Wisdom from a Wordsmith

Bonus Edition — by Brenda Cooley

More About Grammy

Do you know some of Grammy’s stories? What might Grammy want you to know?
Written To the Great Grandkids and Grandkids …

Grammy’s family was very, very poor. They survived on what her father gathered from
hunting, trapping, and fishing along with what crops produced. At times her family survived by eating coon meat that Grandpa Sickler hunted. Animal skins were sold; the meat was cooked and eaten. Grammy might want to remind you to be thankful for your food!

Grammy walked to a one-room schoolhouse— in the sunshine, rain, snow…. down a mountainside road and, of course, back up after school. Her growing up on the “hill” included some wild car rides up the steep mountain road with some of the kids clinging to the bumper to add traction when roads were slippery. Anyone grateful for your ride? Snow tires?

At around six years old Grammy took care of her youngest sister Sara while her mom was busy helping provide. That included more than typical childcare duties; Sara had worms that Grammy had to remove…..probably due to the food they ate to survive.

Grammy had a tremendous fear of gypsy moth caterpillars. Grammy’s niece Sheri frequently
retells the story of one time being in our home around the table when Grammy insisted, “Dearie, I smell a caterpillar.” So Grampy (she called Grampy Dearie) stopped eating and started searching…. when he opened the cellar door , sure enough, there was a gypsy moth caterpillar that Grampy had to remove. Grammy credited this extreme fear of these caterpillars to her older brothers and boy cousin. She said the boys would grab handfuls from the nests and throw them at her and others. Grammy gradually began to
wear white clothes during gypsy moth season so she could spot any that happened to get on her! Grammy would probably tell you to think about teasing, don’t be cruel.
Grammy also had a significant fear of water… even bathtub water! Credit for that also was
given to those same brothers and cousin who pretended they were drowning in the creek! If recalled correctly, she didn’t like the water but felt she had to rescue them each time which intensified the fear. Grammy might want you to remember to “cast all your fears on Jesus” and then leave them with Him.

Grammy did not graduate from high school. She dropped out of school to work. She worked
in a dress factory for a while. She couldn’t do piece-rate work (pay for how many produced
quickly) because she worked so carefully to make each item perfect. But someone there put
her to perfect work using that ability for specialty purposes.

Grammy and her older brothers Harold and Paul played and sang outside in Tunkhannock for street meetings. Harold played his guitar and Grammy played her accordion. With no money for music lessons, they were self-taught, play-by-ear musicians (that means they played from memory, not from looking at music notes). Grammy would probably tell you to use your talents for God.

After Grammy and Grampy were married they began the process of building their house.
Some of the lumber that was used in their home was from old chicken coops from Grampy’s father. Grammy (and Grampy) would probably tell you to be good workers and to not be wasteful.

As far back as I can remember Grammy had/did:
-beautiful flowers growing around the house. Grammy might tell us to enjoy the flowers!

-Jars and jars of beautiful canned goods on shelves *note that there was no good spot for a big veggie garden on their acre so she bought produce from Grandpa. She also faithfully drove Grandpa’s produce to the market near Wilkes Barre to help out her parents. Her niece Joann, mentioned recently that Grammy always honored her parents and that her living so long might be part of the promise that goes with honoring parents.

-Sunday desserts were given faithfully (every week) to the parsonage family.
-We girls usually traded turns climbing over the front seat of our car to get our hair combed on Sunday mornings; Grammy’s own hair took up a great deal of time getting it right so… good thing cars back then had a full front seat! Grammy might tell us not to let our hair stress but please do work on it! And, since hair was a big deal to Grammy, imagine her horror when a certain brother gave one sister a haircut! Grammy would probably tell you little ones, “Don’t do that…please!”
-Grammy did a great deal of sewing. She made beautiful perfectly sewn dresses frequently for her 3 girls. She made some wedding gowns for some family members too. But that became very very stressful for her so when it was time for her daughters to marry, we
bought ours at J C Penney. Grammy might tell you sometimes you have to say “That’s enough! I can’t do that anymore!”

-Grammy was given the ability at times to sense a need for specific prayers of faith for specific healing for persons at specific times. Some examples include several incidents -Carlie Greenley, Johnny Greenley, George Price… These are just a few people who were healed. Another time of specific prayers being answered is when waiting for great-granddaughter Caroline to be born. A written piece was typed about that 16 + years ago. Grammy would want you to have faith, to pray, and to find and bless others with gifts God has specifically given you!
-Grammy also used to be a youth leader for Sunday night youth services. One of the stories
she used is this one (shown) “Little Red Hen”. In the story, there is a fire on the farm. The
farmer comes looking after the fire is out. He discovers that Mother Hen has sacrificed to
shelter her chicks under her wings. The story leads to reminding us that Jesus loves us deeply and about His gift to us-salvation! Grammy would want you to remember that too! When Grammy was having a really hard time before she went to the hospice that story was retold to her to try to remind her about God’s love and being sheltered under his wings even in very hard times. Remember you can be sheltered under His wings of love too!

Grammy might wish to say to you:

Remember kids: I prayed for you, your parents, and grandparents- my kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. You are carefully and wonderfully made! God has a plan and purpose for YOU! Use the gifts God gives you for Him. Trust Him—always! Forgive and be forgiven. Study God’s word, the Bible, seek and speak God’s truth. Cast your fears and cares on Jesus! Let your life be a shining light of God’s love. We are not perfect; we fail —BUT always remember He is faithful! So be a faithful follower of Jesus. Trust Him! Rely on Him!

The link to Grammy’s obituary: https://sheldonkukuchkafuneralhome.com/tribute/details/2865/Dorothy-Shupp/obituary.html

One response to “Wisdom from a Wordsmith”

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your Grammy. I can see through your words of love and teachable stories of her that she was a God fearing woman. Thank you for sharing a part of her beautiful story with us. I love the “Little Red Hen” story.

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