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“I Killed My Stove”

Grace called Old Grandma last night to ask if she’d buy some Girl Scout cookies. Old Grandma was happy to oblige, and she ordered 5 boxes, more than enough to push Grace over her goal.

Finished soliciting, Grace handed me the phone so that I could chat with Old Grandma.

We’ve been trying to schedule a visit to Old Grandma’s for over two months – alternating sickness and bad weather have prevented us from going every free weekend we’ve had.

“The new doctor down at the clinic thinks I’m quite a character,” she said.

“You are quite a character,” I replied.

Old Grandma and Allie have a lot in common. They both say things they shouldn’t at funny times. They both do whatever they want and who cares what anyone else thinks? They are both always on the go somewhere and always getting into something.


You might remember that Old Grandma’s house was built in the 1860’s (or maybe earlier). It’s an old farmhouse in the middle of a bunch of fields.

If you’ve ever lived in such a house, you know that rodents move in with the cold winter weather. There are little holes here and there and, as Old Grandma says, “Some of them are big enough to throw a cat through.”

Why she would say something like that is beyond me. Grandma would never throw a cat anywhere. She’s kind and gentle and feeds the stray cat who drops by her porch.

But anyway, that’s what she says. There are holes in the place big enough to throw a cat through.

So we got to talking about the rodents.

Squirrels are living in the attic (they have for fifty years), and there’s a mouse in the kitchen.

“I think there’s a whole family of them up there,” she said. “But I’m gonna get rid of them.”

“Yeah? How are you gonna do that?” I asked, afraid to ask.

“I haven’t decided yet, but I’ll get rid of them even if I have to shoot ’em.”

{Imagine the long pause here}

“You’re going to shoot the squirrels? In the attic?”

“Yeah, I might.”

{Another pause}

“Isn’t that how you shot your stove?” I asked.

“Yes,” she began. “I went down to your Uncle Mark’s and told him I had a problem. He asked what the problem was, and I told him that I had killed my stove.

‘What do you mean you killed your stove, Mum?’ your Uncle Mark asked me. ‘How’d you kill your stove?!’

‘I shot it,’ I told him.”

I laughed and laughed. I knew it was true. She really did shoot her stove, and hearing her tell the story – again – was beyond funny.

“Did he ask why you shot your stove?” I asked her.

“Of course he did.”

“What did you tell him?”

“I told him the truth, that I was shooting at a squirrel in the basement. I didn’t do much damage to it, though, just enough that it was dead. It needed a little rewiring.”

“Lucky for you.”

“Nah. If I’d made a hole in it, Uncle Mark would’ve fixed it for me.”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

And then I told her that I had to go to the bathroom and asked if she wanted to come in with me or if I should hang up.

“No, no,” she said. “I’ll hang up. You can go in there all by yourself.”

“Are you kidding?” I asked. “The children and the cats will follow me in there whether you come or not.”

She laughed, and we said our good-byes.

And I chuckled all the rest of the night. I can still hear her words in my ears, “I killed my stove.”

© 2014 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

6 thoughts on ““I Killed My Stove””

  1. When she originally killed the stove, I was telling the guys at work. They all thought it was hilarious too. When I introduced her to my boss at Mum’s funeral, he asked if this was the Grandma that shot things in her house. She, of course, said you’re darn right and then proceeded to tell him the whole story. I thought he might fall on the ground laughing.

  2. Tara, this story makes me so happy. It reminds be SO MUCH of my great-grandmothers. All of them were quirky, funny, and independent like your grandmother. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  3. PUH-LEEZE, tell your grandmother I am up for granddaughter adoption. This story is just the most wonderful for a Friday night when my spirits and body are draggin’! I want to be just like her when I grow up! <3

    • Carol, if you want some more Old Grandma hijinks, go looking for the post called “The Toilet is Clogged” from sometime in 2009 (I think). If you expand all on the archives page and search for the word clogged, you’ll find it. You will never guess how her toilet got clogged. Oh my. My Old Grandma is a RIOT.

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