Took the family bowling the other night. A large time was had by all. Our daughter had gotten wind of the idea from some of the kids at church and bugged me until I gathered us up and took us to the lanes.

I write about this for a couple of reasons: first to brag that I bowled a 150. Not bad for an old hack who only bowls once every five years or so, and second to remind us all that there are things to do as a family right here in our area if we will only look for them.

It was my daughter’s first time to bowl, so her ball found the gutter quite a bit at first. But as she kept trying, I could see noticeable improvement.

She was using a six pound ball, but that was still a little too heavy for her. She is very competitive and I was proud of her determination. Next time, I wouldn’t bet against her throwing a strike or two.

The Palestine Bowling Center has a rail they can elevate that keeps the ball from going in the gutter, but I chose not to use it because I wanted the kids to feel the victory of staying out of there on their own. If you take children younger than mine, though, you might want to use that option.

The family next to us had a small girl and used the rail. She would walk up to the line and roll the ball between her legs. It would bump the rail a few times as it slowly went down to push over a couple of pins.

My son was having a little better luck. He jumped up and down when he bowled a strike. We were all hugging and cheering and slapping hands. I guarantee it was more exciting than that little ole’ game that comes on later today.

The look on his face, in fact, was worth the price for the evening, which was about $35 for shoe rental, a couple of games and soft drinks.

My wife? Well, she is poetry in motion, of course. They should use her as a model for those handsome bowling shoes. Did Wilma Flintstone or Betty Rubble ever go bowling on The Flintstones? I don’t remember, but my wife is a definite Betty, the little cute one.

What’s important is that we all had a lot of fun. We laughed and encouraged each other, high fiving when anyone hit the pins, no matter how many. It got us out of the house, away from the television, and doing something together. I know it meant a lot to my daughter because she wrote about it in a paper at school this week. I scored big points with her by taking her – points I will cash in to pass along my morals and values.

Me? I’m a Fred Flintstone bowler. No spin, no finesse – I just hurled it straight toward the center pin. It usually hit pretty close, but as you know, hitting the center pin dead-on is not the way to get a strike. It seems like I always left one or two standing, no matter if I hit the center pin or not. Then, if they were not split too far apart, I could pick them up often as not, using my no-spin technique. Win ugly, I like to say.

Yep, there are things to do as a family right here in our little town. Even if you throw the rock like Fred Flintstone.

The Rev. Craig Harris is pastor at Montalba Christian Church and is employed as the Parent Involvement Coordinator for Palestine Independent School District. Contact Harris at

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