Working Title: Saddle Tramp

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The Prodigal comes back, but not home.
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Charles Schaal, the author, says, "The young cowhand, youngest son of a powerful Texas Gulf Coast rancher, is determined to prove himself worthy to live in the family house.The "Big House," known as strong, wise and powerful. The cowboy's journey of faith parallels our own as he returns to the loving, forgiving arms of the Father. This critical story must be lived in each life intent on receiving the freedom of forgiving grace. My story, like yours and his, is no different except in the details. For each of us, the plot is the same. Only the final chapter remains the great mystery."

The author, following 35 years in church ministry, is an independant property and casualty insurance adjuster in the state of Minnesota. Often asked if the two career tracks clash, he says, "Ministry is about people and interpreting their needs in relation to a set of non-negotiable principles. Insurance adjusting seeks to meet the needs of people by interpreting the pre-negotiated rules. Both are about people, needs and interpretation. There always is a story. Each person needs to tell and understand their story to answer the questions of personal significance."

Raised on the Gulf Coast of Texas, Charles lived spent his first 21 years in Matagorda county. He watched as ranchers continued the annual drive back and forth through the Colorado River to Matagorda Island each year. His wife's family, deeply ingrained in the history of 20th century Mobeetie, Texas, provided opportunities to walk its dusty streets and relive its history.

Charles is a resident of Kasson, Mn, a community 15 miles from Rochester, the home of Mayo Clinic. He and his wife of 40 years, Viki Robertson Schaal, are both native Texans and have two married daughters, Tonia Schaal Montgomery and Melanie Schaal Bersano, and five grandchildren. Charles believes the strength of a family is tested in its ability to stretch and twist without breaking. "We faced life together these last 40 years. Whether it involved career decisions, health challenges or moving 900 miles from home, this was a family journey. Our stories can't be told without hearing the others."

Charles' education track includes Bay City High School, Wharton County Junior College where he was Student Body President, Houston Baptist College and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO. The fields of study included music, ministry and education.

His writing career includes numerous published articles in newspapers. Among these was a syndicated column carried by small Mid-Missouri newspapers while pastor at the Rothville Baptist Church, Rothville, MO. His current contributions are carried on his blog. Writing has kept Charles in touch with people and their passions. "The people of South Texas and Mid-Missouri are not unlike their neighbors in the upper midwest. They are strong, proud and optimistic. They have a firm hope in the future. The welfare of their family is a primary goal."

When asked why writing continues to be his passion, he said, "I enjoy writing about people and their dreams. I love hearing how, against all odds, they overcame the challenges that opposed them. I am fascinated to know how they changed and what stayed the same. I want to tell those stories. They make up the fabric of who we are as a family, community and nation."

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