Rick Ryckeley's blog

Negative vs. positive

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There are two types of people in the world: those who look at the world and see the positive and those who see the negative.

Sure, “in-betweeners” do exist, but only as a singularity in nature. Once joined with a negative or positive, they quickly take on the personality of their long-term partner. Read More»

The tree

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Some in the town say the tree has stood for a hundred years. Others say it’s much older. Alone in a field of emerald grass almost as soft as carpet, the old pear tree still stands – although it has seen better days.

It was magnificent: 30 feet towards the sky its branches once reached, but no longer. Bent and twisted by time and circumstance, what’s left of the largest pear tree in town now barely reaches one-third that height. Still, against all odds, from season to season, its function hasn’t changed: providing shade from the harsh sun during the summer and fresh fruit during the fall. Read More»

Rules of life

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There are rules of life everyone must learn — the easy way or the hard way. Looking back, I’ve learned most of them the hard way. I’m not proud of that fact, but a fact it still remains. Some of the most important rules of life I learned while residing at 110 Flamingo Street. Read More»

When we were kids

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When we were kids, life was much simpler. No thoughts of bills, health issues, or death ever entered our minds. When The Boy gets to be my age, he may very well look back and say the same thing, but I can assure him, life is not simpler now. Guess it really depends on your point of view. Read More»

One track mind

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This one may just get me banned from the men’s club for life, but it’s hard to argue with The Wife — especially when she’s right. Yesterday, she was talking about how men can only think of one thing at a time. We have a one-track mind. And it seems we men folk are easily distracted. Now, I know this is what we were discussing because, according to her, she had repeated herself three times just to get my attention. Read More»

Fine art of ear dragging

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What is it about a secret that makes you want to tell everyone, even a complete stranger? Ever notice the repercussions for telling a secret grows proportionately as we do? Until we get to be adults, that is, but that’s where this story ends.

The beginning is first grade. There all you had to do to keep a secret was pinky swear. It was simple and worked for everyone, except for Ryan. He was born with only one pinky. So he could only pinky swear half as much as the rest of us. For the most part, though, pinky swearing worked just fine in the first grade. Read More»

Why aren't you rich?

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Like most, every morning I have a certain routine. By 6:30 I arrive at the quaint corner coffee shop an easy mile walk from our house. Not that I walk there in morning, mind you, or any other time of the day, for that matter. But if I did, I presume it would be easy, and just about a mile.

The owner greets me by my first name. I like that. I like to think that makes me special, but it doesn’t. He just has a great memory and greets everyone by their first name. Read More»

Five minute asphalt egg

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Bubba Hanks was the biggest kid in Mrs. Crabtree’s third-grade class. In fact, Bubba was the biggest kid in all of Mt. Olive Elementary school. Some say it was due to his fondness for Mrs. Wilma’s sticky buns. Wilma was the head lunch lady and for an extra nickel, you could get an extra sticky bun.

Bubba had a lot of nickels.

Others said Bubba’s largeness was because of a kidney infection in the first grade that put him in the hospital for a week and home in bed for three months. Which caused him to be held back a year. That meant an extra year of eating sticky buns. Read More»

On the edge of forever

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She’s finally resting quietly now. The starched white hospital sheets, void of any warmth or comfort, slowly rise and fall with each wonderful breath.

If she awakens, she will want her blue blankie, the one she’s had since high school. Old and tattered, it has seen her through many a crisis. Hopefully it will see her through this one.

Before the surgery, she said don’t bother to bring it. Then again she said a lot of things before the surgery — the surgery that was to save her life. I have her blankie with me. Read More»

All the cool kids

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All the cool kids do it. The first time I heard that phrase was in Old Mrs. Crabtree’s’ third-grade class. Ever since, I’ve been trying to be one of the cool kids. Why, you may ask? The answer is simple. It’s cool to be a cool kid. Unfortunately, through the years, I’ve always seemed to fall a little short when it came to the cool meter. Read More»