Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A mini St. Patrick’s Day parade in Faribault March 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 4:52 PM
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Grandma Jean gave grandson Landon a wagon ride on a perfect summer-like March day in downtown Faribault. Walkers and bikers and joggers are out all over enjoying record warm temperatures on this St. Patrick's Day.

THEY WERE A TWO-PERSON PARADE, Jean and Landon, on this St. Patrick’s Day in downtown Faribault.

The pair didn’t plan it that way. But when Landon tuckered out before a 4 p.m. Irish parade at a local restaurant, his grandma decided to head for home.

About that time I caught up with the duo, after pursuing them for two blocks—first along Fourth Street where I’d initially spotted them on a bench—into the heart of Faribault’s historic Central Avenue.

They obliged when I asked to photograph them, even though Landon wasn’t so sure about me and my camera.

Little Landon shows me the shamrock stamped on his grandma's hand.

We're all dressed in green. That's grandma Jean reflected in the left lens and me in the right with my camera. As a bonus, you can also see some of our historic buildings reflected.

Landon was just too darned cute dressed in green and blue (the color originally tagged to Ireland) clothes accessorized with blue shades and green crocs.

After a short (probably too long for Landon) photo shoot, I thanked the pair and sent them on their way.

The two continued on down Central Avenue, heading home.

It was a perfect day for a walk in Faribault with Luck of the Irish weather. Can it get any better than 81 degrees on St. Patrick’s Day in Minnesota? I think not.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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Another beautiful day dawns in Minnesota

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:18 AM
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I raked leaves from flower beds on Friday.

SATURDAY MORNING, 7:15, and already the day holds the promise of record temperatures and of sunshine interlaced with rain showers.

I can smell spring in the undeniable, distinct scent of cold earth turned to the sun, of leaves air drying.

The morning air snaps with a briskness sweeping through the open kitchen door to curl around my bare feet.

I can hear the incessant, piercing whistle of a cardinal calling for a mate too early on a weekend.

My neighbors’ windows are still shuttered to the day, their eyes closed in sleep to this beautiful morning that unfolds.

But I’ve been awake for several hours as seems my habit these days. As I ponder the hours that stretch before me, I glance out the window, see the flashing lights of an ambulance, the golden globe of the sun, a red pick-up pulling a boat.

Turning back to my computer, I wonder what my day will hold. Yesterday drew me outdoors to rake deep layers of leaf mulch from flower beds, to clip back hydrangea. I worry that I may be pushing the season, exposing the new growth of perennials to the frost that is certain to come. Yet, I could not leave these plants buried, struggling to push through the leaves, emerging weak-stemmed and yellow.

The leaves are bagged now and shoved into garbage cans lining the limestone path my husband laid years ago from the backyard patio to the side yard gate.

Last evening we dined on the patio, at a card table topped with a vintage floral tablecloth. My husband carried out the homemade pizza and the mugs of beer, our usual Friday night fare.

As we savored the chicken barbecue ranch pizza, I considered that this must be a first for us—dining on our patio in mid March. In Minnesota.

Friday night alfresco dining in Minnesota, in March.

Around 5 p.m. Friday, I photographed the sun slipping behind the wooded hillside that abuts my backyard. I positioned myself to shoot the sun through a gap in branches on a single tree.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling