Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

He’s home from Boston for Christmas December 18, 2015

MSP Airport, 16 Delta 2


WAITING IN THE CELL PHONE LOT at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport late Thursday morning, I watched plane after plane after plane land and take-off.


MSP Airport, 22 low flying airliner


Mostly, though, I focused my eyes on planes flying in from the east. A United Airlines flight would bring my 21-year-old son home from Boston, via Washington D.C.


MSP Airport, 15 Southwest



He always takes connecting flights to save money. And he usually flies Southwest. But this time, for whatever reason (probably cost), he chose United.


MSP Airport, 14 Delta 1


More than five months have passed since I’ve seen my son, a senior at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Too long. Too many miles between us. I am grateful, though, for text messages, phone calls, emails and Skype.


MSP Airport, 17 Sun Country


On this bone-chilling December morning, I waited, with my husband scratching numbers into his Sudoku book, me photographing planes arriving and leaving MSP. I wondered a few times if security was watching me, questioning why the woman inside the white van was photographing planes.


MSP Airport, 12 United Express


Finally, I spotted a United Express flight that matched the son’s text message description from DC: “I’m on a tiny plane to Minneapolis. I had to walk out into the tarmac in order to board.”


MSP Airport, 29 almost to terminal 1


Soon my cell phone buzzed with the news that he had landed. And then we waited another 32 minutes for his message to drive to Terminal 1 for pick-up at Door 5.


Driving home from MSP Airport, 36


He is home now as I write this at 2:40 p.m. Thursday. He’s fed. Dirty clothes are in the wash. I am a happy mama.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling