Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A fabulous Fourth with family on the Minnesota prairie July 7, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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The extended Kletscher family poses for a photo on the Fourth of July. Seven are missing.

The extended Kletscher family poses for a photo on the Fourth of July. Eight are missing.

FAMILY AND THE FOURTH. For years now, and no one remembers for how long, my extended family has gathered to celebrate the Fourth of July. Early on, we met at Flandrau State Park in New Ulm, a half-way point. But now we all travel to my middle brother and his wife’s southwestern Minnesota acreage for the holiday. Some of us stay overnight given the distance to rural Lamberton.

Teaching the next generation how to grill brats.

Teaching the next generation to grill brats.

It’s a day that focuses on fun, food and family.

Opposing teams step up to play Family Feud.

Opposing players step up to play Family Feud with the only non-family member in attendance hosting the game. Her hand is substituting as a bell.

We talk and laugh and compete and tease, building memories or reliving them. There’s something about the bond of family that roots deep into the soil. And, no matter the seasons that pass, family love remains—strong, resilient, enduring.

My son and his grandma.

My son and his grandma.

The view from the patio is this newly-completed waterfall and pond. Beautiful.

The view from the patio is this newly-completed waterfall and pond. Beautiful.

Lawnchairs were lined up to watch...

Family members lined up in lawn chairs to watch croquet.

My eldest daughter takes her turn during one of many games of croquet.

My eldest daughter takes her turn during one of many games of croquet.

Lots of beverages were consumed, including Shiner Bock beer.

Lots of beverages were consumed, including Shiner Bock beer.

The youngest ones rough-housed with the high school student.

The youngest ones rough-house with the high school student.

Little hands and feet got dirty. But no one cared.

Little hands and feet got dirty. But no one cared.

Eighty years spanned those in attendance with my 83-year-old Mom as the eldest. Here she is with my youngest brother, right, and my oldest brother behind.

Eighty years spanned those in attendance with my 83-year-old Mom as the eldest. Here she is with my youngest brother, right, and my oldest brother behind.

At the end of a long day, my three-year-old great nephew grips his grandpa's hand.

At the end of a long day, my three-year-old great nephew grips his grandpa’s hand.

The hit "toy" of the day were the vintage trikes belonging to my sister-in-law.

The hit “toys” of the day were my sister-in-law’s childhood tricycles.

My great nephew barrels his way between the lawnchairs on his way to an imaginary fire.

My great nephew barrels his way between lawn chairs.

We dined on brats, burgers, BBQed ribs and an assortment of delicious foods at supper time.

We dined on brats, burgers, BBQed ribs and an assortment of delicious foods at supper time.

Awards were handed out in the evening. The specifics of those honors shall remain within the family.

Awards were handed out in the evening. The specifics of those honors shall remain within the family.

When darkness fell, out came the sparklers.

When darkness fell, out came the sparklers and glo sticks.

It was a beautiful prairie evening for sparklers.

It was a perfect prairie evening for sparklers on the Fourth.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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