Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Put your money in the can August 2, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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THIS TIME OF YEAR in Minnesota, roadside stands pop up with a bounty of fresh garden produce. Some are staffed. Some are not.



On Sunday evening, Randy and I stopped at an unmanned stand along U.S. Highway 14 as we passed through Courtland (between New Ulm and Mankato) after a weekend in southwestern Minnesota. We needed potatoes and always appreciate newly-dug spuds.



Pickings were slim at that time of day. But we found a bag of potatoes for $2 that fit our needs. Randy pulled two bills from his wallet and deposited the money in a mammoth coffee can labeled PUT MONEY HERE.

I love this trustworthiness that exists in rural Minnesota.



But apparently the gardener doesn’t trust Mother Nature. Inside the coffee can, an over-sized stone weighted the container against the wind.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


You know you’re in a small town when… July 1, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:30 AM
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I HONESTLY DID NOT THINK that small town folks were still so trusting. But, apparently I am wrong. Let me show you.

Example 1:

Mill, bikes

These bikes were left unattended and unlocked in a Morristown city park while the cyclists, a young couple and their son, walked across the street to the historic Morristown Feed Mill during a community celebration earlier this summer. They listened to music and hung out for awhile before returning to their unattended, unlocked and untouched bikes.

Example 2:

Mill, bike close-up

Now you’re probably thinking, Audrey, you just showed us those unattended, unlocked and untouched bikes. Yes, I did. But look closer at the contents of the bike basket. Do you see what I see? Yes, the young mom left her purse while she walked across the street to the mill.

Now, if I were the criminal type, instead of the photographing type, I could have stolen that purse right then and there.

Maybe the purse held nothing of value. But, if the contents are like the contents of my bag, plenty of valuable information and stuff I would not want stolen could be found therein.

Would you be so trusting?

Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


A child’s perspective on 9/11 September 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:29 AM
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SOMETIMES A PICTURE truly is worth 1,000 words. In this instance, a child’s drawing is worth 1,000 words, maybe 10,000, maybe even 1,000,000.

Eight years ago my then 8-year-old son drew this image for a religious class assignment at the Christian day school he was attending.

The directions instructed: “Think about a time when it is hard to trust God…pray to God. Ask Him to make your faith strong.”

So my third grader, out of all the trying moments he could have depicted, chose to replicate 9/11. He drew his version of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York one year and one month after the actual tragedy.

As a mother, I remember feeling deeply saddened (but also a bit proud) that my son, my elementary-aged boy, who should have been thinking about a quarrel with a friend or something more mundane, would choose to draw this. Clearly, even at his young age, this devastating moment in our nation’s history had made a monumental impact.

Today, on the ninth anniversary of 9/11, please honor those who died and remember these reassuring words from Psalm 100:5: “The Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever.”

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling