January 2016 Priceless www.sasee.com
"The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can." - Mike Dooley
Volume 15, Issue 1
who’s who Publisher Delores Blount
Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant
Account Executives Amanda Kennedy-Colie Erica Schneider Gay Stackhouse
Graphic Artist Stephanie Holman
Photographer & Graphic Artist Aubrey Plum
Contributing Photographers Leslie Moore Celia Wester
Featured How I Dance by Sally Gosen Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 The Love of Biking by Judie Schaal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 45 Things I’ve Learned About Exercise by Janey Womeldorf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Finding My Jig by Rose Ann Sinay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 It’s Just A Place by Diane Stark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 From Superstar Mom to Supporting Cast by Margaret Bishop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 The First Race by Nadine Karel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
In This Issue Read It! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Moving Foward: Kim Fowler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Sasee Takes A Look: Surfside Beach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Out & About: Breakfast at the Surf Diner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Southern Snaps: Moving to the Beat of Life: Carole Revetti by Leslie Moore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Kids Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 January Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Accounting Kristy Rollar
Administrative & Creative Coordinator Celia Wester
Executive Publishers Jim Creel Bill Hennecy
PO Box 1389 Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 fax 843-626-6452 • phone 843-626-8911 www.sasee.com • firstname.lastname@example.org Sasee is published monthly and distributed free along the Grand Strand. 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.
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Pen & Brush readers’ comments RE: “Home Run Miracle: Grand Strand Miracle Leagues,” by Leslie Moore The article is awesome! I was so excited to see the beautiful layout. We even received a donation! Thank you again. -Jennifer Averette, Executive Director, Grand Strand Miracle Leagues
RE: “Christmas Every Day,” by Penelope Foran
Your story is so moving, and proof that miracles do occur. So happy you found happiness again. -Linda
letter from the editor Originally from North Carolina, I was less than happy when my parents moved from Charlotte to Surfside Beach when I was in high school. Even though I had grown up coming to the beach for vacations, it was a completely different experience to be so far away from my friends. I didn’t know anyone, so every day I would walk down to the beach with a bag of bread and pour out my sorrows to the seagulls. Sometimes, I would walk down to the pier and hang out with my father as he fished. Eventually, the magic of the ocean, plus meeting new people, made the quiet little town of Surfside Beach my home. While I don’t live in Surfside now, I still love the place where I fell in love with beautiful, coastal South Carolina, and where I began my adult life. To start the New Year, Sasee is highlighting this small beach community in a new feature called, “Sasee Takes a Look.” We found a lot to get excited about and hope you will, too! That’s not the only new feature in this first issue of 2016. In response to many, many requests, we’re bringing back the Sasee Hat! Only this time, instead of passing around a hat, we’re asking you to send us photos of you and your friends in your favorite head gear – and you might show up in a future issue of Sasee! Check page 35 for all the details. As always, thank you for reading Sasee!
RE: “Cinder’s Christmas,” by Marsha Tennant Very enjoyable read. So glad the booze didn’t do Cinder in!
RE: “A Box Full of Love,” by Linda O’Connell Oh, I love this story, as I love them all, Linda. What a wonderful surprise for your mom — but the best thing was the love you all so visibly displayed. Thanks for a perfect bit of holiday cheer to brighten my day! -Theresa
Cover Artist Yvonne Ham Winter Woman, by Yvonne Ham Yvonne Ham is a contemporary realist portrait and landscape artist who works predominantly in the medium of watercolor and oil. Born in Peoria, Illinois, the artist lives and works in rural Elmwood, Illinois. In 2013 after raising her children, Ham decided to commit to her artwork full time, and had her first one woman show in 2013 at Dick Blick Gallery in Galesburg, Illinois. She is a member of the Central Illinois Art Association, participating in open studio first Friday shows, and has received awards from the Morton Community Art Show, Illinois Art League and Inside Out Plein Air competitions. Yvonne’s artwork reflects her fondness for family and interest in her local community, revealing her passion for recording history in today’s modern times. Impressions of events can be forgotten, and she hopes that through touching brush to canvas she stirs an emotional memory for the viewer. Working from both live models and photographs, Yvonne begins her watercolors with a loose pencil sketch, laying a roadmap for the look she wishes to create. She maneuvers the paint by lifting off, scratching, splattering and laying objects onto the surface to create special effects. Her oils are done Alla Prima, in one sitting, quickly laying in lights and darks on linen canvas or board. Thick impasto strokes, scratching the surface and line painting are finishing touches on her paintings. To see more of Yvonne’s artwork, visit www.yvonneham.com, her Etsy shop, www.etsy.com/ shop/YvonneHamArtwork or find her on Facebook at Yvonne Ham Studio.
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How I Dance by Sally Gosen Case “Culture Fair!” exclaimed the brightly-colored poster. It was to be our small, white-bread town’s annual effort to inject something from the outside world into our small lives. Like any good homeschooling mom, I packed up my son and arrived before the opening act. We recognized a few local folks onstage. A familiar restaurant owner performed a Mexican folk dance with his wife. An African fellow who was staying in town played his handmade drums. But, predictably, most of the featured artists had to be brought in from elsewhere. We saw a Japanese drumming crew, bused in from the big city three hours away. There were a series of dancers and some unremarkable acrobats. Then the lights dimmed. She swept onto the stage. She was not young, nor was she beautiful. She was rounded but muscular, swathed head-to-toe in clinging black lace. A bright red shawl was slung low around her hips. The music started: hip-hop, but in Spanish. She began to move. This had been presented as “American Tribal Fusion Belly Dance.” I had hesitated to allow my young son to see such a thing, whatever it might be. We were church-going people, modest and sober. I was newly single, serious, a follower of rules. Now I was sitting three rows from the stage with my mouth agape and my eyes riveted to this stranger’s every move. Each motion, each gesture was fluid and precise. She could spin across the stage, and then dance in place with subtle, perfect movements. It was full-out exuberance with control; it was strength with beauty; it was total femininity…without seduction. I had always viewed belly dancing as a sleazily exotic way of advertising one’s availability to all observers. This lace-encased mom-type was not advertising; she was simply celebrating music, life and her freedom to be a part of it all. Suddenly I needed to be a part of it, too. But how would I learn to belly dance in a rural area outside a small town on the edge of a continent? My previous dancing experience
had been pretty much limited to the occasional two-step with my late husband. This definitely bore no resemblance to the two-step. I ordered videos. I studied YouTube. I started slowly, hoping my middle-aged body and bad back would comply. I spent the first week just learning the correct posture, then practiced the warm-ups. Soon I began learning lifts, drops and shimmies. Almost immediately, I developed “abs.” All of those graceful undulations and isolations, it turned out, were based on rock-solid core muscles. I carefully followed the choreography on my videos. My bad back got stronger. Muscles appeared on my scrawny thighs. My posture improved. I taught my feet to feel the floor, bone by bone, toe and heel; I taught them to step and turn in perfect balance. I taught my arms to flow, my hands to undulate. I learned that tight muscles don’t dance; for one body part to move, others have to allow for the movement. I learned that when there is pain, the rest of the body can still move; in fact, we must move if we are to heal. I learned that self-control need not preclude celebration, dancing from my heart for the joy of being alive. I learned that rules are not life, just a foundation to build life on, and I can build anything I wish. I have long since passed by the videos; learning those basic rules was just the first step. The real dance didn’t begin until I started choosing my own music like that long-ago dancer did when she chose to belly dance to hip hop. Today the song may be an old, familiar tune or world beat or even electro swing. I feel the solid floor beneath my bare feet, feel my shoulders lift. When the music starts, I meet it, live it, give it a body. I am focused and strong, dancing for myself. I never use preplanned choreography. I know the music, I know how to move, and I prefer to improvise. That is who I am now. That is how I dance. Sally Gosen Case lives and writes on the beautiful Oregon coast. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Horticulture, Rocky Mountain Rider, and Time of Singing. Sally and her son coauthor a popular Oregon travel blog, casingoregon.com.
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Read It! Nicole Says…Read These Books! Reviews by Nicole McManus
The Color of Light by Karen White
Jillian Parrish’s life has been turned upside down. After her divorce, she packs up her daughter and drives to Pawleys Island, South Carolina, where she was happiest during her childhood. Pregnant, and driving at night, her nerves are on end, when her daughter unexpectedly screams, calling out a name Jillian hasn’t heard in years, Lauren. Lauren was her best friend, and she mysteriously disappeared, never to be heard from again. Their friend Linc was accused and run off the Island, but Jillian soon finds him back in town. Together, will they be able to heal their wounds and discover the truth about Lauren’s disappearance? Karen White’s majestic writing brings beautiful Pawleys Island to life. The gripping storyline will keep readers guessing until the very end. This romantic suspense book has a small amount of paranormal activity running through it, which gives readers of all genres something to enjoy. The Color of Light was my first experience reading any of Karen White’s writing, but this intense beach read has me craving more.
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Simply a Smile by Joan Leotta
Joan Leotta is a Carolina author who has put together a collection of her short stories, including several award winning tales. Simply a Smile is a book that provides something for everyone. Ranging from historical romance to contemporary mystery, readers of all genres can easily find a story to enjoy. As one year comes to an end and another begins, time seems to evaporate into thin air. I blink, and two weeks have vanished. Time to catch a breath, much less read, seems to lessen each day, in the midst of the holiday craze. Now that the holiday season has passed, it is the perfect time to relax and appreciate short stories and essays. Simply a Smile does not disappoint in this aspect. Each unrelated story only takes a few minutes to read, making it a great book to carry with me as I run all my errands. Joan Leotta has organized her book by genre, so I could quickly jump to the section that I was in the mood for. “Fan Coral’’ is my favorite tale in this set. Though I wished each story offered a bit more detail, I was grateful to be able to escape into each piece. The title is very appropriate, as I found myself smiling while reading each story Nicole McManus loves to read, to the point that she is sure she was born with a book in her hands. She writes book reviews in the hopes of helping others find the magic found through reading. Contact her at ariesgrlreview.com.
The Love of Biking by Judie Schaal It’s January! It’s time for me to throw out the old - like the heels that I wore with just one dress. It’s time to bring in the new - maybe a new pair of tennis shoes that will entice me to start moving again. And, if I’m to add exercise to my life, biking is what I would choose. That brings back so many memories. When I was a child I was into all kinds of activities, but that which gave me the most delight was riding my bike. I loved the feel of the wind in my face and the wheels turning to the rhythm of my heart. It gave me a feeling of independence. I was the master of my destiny. Often I would head over to the local high school, walk my bike up a steep slope and ride down the graduated front steps, feeling excitement as the tires took me bouncing toward the bottom. There was the possibility that the bike would slip, turn over and I would break a bone or two, but that made it all the more challenging. Then, without consulting me, my parents moved our family to a new neighborhood. Now my friends were far away. That inner challenge found me delighting in disobeying my mother and pedaling across town to visit them. What fun it was to see everyone! But that little ruse came to a swift halt when a friend’s parent mentioned to my mother how nice it had been to see me. I was grounded, bike in the garage! Years went by, and biking became a thing of the past, especially when boys and cars entered the picture. I still might feel the wind in my face, but that was only when I was sitting very close to the driver of a hot blue convertible. Now the bike in the garage was forgotten, and my mother had other things to worry about! However, the love of biking never left me and returned in full force when my husband and I were invited to join friends on a biking trip. The adventure was to take place along the Natchez Trace. It was wonderful spending days winding through the scenic south. I loved the Spanish moss above us, swaying from giant live oaks. But, although
the landscape was glorious, I found spending a week on a bike not quite the same as an hour’s ride through the neighborhood. A tormentor must have designed the seat on the Schwinn bike that I rented. It felt like I was sitting on a pile of rocks. That might be fine for a short ride, but for six hours? The little padding I had helped, but my slim athletic husband felt every single bone in his derriere. And then there were the dogs we met along the way. There is something about revolving wheels that throw canines into a frenzy. It’s not too bad if you are going down hill. You can put your feet up on the handlebars and avoid being nipped at the ankles. But if you are pedaling up hill it’s a different story. You soon learn to cozy up close to another biker, speak softly and pray a lot. Occasionally we would have to bike a few miles on a four-lane highway. This I found nerve wracking, as the wind from huge trucks racing by almost blew me off the road. The more seasoned bikers never worried, but I decided the chance of my returning home in one piece might be better if I got off the bike and walked. So I did! I presently have a bike unlike the aforementioned one. It has a very wide seat, thick tires and a sign on the back (for drivers) that says, “Please drive slowly.” I would not take it out on a major highway, and I live in a neighborhood where dogs are under control. So, out it will come and on it I’ll ride. Look out, world! I’ll be slim by Easter!
Judie Schaal lives in Murrells Inlet with Gary, her husband of 50 years. She has written for On The Green magazine, the Sun News as a tennis columnist and is currently copy editor and photographer of a local color 28 page newsletter.
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January is typically the time for New Year’s resolutions. Do you make resolutions? If so, what are yours for 2016? I typically do make yearly goals for myself. I don’t like to call them resolutions because people often resolve to do something, but don’t have milestones or timelines in place. Goals tend to be more specific and most of us put more thought into them. My personal goals for 2016 are: Lose 20 pounds by June 30th, travel to a tropical destination by December 31st and remodel my kitchen by October 31st. What do you like the most about the age you are now? At this age, I feel more at peace with myself, and I don’t worry about what other people think. I also make more time for what is really important in my life – I have a better perspective on what those things are. What are three of the nicest things you do for you? Morning walks, massages and pedicures If you took a winter vacation would it be skiing in Telluride or basking on the beach in St. Thomas? This is a hard one…I don’t ski, so you would think it would be an easy answer, but I do like snow. I sort of miss it down here. I also like to ice skate. However, most of my vacations tend to be in the tropics, so I guess I would have to choose St. Thomas.
Please explain how life coaching can help our readers cope with life’s transitions – a divorce, a death or even learning to live in an empty nest. Life coaching helps put everything into perspective, helping you overcome your life challenges. If you feel stuck, whether it’s from a death, divorce or other setback, coaching can help. A life coach will guide you through your struggles by helping you see the light at the end of the tunnel, working with you to keep you accountable and helping you reach your goals in all areas of life. I have helped clients who wanted to achieve a lofty dream goal, and I have helped clients who just couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. Everyone can benefit from a life coach, whether they feel like life is okay, but could be better, they have a grand vision for themselves or they just feel like they are spinning their wheels and not accomplishing anything. I became interested in becoming a life coach in 2001 – I have always been interested in self help and read an article about life coaching. I’ve been through a lot myself and have always felt called to help others make better lives. I graduated from the Fowler Wainwright Institute of Professional Coaching and am certified by the International Association of Coaching (IAC). If your friends come to you for help and advice, that’s usually a sign you’d be a good life coach, even though life coaches don’t tell you what to do. We help guide you and ask questions that lead to finding your own answers. Most of it is already inside you. On my website is a wonderful free eBook to help you get started on the road to a better life, Design the Life You Were Meant to Have. Contact Kim and get her eBook at www.fowlercoaching.com or call 202-294-1080.
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Are you living the life you want to live? Contact Kim Fowler Kim@fowlercoaching.com or call 888-318-5107
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Sasee Takes a Look
Surfside Beach Locals and regular visitors know that each area of the Grand Strand is unique. This month, Sasee visited Surfside Beach and found lots to get excited about! One of Sasee’s favorite writers, Connie Barnard, lives in Surfside Beach – her words capture the essence of this little beachside town. Thirty years ago while my husband was stationed at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, we bought a ramshackle old beach house in Surfside. Built in the ‘50s, it was one of many raised cottages with porches and double doors on both sides, designed to catch the breeze and the sound of the waves. We never planned for it to become our permanent home, but the Surfside Beach sand became permanently lodged between our toes. Surfside is called the Family Beach, and we love its wholesome atmosphere. Tourism is the cash crop, and summer is harvest time. Most of our visitors are nice families who have saved up all year to spend this one week in Paradise. Each Saturday families pile in to the weekly rentals all around us, the little children squealing at their first glimpse of the ocean. If you don’t like watching folks have a good time, you probably should not live at the beach.
ival-October Family Fest h c a e B e d si Surf
We love it, and we love living in Surfside. For one thing, it is a real place -- a two square mile incorporated town with its own government, police and fire department, beach service, garbage and recycling collection, and sometimes colorful town council. The center of town is marked by Surfside Drive and the landmark Surfside Pier which has been here since the 1950s. We have our own special celebrations throughout the year including a Christmas parade, Easter Egg Hunt, and 4th of July fireworks display. We also have lakes and parks scattered throughout, active youth sports programs, our own library and dog park. For me, Surfside feels like home. In many ways, it is like the small hometown I left many years ago – with one big difference: the view from my upstairs porch -- from which, on a clear day, I swear I can see straight to Spain.
Yummy and Fun Places to Try • Kim Fowler says to try Brewski’s for a great place to nosh and watch the game. On date night, she and her husband head to Malibu’s, a new restaurant on Surfside Drive. • Carole Revetti loves the Surf Diner – the ocean view is spectacular – and for a good slice, she stops by Surfside Pizza. • Sasee’s own Susan Bryant’s morning would not be complete without a stop at Big Apple Bagel – and sometimes she brings enough for the whole office! Fatima’s Big Apple Bagel Morning Squad
Did You Know? • Surfside Beach is a relatively new town and was incorporated in 1964. • In the 1800s, the area was known as the Ark Plantation and was famous for its bumper crops of sweet potatoes. • During WWII, the northern section, north of what is now Surfside Drive, was used by the military as a gunnery range. Numerous .50 caliber shell casings, dated 1943 and 1944, were found during the town’s development. • From its beginnings, Surfside Beach was developed as a family friendly community and remains so today. It was the first town in the area to implement a townwide smoking ban. • Who loves the Surfside Beach Pier? Everyone! This iconic 750 foot pier was first completed in 1953, but has been twice destroyed by hurricanes. Early residents and visitors remember the amusement park with its Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and arcade – and the Pier Restaurant. • A town filled with lovely parks and lakes, All Children’s Park is a very special place. This park is designed to allow children with special needs to enjoy playing with their peers and has set a nationwide standard in parks and recreation. • And don’t forget the beaches! With twelve public parking areas, handicapped accessible ramps, public restrooms and showers, this is a wonderful place to spend the day.
All Children’s Park-10th Ave. S. & Hollywood Dr.
Fuller Park-Surfside Dr. & Myrtle Dr.
Breakfast at The Surf Diner The Grand Strand has so many fun places to enjoy a meal and one sure way to find the best is to ask the locals. January is a great month to dine out for those of us living and working here – the lines are shorter, and you’ll probably see someone you know! Sasee asked Surfside Beach residents where they like to eat, and over and over again we heard – I love breakfast at the Surf Diner! We decided to try it out for ourselves, and we were not disappointed! Located ocean front at Surfside Pier, The Surf Diner is owned by Shawn Roth and his business partner Bill Howard. Shawn sat down to talk to us while we were eating some of the best eggs, grits and waffles we’ve ever tasted. Originally from Ohio, Shawn’s background in food service brought him, with his wife, Jana, here to work for East of Chicago Pizza. When the opportunity came to reopen this beautiful restaurant, he grabbed it! “The building had been vacant for a year and a half when we came in. We had to completely rebuild it to bring it up to code, and we opened on July 4th, 2012.”
The revamped building is lovely, very clean and nicely decorated, but the main attraction is the gorgeous ocean view. The inside seats 40 and the outside deck will seat 70. “This is the unofficial center of town,” Shawn began. “Even when groups come in separately, they will end up chatting. Everyone from local realtors, to fishermen, to retirees come and in and enjoy a meal, conduct business and socialize. There’s a real sense of community here.”
On the Surfside Pier 11 S Ocean Blvd., Surfside Beach 843-712-1850 www.surfdiner.com
The Surf Diner serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – the servers are efficient and friendly, and the food is wonderful! In the height of the season, there is usually a wait for a table, so check it out this month – and tell them Sasee sent you!
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45 Things I’ve Learned About Exercise by Janey Womeldorf 1. The hardest thing about exercise is getting out the door.
17. Walking is free; pedometers are cheap.
2. The first time I ran, I thought my knees would explode, my lungs would collapse, and I wanted to throw up. I lasted one lap of the high-school track. The next day, I went back and ran two. That was 25 years, 40 pounds and hundreds of miles ago. Nobody enjoys their first run.
18. At 50, I joined a weight-training, strength class. I am stronger, more toned, and I love it. Exercise has no age limit.
3. I love my husband’s smell—unless he’s just come back from a run. 4. Exercise clears the cobwebs and helps me think straight. 5. When you least want to exercise is probably when you most need to. 6. Just when you think it’s getting easier, you get older. 7. Our gym membership still costs less than our cable bill. 8. Taking weight off and keeping it off are two different animals. After years of yo-yo dieting, the key to me keeping off 40 pounds was exercise. It is the single, greatest weight-gain buffer out there. 9. Don’t do the wine if you can’t do the time. 10. I have never regretted a single workout I have ever done.
20. I pinned a sign on my motivational cork board showing the number of calories in wine: 125 in a glass; 600 in the bottle. It isn’t helping. (Thankfully # 9 is.) 21. I exercise best in the morning. It gets it out the way, starts my day off, I don’t have to shower twice, and there’s less reason to cancel. 22. I sweat more as I get older. 23. I do a push up for every year of my age. You can do them against the wall, on your knees or the conventional way. I don’t care how I achieve mine—as long as I do. 24. If you’re out there exercising, pat yourself on the back. Nobody really cares what you look like.
11. Procrastination is more exhausting than the exercise itself.
25. Guilt is a great motivator. There is nothing like that naughty-food wrapper reminder in the trash to shame you out the door.
12. Age fairy strike one: The youth fairy’s ugly sister flicks a switch once you turn 50. Suddenly, weight goes on easier and comes off harder. Exercise is her only antidote.
26. I cheese, therefore I run.
13. I once told some good couple friends that after three days of no exercise, my brain becomes scattered. I get mental constipation; I feel antsy, and I can barely concentrate. The husband told me he feels the same way about sex. It was the first time I understood the male sex drive. Personally, I’d rather run. 14. If I could keep the cork in, I’d keep the pounds off. 15. A good workout will always make me feel better about myself. 16. A former teacher of mine revealed she didn’t start running until her forties. She was out one day and it started raining so she ran home. Starting an exercise routine is as complicated as you make it.
19. I have been doing the same stomach and abdominal routine for over a decade yet I’ve loosened more pant buttons in the last year than in the last ten. What’s all that about?
27. Age fairy strike two: One day, I woke up, and literally overnight, two pouches of ugly skin grew under my armpits which now bulge out from the sides of my t-shirt. One, where did they come from and two, is there an exercise for these? 28. Deadlines are a great motivator—until they pass. 29. You don’t need scales; your jeans will let you know. 30. I hate trying on running shoes. The only things I loathe more are swimsuits. 31. Exercise looks different as you age. At first, I called it running, then jogging; now, it’s more of a shuffle.
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32. I once ran a half marathon. I was 33, and it was my New Year’s Resolution. By December 28th, I couldn’t stand myself. I went to the gym, got on the treadmill, and started running. The leg-energy stars were aligned and 13.1 miles later, I got off. I never ran another but I’m still proud I did it. (See # 2.)
Expect the Extraordinary
33. I plan my gym treadmill workouts around what’s on TV. 34. My workout clothes have gotten looser as I get older; so has my skin. 35. At what age does play become exercise? 36. My husband and I saw a cartoon once of an older couple out power walking in leisure suits and sweatbands. In between their huffing and puffing, the wife gripes, “Five more years and we’re letting ourselves go.” Hilarious that we can relate. Scary that we can relate. 37. The cruel irony about exercise is the more you work a certain body part, the sooner it wears out. I had my first knee X-ray after 15 years of pounding the pavement. 38. Blue compression knee bands with the hole in the middle make weird suntan lines. 39. I have a GPS watch that tells me how far I am walking. I still can’t decide whether it’s motivating or not: The second I hit 5 miles, I’m done. 40. I have a love/hate relationship with exercise: I love that my husband and I power walk together. I hate that he burns twice the calories I do.
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41. I rarely use escalators. Every step is a calorie. (See # 12.) 42. There is a famous saying that reads, “There is no such thing as bad weather — just wrong clothing.” Rain is not an excuse. 43. Anything is better than nothing. 44. I’m happier when I have exercise in my life. 45. Exercise will shape your body, improve your health, increase your self-esteem and change your life. It did mine. As long as I can get out the door.
Janey Womeldorf once went to work wearing different shoes. She now freelance writes and scribbles away in Orlando, Florida. It’s probably best.
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Finding My Jig by Rose Ann Sinay Exercise has always been a dreaded chore. The adrenaline high my athletically motivated friends talk about has always eluded me -- so have the benefits. I’m a bookworm sort of person, exercising my mind instead of my body. But, as I grow older, I think more seriously about my physical well-being since exercise always tops the list in prevention of everything from heart disease to dementia to skin problems. I have proof of good intentions over my lifetime. Those twentyfive year old running shoes stored in their original box show no signs of wear, although the previously bright white ties are now yellow with age. Somewhere in the attic lies a Suzanne Somers Thigh Master, a plastic Stair Stepper, a Twister Exerciser, jump ropes, and gadgets I can’t figure out which end is up. When I entered my twenties, I became a member of Gloria Stevens Figure Salon. It had just opened up in a strip mall across the street from my place of work. Convenient -- no excuses. I actually donned pink tights, a purple leotard and a sweatband to stand in one spot with a wide vibrating belt strategically placed around my hips to shake off that bulging fat. After ten minutes, I would unhook the strap and drape it around the biggest part of my thigh -- five minutes on each side of each leg. I had no doubt as I sat on the barrel roller (with those big, wooden, rotating beads) it was moving the jiggled fat away. Where it moved I didn’t know, didn’t care -- just away was fine with me. The salon manager’s tape measure verified that I was a fraction of an inch smaller. I wiped the single droplet of sweat from my brow (with the ever present neck towel) and changed back into my street clothes feeling absolutely svelte. The phase passed when the clothes in my closet did not grow bigger. They were still as tight around those thoroughly pummeled spots as they were before the “exercise.”
Several years later, when I looked into the mirror and realized I had become a sloth -- just hang me upside down and give me a banana -- I knew I had to do something. That’s when I bought the running shoes. I got lots of advice from my friends on making the correct purchase. Don’t go cheap, you get what you pay for, your feet will fall apart if you don’t get the right support. Of course, I bought the best. I put on the newly purchased jogging suit to go with those new sneakers and pulled my hair back into a pony tail. I took it slow, best to build up the speed. I made it to the stop sign at the end of my road, approximately one quarter mile with a small uphill grade. I still had to get home. My feet hurt; a blister had already formed on my heel. I took off the expensive shoes, tied the strings together and slung them over my shoulder. I hobbled back home in my socks. There was always the old Richard Simmons tape. Eventually, Curves, a fitness center, moved next door to my current place of employment. How much easier could it get? I attended the open house and signed a year’s contract. Surely that would keep me going. I rotated in their exercise circle for a month before I began finding excuses to drive home in the opposite direction. Over the years, my exercise routine has remained sporadic. I move my feet constantly while watching television to burn a few extra calories and keep my heart rate up--well, higher than simply lounging on the couch. I walk around the house with one pound cans of beans in my hands which are often replaced by the telephone. I always use a land line. It weighs more than the cell phone. My most recent attempt at organized physical activity was dancing to the radio turned up full blast. A guest on Dr Phil, or The Doctors, or some other TV talk show, lost one hundred pounds and lowered her cholesterol dramatically that way. I like dancing so I decided to
give it a try. I used moves my body hadn’t experienced in many, many years: The Pony, The Swim, The Jerk. I suggest eliminating the last one if you have a bad back. But, I danced, uninhibited -- wild even -- putting all my energy into the movements. One day I noticed a golfer standing on the tee, looking in the direction of our house. Did I mention our over-sized windows line up perfectly with the sixth tee box of the golf course? I stopped swinging my arms. I had once asked my husband if he (anyone) could see inside the house with the shade slats slightly tilted. “Of course you can’t see inside,” he said as if it was a silly question. This is the same man who never removes his sunglasses when I ask if I have too much blush on my face. I should have known better. Frozen to the spot, I raised one arm and waved. I prayed that he didn’t wave back. He did. I waited until the golfer drove his cart away
to close the blinds. My dignity obliterated, I sat down and ate three cookies and a bowl of ice cream. These days I still dance around the house, perhaps not quite so enthusiastically Once in a while I let loose and throw my sassy version of an Irish jig into my routine. I’m pretty proud of myself; not everyone could do the intricate moves. I leave the shades open for that one. Rose Ann Sinay is a freelance writer typing away in sunny North Carolina. Her articles/stories have been published in The Carolinas Today, The Oddville Press and The Brunswick Beacon.
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6 1 0 2 y r a u r b Fe l u o S Heart & 26
It’s Just a Place by Diane Stark “One of my teachers asked us to raise our hands if we are
planning to live here in Indiana when we are adults,” my 16-yearold son, Jordan, told me. “And no one raised their hand.” “Well, things don’t always work out the way you think they will,” I said. “But not one kid raised their hand, Mom. Every single person said they are getting out of here as soon as they can.” “That might be their plans at 16 years old, but that’s not what’s going to happen.” “How do you know?” “Think about Dad and his siblings. Of the seven of them, how many live within 10 miles of the house they grew up in?” He thought for a minute. “Four.” “And look at your friends’ parents,” I continued. “How many of them grew up around here and are now raising their families here?” Jordan named a few people, and his sister, Julia, jumped in with a few more. “Dad went to high school with several of your friends’ parents,” I added. “For that matter, both of your school principals went to school with Dad.” “So obviously, a lot more people stay around here than I thought, but I still plan to go to a big city,” Jordan said. “That’s fine, but please remember that you can be happy anywhere, Bud.” “I think I’d be happier in a big city.” “Maybe, but happiness is more about attitude than location. This small town in Indiana is not my favorite of all of the places I’ve
lived in my life, but I am happier now than I’ve ever been.” I shrugged. “Where you live is just a place. It’s not your whole life.” Just a few days later, I was dropping Julia off at her best friend’s house. The girl’s father was a detective with the local police department, and her mom is our family doctor. They both attended high school with my husband. I mentioned my conversation with the kids, and she nodded. “When I was their age, I’d planned to leave too,” she said. “But we got married and got jobs here, and then I got pregnant, and it just seemed easier to stay.” She smiled. “It wasn’t what we’d planned, but it’s good. Tell Jordan he can be happy anywhere.” I grinned. “That’s exactly what I told him. Where we live is just a place.” Later that night, I was thinking about how long it had taken me to learn that lesson. As a teenager, I don’t think I thought too much about where I’d live as an adult, but I had definite ideas about the kind of man I would marry and how many children I would have. But our teenage idealistic dreams aren’t always – or usually – the ways things turn out. When I was in my late 20s, my then-husband was up for a promotion. This promotion would require a move from our Indianapolis home to Columbia, South Carolina. Another employee was getting ready to retire, and his company had made my husband the heir apparent for the retiree’s job. Our move seemed almost guaranteed, and I wanted it badly. As I endured what was supposed to be my last Indiana winter, I bragged to friends that I wouldn’t have to put up with the snow much longer. As I scraped ice off of my windshield, I dreamed of the milder climate I would soon be enjoying. But in December of that last Indiana winter, my husband left me. And two years later, he moved to Florida with his second wife.
I, on the other hand, have endured ten Indiana winters since what was supposed to be my last one. Ten more winters. That’s 30 months of ice, snow and wind chills cold enough to make your toes turn black and fall off. But guess what? I’ve never been happier. Because my teenaged-self knew what she wanted. She wanted to marry a guy who loves God and loves her and her kids. And she wanted lots of kids. I got remarried eight years ago. My husband, Eric, is a wonderful man who brought two children into our marriage. He loves my kids from my first marriage, and we’ve had a little boy together. My teenaged-self wanted lots of kids, and now I’ve got five of them. Where you live really is just a place. It’s who you live with that matters. I am 100% convinced that I am happier living in snowy Indiana with Eric than I would be living anywhere else with anyone else. Now this does not mean that I am not occasionally jealous of my friends who live in milder climates. I am Facebook friends with Sasee’s editor, Leslie Moore. And when she posts anything about the beach in the months of December, January or February, I do sigh with a twinge of envy. I still count the days until the snow will finally melt, and it will stay light past 6 pm. And I am practically giddy the first time I am able to wear my flip-flops after that long winter. I don’t love winter, but I actually do love living in Indiana. Or to be more precise, I love my life, and my life is in Indiana. I am living proof that we can be happy anywhere. I hope my kids figure that out. Because I’d really like the grandkids to live close by.
Diane Stark is a wife and mom of five. She loves to write about her family and her faith. Her essays have been published in over 20 Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
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Moving to the Beat of Life Carole Revetti by Leslie Moore
The first thing you notice when meeting Carole Revetti is her huge smile – and as soon as she starts talking you realize that smile extends to an even bigger heart that believes in sharing the blessings of her life. A native of Surfside Beach, Carole now divides her time between her homes in Virginia and Surfside Beach – with a fun trip thrown in every few months. “Surfside Beach was very different when I was growing up,” Carole remembers. “Most of the roads were dirt, and we all knew each other -- there was an arcade at the Pier where we all hung out – and we had a lot of fun at the pool parties at the Holiday Inn. It was a wonderful place to grow up, and I still love it.” Carole’s parents divorced when she was a teen, but her mom instilled a sense of adventure in her daughter that gave her a love of new people and experiences. “My brother is five years older, and we would go on surfing trips at a moment’s notice – it was always me and a carload of boys!” Carole’s mom also encouraged her daughter’s love of music and owned a record store on Surfside Drive called Sound Off. After high school, Carole was ready for adventures of her own and moved to Florida to attend college, but would come home for the summers and work part time at the Afterdeck, then a favorite hangout for locals, enjoying the beach life and her friends. “I was kind of the original Florida snowbird!” Carole’s dad encouraged her to experience life on her own terms – surprising
her often with fun, new experiences. “Every year he would buy me four tickets to a concert for my birthday – it was our tradition!” Eventually, her father, who by then had relocated to the state of Washington, convinced Carole to move there and take a job with Hewlett Packard. “I finally felt like a grownup, but I thought my life was boring. I’ve always been a free spirit, and I love a new adventure -- all I need is a tank of gas and I’m ready to go.” Carole eventually did pack up and head south to Santa Monica to visit a former roommate. Two weeks later, she met the love of her life, Dan Revetti, and her “visit” became more permanent. “I sent resumes to anyone I thought would be fun to work for, and I began to make connections, leading me to my job at People. I’m sort of like Ferris Bueller; I always seem to luck into great situations! I know the angels are on my side.” Carole loved her job with People and worked at the magazine’s events which led to many fun experiences meeting celebrities. “It surprised me at first that the stars were just like us, and that their onscreen personas didn’t always match the real person.” She went on to tell me about some of her more interesting celebrity encounters. “Once, Dan and I went to the opening of Hannibal, the sequel to Silence of the Lambs. We were late, and the only seats left were in the last two rows. We sat in the next to last row because the other one was cordoned off. When the lights went down, someone slipped into the seat right
behind me. I peeked around, and it was Anthony Hopkins! I watched this creepy movie with the star right behind me! It was a strange experience.” These were fun years for Carole, and she made the most of them – jumping in her car, ready to go if a good time or fun concert was promised. She and Dan became engaged and married in typical Carole fashion in 1997. “We had a destination wedding, a cruise. I had worn so many ugly dresses at my friend’s weddings; I was determined to do something different. We booked a cruise and 64 of our friends and family came with us – we were married in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and everyone partied with us for a week!” Dan’s job as an engineer made life easier for Carole, but she continued to work. “I don’t know if it was luck or fate, but one day Dan and I talked about moving back east to be closer to our parents, and the very next day he was offered a job in the Washington D.C. area.” In 2002, Dan and Carole moved to Virginia, and Carole went to work for AOL. “I loved that job, too. I would work at the events and met so many interesting people. At that time, AOL would prosecute internet scammers and seize their belongings, giving them to AOL users. We gave away fancy cars, gold bars, you name it!” Dan continued to rise in his field, and Carole was able to retire at 38. “We bought our second home in Surfside Beach in 2010. It was supposed to be a rental, but I love it here and never rent it. I do gift friends and family with a week here or there.” These days, Carole splits her time between her homes – and even though Dan can’t always join her, he knows his wife enjoys being at the beach, surrounded by her childhood friends and family. “My husband gets me, we trust each other, and he knows I need my time here – and he understands that I don’t like Virginia’s winter weather. I’m so blessed.” Sharing her blessings is very important to Carole. She recently helped a young girl with cancer get one of her greatest wishes granted. “This young lady loves NASCAR and Jeff Gordon. Through social media and friends, I was able to get her a block of tickets to the race and a ‘meet and greet’ with her idol.” During the holidays, Carole arranges for gifts for needy children, cajoling her friends to adopt a child, while quietly playing Santa for several. “A former classmate of mine works for SCYAP, and one year they lost their Christmas sponsors at the last minute. Through social media, I found out about it and jumped in to help. Everyone can do a little and it ends up being a lot!”
and keep our local community in touch with each other. It is a great, warm, loving feeling when we all gather.” These are only a few of the altruistic activities Carole supports. “Helping those in need is my passion. I have spare time to dedicate to it, and it means the world to the recipient – canine or human – what’s better than that? I couldn’t do what I do without social media and my family, friends and our generous community.” Of course, Carole takes time for fun – attending concerts whenever her favorites are playing close by and enjoys dining out. I asked her to share her favorite Surfside Beach hangouts. “Breakfast at the Surf Diner is always good -- I love being at the pier where I spent my childhood days. Surfside Beach Pizza and River City Café are also wonderful. Surfside Beach makes me feel at home, I have so many good memories and am always making more. Nothing is better than riding my golf cart around the places I remember as a child.” She and Dan love to cook and entertain or just hang out and watch movies. “My brother owns a restaurant in Lake Wylie, and he taught me to make the best ribs – it’s my favorite thing to cook when I have company!” The New Year is looking bright for Carole. Her first trip of the year, to the British Virgin Islands and San Juan, is next month. “My New Year’s resolutions this year are the same as every year – lose weight and HAVE FUN!”
Her greatest love, however, is for her four-legged friends, and Carole is the adoring owner of four rescue pups and fosters others, favoring those with special needs. Her current foster is a small Chihuahua, born blind, and his owner, while loving, knew she couldn’t care for him. Little “Stevie” is being trained and cared for by foster mom Carole until he is ready for his forever home. “I’ve always had animals in my life, both dogs and cats, but had never fostered. One of my neighbors rents a condo in Deerfield, and a few years ago, the tenants moved out and left their dog. A few days later, she showed up at my house with the dog in a kennel. I couldn’t say no and fostered her until we found her a great forever home. I really enjoyed helping and began fostering one dog at a time.” The Grand Strand is home, and Carole stays active in her community, serving as administrator for several social media groups that are geared to connect specific people, including her high school classmates and groups formed by her friends growing up. “It is very important to me to reconnect old friends
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Many of us already know the benefits of a regular yoga practice and look forward to our yoga classes at one of the many studios along the Grand Strand. Your kids can benefit too! Local yoga teacher, Sharon Stollenmaier talked to Sasee about teaching yoga to kids. “Our kids have so much stimulation today. When I first started teaching yoga to kids, I didn’t think they would go into savasana, [this is the final pose of a yoga class and involves lying quietly on the yoga mat for a few minutes] but they loved it! I let them use lavender scented eye pillows, and I give them a little massage. It’s great for kids to have a few minutes to not think.”
As kids realize they can do the poses, they develop confidence, boosting self esteem which spills over into their day to day lives. Sharon uses fun games and activities to make yoga easy to understand and enjoyable. “They love working with props – blocks, straps and even bolsters get kids excited.”
Move and Flow
Yoga classes for kids are structured a little differently than for adults. Sharon stresses the importance of breathing, a key part of a yoga practice and a great way to handle the stress of everyday life. “With kids’ yoga, I might place cards around the room with different poses drawn in stick figures. We dance around the room and wherever they stop, that’s the pose they do.” Sharon calls the poses different things as well – Happy Baby is Bug Pose, etc. She went on to say that even toddlers can benefit from yoga. “The little ones do classes with their parents. It’s great for developing flexibility and strength in all ages.”
Most kids start with a 30 minute yoga class, but can enjoy classes of up to an hour. “Another thing I like to do with kids is put them in a circle and let them each do a pose on their own,” Sharon told us. “And, all kids love to go upside down – they think that is the greatest thing!” Yoga is particularly useful for kids with special needs. Studies have shown that yoga benefits children with autism and ADHD. NPR has reported that researchers surveyed teachers at a Bronx public school that had a daily yoga program and found that the program reduced kids' aggressive behavior, social withdrawal and hyperactivity, compared with a control group of kids with autism who did not practice yoga.
Kids’ yoga is offered at many studios along the Grand Strand. Sharon says to look for a teacher who’s not super serious and will have fun with the kids, so they’ll want to come back again and again.
From Superstar Mom to Supporting Cast Member by Margaret Bishop When I was 27, I was awarded a starring role in an unscripted series: motherhood. It was a role I’d dreamed about, a role I’d wished for, a role I planned like a maniac for, but when the day finally arrived for me to assume my starring turn, I felt a little unnerved by the totality of it. In a matter of hours, I was suddenly the expert on another human being. Doctors, grandparents, aunts and uncles, even my spouse turned to me to ask questions like: “How many ounces is he eating at each feeding?” “Does he like to be held on his stomach?” “Does he always spit up like that?” Like so many workers new to their jobs, I felt like a fraud at first. Oftentimes, I didn’t know the answer and was only guessing as to what I supposed to do next. But gradually, over the course of weeks, months and years, I actually became the expert I was always expected to be. By the time my third child was born, I had hit full stride in my role as Mom. I was confident. I was secure. I knew what the hell I was doing, and it felt good. I no longer felt like the fraud I’d worried about being in those first weeks of motherhood. If someone asked what to buy for a birthday present, I had three options in all price ranges at the ready. If the doctor inquired about a small mole located just below the belly button on the right hand side, I knew when it first appeared and if it had grown. I was the first name my kids called out when sick in the middle of the night, and the first hand they reached for when they woke up in the morning. I was the star of our little universe, and though I often felt tired and drained, I relished my role. I had a purpose, and I was fulfilling it. And then, after countless days and endless nights of full on mothering, there was a profound, but gradual, change in my role. Without any conscious realization on my part, my starring role was slowly being diminished. I wasn’t necessarily the center of anyone’s universe anymore. No one was reaching for my hand every morning or calling out my name in the middle of the night. When I was too busy and too preoccupied with my starring turn to pay too much attention, everyone else had been off doing some work on their own. Each of my children had become the star of their very own original series, and while I’m still a member of the
cast, I’m relegated to the background just like all the other sit-com moms. And while I’d like to be a star that ages gracefully and accepts her demotion to supporting cast member with dignity and aplomb, I find myself back to the place I was so many years ago when I first became a star – unnerved by the totality of it. Never again will I be the center of my kids’ universe. Never again will I be the first person they think of every morning or the only person that knows what they really want for their birthday. In fact, I now find myself in the humiliating position of having to ask what they really want for their birthday along with everyone else. I’m no longer the expert on their lives. When I wasn’t looking, my children snuck out from under my thumb and started blossoming into the adults they want to become. It’s a beautiful thing, really. It’s what every parent hopes and prays for – that their children be afforded the good health and opportunity to follow their own dreams. But no one told me that it would be so hard for me to let go. No one told me that I would find myself slightly adrift by the new limitations of my role, and yet, everyone told me. I think I just didn’t believe them. As we look ahead in the years to come, I’m told that I’ll be pushed even further into the background. “Once they can drive,” wise mothers tell me. “Then, you really find yourself peering in from the outside.” It’s a lot to give up, but a lot to look forward to as well. If we’re lucky, we’ll be gratefully giving thanks and celebrating birthdays, graduations, acceptances, breakups, disappointments and achievements for years to come. And while I won’t be the star in any of these events, I will always be Mom. My wish now is that I can cherish the relationship we once had and embrace the relationship that we are in the midst of building.
Margaret Bishop and her husband, Matt, reside in Camden, South Carolina, with their three wonderful children (David, Olivia and Thomas) and always entertaining dog, Sugar. In between carpools, Margaret enjoys reading and writing as much as possible.
Back By Popular Demand
SHat! Start pulling out those hats and wearing them proudly!
Just send your digital photos to our editor, Leslie Moore, at firstname.lastname@example.org or #SaseeHat. And watch for your Sasee shot in an upcoming issue!
It’s been many years since we highlighted Sasee Women wearing the Sasee Hat. WE loved passing the hat around to so many deserving Sasee Women and you, our readers, have asked us to bring it back. We listened and Sasee has done just that! (With a different twist, of course.) Snap a few shots, share the occasion and who (if anyone) is in the picture with you. You could pack your hats for the next girls’ weekend and share the fun with uswhatever you’re doing; we’d love to join in! We will publish your photos each month and pick a winner in July. The winner will receive dinner for two, a bottle of wine and other goodies from our wonderful supporters.
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with your friends, at a special occasion or anytime you’re wearing your favorite hat, and send them to Sasee.
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The First Race by Nadine Karel When I was in middle school, the worst day of the year was the one when our gym class had to run the mile. I’d drag myself to school wishing that a natural disaster would destroy the track and running would be canceled for the next seven billion years. My fingers trembled as I tied the laces of my sneakers, and when our gym teacher blew the whistle to signal the start of our run, I would stumble over my feet and run a little and then walk a lot. Run a little, walk a lot. I was always at the very back of the pack, my face red with exertion, sweat pooling under my arms. I didn’t play sports and just assumed that I wasn’t good at anything athletic. I loved my books and my music. I loved art and museums and writing and photography. I didn’t love sports, and I didn’t love running. And I was okay with that. But I’d also forgotten something, something from before those terrible middle school years when, let’s face it, gym class is only one of the many battles we face. Here’s what I’d forgotten: I used to love being active. I would spend hours outside, riding my little red bike around the neighborhood in great circles and up and down alleyways. I loved the feeling of freedom it gave me -- to be outside in the fresh air, moving myself somewhere. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t actually going anywhere; I just liked the movement. So maybe it shouldn’t have come as a big surprise when, in my early thirties, I started moving again. I started by hiking, and then, I did something big: I went to Spain and walked 500 miles on a medieval pilgrimage route called the Camino de Santiago. After college a few friends of mine did this long-distance trek, so I’d known about it for years. When the perfect storm of circumstances hit -- a summer off from my job in a school, the end of a very serious relationship and some big questions about the direction of my life -- I decided that a pilgrimage in Spain was the perfect answer.
My experience on the Camino gave me so much, but the unexpected gift was the discovery that I thrived on the trail. Others had blisters and sore feet and tired legs; they struggled with the weight of their backpacks and cursed the last miles of the day’s walk. Some gave up altogether. Me? I found that I was far stronger than I ever realized. I had sore feet and tired legs, too, but I didn’t mind the discomfort. Instead, I reveled in my ability to walk so long and to walk so far. I loved the accumulation of all those miles; I loved that feeling of freedom and of movement. Sometimes, I danced down the trail, a smile stretched wide across my face. Walking 500 miles across a country is big. But honestly? In some ways, running my first 5k felt like more of a victory. I came home from my summer on the Camino and knew that I wanted to stay active. I wanted to use my body while I still had a body -- and a healthy one at that -- to live in. So I started running. And I was humbled by the effort it took me to run for five minutes. I’d just spent a month walking an average of 15-20 miles a day and to run for five minutes? I was out of breath, and the muscles in my legs screamed in protest. But I kept at it, almost every day, slowly increasing my distance. I never ran fast, and sometimes I wondered if my fastest walking pace could compete with my running pace, but I told myself that it didn’t matter. What mattered was that I was choosing to do something that had terrified me for over 20 years. I was choosing to show myself that I was capable of running a mile; I was capable of running more than a mile -- regardless of what my middle school self believed.
On my drive to my 5k, the first race I’d ever run in my life, I gave myself a pep talk. “Okay Nadine, you’ve got this. You can walk if you need to, you can be dead last, but you’re going to do this. And you’re going to be fine.” As I lined up with the other runners, I realized that I wasn’t scared, or nervous, not like I’d been in middle school. And that, perhaps, gave me a victory larger than the one I felt when I crossed the finish line at the end of the race. I was looking a decades-old fear in the face and saying, “I am not defined by the things that scare me. I may never run more than this, I may never run again, but the thing is, I’m running now.”
And I was. I labored and I fought, and when it was all over my face was bright red, and I was covered, head to toe, in a slick layer of sweat. My stomach was cramped, and I had to double over for a few minutes and concentrate on getting my breath back, but afterwards? Afterwards I smiled. And then I pictured my middle school self -- the chubby cheeks, the crimped hair, the crooked teeth and the over-sized t-shirt. She was looking at me, and she was smiling too. Nadine Karel is a drug and alcohol counselor, working with high school students in the Philadelphia region. Things that make her happy include: strong coffee, giant pandas and learning how to text.
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Frank Lloyd Wright: Brookgreen Gardens, Tuesdays, 4 pm, Architecture of the Interior,
Beneficial Weeds, lecture by Patricia Candle, meet and greet
Moveable Feast, Charles Belfoure
discusses House of Thieves, 11 am, Pawleys Plantation, $25. For more info, call 843-235-9600 or visit www.classatpawleys.com.
a three course meal is prepared and served, $40 members, $45 non-members. For more info, call 843-235-6000 or visit www.brookgreen.org.
exhibit at The Myrtle Beach Art Museum. For more info, call 843-238-2510 or visit www.myrtlebeachartmuseum.org.
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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.
at 9:30 am, Waccamaw Library. For more info, visit Low Country Herb Society at www.lcherbsociety.info.
BEAUTea by the Sea, luncheon, FPC Concert Series, Stephen
lecture by local historian and more, to benefit Long Bay Symphony, 1-4 pm, $40, Pawleys Plantation. For more info, visit www.longbaysymphony.com or call 843-448-8379.
Waarts, Violin; Chelsea Chang, Piano, First Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach, 1 pm. For more info, call 843-448-4496 or visit www. myrtlebeachpresbyterianchurch.org.
Myrtle Beach Quilt Party and Vendor Extravaganza,
Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center, Sunset Beach, NC. For more info, visit www.mbqp.net, call 800-624-6601 or e-mail email@example.com.
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33rd Annual 5K & 15K runs, 9 am, North
Myrtle Beach. For more info, visit www.grandstrandrunner.com.
Long Bay Symphony, Musical Exaltation, featuring
the Carolina Master Chorale, 4 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.
Books and Boogie, Fundraiser for Freedom Readers, 4-9 pm,
Dead Dog Saloon, Murrells Inlet. Buffet dinner from 6-8 pm, $40. For more info, call 404-455-1864 or visit www.freedomreaders.org.
FPC Concert Series, Andrew Ty-
son, Piano, First Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach, 1 pm. For more info, call 843-448-4496 or visit www. myrtlebeachpresbyterianchurch.org.
Advertiser Index Angelo’s Steak & Pasta...............................................................11 B. Graham Interiors...................................................................23 Barbara’s Fine Gifts....................................................................21 The Boundary House Restaurant................................................2 Brookgreen Gardens..................................................................26 Butler Lighting...........................................................................13 Carolina Car Care.........................................................................9 CHD Interiors..............................................................................3 The Citizens Bank.........................................................................5 Clark’s Seafood & Chop House...................................................2 Coastal Luxe...............................................................................25 David Grabeman, D.D.S., P.A......................................................5 Dr. Sattele’s Rapid Weight Loss & Esthetics Centers................7 Fowler Life Coaching.................................................................15 Freedom Readers.......................................................................37 Grady’s Jewelers.........................................................................18 Grand Strand Plastic Surgery....................................................13 Harvest Commons.....................................................................26 Homespun Crafters Mall...........................................................15 Horry County Solid Waste Authority.......................................39 Hospice Care of SC....................................................................10 Ignite Church..............................................................................29 Kangaroo Pouch.........................................................................21 Long Bay Symphony..................................................................15 Marion Emporium.....................................................................11 North Myrtle Beach Internal Medicine Inc..............................32 Palmetto Ace Hardware...............................................................9 Pawleys Island Compounding...................................................13 The Pink Cabana.........................................................................20 Pounds Away...............................................................................15 Rose Arbor Fabrics & Interiors.................................................20 Sea Island Trading Co................................................................40 Shades & Draperies......................................................................5 South Atlantic Bank.....................................................................9 Studio 77.....................................................................................21 Take 2 Resale..............................................................................19 Talk of the Town.........................................................................10 Two Sisters with Southern Charm............................................19 WEZV..........................................................................................32 Women in Philanthropy.............................................................27