Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Rural Minnesota, the place of my heart February 27, 2013

Montgomery, Minnesota, on a Sunday afternoon.

Montgomery, Minnesota, on a Sunday afternoon. That’s the Cannon Valley Co-op over the hill and to the right.

I NEVER TIRE of these snippets of small town life—the instant my eye catches a scene or a setting or a detail.

At the Mobil station in Medford on a Saturday afternoon.

At the Mobil station in Medford on a Saturday afternoon.

In those moments my heart sings with thankfulness that I live in a relatively rural region.

No need for bike racks in Montgomery.

Just drop the bike in downtown Montgomery.

While rural does not equate utopia or a life any less troubled or any more joyful than city life, this land is where I belong.

Just off Minnesota Highway 99 along a curve on Minnesota 21 heading toward Montgomery.

Just off Minnesota Highway 99 along a curve on Minnesota 21 heading toward Montgomery.

Growing up, I felt more comfortable inside a dairy barn than inside my pink-walled bedroom.

Along the same highway...

Along the same highway…

My connection to barns lingers as I’m drawn to photograph these disappearing rural landmarks.

Utility poles break the horizontal landscape along Minnesota 21.

Utility poles break the horizontal landscape along Minnesota 21.

My eyes link with lines, always the lines.

Ready to plow snow in Montgomery.

Ready to plow snow in Montgomery.

I am not a big city lights, traffic jams, hurry here, hurry there kind of girl.

Minnesota State Highway 21 between Shieldsville and Montgomery.

Minnesota State Highway 21 between Shieldsville and Montgomery.

I am a country dark, tractor in the field, meandering Sunday afternoon drive kind of girl.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling