Rick Ryckeley's blog

Meet Jack Womble

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As night began to lift around him, Jack Womble finally knew what had to be done. It wasn’t the first time he’d broken the law, but he hoped it would be his last.
Regardless of any consequences given birth by his actions on the crisp October morning, inaction would’ve brought far worse ramifications. Punishing guilt was what had dragged him back to this place.
Guilt was something he had lived with before, but this time it was different. He had returned more so for the family that still lay asleep inside the red brick ranch home — and one little boy. Read More»

Between 12 and 5

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Well, it’s official. A new record has been set. Yep, for the fourth time this year we must venture down into the dark and dusty basement. We have to retrieve the soapbox, and we must once again stand upon it. I say “we” because I’m babysitting the Little One, and she likes Big Papa to hold her.

So what’s worthy of soapbox pontification this time, you might ask? Well, none other than the folks at our local cable company. Read More»

Tsunami on Flamingo Street

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After being a firefighter for the last 27 years, you’d think I was a big tough guy. Nope, just a big old softy. Case in point, I even had a rubber ducky back in the day.

Yep, Quack would still be in my possession if it hadn’t been for the tsunami that hit 110 Flamingo Street the summer of my eighth year.

The giant wave not only carried off my prized ducky, but a waterlogged Bubba Hanks and a very surprised guest to our pool party along with it. Just how could such a thing happen five hours from the nearest ocean? Well, that’s the end of the story; here’s the beginning. Read More»

Our new oasis

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I will admit something in writing for all my readers to see – I, Rick Ryckeley, want a pool in my backyard.
Not just any pool, mind you. I want a backyard oasis. It will have a waterfall flowing down into a grotto like the pool I love in Orlando. A wet sun deck will lead into a shallow end. A fountain made from an out-of-service fire hydrant will be the center of a wet play area for the newly arrived granddaughter.

I’ve wanted this pool for years, and each time I visit a friend who has a pool, I just add another idea to my wish list. Read More»

Setting the record straight

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Okay, I’ll admit it. I was wrong. There, you didn’t have to read the entire column to get to the ending; I put it right up front. But after talking to my dad, seems I was right all along.

Confused? Well, Dear Reader, to be unconfused, you’ll have to keep reading — all the way to the end.
Though it took five years, I finally graduated from thehallowed halls of Briarwood High School, Home of the Mighty Buccaneers. I wasn’t a stellar student, but that’s beside the point.

That’s not why it took five years — back then that’s how long you attended high school. Read More»

The Toys of Summer

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Living in Georgia all my life, I guess that makes me an expert on a few things around here. For example, the best chili cheese dogs and onion rings are found downtown at the Varsity. Best soda to wash it down with? A Coke. After all, the fizzy drink was invented right here. I also know a lot about Georgia’s summers. Read More»

Hold my hand, daddy

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Do you remember, Daddy? When I was born, you helped bring me into the world. After cleaning, you snuggled me in a soft white blanket; then placed me in the bassinet next to Mom. I wrapped one of my tiny hands around one of your fingers and held tight. And you held back – an unspoken promise never to let your little girl go.

Since looking up at you that first day, I’ve thought of the many times you’ll hold my hand and help guide me through life. Read More»

Trauma Room One

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A story must have a beginning, middle, and an end. As much as I would like to lay claim such words of wisdom, they ain’t mine. They belonged to Mrs. Newsome. She was my 10th-grade English teacher at Briarwood High, home of the Mighty Buccaneers. Although she didn’t say what order the story should be in — just that it should have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Here’s the end. On the first day of summer, The Wife and I ended the day at our local hospital — in Trauma Room One. See, this time you didn’t have to read the entire story to find out what happened. Read More»

Grumpy Grandpas Daycare

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Yep, you guessed it. Haven’t even been a month in retirement, and already I’m bored. Even so, I haven’t stopped learning new things.

Trash pickup is by 7 Tuesday mornings — unless Driver Tim has truck trouble, wife trouble, kid trouble, or just trouble in general. Then trash pickup could be well past 10.

Saturday’s newspaper is not actually thrown on the lawn. The neighbor’s kid kicks it off the sidewalk so he can skateboard. Read More»

The etiquette of honking

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Well, it’s official, and it’s a record. For the third time this year, I must make my way to the dark and damp basement.

After fighting off giant spider crickets and scorpions and cutting through monster cobwebs, my soapbox will be retrieved. I shall bring it out into the light, dust it off, and once again stand upon it.
Well, to be honest, The Wife’s gonna have to help me up. I’m still recovering from a hip injury, and she doesn’t want me to fall. Read More»