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 14, 2014

Driving with an Invisible Companion

   I couldn’t drive in any carpool lanes on my trip to Lake Arrowhead.  But, I wasn’t entirely alone in the car on the drive to and from my writing retreat.  There was a presence that I relied on; the omniscient voice from my phone guiding me as I navigated the approximately 180-mile-roundtrip journey.

   In our family, I’m always the designated driver.  So, I wasn’t intimidated by the two-hour-drive from our home in Los Angeles to the writing retreat in Lake Arrowhead.  I was, though, slightly intimated by the fact that I wasn’t entirely certain where I was going.

   On our other drives, my husband always serves as the navigator.  He reads me the directions off the map and lets me know when I’m going to need to merge left for the upcoming freeway change.  On this trip, I’d be alone.  I couldn’t very well look down at a printed set of directions while I was driving 65 mph on the freeway.  

   Thanks to my iPhone, a little computer voice served as my navigator.  When she spoke, I turned off my CD, so that I could give her my full attention.  I thanked her when she reminded me that I’d need to merge to the right.  When she told me a turn was coming up in a quarter-mile, I told her I’d keep an eye out for it.  

   And as I navigated the steep climb up the mountain, I spoke to this little voice.  “When will this be over?”  I asked.  I channeled my six-year-old son and asked, “When we will be there?”  I knew she wouldn’t answer me, but it didn’t stop me from asking.  

   This voice on my phone, more a mini-computer than a phone, is beyond my comprehension.  Somehow this voice knew where I was at all times and could re-calculate my route if I dared to stray from her directions.  All that technology, all that power, in a device that fits in my pocket is just more than I can understand.  I do not take for granted the strides that have been made in computer technology nor do I think I will ever become blase about things like the internet or navigational systems.  

   This voice guided me, while giving me a boost of confidence and the illusion of companionship.  And while this voice certainly doesn’t replace the welcome companionship of my family on long car drives, this voice did help me realize that I am ready for more solo trips -- with me driving and the little voice on my phone navigating.


  1. When daddy and I are together I am the driver also.I know the winding roads was a big thing for you and you were on my mind the whole time.I was so thankful when you called to let me know you were there and everything was o.k.I am glad you finally were able to go to the writing retreat but I sure didn't like all the walking you had to do and how it took so much out of you and left you with so much pain.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  2. I know you were looking forward to this trip, and I know at times it is a hard drive. Your mother is also the driver in our house when we go out together. Your mother & I are proud of you.
    love, dad

  3. Honey,
    I am so glad that your iPhone helped out on your drive! It is an amazing device that can be helpful in unexpected ways. I am proud of you and your writing. I Love You!