Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Reflecting on my husband’s 60th birthday October 12, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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IN THE PHOTO, one of the few from his childhood, he is a slim blonde-haired almost 7-year-old standing in front of three of his four sisters.


Grandfather and granddaughter.

One of my favorite photos of Randy: holding his 10-day-old granddaughter, Isabelle. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo April 2016.

Fast forward 53 years and he is a 60-year-old father of three and a new grandfather. He is my husband, Randy. And today he turns sixty.

We’ve known each other for more than half our lives. I often wonder how those decades have passed, snap, just like that and we are each now sixty.

Birthdays for me today are more reflective and less celebratory. Not that I don’t appreciate another year of life. Rather, I find myself thinking about the past.

I have heard through the decades stories from Randy’s past. He was born in North Dakota and moved with his family to central Minnesota in his early elementary years. As he tells it, in the one-room country schoolhouse he attended in North Dakota, students were kept in from recess one day due to coyotes roaming the schoolyard. I love that story.

While attending a Catholic school in Minnesota, he apparently misbehaved and was punished by a nun drilling her thumb into his skull. I don’t love that story.

And then there’s the story about the day my husband saved his father’s life. On Saturday, October 21, 1967, my father-in-law’s left hand was pulled into the spring-loaded roller of a corn chopper. Blades sliced off his fingers. The roller trapped his arm. Randy was with him. As his father screamed, the 11-year-old disengaged the power take-off and then ran along cow pasture and across swampland to a neighbor’s farm for help. Randy saved his dad’s life. I love that example of courage and calm exhibited by a young boy, my husband.

That trait of quiet, reassuring strength has continued throughout Randy’s life. Not much rattles him. It’s an admirable quality, especially in times of stress and difficulty. And, as we all know, life brings many struggles and challenges.

He is strong. Strong in his work ethic, his faith and his love of family.

Today I celebrate and honor the man I’ve loved for some 35 years. Happy birthday, Randy! And many more!

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


37 Responses to “Reflecting on my husband’s 60th birthday”

  1. treadlemusic Says:

    Sending Birthday wishes to you, Randy, along with heaps of blessings and, of course, many hugs. I do hope something special is on your agenda for today!!!!!! A wonderful sweet tribute, Audrey…………………….

  2. Happy Birthday to Randy.

  3. Marneymae Says:

    beautiful, quietly moving post, Audrey.
    wishing Randy a very happy birthday and to you both, many more years together with much joy.

  4. Loretta Schroeder Says:

    I love reading your posts…you are so conversational and always leave me with the feeling that I have just had coffee and a great visit with a good friend! Thank you!

  5. Ronald Fraser Says:

    Al: Could be you holding baby?

    On Wed, Oct 12, 2016 at 5:01 AM, Minnesota Prairie Roots wrote:

    > Audrey Kletscher Helbling posted: ” IN THE PHOTO, one of the few from > his childhood, he is a slim blonde-haired almost 7-year-old standing in > front of three of his four sisters. Fast forward 53 years and he is a > 60-year-old father of three and a new grandfathe” >

  6. Almost Iowa Says:

    Tell him Happy Birthday from all of us and remind him that 60 is not all that old.

  7. Valerie Says:

    Happy Birthday to Randy!

  8. I just recently discovered your blog and being a Minnesota girl myself am enjoying it very much! So much so that I nominated you for a Liebster award! If you would like to accept and participate please follow this link. https://aparodyoflife.com/2016/10/12/read-all-about-it/

  9. randy Says:

    Thanks for the blog birthday write-up. Thank-you to all the birthday well wishers. Randy

  10. Jenny Says:

    Classic photos and sweet article, Audrey. Thanks!

  11. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Happy Birthday Randy!!!

  12. Don Says:

    Happy Birthday wishes to Randy!

    In your minds eye remember to reflect on the past, enjoy the present, and anticipate the future………………………

  13. Littlesundog Says:

    Happy Birthday to Randy! Wish i could huff and puff and blow some warm southern air your way! Looks COLD up there!

  14. Jackie Says:

    Happy Birthday to your dear husband, what a lovely tribute. I did not realize the he and Rick’s birthdays are only a day apart. Rick’s is the 11th. How did you celebrate?

    • Well, a belated happy birthday to your sweet Rick.

      We went out to eat last evening at Warehouse A, a new restaurant located in an historic building across from the Faribault Post Office. On Saturday, Amber and Izzy will be down to celebrate.

  15. Norma Says:

    Happy birthday. Yes, Randy. 60 is young. I have a son who is 60, and a daughter who will be 62 Friday. Yes, 60 is young.

  16. Rosalie Quale Says:

    Beautiful entry for a terrific big brother. Happy 60th birthdays to both of you this fall. I used to think 60 was old, but that was a long time ago. Now it’s just another year. Enjoy the year!

  17. Beautiful – Happy Birthday to Randy – love the photo of him with his granddaughter – I can see him having tea and playing ball and biking with her when she is older 🙂

  18. Sue Ready Says:

    A day late but still my best wishes to Randy. Nice reflective tribute and hope he had a great day.
    Happy Birthday

  19. Dorothy Bowman Says:

    A late Happy Birthday to Randy! Each birthday is cause to celebrate espically with our children and grand children. Love the photo of him holding the new baby.

    Come and see us if you can. Love Uncle Robin and Aunt Dorothy

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