Writer’s Log – June 2, 2023

🌟 Hey there, fabulous friends! It’s finally Friday, June 2, 2023, and the energy is electric! ⚡️ I woke up this morning to a toasty 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but in Texas, we call that “preheating for summer”! 🔥 Can you feel the heat, y’all?

💪 Let me tell you, yesterday was a total productivity party! 🎉 I tackled my to-do list like a boss and conquered ten tasks! Who’s got the productivity crown? This guy right here! 👑

🎬 Last night, I caught the premiere of the mind-blowing UFO disclosure movie, “Accidental Truth: UFO Revelations”! 🛸 The tagline says it all: “The truth can no longer be contained!” Can you believe it? Those “in the know” who interact with the public are finally opening up about what they know. Little green men or not, I’ve witnessed some mind-boggling unexplained phenomena myself, like the mesmerizing Marfa Lights! 🌠

⏰ Today has been a whirlwind of activity already! I started my day with a dose of my morning RXs, followed by some peaceful devotional time. Then, I dropped off my clothes at the cleaners before meeting up with my buddy, Dan Webster, for a delightful lunch at 1 PM. 🥪 He and his wife are part of my trans-Pacific traveling party this fall.

☕️ Right now, I’m at my favorite spot, Starbucks, sipping on my morning coffee and getting my creative juices flowing. Gotta hit that daily word count, am I right? ✍️

🚶‍♀️ Later on, I’m planning to get my steps in and go for a refreshing walk. It’s all about staying active and feeling alive, my friends! 💃

🔌 Big news! AT&T Uverse is upgrading my Internet today to lightning-fast fiber optics! 🚀 Fingers crossed they don’t play hooky. Though I’ve received mixed email and text messages confirming and saying they may need to reschedule, so who knows? We’ll see if they make it happen! 💻

⛈️ Oh, and keep your eyes on the sky because thunderstorms might crash the party later tonight! If they make an appearance, I’ll cozy up and enjoy a fantastic movie night. If not, it’s all about splashing around in the pool and rocking those water aerobics moves! 💦

✨ Remember, my friends, every day is an opportunity to spread joy and radiate sunshine! ☀️ Be that person who brightens everyone’s day, the one everyone is thrilled to see. Let’s make it a phenomenal day! 🌈💖

Writer’s Log, June 1, 2023

Hey there, lovely people! 🌟 It’s June 1, 2023, and guess what? I’m super excited because in just 129 days, I’ll be embarking on a fantastic trans-pacific cruise! 🚢🌊 Can you believe it? This has been on my bucket list forever, and I can’t wait for the adventure to begin!

Let me give you a little sneak peek of the cruise itinerary. We’ll be starting in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, then sailing off to breathtaking destinations like Hawaii, Tahiti, and French Polynesia. Oh, la la! 😍 After that, we’ll make a stop at Pago Pago in American Samoa before heading to the stunning landscapes of New Zealand and Australia. Twenty-nine days of pure bliss! And you know what’s even better? I’ll be spending a few extra days exploring Australia before heading back home. 🐨✈️

Today’s photo is a gorgeous stock image from the stunning paradise of Tahiti, which is part of French Polynesia. Fun fact: you don’t need a visa for stays up to 90 days in Tahiti, but make sure you have your passport ready to go! 🏝️🛂

Now, when it comes to American Samoa, lucky for us Americans, no visa is required. Just don’t forget to pack that passport of yours! As for New Zealand and Australia, passports and visas are a must. Time to get that paperwork sorted ASAP, my friends! 🗺️🛃

But enough about travel logistics. Let’s talk about what’s been happening lately. On Wednesday, I had the most amazing time hanging out with my good friend Les. We indulged in a delicious lunch and took a lovely stroll at North Park Center. And guess what? We even met up with my mysterious friend, who shall remain nameless on the internet, for some mouthwatering Mexican food at one of my all-time favorite restaurants. Good times, good company! 🌮❤️

This morning, I treated myself to a bit of extra sleep since I stayed up until midnight. Rise and shine happened just after eight AM. After taking care of some chores around the house and getting the trash out, I made my way to Starbucks for my much-needed cuppa. ☕

To kickstart my day, I completed my morning devotional, and I’ve been jamming to uplifting Christian music on The Prestonwood Worship channel on YouTube. Seriously, you’ve got to check it out! Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/@PrestonwoodWorship/videos 🎶✨

My to-do list is bursting with tasks today, but I won’t bore you with all the details. Let’s just say it involves some walking, reading, and tackling the routine stuff that comes with life. Gotta stay productive, right? 💪📚

Before I wrap up, I want to take a moment to send out some prayers and good vibes to all the incredible attendees of the Blue Ridge Christian Writer conference. As they head home with newfound knowledge, hopes, and dreams, I pray for their safety and that they have the courage to pursue the amazing opportunities they encountered at the conference. You’ve got this, writers! 🙏✍️

Alrighty, folks, it’s time for me to dive into my morning writing session. Thanks for joining me on this little update. Stay tuned for more adventures, fun stories, and positivity coming your way! Until next time! 😄🌈

Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles

The photo is of the Starbucks at The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles. I used to work across the street from it. I at my evening meal there almost every day. It was across the street from my day job and a five-minute walk from where I lived when working in Los Angeles. Living a five-minute walk from work was good in LA.

the-promenade-at-howard-hughes-center


Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in over twenty venues, including Bewildering Stories and Beyond Imagination. When not writing each morning at his favorite coffeehouse, he supports his writing, reading, and book reviewing habit working as an IT application support analyst. He is a former Captain in the US Army. His blog Kepler’s Book Reviews was named a 100 best blogs for history buffs. Kepler has a Bachelor of Arts in history with English and military science minors. He also earned Master of Religious Education, Master of Arts and Doctor of Education degrees. You can also visit him at Kepler’s Book Reviews.

Just For Fun – Pictures of Where I Have Lived

Born in San Antonio, Texas

I thought it would be fun to collect pictures of the houses I have lived in from birth to my current 60 plus years. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but it was fun putting these together.

Below is visual proof  of my lack of “roots”, that is my not feeling like I have a hometown. I was a military brat and United States Army Officer from birth until my late 20s. Then I worked as a Southern Baptist Religious Educator until my mid-40s. Military and minister are two vocations that are very nomadic.

Moving frequently goes with the job and life. I have lived/be stationed in over 25 locations. I attended 8 schools for 12 grades. The photos are either ones I took, my mother has, or compliments of Google Maps, street view. My memory or mother provided me with the addresses/locations.

BAMC
Brooke Army General Hospital, San Antonio

I was born in 1953 at Brooke Army General Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.

Randolph AFB
Randolph AFB

My father was in the US Air Force stationed at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio. Leaving the hospital, I moved in with my dad and mother.

Snip20140823_9

We lived on Mesquite Street in San Antonio, Texas. It is located just east of downtown. The Alamodome is in the area where the house was built. I have a picture of the vacant lot where the house use to be.

Living in Ohio

Clinton County Air Force Base in Ohio

In 1954 – 1955, my father was stationed at Clinton County Air Force Base in Ohio.

20 Church Street Bowersville, Ohio

We lived in Bowersville, Ohio. I lived at 20 Church Street.

Living in Harwood, Texas

1946-Ford-Coupe-Harwood-TX

In part of 1955 and then 1956 I lived with my Grandfather in Harwood, Texas. My brother was born while we lived here.  Well, he was born in Brooke Army General Hospital, just like me.

Living in in Greenville, South Carolina

Donaldson AFB

My father was in Turkey with the US  Air Force at this time.When dad got back from Turkey he was stationed at Donaldson Air Force Base in Greenville, South Carolina.

201 Maco Terrace Greenville SC

We moved to 201 Maco Terrace in Greenville, South Carolina. This where I have my first memories.

Living at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois

Scott AFB

While living in Greenville, SC we took a side trip to Scott Air Force Base where my father had extended military training.

Scott AFB Illinois

While at Scott Air Force Base we lived in a military trailer park. We spent a snowy winter of 1956-1957 there before returning to our Greenville, SC home.

Living in the Valley of the Sun – Luke Air Force Base Arizona

F-3530-SPT-95-000052-XX-0092

In 1958, we moved to Glendale, Arizona as my dad took a new assignment at Luke Air Force Base.

Glendale Az

We lived first in Glendale. I started elementary school at Glendale Elementary School in Glendale, Arizona in 1959. Dwight Eisenhower was the president of the USA. We lived on West G Avenue. Glendale renamed their streets around 1970 to match the names of the streets they connected with in Phoenix.

Then in 1960 we moved into the new base housing on Luke AFB where we stayed until 1963.  I attended Luke Air Force Base Elementary School from February 1960 through the fourth grade. I had Mrs. Davis in the second grade and Mrs. Jensen in grades 3 and 4.

Living in Sequin, Texas – Dad in Vietnam

803 Jefferson Ave Seguin Texas

Dad headed to South Vietnam, and I headed to 803 Jefferson Avenue in Seguin, Texas.803 Jefferson Avenue, Seguin, Texas is where I lived in 1963 – 1964. I was in the 5th grade and living there when President Kennedy was assassinated and when The Beatles came to the USA.

The house was white with a green roof back then. It had trees in the yard and hedge around the house back in the day. It had a backyard that was over an acre. I had a great treehouse in the backyard tree as well as a huge garden. My father was stationed at Tan Son Nhut Air Force Base in South Vietnam.

I attend Jefferson Avenue Elementary School. It was located across the street from my house. Mrs. Englebrock was my fifth-grade teacher. She taught me to love to read and to write stories.

Living in El Paso, Texas – Biggs Air Force Base

Biggs AFB

Next I moved to El Paso, Texas in August 1964. My father was transferred to Biggs Air Force Base and B-52s. I don’t have a picture of our house on Raimey Circle. It has been torn down. I am still searching for a photo.

I attended Ben Milam School. Mr. Romero was my sixth-grade teacher. In the seventh grade, I played football and started having different teachers for each class.

Living in Portsmouth, New Hampshire – Pease Air Force Base

Pease Air Force Base Portsmouth

From here I moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Pease Air Force Base.

2024 Larkspur Circle Pease AFB New Hampshire
2024 Larkspur Circle Pease AFB New Hampshire

It was a neat place with lots of snow in the winter. I got to go to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine to the Longfellow and Chamberlain Homes. I went to the Robert Frost farm. I attended science camp at M.I.T. and Harvard University’s Summer Institute for the Gifted studying literature, poetry, and writing in their Humanities program.

I lived at 2024 Larkspur Circle on Pease Air Force Base in 1966 – 1967. I attended Portsmouth Junior High School. I was the eighth-grade class vice-president. I went to all the historical places in Boston and fell in love with history.

I was here until my father retired from the US Air Force. He earned a degree in business from New Hampshire College while we lived there.  From here it was back to Texas.

I finished the last few weeks of the eighth grade in Nixon, Texas at Nixon Junior High School. We stayed with my grandparents until our furniture arrived and we moved into the below house.

Living in Schertz, Texas

1407 Chestnut Drive Schertz Texas
1407 Chestnut Drive Schertz Texas

We lived in the San Antonio suburb of Schertz. I lived at 1407 Chestnut Drive Schertz Texas. I started high school at Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas in 1967. I would move to the Dallas area at mid-semester. We also owned the house that was two to the left of this one.

Living in DeSoto, Texas – Last Place I lived Before I Married

1010 Southwood Drive DeSoto, Texas

I lived at 1010 Southwood Drive in DeSoto, Texas until I headed to college and married. My father still resides there. – Update: Mom passed away in 2014 and dad died in 2017.

Living in Arlington, Texas – My First Place

201 1/2 Ray Drive Arlington TX

When I was 17, I got my first place. It was a duplex. In 1971 – 1972 I lived at 201 1/2 Ray Drive in Arlington, Texas while attending The University of Texas at Arlington.

Another College Residence – Arlington, Texas

Four Oaks Apt Arlington TX

I moved into an apartment with my brother in 1973. It was the Four Oaks Apartments off Pecan Street in Arlington.

Living in DeSoto, Texas- First Home as a Married  Man

283 Hapton Road DeSoto Texas

In December 1974, I married Benita Breeding, and we moved into an apartment in DeSoto, Texas on 283 South Hampton Road. We lived upstairs, the second unit from the end nearest as you look, was our home.

First Army Post – Fort Riley, Kansas

Fort Riley
Fort Riley, Kansas

I spent the summers of 1974 and 1975 on active duty at Fort Riley, Kansas thanks to the US Army.

Living in Columbus Georgia

Fort Benning

I graduated from college in 1975 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the US Army. We moved to Columbus, Georgia. That’s where Fort Benning is located. We there 1975 – 1976.

Holly Hills Apartments Columbus Georgia

We lived the Holly Hills Apartments with lots of second lieutenants in a unit off Oakley Court. I attended the US Army Infantry Officer Basic Course, Airborne School, and the Platoon Leader Maintenance Management Course while living there.

Living at Fort Lewis, Washington – Tacoma, Washington

Fort Lewis

We moved from there 3000 plus miles to Fort Lewis in Washington State. We were here 1976, 1977, 1978.

Fort Lewis Company Grade Married Officer's Quarters

We lived in two different military quarters while there. The first was one bedroom. We got a two bedroom unit after our son Kristopher was born.  While stationed at Fort Lewis I spent more time deployed or on training exercises

Camp Pendleton

I made two trips to Camp Pendleton for training. I was there in 1976 and 1977.

Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center

In 1978, I spent some time at Twentynine Palms Marine Base.

Fort Irwin CA

Twice I spent months at Fort Irwin in the middle of nowhere for training. Actually think between Edwards AFB and Death Valley, CA for its location or halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Naval Amphibious Base Coronado

Two times I suffered on the beaches of Coronado and San Diego. This was in 1976 and 1977.

Mountain Home AFB Idaho
Mountain Home AFB Idaho

In 1977, I was in a joint training exercise at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho

yakimatrainingctr

While at Fort Lewis at the sub-post of Yakima Firing Center (as it was named in the 1970s) in 1976, 1977, 1978.  Tank gunnery and T.O.W. Missiles had me there.

Jack Frost 76

My unit had assignments like protecting the Alaskan Pipeline. Operation Jack Frost helped soldiers prepare for this mission, learn to preheat toilet paper and work in extreme cold.

OP near Camp Casey South Korea
OP near Camp Casey South Korea

My unit also had a mission to help if the North Koreans came back across the 38th parallel.

REFORGER

My unit also took part in REFORGER – Return of forces to Europe with treks to Italy and Germany in the fall of 1978.

Living in Fort Worth, Texas

Gordon Ave Fort Worth

From here we moved to Fort Worth Texas where I earned my master’s degree. We lived in student housing at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on Gordon Avenue. This house had a floor the was not level. Our second son Jason was born while we lived here. We left here and moved to Decatur, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb when I graduated in 1980.

Living in Decatur, Georgia – Fist Full-time Church

773 Scott Circle Decatur Georgia

We lived at 773 Scott Circle until our landlady moved back in when here husband passed away. Then we moved to a townhouse in Clarkston, Georgia. I served as Minister of Education at Scott Boulevard Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia.

Memorial College Drive Clarkston GA

The townhouses were large and state of the art for their time. It was an affluent baby-boomer paradise. This stock photo from Google doesn’t do them justice. They were located off Memorial Drive across from the DeKalb Community College. They were 99% owner-occupied townhomes with a very strict and sometimes mean homeowners association. I was still Minister of Education at Scott Boulevard Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia while living here.

Living in Bogalusa, Louisiana

Old Settlers Road Bogalusa Louisiana

In December 1982, we moved to Bogalusa, Louisiana. We lived in a paper mill town and could smell it. I was Associate Pastor at Superior Avenue Baptist Church. While living here I started working on my doctorate.

Living in Jasper, Texas

College Street Jasper, TX

In November 1984, we moved to Jasper, Texas. We lived in this house until 1988 when we bought our first home. Our daughter Sara Joy was born while we lived here. I was Associate Pastor and Day School Principal at First Baptist Church of Jasper, Texas. In 1987 I earned and was confirmed the doctor of education degree in educational administration.

606 Pearl Street Jasper Texas

The picture doesn’t do the house justice. The lot and house are larger than they look. The house was the Better Homes and Gardens House of the year in 1959 and was featured in Southern Living Magazine.

The people who bought the house after us took out all the azaleas and dogwoods we had and replaced with hedge and non-native trees. They also removed over a dozen seven-five-year-old  or older trees. They added the black shutters, wrought iron windows, and doors and made it like a prison.

The multi-level tree house my kids had the backyard was also removed when the trees were cut  down.

I was still Associate Pastor and Day School Principal at First Baptist Church of Jasper, Texas. I owned the house until March 1995. We moved from here in 1992 to Buna, Texas.

Living in Buna, Texas

Vacant Lot

This was on Halley Street in Buna, Texas. We lived in a church-owned home. It has been moved. The pastor lived in the house to the right. In the background is the church. I was Associate Pastor and Business  Administrator at First Baptist Church of Buna, Texas.  I lived here 1992 – 1993.

Living in Denison, Texas

168 Chickadee Drive Denison, Texas

Next I lived at 168 Chickadee in Dension, Texas from May 1993 until January 1996.  Our oldest son graduated high school while we lived here. My father-in-law passed away while we lived here. I was Minister of Education and Senior Adults at Parkside Baptist Church in Denison, Texas. The house was small, did not have central air, and was close to the church.

Back in Jasper, Texas

721 Marvin Hancock Drive Jasper Texas

I lived at 721 Marvin Hancock Drive in Jasper, Texas. We lived in the unit on the bottom left. We lived here for the spring semester of 1996. I was Vendor Management Specialist for East Texas Support Services overseeing the CCMS program for day care centers in 16 counties. I also taught early childhood education at a local university.

Living in The Colony, Texas

4916 Watson (2007)

I bought our current home on Watson Drive in The Colony, Texas in July 1996.  I  have worked as a senior training specialist for American Express, Internet coordinator for Hilton Hotels, as a senior support engineer for Equator LLC, and in multiple Information Technology roles for Interstate Batteries while living here.

Our youngest two children finished high school, got college degrees, and our daughter married since we moved here. Sadly, the huge tree in the center of our front yard had to be cut down in 2007.

Update: My wife died in at home hospice care here on April 2018 from melanoma cancer.


Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com. He is also the author of The Liberator Series. The Rebuilder – Book 1 is available for pre-order on Amazon. It will be released October 1, 2015. The Mission – Book Two will be available Spring 2016, The Traveller – Book 3 will be available Summer 2016, and The Seer – Book 4 will be available Fall 2016.


Poem: Dead on the Floor

Dead on the Floor

“Tricky Dick” was the U.S. President
In America, a first-class stamp cost just six cents
Richard Nixon froze both the prices and our pay
We still loved going to concerts to see our favorite bands play
The Vietnam War was on the evening news for all to see
Marcus Welby, M.D. was the number one show on United States TV
Over in London, Jimi Hendrix over dosed
On Monika Dannemann’s sleeping pills two weeks before.
And in Los Angeles, John Cook found Janis Joplin dead on the floor.

Jimmie A. Kepler
© 2011

Originally published in “Writing After Fifty”

Originally published in “Writing After Fifty”