Rick Ryckeley's blog

Grandma's Spirit Fruitcakes

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The fruitcake has somehow gotten a bad reputation, and it’s time once and for all to put an end to it — the bad reputation, not the fruitcake.

The multi-colored mixed fruit and nut concoction is indeed a holiday treat for some, a gag gift to others, and — to the very young — a food item to be avoided at all cost.
Some even say there have been only a few thousand fruitcakes ever produced; they just keep getting passed around from one family to the next. Read More»

A really fair deal

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Most of my childhood memories from growing up at 110 Flamingo Street are pleasant and still warm and fuzzy in my mind. This story, however, ain’t one of them.
Nope, this story is about blisters, pain, and life lessons learned the hard way. Funny, it seems life lessons are never learned the easy way. Looking back, I guess there are many techniques Dad could’ve employed to teach me. But “split and stack,” to this day, I’ve not forgotten. And how could I? I still wear the scars. Read More»

The Christmas Ornaments

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When I turned 6, all I wanted for Christmas was snow. We’d just moved into our new house, it was three months until Christmas, and I’d never seen the white stuff before.

A steep slope that bellied out into a long flat area, our backyard would make the perfect sled run. Magically, that winter I got my wish. Read More»

Stop rushing Christmas

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Normally by this time of the year, I’ve exhausted all the topics that cause me to jump up on my soapbox and pontificate. I can relax, pen a few lighthearted articles, and slide right on into the New Year. But with only four more columns ‘til 2012, I find I must pull out my soapbox and stand upon it one last time. There’s still more pontificating that needs to be done and, after all, it is my soapbox. Read More»

Fine china

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Few have reached the age of 100 unblemished by time and circumstances. My life has now spanned over three generations, and there’s really no telling how much longer I’ll be around. They say I’ve never looked better, but I know the truth. I’ve faded somewhat, have a crack and a chip. Even so, I’ve been more fortunate than most.

Over the years a few mishaps have taken some of my brothers completely from me. Oh sure, they’ve been replaced quickly. The replacement of a piece of fine china is easy nowadays. But the replacement of generations of holiday memories – that’s impossible. Read More»

Tent sale and killer clowns

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Suddenly, I couldn’t catch my breath. As muscles in my arms tightened, my hands gripped the steering wheel. Childhood fears of grease paint, bulbous red noises, and floppy giant shoes came rushing back in a torrent almost smothering me in a sea of emotion.

About a mile down the street was the undeniable red and white striped canvas. Huge poles stretched the canvas skyward into four pinnacles. It could only mean one thing. The circus was back in town.

With it, I’m sure, came a miniature car full of those hideous clowns. Read More»

Sleepless in Senoia

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The sheets slowly rise and fall next to me. The Wife is peacefully asleep. Our two cats are down for the night. They say if you can’t rest, you have something on your mind. I must, because I can’t.

Usually it’s worrying about money (or the lack thereof) that is the thief of my slumber, but not this time. It’s something much more important. Read More»

The drawer

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It was there the entire time we lived at 110 Flamingo Street. No matter how many times we tried to get rid of it, the thing always seemed to return. With each move we made, Mom thought we were finally going to be free, but after only a few months in the new house, it found us once again.

No one really claimed ownership. Mom said it all belonged to Dad. Dad said it wasn’t his, that it belonged to everyone. Looking back, I now know differently. The rightful owner of the dreaded drawer in the kitchen was me. Read More»

Smart phones are really smart

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All night, I tossed and turned. Thoughts of what soon would be mine kept running through my head. I’d waited six long months for this moment, and gazing sleepily at the clock on the dresser, I saw the day had finally arrived. The new toy would soon be in my hands – guaranteed to provide hours of entertainment. Read More»

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»

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