Take good care,
Sure it could be coincidence. Or some folks might call it serendipity. It doesn’t really matter because one thing is for sure: we had a wonderfully cool ride on an elevator this morning, and the chances are good our fellow rider made his wife’s evening.
Papa and I were riding an elevator from the 3rd floor to the main level of the UND Center for Family Medicine — we were there for a discussion with local entrepreneurs called 1 Million Cups. Papa was carrying his iPad, gloves and the empty pumpkin cookie tin (yep, they were a hit!). I had my bag and a basket with two sugar pumpkins in it.
We stopped on the 2nd floor and a gentleman joined us. As he stepped in he said, “This has got to be the slowest elevator in Bismarck,” and he did a unique thing: he stood in front of the elevator door facing us.
I’m not sure why but I handed him one of the two pumpkins in my basket. “Here, would you like a pumpkin?” The gentleman smiled and accepted it. We made small talk and when he learned we were from Papa’s Pumpkin Patch, he said, “My wife was sad about Papa’s the other night.”
Sad? “Why was she sad?” Papa asked. The man continued: “My wife is an elementary teacher and she will retire after this year. She is sad because this was her last visit to Papa’s and it is her favorite field trip of the year.”
And then it clicked for Papa. “My sister-in-law works at a local elementary school, and she mentioned a teacher at her school who would be retiring this year. She asked me to sign a book for the teacher because she’s been coming to Papa’s with her classes for so many years. I wonder if we’re talking about the same person?”
They swapped names and realized yes, indeed, the gentleman’s wife and the teacher at the school where Papa’s sister-in-law works were one and the same.
“We happen to have one of our books — Every Pumpkin Is Perfect — with us,” Papa said. “Can I sign it for your wife and give it to you?”
The gentleman could hardly believe what was happening. “Sure,” he said. We got off the elevator; Papa grabbed the book; and autographed a copy of Every Pumpkin Is Perfect for the teacher. He handed the book to the man, who was grateful beyond words, and we parted ways.
How simple and how profound. We got in an elevator with a man we’d never met. He chose to face us rather than the door. We chose to give him a pumpkin. He chose to share a story. We made a connection, and he now has a small, yet special gift for his wife that will hopefully allow her to keep her memories alive of field trips at Papa’s Pumpkin Patch.
Coincidence? Maybe. Wonderfully cool for all of us involved? Uh huh.
Take good care,
We collect a variety of items in our Lost and Found each year at Papa’s Pumpkin Patch. High on the list are sunglasses, sippy cups, toddler socks and pacifiers. There’s also the list of things guests lost and have yet to be found.
Early this season, we got a distressed call from a guest who was missing a wedding ring. “I think I lost my wedding ring at your pumpkin patch,” the voice said. “Have you had a wedding ring turned in?”
The answer was ‘no’ followed by a promise we would keep the phone number and information about the ring in case someone turned the ring into Lost and Found.
The week after Papa’s Pumpkin Patch closed for the season (this also means after 8″ of rain, hundreds of vehicles and thousands of guests) the same guest called to see if we’d seen the wedding ring. Still the answer was ‘no.’
Later that day, the guest showed up and Papa went to the parking lot with them where they remembered they had parked their car. They looked and they walked; they went back and forth; and there in the dirt and mud…they found the wedding ring!
It wasn’t pretty but it was there, and our guest couldn’t be happier. Neither could we. Time and again we’ve found that just when we believe there’s no possible way someone’s lost item will show up, it does. Just like the lost wedding ring in the parking lot!
Enjoy your day,
We also have some gourds, squash and smaller pumpkins that will go to a variety of organizations or events. For example, you’ll find our extra corn stalks on display at the Horror On Harmon halloween event for the Girl Scouts, and several pumpkins went to the Bismarck Aquatic Center for their Dive-In movie event (yep, pumpkins float!). We also plan to offer squash for guests of the Trinity Banquet.
What remains will be much appreciated by area wildlife once winter sets in.
Enjoy your week! As much as we celebrate fall with our thousands of guests during the pumpkin season, we also love the return of peace and quiet. We’ll enjoy the week off, too.
Take good care,
“Cautiously open” is the right phrase although it leaves you wondering. Here is some detail: Papa’s Pumpkin Patch is open Sunday, Oct. 20. Today is our last day of the 2013 pumpkin season.
There will be no admission today, however there are also no extra activities. That means guests will have access to most of the pumpkin patch (minus the areas that are too muddy). We won’t have zip lines, pony rides, hay rides, train rides, the pumpkin cannon or the trebuchet.
What fun can be had at Papa’s today? There’s plenty of room to run. The Nature Trail and the obstacle course are in good shape. Papa’sville play structures are wet but enjoyable for little ones. The corn crib is dry and still a big hit. The Great Pumpkin’s Chair and the log barn are available for the family photo opportunity.
We still have a few large pumpkins, a good number of smaller pumpkins and a nice supply of squash and gourds. You’ll also find some wonderful items in the gift store.
Many friends and past guests have not been able to get to Papa’s yet this season due to the challenging weather, and today is no exception. We welcome you, and want you to know, you’ll need to be prepared. It’s cold (high expected of 34 degrees); it’s damp; and it’s windy.
Papa’s family will be out and about today. If you decide to visit be sure to bundle up!
Take good care,