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#15 Pretty Bird

When married to a voiceover artist, one gets used to overhearing strange conversations. This was impressed on me very early on.

I heard someone saying, “Hello, pretty bird” over and over and over again. Each iteration was slightly different, the voice changing qualities with each, “hello.”

Turns out, no surprise, but it was her, crouched at a window, attempting to get a bird on the other side of the glass to participate in a conversation. She seemed convinced that if she could find the bird’s “voice,” she could talk to the animals.

Just imagine it.

To this day, she continues to find the “voice” of birds, cats, and inanimate objects. I can’t complain – the check for voicing the game Twister (yes, that Twister) was pretty nice.

So let’s all say it together: “Hello, pretty bird.”

{originally posted as a countdown to our silver anniversary}

#16 The Road

She started in Northern California (want to get a rise out of her? Call it “upstate” California.) She then went to Seattle. Her plan was then to go to Chicago, then New York City.

I started in Upstate New York (proper use of “Upstate”). Then I went to Iowa, then to New York City. My plan was to stay in NYC. I figure that’s where we were supposed to meet, but since she stopped in Seattle, I had to go get her.

Together, it was Seattle, then Los Angeles (for her, the deep south), then Virginia (the actual south) and now Kentucky. The last three are places that weren’t even in our imaginations let alone our plans when we got hitched.

Yet that’s where we’ve been called, and we learned together to go where called. When we do, God always has wicked cool things waiting for us. Come spend a spell with us in Kentucky, and we will be able to convince you of the Goodness within a few hours.

Two factors that make the places off the plan rather glorious. First, God, naturally; He puts Loki to shame in the trickster category – yet by bringing order rather than chaos.

Second: her. Naturally. Mark Twain puts it best in The Diary of Adam and Eve. Adam’s words over the grave of his “her” –

“Wheresoever she was, there was Eden.”

(originally posted as a countdown to our silver anniversary)

#17 She Teaches

Recently she began teaching at a college level. She has always taught – church drama seminars, or workshops, or coaching, or joining me for some camp or single classes. We taught a semester long course on Stage Management to undergrads.

The students love her. L-o-v-e h-e-r. Every female student wants her to become their mentor. The male students want her to teach all their classes.

Now she is (finally!) teaching classes on her own. I joke that I am no longer the favorite Professor Gaffney on campus. I don’t doubt it is true; the joke part is pretending to be upset by it. Instead, I’m pretty dang proud.

Cuz, truth be told, I think both the female and male students are on the right track.

(originally posted as a countdown to our silver anniversary)

#18 “He Did It”

When we watch standard cop procedurals on the telly, the moment a minor player is introduced she will turn to me and nonchalantly say, “He did it.” Or she, as appropriate.

And she is usually right. She can tell by the way the writers are trying to mask the character to make them seem unimportant; as well as recognize bit players enough to know they wouldn’t hire that guy just to be a one-off witness.

I think that police departments across the country should hire her on as a consultant. The solve rate for major crimes would go through the roof.

(originally posted as a countdown to our silver anniversary)

#19 Driving. Me crazy…

Somewhere likely 20 plus years ago, we were on our way out the door. Wondering if I should grab my keys, I said, “Am I driving?”

To which she responded, “Me crazy.”

It was fairly witty. That phrase has been repeated any time I ask that fateful question.

Every time.

For twenty plus years.

And, oddly, it doesn’t feel old yet.

Which is the part that really makes me smile.

(originally posted as a countdown to our silver anniversary)

#20 First Call

My first meeting with her was over the phone. I was applying for a job at Taproot in Seattle and called the office to find out if my resume arrived. I ended up talking with the person that answered the phone (the person I was calling was out) for an hour, getting the skinny on the company, the city, the Pacific Northwest.

Apparently, she is very good at getting her personality across on the phone, because after that hour I called a friend and told him I was going to have to move to Seattle so as to marry that girl.

I was joking; but followed my own instructions anyway. And this is the voice I get to wake up to in the morning; hear throughout the day; and the last voice that sends me to sleep at night.

Good for me for following instructions.

(originally posted as a countdown to our silver anniversary)

65Mile Insight: CODA

This week as the last of our fundraising walk & talks, Catherine and I look at CODA (now on Apple+), the marvelous way Sian Heder uses all the family members as theme carriers, and the brilliant performances by the cast. Speaking of a brilliant supporting cast – use this opportunity to support our cause!

Catherine and I are committed to walking 65 miles in six weeks as part of the 65 Roses 65 Mile Challenge. We are raising money for Cystic Fibrosis research in honor of our niece, Harper.

Each week we are also committing to posting an insight into movies, TV, theater or other aspects of our industry just as we finish our walks. Or if we need a break, during our walks. Mostly because as a couch potato, my favorite workouts involve marathoning with a remote.

To donate: Go to my fundraising page, or Catherine’s page and click the DONATE button in the right column.

#21 Adventure

Up to this point, our vacations were rigorously scheduled. We had a timetable, with every bit planned in advance. However, as we got more into the marriage, the realization that God had us on a whacky ride that did not fit our own plans started to become clear. And even more so, that we kind of liked the ride.

So, on this particular vacation, driving home we saw a sign saying there was an attraction off the highway. Way off the highway.

She looked at me. Paused. Said, “Want to go?”

And we did. Had to find a new place to stay near this unplanned attraction. And different places to eat. And different things to do. All on the fly.

We had a blast. That has been our life, an adventure. We plan, then we scrap the plans to go where the wind sends us.

(originally posted as a countdown to our silver anniversary)

#22 Tomato, To-mah-toe

She likes tomatoes. I can’t stand ‘em. I love onions. She can’t stand ‘em.

Some marriages wouldn’t survive such deeply held, polar opposite beliefs.

Us? I eat her onions, she eats my tomatoes. Our differences literally feed each other.

And that’s what makes a good marriage, when your differences feed each other.

On the other hand, she likes pineapple on her pizza – so some differences are irreconcilable.

[originally posted as a countdown to our silver anniversary]

#23 Voice Professional

My voice mail greeting on my personal phone is the voice of a professional voice over artist. I paid for the service by doing the dishes. Pretty good deal, I think. So those that don’t get me on a call think I’m a real professional – if they don’t recognize her voice.

Or they realize how above my station I married if they do.

Either way, it makes me look better than I am. Which is true outside of the voice greeting; in teaching, writing, or just plain being, she makes me better than I am. That’s the joy of collaboration; and the key is to have the right collaborators. The ones that make you better than you are.

[originally posted as a countdown to our silver anniversary]