Mark Ballard

Mark Ballard

My readers top my gratitude list

I try to wake up each morning with gratitude. I believe the act of being grateful is extremely important. After all, waking up healthy in a free world is definitely something for which to be thankful.

Mark Ballard

The seasons of a lifetime

Looking through the window, I could see the morning sun peeking through the orange and red leaves of a tree in our yard. The light was softly bouncing off of the crisp, brittle leaves as if it wanted to showcase them one more time before they released from the branches and floated to the ground.

Mark Ballard

Finding inspiration in my path

The first one crossed my path in a parking lot while I was walking in to teach a drawing class. I was running a bit late, but the colorful leaf tried many times to catch my attention. It was crimson and a perfect shape.

Mark Ballard

Storing memories

I’m a very visual person, so I envision my memories as if they are stored away in various boxes in my mind. On the outside of the boxes, printed in large letters, are the words that indicate what they contain. Stacked tall and packed full, they remain deep in the storage unit of my mind.

Mark Ballard

Taking measure without measuring up

There’s a large drawer in the antique wooden desk that’s in our office. For many years it has held various notepads, other miscellaneous office-related materials and two nice metal rulers that are tucked in the very front. I purchased these rulers many years ago and used them relentlessly during my art school days. Throughout the years, they have accurately measured just about anything you could possibly imagine.

Mark Ballard

Lessons in positivity and perseverance

“Fantastic” was what my mother would reply when asked how she was doing. With her enthusiastic comment came a flash of her one-of-a- kind smile punctuated with a sparkle in her eyes. Just hearing her say that word made me and anyone around her feel better.

Mark Ballard

Life’s got me all tangled up

Looking out the window, I can almost see autumn driving into town like a friend I haven’t seen in a while. The year seems to be flying by, and the end of it is quickly coming into view. I get overwhelmed at this time of year because there is so much to be done and so little time to do it.

Mark Ballard

In the kitchen with Granny

My grandmother’s kitchen was filled with all kinds of pots and pans. None of them came as a set or even matched. They were marred with scratches and dings from many years of constant use. They wore their war wounds like badges of honor for all the delicious things they had yielded.

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!

Videos

Huge monarch butterfly floats through air

Blake Ballard captured this monarch buttery in slow motion video.
Blake Ballard Special to The Telegraph
Huge monarch butterfly floats through air 0:27

Huge monarch butterfly floats through air

Rain doesn't damper spirit of participants in Christmas Parade 1:05

Rain doesn't damper spirit of participants in Christmas Parade

Check out sights, sounds from the 2016 Robins Regional Chamber's Christmas Parade 8:00

Check out sights, sounds from the 2016 Robins Regional Chamber's Christmas Parade

Bands, floats and Santa draw thousands to Christmas parade. 1:16

Bands, floats and Santa draw thousands to Christmas parade.