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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

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