Banana Split

Every day about this time I have my morning coffee break (it’s 10:30).  I’ve done my Zumba class, wished everyone a happy birthday on Facebook, and exercised my dogs. One gets a neighborhood walk. The other gets a ball-throwing session. Daisy is seven and has never been trained to walk nicely. If I have an extra body, she gets a walk. Otherwise, she runs after flat tennis balls in the green belt until she’s pooped.

When I come back inside, I grab the recycle can and put it out in the big blue can, take the compost to the composter, unlock the mailbox that sits on the street, and then come in to make my fake coffee.

While the water heats up in the instant pot, I choose a banana on the ripe side. No green bananas for me. I like them when they’re soft and delicious. I used to be married to a guy who could never wait for the fruit to ripen; he always ate it green – peaches, nectarines, bananas, everything. It was hard to enjoy a good piece of fruit in those days.

But I digress.

Now I share my ripe banana with three others. They come running from every corner of the house. Pepper comes from the south. She’s been on the couch. Daisy comes from the east. She had to run around outside for a minute and check for rats (it’s fall, after all). Violet comes screeching from the north end of the house as I stand in my kitchen on the west side.

I swear they can hear me peeling the banana. I take a couple bites at first, not sharing while three sets of eyes stare up at me. They have positioned themselves, ready for the catch. Pepper, the biggest, is about an arm’s length away. Daisy, the most obnoxious, has her front paw on my leg. Don’t forget me! Violet is further back, hoping she’ll score a bite or two.

I take another bite, remove the entire peel and then break off a section. They know what’s coming. Pepper’s gaze is locked on the fruit, Daisy punches my leg. Don’t forget me! Violet looks hopeful.

Now I’ve broken the piece of banana into three bears’ sizes, large, medium and small for Pepper, Daisy and Violet, in that order.

It’s a treat-catching game as I lob the fruit into each respective mouth. Sometimes somebody misses and then it’s a free for all. But usually they are spot on, chomping down the sweet treat, ready for more.

I take another bite and break off another section. By the time the banana is gone, I think I’ve had half of it, Pepper a third and Daisy and Violet the rest. By now the water is hot, and I make my fake cup, grab a Madeline cookie and call it mid-morning brunch, which will hold me until my 2:00 dinner/lunch meal.

GERD and reflux are manageable, especially after twenty years of dealing with it. Less food, frequent meals, nothing solid after 7:00 p.m., no spice, carbonation, alcohol, red meat, fried foods, acidic foods, sauces, dressings, dairy, or anything else that is yummy.

It’s okay. I don’t live to eat. I eat to live. Everybody has something they have to deal with when they get to Medicare age. This is my something.  

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