Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Calling all cats, dogs & creatives July 29, 2020

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A mural on the bandshell in Faribault’s Central Park features the annual Pet Parade. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

THE SHOW MUST GO ON. Or, in this case, the 2020 Faribault Pet Parade.

Now in its 80th-something year, this annual August parade of animals and kids continues even in a global pandemic. Not to worry. Changes have been made to protect participants and parade watchers.

 

This side of the mural shows a typical pet parade. This year, all participants must stay inside their vehicles. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

According to information posted on the Faribault Parks & Rec Department Facebook page, the 6:30 pm, Thursday, August 6, event will be car cruise style. That means no walking; only riding in vehicles. Pets and people.

Organizers encourage folks to get creative with pet-themed vehicles or to load up their pets and hit the lengthy parade route.

 

The complete Pet Parade mural. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

Those watching the parade must adhere to social distancing guidelines, the Facebook post states. That goes also for the concert, with a DJ playing kid-focused music, at 7 pm in Central Park. CDC guidelines and crowd limits will be enforced.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

Now that you understand the changes and the rules, go ahead and brainstorm. Make this a family project to transform the family vehicle into a pet. Or determine ways to showcase your pets in a festive and fun way.

We could all use a little fun and many reasons to smile. Let’s do it, Faribault. For our community, and especially for our kids. And, above all, stay safe and adhere to the rules.

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Thoughts as I welcome 2020 January 1, 2020

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

 

TODAY THE SUN rises and sets on a new decade, 2020. That number sounds so surreal to me, someone who came of age in the early 1970s, at the end of the Vietnam War, a time of unrest and discord, of young people raising their voices.

But has anything really changed? The sun still rises. Discord still exists. And if it didn’t, I’d worry.

These are certainly trying times. But every generation has faced challenges. The difference now is the instant speed at which we become aware, how close our world has grown (or maybe not) due to technology, how rapidly untruths spread. I remember my mom telling me once how frightened she felt following the attack on Pearl Harbor. As a nine-year-old living in rural Minnesota, she had no concept of place, of distance. She thought the attack occurred only towns away.

I am, of course, simplifying the differences between yesteryear and today. One could argue more points about the ever-changing world. And I likely would not disagree.

But at the very basic, we are all just human beings with wants, needs, desires, hopes and dreams. For some those are grand and far-reaching and social media attention grabbing. For others, life is less complex. I, for example, am content with a quiet life, with loving and being loved, with serving others, with experiencing joy in everyday moments, with finding delights in the simple. A sunset. A sweet, “I love you, Grandma.” A good book. A Sunday afternoon drive. A hoppy IPA from a local craft brewery. Chats with friends after church.

In 2020, I desire more of those moments that frame a life of contentment. I desire, too, more time with my adult children and their families; I’d love for all of us to spend a few days together. I pray for improved health for family members.

Whatever happens in 2020, I am grateful for another year. To live. To love. To write. To photograph. To be the best person I can be. To treat others with respect and kindness. To show care and compassion. To listen, an art that seems in short supply in a me-driven world of talking over others. To empathize and make a positive difference whenever and wherever I can. Thank you for being a part of my life, for embracing my creative endeavors and for all you do to make this world a better place.

Happy 2020, dear friends!

 

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling