Rick Ryckeley's blog

A harmless little lie

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Every Sunday morning Preacher Jim said that confession was good for one’s soul. Well, he’s gonna love this column because I’m not confessing once; I’m confessing three times.
Growing up at 110 Flamingo Street, my mom always told us that lying wasn’t allowed in our house – harmless or otherwise. Even so, it still occurred and my parents always knew when one was told. Read More»

Don't 'bee' a dummy

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Seven years ago, The Wife and I bought a quaint house in a small town. I planted a fragrant tea olive bush just off the sidewalk near the front door. At the time, The Wife asked if the hole was too close to the house or main sewer drain clean-out.

I replied, “Nope, it’s a small bush and over two feet away from the solid drain pipe. It should be fine.” Planting that tea olive would eventually grow into an extremely painful and expensive decision.

Seven years later. Read More»

Penny wise, pound foolish

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Old sayings are just that – old. They’ve been around a long time for good reason. There’s a lot of truth in them. Let me shed light on one to illustrate my point.

Take, for instance, the saying “Penny wise, but pound foolish.” The true meaning came to light when all the bulbs in our house were replaced by yours truly.

Yep, with the switch to those new CFL bulbs, we’re gonna save a bunch – money that can go towards a much needed summer vacation. That would be the penny wise part. Read More»

Meet Bubba Hanks

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Lying on my back, I couldn’t comprehend exactly what had happened. Against all rules of after-school fights, three blows to my face had come in quick succession and landed with audible thumps. Shouts from the encircled kids rang in my ears.

The kids, mostly from Old Mrs. Crabtree’s third-grade class, had followed us to the magnolia out in front of Candi’s house. Read More»

Mama bird

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With a Mother’s Day column due Thursday morning and it being only Wednesday, I really wasn’t too concerned that no idea had yet burst forth down onto paper. Besides, in the newspaper business, 24 hours is a lifetime. In the office by 9, I promised to work all day if needed. Mother’s Day was too important not to get it right. Read More»

The best birthday gift

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Over the last 54 years, yours truly has received many wonderful birthday gifts. It’s true, some gifts have been better than others. Some I wish I’d never gotten. Still, family and friends have all helped to make the day special.

But what has been the best birthday gift I’ve ever received? Did it come from a friend, my parents, or even The Wife?

Nope, surprisingly it came from The Boy. And he gave it this year. Although if you’d ask him, he’d say all he was able to give was a card. Unknowingly, he has given me far more than he could ever imagine. Read More»

Unruly children

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After a long week of working and school, The Wife was ready for it. And after a long week of fighting fires, rescuing damsels in distress, and writing, I was ready for it too. A much deserved date night – something of a rare occurrence around our house nowadays to be sure.

At 5 in the afternoon, we threw all the worries of work and life aside and walked into the movie theater to view the hottest new release. Afterwards, an enjoyable dining experience at one of the most talked about restaurants in town awaited us.

Or so we thought. Read More»

Coconut judgment

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Early one morning, with razor in hand, a look in the mirror revealed more than I expected.

Okay, stop laughing. I’m not talking about the extra few pounds that somehow I’ve picked up.

Thinning hair has finally revealed a scar from long ago – a scar that has been covered for over 46 years. On top of my head was a 2-inch reminder of the true wrath of God. Read More»

Ride of a lifetime

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I must admit, being 8 years old at the time, the new game seemed safe enough. Little did I know just how wrong I was – by the end of the day all of us ended up getting hurt. One of us even took a trip to the hospital. But that’s the end of this story. Here’s the beginning.

The plan:

As soon as Older Brother Richard said it was safe, I started to worry. You see, growing up at 110 Flamingo Street, I learned quickly. When there’s no possible way anyone could get hurt, someone always did. And seeing as I hadn’t been injured in about three weeks ... well, I figured I was about due. Read More»

The squirrel and the nut

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Black dirt covered both hands and sweat ran down my face as I admired the garden that took all winter to plan and three weeks to build. That’s when I first heard it, a scratching noise from above that sounded like fingernails on metal.

Thinking it was simply my imagination, I proudly snapped a picture of my handiwork, I started cleaning up tools, looking forward to a shower and a celebratory dinner out with the wife.

I heard the scratching noise again. Read More»

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