Thursday, April 14, 2016

AtoZ of Melody McDonald: “L” is for Lightning #AtoZBlogging Challenge#

As everyone knows, it NEVER rains in Southern California, so when Melody and her Grandmother drove across the country in 1960, there was a new adventure. Of course, it’s not so that it never rains in Southern California, and Melody HAD seen lightning, of course, but her experience had been a somewhat watered-down version of what she experienced during her exciting vacation. The story below, though seemingly impossible, actually happened and Melody has never, ever forgotten it. I hope you enjoy the tale.


Melody, a few months after
 this story took place.
Around 1960


Basin, Wyoming Oug. 14, 1960

Dear Grampa,

I am having so much fun. Nauturly it rains every place we go. It thundered and lightninged all night long. I hope you like your card.

Love Melody


“Thunder and lightning” was minimizing the “fireworks display” that had gone on the night before. In fact, it was quite unlike anything that Melody had experienced before, and very exciting. The whole thing had begun while she was in the barn with Joe Sterling, in Wyoming, helping him milk the cow. They had been standing in Bossy’s stall, while Joe was getting the stool ready to sit down and begin when the first loud crash had sounded just outside the door. The frightened Bossy kicked the stool over and just as Joe bent over to put it right a second crash set the barn to ringing; simultaneously, a long flash of light entered through the back door of the building and left it through the front. Old Joe stood up as quickly as his tired, surprised body would permit and stared down at Melody, eyes bulging with wonder.

“Melody,” he said in a somewhat strangled voice, “please tell me that you just saw what I just saw. Please,” he pleaded softly.

“Yeah, I saw it. What was it?” 

“That,” he whispered dramatically, reassured that he wasn’t imagining things and gesturing towards the open doors, “was a bolt of lightning. It’s a good thing,” he continued in a rather more normal voice, “we were here beside Bossy and not standing in the middle of the corridor. We’d’ve been a pile of ashes instead of standing here discussing what just happened.”

“Wow! You mean lightning like the stuff that flashes during a rainstorm? At home we just see it in the sky and it looks like a fork. Gee,” she said, shaking her head in wonder, “I didn’t know it could open doors like that and just walk through a barn. Neat! Do you think it will happen again? Just wait until I tell Gramma Mary; she won’t believe it.”

“You can just bet your boots she won’t believe it; nobody will believe that a bolt of lightning went right through here without burning up everything it touched. Mind you, it didn’t touch much except for the back door. Let’s go see if it left some kind of mark on the door so we can prove it went through here. We’d better not say anything if there’s not, ‘cause no one’s gonna believe anything except that we’ve been seeing things that aren’t really there, and that’s not too good.”

They both walked gingerly towards the door, taking care to not touch anything on the way; even though it seemed that the lightning hadn’t touched anything, there was always a chance that some kind of electrical current had been left behind. The first hint that they found that something odd had happened was that one of the doors to the barn was hanging slightly off-center because of a damaged hinge; this had been caused by the force produced by the lightning as it flung the door inward. There were a number of new dents, but these could have been caused by any number of factors found in and around the Black Angus farm.

“Nope, there’s nothing here except this hinge that will bear out our story. I guess we’d best not say anything to anyone. I won’t say anything if you don’t, and I won’t anyway, even if you do.”1


Have you ever had a strange experience during a thunder and lightning storm? Would you like to share it with us?


1The preceding is an excerpt from Old McDonald Had a Funny Farm 2: New Friends and Old by Mary McDowell Purpari, publication date pending


Copyright © April 14, 2016.  Mary Purpari. All Rights reserved.

AtoZ of Melody McDonald: “K” is for Kisses #AtoZBloggingChallenge

There are different kinds of kisses and when Melody was a child, her very favorite kind of kisses was the kind she got from her grandparents and parents on her cheek.

Another kind was the chocolate kind made by Hershey’s and which they got only on very rare occasions, like at the Coca Cola Company Christmas party or once in a while in their Christmas stockings. Honey and Ross were of the opinion that their delightful, ever-active children didn’t need more energy than they already had. That’s okay – when Melody was old enough to make her own decisions regarding chocolate, she made up for all the uneaten chocolate of her childhood. When she made her way to Italy, the Italian kisses, known as Baci Perugina, were her undoing. Oh my… But I digress.

But, Melody outgrew her childhood and when she turned twelve, she had the first kiss of another type. His name was Steve Crayfish. It was just before Christmas and this new Steve had just taken Melody to the junior high school Christmas dance. They’d been accompanied to the dance by Steve’s mom, while Ross brought them home…

Remember, this is Southern California, and at a certain point – the room becoming too warm – Steve accompanied Melody outside the school gym and then, in a completely unexpected move, he kissed her. On the LIPS!!!!!! Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, she was shocked and a little embarrassed… at first. But then, she thought it was kind of neat and kissed him back. (Did I ever mention that Melody was a bit, shall we say, precocious?) It was a very chaste kiss and was never repeated. Probably because Steve’s family moved away shortly after the beginning of the new year.

Her next kiss came around a year and a half later, during the summer before she started high school. There was this cute boy named Larry who was visiting his aunt and uncle who lived down the street from the McDonalds, who she liked a lot, but he was going to be a junior when school started again and she would be a mere freshman. She didn’t realize that she had blossomed during the summer… Anyway, she was washing the dishes after dinner one night when Larry came in. He usually came to deliver messages for his aunt and uncle, but that particular evening he headed straight for Melody, just while she was washing a big, sharp knife. He called out to her and she turned to look at him; she was so startled when he kissed her, that she involuntarily tightened her grip on the knife. Unfortunately for her, it turned out that the part of the knife she was holding was the blade…

As Honey disinfected and bandaged Melody’s hand, Larry quietly finished washing the dishes and left. That was the last time he came over and she never saw him again.

Her next kiss was again an unusual awakening. It also turned her completely off French kissing. She got a birthday card on her sixteenth birthday that said “Happy Sweet Sixteenth: If you swear you’ve never been kissed…” open card “…You have a perfect right to swear!” Well, at least she couldn’t swear about that.

Those random kisses were the only ones she got until she hit college. But, that is a different story and different times…



Copyright © April 14, 2016. Mary Purpari. All Rights Reserved.