Rick Ryckeley's blog

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»

Mom-The Impossible Job

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It’s not controversial if it’s the truth. Most men are simply Neanderthals. Having said that, I really don’t think it’s our fault. We’re just born that way.
Men lumber around thinking we know everything about everything when, in the case of what it takes to be a mom and raise children, we actually know very little. Read More»

Teacher appreciation week

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Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and this column is dedicated not only to all the teachers out there, but a few from way back in the day and to one who is truly special.

While growing up at 110 Flamingo Street, I really didn’t understand how teachers could change the lives of their students forever. Since I couldn’t appreciate them then, I thought I’d say thanks now for what they did for me now. Four teachers still influence my life even today.

First up, Coach Reeves, head coach at Briarwood High School, home of the Mighty Buccaneers. Read More»

Shiny stuff

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Us menfolk can justify buying most anything. Now this statement should come as no surprise to all who have to put up with us. Trust me, it also comes as no surprise to The Wife.

Well, it looks like the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. The Boy can justify purchasing things I never even thought about, although he’s not the only one in that family that can. Seems the Mean Lady that keeps stealing our grandbaby can also. Read More»

What do you want?

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Most of the ideas for this column don’t actually come from me. They come from The Wife. Now to many, it won’t come as a surprise that she’s the intelligent one in the family. And why marry a really smart person and not pay attention to what she has to say?
Anytime The Wife and I are together, not an hour goes by without her saying something that’s thought-provoking or funny. She is, by far, the smartest, kindest and funniest person I’ve ever met. Read More»

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