Rick Ryckeley's blog

My worst nightmare

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Think of the one thing you fear the most. Now think of what you’d do if your greatest fear were about to come true. Would you meet the challenge head on or simply pull the covers over your head and hide, hoping it would pass you by? This will be my world in less than a month.
So what has me wanting to cower behind the keyboard? No, Down the Street Bully Brad hasn’t been sighted lurking around our fair town. At least, I don’t think he has. And The Boy isn’t in trouble.

What I’m afraid of, oddly enough, are retired teachers — about 125 of them to be exact. Read More»

Slumber party

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During those seven years spent growing up at 110 Flamingo Street, it’s true that I learned a bunch about life, people, and worldly things. Even so, fully understanding some concepts did escape my grasp. The idea of the slumber party was as baffling then as it is now. Read More»

Toyland, Flamingo Street style

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Christmas is now over and all the decorations are stowed away for another year. Now that the holidays are behind us, the next big thing visiting your home doesn’t come down the chimney in a red and white suit. It’s delivered to your mailbox in a plain envelope. That would be a big fat credit card balance. Or it could be two or even three. Read More»

A pillow fight

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For seven magical years, my three brothers, sister and me lived at 110 Flamingo Street. During that time whenever Dad walked in after work, he was always greeted with two things.
The first was a kiss from Mom. (Later he told me it helped to prepare him for what usually came next.) The second was a list of issues that needed his attention right away.
Those issues, more often than not, had to deal with one of us kids. On a good night it would be an issue with only one of us – and on a bad night it was an issue that involved all of us. Such was the night of the great pillow fight. Read More»

The phone call

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The Boy called the other day. He called in the most unusual way. The edginess of his voice caused me great apprehension. It was a mixture of excitement, weariness, and yes, even a little tension.
After over an hour of struggling, The Boy had accomplished something really remarkable. He was proud and wanted his dad to hear the news. I wasn’t the first person he called mind you, just the first to hear the news. No one else was home when he phoned. Read More»

Patches

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By midnight the last glass was finally placed in the dishwasher and all the wrapping paper thrown away. The excitement of Christmas had been replaced by a whole-body weariness that only comes from the holidays. Entertaining of family and little ones are extremely rewarding, but also extremely draining.
With pj’s on and all the lights off, it was time for a long overdue appointment with bed. A good night sleep was definitely in order.

But such was not to be the case at our house. Sleep would be elusive, and peacefulness would not be found that night or any night since. Read More»

The year in 566 words

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Well, we made it. The last column of the year is finally here, which means if you’re reading it, you must’ve made it too. If you didn’t and you’re still reading this, boy, do I have something to write about next week! Guess the best way to start this year-end column is at the beginning of the year.
In January President Obama was sworn back into office. The next day yours truly rushed to a Nashville hospital and stayed there for over a week. Read More»

An empty chair

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As far back as I can remember, it had never visited Flamingo Street. Sure, once or twice it had gotten close. It had gotten really close the previous winter. But with a neighborhood full of kids playing all day and into the night, it was bound to happen. Just didn’t think it would happen to us.
We never gave it much thought. After all, we were just kids. Our days were filled with arguing, fighting, and having fun as brothers and friends normally do. Even so, adults still talked about it from time to time, but only in whispers and behind closed doors. Read More»

Tinsel Tradition

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To tinsel or not to tinsel, now that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of The Wife’s unhappiness all because tinsel was placed on the family Christmas tree is not.
When Mr. Shakespeare penned the famous soliloquy from Hamlet, it really had nothing to do with garnishing the family tree. But there is a right and wrong way to decorate one, and I should know. Somehow I’ve found the wrong way each year. Guess I have a gift. Just ask The Wife. Read More»

The holiday table

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After witnessing the Thanksgiving meal last week, it was suggested that a review of table manners and place settings for the holidays are in order.

Not gonna tell you who suggested the review or what retired firefighter The Wife said needed the review, but I think you can guess correctly.

Many things have gone out of style since those seven years my three brothers, my sister, and I spent growing up at 110 Flamingo Street. Unfortunately using correct table manners ain’t one of them. Read More»