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, June 11, 2014

Springing for Flowers

   I pride myself on being somewhat frugal and not at all frivolous with my money.  I remember babysitting for $2.50 an hour and receiving my first paycheck where I earned the minimum wage of $4.25 an hour.  During those times, I used to calculate how many hours I would need to work so that I could buy whatever-it-was I was eyeing.  Turns out, after I made that calculation, many of those “I want them” items became “I don’t need them” items.  

   However, there is one area in my life that I realize I am spending more, even as I am earning less:  fresh flowers.

   I spent some of my college years working in a flower shop.  I loved being surrounded by happy gerber daisies, exotic purple orchids, roses that weren’t red, and my favorite -- sunflowers.  But, money was tight and I very rarely bought myself flowers.  Instead, after a closing shift, I would bring home the “popped” roses that were doomed for the trash.  These were the roses that had already bloomed, and while beautiful to look at, they wouldn’t last through the next twenty-four hours and thus we couldn’t sell them.  I brought them home where my family and I enjoyed their final few hours of loveliness.

   When my husband and I moved in together and did our weekly grocery shopping, I would eye the fresh flowers on display.  At that time, 3 bunches of flowers could be purchased for $10 (later the price increased to $15).  But even at $10, it was an extravagance we couldn’t afford.  We budgeted every penny we spent during those early years together.  Flowers, with their short life span, were an unnecessary purchase.

   My husband and I no longer write down each purchase, although I do still shop with coupons and discounts whenever I can.  But recently, I’ve begun treating myself to two bunches of flowers a week.  It began with one bunch for our dining table.  A burst of color with purple mums or a striking table piece with tall white gladiolas.  My family seemed to enjoy the regular addition to our dining table, but truthfully, I didn’t buy the flowers for them.  They were for me.

   Then, I began eyeing the small decorative table in our bedroom.  The table held a vase filled with the “Happy Mother’s Day” balloons from last year.  I eyed that table and realized that when I ever get my own room, my own writing space, that table would be in my room and it would always have flowers on it.

   My own room isn’t happening any time soon, but there was no reason I couldn’t begin to use that table to hold a bouquet of flowers.  Hence, my second weekly bunch.  I buy these flowers knowing that in a few days (sometimes a week if I’m lucky) the flowers will be in the trash, and I will need to replenish them.  It’s taken me a while to realize that money spent doesn’t always have to mean money spent for food or clothes or something for the house.  Money spent can be spent simply for aesthetic value and because it makes me happy.

   And as I hope my husband and my six-year-old son realize, a happy mommy and a happy wife means a happy family.


  1. I know how much you love fresh flowers,and I am so glad you have started to buy yourself flowers each week.You have always been very good at arranging flowers.I am always happy when I can buy you a bunch of flowers and surprise you with them.Do not feel guilty about spending the money on them as they make you happy and brighten your day,and with all the pain you experience daily you certainly deserve as much happiness as you can get.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  2. You have always loved flowers. It makes me happy when I am able to surprise you with a bunch of flowers every so often. Your mother & I are proud of you.
    love, dad

  3. Honey,
    I am so glad that you enjoy having flowers in the house! It is great having the extra splashes of color every week in our home. I Love You!