The power of female friendship: She hands you water when you have had too much wine and she hands you wine when you have had too much life

By Cherimie Crane Weatherford
It is found in preschools, gym classes, dance lessons, bathroom stalls and occasionally in that hour where the whole world seems to have gone blindingly dark; a sympathetic glance, a shared tissue, a gentle hand that silently screams, I am here and we can handle it. It is female friendship, the foundation of most anything memorable and necessary for anything manageable. Such a sacred, sweet and fierce bond is formed in that one moment where one woman sees herself in another. When the competition fades, the jealously subsides, and the learned habit of judgment sheds its cloak and the true feminine mystique reigns.
Few women can recall momentous events that aren’t shaded by the colors of their closest friends. Notorious as our gender may be for devouring our own, every woman has at least two females who would readily walk through fire at first summons. It isn’t always family, it isn’t always the most likely of pairings, but it is always certain, safe, and without condition. There is no sweeter bond, no more protective barrier, and no more guaranteed source of havoc than a best friend.
She will love you, hate you, envy you but always stand by you. She will borrow your favorite dress, lose your favorite purse, and never fail to say the absolute worst thing at the absolute worst time. She will hand you water when you have had too much wine. She will had you wine when you have had too much life. Her problems become your problems, her victories your triumph, your shoes her possession.  She will be the reason you smile, the reason you cry and the reason you need substantial bail money.
Anytime three women are spotted it is quite simple for any experienced observer to identify the most obvious of personalities required to create such a trio. There is usually one who occasionally finds Jesus and loses her sense of humor, one who loses her religion and finds Earl, and one who is too busy finding the other two to lose much of anything but sleep. Thus is the making of soul mates and a life time of shared secrets, shared success and shared shoes.
Just as a cartoon with a devil and an angel perched on ones shoulders so is life with two closets friends. The devil is far more fun, but much more likely to land you in prison while the angel is grounded, responsible and reminds you to act your age. It takes a village to raise a woman, and it takes two best friends to keep her standing tall.
If I ever manage to sit still for longer than 47 minutes at a time, there will be a book, a novel, a horror story intertwined with comedic chaos and the purest exposure of human nature as one can experience. It will be the highlights and late nights of my life with my two closest friends. An honest account of what it means to live in one body with three heads, three mouths, and only four ears. Friendship seasoned with shouldn’t haves, couldn’t haves, and wouldn’t have any other way.
My cup runneth over with the sisterhood of two amazing women. One I know will forever enrich my life with late night phone calls, missing cars, and shenanigans that make me laugh until I cry, and one, who with a moment’s notice, morphs into an army of one standing ready in my defense.
The real feminine mystique resides in the power of sisterhood, the ability to love that which you are, that which you are not, and accept that your favorite shoes will always be missing.

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Beaufort seeks volunteers to roll up sleeves on form-based code

Knowledgeable volunteers are needed to review and critique Beaufort’s new Form-Based Code, an in-depth guide to how the historic city should develop over the next century. The committee will be formed by mid-June with work expected to start in August.
The hands-on, line-by-line review of the 400-page document will ensure the document “fits” Beaufort, said Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling.
“What we’re doing is ‘Beaufortizing’ the code so it fits and protects what we have while taking our hometown to the next level of excellence,” he said. “Those before us worked very hard to create and protect our history, our natural resources, our scenery and scenic vistas. We need to be sure the Form-Based Code we put into place recognizes and celebrates those elements.”
Members of the Beaufort Form-Based Code Advisory Committee will be asked to:
• Ensure that the draft document is easily understood by all user groups and contains the right balance of content and layout to make it user-friendly;
• Review and recommend an appropriate development review process to streamline the process while ensuring adequate protections;
• Properly calibrate and coordinate the code with the recommended regulatory plans and strategies in the Civic Master Plan, Comprehensive Plan, the Historic Preservation Plan, and any other relevant adopted plan or policy.
Qualified members should be willing be meet twice a month and ideally will have technical expertise or strong interest in the development process, code standards and/or design, and be able to build consensus. Committee members are required to be Beaufort residents.
All interested individuals should submit an application to the City Clerk or the Beaufort Planning Department by June 15. Applications are available at www.cityofbeaufort.org under Boards and Commissions.
“Ideally, the advisory committee will be comprised of a balanced group of 12-16 key stakeholders who are intimately involved in the development process, including both technicians such as designers and engineers as well as citizen leaders and board volunteers,” said Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling.
At a minimum, the committee likely will include representation from the following groups:
• Beaufort-Port Royal Metropolitan Planning Commission: two members
Design Review Board: one member
• Zoning Board of Appeals: one member
• Historic District Review Board/Historic Beaufort Foundation: two members
• City Council: One to two members
• Redevelopment Commission: One to two members
• Area developers/builders: Two to four members
• Others (designers, active neighborhood leaders, etc.): Two members
Committee members will be asked to review the draft ordinance, section by section and in some cases line by line. “It can be a tedious review process but is completely necessary so that everyone is comfortable with the approach,” said Craig Lewis of Beaufort’s Office of Civic Investment and the Lawrence Group.
Members will be asked to come to committee meetings having read and reviewed the sections in advance so that the committee can move through sections faster.

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News briefs

Buckle up, Beaufort
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office will be participating in the 2012 Buckle Up South Carolina campaign.
The men and women of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office are proud to partner with the South Carolina Department of Public Safety and law enforcement agencies throughout the state in the annual Memorial Day Buckle Up South Carolina campaign.
This campaign focuses on the importance of using a seat belt during the operation of a motor vehicle. Increased enforcement of the South Carolina seat belt law will run through June 3.
For additional information, please contact Captain Allen Horton at 843-255-3264 or visit www.buckleupsc.com.

Traffic team to conduct checkpoint
Members of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Team will be conducting a traffic safety checkpoint on Thursday, May 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. The checkpoint will be held at the following location:
• U.S. Hwy 21 (Sea Island Pkwy) at Ball Park Road (Northbound traffic)
This Public Safety Checkpoint will be conducted to enforce all South Carolina State Laws, with emphasis on violations related to driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations, and insurance.
Drivers passing through the checkpoint will be asked to produce their driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance for their vehicle.

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Cancer Survivors Day Celebration

Cancer survivors and their guests are invited to celebrate “Expressions of Survivorship” by attending Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s third annual Cancer Survivors Day Celebration and art exhibit on Sunday, June 3, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Beaufort Memorial Keyserling Cancer Center.
The free celebration is open to any cancer survivor and his/her guest, and will feature live music, refreshments, a brief program, door prizes, and a special opportunity to view several art works that are part of the national Lilly exhibit “Lilly Oncology on Canvas: Expressions of a Cancer Journey.”
Program speakers will include BMH physicians, nurses, and cancer survivors who will share their personal stories of survivorship.
Registration is requested by Friday, June 1. Call 843-522-5585 to register or for more information.

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Have you ever stopped to think…

By Martha O’Regan
And forgot to start again? When I saw this bumper sticker many years ago, I laughed out loud with a response of “yep, all day long.” How many times a day do you get distracted by all the “bright shiny objects” that continuously vie for our attention? Do you get to the end of a day with that to-do list still full? And, who doesn’t walk into a room and wonder “why did I come in here” and have to retrace your steps to remember? Or, is it just me?
The truth is, we live in a world of information and stuff overload and our brains are so jumbled with conflicting data from so many “experts” or too much stimulation from all of our technological gadgets, making it difficult to focus, even when we desire it. Unless we are living on a deserted island, we all have the propensity for one of the many “alphabet soup” syndromes labeling our inability to give undivided attention to a specific task. Understanding how the brain works helps to create methods to teach ourselves ways to focus our attention on what is important for a healthy, joyful life, ultimately eliminating procrastination and self-sabotage.
Every morsel of information that we are exposed to through our five senses, goes into the brain and either begins building a new neural pathway or gets connected with one already formed.  If we repeat or receive that info continuously, that pathway gets more grounded and familiar, contributing to our behaviors and patterns — good or bad.  So, just by living in our current world,  we are continuously bombarded with too many bits of unimportant, unfiltered, and nonsensical information that just gets jumbled in with the other bits of the same, never really taking hold, resulting in confusion or deficits in our attention.  If we could periodically “defrag” our brain like we do with our computer, we could clean out or organize the bits of data that are just floating around in there.  But, that hasn’t been discovered … yet.
In the meantime, one tool we all have is self awareness. Becoming aware of each moment allows us to focus on just that moment, not the other gazillion moments on the horizon. Start by tuning into those times when you feel overwhelmed, scattered or unfocused and just note where or how you feel it in the body.  Then, allow yourself to stop for a moment, close your eyes if practical, take a deep breath and just be in gratitude for clarity and focus. Continue this process until you feel less scattered or a direction reveals itself to you. Quieting the mind allows that little voice in our head, often referred to as our inner wisdom or higher self, to be heard. I call it a “Divine Download” and am always grateful because I know I could never have come up with most of them on my own. This self awareness exercise can be repeated hundreds of times a day for as many days as is needed to create its own neural pathway, to become a part of who you are. Once you have mastered that layer, you are ready to tune into the next then the next and before you know it you will be enjoying your life more, accomplishing more things than you ever dreamed possible. As always, have fun with it because remember, life is only hard until it isn’t — you decide. Live Well … Have Fun!

Therapeutic Solutions: Offering a unique approach to your active health care needs using a variety of healing modalities, nutritional and wellness coaching to empower you to a new state of health and well-being. 73 Sams Point Road, 524-2554.

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Blinding eye diseases may show no early symptoms

Mark Siegel, MD, FAAO
The American Academy of Ophthalmology urges all Americans to make regular dilated eye exams a part of their health routine during Healthy Vision Month. Observed each year during the month of May, Healthy Vision Month is an annual campaign to educate the public about ways to make their healthy vision last a lifetime. In addition to routine eye exams, healthy habits — such as a nutritious diet, regular exercise, not smoking, and wearing sunglasses — can help prevent eye disease and vision loss.
There are seldom any warning signs or symptoms during the early stages of serious eye diseases like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. However, it is in the early stages of disease that treatments can most effectively prevent blindness. The only way to catch many eye diseases early is through routine screening.
Most Americans understand the importance of regular dental visits or cancer screenings, but often forget about their eye health until they notice a problem. Too often, this costs patients their vision. A dilated eye exam is the only way to catch eye disease early so that preventive measures can be taken to save sight.”
Eye Exam 101
A comprehensive eye exam is a painless procedure that can detect potentially sight-robbing conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, even before a patient experiences any symptoms. A comprehensive eye exam should cover the following:
• Medical history, assessed through questions about vision and family history.
• Visual acuity, tested by reading a standardized eye chart.
• Pupils, evaluated to determine how well they respond to light.
• Eye movement, tested to ensure proper eye alignment and ocular muscle function.
• Prescription for corrective lenses, evaluated to ensure proper vision correction.
• Side vision, tested for possible vision loss and glaucoma risk.
• Eye pressure, tested as a risk factor for glaucoma.
• Front part of the eye, examined to reveal any cataracts, corneal scars or signs of inflammation.
• Retina and optic nerve, assessed through a dilated eye exam using special eye drops, which allows an ophthalmologist to thoroughly examine the back of the eye for signs of damage from disease.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that all Americans have a baseline eye exam with an ophthalmologist — an eye medical doctor or surgeon with the skill and experience to diagnose and treat the full range of eye diseases and disorders — no later than age 40. At that time, the ophthalmologist will determine how frequently a patient needs follow-up exams, based on the individual patient’s eye health needs. By age 65, the academy recommends eye exams every one to two years, or as directed by an ophthalmologist.

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If not you, who?

By Will McCullough
When considering putting your property on the market, I think it’s very important that you interview at least two or three potential listing agents. In the Beaufort area, there are literally hundreds of licensed real estate agents and finding the right Realtor to represent you can make a huge difference in seeing your property sell in a timely manner and for as much as possible.
In complete honestly, it isn’t always a matter of just who’s “better,” it’s often more a matter of “who’s a better fit” for you and your specific needs. That being said, I wanted to share what I’ve always considered the best question I’ve ever personally been asked by a potential client during a listing interview. The question was simple: “If you couldn’t recommend yourself or even an agent from your company, who are a few other local agents you’d recommend to list our home?”
Please allow me to be completely up front, as a local agent myself, I’m obviously biased. However, truth be told, there are many incredibly good agents in the Beaufort area and I thought it would be a fun topic to publicly answer the above “who else?” question. Please know that while, yes, I personally hold the following agents in high regard, this is by no means a complete list. So, without further delay, here are just a few of the many local agents, from multiple companies, who quickly come to mind when personally answering the above question.
Christi Trumps, Tideland Realty:  I’ve interacted with Christi on multiple occasions over the years while working through various showings, offers and contracts. Her wealth of experience and genuine pleasant demeanor always appear to serve her clients well and, I can say from personal experience, allow for very smooth communication when working as an agent opposite her in a transaction.
Mike Ray, Coldwell Banker: Having represented clients opposite of Mike on several occasions, I can honestly say I really respect how he works. And “how he works” is hard. From what I’ve seen, when Mike is looking for an answer for his clients, he’ll dig until he finds it. He returns calls and emails quickly and doesn’t hesitate, at all, to initiate his own when the need arises.
Kim Carswell, Ballenger Realty: Kim is a true professional who appears to represent her listing clients exceptionally well. I am a personal fan of having a strong marketing message and quality promotional materials for listings and, as a competitive observer, have to say that I honestly respect the heck out of her work.
Bryan Gates, ERA: Bryan’s a very nice guy.  The real thing too, not just an act. While I haven’t done a large amount of transactions personally with Bryan, I can’t help but think that his high degree of genuine care for people in general would have to pass on to his clients and I think that, coupled with his years of experience, likely make for an awesome agent.
Pat Harvey-Palmer, Hometown Realty: I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of professional interactions with Pat over the years and I can say, without question, that her volume of experience puts most of us in the local industry to shame. Whatever your problem, she’s likely already “been there, done that” … and “done that” well.
Gary Glasser, Lowcountry Real Estate: In the interest of fairness, I’ve done my best to highlight quality agents from other companies and abstain from listing any of my co-workers at Lowcountry Real Estate. Gary, however, rates an exception. Reason? My impressions of Gary were formed when I myself was with another company. Gary’s straight-talking style, depth of knowledge and prior-USMC life experiences have always seemed to guide his clients well.  I have no doubt that will continue to be the case for many years to come.
When it comes down to it, what matters most is finding a local agent, from a reputable company, whom you feel will both market your property aggressively and relate best to you personally. While Deena and I would welcome the opportunity to potentially serve you, we also can’t deny the fact that the above list represents only a few of the many excellent local agents available to choose from.
Bottom line, take your time and interview a few agents before you sign on the dotted line. An extra day or two spent making comparisons can end up, unquestionably, being time well invested!

Will and Deena McCullough of Lowcountry Real Estate can be reached directly at 843-441-8286 or via email at RealEstate@BeaufortSC.net.

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Disaster preparedness

By State Farm™ agents
No one can control where or when a natural disaster might occur. But good emergency planning can help reduce a disaster’s impact on your family’s health and safety. Use the information below to help create a disaster preparedness plan for your family.

Stay Informed
A key part of disaster preparedness is knowing where to find the best, most current information. For immediate needs, keep a battery-powered AM/FM radio or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio receiver in your home. When hazardous conditions occur, tune in for the latest information and instructions.
It’s also a good idea to learn more about emergency programs in your community. The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can direct you to national and state programs. Contact your local police or fire department to find out about programs in your immediate area.
For longer-term planning, the Federal Alliance of Safe Homes (FLASH) is a good place to start. There you can learn about the most likely disaster risks in your state, and ways to safeguard your home against them.

Make A Disaster Survival Kit
During a disaster, your family should be prepared to survive for several days without access to food, water, and other essentials. Create a family disaster survival kit, and keep it in an easily accessible location in your home. Your kit should include the items below in amounts to last each family member for three days:
• Drinking water in nonbreakable containers;
• Nonperishable food and related utensils, such as a can opener;
• First-aid kit, including necessary prescription medications;
• Portable radio and flashlight, including replacement batteries;
• Tool kit;
• Maps;
• Cell phone with charger;
• Extra clothing;
• Blankets or sleeping bags;
• Your insurance policy numbers;
• Pet supplies, if necessary.
It’s also a good idea to create a complete inventory of your possessions and keep it in a bank safe deposit box or other safe place away from your home.

Create An Evacuation Plan
Thinking ahead about how to evacuate your home and community safely can save valuable time during an emergency. For a home evacuation plan, determine the best escape routes from your dwelling and choose a meeting place nearby. Hold drills periodically and update the plan as family members’ needs and abilities change.
To prepare for a community evacuation, designate an out-of-town point of contact for family members to call if they become separated. Then, record emergency contacts and other important information on wallet cards from Ready.gov.
Community evacuations may be voluntary or involuntary, depending on the situation. When an evacuation order is given, leave immediately in accordance with official instructions. To prepare for a voluntary evacuation, plan routes ahead of time, taking into consideration traffic patterns and possible hazards, such as impassable bridges. When conditions become threatening, collect all family members in a single location and fill up your vehicle’s gas tank. Remember to keep your emergency kit close by, including maps, in case you need to leave quickly.

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Kevin and Rosemary Cuppia: Hearts of gold

By Lanier Laney

Rosemary and Kevin Cuppia have owned and operated Modern Jewelers on Bay Street for more than 30 years.
Rosemary, a Beaufort native, met her husband Kevin — a transplant from New Jersey whose family moved to Hilton Head Island — when she was in the 10th grade at Beaufort Academy and he in the 11th. They both graduated from University of South Carolina with marketing management and merchandising degrees and in 1981 got married.
Modern Jewelers was originally started by Lester and Virginia Hiers in 1947. Rosemary’s dad, Carson

From left is Chase, Rosemary and Kevin Cuppia, with Woodrow on the floor.

Rembert, took over as manager in the 1960’s, and later bought the business. Kevin and Rosemary worked together with her dad for a few years after college and then he offered them the opportunity to buy it. They jumped at the chance to stay in Beaufort and the idea of working together in their own business.
Today they have built the store into one of the best in the region, chosen as “Beaufort’s Favorite Jewelry Store” every year from The Island News, and “Best Jewelry Store” 10 years in a row from The Beaufort Gazette.
Rosemary says, “We have always tried to be a friendly family business, not stuffy or pretentious.  Our staff becomes like family.  I’d like to thank all those who have worked for our business over the years.  It is our helpful and sincere staff that has won us the accolades.”
Their staff also includes their son Chase, whom they were proud to welcome to the family business four years ago.
Modern Jewelers has become a full service jewelry store under the Cuppias. Along with carrying a large selection of fine gemstone and diamond jewelry, and sterling silver designer lines, they also do jewelry repairs, custom jewelry, and even create jewelry from your very own designs.  They offer engraving, watch repair and silver restoration.  They also have extensive giftware selections with lines like Waterford, Wedgewood, Beatrice Ball, Reed & Barton, and, of course, they have a bridal registry.
Both Rosemary and Kevin believe strongly in giving back to the community. Says Kevin, “Our community has made us successful over the years and we feel obligated to give back. There is probably not a charity or fundraiser that we have not supported. I have been fortunate to have sat on the boards of the Hospital Foundation, Historic Beaufort Foundation, TMAC, Boys & Girls Club, Main Street Beaufort, and Sertoma.  I was also fortunate to spend many years with the Water Festival, and was one of the earliest graduates of Leadership Beaufort.”
Rosemary adds, “We like that Beaufortonians are a caring and giving community. That is why Modern Jewelers stays committed to supporting so many charities and fundraisers.”
Kevin says that the philosophy of owning and running their own business is not original. He said, “Many know of it as the Rotarian Four Way Test — of the things we say, think or do: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned?  Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”
What the Cuppias love about living in Beaufort is waking up to sunrises over Factory Creek or sharing a glass of wine together watching the sun set over the bridge from their back porch.  They also like going to work with the expectations of helping a client find the perfect gift.
“One of the most enjoyable aspects of our business is that we help create some of the most exciting moments in people’s lives,” said Kevin. “Helping a young teenager purchase his first promise ring, or the nervous young man pick out the perfect engagement ring for his bride-to-be. It’s great to be a part of such memorable birthdays and anniversaries.”
No description of the Cuppias and Modern Jewelers would be complete without mentioning Woodrow.  Woodrow is the store’s snaggle-toothed boxer mascot that you usually see napping in the middle of one of the Cuppias’ elegant window displays.  Woodrow came to work several years ago when Chase joined the team. And after all the university training the Cuppias got in merchandising and marketing, instructing them in ways to get customers to come in the store, Kevin says, “It’s been  humbling to realize that all we needed to do was let a dog sleep on the floor.  It’s amazing, people come in to see if he’s real. They come to take pictures and they bring friends and family to visit Woodrow. We had a couple who stay at Fripp come in just to see if Woodrow would be in, then ended up purchasing a very nice diamond pendant. This was something they did not teach us in our merchandising class,” he said with a laugh. And by the way, Woodrow gets lots of treats.
The Cuppias want to thank all their great customers and friends in Beaufort who have been such loyal supporters over the years.
In return, I’m sure everyone would like to thank the Cuppias for giving so much back to the community.

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