Showing posts from August, 2019

The Healing Waters of Crystal Lake: Mom Horning Story #5

It rained the other morning, after many days of unremitting 90 degree heat.   I flung open the door onto the yard, and the smell of newly washed air wafted into the room and swept me back to my youth.   Kicking off slippers, I stepped onto the porch and down to the lawn.   As I did as a child, I wiggled toes to feel the clinging crispness and refreshing chill of the greening grass.   I stood tall to breathe in the sweetness of blade and bloom.   For a moment, time was lost.   Then the sound of the traffic, the blast of car stereo, and the smell of coffee drew me back.   I wiped off wet feet on the rough sisal mat, drew my robe more tightly around me, and walked into the present, to read the paper, drink hot brew and plan my day. Water, the sound, smell and sight of water, in any form, has been a passion, a power in my life.   This Love came to me when I was about six.   The stock market crash had devastated our family.   My father’s health and livelihood had crumpled and

What We Did For Fun: Mom Horning Story #4

One of my earliest memories was of my mother bouncing up and down on the piano bench as she played the spirited melodies of “Nola” and “Maple Leaf Rag.”   She had played in silent movie theaters while putting herself through business college, and she pounded out a rhythm that I can feel to this day.   We always had “real” music in the house, and sheet music of the latest “Tin Pan Alley” tunes.   My sister played the piano, I the violin.   For “fun” we “tootled” on the Ocarina, Flageolets, and shook Maracas.   My sister even mastered castanets. When we went out to the Lake in summer, we had the “Victrola”, a large oak cabinet with a squared “dome” top.   It had a handle to turn to get the turntable spinning, and some triangular “needles” which were wooden and had their own “sharpener.”   Records of Galli-Curci, Caruso, and Barney Google (with his Goo Goo Googly Eyes) entertained us after long days in or on the water. Back in the city, when vacation was over, we went

Burglars--Burglars! Mom Horning Story #3

In the basement of the house where I grew up was a room called “the Fruit Cellar.”   White papered shelves on three sides were stacked with glass jars filled with perfectly packed fruits, vegetables and pickles.   Jellies topped with paraffin and scalloped covers were arranged by color and varieties.   (Catsup and relishes had their own spaces.)   On the door side of the room a large stone crock held homemade sauerkraut.   Crocks of corned beef or fat layered fried pork appeared on “inspired” occasions when one or both parents said, “do you remember” or “shall we try to make” a childhood favorite.   And then there was the year when the Hires Root Beer Company advertised their extract on the radio.   “Make Grandma Hire’s Root Beer in your Own Kitchen.”   “For less than a dollar you can make enough for a party.”   “Anyone Can Do It,” they said.   “How Great,” we said.   We had bottles, caps—and we Loved Root Beer! On a Saturday morning my sister and I were assigned

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