Rick Ryckeley's blog

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»

Some roads shouldn't be taken

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The light changed to green, and a decision had to be made. Straight ahead was the business meeting for which I was an hour early. To the left was a much different destination, a trip down memory lane. It was to be a lane filled with potholes, dangerous curves, and what might be a cliff at the end.

I turned left and pointed the nose of the car down Mt. Olive Street and towards the elementary school that bore its name. It had been a long time since I’d travelled this way, even longer still since I walked those pathways. Read More»

Rules of the pool

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Resistance was a futile effort. The force of the wave was so great it felt as though we had just been just hit by another crushing tackle from Bubba Hanks.

We tried to turn and swim away, but it was too late; there was nothing anyone could do. My three brothers and I were swept away, crashing into each other before being helplessly tossed around like rag dolls.

Then the unthinkable happened. A second wave hit, and we were thrown up against the sides of Neighbor Thomas’s pool. Bubba Hanks had done the impossible: An outlawed double jump cannonball dive! Read More»

Self-induced stress

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It’s difficult to be me. Trust me; I know. Sometimes I’m exhausted at the end of the day just from all the worrying. Some call it self-induced stress. I just call it worrying.

And just when and where did all my worrying start, you might ask? Well, none other than Old Mrs. Crabtree’s third-grade class at Mt. Olive Elementary School. Read More»

No good deed...

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They say that no good deed ever goes unpunished. Now I know Mrs. Newsome, my fifth-grade English teacher, already has her red pen out ready to write at the top of my paper, “Just who are they? Can you cite an example of they?”

I really don’t know who “they” are, but them folks are right. No good deed ever goes unpunished. And yes, I can cite an example, Mrs. Newsome. Just lend me your ear. Read More»

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