Attitude and Gratitude
My Aunt Joan was an amazing woman with so many incredible talents. A natural beauty like her mother (my grandmother), Aunt Joan was a designer, an inventor, a fabulous cook, and a capable writer. She was also confident and eloquent - gifted with the ability to hold a conversation effortlessly and make friends easily. Because her husband, a business executive, was relocated frequently, Aunt Joan often found herself in a new neighborhood in a new town, often in a new state, with three small children and nary an acquaintance in driving distance. That never stopped her from meeting people, though. I’ve heard stories about her plucky attitude and how she’d pack up a fresh pot of coffee and tray of home-baked cookies and just ring the doorbell of the nearest neighbor, inviting herself in for coffee and conversation – on her. It always worked, and Aunt Joan always made friends wherever she went.
As her biggest fan and favorite niece (Shh! Don’t tell the others), I like to think I learned from her. And while the only real gifts of hers I can lay claim to are the ability to write and bake cookies, I long to be braver, stronger, and more confident. I long to have ‘pluck’ and ‘verve’ and ‘moxie.’ Since I have past the age of pluck and verve and moxie sounds like some some weird nutritional supplement that simply wouldn’t taste good or work, I’ll settle for standing at the door of your virtual kitchen with a cup of tea and some virtual cookies…you’ll love them – they have no calories.
If you allow me to come into your kitchen by way of your keyboard, I faithfully promise to pop in every couple of weeks for a visit to chat, let you know what’s going on in my head and my little corner of the world here on the Treasure Coast, and be completely honest with you about what’s on my mind and in my heart at the moment. I know we’re all super busy nearly all the time, so sometimes I think we’ve lost the art of conversation and sharing with one another – unless you count Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and text messaging. And while those are all terrific forms of communication, they’re simply not the same as sharing a cup of tea and conversation with a friend. Whether we share our joys or our disappointments, there is something infinitely human and affirming about sharing, and since my friend, Dana, has invited me into her www.AllThingsTreasureCoast.com space, I’d like to share both the good and not-so-good that comprise me.
In short, I’d like to share my gratitude (that’s the good part) and my attitude (this part may not always be as warm and fuzzy). If you’ll allow me, perhaps we can become better acquainted, celebrate some of the things that make living her on the Treasure Coast so special, and maybe make some positive strides together. I may never be as bold and beautiful as Aunt Joan, and I am surely never going to be brave enough to show up on your doorstep with a coffeepot in one hand and cookies in the other, but I promise to be brave enough to always tell you my truth and do my best to listen to yours, too. So, do you think you’d like to open the door? After all, these cookies aren’t going to eat themselves.
Wendy Dwyer is a woman of many hats. A full-time Associate Professor at Indian River State College, she serves as a creative consultant for a variety of nonprofit organizations in the area. She also writes regularly for Luminaries, STUART Magazine, and a variety of other publications.
The creative force behind a variety of unique and wildly successful fundraising programs locally, including the Jewelia Project, the “What’s in Your Bag?” Food Drive, and the Silver Bells Holiday Home Tour, Dwyer is an active volunteer in the community as well, serving as a founding board member of the Van Duzer Foundation, and assisting a variety of local charitable organizations including: Mustard Seed, HANDS/VIM, Southeast Florida Honor Flight, Creature Safe Place, the Inner Truth Project, Guardians for New Futures, Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society, the Sunrise Theatre Foundation, LifeBuilders of the Treasure Coast, Heathcote Botanical Gardens, United for Animals, and many others.
An award-winning writer, educator, and public relations professional, Dwyer is always willing to assist non-profit organizations and provide dynamic and engaging public relations trainings for Treasure Coast charities. Her book Asshats to Assets: How to Turn Crappy Jobs into Career Gold is available at www.amazon.com. When she is not working or volunteering, she enjoys writing, walking, and spending time with her husband Dan and a large variety of rescued animals at her rural home west of Fort Pierce.