Welcome to “It’s Never Too Late: Uncovering the Magic of Writing After Sixty,” I’m Dr. Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Christian nonfiction author and poet. This is my writer’s log for Saturday, July 15, 2023. Today, I’m writing about my surviving the North Texas summers. It’s a combination of battling the heat, thunderstorms, and electricity woes. They all add to the challenges of my writing life as a sixty-nine-year-old writer. A great title for this post is Surviving North Texas Summers: Battling the Heat, Thunderstorms, and Electricity Woes.
Hey there from scorching North Texas! The summer blast furnace is cranked up to its maximum setting, and boy, it’s a strange weather cocktail we’re dealing with. We’re currently under a heat advisory with heat index values soaring up to 112 and temperatures hitting a blistering 105 degrees.
It’s like being in an oven! These high temperatures coupled with the dreaded humidity make heat-related illnesses a real concern, especially for those toiling outdoors or engaging in outdoor activities. But hey, don’t worry, the national weather services have some tips for us to survive this sizzling ordeal.
According to the weather folks, it’s all about staying cool and hydrated. They’re urging us to guzzle down plenty of fluids, seek refuge in air-conditioned havens, avoid the scorching sun, and make sure we check up on our loved ones and neighbors. Oh, and by the way, they emphasize that under no circumstances should we ever leave young children or pets alone in vehicles. Seriously, it’s a recipe for disaster.
On top of that, they’re suggesting we take extra precautions if we have to brave the outdoors, like rescheduling any strenuous activities to the cooler early mornings or evenings. And hey, let’s not forget to don lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to give our bodies a fighting chance against the inferno.
Thunderstorms in the Mix?
As if the heat wasn’t enough, North Texas also likes to surprise us with some thunderstorms. Yep, we’ve got gusty winds, lightning galore, and heavy downpours to contend with. Mother Nature just can’t make up her mind!
While the rain might give us a brief respite from the scorching temperatures, it usually means the humidity skyrockets, turning our surroundings into a tropical sauna. Oh, the joy!
Electrical Hiccups and Escaping the Heat
Hold onto your hats, folks, ’cause here comes another challenge! Our dear friends at ERCOT, the ones responsible for managing the Texas Electric grid, have warned us about the possibility of rolling blackouts due to the surging electricity demand. Can you believe it? They predict that from Sunday through next week, we might be left sweating in the dark. Just what we needed, right?
But hey, if the heat gets too unbearable, I’ve got a plan. I’m heading for the mountains, finding some high elevation to beat the heat. Like those old rockers Twisted Sister said, “We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore!” I’ll find somewhere cooler, even if it means taking a mini-vacation to escape the boiling cauldron of North Texas.
Coping Strategies and Parting Words
Okay, let’s get serious for a moment. In the face of these challenges, we gotta stay smart and take care of ourselves. Stay hydrated, my friends—drink water like it’s going out of style! Seek refuge indoors where the AC is pumping cool air, and keep an eye on the weather updates.
And let’s hope and pray that the electricity grid holds up, so we don’t have to resort to caveman survival tactics. But hey, if all else fails, let’s remember that we Texans are a resilient bunch. We’ll find a way to beat the heat, whether it’s by chilling in the mountains or creating our own personal oasis.
Raise Our Water Bottles High
So, fellow Texans (and all facing the heat), let’s raise our water bottles high and toast to surviving another scorching North Texas summer. It may be a wild ride of extreme heat, thunderstorms, and electricity scares, but together, we’ll ride it out and emerge stronger on the other side.
And who knows, maybe there will be a future score idea from the struggles of living in the heat. But first, I’ll keep on with my rewrites from the edit recommendations. It’s still hard to type as I’m continuing to deal with trigger finger.
Stay cool, my friends, and don’t let the summer heat get the best of you!
July is an extraordinary month, filled with celebrations and significant milestones. For one, it marks the birthday of America, a time of patriotism and fireworks. But for me, July holds an even deeper meaning—it’s my spiritual birthday.
What Is a Spiritual Birthday?
Now, you might be wondering, what exactly is a spiritual birthday? Well, let me explain. You see, everyone has a physical birthday, the day they were born into this world. Mine happened on November 25, 1953, at Brooke Army General Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.
However, a spiritual birthday is different. It’s the day when a person experiences a profound transformation, accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and embarking on a new spiritual journey.
My spiritual birthday is July 11, 1977, a date etched in my heart forever, when I was “born again” and found salvation at the First Baptist Church of Lakewood in Tacoma, Washington.
Allow me to share with you the story of my own spiritual awakening, the day that changed the course of my life forever.
Back in July 1977, I was a second lieutenant serving in the United States Army at Fort Lewis, Washington. Life seemed to be going splendidly. I had a loving and intelligent wife, and we had welcomed our first child earlier that year. Professionally, I was excelling, receiving accolades for my work and even being offered a regular army commission. Yet, despite all the achievements and blessings, there was an unexplained void, a sense of emptiness deep within me.
In my pursuit of fulfillment, I tried various avenues. I indulged in drinking, sought solace in relationships, chased material possessions, and immersed myself in the social scene. But no matter what I did, that elusive something remained absent from my life. I sensed that there had to be more, something I was missing.
It was during this time that I became involved with a group of men at my church who seemed to possess a profound sense of purpose and contentment. Intrigued, I joined them for a Bible study. Little did I know that this encounter would lead me to the answers I had been desperately seeking.
Through the study, I discovered that God had provided us with a guidebook for life—the Bible. It held the key to addressing the problems we face and filling the void within us.
I learned that I was not here by accident, but rather, I had a purpose. Most importantly, I discovered that Jesus loves me and desires to have a personal relationship with me. However, sin had created a separation between us.
I realized I had a sin problem.
Coming to terms with my own sinfulness was a crucial turning point. The Bible states,
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
I realized that despite my best efforts to be good and virtuous, I couldn’t save myself. Good deeds alone wouldn’t secure my place in heaven.
I learned there was a penalty to be paid for my sin.
The Bible also teaches that there is a penalty for sin—
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It was clear to me that I needed a solution, a way to bridge the gap between my sinful nature and God’s righteousness.
I learned God provided a promise.
Thankfully, God provided a promise—a way for us to be saved.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
This verse revealed to me that God’s love is so immense that He sacrificed His only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for our sins.
I learned that God made provision for me.
In light of this revelation, I learned that I could receive God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
It became clear to me that by acknowledging my need for a savior and accepting Jesus into my heart and life, I could experience the transformative power of His love.
I prayed to accept the gift of eternal life through Jesus.
In a heartfelt prayer, I embraced this gift of eternal life through Jesus. I acknowledged my sins, believed in His sacrifice on the cross, and invited Him to be the Lord of my life.
It was a moment of surrender, a surrender that would forever shape my journey.
What came next?
From that day forward, my life has been far from perfect. I’ve stumbled and made mistakes along the way, sometimes veering off course. But amidst it all, I’ve found direction, purpose, and unshakeable peace.
The Bible has become my compass, guiding me through life’s trials and offering timeless principles for daily living. I’ve never been alone on this journey, for the presence of God has been with me every step of the way.
What About You?
Now, I pose a question to you: Have you experienced your own spiritual rebirth? Have you been “saved” and found solace in a higher power?
Just as I did, you too can find salvation and peace.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. … For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Romans 10:9-10, 13
Why would an intelligent person believe in Christianity?”
But perhaps you are skeptical, wondering if an intelligent person or an intellectual can truly believe in God. The answer is a resounding yes!
Many brilliant minds have found faith in God and embraced Christianity. The real question should be, “How can an intelligent person believe in Christianity?” or “Why would an intelligent person believe in Christianity?” The truth is, faith and reason can coexist harmoniously.
As I reflect upon my spiritual journey, I can’t help but marvel at the extraordinary transformation that took place.
That tired, weary face you see in the photo taken in February 1977 holds a story of profound change and hope. It captures a moment in time, a snapshot of a young couple embarking on a path filled with uncertainties and new beginnings.
So as we celebrate the birth of America this July, let us also remember the significance of personal rebirth, the power of salvation, and the transformative journey of faith.
About the photo
It was taken in February 1977 in my military quarters at Fort Lewis, Washington. In the photo in Miss Benita, my bride. We have been married since 1974. Also in the picture is our first child, Kristopher. Yes, I look tired. I had just returned home from a fourteen day training exercise. I had not had sleep in over 72 hours at the time the picture was taken. I was very tired. The picture was taken by my late father-in-law William Clarence Breeding, Sr. He and my mother-in-law had came to Washington State to help Miss Benita with our new son Kris.
Welcome to “It’s Never Too Late: Uncovering the Magic of Writing After Sixty,” I’m Dr. Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Christian nonfiction author and poet. This is my writer’s log for Monday, July 10, 2023. Today, I’m writing about embracing life’s challenges as I look at how problems shape your life journey.
Maybe, like me, you’re facing challenges in various aspects of your life. I’m dealing with health issues like trigger finger (see photo), irritable bowel syndrome, and pancreatitis. Plus, I’m sixty-nine years and nine months old. Father Time has found me and is working me over.
Some of these issues are my excuses for being slow in getting edits/rewrites completed.
Be it personal, professional, or spiritual, it’s important to recognize that life presents us with many opportunities for problem-solving.
How we respond to these obstacles determines whether they will defeat us or contribute to our personal growth.
In this article, we’ll explore how God uses problems to guide, examine, correct, protect, and perfect us, as supported by powerful verses from the Bible.
1. God Uses Problems to Direct You (Proverbs 20:30)
Sometimes we need to experience painful situations to prompt us to change our ways. The blows that wound us can cleanse away the evil within us.
“Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts.” These challenges can act as guiding forces, redirecting us towards a better path.
2. God Uses Problems to Inspect You (James 1:2-3)
Faced with various troubles, we are called to embrace joy, knowing that these challenges test our faith and build patience within us.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
However, it’s important to exercise caution and avoid excessive self-analysis, which can lead to a detrimental “why me Lord syndrome.”
3. God Uses Problems to Correct You (Psalm 119:71-72)
Difficulties can often be the catalysts for necessary corrections in our lives.
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.”
These afflictions, in hindsight, may be the best things that could have happened to us, guiding us to pay attention to God’s teachings and guiding principles.
4. God Uses Problems to Protect You (Genesis 50:20)
When others intend to harm us, God can transform those negative intentions into something good. Joseph acknowledges this truth in Genesis 50:20.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
God’s divine intervention can protect us from harm and transform our trials into blessings.
5. God Uses Problems to Perfect You (Romans 5:3-4)
Rather than discouraging us, problems can serve as opportunities for growth and character development.
Romans 5:3-4 teaches us to rejoice in our sufferings because they produce endurance, character, and hope.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
Romans 5:3-4 ESV
These challenges strengthen our faith, enabling us to trust God more deeply.
Problems, when approached with the right perspective, have the potential to shape our character. While comfort may be appealing, God is more interested in our character development.
Our relationship with God and our character are the only things we will carry into eternity. Therefore, let us embrace the challenges we face, knowing that God desires to bring about positive changes in our lives, allowing us to make a difference in this world.
Remember, problems are not roadblocks, but stepping stones on our journey towards personal growth and spiritual maturity.
Welcome to “It’s Never Too Late: Uncovering the Magic of Writing After Sixty,” I’m Dr. Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Christian nonfiction author and poet. This is my writer’s log for Friday, July 7, 2023. Today, I’m writing about my writing life as a sixty-nine-year-old writer.
In Personal News
I’m continuing to make it to the fitness center twice a daily. Stretching my leg and hip muscles begins each session followed by a 30 minute walk and five minute cool down session. I do this twice a day. The walking has not had an impact on my weight which is staying steady in the weigh too much category. I’m five feet six inches tall and weigh in the 206 pound range with my weight fluctuating between 202 pounds and 212 pounds.
Trigger finger update – Last time I mentioned I’ve been gripping the treadmill wrong or too much. I have developed something called “trigger finger.” My finger physically locks and I have to force it to straighten out. I saw the doctor on July 6. They still have me wearing a splint and added physical therapy of the hand and a RX for nerve pain. I am still waiting for the pharmacy to fill the RX after 24-hours. I’ll see the physician again on Monday, July 10. Potentially, I’ll receive a steroid shot if the hand isn’t better. So far, it isn’t better.
My new black Sketcher step-ins for exercising on the treadmill are working out fine. I have prescription orthotic in-souls and they’re great. They were a $600 plus investment from the podiatrist.
In Spiritual News
I continue to spend time in God’s word and attending Bible study class plus attending worship.
This week I finished Harry Potter and The Soccer’s Stone. The auto scrolling feature on my Kindle is working wonderfully where I can read while walking on the treadmill. I’m now reading Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.
When I finish rereading The Harry Potter series I will read Lindsay Buroker’s Fallen Empire Series. I purchased the entire series on Kindle eBook this week. I previously owned and read book one in the series. The series is science fiction. Lindsay is a wonderful writer. The cost was minimal. I spent under $35. The books in the series are:
Cyborg Legacy: A Fallen Empire Novel (prequel),
Star Nomad: Fallen Empire, Book 1;
Flight: Fallen Empire, Book 2;
Starseers: Fallen Empire, Book 3;
Relic of Sorrows: Fallen Empire, Book 4;
Cleon Moon: Fallen Empire, Book 5;
Arkadian Skies: Fallen Empire, Book 6;
Perilous Hunt: Fallen Empire, Book 7; and
End Game: Fallen Empire, Book 8
I purchased the books to in this series to read on my trans-Pacific cruise in October – November 2023.
Writers need to read. Stephen King and my university English professors taught me this.
Welcome to “It’s Never Too Late: Uncovering the Magic of Writing After Sixty,” I’m Dr. Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Christian nonfiction author and poet. This is my writer’s log for Sunday, July 2, 2023. Today, I’m writing about my writing life as a sixty-nine-year-old writer.
In Personal News
I made it to the fitness center yesterday. My goal of stretching my leg and hip muscles and walking 30-minutes on the treadmill was met.
I guess I’m gripping the treadmill wrong or too much. I have developed something called “trigger finger.” It is a condition affecting tendons that flex the fingers and thumb, typically resulting in a sensation of locking or catching when you bend and straighten your digits. My symptoms may include pain and stiffness in the fingers and thumb.
The condition is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis. I need to rest the left hand and specifically the “fickle finger” or middle finger on the hand. My father suffered from this condition. My finger physically locks and I have to force it to straighten out. Ugh.
A trip to the Sketchers store bagged me two new pairs of shoes. One was a pain of black Sketcher step-ins for exercising on the treadmill. They replace a pair of SAS athletic shoes at less than one-third the cost. The second pair were light brown (tan) casual shoes for wearing on ship during my trans-Pacific cruise this fall.
In Spiritual News
My Christian faith is important to me. I regularly attend Bible fellowship class and Sunday morning worship at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. I’ve been a member there for over two decades.
In the worship service this morning, there was a salute to the armed services. The song for each branch of the military was played and members of or veterans of that branch stand and are recognized.
It is the annual “God & Country” service. Today Dr. Jack Graham preached on “Is There Hope For America?”
My devotional time today was from the Christian Devotions US website https://christiandevotions.us/viewblogentry/21317. The devotion was from Matthew 5:42 NIV, “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
In Reading News
I read another 40-minutes worth of Harry Potter and The Soccer’s Stone. I’ve figured out how to use the auto scrolling feature on my Kindle where I can also read while walking on the treadmill.
By using this feature I don’t have to change pages. I have it set to my reading speed. This allows the eReader to scroll like a teleprompter. Very cool!
Welcome to “It’s Never Too Late: Uncovering the Magic of Writing After Sixty,” I’m Dr. Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Christian nonfiction author and poet. This is my writer’s log for June 30, 2023, the last day of June! Today, I’m writing about my writing life as a sixty-nine-year-old writer.
This week has been challenging for me.
Challenge One – Travel
I’m getting back into my routine after traveling last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I made a six hundred miles round trip to meet my brother. It was our first face-to-face visit with each other since November 2019. We both stayed in the same hotel.
The trip allowed us to check on our parents’ graves and to visit the graves of our maternal grandparents and many maternal aunts and uncles.
They’re buried in a family cemetery in the country. The cemetery does not offer perpetual care. If we need more dirt added to a grave, you have to request it from the cemetery association.
Fortunately, my brother does the heavy lifting and works with the proper authorities to get things fixed. Family is special, and I am blessed that he and I get along and converse regularly.
Challenge Two – A New Daily Task
The Monday before making the three-day trip, I joined a fitness center. No, my goal isn’t to pump iron.
Instead, I joined to have an indoor location to walk on a treadmill. The fitness center location is about five minutes from where I stay.
My routing is to go twice a day at least five days a week. The plan is to go for a morning walking session and an afternoon walking session.
Each session on the treadmill is 30 minutes of waking. I found I take an hour from leaving the house to returning. The travel time is about minutes each way. Five minutes plus five minutes equals ten minutes. It takes about five minutes to get out of the car, go through check in and to do a few words of small talk with the staff. That has me to fifteen minutes. I next stretch my legs and hip muscles. This adds five more minutes and we’re now up to twenty minutes.
It’s on to the treadmill. Five minutes are used to set down my water bottle, keys, glasses, and iPhone and select a podcast to listen to on the iPhone or have my Kindle with a book. I get those staged for listening or reading.
It’s time to start and I’m now up to twenty-five minutes since leaving the house. Pushing the green start button, I set the incline at 0.5% and walk at a two miles per hour pace for thirty minutes.
Walk my mile passes fast and then the treadmill transitions to a five minutes cool down time and I’m at fifty-five minutes. I pick up up stuff, get in the car and return to the house. One hour has been used … and that’s if I don’t run into someone I know and I almost run into some I know.
My friend Morris who used to own JGs Old Fashioned Hamburgers is always there in the afternoon. He reminds me of my late father. He’s in his eighties, lonesome for conversation, and a great guy. We chit chat at least ten or fifteen minutes. I’ve known him long time and remember him telling me of his girls graduating from high school, college, marrying, etc. The older of the daughters is now fifty. Friends are special and I appreciate his friendship.
I have two young women baristas and one of the young men baristas from my favorite Starbucks also works out there. They are in their early twenties. Surprise describes their reaction to my age, that I have long hair with a ponytail, and I still have dark hair. It also amazes them I’m a writer. They’ve found my books online in a local bookstore didn’t have them, but said they could get them a copy. It seems to encourage them to engage in their creative pursuits.
Challenge Three – Hot Weather
The hot weather has been rough. I’m not as young as I once was, and the heat has slowed me down. I do everything slower.
Challenge Four – Trans-Pacific Cruise Planning
Getting the arrangements completed for the trip’s week stay in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia took several hours this week. The cruise is about 100 days away.
Challenge Five – Not Neglecting Friends and Family
Human beings need other people and friends.
I’m blessed with several friends.
I find my life enriched when I have lunch and go for a walk with my friend Les..
We help each other out with life challenges. Our wives both passed away in a two-year time frame..
My local writing group is important. Doing something with people in person is critical in my thinking. I’m still learning the group but it takes time as Covid has made the meetings remote until a few months ago.
I’m blessed to have “she who can’t be named on the Internet” in my life. She’s a beautiful, intelligent woman who knows how to balance life where I don’t feel second fiddle to her family (sister, adult children, and grandchildren).
My adults children and grandchildren are important to me. I strive to have life balance where I’m there for them, but not intrusive into their lives.
Church and Bible study with Christian writing friends are also important. I still make church and Bible fellowship class 48 out of 52 weeks a year. It’s foundational to my life.
Balancing the demands of life with the writing life is tough.
Getting up and go to Starbucks twenty-eight out of thirty days a month to write, rewrite, and edit is my routine. I sometimes wish “life” didn’t impede my writing.
Knowing I must maintain my physical health to be a healthy writer, that I need the relationships to not be a lonely writer and to maintain my mental health motivates me.
I remember from my seminary days the need for a balanced life.
Using the biblical description of Jesus’ childhood given in Luke 2:41-52, we can better understand growing up in terms of four overlapping categories: mental (wisdom), physical (stature), social (favor with men) and spiritual (favor with God). That’s the balance I strive for in my life.
“Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”
Welcome to “It’s Never Too Late: Uncovering the Magic of Writing After Sixty, ” I’m Dr. Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Christian nonfiction author and poet. This is my writer’s log for June 21, 2023! Today, I’m writing about coffee, a few hours of continuing recommended rewrites, a day of cleaning, being a fit writer, and an emotional reflection.
Welcome friends! Today I want to share with you the events of my day, starting with the arrival of the housekeeper in the morning. She dedicates a full eight hours to meticulously cleaning every corner of my house, leaving it fresh and spotless. I’m blessed to afford this luxury. The common man does not describe my life style.
Editing and Rewrites:
While Mary takes care of the chores, I headed to Starbucks to enjoy a peaceful morning of writing while sipping on a delightful cup of blonde roast coffee. I even had the pleasure of greeting my friends Melissa and Karen, who were also indulging in their favorite coffees and also working remotely (Melissa) and crossword puzzles (Karen).
Like many writers, I prefer writing the first draft to doing the editing and rewrites, especially the editor’s recommendations. Sigh, it’s the editor’s suggestions that polishes my work and sometimes is the single secret ingredient that makes is saleable.
Fitness Center Connection:
After a productive writing session, I’ll kickstart my physical well-being by going for a walk at the fitness center. It’s always refreshing to engage in some exercise after a good dose of caffeine and creative thinking or mind-numbing editing.
Interestingly, I frequently encounter the former owner of JG’s at the fitness center, as we both share a membership there. It’s always a pleasure to catch up and reminisce about the old times while pursuing our fitness goals.
The sense of community in such encounters is truly heartwarming. I normally walk twice a day and see Morris during my 4 PM treadmill session.
As the morning progresses, I have an exciting lunch appointment with my friend Les Hall at 10:45 am.
We chose JG’s Old Fashion Hamburgers as our meeting spot, and I must say, their delicious food never disappoints.
I usually eat either their veggie burger or chicken Caesar salad with water.
An Emotional Journey:
This afternoon holds a special plan for me as I embark on a 250-mile drive south to Gonzales, Texas, where I will spend the next two nights. I have reserved a suite at La Quinta, which proved to be more economical than a regular room thanks to the points I accumulated.
This trip holds a significant emotional weight as I will be meeting my family and visiting our parents’ graves. Tomorrow would have been my father’s 96th birthday, and the absence of his presence weighs heavily on my heart. I miss him dearly, and this visit will provide an opportunity to honor his memory and find solace. I think I miss him so much as I really got to know him and we developed a great friendship, talking multiple times daily for almost three-years after my mother passed.
Happy early birthday dad.
It’s worth noting that today marks the first day of summer, and as expected, the scorching heat continues to make its presence felt. While the weather might be intense, it only adds to the anticipation of the summer season and the adventures it holds. So, despite the heat, I’m determined to make the most of this day.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my day, filled with cleaning, coffee, friendship, fitness, and emotional reflection. As the summer begins, let’s embrace the opportunities it presents and make each day count. Here’s wishing you a fantastic day ahead!
Keep on smiling and be the sunshine in someone’s life.
Welcome to “It’s Never Too Late: Uncovering the Magic of Writing After Sixty, ” I’m Dr. Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Christian nonfiction author and poet. This is my writer’s log for June 20, 2023! Today, I’m writing about embracing the Texas heat as I maintain a life of writing.
Weather is Preheating for the Summer
I find myself comfortably seated in one of my cherished coffee shops in the Dallas area. With the scorching heat outside, reaching a staggering 99 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday, and an even hotter day predicted today, it’s safe to say that summer has officially arrived in Texas.
We Texans humorously refer to this weather phenomenon as “preheating for summer.”
Walking Routine Moves to the Indoor Treadmill
My day began bright and early, long before my visit to Starbucks. Rising at 7:00 AM, I followed my morning routine: weighing myself, getting dressed, taking my prescribed medications, and then heading out to the nearby fitness center. Being a retiree who has embraced writing as my post-retirement career, regular exercise is essential for maintaining my health.
The soaring temperatures have led me to opt for indoor activities, so I engaged in my daily walking routine within the air-conditioned fitness club. This morning, as I embarked on my walk, the thermometer displayed a sweltering 86 degrees Fahrenheit, with a heat index exceeding 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Six Figure Author Podcast
I strolled at a moderate pace of 2.0 mph, dedicating 30 minutes to this crucial physical activity. To make the most of my time, I listened to a podcast called “The Six Figure Author Podcast” hosted by Lindsay Buroker, one of my favorite authors and an online acquaintance.
Lindsay is among the select group of authors who earn an impressive seven-figure annual income.
During my 30-minute walk, I managed to cover a mile while absorbing valuable insights on the craft and business of writing. A key point of the podcast was the value of persistence and the need to finish what you start when writing.
After completing my walk, I allowed myself a five-minute cool-down period before tidying up the equipment and practicing proper hygiene measures by washing my hands.
The I returned home to collect my computer bag and electronic coffee tumbler in tow, I made my way back home, ready to dive into my writing tasks.
Yesterday, I had a visit with my cardiologist and informed the nurse about my concerns regarding leg, joint, and muscle cramping.
Before contacting the cardiologist, I decided to stop taking the prescribed medications as of last Friday. I communicated my actions to the doctor, also inquiring about potential adjustments to the dosage, such as taking only half or every other day. Since stopping, I noticing a significant reduction in my tendonitis and joint pain.
My next appointment with him is scheduled for July 18, giving me ample time to receive his professional guidance.
Writer’s Guild of Texas
Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the monthly meeting of the Writer’s Guild of Texas, and it turned out to be the best meeting I’ve experienced so far. The session on characters and dialogue, expertly led by Brooke Fossey, captivated the audience.
I was familiar with Brooke from our mutual involvement with the DFW Writer’s Workshop, where she began attending shortly before my hiatus from the group.
Her writer’s biography is truly remarkable, as she transitioned from being an aerospace engineer with a secret clearance to a devoted mother and writer. She holds the distinction of being a past president and an honorary lifetime member of the DFW Writers’ Workshop. Her work has been featured in prestigious publications like Ruminate Magazine and SmokeLong Quarterly. Brooke’s debut novel, “The Big Finish,” published by Penguin/Berkley – Piper/Pendo, has garnered well-deserved attention. When not writing, she resides in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, four children, and their delightful dog, Rufus. Interestingly, she still occasionally indulges in math as a way to unwind.
After the meeting, Brooke and I spoke. She kindly offered to let me join her and another woman to ride share to the weekly DFW Writer’s Workshop, if I decided to return to the group.
Late Night Swim
Upon returning home, I indulged in a refreshing dip in the pool around 10 PM, despite the lingering heat of 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
For two blissful hours, I floated and engaged in low-impact water exercises, stimulating my legs and feet.
To round off the evening, I treated myself to a delightful midnight ice cream cone before retiring to bed at 12:45 AM, sleeping soundly throughout the night.
Back to Today’s Activities
Now, as I conclude this blog post, I look forward to heading home, taking a refreshing shower, enjoying a meal, and later in the afternoon, attending my allergy shot appointment.
Following that, I’ll return to the fitness club for a second walk on the treadmill. While I may not reach the goal of walking five miles, managing two miles a day at 69 years old, with troublesome hips and high blood pressure, feels like quite an accomplishment.
I ensure that my walks remain low-impact, taking care of my physical well-being. I hope to convince my writing companion, affectionately referred to as “she who can’t be named on the Internet,” to join me on these walks.
As the day progresses, I’ll pack a small overnight bag in preparation for my mid-afternoon departure to Gonzales, Texas on Wednesday.
I’m already eagerly anticipating a stop at the famous Buc-ee’s in Temple, Texas, known for its vast array of snacks and refreshments.
Time to Write
I’ve met another new friend at the coffee house. She’s sat beside me the last couple of mornings. Her name is Karen and in my age range. She’s an attorney. She represented my former day job (IB) from 1990 to 1996 when the added in house legal counsel. She comes her around 10:30 everyday and works her crossword puzzle and then reads.
With my rewrites and editing beckoning, it’s time for me to bid you farewell. May you have a productive and enjoyable Tuesday, and remember to embrace your passions, savor life’s moments, and keep writing. Keep on smiling.
Hello friends! Today, June 19, 2023, the United States is celebrating Juneteenth, a significant day in Texas and United States history.
But amidst the festivities, there’s an even more special occasion—my granddaughter’s sweet sixteenth birthday!
Let’s dive into the events of the day, the scorching Dallas heat, and my plans that lie ahead this week.
Battling the Extreme Heat:
As I stepped outside, the oppressive heat hit me like a wave. With the temperature expected to reach a blistering 99°F (37°C) and a heat index of 117°F (47°C), it was crucial to stay cool and hydrated. I adorned myself in light-colored clothing. Take advantage of air conditioning as an ally in this relentless battle against the heat.
A Day in Motion:
Bright and early at 7 AM, the alarm on my trusty iWatch roused me from slumber. After my morning devotionals, I embarked on my routine household chores. Taking out the recycling, trash, and water table box for collection, I got my day off to a productive start. Ensuring I took my medications, shaving, and dressing in light colors, I headed to Walmart at 8 AM to conquer the day’s errands.
In search of respite from the scorching outdoors, I retreated to Starbucks. With the air conditioning providing much-needed relief, I settled in with a tall blonde roast coffee. It was the perfect atmosphere to indulge in some writing and bask in the ambiance.
This Week’s To-Do List:
As the day and week progresses, I have several important tasks on my agenda. Among them, I need to pick up my heart medications from the pharmacist and receive allergy shots on Tuesday.
I need to reach out to both my cardiologist and rheumatologist to discuss some concerns about my medications and the persistent joint pain I’ve been experiencing.
Tonight (Monday, June 19) I have the monthly meeting of the Writer’s Guild of Texas at 7 PM in the basement of the Richardson Public Library.
Reflecting and Reconnecting:
The middle of the week holds promise for reconnecting with loved ones. But first, on Wednesday, the housekeeper comes, ensuring a fresh and tidy living space.
I had plans to meet my friend Les Hall at JGs Old Fashion Hamburgers for an early lunch, a tradition we’ve maintained since our days as coworkers. Wednesdays are always open for friends to join us!
A Trip Down Memory Lane:
Wednesday afternoon marks the start of a small getaway. Driving my trusty Mercedes, I’ll embark on a journey to Gonzales, Texas, where I had made reservations at a lovely hotel. The purpose of this trip was to pay a visit to my parents’ graves, especially poignant as Thursday would have been my father’s 96th birthday. After two nights, I would return on Friday morning and afternoon. I’m just getting too old to make the 250 plus miles each way in one day or even as an over night trip. Accepting the limitations of age forced on me is challenging.
A Solo Movie Date:
The week will end on a high note. I have my monthly date with Harry Potter. This month it’s seeing Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire at the Angelika Theatre in Plano on Saturday. While I usually watch Harry Potter movies alone, I invite any local friends who wanted to join me. The magic of Hogwarts is best shared, after all.
Settling down to focus on my writing for the morning, I reflect on the events of the day and the week that lie ahead. It’s a day filled with celebration, responsibilities, and cherished memories.
Wishing you all a fantastic day, filled with joy and inspiration! Keep on smiling. Be the light that shines into someone’s day. Let others see Jesus in you.