Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

I’ve been Freshly Pressed again November 30, 2013

“I HOPE YOUR BLOG is ready to welcome some new readers…”

That's my post, labeled "Barn Memories," featured today on Freshly Pressed.

That’s my post, labeled “Barn Memories,” featured today on Freshly Pressed.

With those words, I recently learned that my November 25 blog post, “An essay of barn photos & memories,” earned Freshly Pressed status on WordPress.com. (Click here to read that post.)

In the WordPress blogging world, that’s akin to winning an Emmy or an Oscar or something similar, although you could perhaps argue that I am exaggerating. I think not, though, given the half a million plus WordPress bloggers world-wide. (Click here to reach the Freshly Pressed page on WordPress.)

That said, I’d like to thank you, my readers, for your faithful following of Minnesota Prairie Roots. Just over 600 of you now follow my blog via subscription and I am grateful for each of you.

I’d also like to thank my husband, who is very much a part of this blogging journey via his support and company.

The Freshly Pressed tweet about my barn post.

The Freshly Pressed tweet about my barn post.

And, finally, I’d like to thank the editors at WordPress who daily hand-pick eight posts to feature on Freshly Pressed. My barn post is featured today on Freshly Pressed.

Here’s what WordPress editor Ben Huberman wrote in an email:

You struck such a delicate and moving balance in this piece between letting the photos you took speak for themselves, and sharing with your readers the memories and emotions they invoke in you. It’s a lovely, well-executed post that deserves a wider audience.

How sweet is that to get an editor’s comment on your work? It’s invaluable and uplifting and reaffirming.

An old-fashioned farm along Wisconsin Highway 21.

An old-fashioned farm along Wisconsin Highway 21. This is one of the photos published in my winning post.

About the barn photos featured in my winning post… I shot all of them in mid-October while traveling through northeastern Wisconsin. And by traveling, I mean traveling. All six images were photographed from the passenger side of our family van while traveling down the highway at 55 mph. I had one, maybe two, opportunities to capture each photo I showcased. There was no stopping to compose a frame. Rather, I set my camera at a fast shutter speed, anticipated and clicked. That’s it. Either I got the photo or I didn’t. Clean windows help, too. Ask my husband about bottles of window cleaner and paper towels.

The words I paired with the six barn photos came from my heart, from my memories of laboring in my childhood dairy barn on the southwestern Minnesota prairie. Images and smells and textures and sound flowed from my memory onto the keyboard in a piece rich in imagery, heartfelt in emotions.

That combination of from-the-heart writing paired with just the right photos made this post stand out among the hundreds of thousands of others published on WordPress, apparently. For more information on how Freshly Pressed posts are selected, click here.

The homepage of WordPress.com, as photographed Thursday morning. My "In praise of preserving country churches" blog post is on the lower right.

The homepage of WordPress.com, as photographed in July 2010. My “In praise of preserving country churches” blog post is on the lower right. The story focuses on Moland Lutheran Church, rural Kenyon, Minnesota.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been featured on Freshly Pressed. My July 7, 2010, post, “In praise of preserving country churches,” (click here to read) was Freshly Pressed as was my June 11, 2012, post, “Testing the track during a Soap Box Derby trial run in Faribault” (click here to read).

A screen shot of the Tuesday, June 12, 2012, Freshly Pressed on the WordPress homepage. My post is featured in the bottom center. I've been Freshly Pressed twice since I began blogging, meaning my posts were chosen, for a single day, as among the top 10 WordPress posts in the world.

A screen shot of the Tuesday, June 12, 2012, Freshly Pressed on the WordPress homepage. My post is featured in the bottom center.

To earn Freshly Pressed status three times rates as rewarding for a blogger like me, who is undeniably passionate about writing and photography. Thank you for joining me on this blogging journey.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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33 Responses to “I’ve been Freshly Pressed again”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Congrats!!! I am so excited for you!!!! I missed it coming through on Twitter—I have been checking but missed it!!! Such a deserving honor for you ! I am raising my cup in salute to you and your success at being Freshly Pressed for the third time!! That is awesome!!! Congrats again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There can never be enough exclamation marks for this!!! 😉

  2. JIll Johnson Says:

    Congratulations, Audrey, on your well deserved recognition! Love your photos and words.
    Jill Johnson
    Little Minnesota: 100 Towns Around 100

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks, Dan, and I know you’ve been Freshly Pressed, too. And rightly so. Your photography is outstanding.

  3. Marilyn Says:

    You deserve to be ‘freshly pressed’ every day! Congratulations! I only came aboard your readership list earlier this year but have been totally impressed by Minnesota Prairie Roots. [Which still resounds to my Indiana None-Prairie but more like rolling-flatlands-terminal-moraine country.] The Roots is the part that counts the most.

  4. Ruth Says:

    Congratulations. wonderful.

  5. good work…thanks for sharing

  6. Jackie Says:

    Such a great and well deserved honor.You know I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts, I’m no editor but I know GOOD when I see/read it !

  7. treadlemusic Says:

    Yay!!!! So aptly deserved!!!! Rejoicing with/for you!!!!! Blessings….

  8. Thread crazy Says:

    Congratulations Audrey…I always enjoy your blog and you know many others do also. You have a way with words….

  9. Sue Ready Says:

    Congratulations-you so deserve this award and recognition. And 600 some followers is quite impressive!!
    Sue Ready

  10. hotlyspiced Says:

    Congratulations Audrey. That’s such an honour. I know it’s a big deal – especially as I have never been ‘pressed’ xx

  11. Brett Says:

    Awesome and congratulations! The barn essay and photos are quite nice, by the way!

  12. Congrats! You deserve it! 🙂

  13. YAY – Congrats – loved that post too!!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Renee. I’m pretty excited with this third-time win. Based on all the new readers commenting here and my viewership numbers, my barn post is resonating with a lot of people.

    • I know it makes me think of the SIMPLE LIFE:)

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        Perhaps that’s it. Barns remind us of the past, when life was much less complex and hurried and filled with busyness.

  14. So awesome. Congrats again!!!


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