Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Thoughts & thanks as 2022 begins January 1, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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As we begin 2022, please remember this, that you are loved. (Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo; image taken along a recreational trail in the Atwood Neighborhood of Madison, Wisconsin)

HERE WE ARE, on the first day of a new year. Days and weeks and months unfolding before us. Full of unknowns, possibilities, whatever life brings. Happiness. Sorrow. Sickness. Health. Joy. Sadness. To be human is to experience all. Sometimes alone. Sometimes together.

I expect that, without much thought, you can recall particularly challenging times/events in your life. In those difficult days, you likely felt overwhelmed, wondered whether you would make it to the other side. To the days when the pain and stress and anguish would lift. And light would shine again.

And I expect also that you did not go it alone. Perhaps faith carried you. Family and/or friends, too. Maybe professionals. And your inner strength. It often amazes me just how strong and resilient we humans can be. Even in the toughest of circumstances.

The support and friendships I’ve formed via blogging amaze me, too. I’ve connected with some really kind, caring and compassionate individuals. Some friendships remain virtual. But others developed in to in-person friendships. Regardless, these individuals are now part of my circle, part of my life. Their generosity of spirit has uplifted me countless times.

Me behind my first Canon EOS 20D. (Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo)

Most recently, a blogger friend asked what I wanted for Christmas. I wanted/needed only one thing. A camera. Just like the one I’ve used for the past decade plus. A Canon EOS 20D. I’m on my second 20D and it was failing, just like the first. Locking up. I knew its days were numbered and I would need a different camera. The 20D is an older camera. But I’m comfortable and familiar with it. I checked two camera shops online in the Twin Cities metro to find only a few used cameras, none of them a 20D. No surprise there. A new camera was not an option. Have you looked at camera prices lately? Then came my blogger friend’s email asking what I would like for Christmas. She hoped to send me something after the holidays.

Days later, a package landed on my front steps. I hadn’t ordered anything. Wasn’t expecting anything. But when I slit the box, I found a camera body inside. A Canon EOS 20D. I actually shrieked, nearly cried with joy at this most thoughtful gift which allows me to continue to create. I’m delighted to have my third 20D in my hands. I’ve always believed that good photography is more about the skills of the person creating with a camera than about the equipment. I couldn’t believe my blogger friend found this coveted aged camera, and so quickly. I am beyond grateful.

Now, entering into another year of creativity, I fully intend to use my talents to share, in images and words, the world I discover. I will continue to take you into small towns. Along gravel roads. Into woods and along rivers and lakes. To community events. I will show you art and natural beauty, the places I go, the things I see and do. And I hope that in doing so, I bring you joy, expand your world, perhaps uplift you.

Thank you, dear readers, for following Minnesota Prairie Roots. Thank you for supporting my creativity. For recognizing that creativity connects all of us. And that creativity matters.

Happy New Year!

© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


24 Responses to “Thoughts & thanks as 2022 begins”

  1. Ruth Says:

    Looking forward to following your new year in photo documentation. ❤️

  2. beth Says:

    and same to you, so happy I found your creative space this year and onward!

  3. What a wonderful and kind gesture from your fellow blogger. We are such a great community when we can make someone smile unexpectedly!!! Each unexpected act of kindness gives everyone hope. Thanks for sharing your story of kindness with all of us. May 2022 bring a more calm situation to all of us around the world. Audrey- I would love you to write something on Laura Ingells to share with my Dutch friend who is a huge fan of her lifestyle. 😂 If she only knew how much work farming really is… not as romantic as in a book.

    • I agree about the support within the community of bloggers and the unexpected joys found therein. I still treasure those tulip bulbs you gifted me with, which brought a splash of color in to my spring. Even more, I value the connection and friendship we’ve formed. I started blogging because of my passion for writing and photography. Connecting with others in community is a bonus benefit.

      I’ve written a few posts about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Mostly about how the Walnut Grove community celebrates. And also about photos I had published in a book about Laura. If you type Laura Ingalls Wilder into my blog search engine, that will get you to those posts.

      Good idea to write about Laura. And you’re right, farming is a lot of hard work, as you well know.

  4. Susan Ready Says:

    Happy New Year with a fresh start for all and congrats on being a recipient of a (new) but well-used camera. Joy abounds with this gift.

  5. Bernadette Arlene Thomasy Says:

    What a perfect beginning for your 2022 — the camera you needed to continue your creativity. Happy for you.

  6. Norma Says:

    I am so happy for you in receiving the camera. You have so many friends who enjoy your pictures and your blog. I am one of them. We only met when my grandson and your daughter were wed. We have a great connection there. Your words have given me so much joy. Thank you so much You are loved.

    • Oh, Norma, thank you for your sweet words. Yes, we only met once, but that was long enough to connect. I’m thankful my images and words give you joy. That makes my heart happy. A blessed New Year to you, dear Norma!

  7. Whoa! The 20D was my favorite camera. I remember getting rid of for a 5D. I hated it. I felt it inferior to the 20D. I now have a 5D Markll I bought some years ago, but only use it for commercial work. All of which now has dried up. I shot corporate events in addition to my regular job at a photo agency. It is just too big for me to carry around on the street. I have various others that I like better. But that 20D is quite fondly remembered. Happy New Year Audrey!

    • Keith, thank you for sharing your love of the 20D. Newer isn’t always better. My only “complaint” about the 20D is that I wish it performed better in low light. But, hey, otherwise I really do like it and the 20D has served me well in creating.

      I’m sorry you lost that commercial work. Too many of us creatives lost income due to the pandemic. I only recently got a freelance job back with a regional A & E magazine, which temporarily ceased publication.

      You are an incredibly gifted street photographer. I love studying your images. You’ve taught me so much about humanity and about a place/life vastly different from mine in Minnesota. I consider you not only an outstanding creative, but also a documentarian. I hope you realize how talented you are. Happy New Year to you and your dear family, Keith!

      Readers, check out Keith’s work at this link: https://keithgoldstein.me/

  8. Happy New Year! What a great surprise

  9. Jackie Hemmer Says:

    What a thoughtful and timely gift. So wonderful for you to get your hands on a well working 20D. I look forward to seeing new posts with more of your skilled photography.

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