Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Minnesota Faces: A three-year-old from the prairie June 19, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Portrait #28: Hank

Portrait 28, Hank

Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo of Hank from 2013.


I wish I lived closer to sweet Hank. But my great nephew and his parents (and soon to be sibling) live nearly 125 miles away in Walnut Grove, childhood home of author Laura Ingalls Wilder. I see Hank only a few times a year at family gatherings. But such is life these days with extended families separated by many miles, sometimes even by oceans.

Hank, though, is lucky enough to have his paternal grandma and a beloved auntie caring for him while Mom and Dad work. He is loved by many near and far.

This Saturday, Hank turns three. I expect he will have quite the birthday party.

If you’re fortunate enough to live near relatives, I hope you appreciate that close geographical connection. And if you don’t live near family, I hope you’ve found your own circle of friends to embrace and love and support and care for you. We all need each other to get us through the rough patches and to celebrate those occasions when life is as simple and good as it was when we were three.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


24 Responses to “Minnesota Faces: A three-year-old from the prairie”

  1. brikim79@yahoo.com Says:

    Made us smile this morning! Looking forward to seeing Hank and both of you tomorrow.

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    Living in close proximity does have some advantages…..certainly is much easier to celebrate those “milestones” but life’s busy-ness has a way of intervening/preventing interactions and, many times, results in taking others for granted. Just some thoughts……. So much fun to see those great grands growing!!!!!!!! (too fast, though!!)

  3. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    That sweet face! Love this photo. There is something about little tiny kids in sunglasses…..and you’re right about appreciating family who live close.

  4. Almost Iowa Says:

    Your photo of Hank reminds us all that there is no joy more pure than that of a child.

  5. I was jealous of those who had nearby relatives when my kids were small. Now it’s hard in different ways…no grandparents at concerts, etc.

  6. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Happy Birthday Hank!!! What a doll

  7. Jackie Says:

    Oh, sweet little hank! I’ve loved seeing pictures of this little guy as he’s growing up. Only a few weeks younger than our Carson, these boys are getting so big! He is adorable 🙂

  8. One of the great advantages of Social Media and technology is being able to keep in touch with those who are not in close proximity to us. Family and friend alike.

  9. Beth Ann Says:

    Hank is adorable and well loved I am sure from what you have shared about him. Being one of those who has never had the privilege of living close to family I had to figure out how to make it work years ago. Lots of letters in the early years, phone calls and now with all of the social media and advances in technology it is so much easier. Not that it is perfect but it does make it easier to be a part of our loved ones lives on a daily basis.

  10. hotlyspiced Says:

    What a shame you don’t live closer to Walnut Grove. You will definitely have to make the trip when the new sibling is born and I’m sure it will be an easier trip if it’s not snowing – may your summer last and last xx

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