Rick Ryckeley's blog

Stopping the flood

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At first, it was a just a trickle. There was no real harm being done. After all, who amongst us notices a trickle? A case could be made that the trickle was even beneficial.

Eventually, the trickle turned into a small stream. It was obvious the stream needed to be stopped, but I didn’t say anything. My silence was partly out of fear of what would happen to me and partly because I really didn’t know how to stop it. Read More»

We have to talk

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Want to really get your kids’ attention this summer? Walk up to them and say, “We have to talk.” Add a “young man” or “young lady” before or after that phrase and watch them cringe with fear.

Throughout life, no matter who says it, “We have to talk” is never good to hear. My first encounter with those words was a long, long time ago, on a familiar street, not so far away. Read More»

I need help

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For those long time readers of this column, me needing help should come as no surprise. After all, it’s well documented in the stories over the last twelve and a half years, and I’ll be the first to admit it.

I do need help, and I need it right now — just not in the way you may think. The status of my mental state will just have to wait and may even be the topic for a future story. Right now there’s one thing more pressing that I need help with. Or should I say two things? Read More»

Fun at the beach

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The sun kissed the horizon and slowly started to fade; the bright sky of blue transitioned to soft hues of purple, yellow, and pink. Sweltering heat of a June day at the beach had finally been replaced with a cool breeze off the ocean.

Hand in hand, The Wife and I walked as the receding tide tugged white sands from beneath our steps, tickling our souls. We were alone with only the gentle breaking of waves for company. I stopped, pulled her close, and as we kissed, the last rays of sunlight finally gave in to the rising night. Read More»

It's vacation time

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Vacation time — a much needed break from work and all the stresses of life — is once again upon us.

No matter whether you want to splash into the ocean, dig castles and suntan on white sands of a distant beach, or catch a flight to some exotic location – all summer vacations start out the same.

Everyone and everything must be packed and then crammed into a family vehicle. And that, my Dear Reader, is where the fun-filled vacation ends and the yelling and belting begins. Read More»

A father’s toolbox

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On the day The Boy was born and the nurse placed him in my arms for the very first time, I took a deep breath and held him ever so gently. I didn’t want to break him. After all, how would that look? He wasn’t even a day old.

As he gazed up and grabbed my finger with his entire hand, I knew. It was time to put away childish things. It was time to become a father. But just how to make the transformation from husband into a father overnight? Well, that’s what this story is all about. Read More»

The Great Marshmallow war, conclusion

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Last week we left the kids of Flamingo Street camped out in Neighbor Thomas’s backyard.

They were all engaged in a heated marshmallow war. Taking a break to laugh at my spider dance, little did they know the midnight marshmallow war was about to get hotter and bigger than any could possible imagine.

As I turned around my three brothers, and the kids in Thomas’s backyard were still laughing at me, and why not?

It was the first time they had seen one of us covered in spider webs, running and screaming, doing a spider dance all the way down to the edge of the swamp in our backyard. Read More»

Great Marshmallow War of '65

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Great War of ’65

Last week we left the kids from Flamingo Street camped out in Neighbor Thomas’s backyard. With a roaring campfire, they were sugared up on s’mores, bored, and looking for something to do. What they found was an adventure none would ever forget. Read More»

Backyard campouts and s’mores

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I grew up in a typical neighborhood with a typical family for the time: a mom, a dad, three brothers, one annoying older sister, and a green parakeet that ate hushpuppies off Dad’s head during dinnertime. His name was Tweet. The parakeet’s, not Dad’s – Dad’s name was James. Read More»

Ghost from the past

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Mom said it best, “Don’t make that ugly face at your sister. It’ll be stuck like that the rest of your life.”
Okay, stop laughing. That ugly face I made at my sister never stuck, but it seems I did something way back then that actually did.

My past has finally caught up with me. Last week it sent me to the hospital and under a surgeon’s knife. Yep, I can’t believe it either.
For all you parents out there about to send your kids off to college, reading the rest of this story should put you at great ease. Read More»

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