Rick Ryckeley's blog

I told you so

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There are many anniversaries one marks in life: a wedding day, birthdays, and graduations, just to name a few. Each comes with its own special memory, perhaps a card, and pictures of the happy occasion. One usually carries these memories throughout life and looks back on them with fondness.

But there are other anniversaries that are quite different. Yes, dear reader, they’re called the “I Told You So” anniversaries. Next week marks just such an anniversary around our house. Read More»

Before dodgeball was banned

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I was invited to speak at a gathering on Monday, and to be honest I was shocked. Not being asked to speak, mind you, but rather by what I heard when I got there.

The person who gave the introduction told the audience that I wrote stories – stories about childhood before dodgeball was banned. His introduction almost made me speechless. So much so, I changed the title of this story. Read More»

The old friend

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I saw an old friend the other day. Although his face now sports mostly gray hair, it was still a familiar one to me.

For you see, he and I have known one another for what has seemed like a lifetime. Even though we’re years apart in age, we have an unspoken bond, one that goes beyond words, and one time can’t erase.

Growing up at 110 Flamingo Street, Dad taught us many lessons – lessons that, if we were wise enough to follow, would make our lives easier. One of the most important: if you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything at all. Read More»

Vote Mom for President

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That’s right; I’m delving into the world of politics. Since the Bozos we now have in Washington are doing such a stellar job, I figured it was about time someone who knows really how to run things got into office.

That person is not Gingrich, Romney, or even the current occupant of the White House. Nope, none of them get my vote. This year, I’m voting for Mom. And by the end of this article, you’ll agree. Read More»

Moments of clarity

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Whether they recognize it or not, everyone has moments of clarity in their lives. One of the first I can remember was in Old Mrs. Crabtree’s third-grade class at Mt. Olive Elementary School.

• Bad people do bad things. Read More»

Stretching the truth

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By the time she had called, the purple hue of coming night had already stretched far across the cloudless sky. Stars dotted above provided little light for the lone car in the parking lot and its lone occupant.

She got out and started to check under the hood just as a stiff winter wind blew her coat open, chilling her to the bone. She thought better of it. Climbed back in and locked the door. The second call ended with the same results – no answer.

She blew out the breath she was holding, “Married to a firefighter, but when I need rescuing, where is he?” Read More»

Ben Franklin's oatmeal

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What’s for breakfast around our house? Me, I like oatmeal, but I’m not on a diet and I’m not fat. I’m a little pudgy, but I’m not fat.

Just so happens that I’ve liked oatmeal ever since growing up at 110 Flamingo Street. Back then, slinging spoonfuls of the hot stuff and watching it stick to one of my brothers made eating breakfast actually fun, and I’m not alone. One of greatest men in this country simply loved to start the day off right with a steamy bowl of the hot oats. Read More»

Please don't throw me away

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No one would think about spring cleaning on the first day of January. No one, that is, except The Wife.

After 13 wonderful years of marriage, I’ve come to expect the unexpected. But even I was surprised at where I found her that afternoon.

Still knee deep in her closet, with filled and yet-to-be filled bags around her, she looked up and smiled, “Sometimes the only way to get rid of stuff that bugs you is just to bag it up and throw it away.”

Okay, stop laughing – she wasn’t talking about me. Read More»

The lemon tree

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What can I say about another year gone by that hasn’t already been said? I could write about how our 401k’s have now all been turned into 201k’s. Or how every time someone in Europe sneezes, our stock market drops to yet another new yearly low.

Or how because those folks in Washington keep acting like children and can’t agree on how to run things, homes are now worth about half what they were at the beginning of this year.

I could write about all that stuff. But then again, it wouldn’t make for a very happy column, now would it? Read More»

Island of Misfit Toys

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It’s been over 45 years since I’d seen them. Toys like the ones I played with while growing up at 110 Flamingo Street have long been gone from store shelves.

Gone are balsa wood aeroplanes, the Slinky and jacks. No one plays with jacks anymore. Alas, jacks have gone the way of dominoes and pick-up-sticks. Windup toys are even a thing of the past.

Toys now run off batteries – toys that’ll be outdated and discarded in less than six months. Not so with toys of old. Jacks last forever. Read More»

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