Mark Ballard

Mark Ballard

Time changes everything

My mind, which never stops, often wanders back down long and twisting roads I’ve already traveled. Not with regret or wishing to change things, but to simply visit the parts of my life’s experiences that formed the person I am today.

Mark Ballard

Driving through life — hurricanes included

When you’re a teenager, you are not yet fully aware of the responsibilities and dangers of driving. It makes you feel like you are grown and invincible and you don’t give it a second thought. But in my early 20s, I certainly found out how dangerous driving really is.

Mark Ballard

Summer and ice cream

Standing in line at Dairy Queen, I watched the machine closely as if I had never seen it before. It had always amazed me as a child and now apparently as an adult. With just the turn of a lever, the smooth, vanilla-flavored ice cream escaped the freezing machine and flowed effortlessly into a container forming a cool and refreshing mountain of goodness. As the lever was turned off, the server gave a gentle twist of the wrist and pulled the cup of ice cream away. A perfect curl was left on top as if to punctuate its flavor. Like a pristine sculpture, there it stood larger than life as an edible and refreshing monument to summer!

Mark Ballard

Fitting together life’s puzzle pieces

As a young boy, I remember our family putting together puzzles from time to time. Their subject matter and complexity depended on my sister’s and my age at the time they were purchased. I can’t recall any of their images in particular, but I do remember sitting at a table with my family trying to make the puzzle come together one piece at a time.

Mark Ballard

Summer meant running free and shelling peas

Growing up “flat dab” in the middle of Georgia, summer sizzled under a blazing hot sun that parched the grass and the parts of our skin that weren’t properly covered. The break from school seemed to last much longer than the summers of today. It felt so long that many times I wondered if I would even recognize fellow classmates when I returned to school in the fall.

Mark Ballard

Memories of cow-licks and towheads

I never gave much thought to my hair when I was a small boy. The only documentations of my locks are from perfectly staged Olan Mills studio shots or blurry black and white photos taken by Mother or other family members.

Mark Ballard

I continue to be a son proud of my father

My daddy was a good man — inside and out. He radiated strength and values. He was a peacemaker who avoided conflict whenever possible. I was blessed beyond measure to have him as a father. Everyone whose path crossed with Daddy’s was blessed as well. He lived a life anyone could be proud of.

Mark Ballard

Creative talents a result of a lifetime of learning

I love the process of learning new things. I’ve always yearned to expand my horizons in any way possible. During my lifetime, I have taken many courses in subjects that sparked my interest. Sometimes I exceled at what was taught and other times, well, not so much. There is no doubt that we always learn the most when we are interested in the subject matter.

Mark Ballard

The color of the sea

One doesn’t have to look very far to see a masterpiece whether you are at the beach or not. However, the beach does have a wonderful way of enticing your eyes to take notice.

Mark Ballard

A day at the lake

We never took many vacations as I was growing up. Lack of enough money was the reason. As a child, I always thought Daddy preferred to work his vacation time instead of using it. But as I grew up I realized that he was unselfishly trying to make extra money for us. We never really missed going on elaborate out-of-town trips because we didn’t know what we were missing.

Mark Ballard

Mother helped me bake it

I learned so many things from my mother. She shared many life lessons that I depend on every day. Many times they come to mind when I most need them. Loud and clear, I still hear her voice. I was blessed to learn by her example.

Living

Mother helped me bake it

I learned so many things from my mother. She shared many life lessons that I depend on every day. Many times they come to mind when I most need them. Loud and clear, I still hear her voice. I was blessed to learn by her example.

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.

Videos

Macon women try out for hockey reality show

About 40 women came out Sunday for a casting call in Macon, Ga. to create a reality show based on how members of the Macon Mayhem hockey team interact with the community.
Wayne Crenshaw The Telegraph
Macon women try out for hockey reality show 0:51

Macon women try out for hockey reality show

Peach County's Chad Campbell and Houston County's Von Lassiter on the end of a difficult week 2:23

Peach County's Chad Campbell and Houston County's Von Lassiter on the end of a difficult week

Antonio Sanders shows several dimensions in Central victory over Mount de Sales 0:55

Antonio Sanders shows several dimensions in Central victory over Mount de Sales

Dalton Cox, Greg Moore and FPD had a good night in beating Howard 3:10

Dalton Cox, Greg Moore and FPD had a good night in beating Howard