Author Archives: Helen Baldwin

When the New Normal Registers

My optimistic crust cracked a bit when I opened the mailbox last week and spied an envelope from my late mother’s life insurance company. It could have been correspondence requesting additional information so they could “process this claim promptly,” or it could have been the proceeds from the…

Clearing Out, Memories, and an Easter Wish

Ahhh. Spring glory in the North Carolina mountains! Light snow covered the ground Sunday morning; by afternoon, honeybees bustled on yellow dandelion flowers, gathering precious pollen to feed bee babies in the hives. Honey, left, and Maple, watching the snow melt Sunday from their sunny spot. (Photo…

Clearing Out, Memories, and an Easter Wish

Ahhh. Spring glory in the North Carolina mountains! Light snow covered the ground Sunday morning; by afternoon, honeybees bustled on yellow dandelion flowers, gathering precious pollen to feed bee babies in the hives. Honey, left, and Maple, watching the snow melt Sunday from their sunny spot. (Photo…

It Started With a Pink Slip

As my parents’ first child, I checked off the typical firstborn squares. I was conscientious, reliable, structured, cautious, and an achiever — in short, a perfectionist. My teachers knew I was responsible and that my folks expected me to do my best. I had no desire to disappoint.

It Started With a Pink Slip

As my parents’ first child, I checked off the typical firstborn squares. I was conscientious, reliable, structured, cautious, and an achiever — in short, a perfectionist. My teachers knew I was responsible and that my folks expected me to do my best. I had no desire to disappoint.

The Art of Snagging Angel Wings

Is it possible that we might have a bit of input into how we snag our angel wings? It sort of seems like it. Near the end of my senior year of high school, my maternal grandfather underwent an experimental procedure to reduce tremors. It did not…

Bound for Glory? All Aboard!

As I last wrote, my 89-year-old mother was admitted to the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. “Oh no,” you might think. “That doesn’t sound good.” You’re right, it doesn’t. My mother, however, had high hopes for COVID-19. *** Our third baby, Jeffrey, burst into our…

Dead Skunks, Flashbacks, and COVID-19

Last Friday was a full moon, Friday the 13th kind of day, although officially it was neither. The stink bugs in the house and the dead skunk in the road summed it up perfectly. The day stank. But let me back up. The rental cabin…

Eyes Opened and Eyes Closed

I spent a school year substituting in various special education classrooms in Fort Worth, Texas, before returning to school for teacher certification. I’d already worked with young children with developmental disabilities and loved their (usually) carefree and good-natured dispositions. My first assignment as a substitute teacher at…

Powering Up (and Out) for Another Year

Goodness, that didn’t take long. We’re already closing in on the middle of the first month of another new year. For most, 2021 felt like a tedious extension of the calamitous year before it. Oh, 2020, I hope never to see a year of your ilk again.