Monday, January 21, 2008

Beef Stew,"No Hablo Ingles" & Grandma's Couches


Beef Stew. Love it. Haven't had it in a long time and the cold (ish) weather nearly beggs for it. "please...stay inside today.Cozy up, Enjoy the fog. Chop up some good old fashioned veggies, throw in some meat, and slow cook it up...you know you want to". Oh' I have a fetish with chopping and with slow cooking. Mr. Crockpot certainly makes my top 100 inventors list (and that's saying something) And The beef stew did not disappoint. Not only do you feel healthy eating it with all the fresh ingredients, but it actually can take you places. For me, I was back at the family barn dance in Herriman, UT. Freezing cold, just back from the hay ride, filling up with its warmth. PS-i've found instant potatoes to be a great thickener instead of flour.
...
I was sitting in my family room, taking in the scene, feeling so happy and comfortable, loving and being grateful for My Grandma's couches! I've loved them ever since I was a young girl, hanging upside down on them, watching BYU football on them, having family programs on them, sleeping over (and waking up stuck to the leather) on them. They are so smushy, comfy, huge. And even in there old (When did she buy these? Early 80's? We recently found a pair of keys that had been lodged in the base for who knows how long- NY key chain on it...anyone?), well worn, low to the floor (people complain about not being able to get out), structurally insecure state, I am absolutely thrilled that I get to have them in our home. I don't think I could have more perfect couches, and definitely not any other couches that could carry such memories for me. I think I might be one of few people who can say my couches inspire me. Thank you Grandma.
...
Anyone who has talked with me within the las few weeks knows that I am a little obsessed with the Presidential Campaign and consider myself my own Political Analyst (and a good one too). Along with this I have taken in some strong feelings about Illegal Immigration. I do not wish to offend anyone with my opinion or experiences.
I had several experiences in Utah where I felt concerned at the use of our tax dollars particularly as I would see US Citizen having to pay thousands of dollars of hospital charges (including myself) and people not legally in this country (or at least without proof of it) being able to walk away with no charge. Something just felt very unjust about that. And now, In San Antonio I have had other incidents, one in particular, where I was basically told (in broken English) that I was not eligible for a city tax funded program (which I contribute hundreds of dollars to monthly) because I had a Social Security card.
I have heard countless stories of people who have loved ones, including spouses, waiting to get everything cleared so that they can come into our country legally. I feel strong stirrings to act somehow. That somethings needs to change. Not because I want something for myself, but because I believe all people can benefit from self-reliance, including this Country. Independence is true freedom.

Having said that, let me share another experience. We have had to have some work done on our home covered under our home owners warranty. On Monday we had a big day planned for house repairs. The first person showed up at 10:00am. I answered the doorbell.
"ummm..."
a hispanic little guy mummbled nervously, seeming intimidated, showing me his tools and pointing inside.
"no hablo ingles".
I actually anticipated this since nearly every person that has come for home repairs tells me the same thing. Of the 9 laborers that came to our home, only 1 spoke English. I wondered if any of them were illegal immigrants. Then I wondered about their lives, their families, wives, children, home life. I just looked at them and felt what I do, everytime I really look at someone~compassion. I felt such love and concern for them. I wanted to cry.They seemed so helpless and humble. So respectful and kind. So cute pretending to understand my humor.
Working on our little problems in our home. I felt like telling them not to worry about the work, to relax, to come enjoy a cup of beef stew. This is me, Ms. "Kick the free loaders out of our country" saying this. The truth is, I firmly believe something needs to be done so that people do not get rewarded (free healthcare, schooling, housing. Estimated at over 10 billion dollars a year- just at the federal gov. level) for coming to this country illegally (Children are ALWAYS an exception). The borders need to be secured, employer guidelines and penalties set, people that are here illegally given the same chance as everyone else who wants to be legal, permanent resident, or citizen (meaning they need to go back home and we need to clean up and possibly simplify this application process). But when it comes down to it, when I see the people, I couldn't be the one to deny them of it. Me, with my brand new house, BORN Into this great land of the free with all it's possibilities. What a miracle. With all that I have. I couldn't enforce it. I guess I'm not suited for the Presidency after all. :)

17 comments:

Stephanie said...

Sara, Sara, Sara...I'D VOTE FOR YOU! LOVE this entry...seriously. Love homemade stew, love anything grandma (mine passed away 2 weeks before Payton was born and I miss her terribly!), love your comments on illegal immigration.
So many problems with this issue. I tend to be more of the "go back to your own country if you don't want to pay your taxes, speak our language, etc." However, I know exactly what you mean. When it comes down to the person, the human being, our brother/sister, my heart goes out to them. It's hard, because having a few in-laws that have married into the hispanic culture, they definitely see things differently. On one hand they want to be here and enjoy the "free"doms, on the other hand they resent many Americans. So yeah, I won't be running for President either!

H-less E-less said...

Okay, I love you, Steph! We are really on the same page. I love the quotation "free"dom. Wanna be my VP?

JAMIE COOK~ said...

Grandma's couches are more than the couches, they are the memories that go with it as well. So many memories on those couches. They are feel good couches. Your house looks awesome!
I will comment on the rest later

Stephanie said...

Okay, how AMAZING is it to have so many of your family members blogging?! I want to cry just see pictures of all those people that I only knew for a short time, but yet had such a HUGE impact on my life. Sara, you really have no idea what you meant to me at the point in my life when we first met at the good 'ole Corvallis University Wards! Love you!
Incidentally, Nancy asks about you every time I see her!

Stephanie said...

By the way, you house looks incredible, so serene. I thought the picture was from a spa or salon until I read further!
Okay, I'll stop taking up room on your comments now!

Rachel said...

AMEN!

Sally said...

I wonder what the men were thinking when you took their picture!! I bet it wasn't, "Oh, she's probably going to put me on her blog!"

The couches have grown on me just a bit.

David, Kinzie, & Kiera Fae: said...

Thanks for your comments! Kiera is growing so fast as are your girls- they are absolutely adorable! Reading your blag makes me miss Texas, but we are headed there in June so not too long. Anyways, I thought that pic. of your grandma's couches was from a magazine or something. Beautiful home and beautiful family!

Jared and Delia said...

I love reading your thoughts. You are just so wonderful!

By the way...
I just wanted to let you know our new address is:

jaredanddelia.blogspot.com

Amelia said...

Hi there,
I'm Isaac Bickmore's older sister, found your blog through Janet's! I love reading your gratitude entries.. tell Jamie I said hi.

The Dutkiewicz Family said...

Sara,

You can be soft on your blog but don't be soft in the booth!

Remember, illegal aliens have no compassion on us when they drain the public resources for their own selfish desires.

What would Jesus do? I think it goes something like, "give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's."

So I have compassion on them, sure. I'll share the gospel with them and teach them the article of faith that says to obey the law of the land.

Sorry for my rant on your blog. You can delete it straight away.

Chris

H-less E-less said...

The funny thing is, I actually told those guys I wanted to post their picture on this (well, I tried to tell them, then Spence clarified)
Chris, you are funny. NO need to worry about me voting soft.

JAMIE COOK~ said...

Ok So my first commetn was about the couches...I am going to be brief about everything else. It is a hard one for me as you know I served spanish speaking in the states, so I have some very close friends who were in fact illegal.
Without rambling too much, I just want to say you are very eloquent with your feelings. I think YOU of ALL people have compassion and do not have to worry that you ever lack it.

I do, in fact, agree with you. I do not think it is fair that Steve and I are in debt and in trouble and our little spanish friends (who are making more money than us as well) have their hospital bills all paid for. I agree--maybe it would be easier without a social security card. IS there somewhere I can go to have my baby, then walk away and never have to look back? MExico, Europe? Oh, the US if I am not from the US>
Ok, I need to stop. this makes it sound like I don't care. Again, I think you worded it perfectly.

Brianne and Jarod Stewart said...

Sara...

what a wonderful blog. I would like to have you as my personal writing assistant. You are so great at putting your thoughts into words!

My mom was really impressed with this blog, and says, "DITTO KIDDO." She has felt the same frustration and compassion. She worked with so many of those children in an elementary school in Houston. I have seen my mom on more than one occasion take out water bottles, snacks, or other items to the hispanic house workers, garbage men, and lawn mowers. (This brought tears to her eyes...) I can say that my hispanic students were some of the most loving and respectful students that I ever taught...

GREAT POST!!

Brianne and Jarod Stewart said...

p.s. just as a funny sidenote...I love homemade stew..but used to get seriously grossed out by the fat on the meat. I distinctly remember spitting a bunch of it out in a napkin at my aunt's ward christmas party..and then getting in trouble because she caught me in the act. Ewwww...I can't stand that gristly (sp?) stuff! ha ha ha...it is a good thing I wasn't prego when I posted this, because I would be dry heaving right now thinking about it ;)

H-less E-less said...

I am so with you Bri- I can not due fat on the meat. I was given a really hard time with it on my mission where you eat ALL the chicken, pork, cow, etc... Can't stand it at all, the texture, taste, ewwww....Kind of like fruit chunks in yogurt, just not right. :)

truebluejae said...

Yes, stew reminds me of the Barn Party as well and those couches really do have tons of fond memories--my favorite is probably hanging out on New Year's eves watching old movies with gma bev and then suddenly at midnight having her get the pots and pans and us running outside to make some noise! Those keys could be mine...who knows. It'd be funny to see what else is stuck in them. We have pics of those couches in her house ever since my baptism at least. I agree with the comments that your house looks very serene and beautiful, Sara. I love your curtains/decor. Thank you for your insights on the campaign and immigration laws. Wish there were easy answers. Give your 2 sweet girls hugs from us and tell Spence hello! We miss you guys. Love, Jae