Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Friday night at the car wash January 19, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 11:47 AM
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HE LEANED ACROSS the front seat of the car, not to kiss me, but to spray Windex onto the passenger side windshield and then wipe the glass dry with a paper towel.

After 30 ½ years of marriage, this is Friday night—a date at a local car wash.

Not that my husband invited me along or even remotely suggested that this might be a date. But at the last minute I decided the car wash would make for an interesting photo shoot. Randy knows me well. He didn’t even question me or roll his eyes.

My first side view shot of the car wash, taken from the adjoining Kwik Trip gas station.

My first side view shot of the car wash, taken from the adjacent Kwik Trip gas station.

While he tended to gassing up the car, I strolled over to the car wash to shoot some exterior scenes before we joined the line of five waiting vehicles. Not bad for a 37-degree January evening topping off an exceptionally warm winter day with temps soaring into the 40s.

When you live in Minnesota, you have to jump on warm weather like this to wash away the destructive road salt that clings to vehicles. A sign at the car wash even states the business will close when temps dip to 10 degrees.

And we all know, because we’ve been hearing for days now from weather forecasters, that Minnesota is headed into the deep freeze. Wind chill advisories have already been issued for parts of the state. Strong winds, combined with air temperatures, will make the outdoor temp feel like 25 to 30 degrees below zero.

We’ve heard repeated warnings about frostbite and hypothermia and the need to protect our skin.

I tell you this to emphasize to those of you who live in much warmer locales and cannot fathom such extreme cold, why Minnesotans would wait in line at a car wash on a 37-degree evening.

While Randy and I waited, he fiddled with his cell phone, inputting the number to an area radio station. He’s good at music trivia or being the whatever number caller, having recently won tickets to a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert and years ago a trip to the Bahamas and the chance to win $1 million (which he did not win).

Waiting in line at the car wash, our car is on the left.

Waiting in line at the car wash, our car is on the left.

At this point, I stepped briefly from the car to scope out photo ops and shoot a few frames, hoping the other motorists wouldn’t roll down their windows and question me.

Back inside the car, we chatted a bit—about what I can’t remember—and Randy cleaned the interior windshield and eventually the garage door rose, the car ahead began exiting and my spouse directed our car inside.

Now you might think that in the privacy of the enclosed car wash, this could have been a date-date. But, nope, I was too busy photographing the art.

You perhaps see simply a car. I see art in this photo-edited image.

You perhaps see simply a car. I see art in this photo-edited image.

Yes, more car wash art.

More car wash art.

Not just water spraying on the windshield, but abstract art.

Not just water spraying onto the windshield, but abstract art.

Nearing the end of the car wash art exhibit.

Nearing the end of the car wash art exhibit.

Exiting the car wash (exhibit).

Exiting the car wash (exhibit).

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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