Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Happy birthday, Randy October 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 1:52 PM
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TODAY MY HUSBAND is celebrating his 55th birthday, which now officially makes him as old as me. Yeah, I was smart and married a younger man, albeit by only about two weeks.

I’ve been contemplating what message to write here today to him. I decided, instead, to tell you a few things about Randy.

He’s the oldest boy in a family of nine children and was born in North Dakota, where he attended a one-room country school. As the story goes, one day the students were kept inside during recess because of coyotes roaming the schoolyard. True story, he swears.

Randy moved with his family to central Minnesota when he was six or seven, or some young age like that.

It was on the family’s farm south of Buckman that Randy saved his father’s life. Yes, you read that correctly. He saved his dad’s life. My spouse seldom talks about that October 21, 1967, accident shortly after his 11th birthday.

But he was there as his dad’s hand was pulled, along with corn stalks, into the spring-loaded rollers of a corn chopper. Blades sliced off his father’s fingers. Rollers trapped his arm.

And Randy was there to disengage the power take-off. He then raced across swampland and pasture to a neighbor’s farm. To save his father’s life. (You can read the details by clicking here.)

An Allis Chalmers corn chopper like this one exhibited at the 2010 Rice County Steam & Gas Engines Show, claimed my father-in-law's left hand and much of his arm in a 1967 accident. That's my husband, Randy, who saved his dad's life by running for help.

My spouse possesses a calm demeanor, meaning not much rattles him. He’s soft-spoken and funny in that quirky kind of humor way.

He does sudoku puzzles and is good at math and numbers and figuring stuff out.

His work as an automotive machinist at Parts Department, Inc., Northfield (NAPA) is always in demand. Suffice to say you better get in line. He’s that good at his job.

Randy at work in the NAPA machine shop in Northfield where he's worked since 1983.

He once owned a Harley, which was smashed in a crash, and once won a trip to the Bahamas.

Right about now, Randy’s probably eating his second or third piece of apple pie bars, his birthday treat at work. Tonight I’ll serve him his favorite cake, angel food, topped with one of his favorite fruits, raspberries.

Speaking of which, I need to bake that cake. Now.

Happy birthday and many more, Randy! (See, I used an exclamation mark, which I never use in my writing.)

I love you.

IF YOU WISH to leave a birthday message for Randy here, please do so. He reads my blog and is, indeed, one of my most vocal fans. Thank you for always supporting me in my writing, Randy.


15 Responses to “Happy birthday, Randy”

  1. bevalker Says:

    A HUGE BIRTHDAY WISH for you today!

  2. Virgil Says:

    Happy Birthday Randy! Wish you many more and God’s richest blessings.

  3. htrax107 Says:

    Randy is a lucky man to have someone like you Audrey and you are a lucky woman to have a man like Randy in your life. Now how did you find each other?

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Well, thank you kindly, Harriet.

      Long story short: We found each other through my sister Lanae, who knew Randy’s best friend. Thanks, sister.

  4. Happy birthday to your husband, from another eldest of nine! That story about him saving his father’s life gave me shivers. I’ve heard so many other stories about situations just like that with much sadder endings. Hope the cake was amazing. -kate

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Randy is the oldest boy with two older sisters.

      Yes, that life-saving story about his dad is quite the story and, thankfully, one that ended well. The part I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post, but which you will find in the original linked story, is that Randy insisted he ride along with his dad that day.

      The angel food birthday cake, especially with the homegrown raspberries, was delicious. I’m going to have some for breakfast.

  5. Happy Birthday Randy! I hope the Angel Food Cake was delicious.

  6. randy Says:

    What a pleasant surprise. A birthday wish and my biography all in one shot.

    The apple pie bars are very good (someone forgot)and I only ate 2 1/2 so far.

    Thank you Audrey.

  7. randy Says:

    P.S. The cake was good too.

  8. Kristin Says:

    Happy belated birthday, Randy. Wishing you the very best.

  9. Gordon Says:

    Hope you had a swell birthday, Randy. Nancy and I enjoyed our meeting with you and Audrey last year. Time passes quickly. Enjoy.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      We enjoyed meeting you two also. Has it already been a year? Once life slows down, we’ll need to lunch together again. I want to hear about your new writing projects as I’m sure you have some going.

      Readers, click on Gordon’s link and check out his fabulous rural-themed children’s books.

  10. dorothy Says:

    Randy sorry to be so late in wishing you a great “B” day. We had a really busy week and I am just now catching up on this kind of thing. Hope to see you in November. Weather permitting our trip to Mpls. Love to you. Robin and Dorothy

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