“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”..Joni Mitchel’s paradise may have been paved over but mine had 2 houses put on it. This is a story about that.
Last month was the McLaughlin family’s annual reunion and as always happens when family gets together in our advancing years, we talk about many things but the past is always prominent. A subject that a few of the cousins and i discussed was the “Garden”. And as Joni wrote in her song “Woodstock” “We got to get back to the garden”.
Now this garden sat beside the old family home on Cooper Street and during the 60’s it was like a haven to many of us, and it seemed to go on forever and ever, and to everyone in the family it was paradise. There was everything in it,peas,beets, raspberry and strawberry bush’s,potatoes, onions, tomatoes, rhubarb and just about anything else you could think of. And come August corn stalks so tall we little ones could hide in them, and we used to play constantly in the garden eating the fresh veggie and fruits much to our Grandmother’s chagrin, and the big Cherry tree beside it was just the icing on the cake.
Sunday dinners always meant fresh veggies and plenty of fruit for desert, and i never thought that we were an ordinary working class family, i thought we were farmers, Gawd those were beautiful day’s and during the summer the sun setting on the garden would have made a beautiful postcard.
Ah, but those day’s are gone and as the Sixties came to an end so did the garden. First the far section was sold to build a house and for a few years the garden still survived and produced great product. But after Grandma McLaughlin’s passing things rapidly changed and a few years later we moved out of the big house and built another one right beside it that took up most of what was left of the Garden, even though my Uncle Alex stayed in the big house and kept a little version going, it was never the same. Now as i walk or drive past the property and i see flowers growing in the property’s i feel that we had a little something to do with that, even though Paradise has been paved over. Lord on day’s like this i miss that garden!
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