Drive on the road that is not a road, past a barn that is not a barn

Getting directions in the country, I have found, is a little different than getting directions in the city. In the city, we talk in terms of street addresses. In the country, my relatives talk in terms of landmarks. Getting directions from my aunt’s farm to a home in town was challenging. My aunt directed me to the home via bizarre instructions.

Aunt Vi: “Drive into town til you come to the stop sign then take a left.”
Me: “What stop sign.”
Aunt Vi: “The stop sign.”
Me: “What road is the stop sign on?”
Aunt Vi: “Just take a left at the stop sign.”
Me: “Okay.” and I dutifully wrote down my first direction – Take a left at the stop sign.

Aunt Vi: “Drive a short way and when you come to a road that is not a road, take a right.”
Me: “So you want me to take a right on a road that is not a road.”
Aunt Vi: “Yes.”
Me: “What is the name of the road that is not a road.”
Aunt Vi: “It doesn’t have a name, just write it down.”
Me: “Okay.” So, next I wrote – Take a right on the road that is not a road.

Aunt Vi: “Then you pass a barn that is not a barn. The house is the next one on the left.”
Me: “Aunt Vi, this isn’t making any sense to me.”
Aunt Vi: “Just write it down!”
Me: “You want me to drive into town to the stop sign and take a left. Then I need to take a right onto the road that is not a road. Then I will pass a barn that is not a barn and the house is just after that on the left.”
Aunt Vi: “Exactly.”
Me: “I have no idea where I am going from these directions.”
Aunt Vi: “Just follow them and hurry or you will be late.”

My sister and I got into my car and headed into town. When we came to the first stop sign we took a left. Traveling slowly down the street we saw an alley and thought, that is a road that is not a road, so we took a right. As we drove down the alley we passed a shed in the shape of a barn and we looked at each other giggling and said, “A barn that is not a barn.” We pulled into the next driveway and laughed until we cried. We had just arrived at our destination.

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2 thoughts on “Drive on the road that is not a road, past a barn that is not a barn”

  1. This is one of my favorite stories! Something about North Dakota living seems to make people more… eccentric. Or maybe it’s just our gene pool?

Thoughts??

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