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, May 25, 2011

Driving with Betsy

Her name was Betsy.  Betsy, the station-wagon.
Betsy belonged to Pam, my pre-school teacher.  I remember riding in Betsy when Pam drove our small group to the Hollywood Bowl.  And I remember thinking it incredibly strange that a grown-up would not only name her car, but talk to her car.
Until that time, Pam was the only person I knew who named their car.  (I was four years old, so, granted, my world was rather limited).  Pam fondly petted Betsy’s dashboard and reminded us all that we needed to be kind to Betsy and keep her clean.
When my husband and I bought our first car, I knew we would name our car.  I named our houseplants, a car seemed like a logical extension.  Our first car, was my dad’s old car.  A reliable Honda Accord, and we were lucky to get it.  Hence, the name “Lucky.”  My husband and I referred to our car by its name, as in “Did you put gas in Lucky?” or “When is Lucky due for an oil change?”
When we bought our second car, we knew we were fortunate to be able to pick out exactly what we wanted.  And we did.  We specified the color and our request for a moonroof.  And we were so, so happy to have achieved the level of financial independence that made this new-car purchase possible.  We were happy to be a two-car-family.  And now, we were fortunate to drive our two cars, “Happy” and “Lucky.”
Of course, whenever we spoke of our two cars, we were reminded of the expression “Happy-Go-Lucky.”  And in a way, that fit.  We were so happy, so lucky to be able to travel in a car; in our car.  Having relied on Los Angeles public buses for years, we were constantly reminded of the little privileges that made driving in a car so much more comfortable - No other sounds, smells, or conversations invading our space; a place to seek refuge during a break at work.  
When Lucky turned twenty, we realized it was time to retire her.  My husband and I were expecting our first child and knew we needed a car that wouldn’t need several minutes to warm up each morning.  Lucky still drove, but we wanted something more comfortable and more new.  We would be luckier to be a two-car-family with two new-ish cars.  We were lucky to be in a financial position to afford undertaking the expense of car payments and increased insurance payments.  Our second car was aptly named, “Lucky 2.”
Our cars’ names are not public knowledge.  Generally, naming a car is a private endeavor, in direct opposition to naming a child.  When our son was born, the first question we were asked was inevitably, “What’s his name?”  With our cars, its questions about gas mileage, price, and added features.
And while we are constantly answering our son’s questions of “What’s that?” we haven’t taught him the names of our cars.  Yet.  For now, it’s either the Black Car or the Blue Car.  Later, we’ll teach him their true names.
I wonder what Pam would say if she knew how fondly I remembered Betsy.


  1. Honey,

    Personification of everyday items around us is a great source of humor and comfort. After seeing Toy Story so many times I always think about what things around us would say if they came to life.

    I adore your writing style!

    I Love You!


  2. You truly amaze me.You have such a way with words and you just make everything you write so inviting to read.I look forward each week to read your blog.I love you and I am very proud of you.