Ode to my mother and grandmother

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2021 has been a tough year for me. In September I lost my mother then in October I lost my grandmother.

God blessed me with having these two amazing women in my life for 57 years. Their pearls of love and wisdom will forever reign in my heart. Lyla Maria (Jantz) Killfoil lived to just 15 days shy of 101 years and Nancy Gail (Bridgman) Koehn lived for 77 years. One thing that I remember most that both my grandmother and mother taught me was; never judge a person by the color of their skin or their faith. We are all created by God and it is He and He only who reserves the right for judgement not any man or woman. My ancestry is a combination of Prussian and Irish, and yes I love both vodka and whiskey. My grandmother Killfoil raised 7 children was an amazing cook, talented musician and artist. She was very active in her church and the community. I will miss the wonderful smell of zwieback baking in her kitchen or those delicious cinnamon rolls and at Christmas those amazing pepper nuts (pfeffernusse). When you went over to grandma Killfoil’ s house you never left hungry, she would either make you a fried egg sandwich or if you were lucky some of her excellent fried chicken served with those amazing plats. (tortilla type of bread). When all the aunts, uncles, and cousins gathered at the house music was a must. Each of us knows how to play multiple instruments and we all sing. Even at her funeral the wonderful sound of harmony cascaded in the air up towards heaven and I know that both her and grandpa were smiling down on us. My mother dearly loved my grandma Killfoil and they traded many recipes over the years which now are in my possession. As a tribute to both of them I will be sharing them on this website for all to enjoy as much as I have over the years.

At my house my mother Nancy Gail (Bridgman) Koehn was an avid cook and homemaker in her own right as well. There was just me and my sister Lisa but we managed to always mix it up with the neighborhood kids and our many cousins. Mom loved to bake cakes and for several years did so as a small business for our community. Her icing was so delicious that one time when I was living in the basement of our old house I snuck into the freezer and over the course of a few days sampled so much of it that when she went to fill her orders she realized that she was very short on icing. I don’t need to tell you what happened next, but I couldn’t sit down for a few days. My mother was also a very good bowler, her and dad belonged to several leagues as well as mom was on a couple of women’s leagues as well. She got that talent from her mother who was know to be Queen of the midnight bowlers. Mom always had something yummy cooking in the kitchen and now I will share some of her great dishes as well. Mom played the organ and piano and had a really good voice as well. We both sang in the First Baptist Church choir. It was a sad day for me when she passed away but I look forward to seeing her again when I am called home. I lost my sister back in 2007 so this article is for her as well. We will be sharing holiday treats, casseroles, and fantastic pie recipes for the rest of the year in tribute to these amazing women. May their memories be eternal.