Mark Ballard

Mark Ballard

Satisfying a craving

Have you ever had a hankering for something to eat that hopped into your mind and refused to leave? The kind of intense craving that makes your mouth begin to water and holds all of your thoughts captive. Once the yearning is there, you may as well surrender because you are powerless while under its spell. This happens to me quite often.

Mark Ballard

Serving up a table full of memories

Some of my favorite memories are generously served up on platters, on plates and in bowls. In the South, gathering around a table full of large amounts of “from scratch” food is not only commonplace, it’s downright expected. In fact, if food is not involved, it is questioned as to whether it is even a gathering at all.

Mark Ballard

Learning to bend

I carefully watched as the large tree limbs gently swayed back and forth as if they were dancing with the wind. As the force of the wind increased, the limbs bent even more to accommodate yet always came back to their original position. It was amazing to watch their resilient dance with nature.

Mark Ballard

Unwrapping memories

I recently came upon a large box I had stored and wondered what it contained. My curiosity got the better of me. As I carefully opened the lid, I was greeted with lumps of crumpled white tissue paper used to fill in the gaps. I immediately tossed them aside in search of the real treasures they protected.

Mark Ballard

The other side of the brain

One thing I do know is that if anything major is going to happen with our computer, it waits until Debra is out of town. When Debra is more than 100 miles away, the components of our computer join forces to have a little fun with me.

Mark Ballard

BALLARD: Spring's fresh start reminds me to be thankful

Outside the window, a group of chirping birds sang a melodious concert in perfect harmony. The theme of their performance was one filled with joy and happiness. The birds seemed to herald the change in the air -- something's coming and the birds are excited. They're not the only ones, either.

Mark Ballard

Polarizing reminders of life's peaks and valleys

It was a cool, wet day in Atlanta 33 years ago. The rain was coming down in sheets and the sky was gray and gloomy. In spite of the weather, our spirits were flying high because just two days earlier, my wife, Debra, had given birth to our son, Blake. It was an exciting, glorious day when Blake said hello to the world.

Mark Ballard

Express your love through chocolate

Growing up in my family, it certainly didn't have to be Valentine's Day to whip up something chocolate. In fact, we didn't have to be celebrating any holiday at all! Chocolate flowed from our kitchen like a river full of delicious sweetness.

Mark Ballard

CREATIVE THINKING: Spread happiness like butter

I watched as the knife sliced through the butter without hesitation. The soft, creamy butter was simply no match for the sharp edge of the knife. Before it even had a chance to resist, it was too late. The damage was done and the butter was evenly spread over a piece of bread. Before I took a bite, I gave this some thought.

Mark Ballard

BALLARD: Remember when

'Do you remember when?" are four words that have the magical power to pull back the cloudy veil hiding our past and to unleash childhood memories from long ago. In a matter of seconds after hearing these words, more memories than can even be processed scurry to the surface like an air bubble rising in water.

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