Rick Ryckeley's blog

A Banana Split Dinner

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Would it be so unusual to have a banana split at dinnertime? How about simply replacing dinner with one? Most folks would say neither is a good idea. Most folks would claim such a thing isn’t healthy. No normal person would substitute dinner for a calorie-laden banana and ice cream concoction – topped with lots of nuts and gooey stuff. Who in their right mind would do such a thing - not once but twice, and in the same week? The very same week he was to get his annual physical. You can’t see it, but over here my hand is raised. Read More»

Light up the Night

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Last Monday it happened, and it was one of the biggest things I’d ever seen in the night sky – except of course when Bubba Hanks let us catapult him off the top of Cliff Condos. It was a Double Dog Dare, and he was the only one brave enough to actually go through with it. Luckily for Bubba, he landed in a giant mound of loose dirt from our three-year dig. If he’d gotten hurt, his dad would’ve throw us all off the cliff. Read More»

Sticks and Stones

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On the first day of school, most kids worry about something. Some worry about their clothes, others the way their hair looks. Still others worry if they’ll be unlucky enough to get that one teacher that nobody wants to get. So what was the one thing yours truly worried about while attending the world of academia, you might ask? Well, it wasn’t just one thing. It was three. Read More»

Dog ate my homework

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While I was growing up at 110 Flamingo Street, there was one reason that topped my list as to why I really didn’t like this time of year.

It wasn’t that it was the official end of summer for us kids – which it was. It wasn’t because the local bully somehow always ended up in my classroom – which somehow Down the Street Bully Brad always did.

The fact I had to sit for seven hours – longer if I had detention after school — was a big reason why I didn’t like this time of the year, but it still wasn’t the number one reason. Read More»

Me and my shadow

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Around 5:30 Saturday afternoon the most amazing thing happened. The entire world stopped — at least for one little girl.

Little One noticed her shadow for the very first time, and her reaction was something totally unexpected. There was nothing to be afraid of. There was really nothing there, but just try and explain that to a 13-month-old whose only words are Mommy, Daddy, kitty and — my favorite — duck. Read More»

Stopping the flood

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At first, it was a just a trickle. There was no real harm being done. After all, who amongst us notices a trickle? A case could be made that the trickle was even beneficial.

Eventually, the trickle turned into a small stream. It was obvious the stream needed to be stopped, but I didn’t say anything. My silence was partly out of fear of what would happen to me and partly because I really didn’t know how to stop it. Read More»

We have to talk

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Want to really get your kids’ attention this summer? Walk up to them and say, “We have to talk.” Add a “young man” or “young lady” before or after that phrase and watch them cringe with fear.

Throughout life, no matter who says it, “We have to talk” is never good to hear. My first encounter with those words was a long, long time ago, on a familiar street, not so far away. Read More»

I need help

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For those long time readers of this column, me needing help should come as no surprise. After all, it’s well documented in the stories over the last twelve and a half years, and I’ll be the first to admit it.

I do need help, and I need it right now — just not in the way you may think. The status of my mental state will just have to wait and may even be the topic for a future story. Right now there’s one thing more pressing that I need help with. Or should I say two things? Read More»

Fun at the beach

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The sun kissed the horizon and slowly started to fade; the bright sky of blue transitioned to soft hues of purple, yellow, and pink. Sweltering heat of a June day at the beach had finally been replaced with a cool breeze off the ocean.

Hand in hand, The Wife and I walked as the receding tide tugged white sands from beneath our steps, tickling our souls. We were alone with only the gentle breaking of waves for company. I stopped, pulled her close, and as we kissed, the last rays of sunlight finally gave in to the rising night. Read More»

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»

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