Rick Ryckeley's blog

Breaking the rules

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Yep, I know. After reading this story, the parents of school-age kids out there will be irritated at me for months simply because I said it’s okay to break rules.

Trust me, it’s not intentional. But if you do get really upset, please don’t send emails to my editor. Send all of them to my dad in Florida. After all, it’s his fault. He and Mom taught us kids that honesty is the best policy.

Rules are meant to be broken. The rules of English, that is. Read More»

Elephant-less circus

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When I heard the circus was coming to our fair town, I jumped at the chance to buy tickets.

Memories of all those extravaganzas from when we lived back on Flamingo Street started to parade themselves through my head. Three rings under the Big Top filled with lions, tigers, dancing bears, trapeze artists flying high overhead, and an impossible number of clowns climbing out of a miniature car.

Little did I know how different this circus would be from those of Flamingo Street past. Read More»

Book covers

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My three brothers, The Sister, and me spent seven magical years growing up at 110 Flamingo Street. During that time, both Mom and Dad dispensed a lot of advice, hoping some of it would eventually sink into our hard heads. And trust me, I got one of the hardest, otherwise I wouldn’t have survived those seven magical years of adventures (and misadventures).

Some of my parents’ advice was indeed followed. Some was simply ignored (I still wear the scars from those decisions) and some is still trying to sink in. So what was the most sage advice given by my parents you may ask? Read More»

You'll never go wrong...

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Got an urgent phone call from The Boy yesterday. The serious tone in his voice immediately captured my attention. So much so that the ribbing I was going to give him about Little One kissing a duck while feeding them out at Twin Lakes that very morning would obviously have to wait.

He said, “Dad, I need your advice about what to do.”

I must say, hearing those words made me feel good. Not because The Boy was asking for advice in his time of difficulty, but because he had asked ME for it. Read More»

Cats in socks

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An expectant mother placed a picture of three kittens above the changing table. She had purchased the item from a garage sale in the neighborhood.

The kittens dangled from a huge limb of a grand old oak tree. A unique picture for a room that housed a changing table full of diapers, wipes, assorted lotions and creams.

Each of the kittens filled a sock that left just their faces exposed. The first was white with brown spots — the kitten’s face, not the sock. All the socks hanging from the tree limb were white. Read More»

Bubble-wrap your life

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No pun intended, but medical insurance is costing me an arm and leg nowadays. The costs of in-network and out-of-network doctor copays, deductibles, and out of pocket maximums have gotten maximally unaffordable.

If you do get sick, don’t try filling a prescription. At the drug store, you’ll be met with a long list of decisions you’ll have to make in your sickened state. Do you choose: generic, non-generic, formulated, or non-formulated. Each comes with its own separate copay. Read More»

Remote for a dinosaur

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September marks the start of the 14th year for this weekly column. Many thanks to you, dear reader, for making it all possible. Without your faithful readership, the many adventures growing up at 110 Flamingo Street, the stories about The Wife and The Boy, and the general observations of life might never have made their way to print. Unfortunately, this could be the last one. Read More»

Learning the hard way

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Last week I learned something the hard way, and believe it or not, the teacher wasn’t my dad. The teacher wasn’t The Wife. The teacher wasn’t even the world.

Nope – I learned my lesson early Friday morning from a 14-month-old little girl and a large brown and white majestic duck. It’s a lesson I will never forget. Read More»

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»

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