Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Life in a snow socked Minnesota town December 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:39 PM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A snow pile divides traffic lanes along Fourth Street/Minnesota Highway 60 a block from Central Avenue in Faribault Sunday morning. Trucks would later haul away the snow.

FIFTH BIGGEST SNOWFALL of all time in Minnesota. Windchill advisories in the double digits below zero. Mall of America Field roof collapses at 5 a.m. Sunday. No church services. More snow for mid-week.

The list goes on and on.

But we’re tough Minnesotans. We can deal with all of this, right?

I guess so.

Right now my back muscles ache from all the bending and lifting and throwing of snow. Shovels and shovels and shovels full of white stuff tossed from the driveway, the sidewalk, the steps, even from around the garbage cans buried to their lids.

I’m calling it a day now after a run out to the farm store for boots for the 16-year-old. It just didn’t seem right that he was upstairs sleeping this morning when the parents were outside, working for hours to dig out. But we couldn’t find a size that fit him, so he’s still bootless.

All of that aside, conditions are looking better in Faribault today. The snow stopped overnight, replaced now by bitter cold. Streets have been plowed and folks are out and about, navigating around corners piled so high with snow that if I was a kid, I would be playing King of the Mountain.

Snow piled in the street between the Knights of Columbus Hall and the Faribault Post Office around 9 a.m.

Cars buried in snow in a public parking lot across from the American Legion.

Snow runs down the center of the street by the Rice County Sheriff's Department.

Division Street in Faribault by the Community Co-op Oil Association, the library and the community center. Looks like a for sure white Christmas in Faribault.

Motorists had to navigate around snow in the middle of First Avenue N.E. in the downtown area of Faribault Sunday morning before trucks cleared the snow mounds from streets.

Just more snow in the street, moved there from parking lots and from the traffic lanes. This is on First Avenue N.W. by the NAPA store, just a block off Central Avenue in downtown Faribault.

A wall of snow separates traffic lanes on Minnesota Highway 60/First Avenue N.E. by the post office early Sunday morning. I shot this through the car windshield. I took all of the photos from inside the cozy car.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Snow clean-up continues in my Faribault neighborhood

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 12:17 PM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

My husband shovels the end of the sidewalk by our house while our neighbor works toward him with the snowblower. What a great neighbor.


If you live in Minnesota or one of our neighboring states, I bet you’re digging out from one of our worst snowstorms in two decades.

I’m still trying to determine exactly how much snow fell in Faribault since this all began Friday night. The National Weather Service in Chanhassen lists 12 inches on its website, but I don’t believe that. I’d say we’re pushing more like 1 ½ feet. In all fairness to the NWS, an online note states these may not be final totals. Ya, think?

Anyway, after a frozen recoil mechanism, insufficient gas and then a broken starter rope delayed snowblowing at our house by about 1 ½ hours, we finally have the driveway and sidewalk cleared. Our neighbor’s is done too.

I did my share of shoveling heavy chunks of snow from the end of the driveway so we could get the car out and drive to the gas station for more gas. Boy, that was fun. Kind of like chiseling rock with a pick ax.

Well, I took a break from the shoveling because, despite dressing in layers (including my husband’s long johns), certain parts of my anatomy were beginning to feel a bit frozen.

My husband just stepped inside a few minutes ago to warm up and inform me that a sheer pin broke on the snowblower. Thank goodness he has extras in his toolbox or he’d have to visit the hardware store for the second time today.

He told me when we were down there earlier that a new snowblower would fit under the Christmas tree.

But I was quick with a comeback. “We don’t even have a Christmas tree.”

“Then for sure it will fit,” he shot back.

Yup, we’re sure having a fun day here in Faribault.

Our neighbor Mark blew his sidewalk and two sweeps down ours because, he says, he couldn't turn around half-way anyway. Sometimes we clear his too, for the same reason.

It's going to take a lot of shoveling before anyone can reach our front door. I've never seen this much snow on our sidewalk and steps. The city snowplow threw the chunks of snow onto our yard as it cleared the street.

Snow piled high by city snowplows make intersections, like this one by my house, dangerous. Vehicles coming off the side street onto busy Willow Street need to nose into the traffic lane to see oncoming traffic.

A block away from my home, a resident clears snow from the sidewalk.

I’LL POST MORE SNOW PHOTOS from Faribault later. But right now I need to go back outside and help my husband shovel the snow away on the front sidewalk and steps.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling