Last week I wrote about two very different groups of people.

The first was a group of neighbors in a quiet cul-de-sac in Dixon who met twice a month with lawn chairs and Tupperware to share food, drinks and updates on sports, grandchildren and local information about the city.

The other group would meet at Lowell Park. Arriving with armored gauntlets, casting amulets, and warhammers, this assembly, too, would chat a little about jobs, lives, and the like, before disembarking into a fantasy world of demi-demons and spells.

They were two very different groups who came together for various reasons, but, ultimately, to be involved in a community where you can connect, protect each other and share the warmth of the friendship.

We all have pandemic burnout. I silently swore to myself that I wouldn’t use COVID-19 in this column – hear me out – but that’s what made these dark times so unforgiving. It deprived us of the simple creative social comfort of sharing a beer with your neighbor or casting a stun spell to protect your teammates.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if you wield a foam rubber vorpal sword or a nylon lawn chair. It’s just a matter of unity.

– Alex T. Paschal, follow me on Instagram @svmphotogs or message me at [email protected]