Saturday, October 8, 2011

Paved Paradise

I love the original song, Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell. Of course I was only 2 years old in 1970 when it was released, but it is still a classic sing along song for driving. The Counting Crows had a top 40 hit with the same song in 2002, when I actually controlled what I listened to while driving in my own car. Both versions use the same lyrics with the famous line, "They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot."

Joni Mitchell said, "I wrote 'Big Yellow Taxi' on my first trip to Hawaii. I took a taxi to the hotel and when I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance. Then, I looked down and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see, and it broke my heart... this blight on paradise. That's when I sat down and wrote the song." The song is known for its environmental concern (from the lyrics "They paved paradise to put up a parking lot", "Hey farmer, farmer, put away that DDT now") and sentimental sound. The line, "Took all the trees, put 'em in a tree museum/And charged the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em" refers to Foster Botanical Garden in downtown Honolulu, which is a living museum of tropical plants, some rare and endangered.

Typically, I schlep all the kids out to Lynd's pumpkin patch and we get back to nature while selecting four big orange gourds. It is a Autumn family tradition
that goes back years as seen here.

But this is my blog, and in my case, they paved paradise, put up a pumpkin patch, took all the gourds, put them in gourd museum, charged people five bucks just to take them."

This year, we are experiencing a new version of getting our seasonal pumpkins. With my current schedule gone caddy-wampus, I decided to give up the field trip to Lynd's. I drove to Giant Eagle Market District in lieu of the actual patch, and the kids picked a pumpkin on the edge of the parking lot. As they were debating on which pumpkin was "the best" I had the Big Yellow Taxi humming in my head. I doubt my version would mean anything to anyone but me. They paved paradise, and put up a pumpkin patch. How fitting. I stood there, snapping photos and realizing the sad irony of the situation.

I am not sure these little guys really gave a rats ass that we were not out in the country stomping on a hay path, wind in our hair, plethora of scrapbooking photos being snapped. At Giant Eagle the price was $5 a piece regardless of weight or size. Since my monkeys think bigger is better in almost all cases, this was an opportunity for them to get the most enormous pumpkin there. Times four.
These suckers were so big and heavy, I had to push them through the paved parking lot in a shopping cart.

There is something wrong with picking your pumpkin in a parking lot. So much for the allure of a suburban paradise. They paved paradise and put up a pumpkin patch. Joni Mitchell would have a field day with this- no pun intended.

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