This past week with loads of sunshine and 80-degree temps has been perfect for growing pumpkins…and corn…and squash and gourds. All of the things that make for a perfect pumpkin patch. Summer is in full swing along the Missouri River, and driving into town last week, Papa couldn’t help but notice the lush grass along River Road, and the huge canopy of green overhead in the many trees that line this beautiful drive.
As he reached the boat ramp and docking point for the Lewis & Clark River Boat, he came upon a stop sign. Odd. The construction along this section of River Road was supposed to be complete. And then he saw it. A simple white-and-black sign with two well-spaced words that captured his attention and redirected his thoughts for the better part of the day: TAKE TURNS.
You see, construction workers are repairing a small section of the road and so the north-bound lane is temporarily closed. A stop sign on each end of the 100-foot stretch, along with the simple sign imploring drivers to TAKE TURNS, is the method used to manage traffic and keep the construction project moving forward. And what’s more, it’s working.
Think about that. When was the last time someone told you to take turns? For Papa, it was many, many moons ago. Still, he understood precisely what was expected of him, and he (along with the other drivers) patiently waited so each could take his or her turn and be on their way. No need for a pilot car or construction folks to wave drivers through. Just TAKE TURNS.
There are lots of reasons why Papa’s Pumpkin Patch is located off of Fernwood Drive, north of Bismarck and along the Missouri River. Namely, it’s home. There are also reasons why Papa’s is located in North Dakota, even when the family owners originally moved here from the East Coast some 40 years ago and were headed “out West.” (In case you’re interested, they got as far as North Dakota and decided this was west enough and nice enough.)
This past week, Papa discovered another reason why he loves North Dakota — because simple signs like TAKE TURNS still work.
Take good care,