Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Minnesota Moments spring issue publishes April 13, 2011

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I’VE SEEN THE IMAGES so often they’re practically imprinted upon my brain. Ditto for the words. I’ve written, rewritten, edited, proofed and read them. I can nearly recite the stories.

Yet, when I see my photos and words in print rather than on my computer screen, I am still thrilled. Every time. Nothing compares to ink upon paper for me as a writer.

That said, check out the spring issue of Minnesota Moments, a magazine packed with my writing and photos.

I’ve written two major feature packages—one on places to view roses in Minnesota and another on two great southern Minnesota hamburger joints.

I’ve reviewed three Minnesota-authored books, on barns, aging in a small Minnesota town and nature.

I’ve pulled together stories about a WW I veteran and a recipe contest winner.

These are the kinds of stories that don’t make the headlines, but which I find the most interesting. They are the real, at the heart of Minnesota, stories.

In this issue you will read nearly 20 pages of my writing and see 23 of my photos.

Not to worry, there’s more to this issue than just my work. You’ll find six pages of stories and photos from entrants in the Pet Portrait Contest. I helped select the winning essay about a dog, Meeka, who saved her owner’s life. We can all appreciate a good animal tale and, thanks to our readers, there are plenty.

Several essays grace our “Moments in time” section, including one written by 89-year-old Ethelyn Pearson of Wadena. This octogenarian can write. Consider this description of her grandfather: “Wreathed in smiles, teetering on his toes, Grandpa would say around a wide smile…” Now, that’s writing. I’ve told my editor that Ethelyn would make a mighty fine feature story.

And because this is my blog and I can write whatever I wish, I will mention that my uncle and aunt, Merlin and Iylene Kletscher of rural New London are the subject of a short “Faces & Places” article. They have hiked through all of Minnesota’s 72 state parks. How many of us can say we’ve accomplished that? And, no, I did not write this piece.

But I did find the photographer, Harriet Traxler, whose cow photo highlights our “Picture this” page. I’ve reviewed her Barns of Sibley County in the book review section. I met Harriet this past weekend and she is every bit as down-to-earth and sister-friendly as I expected.

Down-to-earth. That best describes the content of Minnesota Moments, the Cold Spring-based magazine I’ve written for since 2004.

If you haven’t checked out the magazine, do. If you’re so inclined, subscribe. If you like what you read, consider sending Editor/Publisher Mike Nistler an e-mail at info@minnesotamoments.com. We always appreciate feedback. And, we appreciate (need) advertisers too.


Stop and smell the roses in a trio of stories I've written about places in Minnesota to view beautiful roses.

It's always fun to discover good down-home restaurants. Pick up a copy of the spring issue to see where you'll find the restaurant with this kitschy decor.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling