Rick Ryckeley's blog

An empty chair

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As far back as I can remember, it had never visited Flamingo Street. Sure, once or twice it had gotten close. It had gotten really close the previous winter. But with a neighborhood full of kids playing all day and into the night, it was bound to happen. Just didn’t think it would happen to us.
We never gave it much thought. After all, we were just kids. Our days were filled with arguing, fighting, and having fun as brothers and friends normally do. Even so, adults still talked about it from time to time, but only in whispers and behind closed doors. Read More»

Tinsel Tradition

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To tinsel or not to tinsel, now that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of The Wife’s unhappiness all because tinsel was placed on the family Christmas tree is not.
When Mr. Shakespeare penned the famous soliloquy from Hamlet, it really had nothing to do with garnishing the family tree. But there is a right and wrong way to decorate one, and I should know. Somehow I’ve found the wrong way each year. Guess I have a gift. Just ask The Wife. Read More»

The holiday table

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After witnessing the Thanksgiving meal last week, it was suggested that a review of table manners and place settings for the holidays are in order.

Not gonna tell you who suggested the review or what retired firefighter The Wife said needed the review, but I think you can guess correctly.

Many things have gone out of style since those seven years my three brothers, my sister, and I spent growing up at 110 Flamingo Street. Unfortunately using correct table manners ain’t one of them. Read More»

Black and blue Friday

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A time long ago, on a street not so far away, lived four boys, a girl, and a pet green parakeet that ate hushpuppies off their father’s head.

One Friday after Thanksgiving, the children found themselves extremely bored and became very inventive. Totally unaware of the havoc their new game of in-house tag was about to cause and the lifelong scars it would inflict on one of them, they started to play.

The father too was oblivious to what was about to happen. If he had known, he would’ve certainly put a swift stop to the game. Read More»

Best friends

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It’s been said that friends come and go, but best friends are forever. This year there’s one particular best friend I’m extremely thankful for.

For you see, if it weren’t for him and the kindness he has shown me over the years, it’s safe to say I wouldn’t be here today.

Rarely do I speak about divorce, and I’ve never written about it. Such an event tears families apart and can even tear at one’s very soul. Over 16 years ago such an event happened to yours truly. Read More»

Everything in its place

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There’s an old saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Unfortunately for yours truly, The Wife and I, we have a much different idea of where that place should be.
In every relationship there’s one who picks up things around the house, and one who doesn’t. Guess which one I am.
In my defense, I do have a place for everything. It’s just not the same place The Wife wants it to be. Read More»

Not a creature was stirring

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Let me be the first, at the start of this holiday season, to apologize to all the moms out there. I really didn’t have a clue. Then again, I do have somewhat of an excuse – I’m a Neanderthal.
By now, at tender age of 55, you think I’d know, but alas, I didn’t. Now I’m beginning to understand. The role of mom is just about impossible. And that’s on a good day.

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” It would be safe to say that over the next six weeks the preceding sentence will be read to children more than any other. Read More»

When Pumpkins Fly-Again

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It had to be impossible! There was no logical explanation. And yet, the impossible scene was unfolding right in front of us. Strange things were always happening in our neighborhood. It was something my three brothers and sister had gotten all too familiar with. After all, we did live on Flamingo Street, where anything could occur. But flying pumpkins? Read More»

The $1,200 Burger

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So who in our family just paid $1,200 for the perfect hamburger? The answer will surprise you.
Nope, it wasn’t yours truly. It was The Wife.
See, I told you it would be a surprise. So pull up a chair. Tuck a napkin under your chin. This is one juicy story you’re gonna want to sink your teeth into.

First, I have to admit something that may get me kicked out of the Man Club. The Wife and me, we’ve been grill-less for the last eight years.

Shocking, I know, but when we sold our house we also sold our grill. Eight years ago we moved to a quiet, little town. Read More»

The Trouble Bus

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The path to Mt. Olive Elementary School started back behind Neighbor Thomas’s house and wove deeply into the woods. Along the way, kids from Flamingo Street had to traverse across Cripple Creek, skirt the outer boundaries of the Haunted Forest, and scale the treacherous Rock Hill — all before reaching the safety of school grounds.
It was a perilous journey by anyone’s account. The path to the high school was very different and even more dangerous. That journey started out by a mailbox. A mailbox located at 110 Flamingo Street. Read More»

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