Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Feeling at home, wherever you live May 16, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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This colonial style home atop a hill along Wisconsin Highway 21 in Arkdale always catches my eye.

This lovely Colonial style home atop a hill along Wisconsin Highway 21 in Arkdale always catches my eye.

DO YOU PICTURE a dream home in your mind?

There is something sweet and endearing about the simplicity of this country home near Redgranite, Wisconsin. Perhaps it's the porch, the setting...the welcoming style.

There is something sweet and endearing about the simplicity of this country home near Redgranite, Wisconsin. Perhaps it’s the porch, the setting…the unassuming bungalow style.

Or are you living in your dream house?

A sturdy farmhouse near Redgranite, Wisconsin.

A substantial farmhouse east of Redgranite, Wisconsin.

I’ve always wanted to live in a big white two-story farmhouse with a front porch. Rather like the farmhouse where my Uncle Glenn and Aunt Elaine and cousins lived near Echo, Minnesota.

Open front porches, like this one on a home in Redgranite, Wisconsin, encourage neighborliness

Open front porches, like this one on a home in Redgranite, Wisconsin, encourage neighborliness and sitting outside on a beautiful afternoon or evening. Love the curve of the porch roofline and the stone front and steps.

The house, as I remember it, featured lots of dark woodwork with a built in buffet and that coveted porch.

A stunning Cape Cod style home constructed from locally quarried stone near Redgranite, Wisconsin.

A stunning Cape Cod style home constructed from locally quarried stone near Redgranite, Wisconsin.

But then again, I also appreciate the Craftsman and Cape Cod styles of architecture.

A well-kept farmhouse between Redgranite and Omro, Wisconsin, has likely evolved through the years with numerous additions.

A well-kept farmhouse between Redgranite and Omro, Wisconsin, has likely evolved through the years with numerous additions. I appreciate the enclosed porch and the Victorian detailed scrollwork near the roofline.

I’ve always preferred old over new, although sometimes I think living in a modern home would equal fewer maintenance worries.

This cheery yellow house is located along Wisconsin Highway 21 in Redgranite. A welcoming holiday banner still graces the front door three months after Christmas.

This cheery yellow house is located along Wisconsin Highway 21 in Redgranite. Christmas lights and a welcoming holiday banner still grace this home three months after Christmas.

In the end, though, I’ve concluded that no matter where you live, it’s not the walls or design or age or style that truly define a home. It is simply being content where you’re at, with the people you love.

NOTE: These images were taken on a late March trip to eastern Wisconsin when snow still covered the ground. Not any more.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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25 Responses to “Feeling at home, wherever you live”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    We have lived in a variety of homes through the years—from one bedroom apartments to base housing to 2 story brick to tropical beach front to sprawling ranch . While each house has had its high points and favorites I always have said if I could combine elements of all of them I would have my perfect house. I love our house now but am wondering what the next one will be like. But yes—the house does not really matter—it is who I share the house with that matters. Nice post, Audrey. Thanks for the reminder of what is important.

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    Our little farmhome has been our ‘nest’ for 40 yrs. We “knew” it was home the first time we saw it! The biggest re-do was to open up the front mud room to restore the open porch and get a wicker porch swing!!!! Yay!!!! “Home is where the heart is.”

  3. I don’t have a dream house. I have more of a dream location. I just wonder if I’ll ever get there. I long for a house outside of town with a view of gentle hills, trees, and open fields.

    • Excellent point. Location is equally as important as the house. I reminded my eldest and her husband of that now as they begin to shop for their first home. Such an exciting time in their lives. We live along a very busy street, which was not nearly as busy when we purchased our house 30 years ago. We love the backyard which nestles against a hillside park. But the traffic here is horrendous.

  4. Dan Traun Says:

    I concur on the maintenance worries – old vs new.

  5. I love looking at houses in all kinds of architectural styles. We live in a 1970s house that we’ve redone inside to feel a bit more modern and open, but I love Craftsman style homes and modern bungalows. The constant things for me are clean lines and light. There’s maintenance no matter how old your house is.

    • You are correct on maintenance existing no matter the age of the house. Sometimes older homes just have, should I say, more problems.

      I’m right there with you on the Craftsman style, one of my favorites, too.

  6. I day dream and dream about my dream house. I would love a ranch, craftsman combo with a sun porch and HUGE kitchen 🙂 I am an addict of HGTV, especially renovations and transformations. I love when you fix the old to the old with a few modern twists, like the show Rehab Addict. I will be dreaming today . . . Happy Weekend!

  7. Jackie Says:

    Amen sister….. you said that so well, “being content with the people you love”! I like the old saying, “Home is where your heart is”. Rick and I have lived in this home since we built it in 1987. I still love it, so many memories, our children grew up here and the neighborhood is quiet and peaceful. p.s. those old farmhouses are my favorite..so many memories of my grandma’s farm in West Concord 🙂

  8. Marilyn Says:

    Home – what evocative mental images. In our 45 yrs of marriage we have lived in 6 different houses (in 3 US states, 2 Aussie states) plus a few extra ‘stopping off points’ of less than a year en transit. But I still have vivid dreams of the house I grew up in. When we moved to our current house we said the kids would be handling the next move to the retirement village! But now I’m sort of sending out feelers on the differences between condos, villages, etc.


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