OPINION COLUMNS

Rediscovering the meaning of quality time

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It was a beautiful day to be outside Saturday. A cool front blew through the night before, leaving temperatures in the 70s and 80s, a welcome break from the 90s and 100s of late.

It just seemed too nice a day to waste on yard work.

Brian Knox

Brian Knox

So the Knox clan decided to load up and go to the zoo – the Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville, to be exact.

We took a picnic lunch to eat at a community park just outside the zoo. I don’t know what it is about eating outside, but kids seem to love it.

The animals were a big hit of course. My daughter got to feed some goats (she opted for tossing the food over the fence rather than having the goats poke their head through a hole and eat out of her hand).

We saw a joey climb into his mother’s pouch at the kangaroo enclosure and a “baby” giraffe that still would tower over just about any other animal at the zoo.

We apparently missed the highlight of the zoo day, though, which is the giraffe feeding around mid-morning.

On the way back home, with the kids asleep in the back seat, my wife and I decided to take some backroads to some parts of the area we had never seen. Our route took us from Era up to Forestburg and then to Saint Jo.

My wife said she had ancestors who had gotten married in Saint Jo and wasn’t sure if she had any kinfolk buried in the cemetery or not. Neither of us had the slightest idea where the cemetery might be, so we had to rely on “instincts.”

Whatever you call it (maybe a best guess is most accurate), we found it on the first try. That was about the time the kids woke up, however, so we decided to keep moving down the road.

Our route took us to Montague and then to Bowie where we began our trip back to Wise County.

Along the way, we saw some beautiful views, old farm homes and unique small towns. But more importantly, we shared some laughs and spent some quality time together as a family.

In this day where technology can keep us entertained for hours, it was refreshing to spend a day “getting away” and seeing nature’s beauty. And although we often define quality time as how much work we can pack into a single day, it was nice to be reminded that true quality time can’t always be measured in our output but in the investment in those we love.

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