Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Boots and blooms April 27, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:29 PM
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IF YOU ARE AN ELEMENTARY school student of the 1960s, like me, you can relate to this post. If you are not, pretend that you are and imagine sitting at your desk, mimeographed math worksheet and box of eight thick Crayola crayons at your fingertips.

Your teacher, we’ll call her Mrs. Olson, instructs you to circle the one item among the pictures that does not belong.

You pull a nubby green crayon from the box of colors because green is your favorite. You’re pretty sure you can use green because Mrs. Olson has not instructed you otherwise. You wish to be obedient.

You study the pictures and crook your elbow around your paper. David is seated across the aisle and you have caught him several times peeking at your math worksheets. Mrs. Olson does not like cheaters. Neither do you.

You study the five images.


Blooms, purple


Blooms, pink

Blooms, blue

Without hesitation, you circle the second picture of the single purple bloom.

The next day Mrs. Olson returns your paper with an “S+” and a smiley face scrawled beside your name.

DEAR READERS, would you have circled the single bloom? I expect most of you would have drawn a circle around the boots. But, remember, this is a math worksheet. We are learning numbers. All of the pictures, with the exception of the purple bloom, show multiples.

I assure you, this marks a rare occasion when I will teach you a math lesson, for I struggled mightily with numbers and still do.

THESE EDITED PHOTOS were taken at Donahue’s Greenhouse in Faribault. I am still wondering how those boots fit in among all those flowers at Donahue’s.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


17 Responses to “Boots and blooms”

  1. Yup, I totally would have ignored the math piece and circled the boots. Nice reminder to slow down and think more about what I’m looking at!

  2. Beautiful & FUN Post – loving your captures:) Happy Weekend!!!

  3. Jackie Says:

    I never was good at math….epic fail :/
    pretty “posterized” pics!!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      You get an “S+” and a smiley face for knowing which editing tool I used. Who cares about the math?

      • Jackie Says:

        OH that makes me soooo glad, I never liked math. Glad I made the grade in “photo editing”

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        You’re great at photography and photo editing. In fact, I should really give you an A+, which is the grown-up version of S+.

        I have never liked math either.

  4. hilary Says:

    I think I would have circled the boots – not only would I have gotten the question wrong, I always had a thing for boots and shoes

  5. Beth Ann Says:

    Great post. I would have circled the boots because they were wonderful!!! Of course I loved the flowers but the boots—-gorgeous!!!!

  6. Glenda Says:

    Hi Audrey,My daughter introduced me to your blog when you posted a choir in a Lutheran church with a single little boy singing with the adults…one of my grandsons! So I was delighted to see this one on Donahue’s. Because of you, I was able to take my daughter there for her birthday. She and her family moved to the area last year and I was excited to show her something new. You see, I live in Albuquerque and would never have found this greenhouse on my own. Your blog has taken me to all sorts of interesting areas of MN. I also told the people at Donahue’s that you needed a discount for bringing in customers from all over, including New Mexico! Hope you get a nice discount. .Take care, Glenda

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Glenda, thank you so much for your kind words about my blog. I love showing readers all the interesting places we have in Minnesota, specifically southern Minnesota. Donahue’s is one of many outstanding greenhouses in Faribault. What a wonderful place to take your daughter on her birthday.

      And, yes, I remember the photo of the little boy singing in the choir. Your grandson is precious, just precious.

      Thank you for following my blog.

  7. I love your story-telling. 🙂

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