Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Fourth of July 2020, just a few words July 3, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , ,

An American flag flies in Cannon City, Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo May 2020.


I WANTED TO WRITE a positive post about America and the Fourth of July. I couldn’t do it. I sat and stared at my computer screen with negative thoughts jumbling in my mind.

These are difficult days in this country. I will leave it at that with the following addendum.

I wish you a safe and healthy holiday. Please, mask up and social-distance if you are out and about. Avoid gatherings and crowds. And, if you’re not feeling well, please stay home. End of post that began with an idea that failed.

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


32 Responses to “Fourth of July 2020, just a few words”

  1. Washe Koda Says:

    You stay safe out there too ❗️ We all have 𝔾𝕠𝕠𝕕 𝕄𝕖𝕞𝕠𝕣𝕚𝕖𝕤 of old Independence Days. And nothing can rain on the parade of our good memories 😉

  2. Littlesundog Says:

    I am overwhelmed and angry about what is going on, but I keep to myself too. What bothers me the most these days is my mother, who is eighty years old, is ready to die. She speaks of it often. Never, in her life has she seen so much hatred and violence. She said the protests and unrest in the 1960’s was nothing compared to this. It is disturbing to many people, what is happening.

    My mother’s father emigrated here from Socialist Denmark when he was sixteen. He was proud to have a life of freedom in America. He displayed the American flag at his home, and he stood when the national anthem was played anywhere… even on television. What is happening here disgusts me in every way.

    • I hear you. I feel the same.

      It’s interesting to hear your mom’s perspective, her reflections of the past. You and I are of the age that we remember some of this, too. And I would have to agree with your dear mom. The level and degree of hatred and violence seem unmatched. I am so sorry that your mom is wishing to die, or perhaps that’s different than “being ready to die.” Sometimes I think it’s a blessing that my mom suffers from dementia and doesn’t really understand what’s happening in the world. I saw her last weekend, through glass, talking via phone at her care center, for the first time in nearly four months. It was a challenging visit, but with enough break-through moments that I felt good about visiting her.

  3. Almost Iowa Says:

    Sad that the Blooming Prairie parade has been cancelled – but I do hear there is going to be a golf-cart rally. 🙂 🙂

  4. Kathleen Says:

    You have captured exactly how I feel this Independence Day as well. We have much to learn and much to do in our country to actually live up to the ideals and philosophies we profess. Thank you for this honest and poignant post. Stay safe and take good, good care.

  5. Also one of the reasons you haven’t seen much on my blog. I think we should call it something like COVID-19 writers block. Or maybe Angry as heck writers block.
    Just remember that we all have freedom of speech…as of this moment. Celebrate moments this weekend.

    • Your words are chilling: “Just remember that we all have freedom of speech…as of this moment.”

      Fear. Anger. Frustration. So many mixed feelings. And I expect, as one who has served our country (thank you), this is all magnified.

      • You can only imagine. Even our simulations of this sort of pandemic stopped long before we got to this crazy point. Angry, frustrated, fearful, and sad are all words that explain my range of emotions over the last few months. Another word is shameful, mostly towards so called leadership who has stood by and allowed this situation to continue without listening to experts and taking action immediately and then criticizing those in leadership who did take action.
        Remember- self care is very important at a time like this. Maybe teach your grand daughter how to paint her nails.😂 That is positive.😊

      • I will be spending some time with my grandchildren soon. She’s into solving addition problems now. And Isaac, well, he loves to run and have Grandma hide. Lots of joy in being with these little ones who simply enjoy life.

  6. Larry Gavin Says:

    What keeps us going is knowing ourselves. That unique spark of originality that only we possess. That unique skill set no one else has. Tap into that. And ride it through the desert, Self reliance will see us through.
    My mom during the war couldn’t get sugar, tires, gas. They pulled together not apart. IDon’t . Vote. Get out in the streets. Take action. Make new traditions. Most of all take inventory and be grateful.
    Just sayin’

    • All good ideas, especially the gratitude part. I have a gratitude journal and was writing in it daily until recently. But then I picked up my pen last evening and made an entry. I think we all have days when we feel overwhelmed by what’s happening in our world or our lives. And then, the next day, or perhaps days later, we regroup. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Good to hear from you.

  7. Neil Says:

    Your focus is all wrong! Turn off the news and remind yourself of all the blessings that you have merely by living in this great nation! It’s terrible how the media focuses on every negative thing they can find and then talks about it ad nauseum! Yes, our nation has shortcomings. Have we not always had them? It’s just that they were not so in-your-face until recently. Yet, thousands from other nations would gladly leave their situation behind to come and live in this land! Though things are discouraging at the moment, I am optimistic that here are better days ahead.

    • My focus isn’t necessarily wrong. It just differs from yours and the post I published today was how I felt when I wrote it. It’s not that I don’t count my blessings, because I do. But I also see the other side.

      As far as the media, I will always take the stand of “don’t kill the messenger.” In other words, please don’t blame the media for reporting what is happening, for doing their job. I will agree that not all reporting is objective and some is sensationalized. But we’re smart enough to decipher that. The press is such an important part of democracy, whether you like what they report or not. I would not want to live in a country without freedom of the press, where the media is suppressed and we are “fed” whatever the government wants us to hear.

      I agree with your statement that thousands from other nations would gladly come to the US to live. But I think that number is dropping as is respect for our country. That’s my opinion, which, again may differ from yours. I’m thankful to live in a country where I can disagree…

  8. Marcia M. Marks Says:

    I appreciate your honesty. There are days when it’s hard to see anything hopeful. Mister Rogers said, “Look for the helpers.” But they don’t seem to be in their usual places. I find new meaning in the little things I may have under appreciated. Hopefully, there are better days ahead. Stay safe and wear a mask❣️

    • I like that Mister Rogers quote. I recently watched the movie in which Tom Hanks played Mister Rogers. Incredible movie and not at all the biography I thought it would be.

      Like you, I struggle some days to find the hope in all the chaos and unrest and discord. But, as you write, hopefully better days are ahead.

  9. Gunny Says:

    Someone asked (The) Benjamin Franklin, what type of government had they created. He stated “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Ronald Reagan once said “we are only a generation away from losing our freedom.” A Venezuelan refugee to this country states what we see on the news is how it started in her country. Our history teachers failed to convey all that they should have. We know so little, and what little we know has been convoluted to meet and “sanitized” to meet accepted but twisted “truth”. May God Bless You all and keep you safe.

  10. Sandra Van Erp Says:

    Interesting comments. I appreciate your honesty as well. The news is a business selling a product if as consumers we did half as much research as buying a fridge. We need to beat the bug to have a hope of resuming freedoms again…hear/be in a choral community again. Jane T and I were coming for the ordination Sunday, best leave the restricted seating for his relatives and the locals. If me and the cat survive the neighborhood fireworks, especially bad this year. Many complaints on the local boards. I see Alexander Park is having theirs. Enjoy,if you go. Great weather at least. We had 6″, should dry out by August.

    • I watched “fireworks” from the balcony of my son’s apartment in Madison, Wisconsin. Since fireworks are legal in Wisconsin, residents in every direction were shooting off fireworks. Fun to watch at a distance.

      • Sandra Van Erp Says:

        fyi…Faribault Community tv put the Little Chicago concert on YT…great fun

  11. Lynette Spanbauer Says:

    I hope you listened to President Trump’s speech at Mount Rushmore last night.

  12. I agree with you Audrey. It’s pretty hard these days to find much of anything positive to write about this country. Bless you, Sweet Lady. Stay Safe!

  13. Missy’s Crafty Mess/Missy’s Handarbeid Says:

    Sometimes short and sweet is best. It’s hard to put those feelings into words

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