Rick Ryckeley's blog

A concrete relationship

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The concrete looked nothing like it was supposed to. The huge, gray pile of dust had the consistency of a cornbread mix gone horribly wrong: no eggs, no crackling, and not enough buttermilk. “That’s too much water,” I protested. Sweat had beaded up on my arms and forehead during the first hour as we built the frame. By the end of the second hour, I had hauled twenty or so bags of sand and concrete mix across the church parking lot and started to combine the water, sand, and concrete. Read More»

True price of air conditioning

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The Wife just stood there. First she giggled; then she started to laugh. And for a change, the laughter wasn’t directed at me. Her mirth was in response to what I thought was a simple question.

“Where did the large black spot on the inside of the bedroom dresser drawer come from?” The answer she finally gave was so unique it had to be true. It was a tar ball stain. But that’s the end of the story. This is the beginning. Read More»

Bug eating

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The Wife ran to the kitchen yesterday morning. No it wasn’t for another cup of coffee. She was running to get me. Excitedly, she said, “You’ve got to see this; we have a bat on our front porch!”

“What’s he doing?” I answered.

“Well right now, he’s just hanging out.” Funny Wife I have. She showed me the little brown bat about two inches long, which had taken up residence under the cover of our front porch roof. I found this to also be some exciting news: finally something desirable has moved into our neighborhood. Read More»

Brain vs. Mouth

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There are some things in this world of which I really don’t understand. Why, whatever the age, children don’t listen to the more mature, wiser, parents. Why lessons always have to be learned the hard way. Can’t sometimes they be learned the easy way? And why everything that taste really good is full of calories and isn’t good for you.

These are truly important questions that have bewildered me for years. But what tops my list of befuddlement? In the epic battle between brains vs. mouth, why does mouth always win? I have listed but a few of my classic gaffs to illustrate the point. Read More»

First class

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I learned early on in this life that some go first class while the rest of us simply go coach. Growing up at 110 Flamingo Street, we went coach. The rich folks who lived over on the Duke of Gloucester always went first class.

Forty years later things haven’t changed much; I’m still sitting firmly in coach. And the rich folks still sit in first class. The difference is instead of being separated by a thick grove of trees, like Flamingo and The Duke, we’re separated by a black mesh curtain. Confused? Well, welcome to my world. Keep reading, dear reader, it’ll all make sense at the end. Read More»

Friday the 13th

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Yesterday, looking down from the top of my ladder, I saw a black cat with big yellow eyes lying underneath and staring back up at me. Right then, I should have known things were going to go awry. Moments later, everything went dark. The Wife heard a loud THUD and ran upstairs. It was me falling off the ladder after shocking myself and shorting out the lights. Read More»

The lady called Mom

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Twenty-five years is a long time to spend with someone, and not know anything about them but their name. It’s sad, but it’s true.

I had only been married for a year when my veil of naiveté started to be revealed. My mom and dad weren’t just parents, they were much more. They were people — people with dreams, flaws and quirks just like normal folks. Just when I was getting to know my Mom, she suddenly was taken from us. Read More»

The games people play

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My sister, brothers, and I spent seven adventurous years at 110 Flamingo Street. During that time we enjoyed a neighborhood full of friends to play with except Down the Street Bully Brad. Unless you consider running for your life a game, Brad never played with us. Then again, we never really asked if he wanted to. Now looking back, maybe that’s why he was so bad. Read More»

The anti-socialite

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Back when we lived at 110 Flamingo Street, Mom entertained all the time. It was actually only once a month, but to us kids that seemed like all the time. To say she was a socialite would be as big of an understatement as BP saying, “Oops, we’ve spilled a little oil. Someone get a sponge.” Mom was like Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, and Paula Deen all rolled into one. Read More»

Spring cleaning

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For two people who think so much alike, sometimes The Wife and I don’t always define things the same way. Last weekend was a good example.
First thing Saturday morning I was drafted into the annual ritual of spring cleaning. For me spring cleaning is just moving around the dirt on the windows for an hour or so and then finding some sports to watch on the big TV. For The Wife spring cleaning means something totally different: open the cabinets, throw everything out – mostly my stuff — then buy new stuff. Read More»