If Imagination Were Actually Given Full Rein

By jinkies and holy Marco Polo, but I’m tired.

We got back from our two weeks of travel the other night, and as of today, I almost feel hydrated and centered again. Mos’ def, travels full of weddings and college reunions are hot-doggoliciously fun, but coming home from them requires a state-licensed detox program: detoxing from, yes, a progression of drinks, but even more, detox from public love, intense conversations, sleeping in a new place every night or two, and, during all that, teaching two classes online (surreal moment: answering questions about the newly-updated Modern Language Association’s research citation guidelines while sitting in a McDonald’s Playplace in New Hampton, Iowa).

Compounding my sense of “Who am I?” and “Mommy, won’t you just hug The Jocey, for she is tapped out?” these last couple of days is the fact that we came home to a deconstructed kitchen (ooh, yes, there will be photos or video to follow, as it’s amazing to see the bones of one’s house and smell the air that’s been trapped in that wood since 1913!).

Thus, even though we’re home now, the regular flow of our daily living is, quite literally, being redirected, with us doing dishes in the bathtub and cooking dinner on the front steps on a camp stove. The fridge is next to the piano for the duration of the remodel, so everytime I take out the jug of milk, I also tickle out a wee bit of “Heart and Soul” on them ivories.

Speaking of heart, soul, and things I’ve fallen in love with, I have to share one of the fifty-thwillion highlights of our trip. Our last day in St. Louis, we went to The City Museum, a place so awesome that, as one of my friends noted, “Half of this stuff is normally illegal in the United States.” Quite simply, I would say it’s a place for both kids and adults, but it is absolutely on my list of the Top Five Things I’ve Ever Dragged My Kids To.

This is me, now, holding out a beckoning finger, inviting you to save the $12 entry fee and come on inside:

Sorry if the background noise overwhelms my voice. I am generally a wilting violet, you know, the sound of whose speech barely reaches beyond her own lips, so it was difficult for me to crank up my personal decibels, lest I collapse in a waifish faint.

For me, the best thing about this little snippet is that Groomeo is holding a magic wand (the glue had yet to dry) during the whole thing. Certainly, he has always held me sway with his magic, but to see him darting in there like some Mystical Fairy hired by Butt Pushers, Inc., brings out his charm for the entire viewing public.

Ostensibly, I’m showing you the outside of the museum here. But my hidden agenda was to make you yack. Didja? Huh? Didja barf? If so, what did you clean it up with?

These questions, along with memories of museums and imagination gone wild and hugs and laughter, will sustain me as I crouch beside the bathtub tonight, scouring a skillet that I’ve lathered up with Pantene.




14 responses to “If Imagination Were Actually Given Full Rein”

  1. Chantal Avatar

    That place looks AMAZING. I have never had a desire to visit St Louis before… I just added it to my list and it shot up to the top.

  2. Jazz Avatar

    Hey, you live in a place just one year younger that me!

    Washiing the dishes in the bathtub. I remember it well!

  3. Jazz Avatar

    Of course you realize that your house is one year younger than the house I live in, not a year younger than me. Though of course, if that were the case it would mean I'm remarkably well preserved!

  4. secret agent woman Avatar
    secret agent woman

    I love those kids museums. And I want one of those slides.

  5. chelle Avatar

    Wow what fun!
    How handy to have the fridge next to the piano!

  6. furiousBall Avatar

    how cool is that place?

    let me tell you. real cool.

    i'm a schizophrenic.

    am not.

  7. lime Avatar

    wow, i totally want to go to st louis now! that museum looks like the coolest place ever…and let me tell ya, that's coming from someone who lives near the crayola factory where you can draw on walls and the franklin institute where you can walk through a human heart.

    oh the dishes in a bathtub? yeah…lemme tell ya, i got my own story about that.

  8. Midlife Jobhunter Avatar
    Midlife Jobhunter

    Pantene for dishwashing soap – hahahaha! Thank God you're a resourceful woman.

    Just returned myself from a week of wedding hoopla. I think a visit to Betty Ford is in order. Maybe tomorrow. On a roll and I can't stop yet.

  9. jess Avatar

    I need to go to St. Louis, clearly. Do you think I need to pop out a couple of kids first as an excuse or could I get away with sashaying in there by my lonesome without getting weird looks from all the parents? I barely look like an adult anyway, half of the kids I've nannied for passed me in height before they were 12.

  10. Pearl Avatar

    St. Louis has been on my list basically for the BBQ. Never realized it could be culturally relevent as well!


  11. Becky Cazares Avatar
    Becky Cazares

    What a fantastic place to take overly sugared children so they can wear themselves out before naptime! Looks like a very creative use for an old factory building…? And a bunch of other stuff, too. Question: where did they get enough real grown-up engineers to design and build all that kid-fantastic stuff? I hope I can make it to St. Louis before I'm too old to make it up one of those tree trunks without a pulley.

  12. geewits Avatar

    What a cool place! But I'd have to win the lottery so I could charter it and have it all to myself for a few hours. I couldn't handle all that public.

  13. Pam Avatar

    Hey Jocelyn! Great post! Thanks for the invitation to tag along – had a great time!.

  14. Hannah Avatar

    Wow! The City Museum looks so cool!

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