About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Minnie and Me

I don’t know exactly how old Minnie is.  I know that we got her before we moved into our current home.  And we’re living in our home for six years.
Did I mention Minnie is a houseplant?
I am a firm believer in naming plants and talking to them.  And I am honest enough to admit that as the years have gone by and my life has become fuller, I name fewer plants and talk to them less frequently.
But Minnie is different.  She’s been with us for a long time.  Before we had two cars.  Before we lived in a home with multiple bathrooms.  Before we became parents.
I can remember my husband working late nights, me alone in our apartment.  As I cleaned, I talked to Minnie about my day.  I shared with her what I had done and what I still had to do.  I complained to her when my husband left his dirty clothes on the floor instead of inside the laundry basket.  Minnie listened to my rants of frustration when I just couldn’t comprehend why another piece of home theater equipment was purchased by my husband.  Minnie was there for me.
I don’t talk to Minnie as much as I used to.  But I smile at her, look at her with fondness, affection, and gratitude.  Minnie has stuck by me all this time.  She’s been there.  She knows my secrets and she’ll keep them for me.  Always.
What would Minnie say if she could talk?  (Maybe I’ve watched too many snippets of Toy Story with my son that I am now imagining my plant thinking and talking).  Does she feel like she’s been a part of our journey?  A witness to a family evolving and growing?  What would she say of the arguments she’s witnessed, the laughter she’s heard, the bouncy balls my son has hurled at her leaves?
In our first apartment, Minnie used to reside in our bedroom.  Although Minnie now has a place of prominence in our dining room, she is still nestled in the same blue plastic pot with the scalloped edges that I bought at the 99 Cent Store, all those years ago.  She is queen of the black, circular side table from Ikea.  She sits beneath a copy of Van Gogh’s Cafe de Nuit;  her leaves stretching up towards Van Gogh’s vibrant yellow and reaching for the light shining through our dining room window.  
Not all plants “make it.”  Benji is one such plant.  Short for “Ficus Benjamina.”  He was about 3 feet tall when we bought him.  And he grew for several years.  But he didn’t like our new house.  Gradually, Benji lost his leaves and his life.  And yet, I still remember Benji’s name and the story behind it.
Minnie is another Ficus Benjamina.  But unlike Benji, she’s still thriving.  And it somehow seems unjust that I can’t remember why she shares her name with a famous mouse.  (We’re not Disneyland enthusiasts.)   
What does it say about Minnie that she’s still with us?  That she’s a “tough chick” as I like to think of myself (sometimes).  That she’s stubborn, persistent, and once she finds a place she likes she’s in no hurry to go anywhere (me, most of the time).  That she’s dedicated and loyal to her family (me, all the time).
Minnie and I - we’re in it for the long haul.


  1. Honey,

    Your writing is amazing! I love the way you paint so many vivid pictures with your words.

    I Love You!


  2. Wow I didn't know you named your plants! That's pretty cool! It seems very creative! I haven't ever named my plants. I like the parallels you draw between yourself and Minnie. You certainly have those traits you mentioned. (I don't know about "stubborn"...) It's definitely a good idea to have something that you can sometimes talk to knowing that you will not get an answer back. It's gotta be theraputic. As always, I love your writing! <3

  3. Your writing amazes me.You are so very talented with your words.You take care of everything and everyone you love and Minnie certainly is one of them.You are a very good person and I love you.

  4. I enjoy reading about Minnie. We all need someone or something to confined in. For me it is your Mother.

    Love, Dad

  5. Very nice article. I've never had plants so I'd never even think of naming them. Very clever.

  6. Nancy,
    You are one amazing person. There is so much about you I don't know. I had no idea you named plants and had one named Minnie. I always just thought she was a plant. I am glad she is thriving in your house. I am sure she enjoys all the love that is there. I love you and your writing.