Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

2013 in retrospect January 1, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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REFLECTING ON 2013, it’s been a good year in many ways. Not without challenges—no one’s life is perfect or worry-free—but mostly the past year rates as a good one on personal and professional levels.

Newlyweds Amber and Marc with Amber's brother, Caleb, and sister, Miranda.

Newlyweds Amber and Marc with Amber’s brother, Caleb, and sister, Miranda.

I watched as my eldest daughter married the love of her life. I watched as my youngest, my 19-year-old son, headed off to Boston, to a university that challenges him.

My role as a mother is ever evolving as my three adult children (that always seems like such an oxymoron) stretch their wings wider and fly higher. I am thankful for the independence and confidence they possess, although at times I joke that I should have tossed them into the basement and locked the door, keeping them forever close.

Personally, I continue to be blessed by the presence of so many caring people in my life from loving family members to a supportive bible study group to bloggy friends who have become real-life friends, and more.

I am grateful, too, that God continues to bless me with a listening ear and a compassionate heart. My husband always tells me that I can make anyone cry, and he means that in the best of ways.

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

For the third time since I began blogging, my work was selected for Freshly Pressed in 2013. That’s my post, labeled “Barn Memories.”

On the professional side of my life, the past year has presented new opportunities and accomplishments. This blog continues to flourish with around 230,000 views in 2013 and a growing readership, now at 708 followers.

I am thankful for everyone who reads Minnesota Prairie Roots and to media outlets like Minnesota Public Radio (Bob Collins’ NewsCut) and MinnPost (Minnesota Blog Cabin), which occasionally pick up my work.

Me and my camera, a tool in the writing profession I love.

Me with my DSLR Canon EOS 20D.

I’ve always considered myself first and foremost a writer in my professional life. But in the past year, my confidence as a photographer has soared as I’ve sold numerous photos which have been featured in places like a cable TV show intro, a catalog in the UK, a corporate report and more.

Photos published on Minnesota Prairie Roots are for sale. Check my “About” page for a contact email address. Just don’t email and tell me you would like to use a specific photo and you will give me photo credit. I don’t give away my work (meaning photos and stories should not be lifted and used without my permission).

Me, next to my "Off to Mankato to 'get and education'" poem posted near Glenwood Gardens.

Me, next to my “Off to Mankato to ‘get an education'” poem posted near Glenwood Gardens in Mankato as part of the Mankato Poetry Walk and Ride.

Writing has always been my passion and that includes poetry. I don’t pen poetry as much as I should. But when I do, I often succeed in getting it published. This past year was no exception with, among other places, two of my poems published on signs posted in a park and along a recreational trail in nearby Mankato.

I wrote my first piece of fiction in years and won honorable mention for my short story, “The Final Chapter,” published in The Talking Stick, Volume 22, In Retrospect.

I continue to evolve as a writer and a photographer. Thank you, dear readers, for joining me on this journey, for allowing me to share my discoveries, insights and life with you via my images and words.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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24 Responses to “2013 in retrospect”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    What a great year!!!!! Notice the exclamation marks! You should be very happy with 2013 and I know that 2014 is going to bring even more happiness and fulfillment. It has indeed been a fun year in a lot of ways and we are blessed to live where we live in the time that we live with all the wonderful ways of getting our thoughts out there to many. Thank you for bringing me along on your journey–looking forward to what 2014 brings.

  2. Jackie Says:

    You really have had a lovely year Audrey! I’m quite certain 2014 will be another year of blessings and I know you will flourish with the talents and blessings that God has given you. So glad we met (for real) in 2013, and I hope to see you again in 2014. Happy New Year my friend

  3. treadlemusic Says:

    An awesome year in so many ways. It did slip by w/o a meet-up, but that is something to look forward to, hmmmm? Thank you for your friendship (very real!!!!!) and allowing us to view this area through your creative, gifted eyes and heart. I look forward, with anticipation, to 2014 and all that is waiting to be unwrapped!!!!!! Hugs……….

  4. hotlyspiced Says:

    It looks like 2013 was not only a busy year but a successful year career wise and then the personal highlight must certainly have been the wedding. Wishing you a blessed and prosperous 2014 xx

  5. ryanware Says:

    Here’s to a great 2013 and an even better 2014. You are becoming an accomplished photographer. I look to seeing more of them in the upcoming year. Hopefully we’ll run into each other again at some festival of some sort.

    • Thank you, Ryan. I feel the same about your photos.

      Acquiring a DSLR camera several years ago really opened up photography for me. Since I wasn’t limited by the cost of film, I began shooting way more pix and became much more creative. And the more I shot, the more confident I became. I don’t pretend to know all the technical “stuff” I should. But I think I possess the basics of a good eye and the ability to capture moments and places in time.

      Unfortunately, I have not been shooting a lot lately due to the extremely cold weather. And from the forecast, it sounds like Minnesota will be in for record-breaking cold beginning late this weekend.

  6. Happy New Year – Happy Writing – Happy Adventuring!!! You have a beautiful family – be blessed my friend:)

  7. ryanware Says:

    “I possess the basics of a good eye and the ability to capture moments and places in time.” Definitely, you do. My wife can kick my behind in that area. I understand the technical most of the time and have an OK eye, but she’s a natural. She says her eye came from merchandising in retail years ago.

    • And I don’t understand the technical side as much. When I used a film camera, I had all of that down. But with the digital, I don’t.

      I expect your wife is correct in saying her good eye came from retail merchandising. I think, too, that it’s a matter of thinking outside the box when taking a photo and of viewing subjects from different perspectives. I seldom stand and shoot. I’m on the ground or floor or bending, or something other than shooting like most everyone does, just standing there. I try to see the overall story and then the details.

  8. How good to be able to look back at a year and be so thankful!


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