Author Archives: Helen Baldwin

Old Like Fine Wine — Or Something

My husband, Randy, and I moved into our house at the end of December 1995. The old farmhouse, situated in the mountains of North Carolina, was built in 1920, reportedly by bootleggers. Surely there must be some hidden treasure somewhere! We haven’t found it yet, but we haven’t…

Being Thankful, No Matter What

It’s so much more than the turkey. Memories of childhood Thanksgiving gatherings with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins take me to a happy place. My paternal grandmother, Mammaw, wearing white socks and practical black shoes, poured sugar into the bowl for cake icing while the…

Remembering That November, 23 Years Ago

It all started 23 years ago, this propensity for November to pack a punch. In the wee hours of Nov. 1, 1997, a power outage set the stage for an eventful day. Make that an eventful few days. By that time, our baby Jeffrey, diagnosed…

When the Scary Stuff Became Real

As far back as I can remember, I have had an affinity for all things scary, creepy, suspenseful, and macabre. From “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” (which includes books, black-and-white TV reruns, and movies), to true crime drama, thriller fiction, and “The…

Dreams of a White Picket Fence

When I began daydreaming about the kind of house my husband, Randy, and I would someday own, my vision included a big covered porch with a swing, a roomy yard with lots of trees, and a white picket fence. Gloria, our realtor in Fort Worth,…

A Nurse, or 3, Named Mary

My teaching career started at Brockman School in Columbia, South Carolina. Nestled in the corner of a quiet neighborhood resembling a forest, Brockman was a self-contained school for children ages 3-21 with orthopedic and multiple handicapping conditions. My assignment was the kindergarten class.

The Importance of Paying Attention

In the beginning of the COVID-19 chaos, I tried to stay informed of updated health-related warnings and recommendations. I soon waved the proverbial white flag to ward off permanent whiplash from keeping abreast of the ever-changing information. During this pandemic pandemonium, my current primary daily…

Finding SMA in Unexpected Places

Not long after our third baby, Jeffrey, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), my mother received a note from her cousin, who mentioned her two granddaughters’ “muscle disease.” Having believed for years that the girls had spina bifida, we learned quickly, though not totally shockingly,…

The Papa Tomato

Our family has some generous gardening friends. One such friend keeps us spoiled with her garden goodies regularly. She has delivered to our porch zucchini, beans, lettuce, garlic, and fresh eggs. Oh, and tomatoes. *** Our baby Jeffrey’s routine check…