February 16, 2022

Stone Soup

Message from DA Spain Chair

It’s February, and I’m writing to you from my home state of Texas. Remarkably, it’s actually been cold here; we had an entire week of at- or below-freezing temperatures at night. (The electrical grid didn’t even threaten to collapse, which it actually did last winter, but Texans with cold weather PTSD have been quite twitchy for a few days.) Anyway, the cold inspired me to make a couple of batches of soup.

As I stood in our kitchen stirring a fragrant batch of bean soup, I recalled one of my favorite childhood books. Stone Soup told a story that resonates with what we are doing at Democrats Abroad Spain. In the book, three travelers enter a small village. The trio is hungry, but the villagers don’t have a lot of food to spare and are disinclined to offer a meal to them. The travelers say that is fine with them, as they can make their own delicious soup with a long spoon, a large stockpot, a nice fire, and three smooth stones. Curious, the villagers supply the pot, the water, and the fire. One of the travelers takes three stones from his pocket and pitches them into the water.

The water boils and the travelers stir the water and sniff the air. “Ah, this stone soup will be delicious!” cries one of the cooks. “Divine! Of course it would be better if we had some potatoes! But it will be fine just as it is.” A couple of villagers scratch their heads and think of a few spare potatoes they have squirreled away in their cottages. Deciding to take a chance, they run home, bring back the potatoes, and throw them into the pot.

“Even better!” exclaims the cook. And he’s right – the soup has a definite aroma now, and it’s pleasing to the nose. “This will be perfect! Alas, it would be more perfect if we had some carrots, but never mind!” Of course a couple of other villagers rush off to supply a couple of carrots, and ….You get the idea. Cue the tomatoes, beans, peas, meat, and seasonings. Everyone pitches in a little, and everyone happily feasts on the “stone soup” at the end.

Here at DA Spain, we make a lot of our own sort of soup together. Of course, our dishes aren’t liquid, and you can’t eat them, but they are important all the same. Members make a few phone banking calls – potatoes. Members staff tables at voter registration drives – carrots. Members use their social media platforms to talk up DA and tell others about how US citizens can vote from abroad – tomatoes. Members contribute small amounts to DA to help us pay for phone banks, mailouts, banners for our voter registration tables, and the myriad other items that enable us to connect with Americans abroad – beans. Again, you get the idea.

I’m grateful to every one of you who helps us fill the pot. And I hope each of you will consider adding to DA’s soup. We’re not the tricksters that our travelers were, so all we can do is assure you that whatever you choose to add, matters. Your efforts promote and safeguard democracy. And that’s a delicacy beyond compare.

So if you’re interested in volunteering or contributing, please take a few minutes to fill out the Volunteer Interest Form.

Thank you, and buen provecho!

Kathy Tullos (Chair)