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Sometimes your only available transportation is a
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January 2014 Volume 13, Issue 1
Joy Conquers Fear
Publisher Delores Blount Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant Editor Leslie Moore Account Executives Amanda Kennedy-Colie Erica Schneider Gay Stackhouse Celia Wester Art Director Taylor Nelson Photography Director Patrick Sullivan Graphic Artists Stephanie Holman Scott Konradt Accounting Ronald Pacetti Administrative Assistant Barbara J. Leonard Executive Publishers Jim Creel Bill Hennecy Tom Rogers
by Kim Seeley
by Monica A. Andermann
Hive Mentality by Tammie Painter
Southern Snaps by Connie Barnard
Sasee Kids Get Healthy by Leslie Moore
More than Words by Diane Stark
Mommy Mush Brain by Melissa Face
My Mother’s Daughter by Rose Ann Sinay
The Newcomers Notebook by Phil La Borie
The Other “M” Word by Linda O’Connell
Young at “Art”
by Diane DeVaughn Stokes
PO Box 1389 Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 fax 843-626-6452 • phone 843-626-8911 www.sasee.com • email@example.com Sasee is published monthly and distributed free along the Grand Strand. For subscription info, see page 37. 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.
I n T h is I ssue Read It! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Past, Present and Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12, 16, 22, 26 Scoop on the Strand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
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contributing writers letter from the editor I look forward to January and the “blank slate” feel of a new year. And, while I don’t usually make resolutions, I do feel a renewed sense of purpose and excitement thinking about the possibilities that lie ahead. As a woman planted firmly in middle age, I’m not sure if aging has made me wiser, but it has certainly given me the courage to ask for, and expect, life to be fun and go well for me. Age has also given me the ability to shrug off most of what I used to think were problems; my blessings far outweigh the troubles that come and go in life. And so, armed with a great attitude and high expectations, I believe this will be my best year ever – and I wish the same for you, too. All of us are looking forward to another exciting year for Sasee! We hear your comments about how much you enjoy our magazine, and these words motivate the Sasee staff to develop new and better content to inspire and entertain you. This month, you’ll find narratives crafted by your favorite writers, interviews with some of the area’s most fascinating women and much more. Thank you, dear readers, for making us a part of your lives – let’s write on that blank slate together and make 2014 a year to remember!
Melissa Face lives in Virginia with her husband and son. Her stories and essays have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort. E-mail Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org. Phil La Borie is a recent transplant to the Grand Strand; in a former life he was a Connecticut Yankee. Phil has a long history as a writer/creative director in the ad biz, has written and directed numerous film and video projects and is also an artist/illustrator. He can be reached at email@example.com. Nicole McManus has always loved to read, to the point that she is sure she was born with a book in her hands. This reader and writer loves the thrilling adventures that books give readers. Therefore, she writes book reviews, in hopes of helping others discover the magic that can be found through reading. Contact her at http://ariesgrlreview.com. Linda O’Connell is an accomplished writer and teacher from St. Louis, Missouri. A positive thinker, she writes from the heart and finds humor in everyday situations. Linda enjoys a hearty laugh, dark chocolate and walking on the beach. She blogs at http://lindaoconnell.blogspot.com.
Tammie Painter is the author of Going Native: Small Steps to a Healthy Garden. She wrangles bees and steals their honey in Portland, Oregon.
She Found Hope Again, by Shiloh Sophia Shiloh Sophia McCloud, has dedicated the past seventeen years of her life to the study and practice of art as a spiritual discipline as well as to helping equip women with the tools and understanding to develop their own creative potential. Shiloh’s artwork is dedicated to providing healing images of women and family. As a leader in helping to build a transformational art movement, Shiloh lives and teaches a philosophy that all art forms are tools for individual, social and spiritual transformation. Thousands of women have deepened in their creative practice through Shiloh’s illustrated Color of Woman journals and her workshops. Shiloh is the founder of Cosmic Cowgirls Ink, LLC, a woman and girl owned university publishing company, magazine and membership community that now produces five Color of Woman journals with dozens more on the way. Shiloh is also the founder of Palm of Her Hand, (501c3 pending) which collaborates with artists, poets and musicians to create events and products. Shiloh’s paintings are internationally collected and her product line is represented at galleries and fine shops throughout the Unites States. A California native, the artist’s gallery is located in Healdsburg, California. To learn more, visit www.shilohsophiastudios.com, www.shilohsophiagallery.com, or find Artist Shiloh Sophia on Facebook.
Monica A. Andermann lives on Long Island with her husband Bill and their latest addition, a kitten named Samson. Weather permitting, she’s on her deck now, writing. Connie Barnard traveled the world as a military wife and taught high school and college composition for over 30 years. She has been a regular contributor to Sasee since its first issue in 2002.
Kim Seeley, a former librarian and English teacher, lives with her husband, Wayne, in Wakefield, Virginia. Her most recent story, “Amanda’s Jonquils,” can be found in Chicken Soup: Messages from Heaven. She loves to read, play the piano, travel and spend time with her grandson, Evan. Rose Ann Sinay lives in North Carolina with her husband and dog where she spends her time writing. Her children graciously continue to provide her with moments worth preserving. Diane Stark is a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom and freelance writer. Her work has been published in 16 Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, A Cup of Comfort for Christian Women and dozens of magazines. She loves to write about the important things in life: her family and her faith. She can be reached at DianeStark19@yahoo.com. Diane DeVaughn Stokes is the President of Stages Video Productions, Host and Producer for the TV show “Inside Out” as seen on HTC, and “Diane on Six” heard on EASY radio. She performs in local theater and loves to travel with her husband, Chuck. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Joy Conquers Fear by Kim Seeley
It has been a little more than ten years now since the automobile accident that claimed my younger daughter’s life. She was vibrant, intelligent, involved and beautiful. She met each morning with a smile on her face. I never had to wake her on a school morning. There were none of those “dragging the teen out of the bed” scenarios with Amanda. She was organized, efficient and dedicated. She had represented her high school at Girl’s State, at the Governor’s Ball and in Washington, D.C. at various conferences. She had a beautiful voice. But the one thing people always mention about Amanda is her smile. She was always smiling. A rain-slicked highway on a summer afternoon ended all of her promise, all of her potential, all of her talents, all of her smiles. She was only 19. My immediate reaction to the news of her death was one sentence, “My life is ruined.” I cannot begin to recount the following minutes and hours. It is the singularly most painful time of my life, of our lives, my husband’s, my older daughter’s and many of her loved ones. Yet I remember, almost immediately, feeling another emotion nearly as strong as grief – guilt. I was a failure as a mother. I had failed to keep my daughter safe. While I was not driving the car or involved directly in Amanda’s accident, the guilt overwhelmed me almost immediately. It was my job to keep the children safe. I had been a stay-at-home mom most of the time when my girls were babies and toddlers. My husband went to work every day. It was his job to earn the money to pay the bills. It was my job to take care of the children. When I returned to full time work, I worked at my daughters’ school. I drove
them to school. I was home with them in the afternoons. I supervised their activities and arranged their play-dates. I was the one who wouldn’t allow either of my girls to cross the busy four-lane highway to hang out after school with their friends at a local hot-dog stand/gas station. I wouldn’t allow them to drink under-age, even though many of their friends did. It was my job to protect them, and I had tried so hard. But I had failed. The problem with guilt is the other emotions that accompany it. Along with the sheer grief of losing my precious daughter, I was also overcome by fear. It was like waiting for the other shoe to drop. What else are you going to do to me, God? I was afraid that my husband would have another heart attack, since he had experienced one just months before Amanda’s accident. I was petrified something horrible was going to happen to my surviving daughter. My husband and I both stood at the door and sobbed when she left several days after the funeral and returned to her home in Myrtle Beach. It was such a
Friendly, hometown environment with professional and compassionate staff long drive, and she was so grief-stricken. I was afraid to let her behind the wheel of a car; however, she had obligations. She needed to return to her home. But I was nearly overcome with fear. During the days, weeks, months, and years that followed Amanda’s death, I have read countless books that dealt with grief. I understood completely the accounts of women who lost their children who went to bed and just didn’t get up for weeks. I envied them. I wanted to be in a numb state, even in a coma, where I wouldn’t feel this pain. Never has just opening my eyes in the morning been such an excruciating experience, because each day brought forth another day without Amanda. Going to bed at night was just as painful. If I dreamed about her accident and her death, I would wake up sobbing. If I dreamed that she was still alive and we were happy, I would wake up sobbing. I dreaded sleep; it was not a solace or a time of rest. I remember telling a friend that I would never feel truly happy again, because from this point on in my life, all of my joys would be overshadowed by the thought, “If only Amanda were here to see this.” It also seemed to me that, as her mother, I would be doing her memory a disservice if I went a day without mourning her. What would people think if I were laughing and joking? Would they think I had forgotten about her? For the first four years after her death, I visited her grave nearly every single day. But I was reminded by more than one friend that Amanda’s life had been filled with joy. What type of memorial to her would it be for me, her mother, to carry this shroud of grief and pain around for the rest of my life? Her memory would be better served by my seeking joy and happiness than by wrapping myself up in a cocoon of fear and anger. So, today I choose joy. I seek beauty in nature. A beautiful sunset brings a sense of peace. The changing colors of the autumn leaves are a source of wonder. The ocean waves and their ebbs and flow connect me to the rhythms of the Maker himself. I have joined the choir again, something I had given up for many years. Music has always been a special passion of mine. I find joy in the smiles and laughter that my little grandson brings to my world. I will not allow the fear I once had to control me. I still feel a need to protect him, but I will not permit my fear to smother or cripple him. And I am looking forward to another grandchild, a little girl, joining our family soon. I plan to snuggle, hug, rock, sing to and love her, just as I have her brother. I am embracing joy. I will always mourn the loss of Amanda. There will be moments that hit me out of the blue, a stray song or random picture that will bring me to my knees in tears. But I will rise. And I will allow joy into my heart and into my life, for joy conquers fear.
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Nicole Says…Read The Union Street Bakery, by Mary Ellen Taylor by Nicole McManus 10 www.sasee.com
Daisy McCrae was abandoned at Union Street Bakery when she was just three years old. Thankfully the owners of the bakery took her in and made her a member of their family, but she still doesn’t feel like she belongs. After losing her job, Daisy is again living at the family’s bakery, and is forced to face her painful past while helping save the business from bankruptcy. Things get even more complicated when an old customer passes away and leaves her a journal that once belonged to a slave. Daisy has to rely on the help of her sisters in order to solve the mysteries of this ancient diary and continue the legacy of the Union Street Bakery.
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Mary Ellen Taylor weaves a graceful and poignant “tale within a tale” in this book. She manages to balance several characters’ lives from the 1800s to present day. Chocked full of metaphors, readers will laugh and cry as they experience life in the McCrae bakery. As a bonus, a few of the characters’ famous recipes are included at the end of the book. I don’t recommend reading this book while you are hungry. If you do, you will be like me and you will find yourself in a very intriguing dilemma: to bake or to finish reading. I loved the food in this book, but I loved the family dynamics even more. This is a wonderful book about a young woman confronting her inner fears in order to accept her present day self.
Past, Present and Future with Beverly Dougherty
they are embarrassed by their lack of basic needs, such as clothes, shoes or even underwear. St. Christopher’s works with the 19 Georgetown County schools, as well as as other social service agencies – the school nurses let us know what the needs are, and we provide it anonymously. We also provide orthodontic care for children who have severe issues with their teeth. These are shadow children. St. Christopher’s steps in when no one else is there to help. I was shocked by the poverty right under our noses. Before I started to work with St. Christopher’s, my husband and I volunteered delivering meals to seniors. Tom would take the meals into the homes, and he was horrified by the living conditions and how isolated these people are – they would ask him to stay and just talk. I really just want to do good for my community. The work I do with St. Christopher’s has gotten me through my grief, and it is very rewarding to know these children’s lives are made a little easier by this non-profit.
Where do you live? How long? My husband and I moved to the area permanently from Bethesda, Maryland, in 2005, but we were snowbirds for a year before we settled here. Tom had serious health issues and died in August of 2012, but we had some very good years together. Tell me a little about your family? Tom was a widower with eight adult children. We were married when I was 49 – my first marriage! I have three brothers, all of whom live in Pennsylvania, as does my 92-year-old mother. Do you consider yourself intuitive? Do you rely on your intuition? I must be – it was a huge leap of faith to move here from Bethesda. We didn’t know a soul, but felt it was right. I’ve never looked back and have met some of the most wonderful people. I don’t know what I would have done without their support when Tom died. How long have you been with St. Christopher’s Children? How has it affected your life? What inspired you to want to share time and talent with this non-profit? I’ve been a board member of St. Christopher’s Children since 2011 and currently serve as chair of the Resale Store committee and Co-Chair of the Gala. I became interested in St. Christopher’s when a dear friend told me the story of how the non-profit began. Our founder saw a child walking around in flip flops in January and wanted to do something to help. There are so many children who fall through the cracks – they don’t want to go to school because
Tell us about the new St. Christopher’s Upscale Resale Store and the upcoming gala. The resale store came about as an idea to be able to help more children. The store, opening this month, is located in the Applewood House of Pancakes in Litchfield and is an upscale resale store. We also hope to use the store to let people know about us – many locals don’t know who we are and what we do. St. Christopher’s is an all volunteer non-profit – December 2013 was our 6th anniversary and, so far, we have helped 2,000 children! Our board and volunteers took a leap of faith with the store and worked very hard to get it open quickly. Many contributed their own funds, as well as hours and hours of time, to get everything ready for the opening. The 4th Annual Gala will be held on February 8th at Pawleys Plantation. We were able to get a wonderful band, the Tony Torre Orchestra, out of Columbia. They played at Tom’s 85th birthday party, and everyone loved the big band music. Along with a delicious dinner, we will have a live and silent auction. A group of the Georgetown Cultural Council’s Young Treasure’s Scholars will play during the auction, before we open the ballroom. How do you relax? I love music. While Tom was so sick, he liked the television on most of the time, and I didn’t have a lot of opportunity to listen to music. This past October, I went to hear Vivace at the Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art and was in tears it was so beautiful. I hadn’t realized how much I missed hearing live music. I also love my dog Buddy. We go for long walks on the beach together. He found us in December of 2010. Buddy was a stray, and the day he showed up, I was going to let him stay in the garage, and he just marched right in the house and made himself at home! To donate to St. Christopher’s Upscale Resale Store or to reserve your ticket to the gala, call 843-235-0777, visit www.stchristopherschildren.org or find them on Facebook.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Cor. 5:7
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All Aboard by Monica A. Andermann
There I stood in the parking lot, cradling a cardboard box filled with my personal items. I glanced over my shoulder at the tall office building before shoving the container into the back seat of my car. So this is what twenty-two years of dedicated service amounts to, I thought. Only minutes earlier, I’d been called into a meeting with my supervisor, department head and our company’s human resources director. They were making a lot of changes in the organization, they told me. No surprise there; I’d already heard the rumblings around the office. Profits were down and expenses were up. As someone who had reached the glass ceiling, I would have been a fool not to know what was coming next – your services are no longer needed; pack your things and go. I drove away, the frame of the brick building growing smaller in my rearview mirror. A lot had changed in the past twenty-two years, I thought. Then, it had taken only one woman to hire me. Now it had taken three men to let me go. Yet as I sat at home the next morning perusing the classifieds, that matter seemed insignificant. I was out of a job, and I needed a new one. Well, I knew I was qualified. Professionally speaking, I had gone through a series of promotions taking me from a barely experienced accounts payable clerk to a position of much responsibility handling financial matters for a 150 bed nursing home. On the personal front, even more had occurred in the passing years. I had married, purchased a home, travelled across three continents, and cared for and lost my mother. I’d learned how to paint and participated in several art shows. In between, I’d begun practicing yoga and Tai Chi. Currently I was taking a series of writing workshops, pursuing my latest interest. Half-heartedly I circled an ad, admitting to myself that the enjoyment of my newest interest had taken me quite by surprise. Creative by nature, writing afforded me an outlet both expressive and cathartic. This activity had become more than just some random hobby. The need to write had become part of me. In fact, I mentioned to a co-worker only days before, given the opportunity, I would drop the business world in a hot minute to write fulltime. I glanced out the window and somewhere in the distance I heard the low whistle of the train of possibilities. My opportunity had arrived; it was high time to hop aboard and head to a new station. But then the practical part of my brain engaged. How could I possibly write professionally when I’d produced nothing more than a handful of pieces, amateur at best? I didn’t even know how to format a manuscript. I needed more education. That would cost money and take time. At my age? It was settled. I would stick to what I knew. I could no more write for
a living than I could paint or practice Tai Chi poses to pay the bills. I abandoned the thought and prepared myself for an early bedtime. Clearly, I was suffering from the shock of the day’s events. The next morning, though, as I sat reviewing my noted want-ads, I heard the low whistle of that train getting louder and louder. I started to rationalize. Did I really want to stay in a business I didn’t enjoy when I had found something so much more fulfilling? Sure I needed additional know-how, but how hard could that be to attain? Then the practical me stepped in again. Just forget it. Back to the classifieds. The offerings looked even paltrier the second time around. I flipped through the pages in search of the crossword puzzle, but instead my eyes settled on a full-color ad for an open house at a local college specializing in programs for returning adult students. Oh, this had to be a sign, I thought. The timing was just too perfect. I had to give this thing a shot. Days later, I attended the open house, and when I discovered that my previous two year’s worth of accounting credits could be transferred toward a new degree in creative writing, I registered for classes. I ordered textbooks. I bought pens and paper. There was no turning back. I had boarded the train, and it had departed the station. I hung on for the ride and braced myself for the bumps. And the bumps came. When money got tight, I sold some jewelry to help meet tuition payments. I read and wrote and studied late into the night, forgoing most social invitations. Meals were eaten on the run, and I have no recollection of one summer altogether. But it was worth it. Determined, I chugged along and in my second semester I published my first piece. By the end of my third semester, I’d been published several more times. And after two years, I walked across the stage of Empire State College and accepted my diploma along with the other men and women in my graduating class who heeded their own whistle-call and boarded the train of possibility along with me. Now I’m a full-blown writer. On rainy days, I pad up the stairs to my home office and do what I love – write. On sunny days, I take my lap top out to my backyard deck and work. I get published, I get checks, and, sometimes, I get a complimentary email from a gracious reader. Life is good. So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the train of unlimited possibilities. Feel free to jump on at any time. It’s sure to be a great ride.
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Past, Present and Future with Margaret Murphy
me first, looking for his dad who had not shown up for a scheduled outing. Then the police called, and I discovered she and her husband had been murdered. I immediately suspected her son. He had brutally murdered Linda and her husband, Henry. They had only been married a year. It was devastating to me and the entire community. Linda was the owner of the building, and she left it to me and my husband. I know she wanted us to continue. I believe she would be so happy to come in the store today and see what it has become. People come in here and find peace. That’s what we try to communicate. I’ve had people moved to tears just from walking through the store. Did continuing to grow your business require a leap of faith? It never crossed my mind not to persevere as the vision was a God given one. This is something I’ve always wanted. Before I opened the store, I would buy pillowcases and have them embroidered with scripture for gifts. People loved them! You can have the word of God in your home, and it can be beautiful. We are not the typical Christian gift shop – we fill homes with God’s truth.
Where do you live? How long? Originally from Alabama, my husband, Chuck, and I moved to Columbia when he was called as a Cannon Theologian at Trinity Cathedral. We moved to Pawleys Island 31 years ago when he was called to serve a church here. We now live in the Reserve, and Chuck has started a new church, The Abbey at Pawleys Island. Tell us about your family I have three daughters and five grandchildren. All of my children live in the area, and two of my daughters, Anne Nolen Howard and Mary Hunter Kramer, are in business with me. My other daughter, Allison Murphy is an attorney. Do you consider yourself intuitive? Do you rely on your intuition? I believe I would describe myself as more discerning than intuitive. I rely on my discernment to help me decide where to go with our business and in my life. When tragedy struck your life a few years ago, how did you weather the storm? Three years after opening my store, I ran into Linda Poole Hilton at the grocery store, and she told me she wanted to drop by the shop. I knew Linda from our church. After talking for three hours, Linda decided she wanted to be a part of As for Me and My House. It was an opportunity for her to be involved in a business with a significant purpose. We became great friends as we worked together. Together we built the building we’re in now and planned for the future. I knew she was having trouble with her son; he was very troubled. When she didn’t come to work one morning, I was very worried. Her step son called
Tell us about what is new and exciting at As For Me and My House. My two daughters joined me a month ago, and that has been really exciting. We expanded the store when the business beside us left, and have filled the addition with affordable and attractive accessories. We did it all in two weeks! The new addition is called Grace Full. I am so excited to have my daughters here with me. They go to market and help with every aspect of the business. Our customers have been very supportive. Many people don’t realize that I design all of the embroidery you see in the store, and all of it is done in house. I look for beautiful things that I can make more meaningful with the addition of scripture. We change the design and merchandise each season to keep it fresh. The three of us have a wonderful time coming up with new ideas! People ask how we all get along, and I tell them we have always spent a lot of time together, so this is a natural extension of our relationship. I give my children the benefit of the doubt and always ask them what they think. Plus, the three of us have a strong work ethic and work well together. We also have dedicated employees who are also hard working and believe in what we do. How do you relax? I love spending time with my grandchildren; they call me Maggie. I spend “memory-making” time with them as much as I can – always after church on Sunday. My two little Maltese dogs give me a lot of pleasure as well. I also take great joy in designing new things for the store. It really is a labor of love. We invite everyone to stop by and look around. There is something here for everyone! As for Me and My House is located at 11382 Ocean Hwy. in Pawleys Island. Call 843-235-6525, visit www.asformeandmyhouse.net or find them on Facebook.
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The Market Common • 3320 Reed Street • Myrtle Beach 843-839-2958 • Mon. - Sat. 10 am- 9 pm • Sun. 12 - 6 pm facebook.com/thekangaroopouch
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Kohl’s Car Seat Safety
February 25 from 3 - 6 pm at the Myrtle Beach Kohl’s
• Safe Kids certified child safety seat technicians will check proper installation of child safety seats, correct those in need and educate on proper installation and use. • Participants must have their child safety seat, car and child present, and will be served on a first come, first serve basis. • The technician will determine if a new child safety seat is needed. • Rain cancels event.
For more information, please call Safe Kids Pee Dee/ Coastal led by McLeod Health at 843-777-5021.
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Hive Mentality by Tammie Painter
I stand half-blinded by the mesh covering my face and the sweat dripping into my eyes as hundreds of stinging insects swarm at a frightening proximity to my head. How do I get myself into these things? I blame my honey-craving sweet tooth for convincing me that keeping bees is something sane people do. Sure, bees pollinate over one-third of our food crops, from apples to avocadoes, but their tastiest product is honey: Gooey, super sweet honey. Like a kid dipping her finger in the sugar bowl, I will slurp liquid gold straight from the jar so often that entire pints have been known to disappear from my house within two weeks. So when I saw the cutest little bee house pictured amongst the wildflowers of a bee-friendly garden and learned how much honey one of these houses could produce, my sweet tooth screamed, “You are getting one of those!” Or it could have screaming that it was time to get to the dentist. The translation from Sweet Tooth to English may have been muddled from having just watched a documentary about the plight of bees and all the horrid things modern agriculture is doing to them. I’m not normally a fan of bugs, insects or anything that can crawl in my mouth while I’m sleeping, but bees have a special place in my heart…and my taste buds. Using my online research skills, I found the bee house from the photo. I then promptly fell off my chair when I saw the price. After remounting my seat, I noticed a local shop sold bee hives. Not traditional square hives, but top bar hives that resemble a long barn. Inside the hive rest several bars much like a xylophone. The bees build comb down from the bars and eventually fill them with honey. Addiction took over sense and I rushed to get my hive.
This was November – not an active apiary time in Oregon – so I whiled away the winter reading everything I could find on beekeeping, painted my hive to cute it up, and then debated on how to obtain residents for the hive: buy or bait. Although most people view stinging animals as a nuisance, some beekeepers will pay up to $100 for a batch of bees. The other option is to attract a swarm. Naysayers in the bee world scoffed saying I had better chances of catching Sasquatch than attracting a wandering swarm, but I’m a cheapskate at heart and proving the naysayers wrong sounded better than plunking down another C-note on my endeavor. In March, I baited my hive with secret bee sauce (aka: lemongrass oil) and put out the welcome mat. Nothing. Two weeks later, I baited again. Still nothing. Flashbacks of throwing parties in junior high that no one showed up to raced through my mind. Apparently a watched hive never fills with bees. My husband and I left for vacation in early April. Five days into the
trip, my mom left this on my voice mail…several times: “YOUR YARD IS FULL OF BEES!” I said to wait a couple days and if the bees seemed aggressive to call the bee people. Two days later, she reported with curious fascination that the bees had moved into the hive. I had bees! Uh-oh. To get honey you need to “manage” bees. Or at least manage how they build the comb. One screwy bar of comb and a tidy hive can turn into a clump of wax. To manage, you have to get inside the hive and check each bar. Yes, I was going to have to stick my hands into a hive of bees. Suddenly this hobby seemed very scary. Sure, I’d done my reading and, in principle, I knew what I had to do. But knowing how to pull a parachute’s rip cord is not the same as leaping out of a plane. Beekeeping is the extreme sport of animal husbandry, and the only way I was going to get my honey was to manage my hive. After several deep breaths, I donned my beekeeper’s jacket then a second layer of pants as protection against butt stings. I strode out to the hive and noticed my husband trailing after me. With his camera. Apparently this was going on video. With trembling hands I opened the hive. No one attacked. A good start. I lifted the first bar. No bees. Second bar. Again, no bees. I eased out the third bar. It was covered in bees! The first instinct when holding something covered in bees is to fling it far from you and run the opposite direction. With sheer will power fueled by thoughts of honey, I suppressed my fleeing instinct. I was tempted to toss the bar at my husband who, having read a total of zero pages of the bee books, was shouting beekeeping instructions to me. Ignoring him, I focused on the honey I resolved not to share with him. The first inspection went off without a single sting or divorce paper and I was rewarded with an adrenaline rush that left me a junkie for hive inspections. I got my fix once a week for several months. During this time my head filled with apian anxieties: worrying about them on their journeys, fretting when a neighbor sprayed nasty chemicals all over his yard, and panicking when water seeped inside the hive. My husband intervened saying, “You’re thinking too much about the bees.” Maybe I was. The bees seemed to know what to do without any help from me other than a little management. I learned to stop worrying and love the bees. In October, I decided it was time for the bees to pay some rent. Like a skilled pickpocket, I dove in, snatched a couple bars when they weren’t looking and collected ten jars of very local honey. In my backyard, several thousand bees have found a safe place to call home and my sweet tooth has found Nirvana.
3751 Robert Grissom Pkwy. Myrtle Beach 843.448.2253 www.croissants.net
Have a Blessed New Year! FINE GIFTS
Blessing and Faith bracelets available in may colors 6914 N. Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach, Next to Rose Arbor Fabrics 843-449-0448 • Regular Hours: Mon - Fri 9:30-5:30 • Saturday 9:30-4
RAINBOW HARBOR • 5001 N. KINGS HWY. • MYRTLE BEACH HOURS 10-6 • 843-497-5931
Past, Present and Future with Sally Haviland
I didn’t start teaching until my 40s, after I moved to Myrtle Beach. I attended the Art Institute of Chicago and never thought about teaching. At first, I worked as a substitute teacher, and then I went back to school at CCU and got my teaching degree. I feel so happy and blessed to be here at Myrtle Beach Primary. Reinhard takes care of everything at home, so it’s easy for me to keep working. How has your father’s work affected your life? What inspired you to want to share his talent with HGTC? My father was a remarkable man. He loved working with color and did some amazing things with his art – many of his paintings Cloud by Robert Amft were done with spray paint, and this was unheard of in the 1950s. I remember seeing him work on large canvases with cans of paint. He was always so graceful. While I was growing up, he worked as a commercial artist to pay the bills and was very successful at that as well. My mother died 25 years ago, and Dad was always very independent, living in a fourth floor walkup in Chicago. He broke his hip and went into a nursing home, but wasn’t happy. Reinhard spent a winter with him in Chicago to see if he was well enough to stay alone, but it was obvious that he wasn’t. My father spent the last two years of his life here with us and we became very close. It was a special time. He was creating art up until his death.
Where do you live? How long? I grew up in Chicago. My childhood was wonderful – as a little girl, I loved watching my father paint. [artist Robert Amft] I first came here in 1971 and fell in love with the area. After my marriage ended, my parents encouraged me to move here permanently. I had made many good friends I could rely on while I was raising my children. Today, I live in Forestbrook. Tell me a little about your family? I have four children, two boys and two girls, all grown. My partner, Reinhard Gerke, and I have been together for seven years. I teach art at Myrtle Beach Primary School and see nearly 1000 children a week. I love what I do – I feel like a grandmother to all these little ones. Do you consider yourself intuitive? Do you rely on your intuition? At my best, yes, I believe I am. All my major decisions are based upon my intuition, even when it seems impractical. Has age made you more confident? Inside, I feel very young. I do like the way I look now; I have always liked older people. I get more respect; people assume I know what I’m doing! [laughing]
Reinhard met a member of the HGTC Board of Trustees at the gym and learned about the HGTC Culinary Arts program. We felt it offered a wonderful opportunity for young people to receive training that would enable them to make a living. This is the second year we have donated a painting to be sold at the HGTC Gala that provides scholarships for Culinary Arts students and is funding a new Culinary Arts building that will open in the fall of 2015. Last year’s painting raised $6,000. This year’s painting, along with more of my father’s work, will be on exhibition beginning the middle of February at the Richardson Gallery at HGTC. Dad always donated his work to charity when he was alive, and I know he would be pleased by this donation. Going out to eat and sampling the diversity of local cuisine was one of his favorite activities. He and Reinhard went out for lunch almost every day while he lived here with us. How do you relax? Much of my free time is spent drawing and painting, but Reinhard and I love to walk on the beach and when we can, we visit Brookgreen Gardens. For more information about the upcoming Robert Amft Exhibition, call 843-477-2103 or visit www.hgtc.edu. To see more of Robert Amft’s work, visit www.robertamft.com.
March 22, 2014 Save the Date
Get your group of friends together and be part of one of the Lowcountryâ€™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 email@example.com Presented by
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Southern Snaps Great Balls of Fire! by Connie Barnard
Nestled in the shadow of the Horry County Courthouse, in an unassuming storefront on Laurel Street, lies a big surprise. Do not be deceived by the modest sign reading “Conway Glass.” Entering this shop is like saying “Open Sesame” to a treasure trove of handcrafted glass. The studio’s owners, resident artists Ed and Barbara Streeter, have over 50 years of combined experience in creating glass hand-blown in the ancient technique which has remained a vital part of American crafts since its colonial period. Showcased in the Streeter’s front gallery are blown glass pieces ranging from small gift items including silver-framed jewelry pieces, colorful ornaments and pumpkins to dramatic centerpiece vases, vessels and extraordinary handcrafted pendant lighting. Among the one-of-a-kind items on display is their celebrated signature piece, a brilliant sky blue and sea green ornament with swirls of whitecapped waves which was selected for the White House West Wing’s 2010 Christmas Tree Exhibition. The rear area of the building houses a huge open workshop filled with a wide variety of worksin-progress. A massive work table holds an intricate stained glass window being lovingly re-worked and restored for a local church. A few feet away sits a bicycle with every working part completely covered by multi-colored hand crochet, a tribute to Barbara’s creative energy and her involvement with Create! Conway’s organization to promote local arts and crafts. The centerpiece of this workspace, however, is a massive electric glass furnace which heats temperatures up to 2150 degrees for the vital combination of fire, sand and air used to create hand blown glass. The heat from the oven is so great that it can be used only between October and April each year. On this sunny early winter Saturday, the shop at Conway Glass is a lively, bustling place. In addition to their usual business traffic, the Streeters have a full schedule of four blown glass classes scheduled throughout the day. We joined Karen, Dorie, Kathy, Maureen, Pam, Vickie and Marianne – a group of seven adventurous women who regularly set out to explore new
things in the local area. Today each will create a hand blown glass ornament in the color of her choice. Ed Streeter begins his instruction by explaining all about glass blowing procedures, equipment, temperatures and color application. The glass blower first gathers clear glass from the furnace on the blow pipe. Then the ornament color is added to the molten glass, melted in and rolled on the steel marver. The glass blower then adds a puff of air to start the ornament, manipulates the glass, and adds another puff to make a sphere. The glass is then reheated before it is taken to the bench and blown into an ornament. After a top loop of clear glass is added for the ornament’s hook, it is placed in an annealer at 960 degrees for 12 hours before slowly cooling to room temperature over an additional six hours. The students watch with rapt attention, especially as Ed opens the furnace door to expose the 2300 degree Glory Hole in which the sand, fire and air combine to produce the hot molten glass. Over the next half hour each student will take a turn at the bench as Ed patiently guides them, saying “Blow” and “Stop” at just the right moment in the tricky process. Later the participants will return to pick up their cooled and packaged ornaments. As Ed works with the glass blowing classes in the warehouse studio, Barbara mans the continuous stream of clients and inquiries at the front desk. Several customers stop by to pick up orders for custom cut flat glass. Others come to shop in the gallery or sign up for a variety classes which also include instruction in hand blown paperweights and hot glass flowers as well as private parties and individual instruction. Local residents, Richard and Carol Lajoie, drop by to tell Barbara how pleased they are with the bamboo motif clear cut glass they purchased for the doors of their kitchen cabinets. Working together for almost three decades, Ed and Barbara have managed to combine the artistic with the practical, also providing residential and commercial glass products such as tabletop glass, custom shower doors and
mirrors, along with insulated, textured and safety glass installation. Conway Glass is also one of a handful of companies specializing in leaded and stained glass design, restoration and installation for churches and historic buildings, as well as residential and commercial properties. So how did this talented pair of artisans happen to land on a side street in Conway, South Carolina? That is an interesting story filled with coincidence and serendipity. Originally from Upstate New York, Ed moved to this area in 1968 when his father was stationed at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. In 1979, right out of high school, he got a job working with glass. He first learned to cut flat glass for window frames and doors. A few years later at Wheaton Village in Millville, New Jersey, Ed took a class in blown glass. “I learned to make a paperweight,” he recalls. “I fell in love with its creative aspect and wanted to learn more. Since then, Barbara and I have studied at most of the major glass studios in the country, including the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, and the Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. We also had an exciting opportunity to work in the Perry Glass Studio at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia.” The year Ed moved to Myrtle Beach, Barbara’s father was transferred to Spartanburg from the Philadelphia area. Though early interests initially took her in other directions, Barbara’s great, great grandfather had been a master glassblower in Winslow Village, New Jersey, in the 1800s. Call it fate or some kind of genetic attraction, but the couple just happened to meet in 1985 at the Arcadian Dunes pool while Barbara was on vacation in Myrtle Beach. They married in 1986 and opened their
studio in Conway that same year. It is a partnership that has proven to be rewarding, both personally and professionally. The success the Streeters enjoy today did not come quickly, however. They started out creating stained glass pieces on their back porch while working at other jobs. In 1999 their first glass and pottery business, Summer House Studios on North Main Street, was destroyed by Hurricane Floyd. Barbara and Ed lost not only their building and inventory but all their costly equipment as well. They started over and held on, but another decade would pass before the Streeters fully achieved their shared dream. Barbara reflects, “It is important to do what you really love, especially as you get older and look back on your life as a whole. Fortunately, we have been able to carve out a life which allows us to do that and to share it with others.” The Streeters also attribute their success in part to Conway’s resurgence as a center for arts and crafts, and they are deeply involved in efforts to support a variety of art, music and drama programs in the community they love and call home. Barbara and Ed’s studio is one of only three glass-blowing shops in South Carolina. Currently, Barbara is the only professional female glass blower in South Carolina. Their pieces are sold at galleries throughout the country, at the South Carolina State Museum and through the art and crafts web site Etsy. com. Local area residents, however, are fortunate to be able to visit these talented artists at their workshop in Conway, explore their bountiful display gallery, and learn first-hand about this ancient yet ageless art form. Free glass blowing demonstrations are held the first Saturday of every month, October through May.
Past, Present and Future with Jodi Ryba
been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Yoga can be just a physical practice, but it is also a spiritual path. For me, it’s a way of life; it’s how I care for myself and my family. It helps me to be a better person by living authentically. It has also helped with health issues. I have arthritis and scoliosis, but because of the physical practice, my symptoms are well controlled. Yoga gives me the opportunity to leave all of my stress outside of the studio. Here, I am free to be, and to work on, myself. The work of yoga helps us to remove layers, be it stories we tell ourselves or roles we identify with, and reveals our true selves. It allows us to be comfortable just as we are in this moment, while encouraging us to learn and grow. Yoga is hard work and requires dedication, but the rewards of the practice are immeasurable. I became certified to teach yoga in 2010, but I didn’t plan to teach, I just wanted to deepen my practice. Now, teaching yoga is the most natural thing I’ve ever done. It feels so authentic and natural to share yoga with others. During my training, I became pregnant with Bodie. We had been having trouble conceiving, and my teacher told me the training would probably help us conceive – he was born on my teacher’s birthday!
Tell us a little about yourself and your family. My husband, Damon, and I moved here from Pennsylvania in 1997, and we moved to Wachesaw East in Murrells Inlet in 2002. We love our quiet, friendly neighborhood! We have two children – our son Bodie is two, and our daughter Braelyn is five. Damon and I have known each other since high school, and have been married for 12 years, but have been together for 22 years! He was my blind date to the prom (my date had an emergency and couldn’t go). I wore a white dress and told my mom later that I would wear white again with him one day! Do you consider yourself intuitive? Yes, I think we all are if we slow down and listen. I rely heavily on my intuition. Has age made you more confident? Actually, I think I was more naïve and confident when I was younger, but I have more of a comfortable confidence with the person I am now. I’m happy with me. How long have you been doing yoga? How has it affected your life? What inspired you to want to share your love for yoga? I started the physical practice of yoga in 1999, but the spiritual side of yoga has
Did opening and continuing to grow a yoga studio require a leap of faith? Yes! I knew it was the right thing to do, even though, at the time, I was staying at home with Braelyn and expecting Bodie. I looked at it as a wonderful way to contribute to a better world for my children. Bodie was born with digestive and hearing issues, so it made his infancy and the infancy of the studio a bit difficult. However, his issues are expected to resolve as he grows, for which we are blessed and grateful. Despite the struggles, I was determined to build a community and give people on this end of the beach a place to practice. I knew this was the perfect space the moment I walked through the door- it just felt right. And now, it feels like home. I have so much faith in, and love for, our community! Tell us what is new and exciting at Island Wave Yoga. It is an exciting time for the studio as we continue to grow. My dream is for Island Wave Yoga to evolve into a holistic living center. Currently, we are planning on adding classes for all ages and abilities, like chair yoga and prenatal yoga, as well as wellness living classes. This month, we’ll be doing a 30 day yoga challenge, adding 3 hour classes once a month and revealing some pretty exciting upcoming workshops. There is a lot on the horizon! With such a busy life, how do you relax? I practice mindfulness, so I can relax anywhere. When I fix a cup of tea, I take the time to enjoy the preparation, the warmth of the cup, the smell of the tea and even if I’m doing a hundred things while I’m drinking that tea, I am relaxed and mindful of what I’m doing. I truly enjoy life! Contact Jodi at Island Wave Yoga at Waverly Place in Pawleys Island. Call 843-314-3206, visit www.islandwaveyoga.com or Island Wave Yoga on Facebook.
More than Words by Diane Stark
“Four tickets to Return of the Jedi, please,” Mom told the movie theatre clerk. “It’s nearly sold out,” she said. “You probably won’t be able to sit together.” “That’s OK. My son is going to see this movie even if I have to stand up in the back of the theatre.” The clerk smiled. “You’re a good mom.” The clerk was right, of course, but she didn’t know the full story. The year was 1983, and I was in third grade. My dad had spent the last year in Colombia, South America, for his job, leaving Mom at home with my siblings and me. At the time, we were 7, 9 and 11 years old. Mom had driven nearly 100 miles to take us to a special early release showing of the movie that night. My older brother loved Star Wars and was dying to see its sequel. The problem was, we were leaving the country the following morning to visit my dad. We were going to be gone for two months, and since this was in the days before Netflix – or even Blockbuster – this special showing was Mike’s only chance to see the movie. There were a hundred reasons for Mom to say no. We had an early flight. The theatre was too far away. We still needed to pack. But Mom saw how important it was to Mike, so it became important to her as well. I still remember the excitement on his face that night. It was one of the best nights of my childhood. Not because I liked Star Wars, but because I realized that night that my mom would do just about anything to prove her love for us. She told us she loved us, but she also showed us through her actions. Love was more than just words. Many years later, I hesitantly showed my husband an essay I’d had published in Sasee. I was a new writer and unsure of myself. He read it and then, ever so gently, he tore the page from the rest of the magazine and put on the refrigerator alongside our children’s school work. That one simple action said more to me than any words ever could have. Just last night, as I tucked my five-year-old son into bed, we read his favorite book for the millionth time. It’s called, I Love My Mommy Because…, and each page includes something that mommies do for their children. “I love my mommy because she reads to me,” I read. Nathan’s eyes lit up and for the millionth time, he said, “You do that for me. Does that mean you love me?” I nodded and kept reading. “I love my mommy because she plays hide and seek with me.” “Oh, you do that too!” Nathan said, right on cue. “I love my mommy because she feeds me when I’m hungry and rocks me when I’m sleepy,” I read.
“You do those things too,” Nathan said. “I guess that means you really, really love me.” I nodded and snuggled him closer. “Yep, I really, really love you, Honey.” Nathan and I have had that same conversation every night for the past six months. It is beyond sweet, but at the end of a long day, it is sometimes tempting to rush through it. I try to resist the urge because I know this phase won’t last forever, and I’ll miss it when it’s over. Besides, I’ve learned a lot from it. Not only have I memorized every word of the story, I’ve discovered the key to my little boy’s heart. For some reason, this book has become a checklist of sorts. In Nathan’s young mind, good mommies do the things in his book. Doing those things means I love him. Really, really love him. As I write this, my 40th birthday is looming. Looming really isn’t the right word. It’s barreling toward me like a freight train. In just 12 short days, I will no longer be a 30-something. I won’t lie. It’s bothering me. I’m seeing wrinkles on my forehead and cellulite on my…well, things just aren’t the same anymore. The bad news is that things on the outside don’t look the same, but there’s good news too. Things on the inside are different as well. I read a quote the other day that says, “There is no way to be a perfect mother, but there are a million little ways to be a good one.” Thank you, Jill Churchill, for quite possibly the wisest words any one has ever uttered. With age, and the benefit of those words, I’m learning to let go of perfection. I am not a perfect mother, nor will I ever be. I’ll always have days when I’m not as patient as I should be, when I lose my cool over something insignificant. I’ll never be Super Mom, at least not for more than an hour at a time. But motherhood isn’t a sprint. It’s a journey that lasts far longer than a child’s years at home. Perfection isn’t the goal. If I make that my goal, I’ll fail every single day. My goal is speak love, not just with my words, but with my actions. I want my family to feel my love for them through the things I do. So I make favorite dinners. I bake cookies. I read books until I can recite them. I help with homework and I drive carloads of kids to the mall and the movies. In short, if it matters to them, it matters to me. I’ll never be a perfect mom, and after all these years, I’ve finally accepted that. I’ve learned that being a good mom has to be good enough. And for me, that means that my love has to be tangible. It’s got to be more than just words. If I can do that each day, I can go to bed a happy mommy. But only after I read to Nathan.
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Mommy Mush Brain by Melissa Face
Returning to the classroom after 10 weeks of maternity leave was one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced. It wasn’t just the pain of being physically separated from my child, though that was quite intense. It was being caught completely off guard by my new, and not at all improved, mommy mush brain. I thought motherhood was going to be a breeze. I worked three jobs while attending college; I worked the night shift at a television station while I was in graduate school, and I managed to go back to school and become a licensed teacher while I was pregnant. I was not a novice multitasker. So how much additional work could a little baby be? I could handle it. My first few weeks of motherhood were a rude awakening. My son was sweet, handsome and wonderful. He was everything I hoped he would be, with one exception. He had his own little schedule, and he did not give a rip about mine. So, after weeks of sleepless nights on maternity leave (I previously referred to it as baby vacation! Ha!), I prepared to return to the classroom. I picked out a few non-maternity outfits, looked over my lesson plans and packed my workbag. My first day back was pretty painless. I returned on a teacher workday. So, aside from a few meetings and in-service trainings, I spent the day catching up with co-workers. My co-teachers updated me on student progress, minor changes in the curriculum and which students were currently on the suspension list. I felt ready for my first day back in the classroom. But the next day, when kids began filing into the classroom, I felt like I was seeing all of them for the first time. I couldn’t remember anyone’s name. Students approached me and told me they were glad to have me back. I smiled and thanked them, reluctant to call them by name because I was sure I would get it wrong. At my next check-up, I talked to my doctor about my memory loss. He explained that it was a pretty common post pregnancy occurrence. I asked
him how long it would last, and he told me that the jury was still out on that one. My failing memory wasn’t limited to student names. I had forgotten vocabulary words, literary terms, names of co-workers and even my own schedule. So, I decided to make cheat sheets for everything until my memory and processing skills began to improve. While my cheat sheets were helpful, they didn’t prevent me from walking into my classroom with my diaper bag instead of my teaching bag. They also didn’t keep me from showing up at work with formula stains down the sleeve of my black sweater and a burp rag clinging to my gray pants. Then one day, instead of beating myself up about everything I was doing wrong, I decided to cut myself a break. Instead of worrying about what was on my pants, I just became grateful that I had left the house actually wearing a pair. After all, I was a new mom and even the simplest tasks were suddenly very overwhelming. Eventually my mush brain improved, and I felt like a competent teacher again. I established a daily routine and with the help of my husband, co-workers and parents, I got through the rest of the year successfully. Today, multitasking doesn’t have the exact same meaning for me that it used to. Some days I accomplish a lot, and some days I simply get by. When I am able to schedule a doctor’s appointment during my lunch break and grade a few papers while my child naps, I consider that a major accomplishment. And then there are days when I take a nap with him, and that’s okay too. In fact, taking a nap is more than okay. It’s preventive medicine, helping me fight off a relapse of mommy mush brain.
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My Mother’s Daughter by Rose Ann Sinay
My elderly mother, a native Texan, recently moved from Waco to San Antonio. I decided it would be a good time to visit Mom in her new home and do a little historical research for a book I was working on. When I arrived, she was already waiting behind the glass front door. My first thought was how much she’d aged since the last time I saw her. She came outside, smiling, her arms opened wide for a hug. I saw her surprise as she took in the wrinkles in my face. We both laughed, “We’re getting old, together,” I said. She proudly showed me around her house. I had never been there before, but I was immediately comfortable. It was filled with familiar things – things I had grown up with. I recognized all the old books neatly lined up on the bookshelves. Her collection of porcelain cardinals, always clustered together on a library table in our ever-changing military housing, was now sprawled across the fireplace mantle. The inexpensive, red figurines my siblings and I had given her for holidays and special occasions were still mixed in and given as equal importance as her collector’s pieces. After dinner, we chatted and reminisced. She told me stories about growing up on a 300 acre farm. Mom had a large family of eight brothers and sisters (including two sets of twins) and seven half brothers and sisters. Life had been hard, and the older children worked in the fields planting and harvesting vegetables or picking cotton. Mom looked down at her hands and stretched them out in front of her. “My hands were always scratched up. It took a lot of cotton to fill up those bags. All I
wanted to do was read my books, but there was so much work to be done. We all had to pitch in.” Mom left the farm when she met and married my father, a career military man.”He had beautiful, bedroom eyes,” she remembered. Soon, I came along, and we moved from base to base as my father’s orders dictated. We rarely saw our relatives. Aunts, uncles and cousins were simply faces to me, frozen at various stages in my mind. I knew their names, but their placement in the family was always a guess. The only thing I knew for sure was that they all had interesting names. Mom and her twin had been christened Velma Rae and Elma Mae. One set of twins was branded Larry Earl and Flossy Pearl. It always made me giggle and feel better about my old fashioned name, Rose. As my mother continued to talk, I grabbed a notebook and drew a family tree, filling in some of the gaps. I began writing down the stories she told, from funny anecdotes and scandalous family history to the difficult times that had carved their paths. I learned about relatives that I had never known. That night I slept in the bed that Mom had purchased at an estate sale and refinished when I was a child. It was dressed in the same yellow bedspread. I recognized the pictures and clocks that decorated the room. It was a different place and time, yet I knew it intimately. I slept like a baby. The next evening, I asked her to tell me about my grandmother. She rested her head against the couch pillow and closed her eyes. “Your grandmother was a kind woman,” she said, “but she had no time to coddle anyone. She worked hard from dawn to late at night. Cooking, cleaning, sewing and taking care of all of us was more than a full time job. I always wore hand me downs that Mom had made for one or the other of us. I used to dream of the kind of dresses I would wear if I had money to buy my own. I drew my creations on pieces of paper and then threw them away. When my mother died, my sisters and I went through her old trunk for a keepsake. There in the corner of the chest, in a neat pile, were my designs. The crinkled papers had been carefully smoothed and stored. She must have thought my drawings were pretty special.” My mother smiled with tears in her eyes. “It made me feel good. I never knew she had even noticed those pictures.” When she went to bed, I pulled out my computer to input my notes and everything I could remember. I made a list of specific questions I wanted to ask. The rest of the week as we spoke, I felt like a detective – digging, questioning, going through all her old pictures. But Mom never complained. The night before I was to fly back to North Carolina, I asked her to think about what she would like to do on my next visit. “Something really special – bucket list stuff,” I said. Mom smiled and shook her head.”I’m afraid I’m too old – I missed my chance. I always wanted to write a book. I was sure I would do it someday, but I let it go too long. Remember that,” she said. “Time goes by in the blink of an eye.” The next morning, we hugged and said good bye as the taxi arrived to take me to the airport. The flight back was spent sorting through all the information I had gathered – putting it into sequence, highlighting the important events, filling out our family tree and organizing a narrative. I took out my calendar and planned my next visit with her. It’s something that just can’t wait any longer. You see, this book is on my bucket list, too. We’ll write this story together, the two of us.
The Newcomers Notebook by Phil La Borie
As a relative newcomer to the Grand Strand, I’m continually surprised and quite delighted by my observations and experiences here. As I keep uncovering news worthy items (or at least they seem that way to me), I hope that you find my discoveries relevant, interesting, and particularly in the case of this article, informative and important.
Grand Strand First Responders are Second to None.
I recently had occasion to ask for assistance from our area first responders. I was very impressed by their performance. Fortunately, the situation I had called about turned out to not be as serious as it first appeared, but I was grateful that they responded in such a timely and professional manner. Minutes after I called 9-1-1, I could hear sirens and air horns rapidly approaching my neighborhood along Highway 17 Business. Then, just as abruptly, they suddenly stopped. I grew worried. “Were they not responding to my call?” “Was I next in line?” “Where were they?” In my old neighborhood in New England when first responders were called upon, they responded quickly enough, but pulled up at the requested location with lights flashing, sirens wailing, air horns blasting and two-way radios blaring. Don’t get me wrong, once they appeared on the scene they were as professional and as caring as could be, but their arrival looked, sounded and felt like a scene out of an old John Wayne western movie – The Duke and the entire Seventh Cavalry, complete with unsheathed sabers, uniformed buglers and waving flags were here! My experience here on the Grand Strand was entirely different. Since I had called 9-1-1 early in the morning, the Murrells Inlet Fire/ Rescue team that responded had very thoughtfully turned off their warning equipment when they turned into our neighborhood. In fact, they approached our street so quietly that even the numerous dogs that constitute our neighborhood’s early warning system (seems they’re always on guard, perhaps even hoping for a zombie or alien invasion) remained silent. Moreover, the young men (there are also two women currently serving in the Department) who answered my call were so calm and quietly assured that their confidence radiated throughout the house. They put our patient at ease and reassured me that it wasn’t as serious as I thought (asthma attacks often resemble heart attacks). They even moved the furniture back to its
original position on their way out. I was very impressed and gratified to see that the patient was in such caring and professional hands. Here’s what else I found out about the brave men and women who constitute our Grand Strand First Responders. • The Horry County Police Department (www.police.horrycounty. org) covers the 1,356 square miles of Horry County, an area larger than entire state of Rhode Island. The Department handles between 200-300 calls daily – a total of between 125,000 and 135,000 calls a year! The number one call is about residential and business alarms being activated. Very often these are false calls, and the costs incurred in responding contribute significantly to operational expenditures. The Horry County Department of Public Safety is implementing a program (“Cry Wolf”) that is designed to reduce these costs. • The Horry County Fire Rescue Department (www.horrycountyfirerescue.com) responds to more than 40,000 calls annually. • The Georgetown City Fire Department (www.georgetowncityfire. org) was founded in 1798 and would like to remind Sasee readers that one simple step can help save lives – remember to change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a year. A good time to do that is when Daylight Savings Time rolls around. Use that extra hour to check and change batteries. S.C. Professional Fire Fighters Association member Michael Parrotta echoed the same thought. In a recent conversation, he told me, “Smoke detectors are extremely important as a first line of defense against fire. Most people don’t realize that they lose their sense of smell while they’re asleep. Very often, you may hear the sound of fire (items burning, such as wood), before you smell the smoke. That can mean that the fire may be well underway before you’re fully awake.” Another thought about smoke detectors: • If you’re leasing a long-term rental unit, make sure you and the realtor verify that adequate smoke detectors are in place and working properly before you sign your lease. Once you’ve signed a lease and that initial check is complete, you are responsible for replacing the batteries and conducting monthly testing. Here are some additional facts and figures about our area’s first responders: • The Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District (www.murrellsinletgardencityfire.com) protects people living in an area of 45 square miles, and responds to 6,000 calls annually. • The Myrtle Beach Fire Department (www.cityofmyrtlebeach.com/ fire) was founded in 1938. Two years before the city was even incorporated. Today, the Department answers more than 10,000 calls a year. • You can have your blood pressure checked at any North Myrtle Beach firehouse (http://ps.nmb.us) between 8 am and 8 pm. This service is administered free of charge. • If you need emergency assistance, simply call 9-1-1 rather than your local fire/rescue unit. The 9-1-1 system is set up to save seconds in responding – valuable time where every second may count. Much more information about our first responders can be found on their various websites. In addition, all units welcome your questions and encourage you to visit them either in person or online. I believe the following statement by Lt. Robert Kegler of the Horry County Police Department sums up the attitude of our First Responder community. We want to work hand in hand with our community to make it safer and improve your quality of life. We are certainly fortunate to be living in an area that is protected by such professional, well-organized and caring individuals. I’d love to hear any and all feedback about “The Newcomers Notebook” from Sasee readers. Cheers, Phil
The Other “M” Word by Linda O’Connell
Indeed, with age comes change. I’ve heard it said that age is only a number. Well, my numbers keep adding up. I went to see my young, thin doctor who doesn’t have an ounce of fat on her body. I looked at the pictorial display posted in the exam room of her with her bicycling team – obviously one of the reasons why she is so in shape. I thought of the last time I’d bicycled. It was five years ago. Then, I had replaced my narrow seat with a wide gel seat for comfort. Because my husband and I were going to tackle the entire eight mile nearby trail, I decided to enhance my comfort. I grabbed a plump, small, navy blue toss pillow off the couch. I cut a slit along a seam and slipped it over my bike seat, intending to sew it back up when we returned. My rear was so sore by the time we arrived back home. When we pulled into the driveway, I hopped off and went to retrieve my pillow. It was deflated, flatter than a pancake. Empty! I must have left an eight mile long trail of shredded white stuffing. And here I thought people were just being overly friendly that day as they smiled and chuckled at me. Hubby hung my bike up in the shed, and I haven’t had the urge to take it down off the hook since. The doctor recently gave me a thorough exam and declared me in good health, except for one thing. She claimed my condition was due to hormones, or lack thereof. She never actually used the “M” word that women the world over despise, but we both knew what she meant. She wasn’t talking menopause. She says I have the dreaded malady that comes from being over the hill. She explained that slowed metabolism causes some women to put on five pounds a year. “No way! Every year?” I blathered on, blamed my weight gain on summer vacation when I went wild at the floating buffet. I vowed to unpack
those pounds as fast as I’d unpacked my suitcase. It didn’t happen. I tried everything to rid myself of what neither of us could bring ourselves to say. I was suffering from the big “M,” middle age spread. Next, I went to my dentist, who looks as though he just graduated high school. He has family photos plastered all over the place of his wife and three children, so I know he’s at least thirty. He has no idea yet what age will eventually do to him and his picture perfect wife. He also had no idea what to do with me when I started crying in the dental chair. He went to get his receptionist who held my hand and tried to soothe me. He’d set me off when he said, “You see, people your age…” Then, I completely lost it when he said my broken bridge would cost $1,500 dollars. Well, at least I wouldn’t be binging at another floating buffet. My next cruise vacation money was now designated for my young dentist’s vacation. My podiatrist claimed that old joints wear out, and he mentioned something about use it or lose it. I got up and got moving. Right out the door. Hubby and I decided to go dancing. The band played old time rock and roll, our kind of music. The beat went on, and on, and on as they blended three consecutive dance songs without a break in between. We didn’t want to look like weenies, so we stayed up on our feet, but we were so winded we couldn’t talk for half an hour. The “fifteen-year-old” dermatologist who allowed me to sit in when my husband had a benign cyst removed from his shoulder, made my day worse. He commented that at our age all sorts of barnacles will start to appear: cling-ons such as age spots, skin tabs, moles. As we headed out of his office, he tried to drum up more business. He tugged at the sides of his face, looked directly at me and said, “If you are interested in having anything lifted, I do that, too.” I wanted to tell him a thing or two, but as I passed a mirror, I realized he was just trying to help an old gal out. Age has its drawbacks and its advantages. The down side seems all downhill, but there is an upside. Senior discounts are definitely a perk, but it is the confidence that comes with getting older that makes aging worthwhile. When I was a young mother, I was uncertain about my parenting ability. I listened politely to unwanted advice. Now, I give it. When I was a new teacher, I dreaded parent-teacher conferences. Now as a veteran teacher and grandmother, I confidently share my knowledge and experience. My students’ parents value my opinions and ideas. Early in my career, I wore long skirts so that people wouldn’t see my knees knock when I addressed a crowd at school performances. These days, I take to the stage and do public speaking from podiums and lecterns at schools. I also present workshops for writers across our state. I have rubbed elbows with stars, and stars-to-be. I urge others to strive to be the best that they can be, to attain their goals now, and to not wait until they are my age. With a friendly air of authority, I now approach people, tackle tasks, and force myself to go out there and achieve that which I was too frightened to do when I was in my youth. Yes, age is only a number, but as my numbers increased, so did my patience and confidence. My doctor is right. I do have middle age spread. I am confidently spreading around my knowledge, expertise and assistance, encouraging and uplifting others.
CALL NOW! MUSICAL NARRATIVE
SEATS STILL AVAILABLE
featuring The Carolina Master Chorale: Jeffrey Jones, baritone
SUNDAY, JANUARY 19, 2014 4:00 PM THE MUSIC & ARTS CENTER AT MYRTLE BEACH HIGH SCHOOL Symphonic musicâ€™s inherent descriptive power is able not only to portray emotions and paint pictures, but even tell a story. Hear some of the most powerful and famous narrative masterpieces in the orchestral repertory, from a great Shakespeare drama to an epic Biblical tale, a journey down a Bohemian river and even a ride on a roller coaster!
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Young at “Art” by Diane DeVaughn Stokes
Many years ago, I played Auntie Mame in the Broadway musical Mame. She is one of the most endearing of all Broadway heroines. She is kooky, off the wall and ready for any type of adventure to brighten and heighten her life. One of my favorite songs from that show is a song she sings to her young nephew, “Open a New Window.” I believe, as Mame did, that traveling a new highway that we have never traveled before keeps us from getting as stale as week old toast! For that reason, in 2012 I jumped head first into art, even though I could barely draw a stick figure. How could I get out of college and not know how to draw? I had no concept of it whatsoever. I always felt artistic when it came to color and design, but don’t ask me to draw. I couldn’t begin to sketch a person, animal or landscape. Yikes. Two years ago; however, I got gutsy. I signed up for a drawing class with the OLLI program at Coastal Carolina University, taking a weekly threehour class for six weeks. Guess what? I still can’t draw. But my instructor said not to worry, as that should not keep me from painting, which is what I really wanted to do. I wasn’t sure I understood how I could paint if I could not draw but was certainly willing to try. In a previous Sasee article, “Artsy at Last,” I detailed how I took a deep breath and braved the elements, knowing I would be the worst artist in the class, and signed up for oil painting. And yes, I have been the worst in all three classes I have taken. But so what! I know I am great at other things. God gave everyone different gifts. And besides, most of my new art buddies have been painting for years. They encourage me, and I learn as much from them as I do from the instructor during each class. The weirdest thing is that my instructor was right. You don’t have to be able to draw to enjoy painting. You just have to be able to apply the paint to the paper with a vision in mind and not have a mental block about it. The best advice I was given was to find a photo I wanted to paint and use that as a template. Then get going! Gradually, I got my supplies together, put my apron on
and let loose, reminding myself, “It’s only paint- you can always paint over it. No one will die if it looks like crap,” and “If nothing else, my mom and husband will love it.” Since my artistic career began (gotta think the part) in 2012, I have painted about fifteen canvasses, some that are now hanging in my home, including my most challenging, a red barn with snow falling all around it that I photographed in Colorado ten years ago. No one has to know that I painted over the barn windows eight times before I got them right. I even painted a marsh scene with a palette knife, without a photo to study to see how it felt to paint from memory. It turned out great. It’s framed and hanging in my kitchen. By the way, EVERYTHING looks better framed. It’s amazing how a frame makes the yuckiest of art look fantastically artsy! But, the most interesting fact about taking art is that I really thought I would feel OLD because I should have learned how to do it when I was young. After all, I’m no spring chicken anymore. I like to say I am an “autumn” chicken! But actually I feel so young and energized when I am painting, doing something new and creative, something I longed to be able to do for many years. I also thought I would feel OLD going to the Grand Strand Senior Center where I now take a weekly art class. But, you know what? The folks that go to that facility have more spunk and spark than most of my younger friends. Thanks to stepping out of the box, avoiding my fear and opening a new window, I’m feeling young at “art.”
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Visit www.sasee.com for a full calendar and more Sasee events!
Glitz and Glamour Tea to benefit Long Bay Symphony, tea, fashion show, makeovers, 1:30-4 pm, Pawleys Plantation, $35. For tickets or more info, call 843-448-8379 or visit www.longbaysymphony.com.
Mid-Winter SOS (Society of Shaggers), North Myrtle Beach, various events throughout the area. For more info, call 843-281-2662 or visit www.shagdance.com.
FPC Concert Series, Aleksey Semenenko, Violin, and Inna Firsova, Piano, First Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach, 1 pm. For more info, call 843-448-4496 or visit www.myrtlebeachpresbyterianchurch.org.
Long Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra Winter Concert, 5 pm, Myrtle Beach High School Music & Arts Center, 3302 Robert M. Grissom Pkway. For tickets or more info, call 843-448-8379 or visit www.longbaysymphony.com.
“Dirt’N Details” horticultural program at Brookgreen Gardens, noon-1pm, free with garden admission. For more info, call 843-235-6000 or visit www.brookgreen.org.
Birding on the Barony, Hobcaw Barony, 8 am-1 pm, $30. For more info, call 843-546-4623 or visit www.hobcawbarony.org.
Myrtle Beach Quilt Party and Vendor Extravaganza, Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. For more info, visit www.mbqp.net or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
1st Annual Taste of Murrells Inlet Marshwalk, fresh local seafood, samplings and specials, live entertainment and more. For more info, visit www.marshwalk.com.
Moveable Feast, Lake High discusses The History of South Carolina Barbeque, 11 am, Carefree Catering, $25. For more info, call 843-235-9600 or visit www.classatpawleys.com.
FiberArt International 2013, exhibit at The Myrtle Beach Art Museum, For more info, call 238-2510 or visit www.myrtlebeachartmuseum.org.
Annual 5K & 15K, 9 am, McLean Park, North Myrtle Beach. For more info, call 843-272-1717 or visit www.grandstrandrunner.com.
4th Annual St. Christopher’s Gala to Benefit the Children of Georgetown County, 5:30 pm, Pawleys Plantation, $100 per person includes dinner, silent and live auction, live entertainment and more! For tickets and more info, call 843-235-0777 or visit www.stchristopherschildren.org.
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