Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Reflecting on January-June 2022 December 30, 2022

IN CONSIDERING PHOTOGRAPHIC year-in-review posts, I could have focused on what a challenging year 2022 was for me and my family. It was. Rather, I’m featuring words, words in photos I took and previously published here. Words that hold personal or community value. As a writer and photographer, communication is my work. And my passion. So I scrolled through my photo files to find words photographed from January-May in this, my first-half review of a year I’m eager to leave behind.

(Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo January 2022)

JANUARY

Ask like you care. I strung these four magnetic words together and stuck them to my refrigerator door. They are a reminder to always engage in meaningful and caring conversation. Too often when people ask, “How are you?”, they fail to listen. I am big on listening, really listening. Listening equals caring.

(Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo February 2022)

FEBRUARY

Bridge Square in downtown Northfield offers an outlet for public expression of opinion, often chalked onto the sidewalk. This quote about artists resonates. Creatives have the power to open eyes and ears and hearts to different ideas and perspectives, and therein lies great value.

(Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo March 2022)

MARCH

Among my favorite word finds of 2022 were the signs posted in the windows of Bridge Square Barbers in Northfield. I loved the humor and creativity. The signs prompted me to write a short story, “Barbershop Prompt,” which earned second place in creative nonfiction in The Talking Stick 31 Escapes anthology competition. It pays, literally, to pay attention to words.

(Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo April 2022)

APRIL

A sign bannering Northfield’s celebration of Earth Day represents, in many ways, the strong concern for the environment that prevails across the planet. Such awareness is nothing new; it was big in the 70s when I was a coming-of-age teen. But now the voices seem louder, stronger, bolder and cover additional topics, like climate change. We all ought to care because this Earth is our home. And we each ought to move beyond words to action.

(Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo May 2022)

MAY

May marked 40 years of marriage for Randy and me. We didn’t celebrate in a big way, just quietly. But someone remembered. Someone who anonymously mailed an anniversary card with $20 and a suggestion. I appreciated the thoughtfulness, even the remembering, because too few people remember such special occasions any more. I value greeting cards, the handwritten word and the love they hold.

(Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo June 2022)

JUNE

Words galore imprinted upon buttons pinned to a bulletin board at The Shop on Broadway in Plainview. I discovered the humorous, some Minnesota-themed, multi-message buttons on a day trip to this southeastern Minnesota community.

There’s a whole world of words awaiting discovery. A world that’s filled with so much to experience, delight in, ponder, learn from and more, if only we pause and take it all in.

PLEASE CHECK BACK as my year-in-review continues with July-December 2022.

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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8 Responses to “Reflecting on January-June 2022”

  1. What a fun way to remember a challenging year, Audrey. I hope 2023 brings much delight your way.

  2. beth Says:

    I know this has been a very challenging year for you and your family, but I really admire how you found something special in each month.

  3. Valerie Says:

    A great way to look back over the year…focusing on one particular thing. It prompted me to look back on travels…time away from Northfield. 😉

  4. Love this, Audrey. Especially the barber shop!! 🙂


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