Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A St. Patrick’s Day blessing March 17, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 11:01 AM
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The scene in my yard this St. Patrick's Day.

The scene in my yard this St. Patrick’s Day.

I CAN’T STOP SMILING even now, hours after I flung open my living room curtains to discover a crop of shamrocks growing in my front yard.


Shamrock, close-up


What a magical surprise on this St. Patrick’s Day, to see that my husband and I had been Sham “Rocked”ed.


Shamrock, trio of


We’re not even Irish. But who cares? We’re all Irish today, right? Plus, my favorite color is green.

And I love surprises. Don’t we all? What joy they bring into your day.

One little leprechaun signed his name.

One little leprechaun signed his name.

Immediately I suspected one of two young families for creating a memorable St. Patrick’s Day. Little Jack made sleuthing unnecessary. He printed the message, ‘YOU ARE SMART,” and signed his name. Thanks. No detective work necessary.

The leprechaun even shamrocked our van.

The leprechaun even shamrocked our van.

And Mrs. Leprechaun, aka my dear friend Tammy, whom I phoned to thank, revealed that her husband, Jesse, came up with the idea to “shamrock” us. This morning, before leaving for work in the Twin Cities metro, he crept into our yard and planted those lucky clovers on our lawn and on our vehicles.


Shamrock, super close-up


If I wasn’t so happy about this act of kindness, I think I would be crying. Crying at having friends who are dear and thoughtful and loving and kind and, above all, an incredible blessing in my life.

To Jesse, Tammy, Noah, Hannah, Jack, Amelia and baby Benjamin:

A Wish for a Friend

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

An Irish blessing, author unknown

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Oh, sweet Friday morning surprises April 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:19 AM
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A just-opened iris in my backyard.

I LOVE MORNINGS like this, which begin with simple surprises.

When I pull the shade on my south bedroom window, my eyes linger on a patch of yellow that wasn’t there yesterday. I grab my glasses and see that an iris is blooming.

Later, after I’ve hung my first load of laundry on the clothesline, I stroll over to the backyard flowerbed, to that spot of yellow, and admire the arching petals and the lavender beards that define this plant.

On my way back toward the house, I sidestep a hint of purple, a tiny wild violet peeking through the blades of grass.

Back inside, I settle in at my computer, open my e-mail and find an uplifting note from my friend Virgil. He’s caught up on my blog posts, he says, and adds, “fun reading the articles and I like the flower pictures!”

Virgil, like me, appreciates flowers. He’s a retired science teacher and a grower of Asiatic lilies and gladioli. I’ve, more than once, been the happy recipient of his floral bouquets.

I also open two forwards (typically I don’t open forwards) from Virgil—one a humorous piece about the English language and the other an inspirational story about a pro-golfer who, unlike Tiger Woods, is devoted to his cancer-stricken wife.

And then, as I’m still smiling at my friend’s messages, my teenage son gallops down the stairs. “Mom, can I have a hug?” he asks, already extending his gangly arms toward me. I nearly leap from my office chair, stretching my arms heavenward to embrace this growing child of mine.

As I wrap my arms around my 16-year-old, I relish the moment. He does not always welcome my hugs. But now, for this moment, this morning, I hold him close. I feel his body, still warm from the blankets that cocooned him through the night. I place a gentle mother’s kiss upon his cheek.

Then, before he leaves for school, my boy hugs me again, twice. I plant another kiss upon his left cheek. He slides his hand up, as he always does, and swipes his palm across his cheek, wiping away my kiss.

“I love you,” I say.

He turns, without a word. The door slams shut behind him.

Iris close-up

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling