasee.com

You change your

life

by changing your

heart.

– Max Lucado


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Volume 13, Issue 2

February 2014

who’s who Publisher

Delores Blount

Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant

Editor

Leslie Moore

Account Executives

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12

16

Amanda Kennedy-Colie Dana Gondek Erica Schneider Gay Stackhouse Celia Wester

Art Director Taylor Nelson

Photography Director Patrick Sullivan

Graphic Artists Stephanie Holman Scott Konradt

Accounting Ronald Pacetti

24

37

38

Featured A Mother’s Heart by Kelly J. Stigliano . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Stress Management 101 by Rose Ann Sinay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 A Good (Enough) Moment by Diane Stark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Southern Snaps by Leslie Moore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 The Yoga Diaries by Mary Ann Crimi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Shocking Chakras by Diane DeVaughn Stokes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Sasee Kids: Filling Buckets with More than Sand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 En Garde: Lessons from the Fencing Strip by Selina Kaing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 My Closet Romantic by Jennifer Lynn Cary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

In This Issue Healing Hearts: Dr. Nathan Almeida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Read It! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Making Life Sweeter: Sue Townsend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Turning Back the Hands of Time: Dr. Ed O’Dell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 A Season of Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Making Your Celebration Special: Bonnie Brewer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Running from the Beginning – 17 years of Myrtle Beach’s 26.2: Janey Mitchell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 February Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

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Administrative Assistant Laura Lenhardt

Executive Publishers Jim Creel Bill Hennecy Tom 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. For subscription info, see page 33. Letters to the editor are welcome, but could be edited for length. Submissions of articles and art are welcome. Visit our website for details on submission. Sasee is a Strand Media Group, Inc. publication.

Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material, in part or in whole, prepared by Strand Media Group, Inc. and appearing within this publication is strictly prohibited. Title “Sasee” is registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.


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Pen & Brush readers’ comments I always locate a copy of Sasee as soon as I arrive at the beach, and I love the articles so very much. Sasee is like a good friend that I have found now, and I have decided to treat myself to a year’s subscription.

Please keep up the good work!

letter from the editor

During the Christmas season, I ate a lot of chocolate – so much, that I was almost tired of it. Like most of you, January brought a renewed resolve to eat healthy foods, which is something I mostly do anyway. But now it’s February. And we all know February opens the chocolate season that runs through Easter. By the time we eat all of our chocolate hearts, the chocolate bunnies will be lining the shelves of every store. I did read that raw cacao is very healthy and have found some recipes, but nothing sounds quite as tempting as a gooey, delicious chocolate truffle. During one of my interviews this month, I learned the perfect sparkling wine to pair with my chocolate – I met a very knowledgeable sommelier, Bonnie Brewer, who gave me lots of ideas for Valentine’s Day celebrations. Let me know if you try any of her suggestions. I also had a chance to visit the Lost at Sea Memorial in Murrells Inlet recently. For those of you who didn’t know about this moving tribute to those who died at sea, it is well worth the time to see it. It sits on the beautiful Murrells Inlet marsh and was established by the family of commercial fisherman, Johnny W. Brown, who was lost on April 2, 2005, when a 30-40 foot rogue wave hit his vessel. When you open this month’s Sasee, you may be a little surprised! All of your favorite things are still there, but we’ve updated our style, a sort of “magazine redecoration.” The Sasee team has had so much fun creating this new look, we hope you like it as much as we do.

we’d love to hear from you! Love what you’re reading? You can reach us by: Have suggestions? mail: P.O. Box 1389 Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 Let us know! phone: 843.626.8911 email: info@sasee.com web: www.sasee.com

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– Cheryl I am so glad I subscribed to your magazine. I just love it. I just read the quote on your cover, it read, “Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” It brought back the memory of my son’s birthday wishes. – Margie I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed Susan DeBow’s Sasee article “Just Blame It on Your Childhood.” I usually read this wonderful publication at home and am at liberty to vocalize my thoughts and emotions at will, but, this time, I was at the car repair shop stuffed in an uncomfortable chair, a sports channel going full blast and, of course, “gentlemen” all around. I was quietly and respectfully reading, showing only a glint of a smile now and again,

until i got to this article!

Well, I have to say that a myriad of snorts, chortles, guffaws, and other interesting sounds seemed to spontaneously appear out of the ether – it certainly wasn’t coming from me! Well, OK, it was. I laughed so hard “tears (almost) ran down my leg!” (Thank goodness for Poise pads!) Truly, my eyes watered and my nose ran. Damn that “waterproof mascara” that never holds up to the marketing claims. Well, needless to say I got a few “looks” from those intently watching the game, a few ignored me completely; but, a couple of the men off-handedly glanced my way as if to say “we’d love to know what’s so funny, but we’re afraid (translate: macho) to ask.” Keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll keep reading! – Margarete

Cover Artist Leslie Pinto

Waiting for You, by Leslie Pinto Leslie Pinto is an artist and graphic designer living in Miami Beach, Florida. Born in Cali, Columbia, the artist has always been fascinated by artistic expression, and was encouraged by her adoptive mother, Paulette Ghitis, to follow her love for art. In college, Leslie studied graphic design, and now works as a freelance artist, designer and illustrator. The artist feels art is like materializing your thoughts and emotions through a canvas. Each painting Leslie creates has a life of its own; the blank canvas becomes an expression of her unique ideas and emotions. A completed work gives the artist a great sense of satisfaction, and as time passes, Leslie’s art continues to evolve. A large gallery of the artist’s colorful work is available for purchase online at www.lesliepinto.com, her Etsy shop, www.etsy.com/shop/LesliePinto, on Facebook www.facebook.com/LesliePintoArt or Twitter https://twitter.com/lisy15.


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Dr. Nathan Almeida, Cardiologist with McLeod Loris Seacoast

Tell us a little about you and your family. I’m originally from Goa, India, but I now live in North Myrtle Beach. I am single, and my parents still live in India, but I do have a sister close by – she is a psychiatrist in Charlotte. The best thing about living in this area is the weather, plus I’ve found the people to be so warm and friendly. What common theme runs through the first visits with new patients? They are usually quite anxious, and don’t know what to expect. Most of the time, they imagine stuff that is much worse than the reality. I always try to reassure my patients, and explain as clearly as I can about their condition – usually we do run additional cardiac tests, so keeping patients in the loop about their diagnosis and prognosis is very important. Heart disease is a very real risk for women. One in three women will die from some form of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes (while mortality from breast cancer is about one in 30). Women are somewhat protected during their childbearing years, but after menopause, their risk is the same as men. Symptoms are atypical as well, and fewer women seek and get optimum treatment. What is the most important thing our readers can do to care for their hearts? Lifestyle changes make the most difference. About 80% of heart disease is caused by modifiable risk factors. A healthy diet, with an emphasis on fresh vegetables and fruits, moderate aerobic exercise (30 minutes of fast walking 5 days a week will make a big difference) and, of course, no smoking. Once a person has risk factors such high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol, compliance with medication, as well as good communication with their physician, is very important. Why did you choose McLeod Loris Seacoast? When I considered this program, I was impressed with their commitment to clinical excellence and good health in the community. I am very happy with the level of care we are able to offer our patients. How do you relax? I am just learning to golf – and I’m terrible! But, I am enjoying it. Several times a week I go to the gym, and I love to walk on the beach.

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Healing Hearts


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Not 2 Shabby Unique, Chic & Vintage Furnishings & Interior Décor

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Read It! Nicole Says…Read The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak by Nicole McManus 10

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Set in Nazi Germany, Liesel Meminger and her brother are on their way to Munich to begin their lives with their new foster family. When her brother dies, Liesel discovers a book and on a whim, she takes it. As she learns to adjust to life with Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Hans teaches Liesel the power of words, by teaching her to read and write, which causes her book-thieving career to thrive. Growing up in Nazi Germany is difficult, especially for families who hid Jewish people. Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak tells a softer side of German families during WWII. The main characters are poor and disagree with the Hitler ways of life, which causes a few severe punishments to be doled out, along the way. The writing style feels more like poetry than literature, due to the abundant details, foreshadowing and Death’s direct dialogue with readers. The


book starts out slow and can be quite grim for some readers, but before long the book takes on a life of its own. Readers will feel connected to Liesel, as though they share the same beating heart and they will wish for a few more details at the end. For fans of Young Adult books with deep subject matter or fans of books set in WWII, this story is a must read, especially for reading groups. I had heard about the hype surrounding this book, but I worried that it would be just like every other Young Adult WWII book. Then I opened the first page and was introduced to Liesel through Death’s eyes. I was caught off-guard and immediately wanted to know more. It was fascinating how human Death was in this Nicole McManus loves to read, to the story, how tired and lonely he is versus the typical gruepoint that she is sure she was born with a some figure. Despite the slow start and the 500 plus pages, I book in her hands. She writes book reviews in the hopes of helping others craved more of this book after I finished reading it. By find the magic in reading. Contact her at choosing Death as a narrator, Zusak gives readers a new ariesgrlreview.com. perspective on life. 11

Nicole McManus


Sue Townsend,

Chocolate and Coffee House The Exchange in Litchfield After 19 years in business, your shop has become a community for locals and visitors – why is that important? I believe that’s the key to my success – this is a welcoming place where people can stop and hang out. We do puzzles for the Waccamaw Library to see if they have all the pieces, and customers will stop and work on them off and on throughout the day. I see the same people, locals and visitors, year after year. I started making chocolate in 1988 in Hilton Head, and I liked it. When I decided I wanted to go to work for myself, I was living here, working in a coffee shop. So, since I knew coffee and chocolate, I decided to try doing it for myself. Favorite reaction from a customer when they taste your chocolate… Oh YUM! Best Valentine’s Day seller Truffles in a heart shaped box – it always amazes me that people come in and have no idea what their significant other likes! Luckily, I can usually figure it out, especially if they come in a lot. Why make chocolate and do you still eat it? How much coffee do you drink a day? I love making chocolate – it makes people happy. And, freshly made chocolate is better. I eat at least one piece of dark chocolate every single day. I never get tired of it. I also have a shot of espresso (with whipped cream!) every morning. Future plans? I guess I’ll make more chocolate! Valentine’s Day and Easter are busy times for me, plus we have the Taste of Pawleys coming up in the spring.

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Making Life Sweeter


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Voice

A Mother’s Heart by Kelly J. Stigliano

I couldn’t imagine her as a mother. She didn’t babysit when she was a teenager. She’d lived alone since college. She was a city girl. Somewhat of a party girl, actually; a working woman living in South Beach, Florida, and enjoying everything the city had to offer. When our daughter, Angelica, told us she had a new boyfriend, I smiled. “We’ve been down this road before,” I mused. “Nothing to get excited about.” However, when she said that this was the guy she intended to marry, she got my attention. “Well that’s new,” I exclaimed. “He will propose to me within six months,” she predicted. I smiled when, six months later, she called to say that she was engaged to be married. “That girl knows what she wants,” I told Jerry, my husband. We couldn’t imagine Angel living with anyone else. She liked to stay out late and sleep in late. Her priorities had been work, shoes, friends, her dog, clothes, the occasional meal and the beach. We knew her lifestyle didn’t leave much room for nurturing someone else. Further, her fiancé had never been married, and at 37, we felt sure that he too was set in his ways. We started praying for a successful marriage for them. A beautiful sunrise wedding on South Beach, prayers from family, and these two career people united to form a life together. Right on their schedule, they were expecting their first child by their first wedding anniversary. Jerry and I had a difficult time imagining them as parents. They lived a busy, self-interested life. They liked to go out at night with friends; they liked to sleep in; they coveted their quiet time; they just seemed an unlikely choice for parents. As our son-in-law looked for a new job, they began to talk about moving to Europe, and that made us nervous. Within a few months, he’d accepted a position with a firm in Hungary. They decided Angel would have the baby in America. As she entered her third trimester, he moved, and Jerry and I brought her to our home in northern Florida. We prepared the guest room for Angel and the baby. After a thorough cleaning, we rearranged and eliminated some furniture to free up space. Angel bought a fancy European baby cradle and put a changing table by the window. Her focus was on preparing for this new little life. She read everything she could get her hands on. She prepared for a drug-free birth at a midwifery. She ate right. She interviewed pediatricians. She watched home births on YouTube. She watched TLC’s The Baby Story every day. When little Fiona was ready to be born, Angel was ready, too. Labor began, and she notified her midwife and doula to get ready. She called her husband, who caught the next plane heading to Florida. When her pains were just minutes apart, we drove to the birthing center. Within four hours, tiny Fiona Elizabeth was born, and I was cutting the umbilical cord. She was healthy and perfect in every way. Four hours later, we were home and that evening the new daddy arrived. The new little family was together and bonding.

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Were they ready to be parents? I saw much growth in Angel, but was she prepared to give up all things personal (like sleep) and live 100% for her newborn? Within a few days, our son-in-law returned to his job in Europe, and Angel was the primary decision-maker for their new little family. Angel had not always handled tense moments well. When Jerry taught her to drive, he worried. “She panicked and just let go of the steering wheel,” he fretted. As a young adult, she totaled her car and became a city dweller. As her career advanced, she chose apartments in downtown Chattanooga, Knoxville, and South Beach, where she could walk, take public transportation and taxis to wherever she needed to go. Would she have the fortitude to be a good mommy? When Fiona was one week old, I heard Angel yell from her bedroom, “Mom!” Her voice sounded shaky and panicked. I ran down the hall toward her room and met her as she was rushing out, holding the baby closely to her chest. Fiona looked fine; Angel looked terrified. Her eyes were huge, and her face was red. I said, “What?” She couldn’t speak, but shook her head. “A cockroach?” She shook her head, no. “A spider?” She shook her head, no. “Snake!” was all she could say as she rushed past me. “No way!” I slammed her bedroom door shut, and we came out into the living room. “I was changing the baby,” she said, calming down a bit now. “I felt something hit my shoulder and wondered what the heck it was. Then I saw something black move beside the changing table. It must’ve fallen from the curtain rod. Mom, it almost fell on the baby!” I was furious. How dare you fall on my girls, I thought. I grabbed my husband’s Ping putter and Angel watched from the doorway, cradling Fiona safely in her arms, as I made that expensive golf club into the swiftest snake-killing machine ever seen! All my fears subsided that day. Did Angel drop the baby and run? No. Did she run out and leave the baby on the changing table? No, she did not! She displayed a mother’s heart, clearer than I could have imagined. Now I knew I would have nothing to worry about as Angel and Fiona moved to Hungary in just a few short months. Fiona Kelly J. Stigliano has been a speaker and was in capable, loving hands. writer for over 25 years. She and her husband, Jerry, enjoy life in Orange Park, Florida. To learn more, visit

Kelly J. Stigliano

www.kellystigliano.com.


Our Inventory is Always Changing . . . Stop in Frequently!

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Turning Back the Hands of Time

Dr. Ed O’Dell,

Medical Director of Genesis Cosmetic Laser Center What common theme runs through your first visits with new patients? The first visit, we discuss what patients believe they need. We educate them about various procedures and explain which ones would work best for them. Sometimes, a patient will think they need one thing and really need another! Once something women (and men) did in secret, now procedures to improve appearance are widely accepted – why is that? There is much more awareness today. Cosmetic surgery is much more affordable and safer – it’s not just for movie stars anymore. Some patients don’t want anyone to know, but most are thrilled to show off their new look. These procedures can be life changing. I have patients come back and tell me how much better they feel – for example, after our Signature Lipo Sculpting, patients are able to get back into more form fitting clothes and renew that hour glass figure that was lost years ago. Cosmetic Laser procedures do not require general anesthesia, and there is much less down time than with traditional plastic surgery. We use small instruments that go underneath the skin, and in most cases the results are just as good and much safer with less blood loss. One of the biggest problems we face as we age is fat loss in our face and hands. Today, we can harvest fat from problem areas and transfer it to these areas, giving patients back a youthful look and shape. This is one of our most popular procedures. What do you do for fun and relaxation? We have a beach house on the creek in Garden City. Here is where I find peace and fun! I love watching the sunset from our deck; it’s the most peaceful part of the day. I also love spending time with my family. My wife, Nancy, and I will have been married 37 years in April, and have five children and two grandchildren. Staying happily married is all about compromise – and a common faith. Genesis Cosmetic Laser Center is located at 1273 Celebration Blvd. Florence, S.C.; Call 843-669-2220 for more information.

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Voice

Stress Management 101 by Rose Ann Sinay

Stress management, my family would say, is a course I should take, not a subject I should talk about. For years, they have endured my last minute, stressfilled hustle that precedes every party, big project or serious responsibility. That last hour before the event is my “push time” – that short period that forces me to pull all the loose strings together and stop procrastinating. According to experts, constant anxiety is unhealthy and dangerous, but an occasional bout of “normal” life stress can be a learning tool. It seems that the brain can change gears and redirect thinking to another area of the complex organ, as panic pushes your envelope. Stress creates a different kind of learning and reaction that we’re all familiar with – that gut reaction/response – the Where did that come from? and How did I pull that off? moment. Unknowingly, I have relied on that little control toggle to finish important jobs, but I think it may be wearing out. I’m not moving quite as fast as I used to. My methodical, organized daughter has sent me many articles and books on “how to reduce stress in your life.” I’m sure she has a file with my name on it, just in case I lose her attempts at conversion. I have no idea where she came from – I’ve often wondered if she was switched at birth. I do admit that the older I get, the less effective my life-long coping techniques have become. With a holiday gathering at my home coming up, I decided it might be time to give that abundance of advice a try. On the morning of my party, I sat down with a check list of chores and a list of stress relievers. 1. Start the day with a nutritious breakfast. I prepared a healthy parfait of yogurt, berries and a sprinkling of whole grain granola. I ate every bite even though I dislike yogurt. It was healthier than the cinnamon bun that kept calling my name. 2. Keep it simple – use your crock pot. Instead of the ten-step, twenty ingredient recipes I normally use for a company meal, I threw a roast, chopped vegetables and spices into the seldom used electric pot. I set it on low and left it to turn my meal into something special. 3. Listen to relaxing music: I flipped through the music stations on my television and found that there really is a Zen music station. “You are listening to health and fitness,” the Zen channel information box assured me. I could feel the tension start to slip away. 4. Treat yourself to a massage. I started to cross this one off my list. It was a tip for those people who plan in advance (and probably don’t need this advice). But then, I remembered the back massager – one of those impulse buys that gets shoved in the back of the closet, never to be seen again. I found the bulky unit, strapped it to my back and lay face down on the floor. The black dog hair that tickled my nose reminded me that I should be vacuuming.

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After a few minutes, I was able to relax and concentrate on my list of chores. Why hadn’t I tried this before? I felt calm and sleepy. The door bell rang, jolting me out of the unexpected snooze. Maneuvering into a sitting position with the bulky machine on my back was no easy feat. All those soothed muscles instantly became strained and tight. Mercifully, the Fed Ex delivery man left my package on the step. When I checked the time on the clock I realized my peaceful interlude had lasted longer than I thought. I grabbed my list. 5. Chew gum. Ancient Greeks used and documented this trick. If one piece was good, two would be better I thought cramming the squares pieces into my mouth. I needed to hustle; I was behind schedule. I crossed out item number three (Zen music) and turned the channel to a heavy metal station. There’s nothing like that loud, grating sound to get me moving. 6. Practice Deep Breathing: Good – this was something I could do while I vacuumed. I took a big breath in as I pulled the vacuum toward me, and blew a whooshing breath out as I ran the machine over the rug. In between breaths, the gum in my mouth popped at a record pace. 7. Surround yourself with calming scents: I turned on the shower and sprayed the room with lavender scented perfume. I wasn’t sure if it was the fog of scented mist or the steam that blurred my eyes and filled my lungs. I coughed and swallowed the flavorless lump still in my mouth. My jaw ached from the intense chewing. After a power shower, a little make up and no time to dry my hair. I pulled a holiday dress from the closet and frantically searched for my new red shoes. What was a party without red shoes? Buttoning my dress, I ran through the house like a whirlwind, mentally checking off my list, repositioning flowers, lining up the glasses and hiding unnecessary clutter into the junk drawer. What in the world had possessed me to relax on the day of a party, I thought as Led Zeppelin thundered in my ears. This is just the way I function, I realized as I lit the candles on the table. I was wired; I was excited; I was ready. The phone rang. “I can’t talk,” I told my daughter. “I’m having a party, and my guests will be here any minute.” Rose Ann Sinay is a freelance writer “Slow down. You’re typing away in sunny North Carolina. stressed,” she said. “Have you Her articles/stories have been published in tried applying pressure to…” The Carolinas Today, The Oddville Press and “Yes,” I said as I firmly The Brunswick Beacon. applied pressure to the off button.

Rose Ann Sinay


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Voice “Nathan, be careful when you open that,” I cautioned my five-year-old son – three seconds too late. “Uh oh,” Nathan said, holding an empty chicken nugget box and pointing to his lunch, which was now on the floor. He grimaced. “Sorry, Mommy.” I sighed and bit my tongue. I’d just picked Nathan up from preschool and had a million errands to run. I knew he’d behave better on a full tummy, so we’d stopped for what I’d hoped would be a quick lunch. But a long line and a new cashier had dashed any hope of a speedy stop. And now I would have to wait in the line for a second time. “Are you mad, Mommy?” “No, I’m not mad,” I said in a voice that positively dripped with irritation. “Eat your apple slices, and I’ll be right back with more chicken.” After a ridiculously long wait, I finally got Nathan’s replacement food. “Thank you,” he said. “You’re my favorite Mommy in the whole world.” Despite my frustration, I couldn’t help smiling. “I’m your only Mommy.” He shrugged. “Even if I had another one, you’d still be my favorite.” I chuckled and munched on a now-cold French fry. “So how was school today?” I asked him. “We had to say what we were thankful for and Anthony said his shoes. Isn’t that silly, Mommy?” “Maybe he just got new shoes.” “He didn’t, Mom. He’s thankful for the same shoes he’s had all year.” “Maybe he really likes his shoes.” He sighed like I just wasn’t getting it. “Mom, they don’t even have Spider Man on them.” I shrugged and decided to change the subject. “So what did you say you were thankful for?” “You. I said I was thankful for you.” I smiled and felt my previous irritation melt away. “I’m thankful for you too, Baby.” “I like spending time with you, Mommy. After we get home, will you do a puzzle with me?” “Sure, but we have shopping to do first.” “Can I help you put the groceries away? Then we can do the puzzle sooner.” I nodded and kissed the top of his head. “That would be great, Bud.” He nodded back. “You’re lucky to have a little boy who is such a good helper.” “You’re right, Honey. I don’t know what I would do without you.” “I’m sorry to be eavesdropping, but I just couldn’t help myself,” the older woman at the next table said with a smile. “I’ve been listening to your interactions with your son, and it was just so sweet. I love how you talk to him.” My mouth dropped open. “Oh, well, thank you very much,” I stammered. “That is such a nice thing to say.” “I know parenting can be stressful, but all too often, I hear parents snap at their children and get impatient at the littlest things,” she said. “But you’re so good with him.” “Oh, well, you didn’t see what happened ten minutes ago,” I said. I gave her a quick rundown on the dropped chicken nuggets and my poorly concealed irritation. “So the truth is, you just caught me at a good moment,” I admitted with a shrug. I expected her to take back her compliment, but instead, her smile grew

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A Good (Enough) Moment by Diane Stark

even bigger. “We all have good moments and bad moments,” she said. “We all lose our cool sometimes. The trick is to make the most of the good moments and to put the bad ones behind you as quickly as possible.” I nodded. “That’s good advice. Thank you.” The woman smiled. “I’ve got another piece of advice for you: Don’t be so hard on yourself. I’m quite sure that your good moments as a mom far outweigh your bad ones.” I shrugged. “Well, I don’t know about that.” “It’s true,” she insisted and pointed at Nathan. “It’s obvious by the way he talks to you.” I thanked the woman again and left the restaurant. An hour later, Nathan and I were in the check-out line at the grocery store when a magazine cover caught my eye. On it were photos of various celebrities, along with a report card critiquing their parenting skills. The big winners were Sandra Bullock, Kate Middleton, and Jessica Simpson. According to the magazine, they are excellent mothers. The magazine went on to critique other celebrity moms in a more negative fashion. Several, they claimed, were allowing their children to be raised by nannies. Others, it said, were no fun or were poor disciplinarians. I don’t often feel sorry for celebrities, but in this case, I did. Being a mom is my most important job, and I can’t imagine how awful I would feel to have someone tell me I was doing it poorly. Especially on the cover of a magazine. I also questioned how the magazine writer could possibly know who was actually a good mom. Unless the writer was a fly on the wall in their home, how could they know what really went on? Maybe they just caught Jennifer Garner at a good moment. And Jennifer Lopez at a bad one. I remembered the advice from the lady at lunch. She said to make the most of the good moments and to let go of the bad ones. But even more importantly, she said that I needed to stop being so hard on myself. Nobody’s perfect. I’m not, and neither is anyone else, including those celebrity moms in the magazine. Being a mom is stressful enough without having other moms looking over our shoulders, critiquing our behavior. So the next time I see another mom having a bad moment, I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she’s a good mom who’s just having a tough day. And I’m going to try to do the same thing for myself. After all, even in my less-thanstellar parenting moments, I’m somebody’s favorite Mommy. And that makes every moment a Diane Stark is a wife and mom of five. She good one. loves to write about her family and her faith. Her essays have been published in over 20 Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

Diane Stark


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Martha Clarke: Learning to Live Again by Leslie Moore

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Martha Clarke lives a quiet, simple life. Originally from Florence, she is retired from a career in banking and lives in a charming beach home in Garden City, just a few steps from the mighty Atlantic, originally built by her mother and father-in-law. The house was moved from ocean front to its present location after Hurricane Hugo. Once a week, Martha joins a group of friends (the Mermaids) for an evening out, travels frequently to Florida to visit her daughter and family and enjoys visits with her stepsons and their families in Florence, as well as with her sister-inlaw, who is also one of her best friends. Her church family is an important, regular part of her days. It’s a good life, filled with love and opportunities for fun. As we sat down to begin our visit, Martha showed me photos of Bob, her husband and soul mate, a boat captain who ran a fishing charter business, his second career, one he started after he retired from the family business in Florence, and one he loved. For 26 years Martha and Bob spent their life together, travelling, shopping, hosting loud, love-filled family gatherings and


Southern Snaps just enjoying each other’s company. Until a beautiful day in May of 2006 turned deadly for Captain Bob, who died saving the men who had hired him to take them for a day of sport fishing in the Gulf Stream. A rogue wave ended the life of a good man, and the anchor that held a family together was gone. It is a day that Martha still can’t talk about without shedding tears. After her first marriage ended, Martha and her children, then 12 and 15, were living with her mother in Florence, and she decided to take them to the beach for the day, planning to meet a friend from work. Bob Clarke, also single, was there helping her friends move. He and Martha immediately connected, and they spent the day together playing on the beach with the children. “I had to go back to Florence that night, and before I got home, Bob had called me!” A year later, the couple was married. “We were meant to be together,” Martha remembers. Martha and Bob were from very similar backgrounds, both raised in Florence, but Bob was 16 years older. They even graduated from the same high school. Their blended family became an anchor for both families, and Bob’s children became very close to Martha. Bob eventually adopted Martha’s daughter Felisha. After Bob retired from running Southern Distributing Company, a business started by his father, the couple moved permanently to Garden City. They travelled the world, visiting Australia, New Zealand, Italy and destinations in the United States. Every February was spent in the Florida Keys, escaping the worst of the mild South Carolina winters. When grandchildren started arriving, the beach house became a favorite place for this new generation. Every year, the children would spend a part of the summer with Martha and Bob. Bob took them all fishing and taught them the ways of the sea. One of Felisha’s sons, Will Kingsley, wrote an essay for his high school English honors class that poignantly describes those idyllic days, and how hard it was to lose them.

started back in to shore. The wind started kicking up and the ride got bumpy for passengers and crew. A strange wave formed off of the starboard side of the boat, the men on the boat didn’t see it until it was too late, and when it hit, no one was wearing a life jacket. Everyone was knocked over to one side of the boat and when another wave hit, that’s all it took to capsize the boat. All seven men were able to get onto the hull of the boat and, while frightened, were sure they’d be rescued soon. But, a huge rogue wave changed everything, hitting the boat out of nowhere, after the tired, cold men had been in the water for a few hours. In the resulting confusion, one of the passengers was sent flying away from the boat, and Captain Bob went after him. The first mate was able to get a floatation device to them, but could not bring them back to the boat. They soon drifted out of sight of the rest of the group. Because of the rough seas, search parties missed the boat and passengers time and time again. Captain Bob and his passenger managed to stay afloat on a boat cushion throughout the long cold night, but sometime in the wee hours of the morning, Captain Bob’s heart stopped, and he slipped away. By 11:30 am the next day, the boat and passengers were found. Except for Captain Bob, they were all alive, though barely. “I cried for two years,” Martha told me. “I didn’t have very many women friends while Bob was alive. He and I spent all of our time together.” In addition to her grief, Martha had to learn how to manage all the details of life that Bob had handled. “It took months to get a death certificate,” she remembered. The months and years after Bob’s death saw Martha spiral into depression. She cut herself off from everything and everyone. “Luckily, Bob’s sister, my sister law, and my dear friend Sandra, who had been widowed within the last couple of years, took me by the hand and didn’t give up on me.” Sandra was an original member of the Mermaid group and convinced her to join them for their weekly evenings out. “We just talk and eat,” said Martha. “But, being with them got my mind off of my sadness.” Little by little, Martha began living again. She walks her dog Gracie every day and spends time with friends. In spite of some health difficulties, she hopes to one day see her grandchildren get married. “I don’t like to shop,” laughed Martha. “But I do love getting my hair and nails done!” Today, Martha’s beloved Bob’s name is engraved on the beautiful Lost at Sea Memorial in Murrells Inlet, where we met the day of this interview. Bob was also awarded a prestigious military award, The Legion of Honor Lifesaving Medallion, by The Chapel of Four Chaplains, for giving his life to save one of his passengers. A 2009 issue of National Geographic Adventure recounted the harrowing story. “My church, my pastor Reverend Ron Greiser, my family and the Murrells Inlet Mermaids – they saved me.”

“We were

meant

to be together”

Sunny, careless and free is how I felt in my early years when I went to my grandma’s beach house. As I rode down the narrow, straight road every summer, I listened to the winds whisper in my ear and the sun beams dance on my face. I smelled the sweet, marsh air sink down my throat and into my lungs. When I felt those sweet, little signs of the beach house, I knew in my heart that I was home…The beach house memories will never disappear in the dandelion particles that get lost in the field of shattered memories. The day Bob died dawned like any other. It was the captain’s first charter of the year, and the group was one Bob had taken out before. Bob’s boat, the Super Suds II was shipshape and ready for the trip. The five men from West Virginia, Captain Bob and his first mate had enjoyed a good day fishing and had

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Voice

The Yoga Diaries by Mary Ann Crimi

Day One Once upon a time, I had a job that required decision making and multitasking on a scale that prevented sleep. I thought a bit of mind control such as meditation might eliminate the mental treadmill of “shoulda/coulda.” One day, I ventured into the yoga class offered by my exercise club. You know, the fitness center that charges $75 a month and costs me $37.50 a workout. I informed the instructor that I was new to this art form. She informed me that the class was working in partners and as there was now an uneven number (me!), I could be her partner. She welcomed me to her mat in front of the yogettes. Yes, you heard correctly – in front of everyone. Then she ordered me into the Deputy Dawg position. I don’t know what that is, I said. She proceeded to try to fashion my unlithe, un-skinny body into a semblance of a yoga pose. After several attempts in which my body was non-compliant, she surrendered and sent me to where I belonged and preferred – the back of the room. Much later, lying on the mat and breathing deeply, I thought, this is pleasant. I left the class wanting to try yoga again, but not until the right time. Day Two Which turned out to be several decades later. A friend suggested that before trying another organized class, I could sample yoga in living room privacy on TV. I dressed appropriately, made sure my husband was golfing, and tuned in. The instructor smiled at me. I got into position, and then fell over into a heap. She was still in position. Okay, next position. I tried again. Heap number two. I discovered muscles new to my consciousness. Not good! Too advanced! Where is the yoga for the uninitiated, the old, the lame? And where is the mind-emptying meditation, which is really what I want. Day Three More decades pass. I retire. I sign up for yoga again. The instructor talks about a motivation for yoga – back pain. I look around; ladies with delicate wrinkles are nodding their heads. I find a back corner. The instructor leads us in exercises. A few times she says look left and point right. I get it backwards but she is

26

gentle in redirecting me. No one else notices. She says stand on one foot to be a mountain, and as all of us fall over, she adds, “or not.” I put my money down and commit to trying again. Day Four Today we learn that our mat is our sacred place. And yoga is all about me. I learn how to do the dog, correctly entitled Downward Dog. I can only do it for ten seconds. The instructor remarks that we are welcome to stand on our heads if we wish. Seriously? No one reacts. She adds, “Or not.” Time to turn off the lights and listen to the instructor’s soft voice encourage us to feel joy, to push away competing thoughts, to not make grocery lists in our mind, to not think about the fact that we have to pee or that our toes are cold. I manage to empty my multitasking mind one minute before the rolling of mats signals the end of another session of meaningfulness. Day Five This time I do not get my left and right confused. I do not think about peeing. Does this mean I am improving? Day Six We do a plank and hold. I impress myself here. Up on elbows and toes – no knees involved. Breathe out. Relax. Forty minutes later, balanced and stretched, we lie still. The instructor asks us to find our inner being, which may be smaller than a mustard seed. I think about “loving kindness” and resolve to treat all I meet, even those who I would classify as “jerks,” with kindness. I resolve not to be judgmental, but then I think how can I think that those who are behaving poorly are not jerks?


Maybe they have reasons for being jerks although I can find no reason for causing unpleasantness to others, like those jerks that angrily blow their horns at you if you make an unpremeditated right turn…. The instructor is reading a passage that asks us to look for “Vermont,” which means “god;” in “Vermont” we can find ourselves. “Vermont” resides in goodness and “Vermont” has mustard seeds. After a while, I realize the instructor may be saying “Brahmin” which makes more sense since I have been to Vermont, and although green and pretty, I have never had much of a good time there.

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Day Seven I have a new yoga instructor. She is a Carolina girl with a pony tail who gives us easy stretches followed by more challenging positions, all optional. It sounds so nice when she says, “bring your left foot forward under your chin,” like magnolia blossoms mixed with sweet tea. She doesn’t make us say “ohm” and hands out tissues before we practice alternate nostril breathing. During meditation, I spend a few minutes thinking about how to minimize contagion stress (a new medical term I have learned which I think has to do with husbands) and how strange it must look to see twenty motionless women on the floor with eyes closed; and then I slip away until someone sneezes, and I come back. From where? I don’t know. It wasn’t sleep, but it was nice. Day Eight Hands to heart. I breathe deep. The to-do list is gone. I think yoga is just what I need, and wish I had had it back in those days when I had had it – with my job, with my colleagues, with myself. We are reminded to be good to ourselves. And to others. And so . . . May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be healthy. May you be peaceful and at ease. May you be happy. (Meditation Prayer) Mary Ann Crimi has been writing since first grade but only recently has found time to revise. Retired and rested, she now meets her muse in coffee shops, at the beach, and on the porch on the border of North and South Carolina.

Mary Ann Crimi

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Voice

Shocking Chakras by Diane DeVaughn Stokes

Here is the scene: I am in Antigua on vacation this past November, and while my husband opts for another scuba diving adventure in very rough water that made me turn green before my body even hit the surf the day before, I chose a morning at the resort’s spa. I am not new to this treatment, as I love a good massage, like anyone else, but I rarely have one on vacation since I prefer to KNOW the facility and the person who will intimately be rubbing me from head to toe with hot oil. Duh! This time; however, a one-hour massage was included in the hotel package. No way was I going to miss out on it! A lovely woman named Kafi, who said she was the Aveda spa manager, greeted me. She was dressed in all those beautiful bright colors that you would

Joy, Expression and Imagination. Chi Chi said she would focus on these three chakras, but would awaken all the others as well.

expect someone from Antigua to wear; even though I later found out she was from

“Gosh”, I said. “All I wanted was a deep tissue massage.” She giggled and

Toronto! Ironically, she has a sister who lives in Myrtle Beach, and I know her from

said it all goes together. She explained to me that there are seven chakras that are

a former Zumba class – small world.

energy sources in our bodies, and some are stronger than others. It’s important to

Kafi gave me some forms to fill out about my health issues, medications I was taking, and what are areas of my body needed the most stress relief. Then she

keep the energy flowing in all of them to prevent illness. “Okay,” I said. “Let’s get on with the massage!” She then told me to

showed me around the elegant facility and introduced me to Chi Chi who she said

take off my clothes, get under the sheet face down, and she would be back in

gave the best deep tissue massage in Antigua.

a moment.

As Chi Chi closed the door to the treatment room, there were seven

Chi Chi first rubbed her hands with different oils and held them under

cards lying on the massage table face up with words written on them. She asked

my nose to see which one best awakened my senses. After I chose one that was

me to pick three that best described me, and how I was feeling today. She said she

very herb-like she began her magic with hands that were ordained by God to do

wanted to check my chakras. I had never done this before so I was a little anxious

exactly this, I thought. She was highly trained and gifted in deep tissue work. First

that this was going to be some kind of voo-doo stuff, but I humored her and went

she worked my legs, then arms, then my back, shoulders, neck and head, rubbing

along with it. The only time I ever heard this word “chakra” it was associated with

the oil into my scalp, so that my hair was spiked like David Bowie’s when she fin-

yoga, something I have yet to do, but it is on my bucket list. Imagination,

ished. She said she was sensing a blue hue coming from my body. That was weird

Abundance, Survival, Expression, Confidence, Joy and Bliss were all staring me in

but accurate because in order to relax, I was recalling the ripples in the beautiful

the face, but so as to not waste too much of my precious spa time I quickly chose

clear blue ocean water surrounding this island. Then, just like a greasy hamburger

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Palmetto Ace Home Center in a frying pan, I was asked to turn over for the frontal massage. Chi Chi worked every knot out of my body. It was hands down the best deep tissue massage I have ever had. I was spent, to use a Danielle Steele term, even though I wasn’t quite as spent as Ms. Steele’s characters, if you know what I mean. What was most amazing about this chakra stuff was that as Chi Chi was leaving the room for me to get dressed; she bent down and whispered in my ear that my fifth chakra was by far my strongest. She explained that it is all about the throat, the center of communication, self-expression and the ability to speak the truth. It was my sacred area and it was represented by 16 turquoise blue petals on

this Valentine’s Day

the chakra chart, hence her sense of blue during the massage. She said I should nurture it. Little did she know I’d be lost without it! Chi Chi continued, saying that the fourth chakra was my second strongest. It is all about the heart and the ability to love. Wow. Now she really had my

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attention. This woman did not know me or that I talk for a living. She did not know that I am incredibly outspoken, even though I am sure she could tell by the way I questioned the card-choosing process one-hour prior. But without my throat, my TV and Radio career would never have happened. And I have always felt that my ability to love far exceeded the norm. I was now convinced that Chi Chi was a true professional. The entire massage experience was simply outstanding, and I now believe there is something real about this chakra stuff! As I was leaving the spa, thanking and tipping Chi Chi profusely, I told her I wanted to learn more about chakras. She gave me a brochure that I sat and read by the pool as I waited for my husband, Chuck, to return from scuba diving. Little did I know that there was even a chakra associated with sexuality? I wondered if I came in third, or yikes, maybe even last, in my personal chakra prospectus. How embarrassing would that be? I guess I better figure out how to buff THAT chakra before it’s too late!

Diane DeVaughn Stokes Diane is President of Stages Video Productions in Myrtle Beach, Host and Producer of “Inside Out” on HTC Channel 4 and Host of “Diane At Six” on EASY Radio.

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Sasee Kids

Teaching your child how to give and receive love is one of life’s most important lessons. A kind child is a happy child.

Each of us has an invisible bucket, waiting to be filled with positive emotions. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When it’s empty, we feel awful. Yet most children (and many adults) don’t realize the importance of having a full bucket throughout the day. How much better do we all feel after receiving a hug, a smile or a friendly wave? When your bucket is empty, it contains few, if any, positive thoughts or feelings. Empty buckets can easily lead to negative emotions and even physical illness. Sasee has a few suggestions to help you keep your child’s emotional bucket filled.

Parents and grandparents can lead by example. The To learn more about “bucket filling” visit www.bucknext time you and your little one are grocery shopping, let the person in line behind you struggling with two or three heavy items in their hands, move ahead of you. Buy a cup of coffee for someone you don’t know at the local coffee shop. There are many small ways to show kindness to others – ask your little one to help think of some. Small, random acts of kindness will teach your child the joy of giving.

etfillers101.com. There are several great books to get

you started listed on this site, as well as other resources guiding you and your little ones to daily happiness.

Help your little one learn to fill the emotional

buckets of their peers. If they tell you about a child at school who is sad, suggest they draw them a picture or simply sit beside them at lunch. Including a solitary child in a game at recess may brighten the life of a lonely child. Again, encourage your little bucketfiller to come up with their own unique kind and loving ideas.

On Valentine’s Day, be sure your little one gives a

card to every child in his or her class. Teaching a child loving kindness is a gift they will carry with them the rest of their lives.

From Left to Right: Fill a Bucket by Carol McCloud and Katherine Martin, M.A. Illustrated by David Messing, Bucket Filling from A to Z: The Key to Being Happy by Carol McCloud and Caryn Butzke Illustrated by Glenn Zimmer, Growing Up with a Bucket Full of Happiness: Three Rules for a Happier Life By Carol McCloud Illustrated by Penny Weber, and Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids By Carol McCloud Illustrated by David Messing.


Sasee Style

It’s time to think about spring! Sunshine, chirping birds and

blossoming flowers will soon take the place of these recent cold, dreary, overcast days. With a new season comes a new palette of color that will encompass the world fashion, interior design, print, and commerce. Every year experts from all over E xecutive Director Leatrice Eiseman of the Pan- A t the forefront of these distinctive hues is the the world come together to discuss tone Color Institute® explains the Spring 2014 pal- highly anticipated Pantone Color of the Year. This ette: “This season, consumers are looking for year it is the delicate and blissful purple – Radiant the theory of color and work joint- a state of thoughtful, emotional and artistic Orchid. Pantone® has described it as a “expressive, ly to produce a palette for each equilibrium. While this need for stability is creative and embracing purple” that “emanates great reflected in the composition of the palette, the joy, love and health.” Whatever your style, there is a season that they feel best symbol- inherent versatility of the individual colors al- good chance that this influential color will pop into izes the mood and direction of our lows for experimentation with new looks and your wardrobe or grace your interiors in some fashion over the coming year. color combinations.” planet. This year, a blend of energetic bolds and calming pastels was chosen to represent 2014.


Voice

En Garde: Lessons from the Fencing Strip by Selina Kaing

Google the word “fencing” and anything from Home Depot ads to garden installation will most likely pop up. So it’s easy to forgive someone for thinking that the only workout involved in fencing is the amount of force it takes to wield an auger to dig postholes. But look beyond the search results and you might find yourself in the same position I was in four years ago when I first typed in those fateful words: pudgy, bored with the treadmill, and looking for something – anything – that might break me out of my monotonous routine in fitness and, although I didn’t realize it at the time, my life. I left for college when I was 18 and have been on the move ever since – Boston, Connecticut, a stint in England, back to California for a bit, and then, most bewilderingly to my Cambodian parents – Ohio. “Is that in California?” My mother’s geographic anchors could mostly be summed up as if it’s not in Asia, it must be in California. “They have a really good college football team.” This observation came from my father who inexplicably fell in love with the sport after coming to the U.S. I made a mental note to myself that the stereotype about men and football indeed transcended cultural barriers. As the spate of Cambodian words flowed incomprehensibly around me, my mother finally turned and uttered the dreaded question: “Why do you want to leave?” Why indeed? I pondered that even as I repacked the meager belongings I had brought back with me from England. It continued to haunt me as I started my job in Columbus and tried to settle in to a new city and rhythm. And as the months passed and a bitter Midwest winter set in, so did the pounds and a vague sense of tedium that I couldn’t seem to shake. It was, strangely enough, a local community center’s teen fitness catalog that started me down a path towards donning fencing whites (maybe in a size bigger than I would have liked at the time) and wielding a foil. As I leafed through the pages and read the description for a children’s introductory series, I

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wondered idly to myself if there were classes for adults – after all, whoever heard of fencing in Ohio? Quite a few people as it turned out. Although I didn’t know it at the time, Ohio claimed three active divisions under the U.S. Fencing Association, was home to a highly competitive fencing competition as part of the iconic Arnold (as in Schwarzenegger) Sports Festival and was no stranger to creating national and Olympic champions. But I would only discover this later. For now, learning to fence was like starting any other exercise regimen – uncomfortable, slightly humbling and somehow obligatory. Even as I struggled to master a whole new way for my muscles to move – first position, en garde, lunge – I still felt that sense of detachment, an almost clinical distance between body and mind that left me wondering if it was back to the treadmill for me after all. When the day of the last lesson dawned, I felt a mingled sense of disappointment and relief. As I trudged into the club, my instructor handed me an awkward bundle of clothes: “Suit up.” Fencing equipment can be intimidating. But as I donned everything from my chest protector and plastron to my jacket and lamé, I began to feel the first stirrings of excitement penetrate the fogginess that had lately come to rule my life. As the heavy gear settled on my ample frame, I felt every pound of it – a comfortable weight that somehow anchored me to the here and now.


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Feeling slightly reassured, I picked up my foil and took up first position on the fencing strip, saluting my opponent with what I fervently hoped was a graceful swish. As I struggled to pull my mask on one-handed, the referee rapped out his commands. “En garde.” I assumed my guard stance. “Prêt.” Was I ready for this? Did chubby Asian girls from Southern California really fence? “Allez.” Before I could even think, my feet leapt forward on their own. The world behind my mask narrowed to the 14 meter length of the fencing strip and the blade in my opponent’s hand. Advance, attack, parry riposte, recover, retreat. When I look back on my first bout, I still laugh a little at how awkward and foolish I felt executing each movement. But here’s the crazy part – as I lurched and stumbled my way through each lunge, each extension, each and every single step I took on that strip – I realized it was the first time in a long time that I had done anything that would leave me less than perfect, cool or composed. It is hard, even now, to acknowledge to myself that my dissatisfaction with life stemmed from the fact that I had been afraid to do anything to change it. Good schools, good jobs, nice apartment – I liked how my life looked on the outside and from a distance. But the truth was that I let myself believe that the shiny surface mattered more than having the tough conversations and confrontations that make life, well, something to fight for. I moved away every time things got tough – family, boyfriends, bad bosses or anything else I didn’t want to face. In my desire to avoid messiness, I somehow ended up with a veneer. As funny as it sounds, stepping onto that strip and flailing about actually helped me take control of my actions and realize that every move I made, no matter how awkward or clumsy, had to be mine. I lost that first bout. But as the extra pounds melted away to reveal muscles and the random jabs of my foil evolved Selina Kaing is a closet writer who squeezes into something resembling in a fencing bout or two in between her day proper blade work, I realized job in the tech sector. She currently lives in Northern California. that the score didn’t really mean all that much – it was showing up for the fight that mattered.

Selina Kaing

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33


Voice

My Closet Romantic by Jennifer Lynn Cary

I fell in love. I hadn’t planned on it. In fact, I’d been too busy for the notion to cross my mind. Blind-sided, out of the blue and after more than a decade of marriage, I fell in love that August back in 1992. Two years before, I had taken a plunge that affected everyone in our fami-

before he reached the door. The next thing I remember is the feel of warm breath on my neck as an

ly. I returned to school to get my teaching certificate. My husband Phil had been supportive if not enthusiastic. Our kids learned to fend for themselves more that

arm snaked its way around my waist. I rolled into the embrace and found myself in

they should have – like even doing their own laundry. I decided if they’d keep the

the arms of the dearest man I know. My husband.

dishes done and the living room presentable, I could live without worrying about

“What about the kids? Where are they?”

their bedrooms. We picked our battles and set our priorities because life as we

“Shhh, I gave them away. Come’mere.”

knew it was over. We were in survival mode.

I’ve got to say, the man knows how to make a girl feel good. When we got

Though I should have had only a semester of student teaching to go to

up, though, I realized he had more planned. The house was too quiet.

finish up, a twelve year absence from academia found a lot had changed. Going full

So for real, where are the kids?”

time, even through the summers, it took two and a half years to complete my

“They’re at your mother’s for the weekend. Get dressed, and we can

course work. Of course, the change from Secondary Education to Elementary Ed proved the biggest reason.

go eat.” That was the beginning. I didn’t cook or clean once the whole time. We

As of that fateful August, I’d completed everything but the student teach-

saw three movies. We went bowling. He sat with me through a manicure and pedi-

ing block. I looked forward to two weeks off before the first of those classes would

cure. Phil knew I’d need a more professional image for student teaching so he took

start. Two weeks of sleeping in until seven, of reading something for pure pleasure,

me shopping and to get my hair done. Can you blame me for falling for the guy?

of enjoying my family.

I wept from sheer happiness many times that weekend. I’d been mentally

Two blissful weeks. Sigh.

and emotionally exhausted. To fully understand you need to know a few things.

Then I fell in love.

We have four children, three daughters and a son. Our son, Ian, was born with cys-

I remember pulling into our driveway that day after my last class. August

tic fibrosis necessitating many hospitalizations. That usually meant I lived at the

in Phoenix is sort of like sitting in a sauna wrapped in a wool blanket. Monsoons

hospital with him. However, when I was in school, I commuted between the hos-

either fill the overheated air with humidity or drop wild storms with flash flood

pital and school and slept in his room at night. If one of the kids wasn’t feeling well

warnings down on the valley granting a temporary cooling. This day was hot and

enough for school themselves, I brought them with me and they curled up with a

muggy hosting temperatures in the one hundred fifteen degree range. I gathered

pillow and blanket in the corner of my class. That way I could keep an eye on them

my books from the car and dropped them inside the front door, made a beeline to

and stay on top of my studies. All this, while Phil had his own lawn service, work-

my bedroom and peeled out of my clothes, finally donning a giant T-shirt. After

ing long hours from the first rays of early morning until after the sun went down,

flipping the ceiling fan on high, I inhaled a glass of ice water and collapsed on our

just to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. We rarely had time to

bed just as Phil came into the room.

speak let alone enjoy each other’s company.

“I’m going to the grocery, taking the kids with me. Be back in a bit.” I may have mumbled or waved my hand at him. All I know is I was out

34

That should have been my tip-off. Phil was home that Friday, in the middle of the day, when I dragged in. He’d planned this all out just to give me some


pampering and let me know he was proud of me. Oh, and I should mention, he isn’t one for going to the movies. He’d rather wait until they show up on TV. He also isn’t one to sit around while I get my hair done or go shopping in the ladies department. And a mani/pedi? He still can’t see the need. Yet he did all this for me. It was a great lesson. Ever since, he’s been known as “my closet romantic.” Seriously, if you ask him about the difference between weddings and funerals, he’d

Valentines For Your Sweetie

say there isn’t any! It’s the only time you’ll catch him in a suit and tie, if he has to. Phil collects Grumpy memorabilia – T-shirts, hats and mugs – calling the little curmudgeon of seven dwarfs fame his mentor. In fact, when Phil had a heart attack a few years ago, our pastor’s daughter wanted to request prayer for him, but couldn’t remember his real name. She was afraid she’d be laughed at for asking prayer for “Grumpy,” so she just renamed him “Fred.” But behind all the bluster and lack of mushy sweet-nothings, my Phil is a man of action who demonstrates his caring to those he loves. To him, actions

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speak louder and are more honest. As the years pass, I’m learning to hear his actions more clearly. I can’t say that is the last time I fell in love. It can’t be when I’m married to Phil. If I start to doubt because I’m not hearing the words, all I have to do is watch the actions. I’ve learned to see a lot of love in the little things. Phil may not keep the florists in business, but he grows his own roses and leaves me hand-cut bouquets. I never know when he will surprise me with unexpected gifts or thoughtful gestures. He doesn’t like holidays dictating what he should do. Instead, he chooses his time to show his affections. Just because. I am so blessed. His example encourages me to be a better person. So you might ask, “Is he perfect?” Not on your life. After thirty-two years we still don’t see eye to eye at times, and I don’t think I’ll ever get him to put his dirty socks in the hamper. But he is my grumpy closet romantic and I wouldn’t trade him for anything. Don’t even ask.

Jennifer Lynn Cary Jennifer Lynn Cary has written for various anthologies including The One Year Life Verse Devotional and Christmas Miracles. She and her husband still live in Phoenix and are now grandparents.

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March 22, 2014 Save the Date

6th Annual

Get your group of friends together and be part of one of the Lowcountry’s most anticipated events

$125 per person

Groups of 8, 10 or 12 are encouraged to call and pre-register before February 10, 2014 as seating is limited to only 16 homes. Formal reservations will be taken on Tuesday, Februrary 18, 2014.

Reservations for Dinner Parties February 18, 2014 @ 11 am Strand Media Group 3955 Hwy 17 Bypass, Suite D Murrells Inlet, SC Only one representative from each group need attend Complete group payment due at registration

The event pairs talented chefs with gracious hosts in some of the most beautifully decorated and interesting homes in the Lowcountry of Georgetown.

More Information For more information or to volunteer as a host for this event please contact: Delores Blount, Executive Director Call 843-626-8911 or e-mail dblount@pawleysmusic.com Presented by

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Making Your Celebration Special

Bonnie Brewer, Sommelier

Tell us a little about yourself. I now live in Pawleys Island, and moved here from Washington D.C., where I worked for a Senator and in the White House. They were exciting jobs, but after ten years, I took another job with a young congressman who had been an intern for us – it was a bad decision and helped me realize it was time for a new career. I reinvented myself as an events planner, but after a number of years, I realized I was more into wine. There weren’t many women in the wine business at that time. It was the ’80s and California wine was just coming into its own. I went to work for Grateful Palate Importers and would take wine distributors to Australia every year – I traveled across country regularly and met amazing winemakers and wine dignitaries from all over the world – I learned so much. But, the 9-11 attack changed all of that. After the attack, I didn’t want to travel as much – I worried I wouldn’t be able to get home if I was out of the country. My mother lived here and needed me, so I decided to reinvent myself once again. When I first moved to Pawleys Island, I worked for a fine dining restaurant, but soon Grateful Palate asked me to come back, and I did – with the understanding that I wasn’t going to move. Then, the recession came and, once again, I was looking for something to do. Now, I work for Pawleys Island Wine & Spirits doing their buying and wine tastings. Like me, wine is something that is always changing. There is always more to learn about wine. What is the best wine to drink with chocolate? For milk chocolate, or any plain chocolate, I would choose a Ruby Port. It is younger with brighter fruit. For chocolate with more layers, I would choose a Tawny Port; it has a little wood and is aged. Of course, if you want a red wine, a Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah would work with their berry, cherry and plum nuances. What is a good choice of champagne for a Valentine’s Day celebration? Bubbles go with everything, whether a French champagne or another regions’ sparkling wine! The French growers are always surprised that we use champagne as a special occasion drink when it goes so well with most every food and event. Rosa Regale, from the Brachetto grape, is the perfect sparkling wine for chocolate or for an aperitif, and it is very reasonably priced. We even have champagne for singles – Bitch Bubbly! It is a funny name, but is actually very good. Meet Bonnie and learn more about wine at Pawleys Island Wine & Spirits, at 10135 Ocean Hwy. in Pawleys Island.

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Running from the Beginning – 17 years of Myrtle Beach’s 26.2

Janey Mitchell Tell us a little about yourself. My husband, Mike, and I have been married for 28 years and have two children; Matthew is 22 and Michelle is 27. Matthew works as a tennis pro at the Waccamaw Regional Tennis Center at Stables Park, and Michelle is finishing up her PhD in Physical Therapy. We moved to Murrells Inlet from Cumberland, Maryland, 22 year ago, and we love it. Fifteen years ago, we opened Fox’s Den Pizza, a lifelong dream of Mike’s. How long have you been running? I started 18 years ago to lose weight, I had young children, and this was something I could do without leaving them with a babysitter. When I heard about the very first Myrtle Beach Marathon, I thought, why not try it? It was right here at home, I didn’t have to travel, and it was the perfect race for me. I’ve run it every year since. The year it was cancelled due to the snow, my friends and I later ran the marathon in Wilmington – we did not want to waste all of that training! I train with the same group of women every year. Two of us are doing the full marathon and five are doing the half this year. We have run most of the races around here, and I’ve done the Kiawah Marathon. Every Saturday morning we meet for a training run and then go out for coffee. Best running story I have seen a lot of crazy things through the years! Last year, a man ran in military fatigues carrying a huge American flag. He was quite a large man – I don’t know how he did it. Part of the fun of racing is talking to other runners, I love hearing everyone’s stories. What do you do to prevent injury? I’m 52 and (knock on wood) I’ve never been injured. I do eat a healthy diet – I rarely eat meat and eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits. Future plans? I’ll keep running!

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SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2014 4:00 PM THE MUSIC & ARTS CENTER AT MYRTLE BEACH HIGH SCHOOL Internationally-acclaimed mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chรกvez joins the Long Bay Symphony and a host of guest singers and dancers for a grand theatrical experience including beloved arias, ensemble numbers, ballet scenes and instrumental showpieces from popular operas.

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Winter Teas at Brookgreen Gardens, Saturdays and Sundays, seatings at 4 pm, members $23, non-members $30, reservations are required. For more info, call 843-235-6016 or visit www.brookgreen.org.

22nd Annual Myrtle Beach Stamp and Postcard Show, Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Myrtle Beach (formerly Holiday Inn West). Sat. 10 am-5 pm, Sun. 10 am-4 pm, free admission and appraisals. For more info, call 843-347-0087 or e-mail lilfort@sccoast.net.

20th Annual Horry County Museum Quilt Gala, 10 am-4 pm, Ocean Lakes Campground Recreation Center. For more info, call 843-915-5320 or visit www.horrycountymuseum.org.

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Dark Corners: Appalachian Ballads, exhibit of Julyan Davis paintings, The Myrtle Beach Art Museum, 3100 S. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach. For more info, call 843-238-3510 or visit www.myrtlebeachartmuseum.org.

FPC Concert Series, 1 pm, First Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach, Ji-Yong, Piano. For more info, call 843-448-4496 or visit www.myrtlebeachpresbyterianchurch.org.

Monty Python’s SpamALot, Theatre of the Republic, Conway. For more info, call 843-488-0821, www.theatreoftherepublic.com.

Chick-fil-A at Murrells Inlet Family Night, 5-8 pm, face painter, photo booth, games, balloon animals, magician, Icedream bar, and more! For more info, call 843-655-9955 or visit www.facebook.com/chickfilamurrellsinlet.

Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon Weekend, events for all ages. For more info, call 843-293-RACE or visit www.mbmarathon.com.

Winyah Bay Heritage Festival, Front St., Georgetown. For more info, call 843-833-9919 or visit www.winyahbayfestival.org.

Chocolate and Champagne for the Creatures, to benefit SC-CARES animal rescue. 5-9 pm, The Cooper House, 6011 Dick Pond Rd in Socastee, $30 per person or $50 per couple. For more info, call 843-546-7893 or visit www.sc-cares.org.

Moveable Feast (change to Saturday), Cokie Roberts discusses, Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation, Pawleys Plantation, 11 am, $25, proceeds benefit the Waccamaw Library. For more info, call 843-235-9600 or visit www.classatpawleys.com.

Princess Gala to benefit American Red Cross, themed breakfast, parade through the Market Common, red carpet entrance to princess movie, princess costume required. For more info, call 843-477-0020.


Dr. Amit Pande Cardiology

Dr. Nathan Almeida Cardiology

Dr. Rajesh Malik Electrophysiology

Dr. Gavin Leask Cardiology

As part of McLeod Health,

local heart care is stronger than ever. Serving North Myrtle Beach and Surrounding Areas For the most comprehensive and sophisticated cardiac care in your region, turn to the local physicians of Pee Dee Cardiology. Part of McLeod Physician Associates, our physicians provide more than 25 years of experience diagnosing and treating heart conditions with expertise and compassion. And Pee Dee Cardiology has now expanded its expert cardiac services at McLeod Seacoast to include electrophysiology care. As a Board Certified Electrophysiologist, Dr. Malik offers the rare speciality in evaluating abnormalities of heart rhythms and keeping this vital organ’s electrical circuitry functioning. McLeod Health, your region’s largest healthcare team, provides patients with access to top-ranked and nationally-recognized physicians and surgeons, plus leading edge technology for the highest quality and most innovative treatments. Put your heart in the most capable and expert hands...McLeod.

McLeod Heart & Vascular Institute McLeodHeart.org

pee dee cardiology

For appointments call 800-299-5689 3485 Mitchell St., Loris, SC 29569 | 3980 Highway 9 E, Suite 220, Little River, SC 29566 51436-SeacoastHeartDoctors 9x10.125.indd 1

1/16/14 4:18 PM

Sasee February 2014  

"Change of Heart" Volume 13, Issue 2

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