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this life I live

This blog is going away. Sort of...

It’s actually gonna become something bigger... by making my role in it, a little smaller.

I started writing this blog on the 6th of January, 2014. Joey and I were about to have a baby and knew that the days, weeks, and months ahead were incredibly important, so we stopped making the TV show that we’d had for the last two years. The one that had changed our lives completely. We also stopped singing on stage, recording music, or doing anything else... except getting ready for our baby and the year that lay ahead.

We had thought we were going to homestead. To simplify and tell the story of our new baby coming and our first year with her or him. But God gave us a much different story that year than we had in mind. One that included a little girl with Down syndrome, a new mother with cancer, and ultimately two years later... me standing over a wooden cross, holding the hand of one of them and letting the other one go.

My first blog post was about our water pipes freezing. Then the next one was about Joey making croissants for me early one morning. I’ve told stories about our middle daughter helping put a fire out in the garden at our neighbor's house, about used engagement rings, and bailing my cowboy hat. Some have been funny stories where I laughed out loud as I typed, and some were written with a steady stream of tears pouring down on my keyboard. But in all of them, the stories are usually about something more than what they seem. They’re not just about what’s happening in the stories, they’re usually ‘what’s really happening’ in them. They have helped me to not only capture and share many of the most important moments in my life, but they’ve also helped me to understand them. To understand life just a little bit better.

But now, here it is five years since that first blog post, and I’ve come to realize that I can’t do it anymore. Literally. I can’t be in the stories and capture them. At least not by myself. I used to be able to because they were about Joey. About us. I could point the camera at her and have me be part of it sometimes. And though Joey was in front of the camera, she was also behind the scenes making sure that life was running well, while I told and shared the story well. But that’s too difficult to pull off now. Without Joey. With just Indy and me.

And so I’m gonna keep telling stories and sharing them, but thankfully I’m gonna have some help. A TV crew. Not just any crew either, most of them are the same guys who did our TV show years ago. With their help, we’re turning this blog from being a website that mostly shares stories in written form with some photos and occasional video... into a weekly docu-series: “vlog” video-blog of sorts, that will still be shared here on my website, but also all across the country on the cable network RFD-TV, the TV channel where our original TV show originally aired from 2012 to 2014... where it’s still airing in re-runs now.

What a gift it has been (and still is) to have all the footage from "The Joey+Rory Show." All those episodes, captured and frozen in time... my wife’s beautiful smile and voice, her living and breathing and full of hope... forever. Now I’ll be able to capture our lives and tell stories in an even better, more intimate way. And as we do that, we’ll be capturing Indy growing up and my older girls as they are now, and my sisters and community, and... what a gift it will be for my girls someday to have me captured here now too. All of us together, forever. And hopefully, besides this show being a blessing for our family, it’ll be a blessing in some way for other families all over who can somehow relate to ours, as they follow along with us on our journey.

Here’s an early trailer of what this blog is about to turn into. We start filming and capturing stories for it later this coming week and hopefully episodes will being airing on RFD-TV starting in early 2020. And yes, each one will be available at the same time here on my blog, YouTube, and Facebook.

Also... did I mention that I just got a job? Well, I did. Again, sort of.

I mean the job is real, but when you get to do something that you’ve been wishing for, for almost three years, you can’t really call it ‘work.’ Because this isn’t just a job, it’s a dream come true for me.

In early August, as Indiana and I were driving back from Montana together, we stopped in Omaha, Nebraska and visited the owner and founder of RFD-TV... Patrick Gottsch. And while Indy played in the sandbox with his little girl Rose, I shared the trailer piece with Patrick and his wife Angie. They were clearly moved and we talked about the show being on RFD-TV. In the conversation though, I told him that, besides making a new TV show, I’d love to be a larger part of the network... to help other people have TV shows and tell their stories.

Now Patrick is a maverick. He is an unusual CEO who follows his gut and always has. He founded the network twenty years ago with nothing but an idea and a home computer and has turned it into what I think is the most important television network in America, sharing family values and family programming in 52 million homes all across the country. His response to my statement was with a big grin, “your timing is perfect Rory... why don’t you take over all the creative for the network and be in charge of programming and making all our new TV shows?”

And now, here it is a month later, and I started my new position last week. RFD-TV’s Chief Creative Officer. You can read more about the announcement HERE or read the press release HERE, if you have time.

Thankfully, I can do my new job from anywhere. I can still work from my office in the Milk House here at our farm or from the RFD-TV offices on music row in Nashville, or the new soundstage in downtown Columbia that’s about to go in. And it’s already so fun... I have so many show ideas in the works and it’s only been a few days.

Now, being a songwriter and storyteller, I haven’t had a ‘real job’ since 1994; back when I was waiting tables at Applebees in Bellevue with Chris Cagle... so my kids don’t hardly know what to think. But I do know they’re really excited. They know what this means to me. To not only get to tell our story at a whole new level with our own show, but to get to find and showcase other people’s stories in other shows... that means the world to me.

I will still sing and write books and do the same things I’ve been doing... as a matter of fact, we have concerts here at home in our barn this weekend... so none of that will change. This will just open a door for me to tell stories on a larger scale, to a larger audience, and yet, still be here on our farm, walking Indy to the schoolhouse in the mornings and having dinner on the porch with my sisters most evenings.

One last thing...

Today is my pretty bride’s birthday. She would be 44 years young today. In my mind and in my heart, she’s still here. Still a big part of this story we’re living and telling, even now, three and a half years after she left us.

And I’m excited that now, for the first time, in this new video-blog format of storytelling that we’re taking, we’ll be able to start sharing more of her. More of the footage that we captured through the years and never shared. More of funny moments, the songs, and the simple times she and I shared together here at the farm. As we move forward in telling stories about the present, we’ll be sharing lots of special archives from the past. Sifting through hard drives full of old footage from when Joey was here... and including her, not just in the story of where we’ve been, but of where we’re going.

Happy birthday my love. I can’t wait to share more of you with everyone.



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