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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Stewart


Updated: Mar 4, 2021

The last two weeks have felt like two years. Perhaps that might be an exaggeration, but never-the-less a time that I will forever remember. I was reminded of how we humans take so much for granted. The little things that help us navigate our daily rituals. Like one simple thing, water. We use it every day. All day. My family and I (among millions down here in Texas) were without water for a total of 5 days. No showers, no flushing toilets, no laundry, dishwashing, mopping, and/or drinking. We were melting snow on the stove top to get by…an idea given by my own mother who grew up on a farm using well water. In the winters when the well would freeze they would melt the snow to flush the toilets, cook and wash dishes. It was just a thing. A normal “this is winter” kind of thing. We survived. Confined into our little cabin with our littles with no water for a week… and we came out of it alive and probably, well, stronger too.

I find that living on just a little bit allows your mind to open up to new things. What if we didn’t shower but once a week? What if we could only wash our dishes once every few days? What if we didn’t have a dishwasher (Which I have lived without in many of my apartments in my single days)? What if we could only use each others water to sponge bathe for the night? Or use boiled snow to brush our teeth? It’s really mind blowing if you really think about it. And the best part is, we would survive. We 100% would survive.

I am grateful that during this time I still had electricity…. Therefore I still I had an oven. Thank the LORD! And during this time my mom and dad were here navigating the stressful “Snowmageddon” with all of us! And my dad made us his special SPAGHETTI!!!!! If you know anything about my dad’s spaghetti, it’s pretty much the only thing he makes and he’s been making it since I was in grade school. So pretty much all of my high school friends and neighbors have had it and quite possibly my college friends. LA friends for sure… and now my Austin family has been sprinkled with his deliciousness.


By: Dana

1 Pound of Ground Beef

1 Pound of Mild Italian Sausage

3 Cloves of Garlic (Keep in big chunks)

2 Tbsp of Olive Oil

2 Cans of Whole Tomatoes

1 Can of Tomato Sauce

1 Can of Tomato Paste

2 Tbsp of Dried Parsley

1 Tsp of Oregano

1 Tsp of Basil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Spaghetti Noodles

In a big electric skillet, heat Olive oil. Once you’ve chopped your garlic in bigger pieces place in skillet and saute for about 2-3 min. Throw in Ground Beef and Sausage and break down until brown and cooked. Once done, add in your tomatoes. Stir and once you’ve got the sauce stirred add in your herbs. Let this come to a boil and then set on simmer for about 3-4 hours. The longer it simmers the better the sauce is!!! It’s not a hard recipe. Dana even throws in some chili flakes to give it a little kick!

It’s unbelievable how good this spaghetti is. A very easy recipe that only my dad can perfect. I remember growing up and every Sunday my dad would start cooking at 12pm. Right after we got home from church and he would let it simmer all day. One time he made it for about 20 people in a cabin up in Minnesota. I have memories of him making it for my friends in Los Angeles at my apartments. What a treat that was!! So in honor of my dad and in honor of that time he cooked my family his spaghetti noodles in boiling snow, I want to pair this song. Fearless Boogie by ZZ TOP. If you know anything about my dad, you know he loves ZZ TOP. And I couldn’t help but think about being fearless during our “Snowmageddon” down here in Texas. Between blanket forts in my living room, fireside story time with nana and papa, exhausting moments of doing dishes with snow with my mom, and an overwhelming fear of it not ever ending…. This song made me smile. Thank you Billy.

'Cause I'm not afraid, and I'm not a-feared I ain't gonna lose it, and I'm not scared

To do the fearless boogie, and do the fearless boogie Smokin' fearless boogie until it's gone

It’s been in the 70’s here now. 70 degrees just a week after everyone was freezing in their homes because power was out and water was not available. Yet again, something else I take for granted in this sunny state. A mysterious state that it is, I take for granted the fact that I can take my kids to the park daily during the winter months. Or play outside in our yard in January. With a slight chill, yes, and a light jacket. But as I look out to my backyard with the sun coming up this morning, I am reminded of the icicles that once froze on my Edison light bulbs on my back patio. And the wheelbarrow full of water that filled up so we could flush our toilets. I am thankful for that time. Thankful for the memories with my family and thankful for the music and food that led us through this challenging time. It’s always good to practice gratitude. In all that you do. You become a happier person because of it.

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