Rick Ryckeley's blog

Better quality of life

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The fact the deck had been both swept off and stained a deep redwood didn’t startle The Wife. The fact that for two nights the back door stood closed but unlocked did.

It wasn’t the first time I had forgotten to secure us in. Forgetting things has become more common of late, but there was once a time my memory never failed me — a time when most people’s back doors stood unlocked for months not just days. Read More»

What day is it?

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I’ll be the first to admit it’s been a long time since I’ve known what day of the week it was. And for once, the guys at the fire department won’t laugh at me because of a story. If they’re honest, they’ll admit that they lose track of days as often as I do.

Now being confused isn’t a new state for me; just ask some of the guys I work with, but this time my befuddlement has nothing to do with getting older. It has to do with every day being Friday. Confused? Well, welcome to my world. Read More»

The generation gap

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The generation gap is something I’ve heard about all of my life, but never really believed in. The other day was when I realized that not only does the gap exist, but just how far that gap has widened for me.

That’s when one of my coworkers asked me to go camping. The young twenty-something thought it was a good idea to ask the old guy to come along — that is, until I started to ask questions. That’s one thing us old guys are good at – asking a bunch of questions. Read More»

It done got complicated

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Mrs. Newsome would have a duck fit over the title of this story. She was my tenth-grade English teacher at Briarwood High School, home of the Mighty Buccaneers. After berating me once again about how I, single-handedly, hath destroyed the Queen’s English, she would quickly follow up by asking, “And just how does a duck have a fit?” Read More»

Love is blind

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Blind dates never work out: everyone knows that ... except I know of one that actually did. But that’s the end of the story. The beginning started many, many years ago.

A young man owned a karate studio in a small town. For years he took joy in teaching his students what he had learned about martial arts, hard work and discipline. One day he took a small group of his best students to a local elementary school for a karate demonstration and drug prevention talk. The show was a success. So much so that other schools in the county wanted their students to hear the message also. Read More»

The Judge and me

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The pull of childhood memories is strong. A sight, a familiar smell, even a taste can transport us back in time in an instant. Melear’s Barbeque had all three.

To some, it was a meeting place to discuss the current politics of the day. To others, it was just another barbeque restaurant. For still others, the stopping point before the big race. To me, it was much, much more. Read More»

Questions from The Boy

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The first time I saw him his blue eyes looked up at me as a small hand wrapped around my finger, and I knew nothing for either of us would ever be the same again. The Boy doesn’t remember that day, the months or even the years that followed. But I was there. So it’s left up to me to give him a glimpse into his past, to show him where he came from, so he’ll know where’s he’s going and what awaits him when he gets there. Read More»

If only

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If only this were a funny story, it wouldn’t be so sad. If only it weren’t so sad, maybe it wouldn’t be so true to so many. Funny will return next week.

If only I were rich, I’d not have a care in the world. I could buy anything, go anywhere, and afford the most expensive things. Health issues wouldn’t be a problem because I would have the most expensive doctors always on call. Traveling the world in my private jet would be a never-ending trip — never-ending seeing so many who still have so little, some without even clean water. Read More»

The ugly hat

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It was last century since a winter storm brought this town to its knees for more than just a day. Back in ’94 it went by several names.

Dubbed the snow storm of the century, or Snow Jam, it slowed traffic on all the major freeways to a crawl and kept motivated students from school for a few days, but it was nothing like the ice storm that hit us Sunday night.

I think it’s safe to say that, for those of us who didn’t know already, one inch of ice on the streets and this town shuts down. And this time it lasted for three glorious days. Read More»

Ways to save

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For the first article of the year, it seems only logical to write about something that’s on most people’s mind these days: saving money. Long ago, my dad told me, “It’s not what you make, it’s what you spend.”

Sound advice, but times are very different now from when we all lived at 110 Flamingo Street. I’ve updated his advice. It’s not what you spend, but what you save that’s important. Read More»

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