2013.01.02 Taylor agrees to fill the gap

Written by David Green.

My son-in-law Taylor once made the mistake of volunteering to write a column for this space. Now he gets asked every time he visits.

Sometimes he comes through and sometimes he doesn’t. He probably gauges my apparent level of desperation. This week we had another Sunday night deadline. Desperate situation.

 By TAYLOR BALLINGER

2012 has been a wonderful year for the Ballinger family. Caroline is happy and healthy, we’ve had a chance to visit with many loved ones, the University of Kentucky won their eighth men’s basketball national championship, and we survived our annual holiday road trip from Louisiana to Kentucky to Michigan and (hopefully) back again.

This year, I got to watch Caroline take her first steps. I got to meet my nephew Ryland. And I got to visit new places with Rosie and Caroline. This year, I ran two half-marathons. I went to the Final Four. We took Caroline to her first LSU football game.

By the time you’re reading this, though, it will be 2013. 2012 is old news, so it’s time to look forward to the New Year. Consider this column my New Years’ resolutions mixed with some Nostradamus-esque predictions (mostly sports-related) for 2013.

In 2013, I will run a marathon. You read it here first, folks. Now it’s your job to keep me accountable. I don’t want to come back here in 2014 with the great shame of having not fulfilled a promise.

In 2013, the Cincinnati Reds will win the World Series. I’m no Miss Cleo, so this is less a prediction than a great hope and dream of mine. The Reds haven’t won the Series since I was a child, so it’d be nice for them to win one that I can actually remember. I know that I shouldn’t complain. At least I’m not a Cubs fan, right?

In 2013, we’ll get lots of visitors for Mardi Gras. This will be our second (and potentially final) year back in Louisiana, so I’m predicting an apartment full of Kentuckians and Michiganders for this year’s festivities. Book your reservations now.

In 2013, the Royal Couple will have a girl. Call it a Midwestern guest-columnist’s intuition.

In 2013, the Green Bay Packers will win the Super Bowl. This may be more realistic than my Reds prediction. As a Packers fan, it’s pretty clear that there is a small window of opportunity for them to seriously contend for Super Bowls over the next few years. One thing I can predict with certainty, though: the Detroit Lions will NOT win the Super Bowl in 2013. Sorry, Lions fans.

In 2013, the world will not end. I’m going with history on this one. If the Y2K scare and the Mayan calendar didn’t get us, I don’t think 2013 will.

In 2013, John Boehner will take the title of “Most Overtanned Man in America” from Paulie D of “Jersey Shore” fame.

In 2013, our daughter Caroline will grow a full-blown mullet. It’s a Ballinger family tradition, and she’s pretty close right now. If we choose to not cut her hair for the next couple of months she’ll be all the way there.

In 2013, most fans will hope for both Alabama and Notre Dame to lose the BCS National Championship…and they’ll be disappointed. Two of the most hated programs in the country playing for all the marbles. I’m picking Notre Dame, if only because I dislike them significantly less than I dislike Alabama.

In 2013, Rosie will convince me, yet again, that we don’t really need a nice television and cable. For the past couple of years I’ve wanted a new TV, and each time I bring it up Rosie uses the power of logic to convince me we don’t need it. I’m guessing her run will continue, and we’ll probably be better off for it.

In 2013, we’ll start seeing ads for the 2016 Presidential Election. At least we don't have a TV to watch them on.

In 2013, the Stanley Cup will be won by no one for the second time in eight years. There aren’t a lot of hockey fans where I live, so folks don’t really care, but isn’t it a shame that millionaires can’t come to a decent enough agreement for how to share their profits?

In 2013, I will continue my run as one of the luckiest dudes alive. It’s been such a joy watching our Caroline learn and grow, and I’m truly blessed to have such a wonderful family and great group of friends. I hope you and yours have a very happy New Year.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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