Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Thoughts on words January 25, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Magnetic poetry words I strung together and posted on my refrigerator. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo 2022)

WORDS MATTER. Which we use, how we use them and when. They can hurt. They can uplift. They can communicate a message. They can unite. They can divide. Words are, undeniably, powerful. And sometimes we’re better off not speaking or writing them.

When words are used in anger, in a knee-jerk reaction to something, then the consequences are often negative. “Think before you speak” seems particularly sage advice. Yet, we all forget and fail to filter our thoughts before they slip off our tongues or fingers.

Likewise, I find myself also pondering the depth of words, particularly when asked, “How are you?” More often than not, at least here in Minnesota, that’s a trite question. The expectation is that you will answer, “Fine.” Even if you’re anything but fine. People don’t necessarily want to hear about your problems/struggles/challenges.

But I challenge you the next time you ask, “How are you?”, to ask like you care. And by that I mean pausing, focusing, looking the other person in the eye and picking up on cues that indicate maybe, just maybe, everything isn’t all right. Listen. Take the time to show genuine care without interjecting your story. Empathy is good, but not at the expense of turning the conversation on you.

TELL ME: What thoughts do you have on words, whether written or spoken? What about listening? Is it a lost art?

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Tell me, how can a burger be angry? April 29, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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The Angriest Whopper sign in Owatonna

 

WHEN I SAW THIS SIGN advertising the new Angriest WHOPPER® near the Burger King in Owatonna, the journalist in me questioned how a burger can be angry. A burger is not a living breathing thing with feelings. Therefore it cannot be angry.

But whatever sells…right?

Knowing absolutely nothing about this burger given I rarely eat burgers and frequent fast food places maybe twice a year, I googled “angriest whopper.”

It is apparently the hot sauce, baked into the red bun and also layered on the burger along with jalapenos, that generates that word choice of “angriest.”

This follow-up to the Angry Whopper will be offered for a limited time only. Will I run out and try one? Not unless someone offers to buy this spicy burger for me.

Tell me, have you tried either of these Whoppers? And what do you think of the adjectives “angry” and “angriest” used to describe burgers?

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ON A RELATED NOTE, Burger Kings across the country, including one in Coon Rapids, have been the victims of a hoax that had employees busting the fast food franchise’s windows. A caller claiming to be from the fire department advised employees to smash the windows to prevent an explosion due to a gas leak and build-up. Burger King employees did just that.

I bet there’s been plenty of anger at the affected Burger Kings.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Defining Easter eggs in Seattle April 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:39 AM
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I spotted these over-sized Easter eggs in the front yard of a home along Second Street Northwest in Faribault.

HAVE YOU HEARD about “spring spheres,” the latest politically-correct terminology—at least on the West Coast—for Easter eggs?

Apparently a Seattle teacher would allow a high school volunteer to bring candy-filled plastic eggs into her classroom only if she called them “spring spheres.”

Now, how ridiculous is that?

As soon as the volunteer pulled the eggs out of a bag and after the teacher pronounced them “spring spheres,” the third graders promptly called them “Easter eggs.”

You can’t fool kids into believing an oval is a sphere and Easter isn’t Easter. These Seattle students clearly know their shapes, and their holidays.

More Easter decorations in that Faribault front yard.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling