Laughter, Lilacs, and Board Games



by Al Cole

On a walk around the neighborhood last weekend, I happened to overhear a conversation between a parent and child, who were also out on a walk. They were playing a story-telling game. The rules were that each could only say one sentence at a time. There was laughter at the silly story, and even more laughter when the rules were altered to only say one word at a time. I was happy to share in their joy, even as I walked out of hearing distance of their story. Such a completely normal thing, finding joy in being together.

I do not know how my Midwestern family can cope, because it’s easy to be hopeful when the sun is shining and there are spring flowers to enjoy. I make a point to walk by the lilac bushes in the neighborhood whenever I can, because they remind me of the lilac bushes on the University of Nebraska’s campus. My family would make an annual pilgrimage across town to get ice cream at the campus Dairy Store and smell the lilac bushes.

On a whim, and with my encouragement, Mike went out and purchased two new board games from a local business. Both new games are competitive. I have not won once, but I still enjoy myself. The hours that we spend playing are hours that I forget the cares of the world because I am concentrating fully on building a superior civilization. The best part---whether I win or lose I always get a hug at the end.

This is the second post in a series of posts called, "Our Daily Bread." Al Cole reflects on the simple moments that nourish her during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you would like to reflect on those things that are nourishing you during this time and share your reflection with others, please email your written piece or artwork to Chrissy Mortlock,

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