Rick Ryckeley's blog

Whining really does work

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Just ask any kid. Whining for what you want really does work. I learned this fact where I learned most important things — in none other than Old Mrs. Crabtree’s third grade class.
Mt. Olive Elementary School, like all schools, had standard desk sizes for a reason. First-graders are much smaller than fifth-graders. So what happens when a certain lovable third-grader whines endlessly about his desk being too small for almost an entire school year? Read More»

Essential School Supplies

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This time of year, you can find every parent dragging their kids all around our fair town for those back-to-school specials. They’ll spend hours scurrying from one store to the next searching for that must-have pair of jeans, the latest in shoe fashion, or the perfect hair style that will guarantee that the younger set will be in with the in-crowd. Read More»

The Magic Drawer

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Everyone has one. From the very young to the very old, whether you’re male or female, single or married, it’s universal. It follows you throughout your entire life and will still be around long after you’re gone. It’s known by many names, but around our house, The Wife and me, we just call it the Magic Drawer. Read More»

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»

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