Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Left behind November 23, 2020

I found this kindness rock lying on the ground in Nisswa Lake Park. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo September 2020.

I LOVE FINDING KINDNESS STONES. I appreciate the effort an artist or wordsmith takes to craft a message, add some art and then drop the stone in a public place. Each time I discover these sweet surprises, I feel uplifted. And I wonder about the individual inspired to show such kindness.

On a recent weekend, while out and about, I didn’t discover any inspirational stones. Rather I found several items left behind, the first at Medford Straight River Park. An abandoned purple scooter leaned against a picnic table in the shelterhouse near the playground with no kid in sight. As Randy and I ate our picnic lunch, a Grandma showed up with her 5-year-old granddaughter to reclaim the well-used scooter, forgotten the previous evening. How small town, I thought.

The next day, while picnicking again, this time at Mill Park in Dundas, I noted black-frame glasses stuck in the crack of a picnic table. What is it about picnic tables and stuff left behind? Now, if I’d left my glasses behind, I would struggle to see, such is the state of my vision. Randy checked and confirmed the lost glasses were cheaters. Whew.

From Mill Park, we crossed the Cannon River pedestrian bridge to Memorial Park by the ball field.

There, by the playground, sat two perfectly fine lawn chairs. Opened, as if someone had recently occupied the two spots. But there were no adults, no kids, anywhere, except a couple picnicking by the ball diamond, bikes parked nearby. Obviously not their chairs.

Next, we drove to Northfield, parked downtown and walked around. While crossing the pedestrian bridge over the Cannon River, I discovered a mini skull atop dirt in an otherwise empty flower box hanging on the bridge. The skull looked pretty darned real to me. But then I remembered that just days earlier it was Halloween and I figured that was the reason someone left a skull behind.

TELL ME: Have you ever found something particularly interesting left in a public place? I’d like to hear about your odd discoveries.

© 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


10 Responses to “Left behind”

  1. Sounds like one of my hummmm… blogs.😊 keep sharing and wondering.

  2. valeriebollinger Says:

    I often find one mitten or glove on the walking path by our house…how do you lose one mitten or glove?

  3. I always photograph random things as well that seem out of place. it is funny how things seem to pop up. When we walk to the park we always find random things and at one point there was quite a pile of things stacked up for owners to find or not. Life jackets, goggles, action figures, random single flip flops, shirts, etc. Probably the thing I have photographed the most are those teeth flossers. They are everywhere. I even found one in a bag of mulch one time. Eeewww.

  4. I always wonder about the lone shoe or sock I will occasionally see.

  5. That skull would make me do a double take! I always wonder where the random shoe came from. I do not care for the garbage, however; with covid I am no longer a picker up of said garbage. The things left behind indeed. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

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