Nothing could kill me quicker than unhappiness. As long as I can write and draw I'm completely happy.Happiness is having something to do and something to live for. The very fact that you are reading this drivel is my something to do and my something to live for.

I never sit down and try to write a classic. I just do the best I can as a self-taught writer and hope that I succeed. I found that I must believe I can do it, and then do it. That's success all by itself.

I figure if I'm having fun, just maybe my readers will have fun. I have profound thoughts, however I doubt that very few pros would want to be found with them.

I have wonderful thoughts about life, the pursuit of happiness and success, but they don't always reach my word processor. Unfortunately, happiness is good health, but also a bad memory sometimes.

What is success and happiness? It's not a couple million dollars-it's contentment and my family. Mostly I like to think about what's coming, not necessarily about what went.

I try to resist negative thinking. I think I've always been an optimist. (at one time I was the president of a local Optimist Club). I believe an optimistic mind is a happy and healthy mind.

I've been told many times that I'm a bullheaded Taurus. I've passed the big 80 mark four years ago. I'm not 84 years old; I like to think I'm 84 years new. The only trouble is that the future seems to be getting closer and closer.

I've also been told that I'm not getting older, that I'm getting better. I have one big problem with that statement. The only thing I'm getting better at is getting older.

When you get to be my age you sometimes hear a little voice inside of you that says, "Just because you are old doesn't mean you shouldn't take on new challenges and seek new trails."

"Charlie, you only get one ride on this merry-go-round of life, so make the most of it"

The voice of reason??

My wife of 65 years will tell you she allows me to do next to nothing around the home. That's her space. My territory is confined to the den, garage and yard work. She also says that at our age we both have a right to a bit of forgetfulness, but I abuse the privilege.

I wonder, is there some way to know just how many marriages end in divorce? I'll bet it's a very high percentage.

When a "young" couple manage to reach their 50th wedding anniversary, it's at least as newsworthy and important as a 1,000 point rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Averages.

So how do we or they do it? What's our secret for keeping a semblance of spontaneity in the long relationship after all those decades?

The simple answer is "senility." It gets to the point that we barely recognize each other. We get up in the morning and we think, "Who the heck is this?"

Could be we are too familiar with each other. Chances are we both feel as though we've been involved with this person since the days of the flappers of the '20s.

Our conversations make us sound like our brains were surgically replaced by chapters from the "Practical Prattle" book.

Will we ever get back to the good old days? Or are these them? Wouldn't we be happier if we were born at age 84 and backtrack to 18 years old?

They say, "As one gets older, one gets wiser." Hey, that's the way the years crumble. Good things can come hard in life, but wisdom is by far the hardest.

Those wrinkles you see in my face, they are only laugh lines. We do a lot more laughing as we get older. I believe myself to be a one-of-a-kind individual just like everybody else.

I work hard at an essay such as this. I consider my hard work can surpass any natural talent I might possess. I'm a self-made man and I owe my failures to no one. I have paid the price for success-now I'm waiting for delivery.

Any happiness or success I might achieve is wrapped in a neat package of work, work that I thoroughly enjoy. It's great happiness being able to use time as I see fit. The only exercise I get nowadays is pushing my luck.

Anytime I want to wipeout boredom or unhappiness, I use work as an eraser. TRY IT! This old mind of mine is like a clock. It is constantly running down. It has to be wound up everyday with good thoughts. Grasping the gist of a situation can be tricky. It doesn't work unless I do. I just rewound it! Yes dear, I'll be right up! Sixty-five years??? Oh my!

E-mail Charlies Adams at LST281@AOL.COM.

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