Rick Ryckeley's blog

Don't blame Fred

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The stock market was about to take another dive, and this time I didn’t want to go down with it, but what to do?

At stake was my small retirement fund. I don’t have many more years to work, and I certainly can’t afford to lose any of it. Then again I can’t afford to pull it out in a declining market.

I saw it all coming about four months ago. So, how did I have such clear insight to the impending crash? Why, I just listen to the voice in my head.

I call him Fred. Read More»

Waiting

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Normally, I’m a happy kinda guy, and for good reason. Cool weather has chased the gray and black cat from the window sill back onto my lap. She takes up residence there during the winter when I write.

Our big black lab with the big black nose is acting like a puppy once again. Not bad for a puppy who’s 88 in human years.

And after 13 years, The Wife, she still loves me. I know; it doesn’t make much sense to me either, but she does. For this I’m eternally grateful. So what could possibly upset our perfect, happy little world? Read More»

The fountain

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Finished with the morning walk, the old man slowly sat down on the one of eight wooden benches bordering the emerald grassy courtyard. The artificial knee was supposed to put an end to his leg pain, but it wasn’t living up to what the surgeon had claimed.

The seasons were changing, or at least that’s what he thought, because his leg was aching something terrible. Or maybe it was a storm rolling in or he had overdone his walk again, or perhaps it was all three.

He sighed and rubbed the 10-year-old scar. If he were honest, the knee hurt all the time. Read More»

Skating 101

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That Saturday afternoon, the traffic was almost nonexistent as four very bored kids gathered in front of 110 Flamingo Street.

We had accounted for everything. Big Brother James, Older Brother Richard, and even Twin Brother Mark said it would be safe. No one could possibly get hurt, or so they thought.

Once past our house, Flamingo Street dropped sharply off before finally ending in a cul-de-sac. It was perfect for ice sledding during the winter, but in mid-August you couldn’t buy a snowflake with all of Preston Weston III’s money. So we had to improvise and invent the skate sled. Read More»

Life's not a spectator sport

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There’s crispness in the air once again that can only mean one thing – it’s football time!

Future superstars in elementary and high schools took to the fields around our fair county last month. Practices now grind on for hours and hours, long after the other students have gone. Once finally back home, tired football players wolf down dinner and then struggle to finish piles of homework before falling asleep. Some things haven’t changed in 40 years. Read More»

Once every third day

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Today, as I sit down in front of the computer, I find myself oddly at a loss for words. As a firefighter for over a quarter of a century and a columnist for the last decade, what do I write about, on this the tenth anniversary of 9/11, that hasn’t already been written?

Long before the attacks I was a firefighter, and I was profoundly moved by the events that happened that day as one could imagine. Instantly the public now saw all firefighters as heroes – a heavy burden to carry and even heavier still to live up to. Read More»

Blinded by the light

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It started out as a typical day. The Wife reminded me of something I’d forgotten. Leaving for work, she gave me a hug and said, “Eye doctor’s appointment is at 10 today.” I must’ve had a funny look because then she kissed me and added, “You’ve already forgotten, haven’t you?”

I do that quite often: look funny and forget things. Some say that’s a result of getting older. I think it’s just a result of my forgetting things and, of course, me looking funny. Read More»

The English Teacher

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Mrs. Newsome was my tenth-grade English teacher at Briarwood High School, home of the Mighty Buccaneers. For years I’ve written about her and how she was a stickler for the Queen’s English. Her red correction pen, now infamous, was used often when it came to me. My book reports and term papers were returned with so many corrections they looked as though they were bleeding. Read More»

Sir Clueless

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Let’s get it out into the open. It’s my fault. But do I have an excuse? Yes, I’m a husband. Although somewhat housebroken, a husband I still am.

You’d think that after 12 years of marriage I’d be able to communicate with The Wife at least to an extent that I could understand exactly what it is I’m supposed to do. Sadly though, sometimes we speak different languages. Read More»

The naked truth

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The phone call came early Friday morning. Because of charitable donations our business had made, The Wife and I had received an award from the local area baseball team. The plaque could be picked up at the head of the sponsorship committee’s house.

Picking up an award not interesting enough to keep you reading? Well. then, what about yours truly stripping off his clothes in front of a strange lady, dancing around a porch for the whole world to see, and The Wife not even getting mad? Read More»