Deep in the Heart

Some of y’all might remember that my sister flew me to Denver last October so’s I could help her organize her stuff.

Upon my return from that fun weekend, I posted something on Facebook about it…only to have a pal from college reply, “I would totally buy your plane ticket, if you’d come help me organize my house!  Actually, I’m pretty sure my mom would pay for it; she so wants my house to change.” Warning her that I take people up on offers like that, she continued, “And I’d pay for a ticket for Groom to come along, too, if he wants to pitch in.” Indeed, when College Pal called her mother…just to casually mention the idea that she had some friends who might be able to come help her sort through some of her stuff, she managed to get out the words, “So Jocelyn went and helped her sister get some areas organized and I was thinking…” before her mother broke in and announced, “I will buy that girl’s plane ticket, if she’d come down and do the same for you.”

Gotta love deep-walleted mothers who fear clutter.

The idea of a trip to Austin, Texas, in mid-February didn’t sound half bad. Even better, another college friend, witnessing the Facebook discussion, chimed in, with a, “Hell, for the fun of the hanging out, I’ll buy my own ticket.”

So that’s where I’ve been the last handful of days: home of the LBJ Library, the largest urban bat population in the U.S., and College Pal’s herd of empty shoe boxes that she still keeps just ’cause.

Oh, and, yes, I know you’re wondering: we did drive by Lance Armstrong’s house. Tragically (luckily?), he and Matthew McConaughey weren’t running shirtless outside the compound.

Despite no photo of Lance and Matt, here’s a brief pictoral overview of a few things I did see:

Minneapolis and the Mississippi (I said the letters out loud as I typed that last word)

One of college pal’s closets; woefully, it was too low down on the priority list to make the cut for our attentions.  Maybe next time…

The crackerjack work team in action.  I feel nothing better sums up the state of College Pal’s kitchen than this fact:  she owned three woks but couldn’t find even one of them. 

Now, after the Clean Sweep Team came through, she owns one wok and knows exactly where it is.  Sizzle.

Workers need sustenance, of course.  How fortuitious that College Pal’s neighborhood features a line of food trailers, all serving up energy-restoring fare.

Here’s how Groom (er, I mean “Magnum”) looks shortly after excavating three woks.  Because we only took carry-on bags, he didn’t bring a razor, so I got to see whiskers emerge over the five days.  Groom’s genetics have not predisposed him to be a hairy beast–more newborn mouse is he–and so beard-growing has always been a sport where he fails.  However, I am a supportive spouse.  Therefore, as each whisker popped out, I clapped loudly and bellered, “You’re going to be a man one day, Son!”

He didn’t think I was very funny, as he was waiting for his chicken-avacado cone.  Generally, Groom finds me more amusing on a full stomach.  Or with a few beers in him.  And maybe a shot of vodka.

Here’s my beautymous Other College Pal, she who pitched in like a champion.  You wouldn’t even know from her grin that she, like Groom, was waiting on a cone (hers a shrimp-avocado one).  And you really wouldn’t know that she’d recently placed into a Goodwill box a pair of metal/welded chicken legs and feet that had been constructed with the purpose of serving as a bowl holder.

I know.  They’re nearly indescribable.  Suffice it to say, when Austin College Pal had been given them as a gift, she opened the box, pulled out the chicken-footed contraption, and sobbed a little inside, moaning internally, “This is what you think of me?  You saw this and thought of ME?”

Then the cones and fries arrived, and everyone stopped thinking all together.

Next to The Mighty Cone trailer is this cupcake Airstream. 

I’ve always wanted to live in an Airstream.

And that was even before I realized I could have cupcakes as roommates.

Best cupcake name offered by these folks?  The Michael Jackson:  chocolate cake with white frosting.

In addition to patronizing the trailer foodstands, we had fun meals in local restaurants, including The Salt Lick, which is a ginormous barbeque joint.  I would’ve taken pictures there, too, but my hands were too slippery to hold the camera.

So we ate a lot; we talked a billion words; we cleaned out some closets; we took trips to Goodwill.

Now, today, it’s back to real life, a place that feels just a little bit softer, a little bit happier, a little bit warmer, thanks to the journey.
Speaking of journeys and in a total change of subject:  I loved all the guesses about where we’re going next year, to the point that I don’t want to do The Reveal yet.  (insert evil cackle here)

A few more hints, then, based on further information we received today:

We will be taking “flagons to the village pumps” for our drinking water

The best fish is to be had from the fishmonger at the crossroads

There’s a large waterpark 20 minutes away

The women don’t take their husband’s surname upon marriage

Any ideas?





24 responses to “Deep in the Heart”

  1. secret agent woman Avatar
    secret agent woman

    I would actually love organizing/decorating people's houses for a living. If they were willing to give me free rein.

  2. Shania Avatar

    I did that for my neighbor. It was great fun and I'd organize random strangers for free if they'd let me in. Perhaps you'll need me to come to the jungle and organize your flagons?

  3. Jennifer Denise Ouellette Avatar
    Jennifer Denise Ouellette

    That is my idea of a dream vacation. Warped, aren't I?

    I wish I wasn't too exhausted to guess where you're going.

  4. Voyager Avatar

    Cone food? Well I never.
    As to your secret destination; my guess is Spain.

  5. Jim Berg Avatar
    Jim Berg

    I'm trying to think of a way to pay to you visit me, and Groom and Colls can come too.

    You're going to France, somewhere in the countryside, an island in a river perhaps, near EURO-DISNEY! Screaming for joy! I'll visit you: count on it.

  6. Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish Avatar
    Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish

    Ciao! Love the fact that you did that for your friend. I often joke about wanting to have a regular cleaning swap with friends. It is always easier to organize/clean up other people's stuff than my own…none of the same distractions, emotional ties, etc. That chicken foot "thing" made me laugh out loud, but the cupcakes in an airstream made me want to visit Austin like never before. I knew it was a cool place because of Austin City Limits but the airstream trailer has now officially done it for me.

    I think you will love your new destination. Send me an e-mail (the connection is on my profile page).

  7. kmkat Avatar

    I'm thinking… Neverland.

  8. Jeni Avatar

    Jocelyn, if there were a way I could ever afford to have someone come and tackle the task of organizing this house (and family too, maybe), I'd be booking a flight for you to come to Pennsylvania in a heart beat!
    Wish I'd realized you were going to be in Austin, TX -I'd have sent you my cousin's name and phone number and had you call her for me. Just to tell her I was thinking of her and wanted to surprise her like that.
    Maybe you could write a book on organizing places for people ya know. Another "alternate form of employment" potential there ya know.

  9. geewits Avatar

    Your clues may as well be in Portuguese because all my brain can do after seeing that picture is repeat "Must clean closet." How could you have left that closet? WE HAVE TO GO BACK1

  10. Erin Avatar

    Ooh! I would love to organize for a living! I'm not sure where you're going – UK maybe – but did you know that if one googles "flagons to the village pumps", you are the fourth site!

  11. monica Avatar

    aha you're going to Tungurahua!!!

    what great times in Texas, uh? would have loved me some half naked Matthew McConaughey… I would let him… er, organize.. stuff… ( blush) :o))

  12. furiousBall Avatar

    that's the cup o' pizza that put the other cup o' pizza out of business you know

    ok, my captcha word is "turdlypt"…

    Private Turdly reporting for duty!

  13. Green Girl in Wisconsin Avatar
    Green Girl in Wisconsin

    That looks like an amazing time! THREE woks?
    As always, your humor slays me–esp. the bit about your husband. Heh.

  14. Jazz Avatar

    Well, here in Quebec we don't take our husband's names, but nor do we take our flagons to the village pump.

    Somewhere in Spain then?

  15. Jazz Avatar

    Ok, scratch that, I hadn't seen your previous blog post….


  16. Pearl Avatar

    You are an interesting person with a fabulous vocabulary.


    Did you see me waving at you from Minneapolis? I was the one in the winter coat!!


  17. Becky Cazares Avatar
    Becky Cazares

    Ahh, "flagon" is one of my all-time favorite words! Always gets me going until I quote the whole thing (from Court Jester with Danny Kaye):

    Hawkins: I've got it! I've got it! The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true! Right?
    Griselda: Right. But there's been a change: they broke the chalice from the palace!
    Hawkins: They *broke* the chalice from the palace?
    Griselda: And replaced it with a flagon.
    Hawkins: A flagon…?
    Griselda: With the figure of a dragon.
    Hawkins: Flagon with a dragon.
    Griselda: Right.
    Hawkins: But did you put the pellet with the poison in the vessel with the pestle?
    Griselda: No! The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon! The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true!
    Hawkins: The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon; the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.
    Griselda: Just remember that.

    And my vote is still with Tonga.

  18. Fragrant Liar Avatar
    Fragrant Liar

    You were in Austin and you didn't call me? I'm crushed.

  19. Chantal Avatar

    SOunds like you have a second career on you hands. And food in cones just sounds like heaven to me, but maybe that is just because I am up at 2:30am pumping so I can have a bottle to give my baby so I can go out for 1 hour tomorrow night without him. One whole hour. For the record I only got 2 lousy ounces.

  20. Fragrant Liar Avatar
    Fragrant Liar

    Not to worry, my dear. I really wish I had gotten to meet you, but I totally understand how these things go. I'm glad you got to see our town and have some fun, even if your buddy did work your butt off.

    Okay, so now I'm holding you to it. A special trip to Austin to see ME! 😉

    Did that sound needy?

  21. Midlife Jobhunter Avatar
    Midlife Jobhunter

    Me, too! You missed me, too! Although I was in Alabama this weekend. Sorry the weather wasn't better for you and I hope you hit the Airstream selling the crepes. Most delicious.

    I'm intrigued as to your destination – Sweden?

    And I'm so glad you showed that closet. I feel so much better about mine, now.

  22. lime Avatar

    listen, just so you know. i'm an one awesome purger of stuff and organizer of remaining stuff so if you know of any other deep walleted mothers with an intense fear of clutter who would like to fly organizers out to help their seemingly hopeless offspring, i'd be glad to offer my services.

  23. phd in yogurtry Avatar
    phd in yogurtry

    Oh yes, I have had the Michael Jackson. Only you ate it in one of my favo n'hoods. And when you drove out to the Salt Lick? You went RIGHT BY my street. I felt your wave.

  24. Yo is Me Avatar
    Yo is Me

    ohhhhh, that is so awesome!!

    would that i had closets stuffed to the brim and a garage that required a team of experts.

    alas, maybe in a few years 🙂

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