Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

More than free pears August 20, 2020

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I photographed this roadside sign in Northfield on Sunday.

 

PICK A PEAR. Or two. Or three.

The roadside invitation to pluck pears from two trees at 203 West Woodley Street, Northfield, proved a first for me.

First, I’ve never seen such an offer. And second, I’ve never seen a pear tree.

The pears I’ve eaten come from the grocery store. They are much larger, more golden and decidedly more perfect.

 

 

But there’s something about picking fruit directly from the tree that appeals to me. And I wasn’t about to pass on the opportunity.

So when Randy and I drove past the sign, we did a quick swing back around the block to check out the pears. Neither of us knows anything about home-grown pears. So the note about pushing on the top or picking hard ones and waiting a few days for them to ripen was particularly helpful.

 

 

Randy grabbed four pears—one yellow, the others green—while I grabbed my camera and took photos.

I ate the mini yellow pear for lunch the next day; it was too small to share. I found it dry, not at all juicy. Had there not been a browning blemish, I may have waited longer. The three remaining green pears are now inside a brown paper bag on the kitchen counter, hopefully ripening and not rotting.

 

This is the place, 203 West Woodley Street.

 

Whatever the outcome, I find the FREE PEARS offer such a fine example of kindness and generosity, something we all need right now. More than ever.

 

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Practical ways to serve others in the new year January 3, 2020

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Several years ago, family friends planted shamrocks in our yard on St. Patrick’s Day. What a joyful gift. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO that will bring joy to others? How can you help others? How can you make a difference in your family, your neighborhood, your community?

Those are all questions I expect many of you contemplate, especially at the beginning of a new year. I brainstormed the topic for a post that published earlier this week on the Warner Press blog. I work as the blog coordinator for this Indiana-based Christian publisher and lead a team of three other writers.

In crafting this piece, I created a month-by-month list of specific ways to serve others. I used examples from my own life. I have been blessed by so much kindness and by many opportunities to serve.

Just yesterday, for example, a small package arrived from a friend. Inside I found a lovely gratitude journal that encourages me to make note of daily gratitudes. I’m not surprised Beth Ann (also a blogger) gifted me with this. She is one of the most positive people I know and has always encouraged and supported me.

And last week a blogger from Pittsburgh sent me an Instant Pot after reading an earlier blog post that included my crossed-out Christmas wish list. I’ve never met Ruth. But I follow her blog and know her to be a kind and caring soul.

Days prior I received a cash gift from an equally kind and caring soul who remains anonymous to me.

For me, serving others on a daily basis comes primarily in listening and offering words of encouragement. I also give of my time to volunteer whenever such opportunities arise. It’s not only the right thing to do, but an honor.

As 2020 begins, we have 366 days to connect with others, to offer support and encouragement, bring joy, help in hands-on ways. I’d love to hear how you are making a positive difference in your world or beyond.

CLICK HERE to read my Warner Press post, “A Year of Serving Others.”

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling