“Woooooah, Nellie.” I heard that phrase a lot when I was a little girl. Nellie was the name of my grandmother’s gigantic old avocado green station wagon she’d had as long as I could remember (and waaaay before then as well). I always thought that when I grew up, all my cars would have names.
That’s a lot of pressure, folks.
The closest I’ve ever come to naming my current car is calling it the “TearsMobile.” It received this name from my friend Kerry for two reasons:
1) Most of my best laughs happen in my car–with passengers, of course. (And anyone who knows me well knows that I nearly always cry when I laugh.)
2)People frequently spill their hearts in my car–and sometimes it comes out of their eyeballs. I’m not even kidding when I say my car can often be like Lucy’s psychiatric booth.
However, the other day my curiosity about the meaning of my car’s official name (Hyundai Elantra) was piqued. After much
googling research, I discovered that the name Elantra was taken from the Latin word elationem, which means “to elevate.” It’s also similar to the word elatus, which means “lifting spirits.” I was stunned!
My automobile has carried countless friends, babies, foreigners, coworkers, brothers & sisters, moms & dads, grandparents, cousins, students, you name it–and I know that my spirits and countenance have been lifted by each of them. It is my prayer that my little Elantra will be a Barnabas–an encourager–one who lifts the spirits of all those who ride within. So please, if you ever need a ride, I would be elated to give you one. When you sit in the passenger seat of the TearsMobile, please feel free to take a complimentary tissue and say goodbye to the stiff upper lip. Woooooah, Nellie.