October 28, 2018, God willing, I will turn 82 years old.
What are you supposed to be doing and how are you supposed to act when you’re 82?
Should there be an added degree of sophistication, a thicker veneer of dignity, with most of your attention aimed toward the weightier things of life? Or maybe sit in a rocking chair and regale anybody who will listen with tales of “the good ol’ days”?
Or maybe spend your days in a bass rig or on a golf course or indulging in some sedentary hobby? Or just sleep late and learn to name the players and identify with the ongoing tragedies in the lives of soap opera characters?
Well, to those who choose to spend their golden years in such pursuits, as they say “down unda,” “Good on ya, mate,” hats off, kudos, well wishes and bon voyage on your chosen method of cruising into the sunset.
But as for me, I look at my next year of life as another journey through the competition, hassle, hustle bustle, fast-moving, and sometimes trying and absolutely wonderful world that I have spent the last sixty-plus year in.
Half of the one hundred-plus show dates we will be doing in 2019 are already on the books. I have three new CDs and a new book coming out almost simultaneously, with plans for my first novel to be finished and published sometime during the next fourteen months.
I have a head full of dreams, bits and pieces of songs, venues that I’d like to play at again, and fully intend to make at least one more journey to the Holy Land before I hang up my international traveling shoes.
I’ve got quite a lot of musical avenues I’d love to travel down and people I thoroughly enjoy playing with to travel down them with me.
I am content with my band, road crew, ranch crew and office staff. I wouldn’t trade even one of my twenty-five employees and would be happy to have everybody here for the duration.
I am deliriously happily married and have been for the last fifty-four years.
My son lives just down the road and stops by to have a meal or visit with his mother and me most days.
I have two non-related grandchildren – we assumed grandparenthood for them from their birth, one in grade school and one about to finish college – and we have been blessed through the years to spend a lot of time with them.
The list of people I could call to come and help me if I ran my car in the ditch at midnight is quite long, and at least in my opinion, the guys in my band all play much better than I do, always giving me challenges to respond to and mountains to climb in my profession.
I love my church; my pastor is my favorite preacher and the people who go there are friendly and loving.
I am born again, not by anything I have ever done or ever will do, but by the blood of Jesus, who promises us an eternal home, a place of indescribable joy. I would not change my doorstep one foot in any direction, living on the exact and only location on earth I feel at home at.
There are good riding horses, fat Hereford cattle in the pastures, big bass in the pond, squirrels in the hickory trees and whitetail deer frolicking in the backwoods.
Hazel’s flowers bloom every spring, there’s a big hill in front of the house and a creek at the edge of the property. We can hear bullfrogs, whippoorwills and the horses nickering on a soft summer evening and a full moon reflecting in the big pond at the bottom of the hill just kinda takes your breath away.
I have a head full of musical ideas and have even had thoughts of someday writing a symphony.
To say I have been blessed is a gross understatement, but enumerating my blessings for the world to see is not the purpose of this piece.
The real point is, I know there are many people who look forward to retirement and would heartily encourage to go forth on those golden paths and relish your new-found freedom.
But for those of you, who despite your advanced years, still have a fire in your belly and unaccomplished goals, don’t let a chronological number keep you from relishing the remaining years of your life.
From where I stand, I say, go for it!
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.