Sheila Sybrant

Stubbornness is a character trait that I stubbornly cling to — but I’m learning to let go … a little.

My husband, I’m sure, will be happy to regale you with stories of my stubbornness. I’m sure that most of them are highly exaggerated (yes, I will stubbornly defend myself), but I must admit that I do tend to dig in my feet about certain things, and I can’t deny my stubbornness in one particular area: the embrace of technology. Specifically, I am rather hard-nosed about NOT embracing technology.

No, I don’t wash my clothes with a washboard or cook all of my meals over an open fire or anything like that, but I do tend to eschew the computer except for doing work and finding information.

Occasionally, I’ll use the computer for a few other things, but what I rarely use the computer for is social interaction.

This makes me quite an outlier in today’s world.

I’m not on Facebook or other social media because I would rather have personal conversations with each of my friends and relatives than send and receive impersonal group missives.

I know that this must be annoying to people who are hosting gatherings and want to send the invite via Facebook — they want to do “one and be done.” But then there’s me (and a few other people like me), who requires a specially issued invite.

I do occasionally send emails to friends to say hello, but they are individual emails written for each individual recipient. Usually, though, I’ll pick up the phone and call someone. It’s just more personal.

However, desperate times call for desperate measures, and these are desperate times. No, I’m still not on Facebook or social media, but I recently did let go of my stubborn refusal to embrace technology so that I could play a game.

I love board games, but, obviously, game nights won’t be happening anytime soon. In person, that is.

A few days ago, my sister invited me to play an online version of Codenames with some of her relatives and friends.

Codenames is a word game in which two teams compete against each other to be the first to guess all of the team’s words. Cards with one word on each are set up in a 5-inch-by-5-inch grid, and there is a “key” card that identifies the words that are blue-team words, which words are red-team words, which words are neutral and which word is the “instant death” word.

A person from each team is designated as the “spymasters,” the only ones who see the key card and they then use it to give clues to their team members.

In the online version, the computer generates the 5-inch-by-5-inch grid of “cards” with words on them. One person on each team clicks a “spymaster” button and then can see the “key” to give clues.

It was so much fun — even though my team, unfortunately, did not win any of the games.

I even have to admit that the online version has benefits that the in-person game doesn’t have. We live a long way from anyone, so getting to a person’s house or having people come to our house is no small feat. As opposed to a planned night of gaming, online play works well when people have a limited amount of time. And, of course, with online play, you don’t have to wear pants if you don’t want to.

Still, there is nothing quite as personal as an in-person game night.

Yes, I know. I’m just being stubborn.

Readers may contact Sheila at or 45092 859th Road, Bassett, NE 68714


In other news

Rats can drive cars. Not your car or my car. (Their legs really wouldn’t reach the pedals, after all.) Rather, researchers have created tiny cars just for their lab rats and certain experiments and have taught the little critters how to drive.

The Off Road Speedway brings in drivers from around the Midwest to compete at the Sport Mod, Hobby Stock and Street Stock divisions. Every Saturday night during the season, times get recorded from races for the drivers and spectators to see after races. This sounds like something easy to do,…