Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Thanksgiving morning December 2, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Thanksgiving morning sunrise between Faribault and Kenyon


THE SUN WAS BEGINNING to edge into the landscape as we aimed east out of Faribault along Minnesota State Highway 60 toward Kenyon on Thanksgiving morning.

I’d been awake since 5 a.m., unable to sleep. Shortly before 6 a.m., I rose to shower, grab breakfast, pack and head out the door for the 300-mile drive to Appleton, Wisconsin, south of Green Bay to visit our daughter.


Driving into Kenyon, the view of the rising sun is temporarily blocked.

Driving into Kenyon, the view of the rising sun is temporarily blocked.


Snow ribboned the pavement, whitened the land, locked the temperature in the icebox category. This was not the Thanksgiving I envisioned. The world seemed more Christmas-like than November.

But this is Minnesota and, after living here my entire life, I should accept that the weather is unpredictable. I’d just shoveled more than a half a foot of snow from our driveway and sidewalk the day prior.


Thanksgiving morning sunrise 2


These thoughts rolled through my brain as the sun eased above the earth in a brilliant, blinding orb. On this day of national thanksgiving, I was grateful to be on the road with my husband, closing the miles between us and the daughter I love and cherish.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


22 Responses to “Thanksgiving morning”

  1. treadlemusic Says:

    Although more December-like, the morning of Thanksgiving dawned with roads in safe driving condition, for which I was very grateful (we didn’t travel but so many were heading out—-like you!). The “deep freeze” temps of yesterday seem to be heading out, replaced by more seasonal(?). Off to Winona hosp. for a time of my annual Christmas piano music. Goes a long way to lift the spirits of those who are there for whatever reason(s). DH is still sleeping off the leftover anesthetic from yesterday’s tests. Nothing shown, results back in a couple of weeks. Wicked prep!!!!!!!!

    • We were most definitely concerned about the road conditions on Thanksgiving given the major snowfall the day prior and the horrible condition of roadways then. But, yes, roads were fine and it was a definite answer to prayer.

      My son in Boston texted yesterday to say he was wearing shorts and a polo shirt. I asked if he was in the Bahamas, Mexico or Hawaii and he responded, “Boston.” The temp was in the 60s. Days earlier mega snow fell there.

      I am emailing you about DH.

  2. Beautiful pictures! They make me want a cup of hot cocoa.

  3. Carey Hansen Says:

    Hello! I love your BLOG! Writing from Iowa, but I grew up in MN. Could you pretty please post more pics of Kenyon? My Mom and Grandmother grew up there and it’s been 20 years since I have been there. I’d love to see the town now!

    Thank you!

  4. Almost Iowa Says:

    My wife couldn’t get out of work until noon, so we drove east in blizzard conditions until La Crosse. From then on, it was blue sky and dry roads. When we left Michigan on Sunday, the temperature was 56F. Monday morning in Minnesota brought us -6F. Our ancestors picked a heck of a place to settle down.

    • Did you leave the day prior to Thanksgiving to drive through those blizzard conditions? That’s what we had in Faribault on Wednesday. Seven inches of snow (estimated) at our house and horrible roads. Semis and other vehicles crashing all over Interstate 35. I’m glad the roadways got better for you once past LaCrosse. I, too, have to wonder sometimes why our ancestors chose to settle in Minnesota. But then again this is home and I wouldn’t want to move.

      The son reported temps in the 60s yesterday in Boston. Shorts and polo shirt weather, he gloated in a text.

  5. hotlyspiced Says:

    That’s a very long drive but I’m sure very worth it. I’m waking up at 5am these days too but for me, it’s because my bedroom faces east so as soon as the sun starts coming up I’m woken. Beautiful images of a stunning winter’s morning xx

  6. chlost Says:

    The circular auras above the sun are amazing in your photo. We did not travel anywhere over Thanksgving, but were glad that those traveling to stay with us (from Mankato, Chicago and St. Paul) made it safely. The roads were in varying states of awful. If only that Boston weather were heading toward us….although I hear whispers of warmer weather getting closer….Imagine living in below zero weather in a sod house on the windy prairie.

    • I’m thankful your family all made it safely to your home for Thanksgiving. I recently toured the Minnesota History Center, which includes a replica sod house in an exhibit. And I wondered then how these folks could survive a winter on the prairie.

  7. Amy Says:

    Well if it makes you feel any better, I was crawling into bed as you woke up! Or kinda…. We arrived at mom and dad’s at 2am since we needed to wait until church was over Wednesday night. Thankfully we didn’t need to be up and moving right away, the dogs had other ideas, but it was great to have a slow morning! Nothing is better than a little family for the holidays! I’m glad you had a great time in WI!

  8. Beth Ann Says:

    You definitely got more snow than we did in Mason City or in MSP! I was so happy that my car did not have to be shoveled out when I returned. I am trying to be positive about the snow—at least I have folks to take care of it this year.

  9. Jackie Says:

    That last photo is stunning Audrey, one of the benefits of early morings. I hope you had a nice time with miranda 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.