After 40 years as a computer programmer and game developer—and the passing of his wife of 47 years—Rick has retired and is now living in Ye Olde Folks Home, where he still tinkers with tech and likes to write these amusing and/or thoughtful tales about his storied life.

An Embarrassing Moment
In Memoriam: Betty Edwards-Vessel
A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing
Who Would Jesus Stab?
The Eggshell Incident
First Chapel Service at Ye Olde Folks Home
A Yearly Ritual at Menards
“Mr. Loftus, the Town Hero”
The FCAL Project
Pepe Le Pew Finds New Lodgings
In Memoriam: Dale Lear
Bingo Bedlam at Ye Olde Folks Home
There’s a Shortage of Perfect Movies…
One Day at the DMV
A Visitor from Microsoft
“He Who Should Not Be Named”
Downton… Abbey?
This Home is a Liver-Free Zone
My 9/11 Rememberances
My Yearly Pumpkin Spice Rant
Done In By Baker’s Square
My Eulogy for Alice
“Dear Rikki…”
A Clean, Well-lighted Place for Books
Memories of my First Computer
A Little Excitement at the Staff Meeting
The Tale of Mrs. Butler
Sun, Sand, and a Margarita
“Thou Shalt Not Steal”
Troubleshooting at Ye Olde Folks Home
Stories of my Mother
I’ve Heard Angels Sing
Elevator Mishap at the Eye Clinic
One Day at Fair, Isaac
Saturday Morning Cartoons
A Sprig of Parsley
Fun With Recruitment Ads
Leave Her to Heaven
“Squirrel!”
Bring me Dave Bringle!
Beware! The Oldsters Are Coming!
Life Among the Progressives
A Family Ritual While Watching Masterpiece
The Unforgettable General Oppy
“Don’t Even THINK About Parking Here”
A Dubious Plan Gone Awry
The Singing Christmas Tree!
One Day in the Hospital Lab
The Legend of the Broken Timer
Nelson’s Fruit Stand
This One Time in Glee Club…
Star Trek References for the Win
Family Psalm, Stuck in Lodi
Vacation in Branson
Clyde and Ruth Revisited
COVID Policies During my Wife’s Fatal Illness
I Guess I’m the Shadow IT Department Now
The Tale of Clyde and Ruth
My Garden of Gethsemane Story
We Might Get a Virus!

In Memoriam: Betty Edwards-Vessel

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

—Acts 20:24

Our family history includes an unplanned pregnancy on the eve of the Great Depression.

The father didn’t want the baby, demanding it be “taken care of” via an abortion.

Against her will, the young woman was held down by several nurses as she struggled to prevent it, but nonetheless, the deed was done.

Only something went wrong—or very right, in my view. Miraculously, my mother was born, unharmed.

She grew up in the South, picking cotton and taking a pail to the “crick” to bring water up to the house.

She later migrated to California, married her high school sweetheart Milt Adams, had us three kids, divorced, then married my stepdad, Jack Edwards.

One by one, every family member found Jesus. My mom and stepdad both quit smoking and beat alcoholism.

She taught my brother and me to sing in harmony as a way to pass the time while we washed dishes, standing side-by-side on chairs next to the kitchen sink, and we both grew up to become musicians largely due to that.

When I look back at photos of her holding me as a baby, I am struck by how beautiful she looked. Not gonna lie; she looked like a movie star. Of course, I don’t doubt that I am biased on this point.

When my mom and stepdad bought a rundown 1887 Queen Anne Victorian mansion in Santa Rosa, CA, I thought they were crazy.

I was wrong. They renovated the place and it became the base for my mom’s hospitality ministry, “House of Faith,” and where later they ran a halfway house for alcoholic women.

When they both went to the Philippines as missionaries, and later taught at a missionary school, my family moved in for a number of years. When they finally returned, they moved into the little apartment my stepdad built over the garage out back.

Whenever my children were angry or upset about something, they would stomp up the stairs to be consoled by Grandma Betty and Grandpa Jack.

After my stepdad passed away, she remarried again, to Mel Vessel, and they both moved into a retirement community in Eugene, OR.

The last time I flew out to visit her, she was confused and didn’t know who I was all the time, but I was able to kiss her on the forehead and tell her I loved her just before I left.

“I love you too,” she said. That was our last conversation together.

This morning she passed away peacefully in her sleep, at the age of 95.

My wife Alice was always a bit intimidated by this grand Southern lady. It’s my hope that Alice and my mom will soon be reminiscing over a leisurely tea in Heaven.

“His master said to him, well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.”

—Matthew 25:21