Despair Loves Company

Archived | February 28, 2014 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Anything to take a person’s mind off the weather is not bad. They’re calling it “polar vortex syndrome” at the café. Seems everyone’s chronic issues are getting worse — high blood pressure is going up higher, depressed people are feeling more depressed, annoying people are more annoying, etc. — and there’s not a lot a person can do. Mr. Sundberg has been unusually quiet, and I’ve been baking more than we can eat. It’s as if a sinkhole has opened in the atmosphere and we’re finding ways to fill it so we don’t get pulled in.
There’s something called a “misery index.” It’s a measure of economic well-being for a specific economy. It’s pretty much the sum of the unemployment rate and the inflation rate for a given time. The higher up it goes, the worse the climate of the economy. I’ve never been much into economics, but this makes total sense. And because I have always been into the weather, I’m thinking there’s a similar index for meteorology. We might call it the “desperation index.” Add snow amounts and temperatures. The more snow there is and the lower the temp, the more desperate people become. Though “misery” would work as well.
I think, in order to combat despair, we all need to stop what we’re doing and play for a while. I know playing outside is not an option at this time, but it’s not the end of the world. The only thing coming to an end is Winter, and it is taking its own sweet time, so we need to switch it up a bit and help it all along. It seems the opposite of despair might very well be delight, and it seems a great source of delight is Play. So let’s.
You knew how when you were young; time to channel that kid you were and have a little fun. Make some homemade Playdoh. Play PileOn. (This is where someone yells, “Pile on Dad!” or “Pile on Henry!” or “Pile on Grandma!” and everyone does. It’s great fun.) Take photos of the snow on the trees, or of each other’s feet. Bare. Make a gingerbread house, and write the story of who lives there. Plan and cook and serve a gourmet meal. Watch a trilogy of movies, popcorn and all. Have letter writing time with some lime vodka slush on the side. Paint a room a color you’ve been wanting to paint a room. Give the dog a bubble bath. Host an appetizer party. Or a dinner party, where everyone at the table has to confess something. Prepare food you’ve never made before. (I’ve never made a tuna loaf. Or an Olive Pickle Jell-O Salad.) Get out the Twister game. Make confetti from old magazines, and throw it up in the air.
Misery loves company, and I’m guessing so does despair, so call up your friends and invite ’em on over for a cheese exchange or a craft project, and see who has the best snow-clearing story. Someone will. And, as the sun sets on the cold horizon, there will be, where you are, laughter and delight. Tomorrow we’ll deal with when we get there.
It’s still soup and stew season, and these puffy biscuits will go well, or on their own with some jam or berries or a slab or good cheddar cheese.
Soda Pop Biscuits
4 cups Bisquick
1 cup sour cream
1 cup 7 Up
½ cup butter, melted
Dash salt
Mix Bisquick, sour cream and 7 Up. Dough will be very soft. Knead and fold until coated with baking mix. Pat dough out and cut biscuits using a round dough or cookie cutter. Melt butter in bottom of 9×13 pan or casserole or cookie sheet, and place biscuits on top of melted butter. Bake at 435 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.