Rick Ryckeley's blog

30 feet under Flamingo Street

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As you remember, Dear Reader, last week we left our hero stuck, unable to move, in the middle of a drain pipe deep under Flamingo Street. Chased there by his arch-nemesis, and with his brother James lying possibly dead on the valley floor, he’d given up all hope of rescue. Read More»

The third step

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Growing up at 110 Flamingo, my three brothers, sister and I had summers packed full of one adventure after another. For seven years, we had dirt clod and water balloon battles, did flips off of rope swings into the cool waters of Cripple Creek, and rode trees in the Haunted Forest.

Unfortunately, in the middle of all those adventures, a few times things went horribly wrong. Those misadventures scared even us. When that happened, we never told our parents for fear they would never let us out of our rooms again.

This story is one of those misadventures. Read More»

An extra eight minutes

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Last week I had a 3:10 doctor’s appointment, which in and of itself is not unusual, but what happened when I arrived has never happened before and probably never will again.

Before I even finished signing in at the desk, the nurse immediately asked for me to come back. After a quick glance at the clock, I announced, “My appointment was for 3:10, it’s only 3:02. I now have eight minutes back in my life.”

As the nice nurse showed me to a room, she patted my shoulder and said, “I’m sure you can find something to do with the time.” Read More»

Nothing to sneeze at

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Sleep has evaded me more nights than I care to count – a severely broken nose being the culprit. Breathing with mouth closed has now become almost impossible.

Trust me; it’s nothing to sneeze at. Not being able to breathe that is – especially at night. It’s something most of us take for granted. At the end of the day, going to bed, sleeping and breathing.

So why would a story about a broken nose from years past be interesting you may ask? Because how my nose was broken, and who actually did the dastardly deed you’re just not going to believe. For you see, you already know his name. Read More»

Dad, I’m here

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The Boy was gone. There was no explanation for what happened. More importantly, there was no excuse. I had walked into the kitchen to answer the phone – gone only a minute or so. When I returned, The Boy was no longer watching Sesame Street.

Had he just wandered off? Was he playing hide-n-seek again? It was his favorite game to play with me. Or, worst of all, had someone somehow crept into our home and silently whisked him away? All these thoughts pummeled through my mind as I franticly ran through room after empty room calling his name.

There was no answer. Read More»

A harmless little lie

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Every Sunday morning Preacher Jim said that confession was good for one’s soul. Well, he’s gonna love this column because I’m not confessing once; I’m confessing three times.
Growing up at 110 Flamingo Street, my mom always told us that lying wasn’t allowed in our house – harmless or otherwise. Even so, it still occurred and my parents always knew when one was told. Read More»

Don't 'bee' a dummy

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Seven years ago, The Wife and I bought a quaint house in a small town. I planted a fragrant tea olive bush just off the sidewalk near the front door. At the time, The Wife asked if the hole was too close to the house or main sewer drain clean-out.

I replied, “Nope, it’s a small bush and over two feet away from the solid drain pipe. It should be fine.” Planting that tea olive would eventually grow into an extremely painful and expensive decision.

Seven years later. Read More»

Penny wise, pound foolish

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Old sayings are just that – old. They’ve been around a long time for good reason. There’s a lot of truth in them. Let me shed light on one to illustrate my point.

Take, for instance, the saying “Penny wise, but pound foolish.” The true meaning came to light when all the bulbs in our house were replaced by yours truly.

Yep, with the switch to those new CFL bulbs, we’re gonna save a bunch – money that can go towards a much needed summer vacation. That would be the penny wise part. Read More»

Meet Bubba Hanks

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Lying on my back, I couldn’t comprehend exactly what had happened. Against all rules of after-school fights, three blows to my face had come in quick succession and landed with audible thumps. Shouts from the encircled kids rang in my ears.

The kids, mostly from Old Mrs. Crabtree’s third-grade class, had followed us to the magnolia out in front of Candi’s house. Read More»

Mama bird

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With a Mother’s Day column due Thursday morning and it being only Wednesday, I really wasn’t too concerned that no idea had yet burst forth down onto paper. Besides, in the newspaper business, 24 hours is a lifetime. In the office by 9, I promised to work all day if needed. Mother’s Day was too important not to get it right. Read More»

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