Sitting on a Yellow Chair Eating a Yellow Banana Watching a Yellow Sunrise

I’ve entered my second childhood. At least that’s how it felt at my Medigold wellness check-up the other day. It seemed I was back in first grade.

“See if you can remember these three words,” the nurse said to me, and I’ll ask you later.”

Banana, sunrise, chair I kept rehearsing in my mind. I sitting on a yellow chair eating a yellow banana watching a yellow sunrise.

To distract me, the nurse gave me another job.

“On this paper,” she said. “Draw a clock. See if you can put the numbers in the right places. And make the clock hands say 2:30.”

Satisfied with my work, the nurse had one more question: “Are there places in your house where you could stumble? Any stairs?”

I thought of the pull-down attic stairs I had climbed that morning and of the narrow stairs built in 1880 that wind to our basement.

“A few,” I told her. “It’s a two-story house.”

It isn’t just the nurse. At drive-through windows, they’re calling me Sweetie. In the grocery store, they’re offering to lift a sack of potatoes from the bottom of my cart. And just the other week, my husband and I were walking. Coming toward us down the sidewalk was a group of high school kids, chatting and jostling. We all smiled and said hi, and just as we passed, one girl spoke.

“Just got to tell you,” she said. “You two are so cute together.”

And she wasn’t being snarky. At least I don’t think so. But being in my second childhood, what do I know?

The day after my wellness check-up, my hands were in dishwater when I became curious about when the word baloney came to be used to mean nonsense. So I asked Alexa.

“I have no information on that,” she said. “But I can help you explore the world of sounds. Try asking: What sound does a cow make?”

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