Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The first snow angel of December December 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 12:26 PM

SNOW IS FALLING lightly in Faribault, covering the grass, sidewalks and roads with a veil of white.

Up until a few minutes ago, I was not all that pleased with winter’s definitive arrival.

But then I saw something that transformed my dismal attitude. Across the street, a child, snuggled inside a snowsuit in the palest of pink and accented with a rose-colored scarf and mittens, laid down on the sidewalk.

This little girl looked upward as snow drifted gently from the heavens. Then she moved her legs and arms swiftly back and forth, back and forth.

Although I could not see her creation, I knew this cherub had left her angelic imprint upon the freshly-fallen snow.

In that moment, I welcomed winter with the heart of a child.

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


A Christmas cactus with its own timeline

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 10:13 AM

THIS YEAR I THOUGHT I had it all figured out. I would keep my Christmas cactus in a darkened and cool upstairs bedroom until about mid-November. Then I would lug the plant downstairs to the bright, warm living room and wait for fuchsia blossoms to magically appear, preferably around December 25.

But, alas, the plan failed. By early November, hints of pink tipped the ends of the cactus. So I hauled the succulent down the steps and soon the first flower appeared.

What was going on? Last year I waited too long, until after Thanksgiving, to transfer the cactus from the dark, cool upstairs to the warmth and brightness of the main floor. The plant didn’t bloom until mid-January.

So, logic told me to move the cactus sometime in mid-November and then await bud development. But, Mother Nature had other plans.

I can only deduce that the cooler than normal summer and the cool, wet fall tricked my Christmas cactus into thinking Thanksgiving was Christmas.

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling