Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

About this blog & commenting here August 10, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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That’s my post, labeled “Barn Memories,” published on November 30, 2013, on Freshly Pressed, a feature of WordPress, my blogging platform.  My work has been highlighted on FreshlyPressed thrice. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


I’M NOT A PARTICULARLY opinionated person, at least not publicly. I mostly steer from conflict, discord and disagreement. I’m more the mediator type, the “let’s work things out” and treat others with kindness and respect. That includes the topics I generally cover here on this blog. My blog.

In recent weeks, several particularly mean-spirited comments filtered into this site. They were inflammatory and accusatory and just plain awful, with some directed at me personally. I chose not to publish them. I refuse to allow this blog, my blog, to become a platform for hatred, false accusations and unproven allegations.

Yes, I’m aware some may term this as censorship or a denial of free speech. I have worked as a newspaper reporter and value freedom of the press. Suppression of the media rankles me. In recent months the media have been under intense attack unlike anything I recall. This scares me. Freedom of the press is essential in a democracy. I hope the general public understands that.

We may not like what the media report. But we also need to stop blaming the messengers for the news they deliver. They are just doing their jobs.

That brings me back to Minnesota Prairie Roots. This blog is not mainstream media. No one pays me to write here. I earn some income from photos that people/businesses/organizations find here and buy from me and also from writing jobs tracing to this blog. But I am not on anyone’s payroll nor do I have an agenda other than to share my images and words with you. Writing and photography are my passions.

If you choose to submit hateful, accusatory and inflammatory comments, I won’t publish them. This is my blog. It’s as simple as that. I won’t bend my values, morals and beliefs.

To the many faithful readers and commenters who write with respect, thank you. I appreciate you and value your thoughts.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


55 Responses to “About this blog & commenting here”

  1. “YOUR Blog”
    “YOUR Space”
    I agree. You also have the FREEDOM to (((NOT))) publish hateful words, which DO NOT further the discussion and inspiration and positivity on YOUR Blog.
    Yes, this is also freedom of speech.

    xx from Duluth.

  2. Sandra Says:

    Kudos – and you’re certain to also get a lot of positive reinforcement. As I read, I’m amazed at the geographic reach this blog has. Thank you for your self-censorship. I am sad at the commentary I hear from normally calm, reasonable, fair – yet brave folk. The volume and quantity of it is exhausting to bear up under in our daily lives. I’m very sorry, but thanks for letting your readers know….and keeping your boundaries for YOUR blog!

  3. Brenda B Says:

    So sorry you even had to write that post as I can hear your hurt through your words. As usual it is well written and good for you for standing up for yourself! Keep doing YOU!

  4. sheketechad Says:

    So sorry to see the unfiltered rage making it into WP as well. Keep up the good work. I don’t comment often, but I almost always read 🙂

  5. Lynne King Says:

    Keep doing what you’re doing. I love your blog and don’t like mean spirited people. I’m a transplant from Indiana, now living in Alvarado, Minnesota. Thank you for your writings.

    • Thank you, Lynne, and welcome to Minnesota from Indiana! I had to Google Alvarado to find its location way up in the northwestern part of our state. What brought you to Minnesota?

      • Lynne King Says:

        A friend of mine, who worked in my home town of Muncie, Indiana is from Alvarado. He moved back to Minnesota to take care of his ailing father. After he passed, he invited me to move up to Minnesota. I was a librarian in Indiana and amateur photographer. Moving would allow me to “retire” before I was 62 and start a new life. Long story short…I accepted his invitation, moved up here and after the culture shock, started photographing my surroundings. My family is still in Indiana and I return home a couple times a year.

      • Thanks for sharing the story that you brought you to Minnesota.

        I’m curious as to “the culture shock” you discovered after moving here.

  6. Almost Iowa Says:

    Yikees! You are a good soul, Audrey, and you do not deserve that. Unfortunately, there are mean people in this world – but we are under no obligation to give them a platform.

  7. Kathryn Ann Parker White Says:

    I think you are doing a great job! I love reading your blogs, and you are so right with sticking to your values, like you said, it’s your blog! Keep writing with your creative flare and always be inspired by what moves you to share in your blog! There’s a great number of people who thoroughly enjoy reading what you have to say! The nay-Sayers need to quit being critical and realize that your blog not only shares info with us, but is meant to be shared also, as a heart warming reference towards a more nostalgic period that we all grew up in and loved! The Baby Boomer generation and before were a memorable era! Thank you Audrey for helping us look back on our past, live in the present and think about what the future will hold for us all!

  8. sidetrackken Says:

    Keep on doing what you’re doing, Audrey. I like it. You are under no obligation to “publish” other people’s stupidities. (or wisdoms for that matter)

  9. Expectational Says:

    Someday, I would like to write the world’s shortest novel: “How I Spent 10 Years on the Web and Never Once Was Insulted or Bullied.” Imagine if WordPress did not give bloggers the right to moderate comments. Please don’t let a few tormentors keep you from providing us with your unique perspective on life. Knowing you, this will probably give you ten times more motivation than intimidation.

  10. Judy M. Says:

    I want to thank you for staying with your values, morals and beliefs. I enjoy reading YOUR blog.

  11. Valerie Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear you are getting rude and negative comments…I can’t imagine on what…I really like your writing and photos and find your blog very interesting. Keep it up Audrey.

  12. Christina Bliss Says:

    Thank you for your time and your talent.

  13. Don Says:

    Well stated! I read and enjoy your blog thus connecting me through your words and pictures to my roots and for this I am grateful.

  14. Bernadette Thomasy Says:

    Thanks for standing firm in what goes out on your blog. There are plenty of other places for the hateful comments from people who don’t check their facts. Also I too am appalled at all the media being portrayed as the bad guys when many are legitimately trying to present the news fairly. I will continue to read and enjoy your unique views from the prairie of the Midwest.

  15. pkpm519 Says:

    Good for you, Audrey! I, too, despair to see the hatefulness that has crept into so many things. Personal opinion should be respected, even when I don’t agree with the statement…and I expect mine to also be accepted as mine, alone. I don’t try to change any one’s mind, or the convince them of my point….I just state it and let it be. Keep on keeping on, Audrey! Phooey to those who want to spread trash!

  16. Norma Says:

    Audrey, I can’t imagine anyone being cruel to you on your very own blog. I don’t read too many blogs, but if I didn’t like what the blogger said, I just wouldn’t receive it anymore. Perhaps I’m not interested in some of the things you write about, but I’m sure not going to criticize you for it. Keep up your good work, and try to ignore the rudeness of some people.

  17. Marilyn Donnell Says:

    I enjoy your blog so much. Keep up the good work. Your stories and photos are a balm and a support to keep our (prairie) roots in view. I am sorry you have to deal with such unproductive feedback, but appreciate the fact that you filter all comments so that other readers don’t have to read it, too.

  18. Randy Werner Says:

    I support your actions and ownership of your blog. I am dismayed by that you had to deal with this.

  19. Almost Iowa Says:

    I came across this article by a Lutheran minister. He starts out talking about the recent incident at Google and while I reserve judgement on all of that – his comments about outrage and anger being a physical addiction are spot on.

    It accurately describes why people rant and rage on blogs.

    But I like best the way he ends his article:

    I am preaching to myself as much as anyone else here: Like all other sins, the cure for being hooked on anger is repentance and forgiveness. So the next time we find ourselves furiously retweeting an article before reading it or eviscerating someone for supposedly speaking the words we shoved in his mouth, we ought to remember that this is not the behavior of the righteously indignant but of the outrage addicts.

    Then immediately after recognizing that we have a problem, we ought to put down our smartphones, walk into a sanctuary, and pray that God would have mercy on us, forgive us, and teach us to know the love of Christ so that we can truly love one another. This will do wonders for our souls.

    It’ll also make us all a little less stupid.

    I hope you can take some solace in this.

    For the full article, see: http://thefederalist.com/2017/08/11/google-firing-diversity-memo-shows-outrage-addiction-making-us-stupid/

  20. Littlesundog Says:

    I have personally had some trouble like this on my blog in the last year. I did not publish the comments. In a way, I felt I was doing these folks a favor. Angry and rabid remarks are not the best of who we are – any of us. I felt like I would rather remember these people for the good relationship we had before their words were spoken. “Loose lips sink ships” has always been a favorite saying – and one of the “Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, that I try always to keep in mind. Be Impeccable With Your Word.

    • Your approach is a sensible and smart one. Thank you for sharing how you’ve handled this situation. I like the Ruiz quote. A lot. I’m sorry you’ve also had to deal with troublesome comments.

      • Littlesundog Says:

        It took me years to let “troublesome comments” from people simply move through me. Giving them attention and holding on to the hurt only causes discontent and chaos. You did the right thing – not publishing the comments, writing about your thoughts on comments and your blog, and moving on.

      • Initially, I wasn’t going to write on this topic. But then I decided it was an important issue to address. I have no intention of dwelling on this, but do appreciate your and other follow-up comments.

  21. Good for you! I was brought up to believe if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. We may not all agree on certain subjects or like what another person says or writes, in that case, I find it best to either not read the post/article or read it and agree to disagree. I also think you can disagree with someone without being rude, accusatory or hateful. I have not read any of your other posts and so am not familiar with your writing, opinions or beliefs so this comment comes from the heart and from my own beliefs. I think we should all allow one another to speak freely, without judgement, but I also believe that when we speak, or write, we should consider the feelings/beliefs of others and not impose our views on anyone. If we all approach life in a non-judgemental manner, with respect for others and their beliefs this world will be a much nicer place. I look forward to reading more from your blog.

  22. Wyonne Long Says:

    Your blogs bring ‘Minnesota,’ with its memories, current happenings (such as driving 35W into Minneapolis), small town Minnesota, hay fields, county fairs, state fairs, relationships between and among people, events, – well, just plain Minnesota – to me here in Norway!!! And sharing about your wonderful family and beautiful granddaughter. I’m thousands of miles away from my small grandchildren and enjoy the warmth, loving, caring you share. I love it!! I could go on and on and on about the inspiration and thankfulness this rural Minnesotan feels about your writing! Thanks for taking the risk to share the rough spots you experience when enlightening our (my) lives!

  23. Uff da. There are times I want to flush all social media down the toilet, when I read some of the comments people post. I never understand why people feel the need to be nasty. What is it gaining them?!

  24. Jackie Says:

    You Go Girl!!!! No one has the right to blast you for anything you say on your own personal blog. I love your blog and find that you are always respectful and factual in your writings. I’m glad you made it clear to those who are writing awful comments, now I hope they go away and leave you alone!

  25. I agree 👍🏻👍🏻

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