Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

From Faribault: Awaiting a blizzard February 23, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 3:06 PM
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A digital blizzard warning posted at Walgreens along Minnesota State Highway 60/Fourth Street in Faribault today.

 

AS I WRITE, the weather offers no hint of what is to come. Except for grey skies.

The temp is 32 degrees. Melting snow and ice drip from the roof. Roads are clearing in the warmth of the day.

But, oh, how deceiving. Southern Minnesota, from western border to eastern, is in a blizzard warning beginning later today and continuing well into tomorrow. My county of Rice could get up to 10 inches of snow.

That southeastern Minnesota is in a blizzard warning is a rarity. I expect this in western Minnesota. Not here. But fierce winds are predicted, swirling that snow, creating white-out conditions and poor travel.

Be safe out there. And heed the warnings.

Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

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Bring on the snow February 19, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Wind sculpts snow into drifts in rural Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

YOU KNOW THE MINNESOTA WINTER is getting too long when your husband says…

Maybe they canceled the snow.

(He made that comment Sunday morning upon looking out the bedroom window to, once again, see snow falling, as predicted.)

 

As much as I appreciate the hard-working snowplow drivers, the constant plowing in of sidewalks and driveways (after Randy has already cleared them) increases his snow removal workload and is especially frustrating. This is the plowed in end of our sidewalk during a previous winter. But this photo could be from this winter. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

They plowed the snow and blew it onto the sidewalk.

(He made that comment Monday morning upon looking out the bedroom window to see snow and chunks of snow/ice thrown onto the walk. He then suited up in his coveralls and boots to, once again, clear snow before leaving for work.

 

Randy begins the process of clearing snow from our driveway following past winter snowfall. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

I got the old Minnesota work-out this morning.

(He made that comment Monday morning upon completing snow removal duty.)

 

A huge, hard-as-rock snowdrift blocks our farm driveway in this March 1965 photo taken in rural Vesta, Minnesota. I’m standing with my mom and four of my siblings. I remember the winters of my childhood being particularly snowy.

 

This is, it seems, the long winter, the endless winter, the forever winter. More snow is forecast for Wednesday and Saturday. Minnesota will likely break the record for snowiest February ever dating back to 1962 when 26.5 inches fell in the Twin Cities during the month. The current month metro snowfall total of 22.6 inches ranks this February as the fourth snowiest ever. I foresee no difficulty breaking that. So bring it on. If we’re going to get snow, we may as well have something to brag about.

(In Faribault I’m pretty certain we’ve exceeded that record-breaking 26.5 inches as we’ve gotten more snow than the Twin Cities. I just don’t know where to find the data to back that up.)

 

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

My hopes for 2019 January 1, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

WILL 2019 DIFFER from 2018? My hope is that it will.

I hope for less hate, for more understanding and acceptance and an ability to see individuals.

I hope for more listening, less talking. More empathy and compassion, less self-centeredness. More kindness, less meanness.

Less narcissism.

I hope for words that uplift and encourage, not break down and discourage. No gossip/talking behind people’s backs. No silence when compassionate words would help. But no judgment either. No controlling and acting like you have all the answers and making darn sure everyone knows that you have all the answers.

Instead, embrace. Appreciate. Like. Love.

These are difficult times. But these are also times of possibilities. We each have within us the power to treat strangers and those we love with respect and decency. Hold a door. Flash a smile. Hug. Inquire without interjecting your experience, your challenge, into conversation. Make it about someone else, not you. Listen. Care.

When mean words slam into conversation, open your mouth. Be that voice which doesn’t alienate but rather opens the heart to understanding.

Hope is more than a wish. It’s optimism and expectancy and trusting that things will get better. I hold hope for 2019. How about you?

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Rancho Deluxe Z Garden in Mason City, Iowa, features an eclectic mix of art with some powerful messages. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo September 2014.

 

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

 

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling