Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

For the love of green September 14, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Close-up of a canna lily leaf photographed in my backyard.


ASK ME MY FAVORITE COLOR and my answer never deviates. It has always been green.


A cornfield. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


The appeal of that hue connects to my rural roots and to memories—of lofty cottonwoods, forever cornfields, freshly-mown alfalfa, a sea of grass bending in the wind, a grain wagon, the putt-putt-putting of a John Deere tractor, my high school graduation gown…


I love the lighting, the contrast of green shades against dark sky in this photo taken near Medford. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Among the variations of green, I favor the sage, the forest, the tints that tie to nature. And lime green.


My vintage 1960s purse, reclaimed years ago from my mom’s toybox. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Lime green pants salvaged from my mom’s basement (did she really save those for 40-plus years?) drape a hanger in an upstairs closet. As a teen I wore those pants with the stick person thin waist and legs flaring to cuffs. I also carried a rectangular lime green purse complementing a lime green suit stitched by an aunt. I still have the purse, but not the outfit. Mom didn’t save everything.


Love Story album cover framed at Vintique in Neenah, Wisconsin. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2014.


And then there’s the lime green bedroom. Not now. But then. Back then, when I was a teen, in the days of reading Jonathon Livingston Seagull and believing “love means never having to say you’re sorry” (how stupid is that?) and tacking whatever onto a bright yellow smiley face bulletin board and wearing hot pants and flashing the peace sign.


My eyes. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Green holds such memories. And when I look in the mirror, I see, too, the color of my past and of my future. In my eyes. Green eyes.


TELL ME: What is your favorite color and why?

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


8 Responses to “For the love of green”

  1. Brenda Rosin Says:

    As a grade school student, my favorite colors in my crayon box of 64 were Magenta and Midnight Blue! I had to laugh as I read about your lime green bedroom. I too had bright green and blue wallpaper on 1 wall, blue paint on the other 3 & bright green carpet. Pretty cool “back in the day”! Thanks for the memory!

  2. Littlesundog Says:

    I love both green and blue. My eyes are hazel… more green than brown. I tend to decorate more on the green side of things – since I decorate a lot using nature treasures and discards. One of my sisters had a purse very similar to your green one only it was bright orange. As soon as I saw your purse the memories of Jodi’s purse came flooding back!! Hers had the same ball clasp and chain! My best memory of Jodi’s orange purse was an all out fight in the backseat of the car while mom went into the bank to do her business. Jodi swung her purse and hit me in the head. That gold ball clasp hurt! I was very good at holding my breath (due to being a great swimmer!) and pretended I was dead. My siblings were upset. After checking my nostrils for air and seeing my chest and face was still as can be they were convinced! Lisa cried and Dale kept telling Jodi she killed me and Mom was going to be so mad, and “Just wait till Dad gets home from work”. Of course when mom got back to the car I miraculously came to. I said I couldn’t remember any of it and mom finally assumed I’d just been knocked out. Jodi still got in trouble, and none of us ever forgot that day or the purse. It still comes up at family events and the nieces and nephews love hearing about it. Thanks for making me remember something funny… and now you know you have a lethal weapon in your house should you need it!

  3. Jackie Says:

    I love that green purse and the contrasting sky against the trees! I don’t really have a favorite color, is that odd? I do like Gray but I almost don’t count that a color?

  4. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Beautiful! Great pictures. I love a green landscape

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