Because the holidays are upon us and I will be traveling this Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to reach out to offer a toast and a gift — my literary version of bringing a bottle of wine and a pie to your table. (Do you prefer pumpkin or pecan? Syrah or Pinot Noir?)
As our new tour poster confirms, I will be performing in Clearwater, Florida November 24, then happily sharing ten more nights with you in various cities around the South and Southeast. Our journey will end with a final performance at the Grand Ol’ Opry on December 12. The Opry show will only be a few songs as I’m sharing the bill with some other fine artists, but I’ll be honored to be there and believe this will be a fitting finale to what has been an extraordinary run of shows over these past few years.
As many of you may know, I never thought I’d tour again, but with your support and encouragement, it happened and I’m grateful. What’s even more surprising is that in this decade, I will have performed more than I ever did as a kid. Crazy, right? Just proves that we never know what’s in store for us. It’s also a great reminder that the most gratifying moments in life involve giving; of our time, our spirit, our joy.
Though it’s doubtful I’ll be touring next year, I have a lot of work on the horizon and I’m eager to dig in. New television shows, a new theater piece, perhaps a book or a record… Mostly, I’m looking forward to spending more time with Tracey and the kids. Caleb left for college this year and his absence is deeply felt. We all know how quickly the time goes, so I want to savor each moment. Our family will be taking a trip between Christmas and New Year’s (not saying where, but it just might include a beach and an umbrella drink!).
So, as I raise a glass of MY FIRST CRUSH to you all, here’s my toast: to friendship, family, and giving. And to everyone who might be feeling a bit alone this holiday, know that there is a great community of caring people available to you here. I see them each night at my shows and engage with them often on social media. Reach out to them. Don’t be shy. I know they will all have your back as they have had mine.
Finally, my gift to you today: Fun. Today, I bring you Fun! Please take it and run with it! Pass it around! Share it with your friends and family! Bounce it off your walls! You may find that it’s contagious. And, when the days get dark, you might also discover that it’s great healing medicine. My wife taught me this. Yeah, she’s smarter than I am.
Looking forward to busting out the holiday tunes and shaking the sleigh bells with you in the next few weeks!