Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

With gratitude on May Day May 1, 2023

A gift to me, with a note written in clearly disguised handwriting. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo May 2023)

THIS MORNING A PACKAGE landed on my front steps. Unexpected. A sweet surprise on this first day of May, a day typically reserved for May baskets left by someone who rings the doorbell, then runs away. I’ve previously received such May Day drops of treats and lovely wishes. But today, oh, today, I got a book dropped by the United States Postal Service.

Fed Up! A Feast of Frazzled Foods by Rex Barron was exactly what I needed. This ABC children’s picture book, which is really for any age, made me laugh. Laugh because it fits how I feel right now. Fed up. Not with anyone, but rather with my recent diagnosis of vestibular neuronitis. The nerve which controls balance in my right ear has been inflamed, leaving me with multi-layered issues. Basically, because of a roadblock in the interconnected pathways in my brain, I need to retrain my brain to navigate along different paths. I’m doing that via vestibular rehab therapy.

Someone among my blog readers latched onto that and found Fed Up!, a vivid and humorous book so fitting of how I feel and what I am attempting to accomplish—retraining of my brain. I have no idea who sent this to me. But thank you!

I also want to take a moment to thank all of my readers. When I started blogging in July 2009, I did so because I am passionate about writing and photography. I’d just ended a blogging gig with a Minnesota magazine, no longer in circulation, and wanted to continue blogging. So I launched Minnesota Prairie Roots. But blogging grew into much more than an outlet for my creativity. It grew into a community. A community that I’ve found incredibly kind, caring, compassionate and more. Friendships have formed. I’ve always felt encouraged, supported and appreciated, whether I’m writing about a day trip discovery, a new book or personal challenges. Likewise, I appreciate that readers share their stories so that I can reciprocate. We are, after all, all part of this family of humanity that ought to care about one another.

Fed Up!, the ABC book gifted to me today is just one of many examples of the kindnesses extended to me through my years of blogging. That an anonymous reader took the time to find this fitting book and then pen an appropriate note touched me deeply and reaffirms my belief that much good still exists in this chaotic world.

How could I not laugh at “Cabbage Crying over Coleslaw” or “Impatient Ice Cream” (with a graphic of a melting ice cream cone) or “Radishes Relax by a Radio”? I laughed in the humor of it all—images and word. But, even more than that, I feel gratitude on this May Day to this anonymous friend and to my wider community of caring readers. Thank you!

© Copyright 2023 Audrey Kletscher Helbling