Wednesday, June 4, 2014



Earlier this year, I met a dear family member, Donna Jean, at Tybee Island, Georgia.  Donna Jean  escapes the cold and snow of her North Carolina home and winters on Tybee; family members know if they want to see her, they have to schedule a visit.   For several years, she and I have corresponded about meeting when my work schedule would allow me to travel north. 

Donna Jean has a degree in journalism and has been a writer all her life.   My goal was to enjoy several  “relax and recreation” days at her beach house and exploring - with her help - the pros and cons of my past year‘s Wellness Wednesdays columns and her advice for this year’s column.  The thought of talking with her about effective writing and clear communication to my target audience thrilled me.
I dutifully packed copies of my blog books for the trip, along with writing notebooks.  After  I arrived on the island and had unpacked fresh vegetables from my favorite hydroponic farm for the meals I would prepare for the two of us, Donna Jean told me that she would read the Wellness Wednesdays columns in the evenings.  Then, the next morning after she had tea and I had coffee, she would provide her impressions and suggestions of what she had read the night before.   I took copious notes for three days and returned to Florida.  And then the unexpected happened - I was unsure what to write! 
After all the little girl kind of excitement about looking forward to the weekend on Tybee Island with Donna Jean, when I returned home I found I could not write.  I was not prepared to be stuck.  I had expected the flood gates to open wide and have words tumbling out on every paper I touched after being inspired by a powerful writer. 

For the last 3 months I have not written Wellness Wednesdays.  Until  today, when  I made the decision that it was time to write again.  One of the challenges Donna Jean gave me on Tybee, intertwined in our conversation about communication theory, was “to find ways to get the stories out.”  So this year I will write about the stories from the Growing Healthy Kids movement and why we are working crazy busy hours to improve health literacy of parents and improve health outcomes of America’s children. 

I have missed you and our weekly conversations more than you can imagine.  I want to honor our conversations.  Donna Jean taught me a lot on Tybee.  She taught me that by becoming a storyteller, I will be a more powerful teacher and will touch more lives.  It is time to tell stories about Growing Healthy Kids.  

Every column may not be a story, but many will be.  As I write about health matters, food, farming, fitness, love, family and friends, tell me this: What health goal has gotten you stuck to the point where you could take no action?  Looking forward to hearing from you.

Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.