Wanda is born
We named our van Wanda.
Research shows that people who drive vans must give them a catchy or pun-intended, sometimes symbolic, name. We struggled with this greatly—evidently more so than naming our own children and one of them was not the gender the doctors told us we were having. You just don’t bring a baby home from the hospital without a name and accordingly we thought we would have come up with the van name driving home from the dealership but that didn’t happen.
Every time we thought we had it, someone else was already using it and it just felt like we were stealing their idea. Never mind there is more than one Dave or Jenni in the world. Then, as we continued posting Instagram videos of our construction progress, we got a recurring question from fans: Does she have a name?
We started to feel some pressure to answer that question with an affirmative. But still no agreement.
We put the question to our followers to see what might come of it. Van-na White, Sunset Voyager, White Knight, Camper Van Gogh, VanGo, Van Halen, The DudeDudeDad Traveler (I love my great nephew), Life Vantastic, and Steve were some of the suggestions. Some were REALLY cute but had been overdone in van circles. And if we chose a derivation of Van Gogh I was NOT going to cut off one of the mirrors. (message me if you didn’t get that). So we plodded along, have scattered conversations on the topic, but when one of us would make a suggestion and the other was silent that generally meant ‘no’.
Then our daughter-in-law gave us a pair of t-shirts with an outline of mountains and a van. On the shirts was printed “Not All Who Wander Are Lost”. In the wee hours of the morning when Jenni was having her customary insomnia she had an epiphany: WANDA! As in Wanderer. Luckily she still remembered it when I woke up a few hours later. I loved it.
Alternatively, she also considered the name Joy but liked Wanda more. I said we could pull from our Southern roots and use a double first name: Wanda Joy. We might keep that in our back pocket for trips through the Low Country or Georgia. Or if she ever gets in trouble on the road it's always appropriate to scold her with the use of a middle name.
So on a chilly Saturday morning Wanda was born.
(You can find her on Instagram at @wandacanwander if you would like to follow along.)