Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

In Clintonville: I survived the 1.5 March 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 11:52 AM
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The Booms Are Back! Residents of Clintonville Are Reporting Very Loud Noises on Tuesday Night!

So screams the headline scrolling across the Clintonville Chronicle website today as this Wisconsin community northwest of Green Bay experiences yet more unsettling booms following a recent 1.5 magnitude earthquake that rattled residents.

Since my second daughter lives in Appleton about 40 miles to the south, I’ve taken a special interest in Clintonville. Geologists determined that a “swarm” of earthquakes, amplified by Wisconsin’s unique bedrock, caused the shaking and sonic type booms that have awakened and frightened residents in this town of 4,736.

Yes, I would be scared, too, if the earth started rattling and rumbling.

And, just for the record, my daughter has been to the small medical clinic in Clintonville for her job as a Spanish medical interpreter, although not recently.

In perusing the newspaper website, I am happy to see that Clintonville is already embracing the economic opportunities that come with being thrust into the national spotlight. T-shirts emblazoned with “I Survived the 1.5” can be purchased in Clintonville or ordered online. Click here for more information about those shirts.

T-shirt sale profits “will be used to beautify or enhance something in our City as determined by the Mayor at a later date,” promo info reads. “This is not meant to make light of a serious situation but to show that we, as a community, came together to get through the events of this week.”

Let me interject here to applaud the folks of Clintonville. This is one of the attributes I admire in small towns. Togetherness.

I expect that the earthquake marks the biggest news event ever in Clintonville. In a typical week, you’re more likely to read top stories like these from the March 20 Chronicle: “Clintonville Sheep Now Famous,” “Christus to Host Spring Luncheon” and “Sheriffs Seek Evidence of Burglary” rather than “City of Clintonville is Booming.” Click here to access the award-winning Chronicle home page.

All of that booming has also prompted some Clintonville residents to purchase earthquake insurance. (Click here to see a map of  March 19 – 21 quake-related reports from Clintonville.) My daughter mentioned the insurance sales to me yesterday during a noon-time phone conversation, just before she headed out the door to a clinic in New London, some 15 miles south of Clintonville.

WHAT ARE YOUR thoughts on an earthquake in Wisconsin, of all places?

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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Thrifting at the mall

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:28 AM
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Terry's Curiosities and Collectables offers mostly collectible glassware, not at thrift store prices, but lower than at an antique store. So for purposes of this post, I'm terming Terry's a thrift store.

LONG BEFORE thrifting became fashionable, I thrifted. I shopped primarily at garage and rummage sales because second-hand stores simply weren’t all that common nearly 27 years ago.

Yes, I’ve been thrifting that long, since before my first-born was born. Baby clothes and kids’ clothes, books and toys comprised those early bargain purchases.

As the years passed, my shopping habits shifted away from the needs of my growing-into-teenagers kids toward myself—to the vintage tablecloths, drinking glasses and prints/paintings/miscellaneous artwork I collect.

And as the years have passed and thrift stores have opened in my community of Faribault, I find myself turning more to those stores than to rummage sales to shop on the cheap.

I also focus more on nostalgia, discovering that which connects me to days gone-by. The older I grow, the more I appreciate my past.

Let me show you some of the merchandise I perused on a recent stop at Terry’s Curiosities and Collectables (sic) and the Salvation Army Store in the Faribo West Mall.

As long as you’re tagging along with me on this shopping trip, let’s play a little game. I’ll show you the goods and you guess which I purchased.

Here we go:

I remember when my mom popped these Sylvania flashbulbs into her camera.

I remember the time my son saw a rotary dial phone in a thrift store and had no clue how to use it. Heck, I remember life without a phone growing up on the southwestern Minnesota prairie.

This vintage piece is as much clock as art. I call her "The Girl with Attitude."

A working General Electric alarm clock made from wood.

A hand-stitched rural scene.

I found games packing shelves at the Salvation Army, including this vintage version of Password.

Alright then, have you made your guesses? Which of the above two did I buy?

And which of the above two did I wish I’d purchased?

PURCHASED: The General Electric alarm clock for $4 and the needlework art for $2.

SHOULD HAVE PURCHASED: The Password game at the Salvation Army and “The Girl with Attitude” clock (which I think was out of my thrifty price range) at Terry’s Curiosities and Collectables.

Would you have bought any of these items?

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling