There is something very wrong with this picture. For some reason we have gotten accustomed to having fairly mild winters here in Arkansas, but that has not been the case this year. Snow and below freezing temperatures are becoming commonplace around here. Folks will likely pass out, myself included, when they open their next electric bill and notice the very large sum of cash that will be expected of them to keep the power plant churning.
Many moons ago, as Katrina and the kids were out for a stroll, they noticed some different kind of trees in front of a house they passed by. When they returned back by on their return trip, an older gentleman happened to be outside, and Katrina stopped to ask him about his trees. To her surprise, he had developed a nice collection of banana trees in his yard. The problem was, before the first frost of each year they have to be brought inside or they would die. He told her if she would come back later he would be glad to provide her a cutting off of them, so she did just that. Needless to say, we’ve been through a winter or two with this perpetual plantation. Last winter I had to open my big yapper and complain about the banana tree in our garage. It’s not in the garage this year.
Although it is quite cool outside, our banana tree is thriving nicely in our bathroom upstairs. I use the word “our” very lightly. My involvement with this South American beauty involves all of the mornings that it reaches out and gives me a kiss as I walk past. For some reason, as it thrives in its five gallons of heavenly humus, it apparently weeps for joy that it is being cared for so nicely, because on a daily basis the end of the leaves drip with moisture. My lovely wife Katrina, the banana farmer, says that she never seems to notice the drips as she passes by, and she went so far as to demonstrate the side step I should learn to take to avoid close contact with the indoor jungle. I believe there would be tears of joy for me if we could buy this intruder a one way ticket to Guatemala. When I looked at the top forty-seven banana producing countries in the world I saw that the United States did not make the list, much less the state of Arkansas.
Another enigma that is not uncommon at our house is that mysterious disappearing milk jug lid. Why, just the other day after returning from the store from making a milk run (six gallons at a time), I noticed that in no time flat a lid had already vanished from one of the gallons. How does this happen so frequently? As a person who loves for things to be in their place, the milk drinkers in our family seem to have a difficult time keeping up with the milk lid. Many times a substitute lid gets used in lieu of the original, and because we purchase milk from a few different sources, finding an exact match from a spent milk jug is not always possible. Frustrating. One of these days I’m going to take my boss’s advice and purchase a goat for milk production, perhaps one that has a taste for banana tree leaves.
Soon the last snow will have fallen for the year and things will start blooming on the outside of our house. If it were left up to me we would probably live on top of a dirt pile, but I thank God for Katrina that things will be sprouting soon, hopefully to keep the banana tree company when we move it back outside for the summer.
Written by David Steen, with God smiling, February 8, 2011.