I guess the subtitle condensed my story, but for those who like the uncondensed version… 🙂

In the year 2000 I happened upon a book called Fossilized Customs by Lew White. I’ll mention now before I forget, I found his name rather interesting and brought it to his attention that “Lew White” is like Levite. Because of Lew’s great influence on waking up the Lost Tribes of Israel and helping pagan Christianity to also wake up and “Come out of her my people” surely he is a special reincarnated soul of YaHavah (YHVH = The Hebrew Tetragrammaton for Allahim’s sacred name). Lew’s soul reincarnated for “such a time as this to help regather the Lost Sheep of Israel, I being one of them.

I grew up in a broken home with divorced parents and never got to know my birth father till I was 25-years-old. My mother was an atheist and claimed, “Man wrote the Bible and I don’t believe it”. My heart hurts just writing those words. I hope she had a change of heart before she died of cancer at the age of 54 without me by her side because she didn’t want me around anymore after I took it upon myself to seek out my father, the man she hated and divorced because he stood up to her inappropriate behavior. He told me the story of the day the proverbial last straw that broke the camels back happened. He and my two half brothers were at the breakfast table. I think my mother was secretly pregnant with me at the time. John was flicking cereal off his spoon at his brother Henry and my Dad said, “Johnny, don’t do that”. He said my mother flew into a rage and said, “DON’T YOU TELL MY CHILDREN WHAT TO DO!” Surely, as her husband it was his duty to be a father to my brothers and instruct them, but my mother with issues didn’t see it that way. My Father replied, “Okay, I won’t”, and then he told me he unceremoniously got up from the table, left the house and never came back. My Father was a very kind and loving person full of hilarious humor. Obviously, he was too good for my Mother, but oh how I’ve daydreamed many times my Mother would have gone into therapy to work out her issues and become a better person and their marriage would have grown and we all would have been an extremely happy family together with lots of love. 🙁 YHVH has a reason for everything in our lives that happens to bring about our destinies.

I never got the chance to know my maternal grandfather. He passed away when my mother was 9 years old. I was never told anything about him, but my grandmother shared a photograph of him and showed me his old violin she had kept after he passed away. In the 30 years she had his violin tucked away in the attic it had dry rotted from the hot summer heat and probably was beyond restoration, but the Prussian soldier on the back of the violin created with wood inlay was still vibrant.

My grandfather’s violin was kept in the attic storage area under the (facing) right side of the roof in the upstairs of this house. This house no longer exists as the people who bought the property after my grandmothers death removed the house and all the farm buildings, even filled in our pond and lake. The present owners are a development company who has been hoping to sell the 20 acres to be developed into a subdivision. Well, I got news for them. The soil is thick with clay and don’t perk. Everytime it rains the entire property holds water and septic systems struggle to work and so other than cattle or horse grazing land the acreage is worthless. They should have done their research before buying the land. They snatched it up quick not knowing the facts and it will probably never sell. Anybody who buys it would have to do a lot of special work amend the soil wherever a septic system would be installed and that would be cost prohibitive. There is also the matter of family graves scattered around the 20 acres that only my family knows about and graves cannot be disturbed by building. The owners bought a lemon. We had to work very hard for years to cultivate even a small garden spot because the soil is so poor. In the summer months the content of clay in the soil drys and the ground splits open looking like and earthquake happened and then underneath all the property are sink holes from the underground water on the property that causes bogs here and there–I remember more than once having a car, truck, or tractor having to be pulled out of a bog or a sink hole opening up we would fill with whatever junk we could and would pray one didn’t open up near the house and take the house with it.

On the left is the ramp a kind neighbor built to get grandma in and out of the house in the wheelchair when she couldn’t walk after her stroke months before her passing. My bedroom was over on the right where you see the other porch swing sitting on the floor of the porch underneath my bedroom window. It’s the bedroom grandpa Washburn died in and after his death it became my bedroom. I’ll never forget that orange paisley print wallpaper.

The porch swing that was taken down to make way for the ramp was the swing my grandmother always sat in. I have sweet memories of my Oldham County high school days in the summertime when we’d save a bunch of cream from Rosey our milk cow that Uncle Henry Horstmann Jr sold us and we’d get out the old hand crank ice cream maker and sit under the dogwood tree that you can’t see to the left of the ramp and we’d make peach ice cream from the peaches on the old peach tree just inside the old garden gate in the old garden spot. Grandma would tell me stories about the big ice chest her family had when she was a girl and dad, Henry Horstmann Sr. would bring ice from the river where that was his job transporting ice up and down the river on a barge. Granny said they’d have ice cream every night of the week in the summertime.
This is my maternal great grandfather Henry Horstmann Sr. and great grandmother Emma Rachel Gaylord-Horstmann in a painting I created for a present for my grandmother Mary Katherine Horstmann-Hall-Washburn. The old turn of the century photograph was broke in half and very worn and I had to totally recreate Emma’s hat and her left hand which where worn away on the original photo. I created this painting by transferring the photo to a canvas instead of photographic paper and then just painted color back into their cheeks, so to speak. Upon my grandmother’s death I gave the painting to my Uncle Henry Horstmann, Jr. asking him to be sure to have the painting returned to me upon his death as it has great sentimental value due to the memories of how it made my grandmother weep with joy as she said, “This is the first time I’ve seen my parent’s the way I remember them looking in living color”. My painting was never returned to me upon my Uncle Henry’s death even though I’d given him my South Dakota address and we’d exchanged a few phone calls before he died. My painting is now in the possession of the wife of Hank Horstmann. Her name is Margaret and she had refused to return my painting. How evil is that? She could have a fine photo made of the painting that would look just as good on her wall, but she is keeping my painting because she knows it’s a way to hurt me by keeping my artwork and a sentimental object connected to my grandmother whom I gave it to. Margaret married into my family so obviously she doesn’t have the heart of family or any compassion for my loss. It’s very sad and the even sadder thing is that I’m going to have to take legal action to have MY ARTWORK and PERSONAL PROPERTY returned to me as it should have been upon the death of my Uncle Henry Horstmann, Sr.

No Kentuckian can ever tell a short story can they? lol Let me get back on track telling the story about my biological grandfather Odes Hall…

When I asked Granny how Odes passed away she told me a different story than his death certificate documented that I uncovered through my ancestry research. I assume she was ashamed about what really took his life so she made up a story to protect his memory?

My grandmother remarried and the only grandfather I knew when I came along in 1964 was affectionately known by the small LaGrange, Kentucky community I grew up in as “Doc Washburn” their local dentist. I spent most of my life being raised by my grandparents. In fact, my mother didn’t want me when I was born and I went straight from the hospital to my grandparents care for the first three months of my life till my mother decided to she’d keep me.

When grandpa Washburn died in 1974 it was the first family death for me and the whole experience got me to thinking about death, afterlife, and “G-d”. Mom had taken me and my half sister of blessed memory to Shelbyville Road Mall where she was looking for a book she wanted from the Walden Book Store. I found a book I wanted to and I asked mother if I could have it. She looked at it and noticed it was a children’s Bible and she asked, “Are you sure you want that?” I emphatically stated I was very sure.

Here is my Children’s Bible from 1974

I remember the night my mother told me grandpa had died. Before grandma called with the news we’d had spaghetti for supper and I was so emotionally upset that I became violently ill and the stuffed animal “Mousey” I used to sleep with got covered in spaghetti. I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget the lonely days ahead after my grandpa of blessed memory had been laid to rest. Memories flood my mind now as tears flood my eyes one more time for his memory. I can see that green suit jacket I wore and remember spending a lot of time outside the Radcliff Funeral home and the side door steps killing time while all the preparations were being made to load grandpa into the hearse to take him to the Valley of Rest that warm November day in 1974.

After grandpa was gone me and grandma grew closer than ever before. I didn’t know how much she needed me cause I was just an unaware kid who was kinda awkward about talking about important things with adults, but my grandmother and I were like best friends and I’ve often said, “We shared a soul”.

Myself and my grandmother Mary Katherine Horstmann-Hall-Washburn in the kitchen at the farm house that was the place I called home for 40 years of my life. To the left of the sink you will notice a small dish liquid soap dispenser. I keep a small soap bottle at my sink to wash dishes with today to always be a reminder of the blessing my grandmother was to my life. I really miss that old house now.

When my grandmother died all I wanted to do was leave because I was so heartbroken that my best friend was gone and that farm held so many happy memories that, at the time, were part of my grieving process. I couldn’t even sit at the kitchen table alone and eat without her there. I had to return to my closed up home in South Dakota.

I know this story is slow going, but there are so many memories along the way that pop in. Sorry. I’m attempting to create a timeline of events in my life that document a crazy and uncanny Wilderness experience that only “G-d” Himself could have predestined for this lifetime on earth in this year 2020 when we begin to hear the footsteps of coming of the Messiah.

After grandpa Washburn died I’d read my Bible and I remember having my Bible with me on the front lawn of my home and I’d pick four-leaf clovers and save them in pages. I really cherished my Bible with it’s condensed stories from Genesis to Revelation. Yes, it was a Christian religion Children’s Bible. My mother didn’t raise me with any faith. When I questioned her about her faith she told me, “Man wrote the Bible and I don’t believe in it”. That made me sad because I knew in my heart that “G-d” was my friend. I understood that He re-incarnated Himself into human form to redeem us and heal us from our hopeless sinful condition with an amended Covenant. I always wondering why it was called “New Covenant” as if it had been replaced by something completely new. All I saw was “G-d” got fed up with Israel continuing to forsake Him for idols and how strange it was when “G-d” showed up in human form that they who followed after idols happily would then accuse those who believed that the Messiah of idolatry when it was indeed “G-d” come in the flesh to get the job done once and for all.

So, I never had any religious instruction in my youth. It was just me, The Book, and “G-d” alone as my instructor.

TO BE CONTINUED…..19 October 2020