Kim and me

Kim and me

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tomorrow afternoon we leave for China! Kim, Amber and I are catching a flight to Chicago and then on to Beijing. This will be my first trip with Amber since we went to Munich Germany four years ago. Really, really looking forward to it.

Why is travel so important? This is a question I've been asked and I have a variation of answers.

First, I've always taken my kids on trips because its a great bonding time with them. Over twelve years ago I started taking my kids on international trips and I've relished the time spent with them while we experience new cultures and cities. Amber has personally been to Thailand, Greece, Germany, England, Italy, New Zealand, Brazil, Costa Rica and now China.

Second, Americans sometimes act as if they are the only people in the world. My kids have learned that there are other people and their feelings and lives deserve our consideration. My children will not act as the "ugly Americans".

Third, the experience. In Thailand, Amber sat with a full grown tiger in her lap. In Paris, Kim and I watched a chamber orchestra play in a thousand year old church. In Ireland, Heather and I stayed in a real castle hotel. And in Belgium, Kim, Logan, and I had lunch one Sunday with friends in Brussels. Each of the trips I've been on to over 25 countries have had memorable and special experiences.

Fourth, it is in other countries that I'm inspired to write my stories. Who knows what being in China might bring to my imagination.

How fortunate I am to have a wife who loves to travel and experience the world as much as I do.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday and my dad

Today is Easter! What a beautiful day too. The skies are overcast so the temperature in north Texas is not too hot. Birds are singing outside my open window. And, today is the day we celebrate Christ's resurrection.

I have a profound belief in the resurrection and eternal life. Thank heaven, literally, for this knowledge that we will all live again. I love my Savior and appreciate what he did for me and all of us.

Two weeks ago today my father fell while trying to get out of his wheel chair. As a result, he broke his hip. When the medical staff taking care of him found his injury, the performed surgery to alleviate the pain he was in and unfortunately, he never really came out of it. He sweetly, and quietly, passed away with my brother Gary sitting next to him in the hospital room.

The funeral was on Thursday, the 6th of April. It wasn't all that easy for my family to get there. On Tuesday, I inadvertantly stepped on my glasses and smashed them flat, fortunately they didn't break (yet) and they were able to be straightened so I could wear them. On the same day, tornadoes ravished the DFW metroplex which jeopardized our flight to Salt Lake City on Thursday. 65 of American Airlines' planes were damaged and hundreds of flights cancelled. We were able to go standby the day before and even sat in first class. Our struggles were not over however. On Friday, Kim, Logan, and I woke up in a hotel that wind had knocked out power. We had no electricty and no heated water for showers. Also, my talk that I was to give in just a few hours, was still on my computer and I had no way of printing it. That morning was spent jotting down notes that I could remember and that was what I based my talk on. It also snowed that night and dropped into the 30's.

Everything at the viewing and the funeral went remarkably well. My dad was burried in Salt Lake City Cemetery with an honor guard from the disabled veterans. It was quite a tribute and one that my dad, Clinton Hale, definitely deserved.

My dad was the most amazing man I've ever known. He was humble and quiet. He went about his career and his church jobs with a dedication I've never seen in anyone else. He was my example, my friend, my home teaching companion as a youth, my mentor and teacher. He was my father.

Dad, I'll always love and miss you. Godspeed!

Your son Chris.