Rick Ryckeley's blog

Mom by the numbers

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Five was the number of children Mom had. Just how she took care of all of us will forever remain a mystery.

During my 18 years at home, she cooked over 19,656 meals, cleaned and folded over 13,000 loads of laundry and still had time to be a loving wife for over 33 years. What an amazing feat.

But we all know that moms are more than just numbers.

Countless are the times Mom was there with hugs when things went wrong. And with five kids, things were always going wrong. Read More»

Lost keys

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Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box. Of late it seems older I get, the duller my point becomes.

Luckily, The Wife still loves me. She thinks my constantly repeating my stories to her, my not being able to find anything in the refrigerator, and my always losing things are actually endearing qualities of mine. OK, didn’t think you’d believe that one, but I had to try. Read More»

One little boy

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The little boy lived on an average street with average friends. They all lived in an average small town. He had average parents who had an average number of children for the time. In fact, if asked to describe his life in a single word, the little boy would surely have replied, “Average.”

Soon fate would take an interest in the little boy. His average life would start down a path toward becoming anything but.

At 8 he was rescued by firefighters and knew what he wanted to be. By 10, he witnessed the first spacewalk on a black and white television and knew what he wanted to be. Read More»

Bad things happen

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With four boys, one girl, and Dad, Mom was always in a constant state of movement. To be honest, I really don’t remember ever seeing her sit down — except for dinner.

But even then, she sat only for a couple of minutes. That was about how long it took until one of us knocked over a drink, dropped something on the floor, or gulped down our food and asked for seconds. Read More»

Forty miles to nowhere

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It was 40 miles to nowhere. The car was running on empty and so was the driver. The detour off the main highway eventually led down a country road with little signage except one announcing a barbecue joint five miles ahead: “Next right: Bud’s Barbecue. We got the best butts and gas in town.”

Amused, the driver turned down the old road. Besides, for what lay ahead, he would need all his strength. With still another hour of traveling, a good meal would go a long way in helping him feel better. Read More»

The backup plan

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No matter how careful you are, sometimes things just don’t always work out the way you planned. That’s why you gotta have a backup plan. I learned this lesson early on in life — at the tender age of 8, to be exact — and it all started with a stick.

Unusual? Yes, but where I learned that lesson was even more so. To do so, I actually had to go out on a limb — the limb of giant oak tree some 50 feet above the meanest kid that ever lived on Flamingo Street. Read More»

Meet Strong Arm Magee

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Lighting tore open the blackening sky, dumping a torrent of rain on the houses below. The unrelenting wind moaned as if it were a stricken soul. It shook the giant oaks down to their roots as they groaned and swayed under the strain. Their bare limbs raked across the bedroom windowpanes of unsuspecting children in the neighborhood. The sound of fingernails scratching down a blackboard would’ve been more welcome. It was just a prelude for what was about to come.

Such was the calling card of Strong Arm Magee. Read More»

The Universal Dad

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The Boy amused me the other day — he often does of late. With the closing on his new house now under his belt, his upcoming marriage, and hopefully soon a grandchild or two, one would say The Boy has a lot of balls in the air. Luckily for him, he’s a good juggler. Read More»

Get the green out!

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Spring brings back wonderful memories from our time growing up at 110 Flamingo Street. Climbing high up into young trees, then jumping off and riding them back to the ground (only to watch as they fly back up and smack brothers) is just one of them.

Another is being stuck knee deep in the gray mud of Cripple Creek, then having my shoes sucked from my feet. Doing flips off a rope swing and landing with a splash into cool waters of a lake at the edge of a haunted forest. Read More»

Time to bite the Apple

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Finally, after all these years, I now know what has become of Down the Street Bully Brad.

He’s the kid who took great joy in tormenting yours truly almost daily during the seven years my three brothers, sister and I spent growing up at 110 Flamingo Street.

Seems Bully Brad is still up to his old tricks — mainly making my life as difficult and painful as possible. It seems worms have infected my computer by way of an email.

They were unleashed by none other than my old arch-nemesis. I’m sure it was him. Who else would do such a dastardly deed? Read More»

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