Monday, April 4, 2016

“C” is for Church and crocheting #AtoZBlogging Challenge

Melody has always enjoyed going to church. As a child, she attended the Methodist Church together with the rest of her family. The Christ Church by the Sea Methodist Church the family attended was a fairly well-known historical Church on the Balboa Peninsula in Balboa, California. Melody sang in the church’s children’s choir as a “half note” (aka alto). Choir practice was held every Saturday morning; since the church wasn’t far from her Grammy and Grampa Jenkins’ house, they always went there after practice.

During the summer after Melody finished the fourth grade, a new church in the area offered a morning Bible school. The church, the Upper Bay Baptist, was just around the corner from their house. It had been built on the land where a small green grocers had been, where Melody had gone to buy fresh eggs and milk (she took fifteen cents and came home with change; try and do that now!).

Christ Church by the Sea 
When Melody was in the fifth grade, her friend Veronica decided that Melody and another friend, Steve Even, should get married, so the three of them headed to the Baptist Church around the corner and, hiding under the stairway, Veronica gave a fairly convincing sermon (remember, they were only ten years old); after Steve slipped one of his father’s gold cigar rings around Melody’s ring finger, Veronica pronounced them man and wife. She didn’t mention kissing the bride because that would have been just too icky for words—even Veronica realized that.

A few weeks later, Melody forgot to take off her cigar ring and it melted in her bath water, but by that time Steve had moved away with his family, destination unknown. They’d been friends for a long time, and Melody mourned his loss for a long time…

The following year, the McDonalds stopped attending the Methodist church, and Melody, remembering how much fun she’d had during the summer, returned to the Baptist Church. She became a helper during the summer class and grew very close to the members of the church. They became like a second family to her during the period of the great upheaval and its aftermath; during her time there, she progressed from childhood to her teenage years and into young adulthood. She lived through the pain of seeing a young man she’d had a crush on get drafted into the army and his subsequent death in Viet Nam.

When she was twenty, she joined the LDS Church, which she continues to frequent up to this day. Last year’s A-Z challenge tells that story.

Crocheting came into Melody’s life at a fairly young age. It all started when her best friend came over the same day Melody was scheduled to for a week-long visit to her Grammy’s house. Lynn had brought over a new project: her mom, Sylvia, had taught her how to embroider. She looked very smug as she drew the needle in and out of the fabric, while Melody looked on, green with envy.

When Grammy and Grampa came to pick up Melody, Grammy looked at Lynn’s smirking face and the envious darts shooting from Melody’s eyes, and quickly assessed the situation. She walked calmly over to Lynn and asked, “What’s that you’re working on, Lynn dear.” Lynn told her and she patted the girl’s arm and replied, “That’s very nice dear”, and walked over to a horrified Melody.

After they had settled comfortably into the car, and Grampa had driven out of the driveway,  Grammy asked Melody if she would like to learn how to embroider. Melody looked at her eagerly. Would she ever?! After they emptied her suitcase and put her bike in the garage
and her clothes in the drawers, Grammy went into her special closet and pulled out a box filled to the rim with   embroidery thread, needles and bits of cloth. By the time Melody was an expert with the chain stitch and cross stitch.

But that wasn’t all she’d learned: she loved the look on Lynn’s face when she pulled out her new crochet hook and yarn and chained and worked a single crochet in each chain stitch.

Melody became so proficient by the time she was in junior high school that even the teachers watched her as she crocheted her own sleeveless sweaters during lunch time. That ability has stuck with her even today, and has also provided a means for earning money.


Copyright © Mary Purpari. April 4, 2016. All Rights Reserved.